Alcoholism is the final stage of an alcohol use disorder. It comes with psychological and physical problems. Is alcoholism a mental illness? Most importantly, is there still hope for recovery?
Understanding the Progression of an Alcohol Use Disorder
An alcohol use disorder develops incrementally. Initially, you begin to use alcohol as a chemical crutch. It fulfills a need. Over time, your body develops a tolerance.
Therefore, you drink more to experience the same results. From there, it’s a short leap to developing a chemical dependency. Even this step has multiple stages. The final one is alcoholism.
Your drinking is causing severe physical and mental problems. Maybe you lost a job or relationships with loved ones. Specialists at an alcohol addiction rehab center realize that time is of the essence now. Therefore, getting help should be paramount.
Why Is Alcoholism a Mental Illness?
Although the condition has serious physiological symptoms, experts agree that it’s a mental illness. It falls under the umbrella term of addiction. Medicine recognizes the compulsive use of drugs and alcohol to be a mental health disorder. They point to symptoms such as the loss of control, the cravings, and behavioral details.
Some people believe that alcoholism is little more than a physical disease. However, they’re only partially correct. Without the psychological aspect, you wouldn’t struggle with the drinking problem. It’s fair to say that an alcohol use disorder is a complicated disease.
Is It Too Late for Treatment?
Is alcoholism a mental illness with a cure? Sadly, there’s no cure for addiction. However, it responds well to treatment. Possible modalities include:
- Drug detox that offers medical assistance during the withdrawal phase of treatment
- Residential rehab options that allow you to live at the facility as you undergo therapy
- Dual diagnosis treatment for program participants with depression, anxiety, or other underlying mood disorders
- Trauma informed care that benefits you when the past is a significant trigger for alcohol abuse
- Individual talk therapy that encourages you to take charge of recovery by talking through stressors and triggers
By the way, it’s never too late to enter rehab. Granted, you may be dealing with several health problems at this time. For example, you may have developed liver and memory problems. Similarly, your doctor may have warned you that drinking compromised your heart health.
Even so, you can still quit and reap the benefits of this decision. Returning to a healthier lifestyle is your best choice. At a rehab center, therapists assist you with nutritional support for your unique situation.
Similarly, they suggest easy exercises that get you moving again. In the process, you gradually gain strength and begin to feel healthier. Besides that, you also feel more confident.
Entering Treatment Today
Is alcoholism a mental illness that you’re ready to learn how to manage? If so, Phoenix Rising wants to assist with your mental, spiritual, and physical renewal. Caring therapists can help you no matter how long you’ve been drinking. Call 855.232.8211 to schedule an intake interview.