Mental Health and its Effects on Addiction

Underlying Conditions can Affect Addiction

Many of us struggle with an underlying and often undiagnosed mental illness that can impact different aspects of our lives. Close to half of those who struggle with an addiction to drugs or alcohol also have a mental illness that is at the root cause of the addiction. When an individual struggles with both a mental health issue as well as an addiction, they will require dual diagnosis treatment in order to overcome and manage their struggles.

Mental illness can exacerbate an addiction making it very hard to live with each and every day. The sooner the individual gets help for their mental illness as well as their addiction, the quicker they can work toward a future that is not controlled by their issues.

Some of the most common types of mental illness that individuals struggle with are:

  • Clinical Depression
  • Anxiety
  • OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Eating Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder

Knowing if you Have a Problem

It can be hard to self-diagnose yourself and this is never recommended. There are, however, certain signs and symptoms that may indicate an underlying mental health disorder or addiction.

  • Utilizing drugs or alcohol in order to suppress certain feelings or emotions
  • Noticing a relationship between your emotions and your substance abuse
  • Do you have a family history of mental illness or addiction?
  • Is there unresolved trauma in your life?
  • Have you been treated for a mental health disorder or substance abuse issue in the past?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, you may want to consider getting an evaluation in order to determine if you do, in fact, struggle with an underlying mental health issue. This can very well be the reason why are you are struggling with a mental health disorder as well. It’s never a safe idea to brush your symptoms under the rug as this is precisely how issues become worse. By coming forward with your issues, you can get the necessary help so that you can work to overcome your struggles.

The Dangers of Self-Medicating

Many individuals who struggle with a mental health disorder will self-medicate in order to ease their symptoms. The problem with self-medicating is that it is simply a bandaid method that does not have long-term benefits; it does not treat the core of the problem. Self-medicating will also put the individual at an increased risk of becoming dependent on the substance of abuse, creating more issues.

It’s important that if you struggle with a mental health disorder and an addiction, that you seek dual diagnosis treatment immediately. There are many facilities across the nation that can help you get properly diagnosed so that you can receive that treatment that will help you get better. The path toward recovery is not an easy one but is an attainable one with the right care and support.


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.