Co-occurring disorders are 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.
In the case of co-occurring disorders, one illness typically impacts the onset of the other, and either one may actually occur first. In the case of a mental illness, a sufferer may turn to drugs or alcohol to alleviate the anxiety, depression, or mania they feel due to their mental condition. When this use turns to abuse, as it often does, the sufferer is then at risk of developing an addiction. If an addiction occurs, the sufferer now has two separate co-existing disorders to combat.
Rehab treatment is designed to treat the drug and alcohol abuse problem at the same time that a person receives help for the mental issues of which they are the victims. Treatment is based on a complete background and an understanding of the disease that a person suffers from. A large part of rehab treatment involves the elimination of the stigma that mental disease and a substance abuse disorder often stamps a sufferer.
One of the most frequently diagnosed and the most often overlooked co-occurring disorder is depression. A depressed individual can be as cunning at hiding their depression as they are at protecting their use of drugs or alcohol to escape their depression.
Treatment has to be specifically designed to address the mental illness. This necessitates the availability of trained experts that can manage the host of psychological issues that can be masked by drug and alcohol abuse. Experience is the best teacher in seeing that a person has a problem that drug and alcohol abuse only hide.
Rehab centers can help a person that suffers from co-occurring disorders to escape the terrible loneliness that they feel. Imagine if you can be trapped in a world that you sometimes think is real and frequently think is not real. Think about how difficult it is to deal with the real problem through a haze of drugs and alcohol.