Mental Health Issues: Alcohol Use Disorder and Common Co-occurring Conditions National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism NIAAA

The person ends up drinking more to try and deal with their worsening situation, and their alcoholism becomes worse. However, someone suffering from both alcoholism and mental illness will see both aspects worsen on account of each other. The symptoms of mental illness will become more severe on account of the alcohol, which will lead the person to drink more, becoming trapped in a vicious circle. Although it may be impossible to prevent NPD, people can take steps to reduce the risk of developing additional disorders through the understanding that it is common for substance misuse disorders to co-occur. If people have risk factors for AUD, feel they are drinking excessively, or cannot control their alcohol intake, they can speak with a healthcare professional.

As you drink more, you become intoxicated and unsteady, and you might do or say things you normally won’t. More resources for a variety of healthcare professionals can be found in the Additional Links for Patient Care. To have a full picture for patient care, patients with AUD should be screened for other substance use.

Alcohol And Anxiety

You can also get help from Alcoholics Anonymous or an alcohol treatment center in your area. In many cases, AUD increases the chances of having a co-occurring mental health condition. For example, AUD may triple your chances of experiencing major depressive disorder (MDD). The intoxication and withdrawal cycle can also cause MDD and other mental health concerns. The mood disorders that most commonly co-occur with AUD are major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. Many people drink alcohol to relax and find relief from their mental health symptoms.

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the number of people living with mental health conditions and rates of substance misuse increased. As a result, much of the recent research into depression and SUD considers COVID-19 as a factor. Those at a higher risk of mental health conditions may also be at risk of substance misuse. There are shared risk factors, including environmental factors such as trauma and stress. Unfortunately, an alcohol addiction may co-occur with a mental health disorder. In fact, there is a general correlation between substance abuse and mental illness.

Stock-up on other drink choices

NHS Trusts that have put in place a policy on the management of patients with co-morbid alcohol and drug misuse have reduced rates of suicide by patients by 25%. It is not just the erosion of coping skills that leads to or triggers mental illness. It can relax and disinhibit you, but at the same time makes you vulnerable to feelings of lowness. Find out how to start a conversation about mental health with someone you’re worried about with our conversation guide, from getting the environment right to knowing what to say. There are many brands in the alcohol-free drink market, including Seedlip.

  • Some individuals self-medicate to improve their ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Binge drinking is classified as five or more drinks in a night for men and four or more drinks for women.
  • As mentioned previously alcohol changes levels of serotonin, which can aggravate levels of anxiety.
  • Someone suffering from depression may drink to numb out the painful feelings.
  • If you’re physically dependent on alcohol, it can be harmful to stop suddenly, and your GP can support you in the right way to cut down and advise on how you can do this safely.
  • However, the rate of possible alcohol dependence was 8% compared to 1.4% in the general population.

The connection between mental health and substance use disorders is complex. It is even more complicated during stages of alcohol withdrawal when symptoms of anxiety and depression are present regardless of whether you have a diagnosis of anxiety or depression. Fifty percent of young adults (ages 18-24) reported anxiety and depression symptoms in 2023, making them more likely than older adults to experience mental health symptoms (Figure 2). Young adults have experienced a number of pandemic-related consequences – such as closures of universities, transitioning to remote work, and loss of income or employment – that may contribute to poor mental health. Additionally, young adults in college settings may encounter increased difficulty accessing treatment.

Online therapy options

If a person meets 1–2 criteria, doctors consider them to have mild SUD. Their condition is moderate if they meet 3–5 criteria and severe if they meet 6 or more. According to the CDC, 13% of U.S. adults reported starting or increasing their substance use to cope with stress or emotions related to COVID-19. Substance misuse can result in addiction, which means a person is not able to stop a behavior or stop using a particular substance.

You can start practicing yoga, meditating, engaging in physical activity, cooking or taking a calming bath. Activities like these can help take your mind off stressful situations and provide you with an outlet to release tension rather than choosing to drink. Binge drinking is classified as five or more drinks in a night for men and four or more drinks for women. Drinking too much alcohol can is alcohol use disorder a mental illness cause serious physical and mental health problems that can create additional issues on top of a substance use disorder. In the long-term, alcohol uses up and reduces the number of neurotransmitters in our brains, but we need a certain level to ward off anxiety and depression. This can make you want to drink more to relieve these difficult feelings – which can start a cycle of dependence.