Mental health disorders are characterized as any mental condition that affects mood, behavior, emotions and thinking patterns.
There is a wide range of mental health disorders and approximately 40% of Americans suffer from some form of mental illness. Left untreated, these disorders can cause a catastrophic impact on a person’s psychological health and lead to drug and substance addiction.
The most common mental health disorders include:
General Anxiety Disorder- (GAD) is described as uncontrollable persistent and excessive worry. Someone who suffers from (GAD) may find it impossible to control their worrying and remain in constant fear and anticipation of disaster or loss. For example, people who suffer from this disorder may obsess over finances, or develop paranoia and intense neediness in close relationships due to fear of abandonment.
Major Depression– is prolonged feelings of low mood, worthlessness, irritability, tiredness, and guilt for months or even years. Symptoms can vary in an individual and range from mild to severe at any given time. Major Depression can appear in different ways between women, men, and children. Women who suffer from major depression typically experience low self-esteem and may find it difficult to develop healthy boundaries in relationships. In men, it can cause intense anger and self-destructive behaviors while children may develop behavioral problems in school and practice self-harm such as cutting.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder- (PTSD) People with PTSD tend to remain severely depressed or anxious for a prolonged period of time as the result of a traumatic experience. This is a very serious condition and also debilitating. Those who have experienced or witnessed the sudden death of a loved one, sexual assault, war, violence, or any personal traumatic event may suffer from PTSD.
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder-(ADHD) is a mental health disorder that is described as the inability to pay attention or a combination of hyperactivity and compulsive behavior. In many instances, it is a combination of all three.
According to medical research, there are 200 classified mental health disorders and they are often hard to diagnose on many occasions. One of the main reasons is that symptoms can vary between individuals, and a person can have a combination of several mental health disorders at any given time. It is also possible for one disorder such as Major Depression to be the result of an untreated anxiety disorder. People who live with mental health conditions may not realize they have them in the first place. Drugs and other substances are used with the intention to self-medicate. A number of addictions are formed from the need to numb emotional pain, cope with stress, or become more social and energetic.
The connection between mental health disorders and addiction has been proven to be a vicious cycle that eventually spirals out of control. People who develop addictions as a result of their mental disorders don’t realize the substance or drug is doing nothing to help the underlying issue. It is imperative to discover the source of their mental condition so they can begin to develop healthy thinking patterns, coping mechanisms and behaviors to break the cycle of addiction. Healing can begin through a combination of intervention, psychiatric treatments, and a network of support.