Mental Illness – Mental Illness and Addiction, Are They the Same?

While Mental Health Care has changed drastically since the 1970’s, it is to the Mental Health Care Recipients advantage for more in-depth drastic changes to happen.

In the 70’s, isolation rooms, and strait jackets were still very much used. As a matter of fact, a good shot of Thorazine was common practice. You might ask, just exactly what is Thorazine? In the Mental Health Field, or in medical terminology, it is a anti-psychotic medication. One that is used to calm the mental health patient. Or, if you are a family member of someone who suffers from a mental illness, you would simply say, “it would tranquilize an elephant”.

Mental Illness Similar to Addiction

Mental illness is just as devastating to a family as an addiction is. The difference between the two is, Mental Illness is not as easy to explain in some families as an addiction to drugs or alcohol would be. Society accepts the drunken behavior of an alcoholic far easier than it does the characteristics of the mentally ill. After all, it is easier to say, they have had one too many to drink vs. oh, they are in the middle of a conversation with Charles Bronson. Both however, immensely impact a family, and both share similar characteristics where treatment is concerned.

Crisis Care

Crisis care is used to treat both patients with mental illness and addicts. However, both should not be treated the same. Addicts have the luxury of counselors who themselves are recovering addicts. Twelve Step Programs are just one example of this. While mental health patients have the luxury of physicians and counselors who have studied psychology. Both addicts and people with mental illness however are, turned back to the street after their brief Crisis Care stay.

Difference Between Addiction and Mental Illness

Addiction starts with a choice. The addicts chose to take that first drink, or take that first drug of choice. The problems that come with that choice basically falls back on them as being self inflicted. On the other hand, the mentally ill are born with or have had a significant factor contribute to their disease. It is not a choice that they made.

Therefore, to treat a mental illness in the same manner as an addiction is simply ridiculous.