Personality Disorders and Drug Addiction

Personality Disorders and Drug Addiction

Personality Disorders and Drug Addiction

Someone who suffers from a personality disorder often suffers from drug addiction as well. People who suffer from personality disorders and drug addiction may also have a harder time with recovery. For some people their drug addiction causes the symptoms of a personality disorder and for others the symptom of the personality disorder prolongs the drug addiction.  Either way when a personality disorder and drug addiction co-exist they tend to aggravate each other. This means that a personality disorder makes the drug addiction worse and the drug addiction makes the personality disorder worse.

What is a personality disorder?

A person’s personality is shown in the way they think, feel, behave and relate to other people. In different ways our personality helps define who we are. A personality disorder is when a person’s thinking, feelings, behavior or relation to other people create significant problems for them or for others. Some examples of personality disorders include: borderline personality, schizotypal personality, paranoid personality, schizoid personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, obsessive compulsive and narcissistic personality disorder. All of these personality disorders can range from mild to severe depending on how much they interfere with someone’s day to day life.

Many of the symptoms of a personality disorder also could be symptoms of a drug addiction. For instance some symptoms of both are:

  • Poor impulse control
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Social isolation and/or difficulty making friends
  • Angry outbursts
  • Constantly suspicious of others
  • A need for instant gratification
  • Making up lies
  • Mood swings that occur fairly often
  • Perfectionism and inflexibility
  • Limited ability to express or feel emotions
  • A lack of concern for others with the need to be admired

The list of symptoms for both personality disorders and drug addiction could go on and on. So if someone has a personality disorder and drug addiction what should they do?

Diagnosing a personality disorder when someone also has a drug addiction can be difficult. This is because some of the symptoms of the drug addiction may seem like symptoms of a personality disorder but they really aren’t and vice versa. Talking to someone who is a substance abuse or drug addiction therapists will ensure that each individual gets a more accurate diagnosis.

There is treatment available for both personality disorders and drug addiction. They usually should be treated together but can be treated separately. Treatment for personality disorders and drug addiction usually involves therapy and medications. Some medications for personality disorders can be addictive though so it is best that all medications are discussed with a health professional who also knows about drug addiction and alcohol dependency. Therapy for personality disorders and drug addiction is usually done in a one on one setting where the therapist can really take a look at the more deep rooted issues that could be going on. When it comes to personality disorders they become a different kind of mental health problem when drug addiction is involved. This is the case with most things mental health issues when it comes to drug addiction. Either way there is always help available for those with personality disorders and drug addiction.

Substance Induced Psychotic Disorder

Substance Induced Psychotic Disorder

Substance-induced psychotic disorder

Substance-induced psychotic disorder is basically psychosis brought on by the abuse of drugs and alcohol. It usually features hallucinations or delusions that are judged to be due to the direct effects of a substance.

Substance-induced psychotic disorder: Causes

Many drugs of abuse can cause substance-induced psychotic disorder. These include alcohol, amphetamines, marijuana, cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants, opioids and sedative hypnotics like benzodiazepines and barbiturates. Many prescription medications and over the counter medications can cause it too. These include anesthetics, analgesics, anticholinergic agents, anticonvulsants, antihistamines, cardiovascular medications, antimicrobial medications, antiparkinsonian medications, chemotherapeutic agents, corticosteroids, gastrointestinal medications, muscle relaxants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and anti-depressants.

Not all cases of substance-induced psychotic disorder occur as a result of substance abuse. Sometimes people (especially small children) ingest toxic substances by accident. Other times, people are exposed to toxins and don’t even know it (such as when someone gets food poisoning at a restaurant). Alternatively, people may take too much of a legitimately prescribed medication, medicines may interact in unforeseen ways, or doctors may miscalculate the effects of medicines they prescribed.

Substance-induced psychotic disorder: Criteria

For a person to be diagnosed with substance-induced psychotic disorder, they have to exhibit certain criteria. The first criterion is that the psychotic disorder features prominent hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech or behavior, or catatonia. Secondly, the psychotic symptoms must be due to the direct effect of a substance. This can be a drug of abuse or a toxin. Hallucinations that the person realizes are brought on by the substance are not included, because these are diagnosed as substance intoxication or withdrawal. The third criterion is that the disturbance is not better accounted for by a different psychotic disorder. The fourth criterion is that the symptoms do not only occur during the course of a delirium. Only when the symptoms exceed normal intoxication or withdrawal is the individual deemed to have substance-abuse psychotic disorder.

Substance-induced psychotic disorder: Difficulty

Sometimes it is very difficult to diagnose substance-induced psychotic disorder. If a person has a psychotic episode while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it can be difficult to determine if the symptoms go above and beyond the normal signs of intoxication. Similarly, when a person is withdrawal, they may suffer psychotic symptoms that are due to the withdrawal process and aren’t substance-induced psychotic disorder.

Further complicating the matter is that many drugs exacerbate or trigger an underlying mental condition. It can be difficult to determine whether the symptoms of psychosis are due to substance-induced psychotic disorder or whether the drugs and alcohol just set off a mental disorder that was already present.

The strongest predictors of substance-induced psychotic disorder are a family history of psychosis, trauma history and current cannabis dependence. These traits can sometimes help doctors differentiate between primary psychosis and substance-induced psychotic disorder.

Substance-induced psychotic disorder: Treatment

Treatment involves relieving the intoxicated condition under medical observation to control withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes treatment means medical management of a continuing withdrawal process. If these treatments are not successful, then usually the diagnoses changes to primary psychosis.



Tips for Finding a Therapist

Tips for Finding a Therapist

By Jenny Hunt

Finding a therapist can be a daunting task. There are so many different areas of specialty, methodologies, and accreditations to consider when finding a therapist, it can be overwhelming. Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Marriage & Family therapist, Family Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor, Social Worker, the list just goes on and on and we haven’t even considered all the PHD’s and MD’s at all. Therapists of any kind provide help for those seeking mental health counseling and each brings experience, insights, and individual character to the table. How can you go about finding a therapist who is right for your needs?  These tips for finding a therapist will be helpful in your search.

1.) What type of therapy do you need? The first step in finding a therapist is asking yourself, ” What kind of therapy do I need?”.  What is the main issue you are dealing with? Are you having relationship problems? Dealing with past trauma? Suffering from depression or anxiety? Isolating the main area of concern is helpful when finding a therapist. Therapists usually specialize in different areas, so it is important to find one with experience in the area that you need. Keep in mind that if you are suffering from a problem that may require medication, you should probably look for an MD. Only therapists with a medical degree can prescribe medication. If you’re not sure what kind of therapist you need to see then consult with your normal doctor to receive a referral.

2.) Can I afford it? Therapy can be very expensive, so cost is important to consider when finding a therapist. Most insurance plans cover mental health therapy. Make sure you check with your insurance company before you book an appointment with a therapist. Find out about any co-pays or deductibles you may have for this type of treatment. Make sure that you can afford to cover your portion of the costs of therapy.

3.) Can I respect and trust my therapist? Whenever possible, try to meet potential therapists before the first session. Trust is the most important consideration when finding a therapist. Without trust in your therapist, you aren’t likely to make much progress in therapy. For some people, sex of the therapist is an important consideration. Some may be more comfortable with a male therapist, while others feel better in the presence of a female. For other people, the therapist’s life experience may be the deciding factor. Often, people struggling with an addiction will be able to relate to a therapist who has been through the same battle. It is important to consider your comfort level when finding a therapist.

4.) What do his other patients think? Sometimes the easiest way to finding a therapist is asking around. If people you know respect the therapist, he or she may be worth checking out. If no one you know has been treated by the therapist you are considering, Google the therapist’s name. Often you will find reviews and ratings posted by the therapist’s past or current patients. You may not want to put too much stock in any single review. However, if many of the therapist’s patients say the same things about him or her, it may be something to consider when you make your decision. A better source of information is your primary care doctor. Call the office for a referral or ask for one at your next appointment.