Skip to the content

Admission Line 888-255-9280

Does Addiction Cause Mental Health Disorders?

sad guy looking out window

Addiction and mental health disorders can be overwhelming disorders to experience. What many people don’t realize, however, is there can be an intrinsic link between both. Addiction can cause mental health disorders with the potential of evolving into more serious illnesses. 

But first, it’s worth looking at the link between addiction and mental health disorders. If you’re experiencing either, being informed about them is a vital first step to getting back to a better life.

Correlation Between Addiction and Mental Health

Addiction and mental health issues are often intrinsically tied together. Reports show that roughly 53% of people with addictions suffer from mental health issues. In some cases, the addiction comes first, but it’s not uncommon for the mental health disorders to lead to an addiction. 

That doesn’t mean the mental health condition is a cause of the addiction, however. Instead, it means that it’s a potential risk factor, especially when not adequately managed. When either of these is allowed to worsen, it often means the other does, too. The chemicals in many drugs affect the brain in various ways, often inhibiting thought processes and brain activities.

In time, addiction can lead to mental health issues getting worse. This can lead to further dependency on the substances they relied upon to self medicate through their illnesses. Early and effective treatment is vital to preventing this, especially if the disorders show signs of getting worse.

Not all addictions, mental health disorders, and co-occurring disorders are the same; each could require different treatments.

Types of Addiction & Common Co-Occurring Disorders

There are more than a few types of addiction, with some more obvious than others. They can be split between physical and behavioral addictions, with many of these being tied to mental health issues. When combined, these lead to co-occurring disorders.

It’s worth knowing the various types of addiction to help recognize them in yourself or a loved one. They include:

  • Opioids
  • Alcohol
  • Amphetamines
  • PCP
  • Inhalants
  • Hallucinogens

Behavioral addiction is its own form of addiction aside from substances. These consist of psychological tendencies to certain behaviors, such as eating and playing video games. They can have just as much of an impact on someone’s life as physical addictions, as well as play a role in co-occurring disorders.

Co-occurring disorders can include addiction and mental health symptoms. Some of these disorders are more common to experience with addiction than others, including:

  • Depression - Characterized by a lack of interest in things you previously liked, a constant feeling of sadness. Depression is one of the more common mental health disorders to experience with addiction. Substance abuse can cause imbalances in your brain, which then leads to the feeling of depression.
  • Bipolar Disorder - Bouts of extreme depression and mania characterize this condition, with many people feeling as though they don’t have control over these mood swings. Substance abuse can be a way of self medicating, even though it could be more damaging long-term.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - PTSD encompasses extreme bouts of anxiety, flashbacks, or emotional experiences related to a previous trauma. It has one of the highest risks of addiction, with people who use substances to try to manage their emotions.
  • Schizophrenia - There’s a causal link between the use of certain substances and schizophrenia. While you’ll need to have a particular gene for this to happen, it can still be a leading cause of a co-occurring disorder.

When you experience both addiction and a mental health disorder, you can get a dual diagnosis from a trained professional. It’s worth diving into what this is so you can better figure out how to move forward.

Dual Diagnosis

When addiction and a mental health disorder are recognized, you’ll likely receive a dual diagnosis. This essentially means you’re suffering from two intrinsically-tied conditions. The addiction will be one, while the mental health issue will be the other. Recognizing a dual diagnosis can be difficult.

The signs and symptoms can vary dramatically depending on the substance you’re abusing, as well as the specific mental health condition. Working with a trained professional is the easiest way of doing so, but it’s also worth asking yourself several questions:

  • Have you noticed a relationship between your mental health and the substance you abuse?
  • Do you use substances to deal with unpleasant memories or feelings?
  • Do you experience negative thoughts and feelings, even when you’re sober?
  • Have you had previous treatment for either addiction or a mental health condition?

If you’re experiencing addiction, a mental health condition, or a co-occurring disorder, it’s best to work with a trained and experienced professional to get the treatment you need and deserve.

Treatment at Jackson House

Addiction and mental health disorders can be difficult things to overcome by yourself, even if you’re only experiencing one of them. Expert and professional help could be needed to get you on the right path and help you regain control of your body and mind. There’s no shame in getting that help, and you deserve the best fighting chance modern treatment can offer.

At Jackson House, we’re here for you. We know exactly how hard it can be to ask for help with addictions, mental health disorders, and co-occurring disorders. Our expert team is here to make you feel as comfortable as possible while you get the help you need. Combined with our specifically designed program, we’ll get you back on the path to health in no time.

Call us at (888) 255-9280, and we’ll be there to get you started on the process.

About the author

Jackson House

Jackson House

We built Jackson House because we realized there was a critical gap in our healthcare system and many individuals with mental illnesses and substance abuse problems were struggling because of it. While there are many outpatient treatment options and locked, inpatient facilities there was nothing in the middle. Nothing to help people who needed around the clock care but wanted to receive treatment voluntarily, on their own terms. Jackson House is different. We provide clients with the level of care they need in a welcoming environment. When you walk through our doors, we will meet you wherever you’re at and help you on your journey toward feeling better.

It's time to feel better

We are here to help and we are in-network with most insurance providers. Call us for a free and confidential consultation.

If you’re a provider and need to send us information on a client, please feel free to fax us at 619-303-7044. If you need help immediately, call our 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-766-4274. If you have a medical emergency, call 911. Jackson House is licensed by the State of California Community Care Licensing Division and certified by the Department of Health Care Services. We are also CARF Accredited. If you have any client or quality of care concerns, please reach out to us at (888) 255-9280. If your concerns need further attention, you can contact the Department of Public Health at 619-278-3700 or the Community Care Licensing Division at 1-844-538-8766.