Tag Archives: Mental Health Disorders

The Role Of Mental Health In Addiction

The challenges of mental illness often go hand-in-hand with drug or alcohol abuse. This makes both conditions difficult to diagnose and to treat.

Wildflower Closeup-The Role Of Mental Health In AddictionThe link between addiction and psychological problems is complex and not completely understood. What is known is that mental illness can increase the risk of drug abuse and alcoholism. Very often, the individual suffering from a mental illness will use a substance to self-medicate and cope with side effects that aren’t being properly managed.

The flip side of this common link is that drug and alcohol abuse can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental conditions. Very often, untreated addiction and mental illness will propel each other, leading to a self-perpetuating cycle that is very difficult to treat.

Common Mental Conditions Connected With Addiction

Some of the most common mental conditions that are connected with drug or alcohol dependency include:

Anxiety – Alcohol is commonly abused by individuals who suffer from addiction. Often the addiction begins at a young age to deal with the challenges of being in social situations and to overcome feelings of shyness and being overwhelmed by everyday challenges.

Depression – Some individuals begin abusing drugs or alcohol to mask symptoms of depression. This is particularly common in females who have depression.

Bipolar Disorder – Alcohol is also frequently used by men and women who suffer from mood swings associated with bipolar disorder.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Substances are commonly used by those suffering from the very difficult symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder that include flashbacks, sleep disturbances, regression, and anger.

Schizophrenia – Hallucinations, delusions, and other psychotic symptoms lead some to drug use to ease symptoms of distress and fear.

Other Connections Between Addiction And Mental Illness

There are also other proven links between addiction and mental illness. These include neuro-chemical and environmental factors. Genetics also play an important role. While the connection between mental illness and addiction is multi-faceted and not completely understood, it is necessary to proactively treat the conditions simultaneously.

What To Do If Your Loved One Is Struggling With Mental Illness And Addiction

A common question that people ask when they have a friend or family member who is struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental illness and is self-medicating with drugs or alcohol, is “What do I do if my loved one is struggling with mental illness and addiction?” The first step is getting them evaluated to determine the best possible treatment program for them. A one-size-fits-all approach to overcoming addiction is not wise for someone who is suffering from co-occurring disorders.

For effective and individualized treatment for co-occurring disorders in Northern California, call Summit Estate now for immediate help. We’re here to answer your questions and to begin the admissions process.

Learn More About Our Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment

Is There A Link Between An Empty Nest And Depression?

Link Between An Empty Next And Depression-SummitEstate.comThe time when children leave home for college or careers can bring on feelings of sadness, loneliness, and grief in many parents. Coined “empty nest syndrome” by health professionals, this transition can lead some men and women to depression and even to turn to drugs or alcohol.

As a parent, the focus is on providing a loving, nurturing environment for children. When they begin to establish their independence, it can bring on a sense of loss and negative feelings that persist and lead to depression.

Although many “empty nesters” find freedom and a sense of relief in an empty house with more time for hobbies and interests, others find themselves emotionally vulnerable. Some even dwell on lost opportunities or begin to feel like they’re no longer needed.

Who Is At Risk Of Empty Nest Syndrome?

Those who have experienced depression in the past or who have a family history of the condition are more likely to develop empty nest syndrome. Major life changes such as a child leaving home can spawn negative feelings and the desire to self-medicate with alcohol, prescription pain medications, or other substances.

Factors That Can Cause Empty Nest Syndrome

There are often multiple contributing factors that cause this type of depression including:

Loss Of Identity – As a primary caregiver, it’s easy to become engrossed in the role of being a parent. When an adult child leaves home, there sometimes is a loss of an identity that has been present for 18 or more years.

Guilt – Many parents fear that they did not adequately do their job to prepare their children for the real world. This can spawn feelings of guilt and regret.

Financial Issues – Worries about college tuition and other college-related expenses can place many parents under a high level of stress.

Relationship Changes – Without the time-consuming task of raising children, many couples are unprepared for how to live life without having to manage the daily responsibilities of being a parent.

Getting Help For Depression And Addiction

For many parents struggling with empty nest syndrome, it’s wise to get help from an experienced mental health professional. If there is also a co-occurring addiction, a recovery program might be the right first step in recovery.

Summit Estate offers in-patient co-occurring disorders treatment in Los Gatos, CA for substance abuse and depression. If you need help for the feelings you’re experiencing since your children have left home, don’t delay in getting help.

You Don’t Need To Hurt Another Day – Call Us Now – We Are Here For You 24/7