Man looking out of window thinking about the connection between mental disorders and drinking

How Mental Disorders Affect Drinking Behaviors

There is a definite correlation between mental disorders and drinking. The connection between the two is apparent in how various mental health issues influence how someone uses alcohol. Those with psychological conditions often have an increased risk of developing a drinking problem. It is known as “dual diagnosis” or “co-occurring disorders” when this happens. 

Recovery Ranch is a leading provider of mental health services and alcohol addiction treatment. Our dual diagnosis treatment center helps individuals struggling with mental health issues and alcoholism reclaim their lives. Call 1.844.876.7680 to get started on a personalized recovery plan and take the first steps toward a life of health and wellness. 

Mental Illness and Drinking

Mental health issues can have a significant impact on drinking behaviors. For example, people who suffer from depression or anxiety are more likely to use beer, wine, or liquor to self-medicate and cope with symptoms. Those with bipolar disorder may also find themselves using more alcohol when they enter into hypomanic or manic states. Since these states cause over-active and excited behavior, individuals may drink to try to calm down.

Studies show that people with mental health issues are at a higher risk of developing unhealthy relationships with alcohol. Those with psychological conditions are twice as likely to develop alcoholism, and nearly one-third of adults living with major depression also experience problems with drinking. Furthermore, adults with mental illness and alcoholism have poorer outcomes than those who struggle with one or the other. Individuals with comorbidity, meaning those with substance use disorders and mental health issues, also have higher relapse rates. 

It’s vital for those suffering from both mental health issues and addiction to seek out comprehensive care plans incorporating specialized therapeutic approaches. Addressing these two conditions simultaneously in a dual diagnosis treatment program can ensure the best possible outcomes for recovery.

How Does Drinking Behavior Impact Mental Health?

Drinking behavior can significantly impact mental health in the short and long term. More immediate effects on a person’s psychological state include the following: 

  • Decreased inhibitions
  • Distorted thinking and judgment
  • Increased aggression
  • Depression and anxiety

Over more extended periods, the effects of an alcohol use disorder are more severe for an individual’s mental well-being. Heavy drinking over an extended period can: 

  • Increase the risk of developing depression and anxiety disorders
  • Cause memory impairment 
  • Make people more susceptible to neuropsychiatric disorders such as bipolar, dementia, and schizophrenia

Alcohol use is also associated with decreased concentration and cognition ability, making it difficult for individuals to accomplish everyday tasks and goals. 

Studies have also shown that people who suffer from mental health issues are more likely than others to engage in risky drinking behaviors such as binge drinking and consuming large amounts of alcohol at one time. These drinking behaviors can exacerbate existing mental health conditions while simultaneously decreasing an individual’s ability to make rational decisions regarding their consumption of alcohol. 

No doubt, drinking alcohol has a substantial effect on one’s mental health. Individuals who experience signs of psychological issues must seek professional help, especially if they believe that alcohol may be playing a role in their condition.

Seek Dual Diagnosis Treatment at The Ranch

If you or someone you care about struggles with mental disorders and drinking, help is here at Recovery Ranch. Our dual diagnosis treatment program takes a comprehensive and holistic approach to mental health issues and alcohol addiction. Together, we can work with you to promote healing and lasting change. 

The Ranch utilizes evidence-based treatments to help individuals find relief from their symptoms and aid recovery. We create individualized treatment plans that incorporate a variety of therapies, including individual counseling, group therapy, and medication management. Call 1.844.876.7680 today, or complete our contact form to seek our compassionate care and begin the journey toward long-term recovery.

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