The charity Turning Point have released a report suggesting that 50% of all alcoholics and drug addicts suffer from mental illness, in the UK at least.
Unfortunately many people still associate the term ‘mental illness’ with considerable stigma – as it may conjure up images of psychosis. However the illnesses referred to here are primarily depression and anxiety.
The main point to consider from this is that alcoholics or drug addicts are struggling with addiction as a way to deal with their mental health. Alcohol or drug use often arises as a means of dealing with emotional problems, then from there they develop into additional problems in their own right.
Many alcoholics wonder why they have such a difficult time with alcohol, when others around them seem to cope with it more easily. The answer is often that they have other mental health problems which are not being dealt with.
The only way to beat alcoholism or addiction then is usually to find other ways to deal with depression or anxiety. Once those are having less of an impact on your emotional life, then the purely ‘habit’ element can be addressed.