SPEARHEAD LODGE BLOG

Do You Have a Misdiagnosed Mental Illness?

undiagnosed mental illness

Mental illnesses such as anxiety and bipolar disorder affect millions of people globally. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five American adults experiences mental illness every year.

The World Health Organization classifies depression as a leading cause of disability worldwide. Unfortunately, the isolating, stigmatizing nature of these mental health challenges often means people do not seek treatment. Even for those who realize they have a problem and seek help, misdiagnosis is another barrier to effective care. The presence of a substance use disorder further magnifies the problem. 

The Dangers of Self-Medicating

Living with issues such as PTSD, depression and anxiety can be a struggle. Instead of working with a therapist to learn healthy strategies for easing their symptoms, many people turn to drugs or alcohol to get temporary relief. 

After substance abuse becomes your go-to solution for dealing with your mental health challenges, you can quickly move through the cycle from increased tolerance to a dependency to a full-fledged addiction. This progression soon gives rise to a dual diagnosis, with both diseases worsening in tandem. The more you rely on self-medicating as your only way of dealing with your mental illness, the less likely you’ll be to pursue professional counseling – the only sufficient way to learn how to manage your mental health.

People Experience Mental Health Challenges Differently

Because no two people are alike, mental health symptoms can manifest uniquely for various young men, which is another factor that can make these illnesses so challenging to diagnose correctly. For instance, someone with seasonal affective disorder might only experience depression at particular times of year. 

Your symptoms may also vary in intensity compared to someone else with the same condition. As an example, your anxiety could cause you to have frequent panic attacks or agoraphobia, while another person living with anxiety may only get anxious or stressed in specific circumstances.

Qualified Dual-Diagnosis Treatment for Young Men

Mental conditions do not get better by themselves, so the sooner you receive an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment, the better off you’ll be. Sadly, men are less likely to seek help for their problems, choosing to remain in denial and allow the issue to spiral out of control. Toxic masculinity – or the concept that men who ask for support are displaying weakness – might be one reason for this.

At Spearhead Lodge, we often see young men entering substance abuse treatment with an undiagnosed or inaccurately assessed mental health disorder. Even if you have worked with a therapist, that professional’s guidance might have proven less than helpful if the counselor lacked experience in treating a dual diagnosis. We’ve created our extended-care program specifically for helping young men address the combined challenges of having a substance abuse disorder and a mental illness. 

To learn more about men’s-only dual-diagnosis treatment in Austin, Texas, contact us today. Our team is standing by to answer all your questions. 

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