top of page

Mental Health - It affects us all

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

addiction treatment south Dakota

Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) has been observed since 1949. The benefits of pausing and reflecting on our mental health cannot be underestimated. It is estimated that one in five people in North America has suffered from a mental health disorder in the past year. (Some studies show higher rates, up to 50%, when the lifetime incidence is taken into account.) This means that everyone reading this has likely been personally affected, or has a close family member, spouse, relative, friend, or colleague affected by a mental health problem. Many of those affected do not seek help, even though there are effective and clinically proven therapies and treatments available that are covered by health plans and mandated by law.

Many people with mental illness feel ashamed or embarrassed to discuss it with spouses, family members, or friends. It is much easier for us to admit when we are not feeling well because of a cold or a sprained ankle, yet admitting to depression or anxiety is not nearly as easy. There is a stigma that those with mental health disorders are weak, not in control of their lives, or unable to "fix themselves" or "pull themselves together". This leads to increased loneliness, shame, despair, and affects our performance at work or school, our relationships with others, our sense of happiness, and even our physical health. Talking about mental health normalizes the conversation, removes the stigma, and encourages those suffering to seek help. Ultimately, it leads to improved quality of life and reduces harm, such as suicide.

Some of the most common mental health disorders that we or a loved one may be affected by include:

Anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias, and social anxiety)

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

Bipolar disorder


Eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, binge eating, and bulimia nervosa)

Post-traumatic stress disorder


Seasonal affective disorder


Suicide and suicidal behavior

Mental illness can present in various ways, and symptoms can range from mild to severe. These feelings and behaviors are common, but at times they can become severe enough to impact the quality of our lives. They include:

Isolating oneself from events, activities, and people

Loss of interest in things previously enjoyed

Eating too much or too little

Low or, at times, increased energy

Feeling numb or that nothing matters

Unexplained pains and aches

Feeling hopeless and helpless

Sleeping too much or too little

Being forgetful, unable to concentrate or focus, on edge, and unable to relax

Constant nervousness, wound up, and easily frightened

Anger outbursts

Inability to control emotions, leading to outbursts or severe mood swings

Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of the household, going to work, or attending school

Thoughts about harming oneself or others

Relevant for us at iRecover is the fact that there is a significant overlap between addiction and mental health. On one hand, addiction to a substance can lead to mental health disorders. On the other hand, mental health disorders can lead to addiction through self-medication with alcohol, pain medication, stimulants, marijuana, or certain behaviors. Our experienced staff are mindful of this overlap and focus on treating not just the addiction but the entire person.

So let's keep the conversation going. Mental health is important, it affects all of us, and it can be overcome.

By: Dr. Hilgard Goosen - CEO iRecover US, Howard South Dakota

iRecover US is considered by many to be the top alcohol rehab and drug rehab in South Dakota. iRecover US employs evidence based treatment programs to provide the best alcohol addiction treatment and drug addiction treatment to all residents of South Dakota and the Mid-West. We accept insurance and self-pay options are available.

26 views0 comments


bottom of page