There are many variables to take into account when determining how a person becomes an addict. Much of what factors into a person becoming an addict is a person’s psychology. It has now come to light that mental illness and substance abuse connect. This article will explain how mental illness and substance addiction link together.
If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, with or without the presence of mental illness, our addiction treatment center can provide an individualized plan for your recovery. Call us today at 706-480-8733 to get connected with a recovery specialist. We want to help you take the first step on the road to recovery.
Statistics Linking Addiction and Mental Illness
The data in recent years shows that those with addiction also have high rates of mental illness. These mental illnesses can range from a mild disorder, such as general anxiety disorder, to a severe mental disorder, such as schizophrenia.
Generally, the most common mental illness includes depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and personality disorders. About half of those who experience mental illness during their lives will also experience a substance abuse disorder and vice versa.
It also works the other way around. Research indicates that one in four with a critical mental illness also has a substance abuse problem. Severe mental illness includes something that can cause significant impairment to a person in their daily life. For example, including major depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.
It can be shocking to realize just how often addiction co-occurs with mental illness. However, it is essential to know that it does not necessarily mean there is a mental illness because someone has a substance addiction. People still go through analysis for both. In the next section, we will examine how a person comes to have a mental illness and an addiction.
To properly understand the link between mental illness and substance abuse, their causes need to be understood. Here we will look at some of the primary reasons associated with mental illness and addiction. An individual can be susceptible to addiction and mental illness through genetics, environment, stress, and trauma.
First, we will look at how genetics can play a factor. Depending on the construction of a person’s genes, they can make them more predisposed to misusing substances. For example, a person’s genes can determine how they respond to drugs, whether it is a positive or negative experience, and how long it will stay in their system. About 40-60 percent of an individual’s vulnerability to substance use disorders is attributable to genetics.
Next, a person’s environment can change the likelihood of them developing an addiction or mental illness. Childhood experiences would be one of the major influences of this. A child who grew up in an environment with physical or emotional abuse from their parents has a higher risk of developing a mental illness. Once they grow older, they may start using drugs as a way to cope.
The amount of stress and how a person deals with anxiety is another factor affecting if they will develop a mental disorder or addiction. If a person deals with high levels of stress, it can affect the structure of their brains. The prefrontal cortex activity declines, and the striatum’s activity increases due to higher levels of stress. In this case, a person will have less control over their behavior and become more impulsive.
Finally, a person who experiences trauma in their life is likely to develop both a mental disorder and addiction. PTSD is a central component of trauma. One example of PTSD leading to substance abuse and mental disorders is looking at what happens to many veterans when they come back home from war. One in five veterans with PTSD also have a co-occurring substance abuse disorder.
Knowing these causes can help a person better understand themselves and their problems. It can also help those around them understand why their friend or loved one has become addicted. If you, or someone you love, suffer from an addiction, then it is time to reach out for help. Contact our experts today, and we can help you start living your best life tomorrow.
Signs To Look Out For
If you, or someone you care for, might have a mental illness, it is vital to know the signs that can show when an individual has a mental illness. These signs can sometimes go unseen and can be challenging to spot. However, there are three categories you can analyze that may make it easier to detect if you, or someone you love, have a mental illness. The three changes to look for are signs in behavior changes, physical changes, and social changes. Before we look at the symptoms, individuals should always seek professional medical experts to get a proper diagnosis.
A person’s behavior changes usually happen when they stop taking part in their everyday responsibilities. For example, an individual with mental illness may stop going to school or work, or when they do, they are not performing as well as before. They may have sudden mood swings, which can result in them becoming hostile towards others. They may also become more secretive in their actions and might spend a lot of time by themselves.
How a person can change physically can be much easier to notice. A person with a mental illness, with or without addiction, will stop taking care of themselves properly. They may have sudden weight loss or weight gain. They may have poor hygiene, such as not bathing for a prolonged period or wearing dirty clothes. Even more severe signs may appear, and they may start to develop physical ailments such as tremors, impaired coordination, and incoherent speech.
How a person can change socially stems from their changes behaviorally. They may start to avoid friends, or they may lose friends. They may have fights with family members because of their inappropriate behavior. Additionally, they may have trouble with the law and get in trouble financially. Understand that these can be symptoms of a person with a mental health disorder or an addiction. It does not necessarily mean they have both. It is always best to consult with a medical professional and receive treatment.
If these changes persist in a person for a long time, it could have an extreme effect on their future. Individuals may find trouble staying employed or even getting employed. They may lose out on valuable relationships or important events due to their unfortunate circumstances. However, once they decide to pursue the treatment, they will be able to get back to their usual selves and live the life they want to live.
Treating Addiction and Mental Illness
Treating mental illness while treating addiction isn’t so different from treating one of these problems independently. To treat both issues, it requires a group of certified and educated individuals on both disorders. One of the methods that work particularly well, especially for the young, is prevention intervention from evidence. This method is to help regulate the mental, emotional, and behavioral problems of adolescents. They also examine the school, home, and community life of the adolescent. These adolescents will have the tools they need to understand the issues from their environments properly. They will also learn how to adapt to their environments to ensure a positive future.
Behavior therapies are also possible when treating addiction and mental disorders. These treatments are available to everyone at all age levels and are among the best ways to treat these disorders in the long term. For instance, here is a list of available behavioral therapies:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)
- Therapeutic Communities (TCs)
- Contingency Management (CM) or Motivational Incentives (MI)
- Exposure Therapy
- Integrated Group Therapy (IGT)
- Seeking Safety (SS)
Just like in prevention intervention, these therapy methods are there to tackle the root cause of both mental disorders and addiction. Patients can expect to get personal treatment; they will also be given support and care from staff members. Patients will be able to relate with and make lasting relationships with others going through treatment in a similar position. Treatment always starts with care and compassion. Our treatment centers employ staff who are eager to help patients recover. Contact us today, and start getting your individual needs met.
Finally, having both mental illness and addiction can be an overwhelming situation. You may feel like you want or need help, but there is so much going on that you don’t know where to begin. You may end up believing that recovery is hopeless. However, that is not the case, and our medical experts agree that recovery is possible with the proper treatment. Our addiction treatment centers can help you overcome your addiction and treat your mental issues. Our state-of-the-art facilities will give you personal and individualized treatment.
Please don’t let your mental illness and addiction go untreated. You deserve to live a life free from the struggles addiction brings. If you or someone you love suffers from addiction and mental illness, our addiction treatment center will help you take your life back. Call us today at 706-480-8733 and connect with our trained specialists.
Written by: Irfan Jeddy