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Which Comes First: Alcoholism Or Mental Health Disorders?

Alcoholism is a greater risk for those who are living with a preexisting mental health condition or those who have the genetic predisposition for one. Likewise, for those who are living with alcoholism, there is a greater risk of also developing a mental health disorder. Alcoholism by its technical name is alcohol use disorder, falling under the substance use disorder category. Widely, alcohol use disorder and other substance use disorders, called addictions, are mental health disorders of their own. When alcohol use disorder happens at the same time as another mental health disorder, it is referred to as dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders. For treatment and rehabilitation to be as successful and effective as possible it is necessary for treatment centers to make a full diagnosis of any existing mental health conditions in addition to substance use issues. Mistaking one issue for another is common. Discovering the source of each issue and treating it thoroughly is the best way to ensure long term recovery.

Alcoholism As A Result Of Mental Health Disorders

Abuse of alcohol is a common side effect of many mental health disorders, especially when they go untreated. Anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as some of the most common mental health disorders with a high rate of co-occurring alcoholism. Substance abuse spurs from mental health disorders like these for a number of reasons. First, some of these disorders come with a high likelihood of impulsivity. Impulsive decision making can lead to rash decisions and skewed senses of relations among peers. When substance abuse becomes an option, there is little functioning in the brain to prevent someone from making the decision. Consuming alcohol in large quantities will be of little consideration and as a result can lead to chemical dependency. Second, alcoholism can result as a way to cope with the difficult emotions of other mental health disorders. Living with severe emotional pain, unmanageable mood swings, or chronic irrational thoughts can become exhausting and overwhelming. Upon introduction to alcohol, there is a relief and sanctuary discovered in the euphoric effects of intoxication.

Mental Health Disorders As A Result Of Alcoholism

Alcohol abuse chemically alters essential neural networkings of the brain. Consequently, many of the processes used on a daily basis to regulate emotions, cognitive functions, and other important activities become shifted. Mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and paranoia can result from long term substance abuse.

Recovery from co-occurring alcoholism and mental health disorders is possible through integrative and enlightened treatment. Bringing together holistic recovery and proven treatment, the programs at Enlightened Solutions are designed to let recovery start with you. Call 833-801-5483 today for more information.

Women Are More At Risk For Addiction Than They Have Been In Decades

The Washington Post reports that new studies are emphasizing the problematic relationship of women and alcohol. One study the article cites compiled 68 varying alcohol-use studies from around the world in which researchers from Australia discovered a “gender convergence”. Data revealed that the gender gap between males, females, and their relationship with drinking is closing. In the early 20th century, men who were born were “more than twice as likely as women to drink and three times as likely to have an alcohol problem.” By the end of the century, that difference was practically non-existent.

Women in Culture

What is causing this closure? George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, explains that women are living in a different culture than they were 100 years ago. “Instead of being at home,” Koob describes, “they’re in society, and drinking is part of business and social gatherings.” Another problem is that underage drinking in men has declined. Women are continuing to drink underage at a steady pace. Additionally, Koob expresses, women report experiencing depression and anxiety twice as often as men. Depression and anxiety are two of the most highly co-occurring or “comorbid” problems with addiction. Often, women, and men alike, will turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders. Koob points out a final fact which is emphasized in The Big Book Of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The primary text for the free recovery support group and founding group for the world wide twelve step program, was written for men, by men. A singular chapter addresses women, and that is only to the wives of alcoholic men. Quite quickly, the founders discovered that women were equally perilous alcoholics as their male counterparts. The authors write that there are no specifics like length of time drinking alcoholically or just how much one drinks to determine the effect of alcoholism. “To be gravely affected, one does not necessarily have to drink a long time nor take the quantities some of us have. This is particularly true of women.” The authors then dedicate two more important sentences to female alcoholism, not daring to call it any more or any less than what males experience. “Potential female alcoholics often turn into the real thing and are gone beyond recall in a few years. Certain drinkers, who would be greatly insulted if called alcoholics, are astonished at their inability to stop.”

Enlightened Solutions understands the shame and guilt which can come from developing alcoholism. We have a solution. Our partial care programs fuse together clinical treatment, alternative and holistic healing modalities, and 12 step philosophy to create a dual diagnosis curriculum for mind, body, and spirit. For more information, call 833-801-5483.