There are many mental disorders that seem to go together with substance abuse , and it can be very difficult to distinguish the symptoms of one problem from the other. Mental illness can cause an individual to start drinking or using drugs in order to self medicate and make certain symptoms go away. On the other hand substance abuse can cause a number of mental illness symptoms to appear. When both types of problems are identified in the patient a dual diagnosis is made. Treatment for substance abuse and treatment for the mental disorder must occur at the same time for a full and complete recovery to be possible. If only one of the dual issues are addressed then you will typically end up backsliding and the mental illness may become more severe.
Depression is often linked to substance abuse. You may start drinking in order to forget your troubles and feel better, or you may prefer an illegal street drug instead. Anxiety is another mental disorder that is commonly included in a dual diagnosis. When you start to feel anxious you may drink or do drugs in order to try and calm down, but this can create a destructive cycle. Bipolar disorder is also a common problem that can contribute to substance abuse or make this problem worse. If you or someone you love show symptoms of any mental disorder or signs of substance abuse then a thorough diagnosis of the problem should be made by a professional in these fields.