Common Mental Health Issues and Addiction
There are a few disorders that repeatedly present alongside addiction. Oftentimes, these disorders are the underlying cause of an addiction. That’s why it’s important to never ignore the symptoms of a mental health condition or behavioral disorder when it comes to a person’s long-term addiction recovery plan.
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
People with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be more inclined to abuse substances as a way to cope with their symptoms. Many people are prescribed Stimulants to treat their ADHD, which can be habit-forming and lead to a toxic pattern of substance abuse.
- Bipolar disorder
About half of the people with bipolar disorder also struggle with addiction. As with any other disorder, it can be tempting to self-medicate. Drugs and alcohol provide a source of temporary relief from emotional situations and manic episodes for people with bipolar.
- Borderline personality disorder
Studies have shown that addiction and borderline personality disorder (BPD) often occur together. Over two-thirds of people with BPD have abused substances at some point in their lives.
An estimated 1 in 10 adults in the United States has reported suffering from depression. Many people diagnosed with depression try to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. This often makes the problem worse. The crash after the high can be devastating for those with a pre-existing depressive condition.
- Eating disorders
Eating disorders often stem from strong feelings of inferiority. The use of drugs that suppress appetite is especially common among people with these disorders.
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
The most common mental health condition in the US, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) affects 18% of the adult population. People who suffer from GAD may be more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol to manage their symptoms. People may also abuse Benzodiazepines, which are highly addictive prescription medications used to treat anxiety disorders.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
When a person develops post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), their brain produces less endorphins than a healthy brain; this makes the afflicted person more likely to turn toward alcohol or drugs to feel happy. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, nearly 75% of soldiers and veterans who experience a traumatic or violent event during combat report repetitive alcohol abuse.
Why Co-Occurring Disorders Are Treated Differently?
People diagnosed with a mental health condition are about twice as likely as the general population to suffer from a substance use disorder. Similarly, individuals who frequently abuse drugs or alcohol are likely to develop a mental health disorder. While it is widely accepted that a mental health disorder can induce a substance addiction — and vice versa — researchers are uncovering what causes both conditions to occur simultaneously.
Warning Signs Of A Co-Occurring Disorder
The signs of a dual diagnosis vary greatly between individuals. Generally, symptoms will depend on the type of substance abused as well as the severity of the co-occurring condition.
Symptoms of a dual diagnosis include:
- Sudden changes in general behavior
- Difficulty managing daily tasks and responsibilities
- Avoiding events or social activities that were once enjoyed
- Neglecting health and hygiene
- Delusional thinking or cognitive impairments
- Refusal to seek or comply with treatment
- Mentions of thoughts of suicide or suicidal behaviors
- Erratic and impulsive behaviors
- Issues managing finances
- Poor performance at school or work
Get Help For A Dual Diagnosis
While some individuals develop an addiction to drugs or alcohol before being diagnosed with a mental illness, others become addicted afterward. However it happened, it’s paramount to find a tailored treatment plan that targets both disorders simultaneously rather than a plan that treats them separately. In the case of a dual diagnosis, the structured and safe environment of an inpatient rehab center can be extremely beneficial.
Going to inpatient rehab for a co-occurring disorder is ideal because of the high level of attention and care that patients receive. Oftentimes, people with co-occurring disorders arrive at rehab in various states of distress and poor general health. The combination of extensive substance abuse and a neglected mental condition generally requires the help of both mental health and addiction professionals. At HB Recovery Center we provide our residents with multiple resources in order to assist them in their recovery, contact us today to see if we are a good fit for you!