Mental health and drug and alcohol addiction are sometimes so intertwined it is difficult to determine which one is the leading cause of problems.
Other times, our clients don’t have mental health problems, instead, they have undiagnosed alcoholism. Uncovering what issues our clients really face can be a long process.
We also found that alcohol and drugs can give those who suffer from substance use disorder symptoms of mental illnesses, even if they might not necessarily have a mental health issue.
Mental Health Problems From Depressants
Depressants — like alcohol and benzodiazepines — are some of the most widely used drugs.
Medically, depressants help you sleep and relax muscles. They reduce the function of the nervous system.
Symptoms of abusing depressants can be amnesia, low blood pressure, headache among many others.
However, too much of a depressant — like alcohol — can lead to symptoms of depression.
Mental Health Problems From Stimulants
Stimulants can also have long-lasting effects that can look like schizophrenia and hallucinations. Long-lasting effects are rare.
However, while using stimulants, it is possible to have symptoms that look like schizophrenia.
When someone with a substance use disorder abuses both stimulants and depressants, the person can exhibit periods of highs and lows. Symptoms look a lot like bipolar disorder.
Constant drug use and alcoholism can also cause anxiety disorder.
Anxiety is a common occurrence among people with substance abuse problems and alcoholism. Alcoholism often leads to anxiety.
However, research suggests that many people turn to alcohol and drugs to self-medicate for anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorder and alcohol disorder can initiate the other.
Withdrawal can even lead to panic attacks. It’s imperative that when withdrawing that you are in a safe space and get medical treatment.
The Chronic Problem of Alcoholism
Alcoholism and addiction are chronic diseases. If you don’t get the proper treatment and you stop treating your addiction, the symptoms of alcoholism will return.
The symptoms are that you will do way more than you intended, and you will not be able to stay stopped.
People who are true alcoholics need a long term inpatient rehab to prevent relapse from happening again. A relapse prevention plan will help you know what you need to do when you leave treatment so you can stay sober.