Is Alcoholism a Mental Illness? Conditions Linked to Drinking

Yet a family history of alcohol problems doesn’t mean that children will automatically grow up to have the same problems. Nor does the absence of family drinking problems necessarily protect children from developing these problems. It has been said that if an individual stays sober for 15 years and relapses, it will quickly become as bad as it would’ve been if he had never stoped drinking. While is alcoholism a mental illness there is no scientific data to support this contention, it is a typical experience that many of us have seen. Just because a person quit, drinking doesn’t mean he stopped thinking. If we are not actively getting better, we are passively getting worse. Alcoholism can be categorized as a type of mental health condition, but there is also a strong physical component to the condition as well.

  • Our dedicated team of licensed recovery specialists will be there for you every step of the way.
  • During this stage, either the drinker, those around the drinker, or both may begin to notice a change in their drinking habits.
  • As more and more time and attention is being given to both mental health and the way substance abuse affects mental health, we have gotten more and more studies on the way that alcohol affects the brain.
  • People with generalized anxiety disorders or panic disorder oftenself-medicate with alcoholto suppress symptoms and temporarily feel like they are in control of their anxiety.
  • Having repeated problems with work, school, relationships or the law because of drinking.

The following sections discuss one approach to diagnosing these challenging patients . Harnessing science, love and the wisdom of lived experience, we are a force of healing and hope ​​​​​​​for individuals, families and communities affected by substance use and mental health conditions.

When was alcoholism recognized as a mental disease and not just “drunkenness”?

Results of the 2018 National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health found 9.2 million adults aged 18 and older had a co-occurring mental health disorder and alcohol or drug addiction. This is a significant increase from the 2015 survey, which reported co-occurring disorders in about 7.9 million adults. Much of our current knowledge of homeless adults with dual disorders comes from National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism initiatives funded by the Stewart B. McKinney Act (Huebner et al. 1993).

is alcoholism a mental illness

As more and more time and attention is being given to both mental health and the way substance abuse affects mental health, we have gotten more and more studies on the way that alcohol affects the brain. Those studies have shown that over time, alcohol can lead to significant changes in the overall makeup of the brain as well as brain functionality. The diagnosis is made when drinking interferes with your life or affects your health.

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At the center of the “Asana Way” are our core values of gratitude, mindfulness, teamwork, stewardship and creativity. We ensure every client has a long-term plan for ongoing recovery and a sober network in place before they discharge. Our staff is carefully selected not only for their skills and experience but for their passion in helping others, as well. Contact BlueCrest Recovery Center today to learn more and to see how we can help you or a loved one succeed in recovery.

What is the true definition of an alcoholic?

Alcoholism is a term used to describe the most serious form of problem drinking at a level that causes harm to your health. It describes a strong, often uncontrollable, desire to drink.

In fact, many people might not even truly realize that they have a problem until it is too late. It’s for this reason alone that it is important to understand the different stages of alcoholism as well as what to look for. Under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, health insurance companies are legally required to cover treatment for substance abuse and mental health disorders, including alcoholism.