Types of Mental Illness That Contribute to Addiction

Last Updated: Feb 24th 2020

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

Types of Mental Illness That Contribute to Addiction

When discussing various types of mental illness against the backdrop of substance abuse, it’s important to consider the whole picture. Does one cause the other? Can you overcome an addiction without also addressing a mental illness? Evidence suggests that dual diagnosis treatment is your best solution for lifelong sobriety.

When Substance Abuse Affects Mental Health Disorders

It’s hard to tell whether a psychological condition precedes an alcohol or drug addiction or vice versa. Researchers can prove, however, that some drugs make mental health problems worse. For example, cycles of drinking alcohol to excess and experiencing bouts of depression go together. Stimulants such as amphetamines and cocaine may affect anxiety, panic attacks, and paranoia.

The Types of Mental Illness That Contribute to Addiction

Did you know that schizophrenia, depression, and psychosis affect a specific part of the brain? This part is strongly associated with dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that plays a substantial role in feelings of wellbeing. Medications that treat these mental illnesses act directly on dopamine. Incidentally, this is also true of a broad range of addictive drugs.

The link between mental health and the need to heighten the dopamine effect is strong. When someone’s psychological condition remains undiagnosed, addictive tendencies often cause them to self-medicate and manipulate dopamine levels. During a detox process, individuals struggling with substance abuse restore the body’s chemical baseline. Adding subsequent rehab to the mix can make a huge difference in the way they handle their dopamine adjustment needs.

How Rehab Helps with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders

Do you suffer from one of the types of mental illness that affect the neurotransmitter, dopamine? If you suspect that this is the case, dual diagnosis treatment centers can make a significant difference. They may impact your ability to overcome addiction in the following ways:

  • Prescription drugs reduce self-medicating behaviors. Find out if you have a mental health condition. If so, appropriate medication can help your brain to achieve the chemical balance it needs. Doing so cuts down on your urge to self-medicate.
  • Dual diagnosis treatment supports long-term sobriety. Because you no longer have dopamine deficiencies, you have a better chance at achieving lifelong sobriety.
  • Inpatient programs explore coping mechanisms. It takes most medication for mental health conditions a little while to build up in your system. During your inpatient stay, medical professionals help adjust your treatment as needed. This is also the time to undergo talk therapy and learn about the development of coping skills.
  • Sober living homes enable life skills development. As you prepare to adjust back to regular life, sober living homes provide the bridge between rehab and independence.

Taking the First Step on the Road to Recovery is Possible Today

You don’t have to allow this vicious cycle of using and craving to continue. Break the chains that drugs or alcohol have on you today. At 1st Step Behavioral Health, a dual diagnosis evaluation is a starting point that promises success. Call (866) 319-6126 to find your way out of substance abuse!

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.