The Connection Between Mental Illness and Substance Abuse
Article written by Patrick Bailey - Freelancer Writer.
Awareness of the connection of substance abuse and mental health illness is currently increasing as more and more people are seeking help from these disorders. It is a general knowledge that substance abuse is a life-wrecking issue that has destroyed the lives of many people and has caused the economy a hefty amount of money.
As a result of the destructive nature of substance abuse, many health advocates discovered that substance abuse also triggers mental illnesses like depression. Several drugs found to be psychoactive have revealed a direct link to mental diseases like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Substance abuse and mental diseases are prevalent issues that our society is currently facing. These two constantly intersect from various angles. These destructive issues work together to create a miserable and most often inescapable suffering cycle.
A person experiencing both substance abuse and mental illness is known to be under the category of dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. Addiction and mental disorder are dangerous, and it could be lethal if both disorders are active and working together. It is crucial that a person with dual diagnosis should be treated for both issues in order to achieve successful recovery.
In reality, drug abuse, addiction and mental disorder are serious problems and would definitely require professional help. For some, it takes long years of personal battle and entails unwavering effort. Having to deal with both issues at the same time will decrease each of its effects but also present new challenges that could be extremely difficult to overcome alone because of the compounding nature of the condition.
That is why it is important that to seek professional help when symptoms of any of the issues are seen or manifested. Select the best dual diagnosis treatment center that will greatly help you or your loved one solve the troubling problem.
What is Dual Diagnosis?
Dual Diagnosis materialized as a concept more than a couple of decades ago. Unfortunately, most medical establishments could still not understand its concept well, even if it is just very simple. There is still very limited number of best dual diagnostics treatment centers. The term dual diagnosis is used to refer to a person who has a mental illness such as bipolar or mood disorder and a problem with drugs or alcohol.
It also refers to a practice that treats people who experience both a psychiatric disorder and substance abuse and addiction. For instance, you can be addicted to alcohol, drugs, sex, or gambling. And you can have a psychiatric disorder such as depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, panic disorder, or schizophrenia to name a few.
It is also very possible that an alcoholic can also suffer from a manic disorder or a drug addict from schizophrenia or clinical depression. The sad reality is that these are examples of the dual nature of the disease that the great majority of addicts are currently experiencing that are still massively undiagnosed and untreated. This is also one of the key reasons why there is a high incidence of relapse.
The Link Between Two Issues
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research of NBER, there is a certain link between the use of addictive substances and mental illnesses. The bureau further states that patients suffering from mental disorder consumed 38 percent of alcohol, 40 percent of cigarettes, and 44 percent of cocaine.
In addition, the Bureau notes that people who are suffering from mental health illnesses at a certain point of their lives have consumed 68 percent of alcohol, 68 percent of cigarettes, and 84 percent of cocaine. The report clearly points to a clear connection between substance abuse and mental health disorders.
In addition, it indirectly states that there are many possible combinations that can develop from this. Each lethal combination has its own set of distinct symptoms and causes. It follows that the disease requires its own unique intervention and dual diagnosis treatment methods.
In a report released by the Journal of the American Medical Association, it reveals that approximately 50 percent of individuals suffering from severe mental illnesses are affected by abuse of substances. In addition, the reports note that there is 37 percent of individuals suffering from alcohol abuse and 53 percent of those substance abusers have at least one grave mental disorder. Further, the JAMA reports that 29 percent of people found to be mentally ill are abusing drugs or alcohol.
Causes Co-occurring Disorders or Dual Diagnosis
In order to understand the co-occurring or dual diagnosis, it is important that you know its causes. According to the National Drug Abuse, there are several factors that contribute to the development of the co-occurring disorder.
This includes the use of alcohol or drugs to cure symptoms of mental disorder such as anxiety, depression, or any other mental disorder. Unfortunately, people abuse the use of alcohol or drugs to achieve the feeling of relief from the symptoms of their undiagnosed mental disorder. Others self-medicate to manage difficult emotions or to momentarily alter their current mood.
However, through time, users tend to abuse the use of drugs and alcohol because the usual dosage could no longer remove the pain. The abuse of alcohol or substances creates a plethora of side effects that worsen the symptoms through time. The substances that used to ease the pain now contribute to the bigger problem.
Traumatic events like divorce, physical abuse, the death of a loved one, and sexual abuse, among others, are also factors that trigger an individual to abuse alcohol or substance. In order to escape from their present reality of pain, people resort to using alcohol or drugs.
Heredity or Family History
There are some instances when mental disorders are caused by a complicated interaction of genetics. If you are a person with a family history of mental illness, there is a great risk for you to develop the same if you abuse alcohol or drugs.
The National Drug Abuse also states that low levels of neurotransmitters and other neurological causes co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. Others who use substance or alcohol while their brain is still in the process of development are also found to exhibit signs of the co-occurring disorder.
Alcohol and substance abuse can worsen the symptoms of mental illness. Abuse of substances could drastically raise the symptoms of mental disorder and worse, could give birth to new symptoms. In addition, alcohol and substance abuse can interrelate with medications like antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and anti-anxiety pills. They can make these medications less effective.
What You Should Do
If you or a loved one is suffering or showing signs of co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis, seek help immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment contribute largely to fast recovery. You can check out Misma Counselling And Psychotherapy Service if you need help or if you are in the United States you can check out Elite Rehab Placement; their will help you find the best dual diagnosis treatment centers that will take care of you or your loved ones’ needs.
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Bio: Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.
Hi - I'm Misma. I'm married and live in Exeter, Devon. Originally I came from Indonesia and moved to live in England in 2005. I can say I travel well and I love seeing people and their cultures, their beliefs and values. I am a Christian. I try to live a healthy lifestyle and maintain healthy wellbeing. For more detail of my professional work - please click below.