Challenges of mental health can take many forms in today’s society. Almost everyone has somebody they know either personally or through friends who is currently dealing with depression, anxiety, addiction, and other forms of mental health struggles. We live in a time when treatment of these problems is more accessible than it has ever been with online and physical resources available at a moment’s notice. So why is depression in young adults at an all time high and only 10% of Americans are seeking treatment for their addiction(s)?
A nationwide issue as complex as this almost certainly has a large number of reasons why problems like these still persist in our society. Treatment is certainly available, but not all individuals are choosing to seek it when they could and probably should be. Keeping problems to yourself may seem like the right or easiest thing to do sometimes, but it can lead to unintended dangerous consequences. Thousands of Americans are suffering in silence, putting themselves and sometimes others in danger of fueling their own addiction.
The Impact of Suffering in Silence
When individuals choose to not tell others about their addictions, they are choosing to fight sometimes dangerous and insurmountable challenges all on their own. While a lucky few can effectively regulate or overcome their dependencies, by choosing to not seek proper treatment problems can quickly get out of control. Many are indirectly fueling their addiction when they choose to not reach out and get help.
Having a support system has been proven to be a key part of recovery from problematic physical and mental dependencies. They allow someone to surround themselves with like-minded and supportive people, an outlet to voice struggles, and even provide a sort of healthy peer pressure to keep fighting. During some of the lows and most difficult moments of a struggle with addiction, a good support system can mean everything. By not getting others involved, people deny themselves all of these potentially game changing benefits.
Additionally, there is no frame of reference for dependencies when an individual is fighting it alone. It becomes much easier to think irrationally or in extremes if nobody, ideally an expert, can help you find a better understanding of addiction and the steps to healthy recovery. A broad and well-understood aspect of addiction is that it inhibits logical thought process, which by ignoring can lead to potentially disastrous consequences.
The Social Stigma of Addiction
Addiction is not seen as something always worth addressing in modern American culture. To admit to a problem like addiction is to admit to a weakness in one’s character and willpower. Even further, to seek treatment and get help is to concede that one is too weak to fight on their own. While both of these statements are true for many people, we’re often too afraid to tell others about our problems because of the social consequences of being seen as an addict.
It’s important to help break down the idea that addiction is not a choice, but a kind of recurring compulsion. This idea has become so common among people that even those suffering through harmful addiction may choose to believe it. People are living in fear that if they are discovered they will lose their loved ones, their friends, their careers, and other things they hold dear.
This stigma is reflected in our political institutions as well. Politicians are relatively silent about just how big of an issue addiction is unless they are asked. When’s the last time you heard a campaigning presidential candidate address American addiction problems on their own terms? It is not a popular subject, making it few and far between brought up. Though this being a political problem is slightly off-topic, it helps further illustrate just how far up the stigma of addiction goes in America.
Coming to terms with a problem is one of the first steps to recovery, but it’s easy to be convinced otherwise when it is hard to even just talk about it. Breaking silence about addiction requires coming to terms and acknowledging this stigma and moving past it in order to focus on self recovery. For each individual who can conquer this damaging idea and share their story and struggle, the more our culture can move past the toxic ideas we’ve set up around addressing and treating addiction.
Healthily Approaching Addiction
Honesty is one of the most important parts of treating addiction, no matter what consequences it may have on your life. Keeping addictions to yourself may involve lying to yourself or your loved ones and betraying their trust, and by consequence, sometimes their help and support. You are often not the only one being hurt by your addictions, and friends and family will always want to know about the problems you’re facing and help you overcome it if they care about what is best for you.
When you can move forward with being honest about your problem, finding a support system that works best for you is key. Get those closest to you involved and consult medical and addiction specialists. There are institutions and facilities that will not only take your struggle seriously, but will be devoted to helping you fight it in the best possible fashion.
At Windmill Wellness, our team will take this professional approach to any addiction as well. Through a combination of established treatment protocols and modern innovative technology, breaking silence and working towards a solution can become easy and achievable. Taking the time to help us learn more about how we can help will be life changing.
When addiction controls someone’s life, Windmill Wellness takes the approach of not only fighting and eventually ending the dependency, but also finding the root cause of the disorder and giving preventative treatment to help stop future relapses. By learning more about the core of the problem, you are helping yourself heal more permanently and find lasting health in the future.