Addiction itself is sometimes classified as a mental health disorder but can also be brought on by mental health problems. It can exist as one of many comorbidities with other disorders. Because addiction predominantly impacts the brain, it is only natural that it often interacts with other disorders that impact the brain. 

Why is Addiction Considered a Mental Health Disorder?

Addiction is a disorder that causes an individual to repeat behaviors regardless of the outcome of those behaviors and whether or not the individual truly wants to engage in them. These impulses are controlled by functions of the brain that we can not willingly influence. The root of addiction being located in neurological functions classifies it as a mental health disorder — addiction can also be impacted by other factors such as physiological influences and environment. 

How can Mental Health Disorders Influence Addiction?

While there may be many reasons that an individual begins using alcohol or other substances, struggling with mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety can make substances that alter our state of mind more appealing. Many people who have trouble managing their emotions or treating them in other ways may turn to substance abuse as a way of “self-medicating.” 

Though the use of substances cannot treat or cure mental health disorders, it can provide relief that makes it more likely for a person to continue using them. Certain mental health disorders can also cause impaired judgment, impulsivity, or mania. These symptoms may also increase the likelihood that someone begins and/or continues to use addictive substances. It is also common for people to not realize they have other mental health disorders, making it harder to receive proper treatment and to recognize they are depending on substances to manage their illnesses. 

Having a Comorbid Disorder

Comorbid disorders are any illnesses that are present together in an individual. Because mental health disorders can impact addiction, it’s common for them to be present alongside addictions. Having other mental health issues in addition to addiction can make recovery more difficult, especially if your other illnesses are not addressed while being treated. Mental health disorders are frequently comorbid, meaning that having one diagnosis makes it more likely to have others. 

How do I Know if I Have a Mental Illness?

The only way to know for sure if you have a mental illness and what that mental illness may be is by receiving a psychiatric evaluation from a professional. Self-diagnosing can be dangerous and result in improper treatment as well as increased feelings of anxiety. It can be difficult to discern normal feelings of sadness or anxiety from ones caused by mental illnesses yourself but a doctor is trained to do exactly that. If you think that you’re experiencing symptoms of a mental health disorder, there is no harm in doing your research to get a better idea of what you may be going through. However, saving the actual diagnosis and treatment plans for a professional is the best thing you can do for yourself. When seeking a diagnosis make sure you have a good grasp on your symptoms and that you fully articulate them to your doctor. This will ensure that your diagnosis is as accurate as possible. 

How Can I Receive Treatment for My Addiction and Mental Illness?

Thankfully, it is now well-known that addiction and other mental illnesses are often comorbid. Most facilities that provide addiction treatment will also treat other mental illnesses that may be affecting a patient. It is important that if you receive treatment for your addiction that you also receive treatment for any other disorders you may have. Without doing so it can make it more likely for you to relapse later on or not reach a full recovery. Even if you have not been diagnosed with a mental illness, the majority of treatment centers will provide you with therapeutic services regardless. While they may not always be targeted to your specific needs, these services can greatly improve mood, mindfulness, and coping skills. 

Will I Be Judged for Having an Addiction and Mental Illness? 

The unfortunate truth is that stigma surrounds both addiction and other mental health issues. This stigma stems from a lack of general knowledge in the public. However, in a treatment setting, it is very unlikely that you will be met with judgment or criticism. The individuals who commit themselves to help people with addictions are usually people who understand what you’re going through and only want to help you recover. 

It is not uncommon for addiction and other mental health disorders to be present together. Treating both and finding peace is possible for everyone. If you are struggling with addiction and want to receive treatment at a facility that will listen to and care for you, call Rancho Milagro at (951) 526-4582. Rancho Milagro is committed to providing compassionate care that will help you reach recovery in a way that works best for you. We offer individualized treatment for all of our patients because we know that there is no one path to recovery. At Rancho Milagro, we believe in treating the whole person: mind, body, and spirit. Here you can receive personal care for all of your needs as well as access to art therapy, nature therapy, massage therapy, and more. Rancho Milagro is located in the secluded hills of Temecula, CA, and provides all of our patients with the privacy and peace they deserve to heal. 

Call Now For Help Check Insurance Benefits
Who Answers?