Many people with substance abuse issues also experience co-occurring mental health problems. These problems, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and bipolar disorder, can sometimes be the root cause of a substance abuse disorder or can exacerbate a problem that’s already developing.
The co-occurrence of anxiety disorders and addiction is common, and individuals with one of these conditions are more likely to experience the other simultaneously. The relationship between anxiety and addiction is complex, with each condition influencing and exacerbating the other.
The co-occurrence of depression and addiction is relatively common, and these two conditions often interact in complex ways. Individuals with depression may be more susceptible to substance use, and conversely, substance use can contribute to the development or exacerbation of depressive symptoms.
Depression is considered a risk factor for the development of substance use disorders. The emotional pain and hopelessness associated with depression may drive individuals to seek relief through substance use.
Some individuals with depression may turn to substances (such as alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications) as a way to self-medicate and alleviate their depressive symptoms. While substances may provide temporary relief, they can contribute to the development of addiction.
Both depression and addiction can have biological and environmental factors that contribute to their development. Genetic predisposition, neurochemical imbalances, trauma, and environmental stressors can play roles in the manifestation of both conditions.
The co-occurrence of bipolar disorder and addiction is not uncommon, and individuals with bipolar disorder may be at a higher risk of developing substance use disorders. The relationship between bipolar disorder (characterized by mood swings between depressive and manic episodes) and addiction is complex and often bidirectional.
Some individuals with bipolar disorder may use substances such as drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication to manage their mood swings. During manic or hypomanic episodes, individuals may seek to enhance their euphoria, while during depressive episodes, substances may be used to alleviate feelings of sadness and despair.
Individuals with bipolar disorder may be more susceptible to developing substance use disorders due to impulsivity, risk-taking behavior, and altered judgment during manic or hypomanic episodes. The depressive phases may also contribute to substance use as a way to cope with low mood.
The cyclical nature of bipolar disorder can contribute to a cycle of addiction. During manic episodes, individuals may engage in risky behaviors, including substance abuse. In contrast, depressive episodes may lead to increased substance use as a way to cope with feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and addiction commonly co-occur, and the relationship between the two is complex. Individuals who have experienced traumatic events may turn to substances as a way to cope with the distressing symptoms of PTSD. On the other hand, substance use can exacerbate the symptoms of PTSD and complicate the recovery process.
People with PTSD may use substances, such as alcohol or drugs, as a form of self-medication to cope with the distressing symptoms of the disorder. Substance use may temporarily alleviate anxiety, nightmares, and hyperarousal associated with PTSD.
If left unattended, these co-occurring disorders can develop into major mental health concerns. Addressing mental and mood disorders during treatment brings both awareness of underlying issues and the ability to work on a resolution of these problems. While this is ongoing work that will continue with therapists in the client’s hometown after discharge from English Mountain, the initial work begins during residential treatment.
At English Mountain Recovery Center, we understand how these issues work together and our therapists are skilled at addressing these underlying problems. Our integrated treatment plans address co-occurring mental health disorders alongside addiction, so clients leave our program with a solid background from which to continue their ongoing recovery.
On our beautiful, 27-acre residential campus in Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains, we provide a holistic treatment approach that allows adults to rebuild their lives and prepares them to re-enter their family as sober individuals.
To reach an admissions advisor at our Smoky Mountain facility or discuss insurance coverage and program options, call (877) 615-8569.