Co-occurring disorders play a major role when it comes to substance abuse and addiction. While co-occurring disorders can be difficult to treat, with the right support you can recover from both addiction and mental illness.
What is a Co-Occurring Disorder?
A co-occurring disorder is a mental health condition that exists alongside a substance use disorder. This means that someone who suffers from a co-occurring disorder has both a mental illness and a problem with alcohol or drugs. People that suffer from mental illness are also more likely to develop a substance use disorder.
Prevalence of Co-Occurring Disorders
It is estimated that about 8 million Americans suffer from co-occurring disorders. This means over 3% of the population suffers from both a mental illness and a substance use disorder.
Dual Diagnosis vs Co-Occurring Disorders
The term “dual diagnosis” is often used interchangeably with “co-occurring disorders,” but there is a difference. Dual diagnosis refers to a person who has been diagnosed with both a mental illness and a substance use disorder at the same time. Co-occurring disorders, on the other hand, refers to the presence of both disorders, but they don’t have to be diagnosed at the same time. Normally a mental health disorder is the root cause of substance abuse, so dual diagnosis treatment is often necessary to fully recover from addiction.
Causes of Co-Occurring Disorders
There is not one specific cause of co-occurring disorders. Instead, there are a number of risk factors that can contribute to the development of these disorders. Some of the most common risk factors include genetics or a family history of mental illness, traumatic experiences, and environmental factors like finances.
Symptoms of Co-Occurring Disorders
The symptoms of co-occurring disorders will vary depending on the specific mental health condition involved. However, there are some common symptoms that are often seen in people with these disorders. Some of the most common co-occurring disorders symptoms include:
- Changes in mood
- Sleep problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Withdrawal from friends or activities
- Fear without an apparent cause
- Thoughts of suicide
Common Co-Occurring Disorders
There are many different types of mental illness that can co-occur with substance abuse, but some examples of co-occurring disorders include:
- Bipolar disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Gambling disorder
Integrated Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders
Treating co-occurring disorders can be a challenge because both the mental illness and the addiction need to be addressed. The most effective way to treat co-occurring disorders is with a combination of medication and therapy, also known as integrated treatment. Medication can be used to treat the symptoms of mental illness while therapy can be used to address the underlying causes of both disorders.
Here at Williamsville Wellness we specialize in treating co-occurring disorders. We provide individualized, effective care for co-occurring disorders so you can overcome both addiction and mental illness, and reduce the risk of relapse.
Some of the common therapies we use to treat co-occurring disorders include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and schema therapy.
If you or someone you love is struggling with a co-occurring disorder and needs dual diagnosis treatment we can help! At our dual diagnosis treatment center in Virginia we offer both residential and online outpatient treatment for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Contact us today to get started on your recovery journey.
To learn more about our treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders or to get started, contact us today!