Mood disorders are caused by a deficiency of serotonin in the brain. Common mood disorders include major depressive disorder, bipolar disorders, persistent depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder. Someone struggling with this type of mood disorder have trouble feeling right about themselves, the direction of their life and their ability to handle stressful life situations.
Ironically, Alcohol, opiates, Marijuana and Benzodiazepines all cause the brain to create more serotonin. When someone with a mood disorder uses one of these drugs, they start to feel normal and their brain quickly makes the link that the individual needs this to function and be normal. Again, this behavior, unbeknownst to the individual, encourages self-medicating and later, a destructive addiction that could rob them of their goals and aspirations.
Common anxiety disorders like PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder can be diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder therapist. Anxiety disorders are all caused by a deficiency of dopamine in the brain. Someone with an anxiety disorder feels an impending sense of urgency or fear that something bad is going to happen causing a restless and uneasily feeling through-out their day to day.
Alcohol, Opiates, Marijuana, Benzodiazepines, Cocaine and Methamphetamines all cause the brain to create more dopamine. When someone with an anxiety disorder self-medicates with one of these drugs, they begin to feel a sense of relaxation, relief and contentment with their current direction in life.
Psychotic disorders like schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are less common, but still present in co-occurring disorders and substance abuse disorders. These types of disorders are caused by excessive amounts of dopamine in the brain. Since most drugs produce dopamine, an excessive amount can produce psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions and paranoia.
The more dopamine the drug produces, the more likely it is to produce those symptoms pf psychosis. Flooding the brain with chemicals like dopamine and serotonin can have long lasting negative effects on the way the body functions.