Co-occurring disorders are also known by the term dual diagnosis. This type of diagnosis is especially serious as it involves both the diagnosis of a mental health disorder and an addiction. While these conditions are inherently separate, they do impact each other to a profound degree. Moreover, one illness may directly lead to the other in time. With simultaneous treatment for concurrent disorders, sufferers can manage these diseases to lead normal, productive, and enriching lives. However, without treatment, these chronic illnesses will not cure themselves; in fact, there is every reason to believe they will progress. Often, substance abuse and mental health disorders occur together. Although either disorder can come first, one will frequently initiate the other, leading to both disorders influencing each other. Both will require treatment upon dual diagnosis — the diagnosis of co-occurring disorders – and will present a challenge for those working to treat the client.
Understanding Dual Diagnosis Disorders
Co-occurring mental disorders can be caused by or even be the cause of drug and alcohol addiction. The signs of co-occurring disorders will vary depending upon which mental health disorder is diagnosed and the drug of choice. For example, if one is struggling with marijuana abuse and schizophrenia, the signs of these issues will be far different from those of a patient who is living with crystal meth addiction and bipolar disorder.
It is necessary to treat both disorders at the same time to help increase the possibility of lasting sober living. We offer a variety of dual diagnosis treatment programs to treat alcohol and drug abuse along with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
Self-medication to deal with the emotional pain of mental illness is often the catalyst to drug and alcohol dependency. These methods are merely a temporary solution that will inevitably cause permanent damage. The best course of action is to treat both diseases concurrently and create a plan of action to promote a lifestyle of sobriety, mental health, and independence.
Why Dual Diagnosis Treatment is Important
Individuals with mental illness have a higher risk for drug/alcohol abuse. There is scientific evidence to suggest that one-third of individuals with mental illness engage in substance abuse. Additionally, more than one-third of individuals who abuse drugs and alcohol also suffer from mental illness. To treat these individuals, these co-occurring disorders must be treated together.