Concurrent/Co-Occuring Mental Health Disorders
posted on November 3, 2017
“When you have both a substance abuse problem and a mental health issue such as depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety, it is called a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis.”
What is the link between Substance Abuse and Mental Health?
- “In a dual diagnosis, both the mental health issue and the drug or alcohol addiction have their own unique symptoms that may get in the way of your ability to function, handle life’s difficulties, and relate to others. To make the situation more complicated, the co-occurring disorders also affect each other and interact.”
What Comes First: Substance Abuse or the Mental Health Problem?
- “Alcohol or drugs are often used to self-medicate the symptoms of depression or anxiety”
- “Alcohol and drug abuse can increase underlying risk for mental disorders”
- “Alcohol and drug abuse can make symptoms of a mental health problem worse”
Recognizing Co-Occurring Disorders or Dual Diagnosis
- Family history
- Your sensitivity to alcohol or drugs
- Symptoms when you’re sober
- Your treatment history
Self-Help for Substance Abuse and Co-Occurring Disorder
- Recognize and manage overwhelming stress and emotions
- Stay connected
- Make healthy lifestyle changes
- Adopt healthy eating habits
- Get enough sleep
Treatment for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Problems – Recovery depends on treating both the addiction and the mental health problem
- There is hope
- Combined Treatment is the best
- Relapses are part of the recovery process
- Peer support can help
Treatment for Dual Diagnosis or Co-Occurring Disorders
- “Helping you think about the role that alcohol and other drugs play in your life”
- “Offering you a chance to learn more about alcohol and drugs”
- “Helping you become involved with supported employment and other services”
- “Helping you identify and develop your own recovery goals”
- “Providing special counseling specifically designed for people with dual diagnosis”
For more information about co-occurring mental health disorders, including how to find the right program for treatment, and how to help a loved one with this disorder, visit this page.
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