Mental Health Disorders and Addiction

The Link Between The Two

Close to 50 percent of those who are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol also struggle with an underlying mental health disorder. This mental illness may not always be diagnosed leaving the individual wondering what is the true foundation of their addiction or mental cloudiness.

In order to find out if you suffer from an underlying mental illness, a patient assessment will have to be completed. Dual diagnosis treatment works to help manage and treat both the mental health disorder as well as the addiction. When both of these conditions are under control, the individual will feel a sense of relief and will also enjoy mental clarity and confidence.


Those who struggle with a mental health issue often resort to self-medicating themselves in order to alleviate the psychological distress that they are enduring. This could mean drinking more alcohol as a means to feel less anxiety when they are in a social setting. Those who have social phobia or feel as though they are simply easier going when under the influence of drugs or alcohol, may decide to use substances of abuse as a way to feel better about the situation at hand.

Too often, individuals resort to illegal drugs or alcohol in order to manage the symptoms that are associated with a mental health disorder. It’s important that if you struggle with an underlying condition that you seek professional help right away. Various therapies and treatments, as well as prescription medications, can help you manage your mental health issue so that you do not have to self-medicate.

Common Mental Health Disorders

There are a number of mental health disorders that individuals can suffer from. Some of the most common mental health disorders that are diagnosed are:

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety
  • Clinical Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder

The reason that treating the underlying mental disorder is so important is that, without doing so, the individual may not be able to remain sober. If you only treat the addiction but not the mental health disorder, then only half of the problem is being solved. Untreated symptoms can lead to an unhealthy and dangerous lifestyle which can have adverse effects on your health.

When an individual suffers from a substance abuse issue, they are almost twice as likely to have a co-occurring disorder as well. It’s important that if you know a friend or a loved one who is exhibiting signs of a mental health disorder, suggesting that they seek help could be beneficial for all of those who are close to the individual as well as themselves. Not getting treatment for mental illness could involve the individual getting hooked on illicit and dangerous drugs.

You must make your health a priority and that means seeking the necessary help. Mental health and addiction can quickly worsen if they go untreated.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.