Addiction & Mental Health

 Addiction & Mental Health

How Addiction Impacts Our Mental Health

It is often a noticeable deterioration to our mental health that finally convinces us to get help for our addiction problems. It may become so bad that our thinking feels out of control and overwhelming – we could also develop mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety disorder, or psychosis as a result of the substance abuse. So, why does this occur? How does substance abuse lead to poor mental health? Here are just some of the reasons this happens:

Recreational Drugs Have a Toxic Effect on Our Brain

The main reason we start to take alcohol or drugs in the first place is to experience the way it affects the brain. We may experience a significant change in consciousness that we find pleasant, but there are also going to be negative effects occurring to the brain due to substance abuse. For example, alcohol belongs to a class of drugs known as ‘depressants’ and drinking too much can trigger alcohol induced depression – drugs such as methamphetamine can trigger psychosis and lead to extreme paranoia.

Substance Abuse Means We Ignore Our Problems

Drug use can become a way for us to avoid our problems. This escape from the hassles of life can seem like a wonderful gift in the beginning, but ignoring our problems doesn’t mean they go away. This can mean that inside we are like a pressure cooker – the number of ignored problems becomes higher and higher until we eventually can’t ignore them any longer and we start to mentally unravel. The pain we go through as a result of trying to avoid our problems is always going to be worse than dealing with the problems in the first place.

Drug Abuse Exacerbates Existing Mental Health Problems

The desire to self-medicate our current mental health problems can be another reason for why we turn to alcohol or drugs. In the beginning, it may feel as if our symptoms are improving but becoming our own doctors can be incredibly dangerous – even qualified doctors are advised not to try to treat their own problems because they lack objectivity. Self-medication can be like trying to juggle chainsaws, and it is only a matter of time before you end up getting hurt. The saddest part is that we are usually well and truly addicted before we realise that we have fallen into a trap.

How Rehab Can Help You Improve Your Mental Health

Entering a rehab program, so you can break free of alcohol or drugs may be enough for you to enjoy significant improvements to your mental health. In some cases though, we can be dealing with a dual diagnosis which means we now need treatment for a mental health problem as well as our addiction. In this situation, the best option may be for you to choose dual diagnosis treatment centre like Twin Rivers – this is a rehab program where the two problems are dealt with simultaneously by professionals.