3 Psychological Issues That Arise From Addiction 

by | Feb 28, 2018 | Addiction Treatment | 0 comments

If you have a substance use disorder, you may not understand it’s repercussions it could have on your brain. More than a temporary ‘high’, substance use can completely change your idea of who you think you are and who you want to be.

Along with negative consequences to your physical health, your relationships, and your career, addiction can affect your psychological well-being, too. Find out how and seek help for addiction today.

Compulsive Behavior

Long-term substance use, alcoholism, or other addictive behaviors can take control of your life. How? You start to behave compulsively. Even if you are aware that your addiction is damaging to your life or the lives of others, you feel unable to stop.

Perhaps, you take money from a relative to buy drugs. Or, maybe you go out and plan to gamble with $50 but end up $500 in the hole.

Or, you restrict yourself to just one cookie but end up eating the whole box. Similar to a robot, the substance or activity seems to render you powerless and you act as though on autopilot with the addiction in the driver’s seat.

Learn how professional treatment can help you overcome the compulsive behaviors associated with addiction.

Impaired Cognition

Engaging in the addictive activity or using the addictive substance presents you with feelings of relaxation and even euphoria. On the other hand, continuing to engage in these behaviors is detrimental to your cognitive abilities.

For example, the more you use drugs, your psychological resistance to abstaining from them lessens. Cognitive deficits occur after both acute and chronic addictive behaviors. These include problems with:

  • impulse control
  • impaired judgment
  • decline in working memory abilities
  • limited attention
  • deficits in learning skills

Although some drugs can create permanent changes to neural pathways in the brain, in most cases, your cognition improves as you progress through recovery.

Mental Illness

Another by-product of addiction is mental illness. This one is a cyclical problem in which many researchers find it difficult to answer which comes first. Does the addiction cause a mental illness? Or, is the mental illness exacerbated by addiction? The answer can actually be both.

Chronic substance abuse can cause some individuals who were previously susceptible to mental illness to experience symptoms. On the contrary, people with undiagnosed mental disorders may self-medicate and use drugs to treat their problems, which ends up only making their conditions worsen.

For instance, many schizophrenics use marijuana to treat the negative symptoms of the disorder. If you have a co-occurring issue with addiction and a mental illness, you can be effectively treated for both.

Are you in denial about your problems with drugs, alcohol, excessive gambling, or impulse shopping sprees? Know that continuing to participate in these addictive behaviors can have negative impacts on your psychological health and well-being.

It’s time for you to own up to your condition so that you can get the help you need today.


  1. http://www.csun.edu/~hcpsy002/0135128978_ch9.pdf
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3120118/
  3. https://www.minotstateu.edu/rcjc/pdf/NDICdrugabuseandmentalillness.pdf