People who suffer from addiction are more likely to also have a mental illness. In fact, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence estimates that people with substance abuse problems are seven times more likely than the general population to also have a mental health disorder.
That said, people with co-occurring disorders have two or more diagnosable conditions existing simultaneously, and such conditions are referred to as a dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders.
While it’s not uncommon, having both of these conditions at the same time can lead to further complications and make treatment at dual diagnosis treatment centers near me more challenging.
Read on to learn more about the link between substance abuse and certain types of mental illnesses, including those that commonly occur together:
Research has consistently shown a link between depression and substance abuse. There are many different factors that may contribute to this co-occurrence, including genetics, environment, and stressful events. Despite the source of the connection, this dual diagnosis is one of the most common.
While most people with depression are able to function in daily life, some people are more vulnerable to substance abuse than others and experience it so severely that they cannot work or take care of themselves.
People with substance use disorders are more likely to have an anxiety disorder than the average person because anxiety disorders and substance abuse often go hand in hand.
Anxiety disorders are often triggered by stressful situations, which can be associated with substance abuse. Some people with anxiety disorders may self-medicate with substances, such as alcohol, in order to relax. Others may use substances as a way of coping with their anxiety.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is more than just flashbacks from an unfortunate event. It’s an anxiety disorder caused by exposure to a terrifying event – either experiencing it or witnessing it. It can affect people who have experienced a traumatic event in any capacity, such as veterans, law enforcement officers, doctors, travel nurses and others in the medical profession, abuse survivors, and people who have dealt with natural disasters like floods or earthquakes.
People with PTSD tend to use drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism, which can lead to an addiction. To worsen matters, PTSD on its own can be extremely challenging to treat and substance abuse can cause the condition to become more severe, making it even more difficult to treat.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADD, is a mental health disorder associated with impulsivity, hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impaired executive functioning. It is diagnosed in children and adults who have issues paying attention, managing time, controlling emotions and behavior, and being creative.
ADD and substance abuse often go hand in hand and people with ADD may turn to alcohol and drugs because they’re looking for a quick way to calm their nerves or improve their focus. Whatever the reason, abusing substances can worsen ADD symptoms and make them much more pronounced.
We hope you’ve gained a better understanding of the link between dual diagnosis and substance abuse. Having a mental health condition can make you more vulnerable to substance abuse, while substance abuse can make you more susceptible to mental health disorders.
If you or someone you love struggles with a dual diagnosis, it’s essential to seek treatment from dual diagnosis treatment centers near me to address all of the conditions. A dual diagnosis treatment program can help you get and stay sober while managing complex mental health needs.