Addiction ranks as one of the least understood mental health disorders, affecting over 12 million Americans yearly. It’s a stigmatized disorder, often associated with negative and impactful symptoms, that causes terror to the individual and continuously breaks apart families daily. It is a complex disorder that causes pain internally and deteriorates loved ones from the inside out. For those dealing with addiction, feelings of grief, shame, and denial are a part of daily life, and it feels unstoppable.

If you find yourself dealing with addiction, know there is always help for those seeking it. At Mental Health Haven, we offer continuous support for those with addiction by providing a safe, stigma-free environment, allowing you to recover from your addiction and learn ways of living without dependency. 

Understanding Addiction and Its Stereotypes

Addiction refers to the psychological impact of substance use and impulsive behaviors, ranging from alcohol to gambling. Any substance or behavior can lead to addiction and quickly become problematic for some people, causing them to lose control over their lives. People experiencing addiction tend to exhibit similar symptoms associated with their substance or behavior. According to the DSM-5, there are specific criteria for addiction overall, which include:

  • Using the substance or behavior for longer than intended
  • Showing a persistent desire to regulate or cut down on use but haven’t
  • Making significant time and effort to obtain, use, or recover from the use
  • Having strong desires and cravings for the substance or behavior
  • Recurring use that interferes with obligations
  • Social and interpersonal problems caused and impacted by substance use or behavior.
  • Almost all social, occupational, or recreational activities are reduced because of the substance or behavior.
  • Performing the behavior or using the substance in physically hazardous situations
  • Continued use and action despite knowing the harmful physical or psychological effects
  • High amounts of tolerance to substance use
  • Symptoms of withdrawal when experiencing a denial of a substance or behavior

All of these symptoms can occur with both substances and behaviors, and what once was an everyday activity would become more intrusive and harmful to the person. Despite the negative consequences, the habits form under addiction lead to a higher tolerance to the brain’s reward center, where the brain’s production of dopamine builds up over time, leading to a higher tolerance for its effects. 

Most of all, a person’s addiction is a mental illness. It is not someone’s choice but is rather an imbalance in the brain. It is a disorder influenced by the contextual factors affecting that person’s life, and addiction can occur in anyone, even children. Getting treatment and recovering from your addiction is your solution, and we’re here for you through every step.  

How Mental Health Haven Can Help You Recover From Addiction

At Mental Health Haven, we can provide extensive options for those experiencing addiction and offer connections to support groups and individual psychiatric therapy for your recovery. Through treatments provided by Kristen Chambers, we encourage our clients to control their mental health so they can experience the relief they need for a positive, happier life. Contact our practice today to learn more about how we can help you through your concerns and experience quality mental health care.