Common Mental Health Conditions That Can Lead to Addiction
Mental Health Disorders are One of the Most Common Underlying Causes of Addiction
Why do some people develop an addiction while others can quickly put drug use behind them and never look back? There has been a proven correlation between mental health disorders and substance abuse.
While it’s true that substance use can affect the user’s mental health, often substance use is rooted in and heightens an existing mental health disorder that was already present. Emotional pain and physical pain are processed in the same part of the brain, so just as the brain actively responds to physical pain, its response to emotional distress can sometimes surface in the form of substance abuse. Whether consciously or subconsciously, substance use tends to serve as self-medication to relieve an underlying mental condition.
Mental Illnesses That Commonly Co-occur With Substance Use Disorders
Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders both in the U.S. and globally. Perhaps its commonness is part of why many people who suffer from major depression brush it off as normal and never seek out help or a diagnosis; or, even if diagnosed, do not take the step of seeking treatment.
Clinical depression can be summarized as a sadness or loss of interest in daily activities that feels impossible to overcome. This heaviness of emotion leads to a number of other behavioral and physical symptoms, including changes in sleep patterns, loss of appetite, low energy levels, inability to concentrate, negative self-image, and overall pessimism. Depression can also cause suicidal thoughts.
Bipolar disorder also referred to as manic depression, is characterized by extreme mood swings. Manic episodes consist of unusually high energy levels, a reduced need for sleep, and a loss of touch with reality. Depressive episodes consist of the opposite with unusually low energy levels, an absence of motivation, and loss of interest in daily activities. An episode in either direction can last days or even months at a time. Bipolar disorder can also lead to suicidal thoughts.
Various mental health conditions fall under the umbrella of anxiety disorders. Some examples include generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Every case is unique, but it has been constantly observed that substance use disorders are sometimes the result of self-medication for an underlying anxiety disorder.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Though PTSD falls under the category of anxiety disorders, it has particular symptoms that are not common among all anxiety disorders. Someone living with PTSD often has nightmares or sudden flashbacks of the trauma they have experienced. As a result, they make an effort to avoid anything that is a reminder of the trauma. PTSD causes an inclination towards pessimism, irritability, jumpiness, and trouble sleeping. It is a daily hurdle to cope with the persistence of PTSD symptoms and moments in everyday life can trigger intense flashbacks.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
There are different types of ADHD, but it is generally characterized by a short attention span, racing thoughts, constant fidgeting, impulsive behavior, and any form of hyperactivity, whether physical, verbal, or emotional. As with other mental health disorders, those living with ADHD have an increased risk of turning to alcohol or drugs to cope with moodiness and try to still a constantly racing mind.
The good side of ADHD is that when the symptoms of ADHD are combated with proper medicine, it is easier to recover from other substance addiction.
There are also various forms of personality disorders, but they can be generally defined as having a distorted perspective of the world, resulting in abnormal and unhealthy behaviors. Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is the most common and has the second-highest risk of addiction.
BPD impacts a person’s perspective of themselves and those around them. Common issues that result from BPD are low self-esteem, self-image issues, unstable relationships with people, and difficulty managing emotions and controlling reactive behaviors.
Antisocial personality disorder leads to the highest risk of developing an addiction. Those who live with antisocial personality disorder lack an accurate moral compass or safety parameter for themselves or others. As a result, they are prone to lie, exploit others, or break the law without regard for the consequences. Naturally, the dangers of addictive drugs and their effects are not fully realized by someone with this disorder.
Healing Addiction at The Roots
Nearly 44 million adults living in the United States experience mental illness over the course of a year. Among them, it’s estimated that 10 million live with a serious illness. With mental illness and addiction being so intertwined, it’s imperative to find professional help for addiction. To achieve lasting recovery from substance addiction, it is an absolute must also fully address any underlying mental health conditions.
Muse Treatment in Los Angeles specializes in dual diagnosis treatment. After a guided detox, personalized and holistic therapy can begin. After the effects of the drug are removed from the equation, each individual can start to understand the roots of their addiction and experience a multifaceted healing process. From art therapy to counseling, the treatment plan at Muse Treatment helps individuals process, express, and manage their mental health. After the program, individuals can return to life, prepared to handle their condition without any drug or alcohol dependency.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an addiction, contact Muse Treatment today. We have 24/7 support to understand and overcome any addiction from its core. Call (800) 426-1818 to learn more about the dual diagnosis solutions we provide.