Mental Health and Addiction - Are Mental Health Disorders and Addiction Related?

Mental Health and Addiction

Mental health problems and addiction often occur alongside each other; in fact, more than 50% of clients seeking mental health treatment are found to be battling substance abuse – and vice versa.

Are mental health and addiction related? Yes they are.

Mental health problems and addiction often occur alongside each other; in fact, more than 50% of clients seeking mental health treatment are found to be battling substance abuse – and vice versa.

Struggling with an addiction or a mental health issue on its own is already a tremendous strain on a person; dealing with both at the same time can feel even more hopeless and overwhelming.

Common mental health illnesses linked to drug and alcohol addiction

Does addiction cause mental health disorders?

Yes it can.

In some cases the mental health disorders are a direct result of excessive drug and alcohol use. Drug-induced psychosis, for example, can be caused by prolonged use of drugs like crystal methamphetamine (ice), cocaine, cannabis, alcohol and hallucinogens.

Sudden and unmonitored withdrawal from these substances may also cause psychosis.

Do mental health disorders lead to addiction?

Yes they can.

It is increasingly common for sufferers of mental health disorders to self-medicate using drugs and alcohol in a desperate attempt to feel better.

Symptoms such as overwhelming feelings of anxiety, depression, feeling lonely or misunderstood or experiencing feeling of disconnection from society – common in individuals going through mental health crises – can make drug use appear like an appealing and effective option to disrupt the pain.

Consumption of mood altering substances like alcohol, cannabinoids, hallucinogens, cocaine, amphetamines or crystal methamphetamine (ice) can bring temporary relief of mental health symptoms in form of a high.

However, the effects of drugs and alcohol are likely to exacerbate the symptoms of users struggling with mental health and feeling worse frequently leads to heavier drug use. The more drugs and alcohol are used to combat their mental health issues the more likely addiction is to occur.

The addiction then adds the misery of withdrawal symptoms and the stress of having to maintain a supply to an already unmanageable situation, leading to a further decline of the person’s mental health.

More effects of mental health and addiction

People suffering with both mental health and addiction issues can experience:

  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Hopelessness
  • A crippling lack of motivation to engage in social activities

Sufferers of depression and schizophrenia are particularly at risk of cutting all social ties once an addiction takes hold and they gradually lose touch with reality.

Co-occurring disorders

When someone is experiencing both mental health and substance abuse issues it is commonly referred to as co-occurring disorders.

Co-occurring disorders are notoriously hard to diagnose because:

  • Sufferers seeking treatment for their psychological problems are often reluctant to address their substance abuse issues because they seem irrelevant in comparison
  • Symptoms can overlap dramatically

Dual Diagnosis Program and Dual Treatment Plan

The Dual Diagnosis Program and Dual Treatment Plan at the Hader Clinic Queensland are designed to suit the needs of each individual client.

We provide counselling, therapy and support that addresses both addiction and mental health conditions side-by-side.

We understanding that mental health and addiction problems should be addressed together. This allows us to develop effective solutions and realistic coping strategies that achieve long term recovery.

Find out more

Anxiety and Addiction
Bipolar Disorder and Addiction
Depression and Addiction
Drug Induced Psychosis
Eating Disorders and Addiction
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Addiction
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Addiction

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