I’m writing this post to share my experience with integrated treatment for substance use and mental health issues. It’s been a long journey - one that has changed me in so many ways.
My treatment began three years ago, when I decided I was ready to make a change. I had grown tired of the cycle of hitting bottom and going through the same steps again - it felt like an endless loop. I wanted to end that cycle and find a way to manage my substance use and mental health conditions effectively.
Since then, I’ve been receiving integrated treatment, which combines both psychotherapy and medications to address both the substance abuse issues and any underlying psychological problems – such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or PTSD – that may have been playing a role in my self-medication behaviors.
Integrated treatment has been an important part of my recovery process. It’s helped me learn positive coping skills to better manage difficult emotions and situations without having to resort to using drugs or alcohol to cope with them. Additionally, the medications have helped stabilize my moods so that I can better focus on other aspects of my health such as nutrition, exercise and developing healthier relationships with others.
The process hasn’t been easy – there have been tough times and often it felt like things weren’t changing quickly enough for me but over time all the hard work has paid off in improved physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. The benefit is hard to explain but incredibly rewarding. And although there are still some challenges that come up from time to time as expected in life – overall, life looks a lot different than it did before I started this journey!