Millions of U.S. adults have a co-occurring disorder. A co-occurring disorder, otherwise known as a dual diagnosis, occurs when a person is struggling with both a substance use disorder and mental health disorder. A co-occurring disorder can significantly impair a person’s health and quality of life. This is because not only are they struggling with addiction but an untreated mental health condition.
Unfortunately, many people with an untreated mental illness end up abusing drugs as a means to cope with their mental illness, which only increases their risk of developing an addiction and masking their mental health disorder in the process. That’s why understanding co-occurring disorders is essential to ensure you receive the right treatment if you may be struggling with co-occurring addiction and mental health conditions.
At Calusa Recovery, we are an addiction and mental health treatment center that offers a comprehensive range of drug addiction treatment and mental health treatment to help as many people as possible live a healthier, happier quality of life.
If you suspect you may be struggling with a co-occurring disorder, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Contact us today to learn how we can help you along your recovery journey.
What is a Co-Occurring Disorder?
Understanding co-occurring disorders is important to ensure you receive the right treatment.
A co-occurring disorder, otherwise known as a dual diagnosis, is when an individual is struggling with at least one mental health disorder and a substance use disorder at the same time. For example, someone is struggling with bipolar disorder and cocaine addiction.
A co-occurring disorder can involve any combination of substance use disorder and mental health disorder. Because both conditions occur simultaneously, seeking co-occurring disorder treatment is essential, not just treatment for one condition. Otherwise, treating one condition but not the other at the same time can increase your risk of relapsing.
If you suspect you may be struggling with a dual diagnosis, read on to learn more about the common signs of a co-occurring disorder to look out for.
Common Signs of a Co-Occurring Disorder
If you suspect you may be struggling with both an untreated mental illness and substance use disorder, here are some keys signs to look out for:
- Difficulty controlling your drug use
- Difficulty concentrating/thinking clearly
- Increasing drug tolerance to achieve your desired effect
- Engaging in riskier behavior than normal
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit abusing drugs
- Constantly feeling depressed or worthless
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Significant weight gain or weight loss
The above signs are just some of the many potential signs that may point to a co-occurring disorder. Because a co-occurring disorder involves any combination of mental illness and substance abuse, there will inevitably be variations among certain signs and symptoms.
Common Causes of a Co-Occurring Disorder
There is no one primary cause for developing a co-occurring disorder. Typically, a co-occurring disorder can develop out of a combination of both genetic and environmental factors.
Below are some common risk factors that can lead to someone developing a co-occurring disorder are below.
- Having a family history of mental illness.
- Having a family history of substance abuse and addiction.
- Being exposed to certain drugs or alcohol at an early age.
- Experiencing a traumatic event (i.e., physical or sexual abuse)
- Undergoing stressful life events (i.e., death of a loved one, divorce, etc.)
There are several reasons why someone may develop a co-occurring disorder. Typically, people with an untreated mental illness are more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol and develop an addiction compared to people who do not have a mental illness. This is because people may try to ease their mental illness symptoms by abusing drugs or alcohol. However, unfortunately, this only temporarily masks any signs of mental illness and can lead to developing an addiction.
Top-Rated Addiction & Mental Health Treatment
Understanding co-occurring disorders can be difficult at first; however, if you suspect you may be struggling with a co-occurring disorder, it’s essential you seek treatment for both conditions at the same time. Otherwise, treating one condition but not the other increases your risk of relapsing. That’s why it’s essential you seek professional treatment from a treatment center that offers both mental health and substance abuse treatment services, like Calusa Recovery.
At Calusa Recovery, we offer a wide range of treatment programs from dual diagnosis therapy to detox services, inpatient care, and more so you can receive the right care no matter where you are on your recovery journey. Whether you are just beginning your recovery journey or looking for additional support to maintain your sobriety, we’re here to help you every step of the way!
Ready to reclaim your life? Contact us today to learn more about all our different treatment programs and offerings.