Learn About How Mental Illness and Addiction Are Linked (Just Not How You Might Think)

Learn About How Mental Illness and Addiction Are Linked (Just Not How You Might Think)

 Addiction is something people still do not want to talk about; mental health even less so. Those with addiction are seen as making poor choices and causing harm to loved ones. Substance use disorder can greatly impact a person’s life, including mental health issues. Studies have found that people with addiction are more likely to suffer from co-occurring mental health conditions, but there are questions about causation. Learn more about mental health and addiction, also known as co-occurring disorders.

Mental Disorders

When people think of co-occurring disorders, this can refer to two diagnoses. One of them will be for mental illness of some kind and the other for a type of addiction. Those with addiction are twice as likely to suffer from mental illness than those who don’t have an addiction but mental illness is not necessarily linked by causation to addiction. Part of the disease is psychological in that people who develop addictions will exhibit patterns of psychological symptoms in addition to chemical dependence. 

Correlation or Causation

Addiction can start when a person’s needs are not met sometime in their lives. This can be related to self-interests for things like well-being, safety, and health. Habitually abusive behavior can harm the person and cause them to feel restricted in their ability to cope with the trauma. People with addiction are less able to cope with life because they are consumed by addiction. Unless they are high-functioning, they will likely continue a downward spiral that is obvious to those around them. This can come from changes in the brain’s levels of dopamine and serotonin or an imbalance in chemicals that require medication like an antidepressant to correct the imbalance. There are ideas about whether mental health and addiction are connected, including:

  • Addiction and addictive behaviors can trigger symptoms of mental health disorder
  • Mental illness may trigger substance abuse and develop into an addiction
  • Addiction and co-occurring mental illness may overlap on risk factors
  • Co-occurring mental illness and addiction may occur because of all three playings a role (addiction, mental health, and risk factors)

Prioritizing Goals

When people seek help, they may not realize the extent of their mental health concerns. As people develop more of how addiction and mental health issues work, they may become more aware of how to handle these issues with loved ones. The key is to realize the complexity of it and that they are doing the best they can with what they know. When you stand with someone who has been struggling with addiction, you can uncomplicate things and make them realize you are there with them unconditionally. Making mental health and addiction treatment a priority helps shift things into focus for loved ones and get them what they need to start the healing journey.

Oceanfront will help you kick an addiction to the curb with our premier beachfront community in Laguna Beach. We are founded on the principle of providing the best in care and services at affordable prices. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295