Trained therapists most frequently see evidence of anxiety and depression. As I assess individuals with substance addictions, I try to understand if there are other conditions that underlie their drinking or drug use. Most commonly, there are unresolved experiences that are a result of trauma or chronic distress and anxiety. This often leads to a dual diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety, PTSD, and depression. Other disorders may also be diagnosed.
We do not know all of the root causes of addictions but in virtually every case, the individual’s experiences have created what we call ‘negative self-beliefs.’ These negative beliefs color all of the person’s experiences and may create a downward spiral of pessimism, helplessness, and hopelessness.