July 8

Substance-Induced Mental Disorders

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While some people use substances to cope with mental illnesses, substances can cause mental disorder symptoms independently. In case you’ve observed a colleague or any other close person using substances like stimulants, they may show different signs depending on their intoxication level.

Some of the disorders caused by substance use include anxiety, psychotic symptoms, and depression. It is vital to get help if one is experiencing symptoms associated with these disorders. You can also help a loved one to get treatment. Read on to get a deeper understanding of the substances and the mental disorders associated with them.

Alcohol

Moderate to excessive alcohol intake often leads to euphoria, decreased impulse control, mood liability, and high social confidence. These symptoms are then followed by next day dysphoria (hangover), nausea, and mild fatigue. For people who have numerous life stresses, struggles, and losses, their alcohol addiction can progress to increased violence toward themselves and others.

Prolonged alcohol intake can cause withdrawal. Its symptoms include tremor, anxiety, agitation, hyperreflexia, malaise, nausea, insomnia, increasing blood pressure, sweating, and perceptual distortion. After a few days of withdrawal (acute withdrawal), some people will have continued protracted withdrawal.

Differentiating major depression or anxiety disorder from protracted withdrawal is problematic. However, severe withdrawal comes with hallucinations, agitation, severe instability of vital signs, frequent seizures, and delusions.

Cocaine and Amphetamine

Slight to temperate cocaine, amphetamine, or other stimulant intoxication is associated with a sense of well-being, euphoria, and perceived thought power surge. But, when someone takes high amounts of these substances, they experience decreased concentration, functioning, and attention. For street methamphetamines and cocaine, dosing is above the functional quantity nearly always.

When dosage increases, the person starts having dangerous impulsive behaviors such as violence. Most of those who become chronic users of these stimulants get momentary paranoid delusional states.

With methamphetamines, a person can experience these psychotic states for weeks, months, or even years. The person also feels depressed, very tired, and craving to consume more of the substance to get rid of these withdrawal symptoms.

Hallucinogens

An individual using hallucinogens will often experience frank hallucination and visual distortions. It also distorts the sense of time and depersonalization feelings in some users. It goes to the point of causing paranoia, drug-induced panic, and delusion states on top of hallucinations.

The hallucination is more visual compared to schizophrenic hallucination (more of auditory); for instance, the patient perceives enhanced shapes and colors. A small percentage of people who use hallucinogens get chronic reactions that involve depression, prolonged psychotic responses, flashbacks, and worsening of preexisting mental issues.

Opioids

Opioid intoxication causes intense well-being and euphoria. Withdrawal symptoms include severe body aches, agitation, gastrointestinal symptoms, craving to take more, and dysphoria. Some people may also have acute anxiety, depression, or anhedonia. Again distinguishing these withdrawal symptoms from major depression or anxiety is challenging.

These withdrawal symptoms are so intense even when the person tries abstinence leading to relapse. However, if you have a loved one going through this, you can get help at https://enterhealth.com/. Treatment for such individuals may entail opioid replacement therapy, such as suboxone or methadone, if necessary to save their lives. Prolonged use of an opioid is also associated with moderate and severe depression.

Sedatives

Acute sedative intoxication has withdrawal symptoms that are more similar to those of alcohol. They include anxiety and mood instability or/and autonomic hyperactivity, depression, nausea, tremor, and sleep disturbance. In severe cases, the person may experience short-lived hallucinations and grand mal seizures.

Someone may also have protracted withdrawal symptoms, which include anxiety, depression, muscle pain, perceptual distortions, paresthesia, tinnitus, headache, dizziness, derealization, and depersonalization. Most of these symptoms disappear within weeks. However, in a few cases, symptoms like anxiety, depression, paresthesia, and tinnitus can take one year or more.

Caffeine

When a person takes caffeine in large quantities, it can lead to mild or moderate anxiety. Even so, the amount that causes anxiety varies with individuals. It also increases the panic attacks episodes in people who suffer from them.

Persons having SIDs cannot heal by themselves. They need help from experts and support from friends or family. You can learn a few ways you can be of service to someone suffering from a substance-induced disorder.

Conclusion

People with substance-induced disorders can recover and live healthy and productive lives. Some of the common substances that can cause mental issues include alcohol, cocaine, opioid, nicotine caffeine, sedatives, and hallucinogens. The disorders associated with them are anxiety, psychotic symptoms, and depression.

However, they require professionals who will make the right diagnosis and provide effective treatment. They also need support and encouragement to continue living substance-free. You can help a friend or a loved one live a happy life again!


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