What’s the connection between Addiction and Mental Disorders?
Comorbidity has been studied for many years to understand how two or more issues in mental health might be connected. There are many aspects to understand why we often find people diagnosed with mental disorders are also into some form of addiction. Or even how while working with an addict we identify prevalence of a mental disorder. Studies attempts to understand if people with mental health issue have natural tendency to seek artificial state of consciousness through intake of drugs? Are they doing drugs to make symptoms more bearable? Often times we notice a case of drug abuse, upon further therapy and counselling identify that they are dealing with some undiagnosed, underlying mental health issue.
Is drugs a way to deal with mental health symptoms which a person is not able to make sense of as the issue is undiagnosed, unidentified?
If that’s the case we might have to change the way how we view addictions….we have to check a person for depression, anxiety or other mental health issues. Maybe the key to help them is to understand what are they dealing with and what are they trying to run away from, what they are trying to manage with drugs or other addictions.
The way society still views mental illness might be a big reason why lot of people would not want to seek help by getting a diagnosis. Stigma can be difficult to carry which society has attached with mental illness. People go many years sometimes undiagnosed managing symptoms of mental illness by drugs, tobacco, alcohol etc. instead of seeking therapy.
We need to spread awareness about mental illness, change the way we deal with it as a person, as a family, as a friend. Encourage therapy for people who might be dealing with an underlying mental illness and overall be supportive.
A lot of people who do seek therapy and social support manage to live a good life, addiction free, as aware, responsible members of society.