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Little things that can make a big difference...

When family contemplates options for dual diagnosis addiction treatment, they often think of drug rehab, psychiatric hospitalization and strong psychotropic medications…and these all can have a place in a treatment regimen for more seriously afflicted patients. Family tends to overlook some of the less intrusive environmental factors than can exert a significant influence on mental health and stability, and overall quality of life.

Sleep, Eat, Exercise

Sleep right, eat right and get some exercise. Not exactly rocket science, but improve in these three areas and you’d be hard pressed not to feel better.

It’s a recipe for health and happiness for anyone, but for those facing a dual diagnosis, taking proper care of the physical earns enormous dividends within the mental realm. Good nutrition promotes glycemic stability beneficial to an evenness of mood and emotions, free from the highs and lows induced by sugar and junk. Getting all needed vitamins also protects from nutrient deficiencies that can have a significant influence on mood, thought and even mental health. Good nutrition makes a difference.

Insomnia promotes ruminant, maladaptive thinking, it induces more solitary lifestyles, and insomnia also leads to greater rates of substance abuse and addiction. Exercise tires the physical, increasing the propensity towards a good night's rest. Vigorous and sustained exercise causes a release of natural feel-good endorphins, and regular exercise can replenish the brain's levels of mood and sleep stabilizing serotonin.

Exercise, sleep, and good healthy meals; they affect far more than the physical alone.

Healthy habits do not cure serious psychiatric challenges, but they always help, they create a stability of mood, can restore certain neuro chemicals to optimal levels and can reduce the difficulties inherent in overcoming addiction or alcoholism. Whatever the severity of the condition, a bettering of environmental and lifestyle factors can induce a bettering of psychiatric symptoms manifestation. Little things can sometimes make a difference and small changes together can create a whole greater than the sum of the parts.

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Page last updated Sep 08, 2010

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