Many people with mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder also have substance abuse issues. They “self-medicate” with alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs. This may make them feel better temporarily, but it compounds their problems in the long run by ruining their relationships, causing lost jobs and legal problems, and damaging their physical health.
When a person has both mental health issues and drug abuse problems, he or she is said to have a “dual diagnosis” or a “comorbidity.” It’s very common and it complicates the treatment of both conditions. To learn more, check out this information from The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).