Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

substance abuse mental illnessA diagnosis called a co-occurring disorder is determined for those who struggle with substance abuse problems and a mental disorder. Substance abuse problems can wreak havoc on a person’s life. Similarly, mental disorders can create serious problems for people who suffer from them. For some people, both conditions are a reality. This may arise in the form of alcoholism and depression, drug addiction and anxiety or many other variations. Sometimes knowing which disorder is informing which decision is extremely difficult, and treatment will have to be intensive and long-lasting in order to be successful. This dual diagnosis requires special treatment in order get rid of because the two conditions affect and aggravate one another in a complicated manner.

Ongoing substance abuse damages the body’s chemistry even when the person in question is not under the influence, so their weight, sleep schedule and nutrient intake are completely erratic, making their mental disorder that much more out of control. Substance abuse is the overindulgence or the dependence on an addictive substance, such as alcohol, drugs or certain foods. People abuse substances for a number of biological, environmental, psychological and emotional reasons. Substance abuse can refer to a one time incident or a repeated behavior. When a co-occurring disorder, such as depression, anxiety, anger or ADHD is acting in conjunction with substance abuse, the person may have severe mood swings, manic episodes, anger management issues or attention problems that are enhanced by the substance abuse. This is not only while the person is under the influence.

Do not hesitate to gain support from local substance abuse and mental health professionals if you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse and mental issues. Co-occurring disorders are very damaging when left untreated, even fatal in some instances. Both can be damaging or fatal to life and health one their own, but together, the destruction is enhanced and sped up. If you or someone you know is known to abuse a substance and exhibits signs of a mental disorder, urgent treatment is necessary.