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What is the connection between Alcohol Addiction and Mental Health Illness?
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Co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis is the condition where both drug or alcohol addiction and mental health problem exist.  People who have a mental disorder such as anxiety, bipolar disorder and depression are more likely to develop an addiction.  

Based from the report of National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), there is a strong link between alcohol addiction and mental health illness. People who have mental health issues are prone to some kind of addiction. They are also responsible for a high percentage of substance and alcohol use.

Self Medication

People with mental problems tend to abuse alcohols as a form of self medication. When they drink, they feel that their symptoms improve, or they feel that they are more in control of the situations.

For instance, a person with anxiety may feel that they can face other people when they are under the influence of alcohol. A depressed person feels more secure and have more self confidence after drinking alcohol.

Although alcohol can help alleviate some of the symptoms of a mental disorder, it brings more harm than the benefits.  Aside from that, alcohol makes the symptoms more severe.

Alcohol addiction can further create other mental health symptoms that don't exist. Due to alcohol, the person may experience paranoia, delusions or depression.

As an example, a girl who is into alcohol addiction is more possible to be a victim of rape. When this happens, the victim may later develop a more serious mental disorder called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

When it comes to drugs, a person who injects cocaine is more probable to contract HIV/ AIDS. The disease can later make the person feel worse, and may lead him or her to severe depression. 

Anyone under the influence of alcohol has lower reasoning and poor decision making. Due to alcohol, a person may violate rules or commit mistakes that are punishable by the law. This in turn could lead the person to a more depressive state. 

Abuse of alcohol or drugs have proven connection to the development of a mental disorder.  If you know someone battling alcohol addiction or has mental health issues, it is important that they get treatments to arrest other symptoms that may further develop.

Without treatment, a person with a mental health disorder may indulge in drinking more often while the person with alcohol addiction may further acquire a mental disorder. It is important to address all the symptoms through medications, therapies and rehabilitation.


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