2 MIN READ | Clinical Psychology

Dennis Relojo-Howell

5 Common Mental Health Disorders Associated with Substance Abuse

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Dennis Relojo-Howell, (2021, May 5). 5 Common Mental Health Disorders Associated with Substance Abuse. Psychreg on Clinical Psychology. https://www.psychreg.org/mental-health-disorders-substance-abuse/
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An underlying mental illness usually develops substance use disorder. The connections between substance abuse and mental illnesses are complex, with studies showing varying stats of people living with mental health disorders due to substance abuse. Often, substance use derives from a mental health issue, and as a result of self-medication, the addiction grows. However, the misuse of substances may worsen the already existing mental health issue and possibly cause new mental illnesses to develop.  

It is crucial that anyone seeking professional help in a drug rehab Indianapolis for substance abuse should be assessed for co-occurring mental disorders; maybe there’s a common cause for mental health issues and substance use. Identifying the co-occurring problem will help in the success of the addiction recovery process.

Here are five common mental health disorders that are associated with substance misuse:

Major depression

One of the most common mental issues in the United States and the leading cause of disability in the world is major depression. The unfortunate reality about this major depression is that most people don’t get the correct treatment, and some don’t even get the diagnosis. Depression is a common mental issue; however, people who suffer from depression are more likely to have a substance addiction. It is common to find that people with depression either have a drug use disorder or an alcohol use disorder and, in many cases, both.

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is regarded as a type of depression; however, the disorder carries unique behavioral characteristics that prove to be a risk when associated. People who suffer from bipolar have a high chance of developing substance abuse, which causes manic and volatile behavior instead of depression; however, depression and emotional pain for a person with bipolar triggers the episodes.  

Anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorder is one of the most common disorders compromising numerous issues, including panic, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. To different degrees, all of these conditions associated with anxiety increase the chances of one’s addiction. Studies have shown that most substance abusers with anxiety start as self-medicating to treat the disorder like many substance addictions. 

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 

PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder, with a significant increase in addiction; it deserves a special mention. Symptoms associated with PTSD include negative nightmares, becoming easily irritable, and sometimes trouble to sleep. The struggle of coping with these symptoms often leads people who have PTSD to alcohol and drugs. More than half of people treated for substance use disorders show signs of PTSD, complicating the treatment process.

Personality disorders

A personality disorder is one of the most common disorders, with a 72% lifetime risk of addiction. The condition is based on a distorted or rigid way of viewing the world, showing signs of being antisocial, and rarely seeking professional help, increasing the risk of addiction. The most effective way of treating complex and challenging conditions like borderline personality disorders is dialectical behavioural therapy.


Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg.

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