Co-occurring disorders, otherwise known as dual diagnoses, occur when a person experiences both a mental illness and an addiction at the same time. Common examples of co-occurring disorders are: alcoholism and panic disorder, depression and cocaine addiction, and borderline personality disorder and poly-drug abuse. The way in which a person experiences a co-occurring disorder varies, depending on the severity, chronicity, disability, and degree of impairment in functioning. The degrees to which a person experiences symptoms from both disorders can be very distressing.
As one person shared their story of experiencing co-occurring disorders on The Mighty,
“The cycle never ends. I’m afraid I’m on a never-ending carousel and the only way off is to jump into what seems like an abyss below and pray that there is someone there to catch me before I hit the bottom.”
If this sounds like your experience, you’re not alone. The 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates that nearly 7.9 million people in the United States experience co-occurring disorders simultaneously. More than half of those people – 4.1 million, specifically – are men. It’s not uncommon for symptoms to flare up in one disorder while the other is more toned down, or for both to begin causing overwhelming sensations all at once. Due to the fluctuations experienced by each disorder, a person may experience increased difficult in home, work, and social life. Relapse prevention is another major concern, as co-occurring disorders can be difficult to diagnose, leaving a person with inadequate treatment options.
If you have been diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder, make sure you attend a reputable treatment program that provides integrative treatment. This is a necessity to optimize your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, because you need a supportive team to help you work through all your disorders, not just one. Treatment may involve detoxification, contingency management, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), relapse prevention, and motivational interviewing. Don’t give up on yourself. Seek the help that you need to better manage your life, starting today.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.