How Do Addiction and Mental Illness Affect Us Similarly?

A happy woman.

Mental health issues are often referred to as co-occurring disorders that manifest alongside our addictions. How do the two illnesses affect us similarly? What are some of the symptoms and causes that are the same for both?

With both addiction and mental illness, we can experience deep sadness and fear. We can feel intense anxiety, nervousness, restlessness, and worry. We can find ourselves obsessing, over-worrying and overthinking as a result, with racing thoughts and panic being common in both addiction and mental illness. We can suffer from inner turmoil, confusion, heightened stress levels and overwhelm due to both. We can have a hard time thinking positively, optimistically or with hopefulness. We can be filled with dread, negative anticipation, pessimism and cynicism. We can find it hard to find anything to look forward to or be grateful for. These challenging mental and emotional symptoms can overtake our entire lives, preventing us from living normal, happy lives.

Drastic behavioral and lifestyle changes are common in both addiction and mental health issues. We can be so depressed that we can’t get out of bed or have the energy to make it through the day. We might experience changes in our sleep patterns and eating habits as a result – lack of appetite, insomnia, binge eating and eating disorders to name a few. We might isolate ourselves from loved ones, distance ourselves, and even cut off important relationships. We might start neglecting ourselves, our self-care and appearance. We might visibly be disheveled and unkempt, and people can tell by looking at us that we’re really suffering. As a result of both issues, we might start neglecting our obligations, missing work or school, and being unable to keep up with our regular routines and obligations. We might find it harder than usual to make deadlines, get through our to-do lists and manage our responsibilities. Our daily lives might be filled with so much turmoil that we can’t perform our work duties normally, and as a result many of us lose our jobs, causing us even more financial hardship and adding to our stress tremendously. It is common with both addiction and mental health issues for us to be inundated with difficult circumstances, tumultuous relationships, financial strain, and unfortunate life events among them.

Both our addictions and mental health issues are often a result of unhealed wounds within us, fears we haven’t confronted yet, and remnants of the traumatic experiences that are still deeply affecting us. Our inability to face these things, the ways in which we suppress our pain, and our patterns of avoidance and escapism can lead to the development of both our addictions and mental illnesses. They co-occur alongside each other because their initial causes are often the exact same emotional factors.

Welcome to Corner Canyon, a residential adult treatment center in beautiful Utah where the individual needs of every client are met with a unique treatment program created to fit them specifically. Our warm and comforting home invites those of all genders, nationalities, religions, sexual orientations, and more who seek to heal as well as transform their lives from mental health and addiction issues. Call us today for information on our programs of care: 877-717-6237