Updated on 4/13/2023

If you have substance use disorder or mental illness, you may avoid seeking treatment because you are afraid to admit that you need help. Whether you are worried about how you will be perceived by the community or the people closest to you, sharing your struggles may be the last thing you want to do. Know that you are not alone. This blog offers insight into the importance of admitting you need help for substance use or a mental illness and how to find a supportive community.

Why Is It Difficult to Admit You Need Help for SUD?

Who wants to admit that they are struggling with substance use or mental health problems? Society has shamed and created many negative stereotypes for people who struggle with addiction and mental disorders. Many cultures have perceptions about mental disorders and substance abuse that may affect your ability to acknowledge that you need help. All of these outside influences can cause you to feel too embarrassed or too ashamed to admit you are struggling.

You may feel that admitting your problems allows others to judge you. Even if you are a very secure person, you likely are sometimes concerned about what others think of you. Judgment from loved ones can feel the harshest compared to that of strangers. Confiding in others about what you are experiencing can be scary, especially if you aren’t sure of what the response will likely be. The pressure to appear levelheaded and strong enough to care for yourself can cause you to suffer in silence longer than you have to.

The Dangers of Hiding Your SUD or Mental Health Disorder Symptoms

Your mind is one of the most essential assets you will ever have. It controls your outlook on life and how you go about navigating it. What harm does staying quiet about your symptoms bring?

Increased Risk of Possible Deterioration

While some mental illnesses have symptoms that stay consistent, more severe disorders can worsen over time. If you struggle with illnesses such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, you may have symptoms such as psychosis or mania which require immediate attention.

Waiting too long to seek treatment and receive medication may cause these symptoms to intensify over time. The outcome of these symptoms typically improves over time the sooner you begin treatment for them.

Unstable Lifestyle

Substance abuse dramatically disrupts your life. Your sole focus becomes tending to your cravings which can cause you to put your need for drugs and alcohol over other priorities in your life. Showing up for work now may become a difficult task and you may find yourself showing up late if you show up at all.

Maintaining healthy relationships with your friends and family may no longer be a priority. You may find that all of your money goes towards sustaining your substance use which becomes a bill itself.

Mental illness can bring its own form of challenges to your life. Mood disorders such as depression can cause you to detach from your day-to-day activities and isolate yourself. Anxiety, OCD and PTSD can cause disruptions to how you interact with others and avoid necessary situations. Studies have also found that a large percentage of the homeless population are individuals with untreated mental disorders.


If you struggle with untreated mental illness or substance abuse, you have a higher risk of suicide attempts. As the disorders begin to spiral out of control, you may feel as if your pain is never-ending and that the only way out is through suicide. It begins to cloud your judgment and distort your perception of yourself.

Don’t Wait Until It Is Too Late

To receive help, you first acknowledge that you need it. Right now you may feel as though you can make it on your own because you are getting through your days. However, there are dangers of keeping your symptoms hidden that often don’t show up until it may be too late.

Know that there is treatment available specifically for both substance abuse and mental disorders. Whether you need a safe inpatient facility or simply need to speak to a mental health professional, there are resources here to help relieve your symptoms.

At the heart of Cliffside Malibu is the belief that you deserve a chance to take back control of your life. Whether you are struggling with substance abuse or co-occurring mental disorders, at Cliffside Malibu, you can receive the support you need to safely regain your strength. Take the first step by reaching out to Cliffside Malibu today to begin your healing process: (855) 403-5641.