Mental Illness and Addiction: Which Came First? North Jersey Recovery Center - A woman is comforted by an experienced psychiatrist to determine which dual diagnosis she has, and whether the mental health disorder caused the substance abuse or vice versa

Mental Illness and Addiction: Which Came First?

Last Updated: Oct 1st 2020

Reviewed by njrc

Mental Health and Addiction

Mental illness, sometimes known as a mental disorder, may be defined as a health condition that changes the way you think, feel, behave, or some combination of all three.

This may, in turn, cause you distress and difficulty in functioning.

Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia, and Depression

The most common types of mental illness include bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and dementia.

Mental illness may range from severe to mild, and the symptoms may be different depending on the illness and the affected person.

Some symptoms could include confusion, excessive fear and worries, low energy, mood swing, extreme anger and hostility, suicidal thinking, and antisocial behavior.

Addiction is a Chronic Compulsion

Addiction is a chronic compulsion to take a substance or behave a certain way.

Addiction is the way your body yearns for a substance or behavior, especially if there is a reward attached to it without fear of the consequences.

When you have an addiction, you will be unable to or find it highly challenging to stay away from the substance or behavior.

Addiction can include a chemical or behavioral addiction.

Chemical addiction is the addiction to substances such as alcohol, opioids, and nicotine. It may be referred to as substance-use disorder.

On the other hand, behavioral addiction is an addiction to compulsive behavior.

Examples of behavior addiction include gambling addiction, shopping addiction, sex addiction, television addiction, and food addiction.

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Dual Diagnosis

A dual diagnosis was identified for the first time in the 1980s and is commonly referred to as a co-occurring disorder. 

A dual diagnosis occurs when you have both a mental illness and an addiction to a substance.

People who suffer from substance use disorder, which is the addiction to drugs and alcohol, often suffer a co-occurring mental illness.

It is usually thought to be the cause of the addiction. Though they occur together, this does not imply that one is always the cause of the other; it may be challenging to find out which came first.

A dual diagnosis condition may occur as a result of: 

  1. Mental illness which contributes to a substance use disorder. Substance use may be a way for people with mental illness to deal with the illness to feel better, which may lead to an addiction.
  2. Addiction caused by mental illness. Substance abuse may abnormally change how a person’s brain functions, thereby changing the way the person thinks, feels, or behaves.
  3. Mental illness and substance use disorder occur simultaneously due to common risk factors such as stress, trauma, and genetics.

A dual diagnosis can add to the complexity of treatment and recovery and is prone to relapses instances.

The impact of dual diagnosis on people may be an increased violence, suicidal behavior, antisocial behavior, among others.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Mental health is the absence of mental illness.

Your mental health affects how you behave, feel, think, how you interact with others and the environment, and how you handle stress.

Mental health plays an essential role in the overall health of a person.

Substance abuse occurs when you use substances such as drugs and alcohol in a way that is inappropriate and may be harmful to your overall health.

Such practices include taking more than the regular dosage of a drug.

In the case of substance abuse, you may abuse drugs and alcohol to ease stress and to feel good, but you can still exert control on yourself.

Continual substance abuse can and usually leads to substance addiction.

On the other hand, substance addiction is more compulsive, it involves a lack of control over your actions and disregard for the repercussions of taking those harmful substances.

You become dependent on the substance.

Those with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety disorder have a high chance of getting addicted to drugs and alcohol. In turn, substance abuse and addiction can lead to mental illness.

Effects of Mental illness

There are several effects of mental illness on a person. They include:

  1. Alienation: the knowledge that you have a mental illness may lead to stigmatization and isolation by others in society.
  2. Suicide: mental illness may cause sadness and anger as well as suicidal thoughts. A person with mental illness may resort to suicide.

Effects of Addiction

Substance abuse and addiction may have short-term and long-term effects on an individual, and these effects vary depending on the substance a person is addicted to.

They include:

  1. The weakening of the immune system, which would lead to increased risks of contracting illness and infections
  2. Paranoia and hallucination
  3. Heart conditions, such as abnormal heart rates and risk of infection. For example, substances such as cocaine can damage the heart and lead to a heart attack
  4. Lung disease: substances that you inhale and smoke may damage your respiratory system and cause lung failure and disease
  5. Seizures, stroke, and brain damage
  6. Short attention span, problems with memory, and poor decision making.
  7. Loss of self-control and aggressiveness
  8. Mental illness, such as depression and anxiety disorder
  9. Death as a result of an overdose

Treatment for Addiction

Addiction is a chronic disease that has affected the lives of many people.

However, it is not a disease that cannot be cured.

The length of time it takes for various people to get better is different, and it is primarily determined by how long an individual has been addicted.

People often need long-term or repeated care to overcome their addictions and return to their healthy lives. 

The addiction treatment often comprises a combination of group and individual therapy sessions that teach the people in recovery the skills needed to stay sober and return to their healthy lives.

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However, behavioral therapy is one of the most common components used during substance abuse rehabilitation.

Alongside therapy and counseling, medication is also used in many addiction treatment protocols.

These medications may be used to help reduce cravings and ease off withdrawal symptoms.

In the case of co-occurring mental or medical health issues, medications are used to treat these problems.

At North Jersey Recovery Center, we offer some of the best treatment types.

Some of these include Inpatient Rehab, Outpatient Rehab, and Evidence-Based treatments, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), that are utilized for both drug and alcohol rehab. 

Highly trained professionals administer these treatments.

Payment Methods and Free Insurance Verification

At North Jersey Recovery Center, we have multiple payment methods that will help you and your loved ones get the quality help you deserve.

We accept most PPO insurance, private pay options, and we also offer payment plans.

At your request, we can contact your insurance provider to make arrangements that will help us serve you better.

Contact North Jersey Recovery Center Today

Our team at North Jersey Recovery Center comprises highly trained professionals who want to see you and your loved ones happy and healthy.

We understand how delicate rehabilitation can be and we have our doors wide open to give you the help you need.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by njrc

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