What is comorbidity? Technically, the term describes any situation where one person has two medical conditions at the same time. When we talk about comorbidity in the context of addiction, we are talking about mood disorders or mental illness accompanying addiction. These conditions are typically thoroughly entwined. It is often difficult or impossible to determine whether mental illness or a mood disorder has caused addiction, or whether it is the other way around. Three things are consistent. We’ll start with the bad news. You can’t fix mental illness or mood disorders without addressing addiction. And you can’t get free from addiction without addressing the mental health issues and mood disorders that accompany it. But here’s the good news: with the right help, you can address all your mental health and addiction issues together and work your way to freedom from addiction and improved mental health at the same time.
With a well-designed approach tailored to your unique condition, you can get better. It will take effort, but it’s worth it. The first step is reaching out for help.
Mental Health And Addiction: Cause Or Effect?
Several studies have shown that comorbidity is very common for people with substance abuse problems, with around half of those with substance abuse problems also suffering from mental health issues, and vice versa. In some cases, we might say the cause of both the mental health disorder and the substance abuse or addiction problem can be found in a third risk factor. Research indicates that genetic factors may make a person susceptible to both addiction and other forms of mental illness. Environmental factors like stress or trauma can directly make a person more susceptible to both mental illness and addiction. New research indicates that stress and trauma may even cause heritable genetic changes that can affect offspring even if they do not experience trauma and stress.
In a more straightforward way, mental health issues like depression can lead a person to seek (ineffective) relief through drugs, alcohol, or eating disorders. Conversely, drug use can cause depression, either by altering brain chemistry, contributing to a dysfunctional lifestyle, or both.
Examples Of Comorbidity
Depression and bipolar disorder are among the most common examples of comorbidity with addiction. Other mood disorders like anxiety and panic disorders or personality disorders are also often observed in conjunction with addiction. A depressed person may also be addicted to alcohol, for instance. The alcoholism makes it difficult to address the depression and conversely, the depression makes it difficult to address the alcoholism.
Approaches To Treatment
With the casual arrow pointing, so to speak, around in a circle, successful practitioners help people suffering from mental health issues and substance or other addictive behaviors (such as eating disorders or gambling addiction) address both at once. Treating the co-occurring mental health issue can help reduce stress and the feeling of the need for escape that can drive substance abuse craving. At Seasons Bali, we begin with a methodical screening assessment to identify the nature and scope of each patient’s unique problems and distinguish mental health issues from manifestations of withdrawal or intoxicated living. We provide full, medically supervised inter-disciplinary treatment with ongoing communication between our medical and counseling teams.
Mental health issues make it harder to successfully recover from addiction and addiction makes it harder to address mental health issues. But the good news is that addressing mental health issues as part of treatment makes it easier to get on the road to recovery from addiction. And getting on the road to recovery from addiction makes it easier to address mental health issues. At Seasons Bali, we combined group and individual talk therapy with cognitive behavioral therapy, and, where appropriate, medical treatment. We round this out with a holistic approach, to teach people how to live a good life, because ultimately, the goal is not just to be “ok” again. The goal is to create a great life filled with connection, meaning, progress, happiness, and fulfillment.
What Are You Waiting For? Reach Out And Get Help Today.
Seasons Bali offers support for people struggling with addiction. You are here reading this, so it’s probably time for you or someone you care about to take some steps toward a much better life. It takes work but you can leave the unfulfilling cycle and the suffering behind.
Learn More About Our Addiction Recovery Program
If someone you care about has a problem with alcohol (or any other form of addiction) talk to someone who understands. We are here to help. Call one of our experts today at (toll-free Australia) 1800 288 348 +61 398045757 or email us at [email protected] and we will call you.