The stigma surrounding mental illnesses is a big roadblock in the way of seeking treatment. And looking at the increasing rate of mental illness in the United States, the need of the hour is to make people realize that mental illness is a disease like any other physical ailment that needs treatment and help. But many people, in a bid to get relief from depressive episodes, rely on alcohol and drugs to self-medicate. However, self-medicating with such substances only makes matters worse and take the form of dual diagnosis.
To encourage people to open up about mental problems and addiction, former British two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton (38) spoke in December 2016 about his battle with depression. “The Hitman” Hatton, told the BBC that he tried to kill himself several times. He spoke about how he used to go to the pub, come back, take the knife out and sit in the dark crying hysterically. He also said that it was not about whether he had a drink or not. There were times when he did not have a drink for days, but would come home and keep pondering over something that went through his mind.
After his retirement from the ring in 2012, Hatton suffered from mental health issues and used drugs and alcohol to get relief from his misery. The boxer confessed to thinking of drinking himself to death because he was quite miserable. He also said that his increased alcohol intake made him abuse drugs and he became like a “runaway train.” As per reports, the cause of deterioration of Hatton’s mental health was attributed to his personal and professional problems, including his 2007 defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and to Manny Pacquiao in 2009.
According to Hatton, the solitary nature of boxing could also contribute to depression among its participants. As per Hatton, more should be done for boxers as boxing is very, very hard. He said that footballers have agents, football club, the FA, and the Player’s Football Association (PFA) behind them, but boxers did not come from Cambridge or places like that, they came from council estates. He said that boxing would be a better place to be if it had a professional boxing association or something like that. The Hitman also said that as boxing was an individual sport, one gets in the ring on one’s own and after retirement, one tends to spend the rest of one’s life on one’s own. He added that in the ring, one can take on the world but one cannot simply take on depression. Some of the superstars known to have struggled with mental illness include Tyson Fury, Mike Tyson, and Frank Bruno.
Drinking to lessen depressive symptoms
Depression can lead an individual to indulge in a few drinks to get relief from “moments of sadness.” However, when those few drinks escalate to a full- blown addiction often go unnoticed. People who are depressed are more likely to drink than others who are not. The irony is, though one many feel good after having a few drinks, alcohol only aggravates the symptoms.
Alcohol is a depressant and as a result, people who are depressed are more likely to get sad and frustrated post consuming the drinks. Moreover, there is always a danger of getting addicted to alcohol. The only way to get rid of depressive symptoms is to consult a mental health practitioner rather than self-medicating oneself with substances like alcohol or other drugs.
Recovery road map
A complex mental illness, when in denial, depression can be difficult to diagnose. Moreover, indulging in substances like alcohol will only make matters worse. However, a comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment can help one manage the symptoms of a co-occurring disorder and embrace a new life.
If you know someone suffering from dual diagnosis, contact the California Dual Diagnosis Helpline to know about the best dual diagnosis treatment centers in California. Call us at our 24/7 helpline 855-980-1736 or chat online with our experts to know about evidence-based dual diagnosis treatment in California.