Treatment for Mood Disorders and Co-Occurring Substance Abuse
If a person develops a mood disorder and the condition goes untreated, the individual is at greater risk of developing a co-occurring substance abuse disorder or addiction. People who struggle with these conditions may become addicted to an intoxicating substance in order to feel more normal or regulate their symptoms. However, there is always the potential for this type of self-regulating to increase the severity or cycle of these symptoms. A substance use disorder can also lead to a mood disorder, as the substance changes brain chemistry and structure.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a study they conducted in 2014 revealed that 7.9 million people in the United States struggle with both a substance abuse and mental health disorder. Many of these mental health issues are mood disorders, which may be temporarily relieved by the substance abuse disorder, but likely get worse over time without appropriate clinical treatment. Fortunately, the link between mental health and addiction is becoming better understood, and more rehabilitation programs are available to help people struggling with these co-occurring disorders get simultaneous treatment.