Going through mental health problems like anxiety and depression, at the minimum, is enough for a difficult time and experience living.
Mental and psychological disorders often disable people from managing themselves in society, keeping track of things, facing difficulties, maintaining work and relationships, and caring for others and themselves. Hence, anyone suffering from unhealthy mental conditions needs help and support.
Across the globe, about 450 million people are suffering from any type of psychiatric or mental problem, and a whopping 400 million of them are not correctly diagnosed and not going through any amount of treatment.
These untreated people are suffering from anxiety and depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, mood disorders, and other conditions that can hinder them from a fully functioning life. And when 400 million of these people don’t get the proper treatment, they turn to alternative self-care and non-standard medication, over the counter, usually a pub, liquor store, or their “guy.”
None of each directly begets the other, but it is unfortunately common for someone who has a mental disorder but not having proper treatment to go for the easy cure of taking substances.
For example, marijuana can make a depressed patient laugh away a complicated problem that you can’t confront. Or alcohol can numb down a traumatized person’s senses and headspace when coming home after a significantly stressful workday.
People with mental disorders are often easily triggered and will have to resort to medication, preferably prescribed, when things become too overwhelming for them. However, access to proper care and treatment is not the case for everyone – but alcohol and drugs are more accessible to source.
Quick Cures That Quickly Turn
Substances like drugs and alcohol are indeed able to tame the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental episodes.
For example, alcohol significantly reduces the reaction of your central nervous system. So you become numb to many stressors, become emotionally more “pliable,” and feel better even when there’s a problem at hand.
Other drugs like methamphetamine, ecstasy, LSD and other substances do something similar too. And some of them can “benefit” someone suffering from an episode by being hallucinogens that effectively “takes them away” to another dimension.
Drugs and alcohol can help mental health patients get away from their uncomfortable and often painful reality but for a brief time only and with dire consequences, direct and indirect.
Direct Adverse Consequences
Alcohol and substance use will debilitate your mental and physical capacity, leading to untoward incidents, significantly damaging decisions, and other direct adverse consequences.
For example, while intoxicated, you might copulate and get pregnant or impregnate someone with or without legitimate consent or at least proper planning. Or you can cause a vehicular accident that injures or kills you and someone else.
Also, you might commit a severe crime when on drugs or drunk.
Remember that these things are unfortunate manifestations that people with no mental condition can do too. These can happen to people with healthy mental states.
How much more will things be if you have less control of your drunk or drugged state with a mental condition?
Some mental health problems cause hallucinations and paranoia, and so do many substances that people abuse. Mix them, and you have a molotov cocktail of uncontrollable reactions.
Also, if you have a significantly difficult episode, you are prone to overdosing.
One of the worst-case scenarios is a mental health patient taking prescription medication while mixing it with substance or alcohol abuse.
How many times have you heard of people dying of an overdose? Or how many times have you heard of people failing an attempted overdose, ending up in vegetated or more difficult states for the rest of their lives?
Indirect Adverse Effects
Drugs and alcohol are technically poison for the body. Our organs want to get rid of the chemicals they bring as soon as they enter our system.
While our organs are able to cope with getting rid of these poisonous substances, they cannot do their job well without resting and recovering. For example, the liver can only take too much alcohol until it develops irreversible scar tissue or cirrhosis.
The problem is that drugs and alcohol are a “once you pop, you can’t stop” situation. Drugs and alcohol make things feel better, and feeling better is addictive.
These substances let our neurons fire in a way that we like, and to keep them that way, our brain tells us to keep on doing the deed.
First of all, this damages our brain’s ability to modulate itself as it becomes dependent on the external factor that you are putting in. This makes it difficult for the appropriate prescription medicine for your mental health to work correctly.
Secondly, constant drug and alcohol intake damages the liver, nervous system, cardiovascular system, excretory system, digestive system, and more.
You can, in time, develop ulcers, cirrhosis, heart disease, liver or kidney failure, pancreatitis, etc.
A Person With a Mental Health Problem and Addiction Needs Immediate Help
The mixing of mental health problems and addiction shouldn’t be taken lightly—a person who is suffering from both needs serious attention and the most care possible.
This condition is not something that you can quickly treat DIY at home because both mental health conditions and addiction can have severe symptoms that require close monitoring.
Plus, as a treatment for such patients will require cessation, withdrawal symptoms together with the underlying mental health condition can be dangerous.
If you or anyone you know fit the description in this article, you need immediate professional help. You need to find the right center to help you with addiction and mental health.
But If you want to know more before taking action, it is understandable. Addiction is a complex problem in itself and becomes so much more when a person suffering it has a mental health problem – knowing more means helping more.