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Substance use disorder (SUD), also known as addiction, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a complex, chronic brain disorder. The Mayo Clinic explains addiction as a disease “that affects a person’s brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication” without regard for consequence. An individual struggling with addiction will prioritize satisfying his or her substance cravings above all else, which can wreak havoc in all areas of his or her life. Addiction does not develop overnight, nor should an individual expect his or her recovery from substance use disorder to occur instantaneously. Treatment for addiction will require an overhaul of one’s mental health. 

Mental Health and Wellness

Mental health refers to emotional, cognitive, and behavioral well-being. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” Wellness is an active and dynamic process of change and growth to reach one’s fullest potential and strives to enhance overall wellbeing. According to The National Wellness Institute, wellness is a “process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.” There are eight dimensions of wellness, and devoting time to each of these dimensions in one’s daily life, can improve one’s health and well-being and help to reaffirm one’s commitment to recovery. As is explained by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the eight dimensions of wellness include the following: 

  • Emotional: coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships
  • Environmental: good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being
  • Financial: satisfaction with current and future financial situations
  • Intellectual: recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills
  • Occupational: personal satisfaction and enrichment derived through one’s work
  • Physical: recognizing the need for physical activity, diet, sleep, and nutrition
  • Social: fostering a sense of connection, belonging, a well-developed support system
  • Spiritual: Expanding our sense of purpose and meaning in life 

While everyone is unique with nuanced and distinct treatment needs, focusing on and nurturing the eight dimensions of wellness can be invaluable to one’s long-term recovery.

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At Upwell Advisors, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

If left untreated, substance abuse, addiction, and/ or mental illness can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to leading happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. Please do not hesitate to reach out for guidance. We welcome the opportunity to discuss how we might best be able to help you or your loved one in the recovery process.

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