Mental disorders are very serious conditions and have been increasing day by day unfortunately. As these are very difficult to treat, the best solution lies in their prevention and the key to prevent mental disorders is to know their cause. Several studies are being conducted to understand the different aspects that can predispose a person to a mental disorder. Recent studies have suggested one of the different aspects of mental disorders that are related to the excessive use of certain substances such as tobacco, alcohol and many other drugs.
Recent studies held by the national institute of health (NIH) have shown that the probability of getting severe disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other psychotic disorders are linked with abuse of certain substances rather than low levels of protective substances. The people who become addicted to a substance usually die young owing to a neuronal disorder. Using past data, it has been demonstrated that the people who have a mood swing problem or depression disorder are twice as likely to get a nervous problem as compared to the general population.
Smoking and stress
Cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption are among the most commonly abused substances and these have been found in the body of mentally diseased people in higher levels. The disorders associated with excessive use of some substances are known as substance use disorders. According to clinical researchers, it is a well established fact that the mental disorders increase the perplexity to abuse a substance. On the other hand, the higher rates of using some substances increase risk for mental disorders, hence both of these are fastened in an essential manner.
How substance abuse and mental disorders are linked
It was shown in the studies of people with mental disorders that these mentally ill were four times likely to be heavy alcoholics, 3 and a half times more likely to abuse the marijuana on daily basis and 4.6 times more likely to use other drugs during the life. The greatest percentage was found to be tobacco abusers as the psychotic patients were five times more likely to be heavy smokers. However, in the past few years the smoking trend has been reduced a bit due to efforts of health organizations but the number of smokers and cigarette linked death is very high still at the present time.
It was also revealed in study report that the protective substances that tend to maintain the mental status were also low among these psychotic people. The normal difference of certain protective substances between different ethnic groups that is seen normally was also absent in the patients who had been using a specific substance excessively.
The mental disorders such as schizophrenia shorten the life expectancy of the affected patients and young people make a very high percentage among the deceased ones. Among the substances that are most commonly abused, cigarette smoking remains on the top and is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity resulting from respiratory cancers, cardiovascular disorders and the mental disorders.
How to cope with addiction
Understand that addiction is a disease. Have you noticed that addiction or drug and alcohol deficiency have one thing in common with heart disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes? All of them are chronic illnesses rooted from environmental and/or genetic causes. Substance abuse or dependency does not have anything to do with willpower. Remember that just like a person would dread to be a cancer patient, he or she would also not choose to become an addict.
A person who is substance dependent will continue taking drugs, despite all consequences because it alters the brain's pleasure system or the mesolimbic dopamine system. This system deals with substances that give us pleasure such as food and sex.
When an addict constantly overuse drugs, he or she over-stimulates this pleasure system, thereby inhibiting the ability to control or satiate urges and cravings.
Family and friends may blame the addict saying it is his or her fault, thus causing more anger, confusion, frustration and helplessness. If your loved one is an addict, educate yourself and learn about this disease to de-stress the person and make him/her feel better.