If you’re looking for free help and advice for addictive disorders or information about addiction rehabilitation, you’ve come to the right place. At Serenity Health, we understand how painful and isolating addiction can be. When you combine this with other mental health problems or disorders, the struggle can seem overwhelming. On this page, you can find information about mental health, how this may relate to your addiction and most importantly, how to get the help that you need.
In the UK, between 4% and 10% of people will experience depression at some point in their life.
Mental health and behavioural problems, including drug use, depression and anxiety, reportedly cause over 40 million years of disability in 20 to 29-year-olds worldwide.
Over the past week, it’s estimated that one in every six people will have experienced a common mental health problem.
Around 50% of people who suffer from severe mental health disorders are also affected by substance abuse.
37% of alcoholics and 53% of drug abusers also suffer from a serious mental illness.
Remember, you are not alone
Whether you suffer from alcoholism, drug or gambling addiction or another compulsive disorder, these afflictions are often linked to other mental health issues. Problems with addiction often start when someone uses a substance to cope with difficult feelings and emotional states, childhood trauma and other life stresses that they were unable to deal with in another way. Unfortunately, using or abusing substances to escape the symptoms of a mental illness can result in severe negative side effects and ultimately often cause the symptoms to get worse, rather than better, over time.
Drug and alcohol abuse or addiction can increase the risk of developing a mental disorder
Mental health disorders are the result of the complex interplay of the environment we live and grow up in, genetics, and a whole list of other internal and external factors. Abusing addictive substances when you’re already at risk for developing a mental disorder can significantly increase the chances that you will develop mental health issues. For example, there is evidence that people who use opioid painkillers are at a higher risk of developing depression, and some people who abuse cannabis increase their risk of developing psychosis.
Medication and addiction
Abusing substances may sharply increase the symptoms of your mental illness or disorder and it can even trigger symptoms that you haven’t suffered from before. If you take prescribed medication for your mental health disorder, abusing drugs or alcohol can negatively interact with your medication. Substance abuse can make anti-anxiety pills, antidepressants and mood stabilisers less effective at managing your symptoms.
Am I suffering from an addiction and co-occurring mental health issue?
If you’re unsure of whether or not you’re suffering from a co-occurring mental health disorder and addiction, take a look at the follow questions and try to answer them honestly:
Are you aware of a relationship between your mental health and substance use? (for example, do you suffer from depression when you drink?)
Do you take addictive substances in an attempt to deal with unpleasant memories or feelings?
Do you take drugs or alcohol to try and control your mood, to maintain focus on a task, or to face situations that make you anxious or scared?
Are there mental disorders or problems with addiction in your family history?
Do you suffer from anxiety or depression when sober?
If you answer yes to any of the above questions, there’s a possibility that you’re suffering from a concurring mental illness and addiction.
Reaching out for help
We understand how difficult it can be to recognise that you’re suffering from an addiction, especially if you’re already afflicted with a mental health disorder, but if you think you have a problem, we can help. At Serenity Health, we offer a variety of treatments for alcohol and drug addiction, including addiction rehabilitation using the 12 step model. At our various clinics across the UK, we also offer group work, psychotherapy and support work for people suffering from co-occurring addiction and mental health disorders. To get help, call us today.group work, psychotherapy and support work for people suffering from co-occurring addiction and mental health disorders. To get help, call us today.