There is a positive link between mental illness and substance abuse. Certain drugs can lead to an increased risk of developing a mental disorder, such as depression, paranoia, or delusions.
Long-term use of drugs or alcohol can cause depression and anxiety that worsens over time. Although there is some suggestion that cannabis users may experience symptoms of psychosis, in the end it is more likely that mental illness causes drug abuse, rather than the other way around
It is a known fact that people with mental illness turn to drugs to self-medicate. If symptoms they experience are disruptive or uncomfortable, they may find temporary relief in drugs. For example, someone who struggles with depression may turn to cannabis to numb their pain; social anxiety may be temporarily relieved with alcohol in social situations; Xanax or Valium may be taken to avert risk of having a panic attack; Adderall, cocaine, and crystal meth are all drugs that are sometimes abused to increase a person’s energy or motivation.
However, self-medicating causes more problems instead of solving them. Drugs and alcohol are used to self-manage an underlying mental illness but can lead to addiction and increase the severity of the symptoms they were trying to treat. Instead of turning to drugs to self-medicate mental health symptoms, see a doctor for appropriate treatment that is effective and beneficial and not potentially harmful.
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