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Danger Signs of Mental Health Disorders that Can Lead to Addiction



If you’re reading this, the chances are good that you’re concerned about your mental health. 

You may be worried about a friend or relative who is showing signs of mental illness, or perhaps you’ve been diagnosed with a condition yourself. 

Whatever the case, it’s essential to know the signs of mental health disorders that can lead to addiction before things get worse. 

We’ve outlined some red flags here so that if they pop up in your life or someone else’s, you can seek treatment right away:


Table of Contents

You’re experiencing delusions, hallucinations, or paranoia

  • Delusions are false beliefs that are not based on reality. For example, you might think someone is out to get you when they aren’t.
  • Hallucinations are sensory experiences that are not based on reality. You may hear voices or see things other people don’t see.
  • Paranoia is when you think people are out to get you, but they aren’t; this can be dangerous because it makes people act impulsively and aggressively toward others without considering how their actions might affect themselves or others around them.


You’re unable to manage your emotions

Emotions are a normal part of human life. They can be positive or negative, and they can also be intense. 

For example, you may feel excited when you get an award at work or sad when you miss your kids on the weekend. 

When emotions are intense or don’t match the situation, it can indicate something wrong with your mental health and lead to addiction.

To manage your emotions:

  • First, try to identify the emotion by asking yourself questions like “What am I feeling?” “What is making me feel this way?” Identifying these triggers and reasons for certain feelings will help give insight into what is causing them for someone who suffers from mental illness such as depression or bipolar disorder where mood swings are common symptoms experienced during episodes of mania vs depression (anxiety).
  • Second, mindfully acknowledge what emotions are being triggered before acting upon them impulsively which could lead one down a path of self-harm like cutting yourself off from others due to fear, etc. This may cause low self-esteem issues later down the road if not treated properly, especially if ignored altogether, which leads us back to our next point…


You’re losing interest in activities you used to enjoy

A sudden loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy is a red flag. If you’re losing interest in hobbies, sports, and socializing, that’s a sign that you’re experiencing some symptoms of depression.

Some people may also lose interest in spending time with family members or friends as they struggle with their mental health issues. 

As this happens more frequently over time, it can be an indicator that your mental health condition is worsening and affecting other areas of your life.


You’re isolating yourself from friends and family

If you’re isolating yourself from friends and family, it could signify that addiction is on its way.

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in America today

—and if not appropriately treated with medication or therapy, it can lead to addiction in many cases. 

So, when people stop going out with their friends because they feel ashamed about how much time they spend alone at home watching Netflix (or watching porn), or if they feel like their life sucks but don’t know what to do about it other than drink more wine than usual so you don’t think about how sad your life is… 

It might be time for professional help!


You’re lacking energy and feeling exhausted more often

Your energy levels are likely low if you’re suffering from any mental health disorder. 

You may even find that you’re exhausted more often than not and feel like you can’t keep up with life. 

This is especially true of people who suffer from depression or anxiety disorders. 

The lack of energy can be so overwhelming that they cannot function normally and have to go on medical leave from work or school.

The reason for this exhaustion is quite simple: your brain doesn’t have enough dopamine receptors in it to allow for adequate communication between neurons (nerve cells). 

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter

—a chemical messenger between nerves that helps regulate mood, aggression, and sex drive. 

When there aren’t enough receptors available for the chemical messages to pass through smoothly, it causes symptoms such as a lack of motivation and concentration, ultimately leading to fatigue!


Your sleep schedule is irregular

If you wake up tired and feel like you’ve been hit by a truck, this is an indication that you need to get more sleep. 

Sleep deprivation has been linked to depression, anxiety, and memory loss. 

It can also lead to weight gain, increasing stroke risk, and heart disease. Sleep deprivation has also been linked to an increased risk of diabetes and cancer.


You’re eating habits have changed for the worse

It’s not uncommon for people with mental health disorders to have problems with food, but it can also be a sign that you’re dealing with an addiction. 

Some common signs that you may have a problem include eating too much or too little, eating when you’re not hungry, eating to cope with stress and anxiety, drinking alcohol with meals (or skipping meals altogether), overeating when you are sad or anxious and so on.


Your appetite has disappeared or you’ve begun bingeing on food

Eating disorders are serious mental health issues. They’re the third most common chronic illness among young people, after asthma and diabetes.

  • Have you lost your appetite? This is a red flag for both eating disorders and addiction. When you don’t eat enough or binge on food, it can be a sign that something is wrong with your body image or your relationship with food.
  • Are you forcing yourself to vomit after meals? If you’ve been vomiting more than twice per week for three months or longer, this could indicate an eating disorder called bulimia nervosa (BN). BN is characterized by repeated episodes of binge eating followed by purging behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise, or fasting after binging.

Bulimia is not only dangerous to one’s physical health; it also has been linked to substance use disorders (SUDs), including alcohol use disorder (AUD). 

A study published in Addiction Biology found that approximately 30 percent of individuals with bulimia were addicted to drugs compared with 14 percent who didn’t have a SUD; 

furthermore, those who abused drugs were more likely than nonusers to have used at least five different types of substances over their lifetimes.


If you notice any of these danger signs in yourself, it's important to seek help before your mental illness intensifies and spirals out of control

You can start by talking to a friend or family member about your feelings and thoughts. 

If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone directly, call a hotline or professional like a therapist or doctor who specializes in addiction treatment. 

If you need more specialized help, there are support groups for people with mental health disorders that can lead to addiction.

Finally, if nothing else works for you and your symptoms get worse over time (such as severe depression), go visit the hospital emergency room so they can provide immediate treatment for your symptoms until long-term treatment plans can be made.

If you identify with any of the above warning signs, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. 

The most effective treatment options for your condition can be found by speaking with a mental health professional. 

They’ll be able to provide you with a diagnosis and treatment plan based on their expertise in treating people who have similar symptoms. 

In many instances, they’ll also recommend medications or therapy sessions that will help manage these dangerous symptoms so they don’t worsen into something more serious like addiction or psychosis

—which could result in hospitalization if left untreated!


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