How Life Circumstances Affect Addiction and Mental Health

Posted in Mental Health

While many mental health issues result from congenital or physiological problems, traumatic events can initiate or worsen those issues. This is because traumatic events affect the part of the brain that manages psychological functions, so the following events can cause extreme emotional problems:

  • Losing a loved one
  • Financial stress
  • Losing employment
  • Exposure to the death or injury of others
  • Automobile accidents
  • Discovering a serious disease
  • An important relationship ending

These life circumstances and many others can cause emotional pain that result in depression, anxiety disorders, panic attacks and thoughts of suicide. Atlanta residents who struggle with these problems may abuse drugs in response, because substance abuse quickly relieves psychological stress. The problem is that the brain will crave the relief that drugs provide, which lays the groundwork for addiction.

How Addiction Works

Most intoxicating substances create two addictions, and the first one is physical. Alcohol and drugs replace natural body substances that promote wellbeing. This will cause an Atlanta drug user to need these substances to feel good, thus creating a physical addiction that will lead to withdrawal symptoms if the substance is absent from the brain.

The second kind of addiction is psychological. When drugs or alcohol relieve stress, trauma, depression or other underlying disorders, the addict’s brain will crave the drug for continued relief. The resulting cravings are often much more powerful than conscious thought, so addicts will come to believe they need the drugs while their bodies send that false message. The psychological addiction is much stronger than the physical one: while a physical addiction can be corrected in as little as a few days, the psychological cravings can last for months or even years after someone gets clean from drugs. Furthermore, after long periods of sobriety, stressful experiences can trigger overwhelming cravings. Once Atlanta drug addicts train their brains to use drugs to cope with trauma, it takes long-term, focused work to retrain themselves.

Addiction and Mental Health Treatment

Many drug addicts suffer from at least one underlying mental health issue that drives drug abuse. This means that Atlanta drug addicts may abuse intoxicating substances to self-medicate their symptoms, so lasting recovery requires treatment of both the addiction and the co-occurring psychological issue. The most effective treatment programs address all aspects of a patient’s health by utilizing the following treatment services:

  • Individual counseling
  • Education about addiction
  • Support groups
  • Teaching coping skills
  • Relapse prevention and aftercare

People will experience stressful circumstances throughout life, but Atlanta residents will exponentially increase their suffering if they self-medicate their pain with drugs. Recovering addicts must learn to manage stress so they do not succumb to relapse.

Psychological Help for Atlanta Drug Addicts

If you live in Atlanta and are concerned about how life circumstances influence your drug abuse, then please call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline now, because our admissions coordinators are standing by with confidential advice and care. Addiction makes life even more difficult and painful, so stop the cycle of pain and substance abuse right now, and reach out to our unique services.