What are Co-Occurring Disorders?

When it comes to substance abuse treatment, many people have preconceived notions. One commonly held belief is that addiction is just a problem of mind over matter. They believe that if the person simply tries hard enough, they can overcome addiction. Unfortunately, most medical experts agree that addiction is truly a mental health condition that requires treatment from an expert for the person to get better.

Furthermore, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. In addition, many people struggle with both addiction and other mental health problems, also known as co-occurring disorders. However, you may wonder, “What are co-occurring disorders?” Let’s take a closer look at what you should know about co-occurring disorders, including signs and symptoms. 

What are Co-Occurring Disorders? 

When a person struggles with an undiagnosed mental health condition, they may choose to self-medicate using drugs and alcohol to cope. Once the person attends treatment, their program can diagnose a co-occurring disorder. Once they receive the diagnosis, they will need dual diagnosis treatment. Dual diagnosis treatment is a treatment that addresses both the addiction and mental health condition. Because your mental health significantly impacts and triggers addiction, and vice versa, dual diagnosis treatment is essential. 

Co-occurring disorders can include a wide variety of mental health conditions, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), if you suffer from a co-occurring disorder, you’re not alone. In fact, nearly 9.2 million Americans suffered from both an addiction and mental health condition. 

Signs and Symptoms of Co-Occurring Disorders

There is not just one sign that you or a loved one is suffering from a co-occurring disorder. However, there are a range of questions that you can ask yourself to determine if seeking dual diagnosis treatment is worthwhile. For instance, do you or your loved one experience sudden, extreme mood changes if they try to reduce their drinking and drug use? If a person suffers from both mental health conditions and addiction, trying to stop using substances causes their mental health issues to get worse. 

Another essential question to ask is whether your family has a history of mental illness. While genetics and mental illness are not necessarily linked, many mental health and addiction treatment professionals agree that mentally ill parents often cause their children to be more susceptible to co-occurring disorders. 

Another question to ask yourself is whether you need alcohol or drugs to feel normal. People who are only battling an addiction to drugs or alcohol usually use them as a means of escape. If you are using drugs or alcohol to make yourself feel balanced, there’s a good chance that you’re battling a mental health condition as well as addiction.

The best way to determine whether or not you have a co-occurring disorder is to talk to a doctor or mental health treatment expert. 

Get Treatment Today

If you believe you’re battling a co-occurring disorder, visit Treatment Connection today to learn about treatment options.

With professional treatment for co-occurring disorders, you can learn to manage both your substance abuse and mental health condition. Many treatment facilities use a range of therapeutic options to give you the tools to attain this goal. A few treatment options include:

At Treatment Connection, you can search for treatment providers near you anonymously. Our website assists you in determining what type of treatment you need. You can also submit confidential referral inquiries to treatment providers in your area. To learn more about co-occurring disorders, visit Treatment Connection

treatment connection logoTreatment Connection seeks to connect individuals and families with substance abuse and mental health treatment centers that can help them begin to heal. Learn more about our addiction treatment and mental health treatment resources by visiting us at https://www.treatmentconnection.com/

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