Common Mental Health Issues that Co-occur with Substance Abuse
Although there is still some confusion as to whether mental health issues cause substance abuse or if substance abuse causes mental health issues, most scientists are beginning to agree that it is both. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, mental health issues and substance abuse commonly occur together. There are a few types of disorders that are more prevalent among those that abuse substances. These types fall into the categories of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and personality disorders.
Depression is very common when it comes to substances abuse. People who suffer from a depressive disorder often use drugs to self-medicate. When someone does this it, it often makes the disorder worse rather than better. Although there are several individual depressive disorders most of the symptoms are the same. These symptoms are:
- loss of interest in normal activities
- energy loss
- over sleeping
- feeling worthless
- low self-esteem
- suicidal thoughts
- changes in weight
- intense sadness
People who experience these symptoms and are addicted to a substance need help immediately. You can find the help that you need by calling 800-683-3270. We can find you the treatment that you need in order to defeat both the drug use and the disorder.
Anxiety disorders encompass a broad range of conditions. Most of these conditions are characterized by:
- fearful responses to situations that are out of context
- uncontrollable panic and fear
- altering your personality, responses, and lifestyle to accommodate the fear
- panic attacks
Anxiety disorders are often found as the cause of the addiction, as a result of not having the drug, and as a result of withdrawal. A few of the anxiety disorders many people experience are:
- OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder – characterized by obsessive disturbing thoughts that you cannot get rid of no matter how hard you try
- panic disorder – mainly characterized by panic attacks, some so severe they mimic a heart attack
- phobic disorder – an irrational feel of a thing or situation
- PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder – an anxious response to trauma that gradually invades a person’s life. A PTSD episode can happen anywhere at any time. Drug abuse itself can cause PTSD.
Schizophrenic disorders are sometimes dangerous. There are a variety of types of schizophrenia that cause substance abuse. People use drugs to quiet the symptoms of schizophrenia. Each type of schizophrenia has its own symptoms.
- paranoid schizophrenia – the person suffering from this feels that everyone and everything is out to do them harm
- hallucinatory schizophrenia – this person hallucinates voices, people, and a variety of other things
- delusional schizophrenia – this person believes they are something or someone that they are not
These disorders can overlap to form complex schizophrenia. Most schizophrenia is controllable by taking prescription medication to keep the symptoms at bay. Unfortunately, there are many undiagnosed schizophrenics who take to self medicating with illegal drugs.
Personality disorders are a complex set of behaviors that often manifest in violent or sociopathic ways. Many people medicate to deal with the absence of real feeling. They want to feel something so they take illegal drugs. Fortunately, with the right treatment personality disorders often get better.
If you are taking drugs to alleviate any of these conditions, it is extremely important that you seek treatment for both the mental health issues and the substance abuse problem. You can do this by calling 800-683-3270. We can help.