September is National Recovery Month. Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery is the theme for 2016. The theme was chosen in order to focus on the valuable contribution families make to the recovery process. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides many free resources for individuals and groups that wish to promote awareness of patients who are recovering from a mental disorder or a substance abuse disorder. There are several classifications of mental disorders, yet anxiety disorders and mood disorders are two of the most well-known. Substance abuse disorders can involve any type of substance that is habitually abused.
What Kind of Recovery?
Mental health and substance abuse are not topics that are easy for most people to discuss. People who have a mental disorder or substance abuse problem frequently display no outward signs that make it easy for those around them to identify. Even when an issue is recognized, it will frequently be dismissed as being “all in the patient’s head,” as though they should be able to control their psychological responses more effectively than the responses of their immunological systems. Patients recovering from cancer receive the support of their friends, families, and communities. This support is equally invaluable in the treatment and recovery process for mental disorders and substance abuse.
What is a Mental Disorder?
Anxiety disorders include conditions like agoraphobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. They all involve heightened and often debilitating levels of anxiety. However, the cause of the anxiety varies based on the specific disorder and the individual patient. A patient with agoraphobia will typically suffer from an intense fear of those places and situations where the ability to escape would be difficult or where they would be exposed outside of their home. A patient with post-traumatic stress disorder typically develops anxiety following exposure to a traumatic event. The feelings of anxiety are subsequently triggered anytime something consciously or subconsciously reminds the patient of the event.
A mood disorder is a category of illnesses that directly and significantly affect the mood of an individual. Some of the most well-known include bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. Patients with other mental disorders, such as schizophrenia and one of the personality disorders, also benefit tremendously from an active support network.
It is important to spend time this month bringing a greater awareness to those who suffer from mental disorders and substance abuse. By bringing attention to the issue, family members may be more encouraged to support their friends, family members, and coworkers who have been suffering in silence. It is also an opportunity for the caregivers to get the recognition and support they need.