A mental condition can be induced by a substance use disorder as much as a person with mental illness is likely to abuse any substance. Most of the times, it is difficult to ascertain which came first. The co-occurrence of a mental health condition along with a substance abuse problem is called dual diagnosis.
Here, we take a look at some of the mental disorders which can be induced by a substance use disorder:
- Substance-induced delirium: Also known as delirium tremens, it is a rapid onset of confusion that stems from alcohol withdrawal. Symptoms can last for a couple of days and the problem usually occurs when a person consumes excessive alcohol and tries to quit it abruptly. People often hear voices or see things that are illusionary and not felt by others. This suggests that while quitting alcohol, one should seek expert guidance to manage withdrawal.
- Substance-induced persisting dementia: The symptoms of a substance-induced persisting dementia are akin to those of normal dementia. The only difference is that it is caused by the abuse of substances. A person abusing substances may have trouble with memory, personality changes, and other physical or psychological problems, just like a regular dementia patient.
- Substance-induced psychotic disorder: Commonly known as toxic psychosis, it is a form of substance use disorder where the symptoms are ascribed to substance abuse. The toxins produced in the body as a result of the substance abuse affect the mind of an addict in such a manner that it results in psychotic disorder.
- Substance-induced anxiety disorder: Anxiety disorders can also be triggered by substance abuse and the symptoms can be equally ominous. It includes symptoms of a normal anxiety disorder, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic attacks or phobias. It may occur during the intoxication period or during withdrawals. Symptoms should not be taken lightly, considering the fact that they are induced by substance abuse. Repercussions of not getting treated on time could land someone in the soup.
- Substance-induced mood disorder: Many over-the-counter (OTC) prescription medicines and certain drugs are blamed for causing depression and other mood disorders. Reports of substance-induced mood disorder have been doing the rounds since the 1950s and are long known.
- Hallucinogen persisting perceptual disorder: Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) is a condition characterized by a continual presence of sensory disturbances. A person using hallucinogenic substances experiences persistent changes in his perception that are most commonly visual.
- Substance-induced sleep disorder: Substance abuse almost always causes sleep problems in addicts. Insomnia is a definite fallout of substance abuse. A person suffering from it has difficulty in sleeping or at times tends to oversleep. The variety of sleep disturbances is caused by abuse of substances.
The co-occurring disorders can be quite difficult to handle and treatment also becomes a bit of a challenge. A treatment cannot be effective unless both the conditions are addressed simultaneously. Merely treating one condition without addressing the other would not yield desired results. Hence, seeking help from the right treatment center at the earliest holds the key.