How Mental Disorders Can Lead to Addiction

Struggling with a mental disorder can be a difficult road, one that affects the lives of the suffering individual, as well as surrounding friends and family. But while mental disorders alone may seem difficult, a disorder coupled with a substance addiction can prove far more devastating to everyone involved. And unfortunately, it is all too common for mental disorders to either exacerbate problems with substance abuse, or lead to them altogether. Here is how some mental disorders may lead to addiction, and what you can do to prevent this from happening:

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A Temporary Solution

Depending on the nature of the mental disorder, individuals may find substances, such as drugs and alcohol, to act as temporary solutions to emotional manifestations of the ailment. Those who suffer from illnesses such as depression or manic depression, schizophrenia, and even paranoia may find that specific substances may lessen the symptoms for a period of time, acting as a short reprieve from the current realities.

Naturally though, while the individual may believe that the substance or substances may ease the pain, truthfully the combination of a mental disorder and burgeoning addiction can lead to further problems down the road.

Easy Access to Drugs and Alcohol

Although the living situations of those suffering from mental disorders are sure to vary drastically depending on the individual, such maladies often contribute to the sufferer receding from a social circle, losing possible gainful employment, and even potentially becoming homeless or destitute as a result. And though a lack of shelter and drug addiction are not synonymous, they do often appear together. Those plagued with a mental disorder that find themselves in poor economic shape may have easier access to drugs and alcohol, and may use these substances again to escape from the realities of their life and illness.

A Way to Help

For some that have a mental disorder, the option or idea of turning to substances for reprieve may never present itself, or may not even sound like an appealing venture.

For those that do find themselves tempted by drugs and alcohol, it is extremely important for friends and family members close to them to diligently work in order to prevent the perpetuation of the cycle. Close friends and family can help by offering to spend time with the individual, suggesting they engage in physical activity, and helping them find treatment options for their existing mental disorder.

Clearly though, if an individual suffering from a mental disorder does turn to substance abuse, it is imperative that surrounding acquaintances act quickly to help them move away from self-medication. Friends and family members can help by allowing the individual to recognize the problem on their own, confronting the sufferer directly, or even seeking out a treatment facility that can act as a sanctuary to help achieve a desired level of mental health.

Seek Help Today

Watching someone close to you struggle with both a mental disorder and a substance addiction can be a debilitating process for everyone involved. If you have a friend or family member fighting these issues, consider possible treatment options today in order to brighten the future for you and your loved ones.

Michelle Amerman
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