Each Problem Exacerbates the Other
Dual diagnosis is a term for when someone experiences a mental illness and a substance abuse problem simultaneously.
Either one can develop first. A person experiencing a mental health condition may turn to drugs and alcohol as a form of self-medication to improve the troubling mental health symptoms they experience.
Abusing substances can also lead to mental health problems because of the effects drugs have on a person’s moods, thoughts, brain chemistry and behavior.