Woman in red with hand on face worrying about psychological disorders that keep cropping up with alcohol use.The link between alcoholism and psychological disorders is a strong one. In fact, addiction is a mental disorder itself. Understanding the link between alcohol and mental disorders is important when people seek help for drinking problems. For example, it’s important to know that alcoholism can lead to mental disorders and vice versa.

The Link Between Addiction and Psychological Disorders

The link between alcoholism and psychological disorders is so strong that people don’t typically see one without the other. When many people visit rehab centers for addiction, they also get treatment for underlying mental conditions. Dual diagnosis treatment is the process of treating both a mental disorder and an addiction at the same time. Failure to detect and address these disorders can lead to relapse.

Studies show that psychological disorders sometimes lead to the development of addictions such as alcoholism. On the other hand, alcoholism can also make certain mental disorders develop. Some disorders that most often accompany alcoholism include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia

Why Do People With Mental Disorders Turn to Alcohol?

The link between alcoholism and psychological disorders is apparent, but why do people turn toward alcohol in the first place? After all, they can’t develop an addiction to a substance if they never use it. People turn to alcohol for a number of reasons. In general, however, they use it to cope with the distress that their mental disorders cause. Alcohol or drugs seem to make the situation better or more comfortable. It then grows into a bad habit of self-medication that can grow into an addiction.

For example, people who suffer from depression use alcohol to mask their symptoms–depression and alcohol go hand in hand. Studies show that women are more likely to try to mask depression with alcohol. They’re also more likely to develop depression after abusing alcohol. Unfortunately, alcohol is a terrible drug to take for depression because it’s a depressant itself.

Both men and women use alcohol to ease anxiety. They may get anxiety for many reasons. For example, they could be anxious over work or financial issues. Alcohol does little to deal with the actual anxiety but just covers it up.

Who Is More Likely to Develop Co-Occurring Disorders?

There’s no easy way to determine who’s more likely to develop both psychological disorders and addiction simultaneously. However, scientists have pinpointed a couple of factors that they believe play a major role in dealing with such issues.

The first factor is genetics. Genes play a huge role in the development of both mental disorders and substance abuse issues. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that people can do to change their genetics. The best course of action is to know that the rate of abuse runs high in families.

Another factor is a chemical deficiency in the brain. Once the chemical balance is out of sync, it’s easy for people to fall victim to addiction. For example, serotonin helps the brain function normally. When the brain doesn’t have enough of this naturally produced chemical, it easily falls victim to alcoholism as well as anxiety disorders.

Take Your Life Back With the Help of Beaches Recovery

At Beaches Recovery, we pride ourselves on treating several types of addiction as well as psychological disorders. We strive to not only help you overcome addiction but also help you deal with mental illness and relapse prevention. We take the needs of our clients very seriously.

To provide the best possible service, we create custom treatment plans. These plans contain a mix of our wide range of services. Some of the services that we provide include:

Don’t let psychological disorders and alcohol addiction rule your life. Get the help that you need at Beaches Recovery. Contact us at 866-605-0532 to begin your journey toward healing.