Substance Addiction Worsens Psychological Disorders

Have you ever wondered by people struggling with substance abuse problems cannot just stop? In addition to addiction being a disease that requires professional treatment, there’s the potential for underlying psychological disorders. These mental illnesses can make it impossible for people to act in their own best interests. That said, these conditions can have even more far-reaching effects.

What are Psychological Disorders? How Do They Relate to Substance Abuse?

Smiling women in a group don't seem to have psychological disorders.

Depression, anxiety, phobias, psychosis, and schizophrenia are just as few psychological disorders Americans experience. As noted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, just over 18 percent of adults live with some type of mental illness. Of this group, almost 10 million experience severe mental illness.

Next, experts tallied the numbers of adults living with a substance abuse problem and a mental health disorder. They believe that over 8 million Americans have a mental illness as well as an addiction. A little over 12 million deal with a substance abuse problem only. Conversely, nearly 36 million have a mental health disorder but no substance abuse issue.

It’s important to note that there’s likely a dark figure that affects those falling into all three categories.

Although the numbers set the scene, do you ever wonder how do mental illness and substance abuse relate to one another? Clearly, someone who has one or more psychological disorders is more likely than someone without them to have a drug addiction, too. When mental illness goes undiagnosed, the possibility of drug addiction heightens. Mentally ill individuals may attempt to self-medicate to overcome their diseases’ symptoms.

Which Came First: Psychological Disorders or Addictions?

The question reminds a little of the chicken or egg quandary. In fact, there are multiple options. For example, certain forms of drug abuse can trigger the onset of specific psychological disorders. These may be latent in the background but because of the influx of certain chemicals now develop fully.

Perhaps more frequently, suffering from a mental illness can result in drug abuse. As we mentioned previously, someone with an undiagnosed condition may attempt to self-medicate. The drugs act on certain neurotransmitters in the brain and may actually make the sufferer feel better temporarily. It’s noteworthy that some medications aimed at psychological conditions and certain drugs act on the same neurotransmitters.

A third scenario suggests a parallel development. Mental health experts believe that exposure to trauma and genetic predispositions affect the potential for drug use and mental illness. It’s difficult to say which condition affects the other in this setup. That said, all these scenarios highlight the importance of an expert concurrent disorder assessment and subsequent treatment.

Understanding the Dual Diagnosis Assessment and Subsequent Treatment

When drug rehab participants suffer from undiagnosed psychological disorders, therapists have the opportunity to make the diagnosis. Unfortunately, far too many programs fail to provide a comprehensive dual diagnosis assessment. As a result, those attending the therapies at these facilities may receive drug addiction treatment but little else. With the mental health disorder remaining in place without treatment, participants eventually start to self-medicate again.

The experts at Healing Springs Ranch take a different approach when planning a rehab stay for program participants. Examples of this varied approach start at intake and include:

  • In-depth assessment of a dual diagnosis potential
  • Review of available medical records for addictive tendencies
  • Interview with the program participant about motivators, needs, and problems
  • Initial therapeutic assessment for unresolved trauma experiences
  • Thorough cataloging of medications (over the counter and prescription) the guest takes
  • Initial attempt to get to the “why” of addiction.

Sometimes, the intake interviews reveal that there’s a high likelihood of one or more undiagnosed psychological disorders. Therapists will then work with the client to learn more about her or his life history. They take great care not to assume the presence of such a condition if none exists. For this reason, program participants receive custom-tailored treatments.

Typically, guests do not follow the same regimen simply because their needs differ. That’s why therapists use a variety of possible treatment options that include:

  • Residential treatment for 30 to 90 days—and sometimes longer—that enables participants to explore the roots of their addictions
  • Short-term residential treatment of fewer than 30 days benefits clients who cannot commit to staying away from home longer
  • Dual diagnosis emphasis treatment for individuals with diagnosed mental health and drug abuse disorders
  • Family programs that heal relationships and provide assistance for living with a recovering drug user
  • Wellness programs assist those recovering from drugs by regaining their physical health alongside mental and spiritual health.

What Stands in the Way of Getting Help for Addiction and Psychological Disorders?

The availability of these treatment options would suggest that getting help is possible at the right venue. And while this is the case, many in need of therapy don’t seek it out. In part, this has to do with the stigma associated with psychiatric disorders. Sufferers may deny that they have this condition and don’t want to find out otherwise.

Another group of drug users may have abused drugs chronically for extended periods of time. They’ve isolated themselves from friends, family members, and others who could form a support network. They may be afraid that removing the drug they think they need to live will make them incapable of functioning. Because the chemicals in drugs tend to change brain chemistry, they’re afraid of what’ll happen without substances.

For the casual user who may have only recently fallen victim to addiction, there’s still some self-deception. These folks may believe that they can quit whenever they feel like it. Some may actually test themselves by going longer in between fixes just to prove it to themselves. That said, they go back to using when the first pangs of withdrawal symptoms kick in.

However, there’s also the group of drug users who don’t realize that addictions are diseases. They blame themselves for having moral or ethical shortcomings. They frequently receive negative reinforcement of this type from family members or certain peer groups.

These users may be hiding their addictions and don’t know how to come out in the open and seek help. Healing Springs Ranch understands that addiction is complex and affects all aspects of self. We call it treating the “bio-psycho-social” being that is each client at our center.

Because addiction is an illness that calls for specialist treatment, visiting a drug rehab in TX is your greatest hope for recovery. Doing so is of particular importance when there’s the chance that you also suffer from a mental health disorder. Only when you receive treatment for both, do you have an excellent opportunity to achieve lifelong sobriety.

Breaking out of the Vicious Cycle

When you’re ready to get out of the drug abuse vicious cycle that psychological disorders cause, or make worse, there’s help. A rehab program that not only recognizes mental health distress but also treats it alongside a drug problem can help you, too. Find out how the caring therapists can customize a program just for your unique addiction characteristics. Dial 866-656-8384 now. It’s a good day to get clean.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *