How are Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Related?

How are Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Related?

What is Behavioral Health?

People misuse behavioral health as mental health, but these terms are different.

Behavioral health is the scientific study of emotions, behaviors, and biology relating to an individual’s mental well-being.

In short, behavioral health is a blanket term that includes mental health.

Behavioral health is the relationship between behaviors and physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. It includes the effects of actions like eating, drinking, or physical activity on an individual’s physical or mental health.

Poor behavioral health is behaviors that can adversely impact an individual’s well-being like overeating, alcohol or substance misuse, social isolation, poor sleeping habits, and poor hygiene. These habits can lead to substance abuse.

The Connection Between Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health

In mental health disorders, psychological and physiological are the driving force. But in behavioral health disorders, sociological and external factors are the primary causes of disorders.

Also, not all behavioral problems are mental illnesses, even though mental health disorders are behavioral disorders.

Mental health disorders can cause addiction to alcohol or substances, and these include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Phobias
  • Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Eating Disorders
  • Personality Disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Schizophrenia

These mental health disorders are diagnosed by a psychiatrist based on tests and assessments. Only licensed professionals can diagnose if an individual suffers from these disorders, and a psychiatrist is also the only person who can prescribe medications for these illnesses.

While it is recommended to get a psychiatric evaluation, people with no means will settle for self-medicating or getting advice from friends. Diagnosing yourself often leads to addiction because your need to ease your mental health symptoms can cause you to misuse alcohol or acquire drugs illegally.

Understandably, living with mental health disorders is difficult. Functioning from day-to-day activities is challenging. And people depend on alcohol or substances to calm their symptoms and live a “normal” life. But by doing so, they are putting themselves in the claws of addiction.

Co-Occurring Disorder

Co-occurring disorder or dual disorder is the coexistence of substance abuse disorder and mental health disorders. People suffering from mental health disorders are likely to develop a substance abuse disorder.

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