According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States suffer from mental illness each year. That’s 43.8 million people – and the National Institute on Mental Health determined that approximately 45% of those people meet criteria for having two mental illnesses at once. A mental illness is defined as a health condition that changes a person’s thinking, feelings, or behavior (or all three) and causes the person distress and difficulty in daily functioning. There are many different mental illnesses, such as anxiety disorders, personality disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more. If someone experiences two mental illnesses, they suffer from comorbidity.
Oftentimes, one disorder could cause the appearance of another. For example depression can be triggered by other mental illnesses, but it can also lead to another mental illness developing. A person who suffers from PTSD may develop a fear of someone breaking into their house, causing them to begin checking their doors to make sure they are constantly locked throughout the day. In this instance, a person suffers from PTSD but has also developed OCD. If you are suffering from a mental illness, getting proper treatment and keeping a close eye on your symptoms could prevent you from developing another mental illness.
Thankfully, there are now integrated treatment methods to assist individuals who suffer from comorbidity. With collaborative care and integrative treatment, people can be treated for both mental illnesses at once instead of going to two different facilities. Treatment often involves medication, psychotherapy, and family/group support. Medical treatment could help reduce the unwanted symptoms of the mental illness, such as nausea, anxiety, mood swings, and more. By reducing some of these symptoms temporarily, a person can more clearly work through their issues while speaking with a psychologist about their problems. Family and support groups can help a person build their confidence in overcoming their mental illness.
If you suffer from a mental illness, it’s important that you speak with someone right away to begin treatment and recovery. Developing a second mental illness can easily occur if someone doesn’t know what to look for. However, if you suffer from psychiatric comorbidity already, there is still time for you to seek help. Recovery is possible and by reaching out to someone, you are making your mental health a priority and could be on the way to a happier, more manageable way of living.
All of the treatment centers in our family of providers provide exceptional care for co-occurring disorders. New Vista Behavioral Health is a network of treatment providers for mental health, substance abuse, and more. Holding our programs to higher standards, our clients graduate with better outcomes. Start your journey to recovery today by calling us at: 888-316-3665