What are co-occurring disorders? A person who has co-occurring disorders suffers from addiction to alcohol or drugs and a mental disorder at the same time. People with mental disorders often fall into some type of addiction that can last for several months or years.
To identify both conditions, a treatment specialist uses dual diagnosis to assess a client’s condition. A dual diagnosis is a comprehensive form of treatment that promotes a full recovery from the addiction while helping the client to manage the symptoms of their mental disorders. What are co-occurring disorders? For more information on our addiction treatment programs, contact Mission Recovery today at 833.477.7379.
Substance Use Disorder
Substance use disorder extends beyond occasional binge drinking or smoking marijuana from time to time. It usually manifests in one or both forms such as:
Drug or Alcohol Addiction
Addiction forms when a person continues to abuse drugs or alcohol for long periods of time. What defines the addiction is either the destruction that results from excessive use or the person’s inability to stop using the substance regardless of repeated attempts to stop.
Drug or Alcohol Dependency
Once an addiction continues for a long period, the user reaches the point where they cannot see themselves living without the substance. They may believe that they cannot function unless they drink or take drugs at least once a day. Dependency usually occurs because of the brain’s strong attachment to the substance.
Mental Health Disorder
Mental health disorders can range from mild symptoms or episodes to conditions that prevent a person from functioning in a normal capacity. The severity and length of the disorder determine what type of treatment they receive for the condition. Common mental disorders associated with addiction include:
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
For a condition to be classified as a disorder, a person must receive some type of diagnosis and treatment from a certified specialist or therapist.
The Link: What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?
An addition and a mental disorder often share a symbiotic relationship in which one triggers or fuels the other. However, that is not always the case. For some people, each condition can exist simultaneously independent of the other. This makes diagnosing each disorder difficult. The relationship between the disorders and the addiction may look like this:
The Disorder Led to an Addiction
A person with a mental disorder such as anxiety or depression may turn to alcohol or drugs as a form of self-medication. They believe that if they drink a little, they’ll feel better. However, this often leads to binge drinking or a bad habit that eventually turns into an addiction or dependency.
The Addiction Led to a Mental Disorder
A person that abuses drugs or alcohol for long periods may eventually suffer from a mental disorder. This occurs as a result of the effects of the substance on the brain. It is not uncommon for a user to suffer from depression, anxiety, or even bipolar disorder. This is why treatment for both conditions is essential to a full recovery.
One of the biggest challenges with diagnosing a mental disorder is that the focus is often on the addiction. A client may receive full treatment for their addiction, while the mental disorder goes unnoticed. As a result, they may relapse multiple times before their mental condition is identified.
What are Co-Occurring Disorders? Find Out More at Mission Recovery
What are co-occurring disorders? Learn more about these conditions at Mission Recovery. We offer a full treatment for all types of addiction and disorders at our drug and alcohol addiction treatment center in Texas. Contact Mission Recovery at 833.477.7379 to get started with your treatment plan today.