Meditation has been linked to improved mental health for quite some time now. In fact, it could be said that mediation relieves cooccurring disorders to some degree.

The reason is that meditation relieves some of the symptoms of cooccurring disorders. Like cold medicine, mediation works to combat the symptoms of the disorder which makes it easier to get better. We link the benefits of mediation with the corresponding cooccurring disorder issue here.

The benefits of meditation and their effects on the symptoms of cooccurring disorders:

  • Increased immunity

Meditation does improve your immune system. A national study revealed that meditation decreases inflammation and increased cell-mediated immunity [1]. The link and the cause of these finding is less clear, but science is slowly figuring out that meditation improves our immune system and overall health.

So, if mediation relieves cooccurring disorders, specifically, how can this help me with my dual diagnosis?

A life of mental illness and drug abuse always leads to sickness. When patients leave dual diagnosis treatment centers, they have a list of health problems they must work on. The most common illnesses associated with long term drug abuse are heart or lung disease, cancer as well as problems with skin and teeth [2].

Use meditation to improve your immune system as you begin to get your life back together.

  • Increase calm mood

Stress is a major relapse trigger [3]. So much so that most dual diagnosis treatment plans deal directly with stress management. Learning how to cope with stress is an effect way to “kill two birds with one stone”.

You will improve your mental and physical health and avoid addiction relapse. Avoiding relapse is a goal you maintain for the rest of your life. If mediation relieves cooccurring disorders in any meaningful way, it’s this: avoid going back and arm yourself with the power to control your moods.

Meditation has been proven to increase calmness and decrease stress response and anxiety [4].

  • Improved concentration and self-awareness

Meditation improves concentration and mental focus [5].

Almost all addiction veterans will tell you that groups, counselors and even other addicts will always say:

“Recovery requires constant vigilance”

As an addict, you need your wits and full control to remain on the right path. Meditation is a means of self-awareness that will give you the luxury of figuring yourself out. Understanding your self and having increased mental focus is a means to combat addiction head on.

Meditation is like sword fighting practice for your mind. You will beat any thoughts of addiction before they can even manifest.

Resources for Meditation

Here are there comprehensive resources to get you started:

Meditation 101: Techniques, Benefits, And A Beginner’s How-To

5 Meditation Tips for Beginners

Reddit Meditation

Remember meditation does not trump medication. Always speak to your psychiatrist or dual diagnosis treatment counselor before you decide to change your mediation or doses. 

 

Sources:

[1]: NCBI – Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

[2]: Drug Abuse.gov – Health Consequences of Drug Misuse

[3]: NCBI – Chronic Stress, Drug Use, and Vulnerability to Addiction

[4]: Harvard Medical School – Mindfulness Meditation May Ease Anxiety, Mental Stress

[5]: Psychology Today – Brain Scans Show How Meditation Improves Mental Focus

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