Self-reported impulsivity highest among people with borderline personality disorder, finds study

Impulsivity is a common characteristic in both borderline personality disorder (BPD) and substance use disorder (SUD), and the presence of one condition can have a direct impact on the severity of the other. Abusing substances such as alcohol and drugs can aggravate the symptoms of BPD including suicide ideation and risk of self-harm. Conversely, the symptoms and behaviors associated with addiction to substances can be worsened due to BPD. Read more

Co-occurring substance abuse and depression aggravate symptoms in older adults

The importance of mental health as a key component of one’s overall well-being is amassing global support and awareness. This is primarily because of the fact that more and more people are getting aware of the close relationship between mental health and overall well-being. Slowly but surely the rough tides are turning in favor of those living with a mental disorder due to the above-mentioned reason. Compared to the earlier times, a new consciousness is rising that is tolerant and empathetic toward individuals who suffer from a mental illness. Read more

Effects of street drugs on mental health

Street drugs are the highly addictive and dangerous drugs that can be obtained illegally from the streets and are used for their mood-altering and sedative effects. The streets are in fact, flooded with illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin, meth, MDMA, ecstasy etc. which can be detrimental to an individual’s physical and mental health. As drugs can alter one’s perceptions, it leads to several issues related to the body and the mind, such as hallucinations, delusions, muscle spasms, etc. According to a 2014 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately eight million American adults battled with co-occurring disorders, including both a substance use disorder (SUD) and a mental health disorder at the same time. Read more

Increase in dual diagnosis patients admitted to emergency departments

Hospitals in the United States have increasingly come under the scanner for showing apathy and negligence toward psychiatric patients, including those with dual diagnosis, a condition in which people struggle with alcoholism and/or drug addiction in addition to a serious mental health disorder. For people with dual diagnosis and severe mental illnesses, the emergency department (ED) is not an ideal atmosphere for treatment and recovery. Chances of symptoms getting aggravated and requiring unnecessary hospitalization are heightened in the chaotic and disruptive environment of ED. For instance, people with a mental health condition like anxiety find the settings of an ED highly demotivating, which can result in the worsening of the existing symptoms. Read more

Curious case of sociopathic behavior and addiction

Sociopathic behavior, an antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), is a mental disorder in which individuals exhibit traits such as complete disregard for others, aggression, erratic conduct and frequent violation of the law. Sociopathic behavior is often thought to be the same as psychopathy. Although both are forms of ASPD, sociopathic behavior is considered less severe than psychopathic behavior. According to a school of thought, psychopathy is a result of genetic predispositions whereas sociopathic behavior is the result of environmental factors. Read more

Is antisocial behavior associated with addictive behavior?

A sociopath is a person who has little regard for the feelings of others. Such a person not only disregards the feelings of others, but also tends to take perverse pleasure in causing hurt to others. People with sociopathic tendencies are known to break laws and bend rules in order to get their way. Unfortunately, while the arrogance and cruelty of sociopaths are highlighted, it is generally overlooked that even people with this kind of personality disorder need love and affection. Owing to their repelling nature, most people generally avoid having friendly terms with a sociopath. Thus, lack of nurturing relationships and bonds drive most sociopaths toward depression. They are also most likely to suffer from guilt and often feel they are inferior to others because of their inability to get along. Read more

Comorbidity of depression and substance abuse detrimental to health

“Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect and everything that goes along with your self-esteem.” ― Kurt Cobain

The close relationship between mental disorders and substance abuse is like the proverbial “elephant in the living room” as no one wants to discuss such an uncomfortable issue. However, the co-occurrence of mental disorders and substance abuse heralds a number of challenges in a person’s life. Occasional low periods usually pass away smoothly, but when such emotionally gloomy phases persist for long then one is likely to be suffering from depression of other types of mental disorders. With millions of people grappling the challenges of depression, which keeps them away from living a normal and happy life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 7.6 percent of Americans in the age group 12 and above were suffering from this psychiatric disorder in the period 2009 to 2012. Read more

Alcohol may increase risk of paranoid behavior

Mark (name changed) was diagnosed with delusional disorder. All through his adolescence, he had struggled with severe psychosis, due to which he faced innumerable challenges in sustaining long-term relationships.  He faced similar problems at work and often used to quit the job or was fired because of behavioral issues. When things went horribly wrong, Mark took to drinking to seek solace. At his friend’s insistence, he entered into a rehab offering cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and found a means of dealing with the debilitating psychosis, paranoia and the addiction he developed to alcohol. Read more

Rewards can effectively treat alcohol abuse in those with mental illness, finds study

Alcohol has been labeled as the fourth leading cause of preventable death in the United States according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The worst part is that people fighting alcoholism are prone to develop a range of psychiatric illnesses, also known as dual diagnosis, which can worsen the existing condition. In fact, people who are suffering from mental illnesses also have a chance of developing alcohol addiction as there is always a tendency for such people to self-medicate with substances. Read more

Drug abuse by medical fraternity attributed to mental problems, finds study

Substance abuse can affect anyone at any point of time. In fact, an underlying mental problem can also lead to an inclination toward consuming drugs. Research indicates that health care practitioners (HCPs) like the common man, also become addicted to drugs. There may be a number of reasons for such a behavior such as high levels of stress, prolonged practice hours, and constant contact with sick patients that make the health care professionals grief-stricken. Read more