Facing Addiction: How to Understand Why It’s Considered a Mental Illness

Addiction is one of the most difficult things to deal with, not only for the individuals suffering, but also their families and wider society. It is a form of mental illness, and understanding why is essential if we are to effectively help those affected. Facing addiction is never easy; understanding why it’s considered a mental illness is a crucial part of the process. This article will explore the underlying causes of addiction and the physical, mental, and emotional toll it takes on those affected, in order to provide a deeper insight into why it is classified as a mental illness. We will uncover why addiction cannot be considered a personal failing, and most importantly, how to support those affected by it.

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has become an increasing problem in our society. It is often seen as an attempt to fill some kind of void in a person’s life and while this is true, it is also important to understand why addiction is considered a mental illness. This article will explore the link between addiction and mental illness, how to cope with addiction, the causes of addiction and the impact of addiction on mental health.

Exploring the Link Between Addiction and Mental Illness

When a person is addicted to a substance, their life can become unmanageable. This can lead to feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. In this sense, addiction can be seen as a mental illness because it can affect an individual’s ability to function in daily life. People may find themselves unable to go to work or take care of basic responsibilities due to the overwhelming urge to take whatever substance they are addicted to. This type of addiction can also lead to serious physical health problems and even death.

A Closer Look at the Complexities of Addiction

Not all addictions are the same and addiction can involve more than just drugs and alcohol. People can be addicted to sex, gambling, food, or even spending money. Each type of addiction has its own complexities and needs to be addressed in a unique way. It is important to understand that addiction is a complex issue and is not something that can simply be “cured” or fixed overnight. It is a process that requires patience, understanding, and support.

Coping Strategies for Dealing with Addiction

If you are struggling with addiction, it is important to reach out and get help. There are many support groups, treatment centers, and other resources available to assist you. It is also important to have a strong support system of family and friends who can provide encouragement and understanding. Remember, and there are people who care and want to help.

Examining the Causes of Addiction

Addiction can be caused by a variety of factors, such as , environment, and mental health issues. It is important to understand that addiction is not something that is chosen or deserved. It is a condition that can affect anyone, regardless of their background or circumstances. It is important to understand that addiction is a disease, not a moral failing.

Uncovering the Impact of Addiction on Mental Health

Addiction not only has an impact on physical health, but it can also have a significant effect on mental health. People who are struggling with addiction often experience symptoms of depression, , and other mental health disorders. These can make it difficult for an individual to cope with their addiction, but with the proper support, they can begin to manage their mental health and addiction.

In conclusion, addiction is a serious problem that can have a significant impact on an individual’s mental health. It is important to understand the link between addiction and mental illness, the complexities of addiction, and the various causes of addiction. Learning how to cope with addiction and finding proper support is essential to overcoming this issue. Through understanding the relationship between addiction and mental illness, individuals struggling with addiction can begin to find the help they need and begin the process of recovery.


  • “Addiction Is a Mental Illness,” Mental Health America, available online: https://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/addiction-mental-illness, retrieved February 16, 2021.
  • Kessler, R. C., “The Effects of Comorbid Mental Disorders and Substance Use on Work Performance, Costs, and Use of Services,” Psychiatric Services, 50(9), pp. 1229-1235, Sept. 1999.
  • Stuntzner, J. & Stein, M.D., “The Role of Mental Illness in ,” The American Psychologist, 53(12), pp.1103-1113, Dec. 1998.

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