Mental Illness & Substance Abuse

The Importance of Mental Health in Recovery

When it comes to understanding the effects of substance abuse and addiction, it is also essential to consider the role that mental illness can play. The experts at Tranquil Shores are here to shed some light on the connection between mental health issues and drug and alcohol abuse.

Common Co-Occurring Disorders for Addiction

Although there continues to be a more open public dialogue around removing the stigma surrounding mental illness, many people aren’t able to receive the treatment they need. Unfortunately, this can leave many people suffering from symptoms to turn to drugs and alcohol as a means to self-medicate.

While in the beginning, this may be a way to find temporary relief, it can also exacerbate these symptoms over time and develop into substance use disorders or even addiction issues. Some of the most common co-occurring mental health issues that affect addicts include:


Major depressive disorder, more commonly referred to as just depression, is a mood disorder that can affect the way you think, feel, and do everyday activities. As one of the most commonly experienced mental health disorders, many people deal with depression by drinking or abusing medication. It is important to note that drug and alcohol abuse can trigger depression as well.


Although it’s normal for people to feel anxious every now and then, people living with anxiety disorders experience a variety of symptoms that can continue to worsen over time without treatment. For people with social anxiety, for example, turning to drugs and alcohol may help to “calm” your nerves during unnerving social events. However, continuing to use and abuse substances as a way to socialize can easily develop into an addiction.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a common mood disorder that brings on intense episodes of mania and depression. This is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. When experiencing these intense emotional episodes, people with bipolar disorder turn to alcohol and illicit drug use, resulting in benders that last as long as the episodes themselves.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is another mental health disorder that is caused by experiencing a traumatic event. For many people living with this mental health disorder, flashbacks are a common symptom that often leads to intrusive thoughts, hyper-vigilance, and anxiety.

Supporting Your Emotional Health & Wellness in Recovery

When it comes to treating addiction issues, it is imperative to also address any underlying mental health issues. Getting to the root of the problem can help teach you to cope in healthier ways and understand your thoughts and feelings on a deeper level.


Keeping a journal while in recovery and after can help to support your mental health and wellness. From reducing your stress levels to strengthening your critical thinking skills, writing out your thoughts and feelings can prove to be beneficial.

Here are a few tips to help you start journaling:

  • Pick a journal that you like.
  • Keep a pen with your journal for easy access.
  • Don’t worry about how you express yourself or making it perfect.
  • Try to write, draw, or doodle in your journal every day.
  • Remember to express yourself in your journal however you deem fit.

Positive Affirmations

While many people think of practicing positive affirmations as a magical or mystical process, practicing positive self-talk can help to support a healthy relationship with yourself. By telling yourself positive statements, you can ward off negative intrusive thoughts and help build your self-esteem and confidence.

Professional Help

If you commonly practice activities and coping mechanisms and still find that your mental health is suffering, it is important to reach out for help when you need it. Seeking professional treatment for both your addiction and mental health issues can help get you back to feeling like yourself.

Seeking Help at Tranquil Shores

Whether you’re recovering from alcohol or drug addiction, Tranquil Shores can help you every step of the way toward wellness and recovery. Our experienced clinical team of addiction experts is dedicated to providing unique and personalized therapy to those looking for help with substance use disorders in Florida.

Please call us at (727) 591-4119 or get in touch with us online to take the first step on the road to recovery today

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