Mental illness and addiction can be quite closely linked, which means it can be very difficult to determine the question, “Which came first, the drinking or depression?” In some instances, a person is living with depression first and then turns to alcohol, while in others, the substance abuse issue was present initially and the mental health concerns became apparent later on.
The Link Between Mental Illness And Addiction
Mental illness and addiction tend to develop in similar environments – feeding off each other, if you will. So why is mental illness and addiction so common? It varies, depending on the individual. Let’s learn more.
Is It Sadness Or Actually Depression?
Some people may not realize that the mental health symptoms they are experiencing are actually due to clinical depression. They may only know that they feel down, hopeless, worthless, irritable or that they don’t have a lot of energy. Some people with depression have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep at night.
Alcohol Used To Self-Medicate
A person with a mental health issue, such as depression, may start using alcohol as a way to deal with the emotional and physical symptoms. Alcohol may foster a feeling of relaxation, however, it also increases anxiety. Some people may try using alcohol as a sleep aid, although this is not a healthy way to fall asleep and actually makes staying asleep more difficult. No matter why it’s used, drinking can start the slippery slope to tolerance and addiction.
Depression Fueled By Alcohol Use
Regular, heavy alcohol use can trigger depression or other mental health conditions in some people. After a time, individuals build up a resistance and must drink often in order to even feel a sense of normalcy. At this point, a person may even be able to drink a considerable amount of alcohol without feeling hung over the next day.
They may, however, feel depressed the more that they drink. A person in this situation may drink more to try to feel better, but this will just make the problem worse. It turns into a vicious cycle of alcohol, fueling the mental illness, which encourages more alcohol use.
Effective Dual-Diagnosis Treatment In A Luxurious Setting
Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center In East Hampton
The Dunes East Hampton is a premier, luxury dual diagnosis treatment center in East Hampton, NY. Our experienced staff understands how to help clients living with mental health disorders and addiction and can offer an effective, individualized treatment plan for you or a loved one.