People who struggle with addiction don’t purposely set out trying to develop it. Even though they may make choices that eventually lead to drug and alcohol dependency, they’re no longer in control by the time addiction takes over their lives. Often, underlying mental health or behavioral disorders contribute to the development of an addiction. Unless they receive addiction treatment, it’s unlikely they’ll quit on their own. If this sounds like you or a loved one, know that you don’t have to continue suffering in silence.

What Are Behavioral Disorders?

A woman looks upset as she thinks about behavioral disordersThe terms mental health disorders and behavioral disorders may include some of the same characteristics, but they’re not the same.

While people don’t have control over having a mental illness like schizophrenia or Alzheimer’s, behavioral disorders involve some type of choice. Usually, the choice to engage in a certain behavior happens at the beginning. As the disorder deepens, a person gradually stops choosing to engage in the behavior. In other words, she stops having control over it.

Eating disorders are one example. Although a woman may start out consciously deciding to rigorously control her food intake, over time, her disorder progresses. When she’s in the grip of anorexia, not eating becomes less of a conscious choice and more of a compulsion.

The same goes for substance abuse. People start out using heroin or drinking heavily as a choice. Not everyone grows dependent on addictive substances, but many do. Physically and psychologically, they grow to depend on how drugs and alcohol make them feel. Without treatment, dependency can move into addiction.

Behavioral Disorders and Addiction

Because people initially choose to abuse drugs and alcohol, does addiction count as a behavioral health issue? It does. However, if you feel caught up in a vicious cycle of using, trying to quit, and not being able to, you know that getting clean isn’t a simple matter.

As drug and alcohol dependency grows, so does the likelihood of addiction. At some point, it’s nearly impossible for someone to stop using on her own. This is in spite of suffering a variety of negative consequences, such as job and relationship problems. She may continue using, although her health is declining or she’s faced legal troubles.

The pull of addictive substances is incredibly strong. Some people think that getting clean simply involves quitting, but addiction treatment is much more complex than a simple detox program.

Many underlying factors go into dependency and addiction. Without addressing those core issues, relapse is very likely.

How Addiction Treatment Can Help

Why do people abuse drugs and alcohol, despite the negative outcomes that often happen? Along with the brief high, substance abuse often helps them escape painful emotions and negative feelings. Addiction treatment offers people more productive ways to cope with stress and destructive thought patterns.

In a rehab setting, skilled professionals provide a variety of therapeutic techniques. They may include cognitive or dialectical behavioral therapy, which help clients replace negative thoughts and behaviors with positive ones. Specialists in the field understand how behavioral disorders like addiction stop being a choice and instead become all-controlling.

Begin Again at Soledad House

Life is full of choices. You may have chosen to abuse drugs and alcohol, but it stopped being a choice when these addictive substances damaged your relationships and your health. However, you can make a better choice, beginning today. You can choose recovery.

At Soledad House in San Diego, California, our caring team helps women grappling with a variety of addictive substances, including prescription pills and heroin. We specialize in addressing women’s unique issues, whether you’ve tried to get sober for a long time or you’re stuck in a codependent relationship with your parents or significant other. We also offer dual diagnosis treatment to treat any co-occurring mental health or behavioral disorders.

Our addiction treatment programs include:

Behavioral disorders such as substance abuse don’t have to rob you of another precious moment. Call Soledad House today at 866-314-3222. We’ll walk with you on the road to recovery and lasting sobriety.