Many people feel that when they or a loved one has an addiction there is a need to see a Psychiatrist and undergo a mental health assessment. Indeed many addicts are referred to a mental health team and are often diagnosed with Bi-Polar or Schizophrenia. Often it later becomes clear that this is not an accurate diagnosis and once the addiction and associated behaviours has been addressed any mental health symptoms and behaviours disappear. Sadly for the addict this can have a lasting negative effect on their future opportunities as they have now been labelled with a mental health problem.

Psychiatric Symptoms

Alcohol and drug addiction can lead to development of psychiatric symptoms such as depression, anxiety, confusion, short term memory loss, hallucinations, insomnia, mood swings and other similar problems. These can be extremely difficult to manage and cope with until treatment for the addiction has been undertaken. There is suggestion that alcoholism and drug addiction are the triggers for a quarter of suicides.

It is recognised that addiction must be seen as the primary problem and once the person with the addiction has undergone appropriate treatment, ideally in a residential treatment programme, a rehab centre, then it is highly likely the psychiatric symptoms will be significantly reduced or indeed completely removed. If not then this is the time for psychiatric intervention and a mental health review.

Addiction advice is available from many sources, but do not be afraid to call organisations like Addiction Helper to seek help and support.

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