Each day seems to present new levels of fear and paranoia. When you’re living with schizophrenia, the feeling of dread and fear is difficult to manage. It also has a knack for causing social isolation that just adds legitimacy to your delusions. So, you overindulge in alcohol to try to feel better – even if it’s only for a short while.
It’s common for people who are struggling with schizophrenia to abuse alcohol. But is schizophrenia triggered by alcohol abuse or is the mental illness fueling a dependence on the substance?
How Common is it for People with Schizophrenia to Abuse Alcohol?
Alcohol abuse is a real problem for people who have schizophrenia. In fact, the Mental Health Institute estimates that over half of people with schizophrenia struggle with drug or alcohol addiction.
Why is this the case? Part of the answer has to do with how alcohol interacts with the symptoms of schizophrenia. Drinking alcohol has a depressive effect on your central nervous system. This effect dulls your senses, dampening some of the more intense symptoms, like hearing voices and paranoia.
How Does Alcohol Affect People with Schizophrenia?
Beyond dulling symptoms of schizophrenia, drinking can also have a more euphoric effect on the mind that helps you feel good. A recent study showed that those with schizophrenia are more sensitive to the alcohol’s blissful effects. Unfortunately, this can encourage increased drinking and lead to an alcohol use disorder.
The potential complications between these two conditions doesn’t stop there, though. If you have schizophrenia and abuse alcohol, it’s common to experience harsh symptom relapses such as more severe delusions.
The Risk of Alcohol Abuse Triggering Violence
It’s common for people with schizophrenia to exhibit violent tendencies. Some of your own symptoms may include you believing that certain people are “out to get you.” These symptoms are difficult to manage on their own, but are even more challenging if you’re abusing alcohol.
While alcohol may dull your symptoms and help you feel good, it lowers your ability to regulate your mood and control your emotions. Drinking and going through alcohol withdrawal if you’re addicted can put you at greater risk of exhibiting violent behaviors.
What Can Be Done about Alcohol Abuse and Schizophrenia?
If you’re suffering from schizophrenia, you need to avoid alcohol altogether. If you already abuse alcohol, though, all is not lost. As complex as schizophrenia and alcohol addiction are together, dual diagnosis treatment can help. You’ll work alongside mental health and addiction experts to get to the bottom of your unique challenges and identify the most effective course of treatment for you.
At Fountain Hills Recovery, for example, we focus on providing you with the personalized care you need and deserve in order to recover. It is possible to break free from addiction and find healthy ways to manage your schizophrenia, and we can get you there.
Find Hope for Lasting Change at Fountain Hills Recovery
As Arizona’s top private luxury rehab center, we’re known for our expertise in dual diagnosis treatment. Schizophrenia tries to convince you that you’re alone and lost in a sea of fear. At Fountain Hills Recovery, we can help guide you to a healthier way to cope with your disorder that doesn’t involve alcohol.
If you’re ready to put an end to your alcohol abuse once and for all and learn how to manage your schizophrenia, we’re here for you. To get started on your journey to lasting recovery, contact our admissions team today.