They don’t get treatment because they don’t want it, and often one reason why they don’t want it is because of the stigma surrounding mental illness. They see the way people with mental illnesses are portrayed on the evening news, they see news anchors warning their viewers that having a mental illness makes a person violent and undesirable. Even though this is not at all the truth about people with mental illnesses, who would want to be linked to such terrible ideas?
People with an anxiety disorder, for example, may turn to alcohol in order to feel better, thus establishing a coping strategy for their mental illness based on avoiding their anxiety disorder (Gorka et al., 2014). Research concerning the internalizing pathway to developing an AUD has been conflicting: some studies have suggested that having an anxiety disorder puts an individual at a higher risk for AUD onset, while others have found that having an anxiety disorder reduces an individual’s risk (Gorka et al., 2014). Because of these disagreeable findings we can conclude that there are other factors at work that have an influence over the relationship between anxiety disorders and the onset of an alcohol use disorder.