what is co-occurring disorder

What Is a Co-occurring Disorder?

A co-occurring disorder is a pattern of substance use and mental health disorders that occur at the same time. Co-occurring disorders are common among people who misuse drugs or alcohol. They can be caused by genetics, biology, or your environment. When you experience co-occurring disorders, you must seek specialized treatment from co-occurring disorder treatment programs to provide more thorough, effective treatment.

Promises Brazos Valley utilizes evidence-based treatment in our comprehensive mental health and addiction treatment programs. We realize the need for treatment specially designed for co-occurring disorders. When you enroll in care at our facility, you can be sure that we will address all areas of your life to set you up for a healthy, happy recovery. Give us a call at 979.426.0086 to schedule an assessment to determine if you are a good candidate for dual diagnosis treatment.

What Is a Co-Occurring Disorder?

When someone has both a mental health disorder and an addiction, they are said to have a co-occurring disorder. Mental health conditions and addiction often coincide with one another because disorders like anxiety and depression can lead one to self-medicate. Once you develop an addiction to drugs or alcohol, the changes in your brain chemistry can also induce or exacerbate mental health issues.

What Is Dual Diagnosis?

A dual diagnosis is very similar to co-occurring disorders, and the terms are often used interchangeably. However, co-occurring disorders typically refer to a mental health condition and addiction that occur together. Dual diagnosis can be any two health conditions that appear at the same time, such as diabetes and alcohol addiction or heart disease and opioid addiction.

Signs of Co-Occurring Disorders 

When a person struggles with addiction, there is a good chance they are also dealing with co-occurring mental health disorders. It is believed that nearly half of all people with a substance use disorder also have a mental health condition. The symptoms of addiction and mental health conditions can sometimes overlap, making it a bit challenging to know what is caused by substance use and what is related to your mental health. You may not even know if you have co-occurring disorders.

Here are some signs of co-occurring disorders to look for so you will know if it is worthwhile to find a dual diagnosis treatment program:

  • Frequent substance use – Using drugs or alcohol daily or most days of the week can signify a problem. Needing to use depressant drugs every night before bed or having to drink after work every day can signal that you are dealing with a mental health condition by self-medicating.
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed – Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can cause you to avoid going out and spending time with others. Addiction can also lead to self-isolation, which is a good sign that you may be dealing with co-occurring disorders.
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work, home, or school – When you struggle with addiction and mental health, it can be tough to keep up with your everyday obligations. 
  • Changes in personality, behavior, and appearance – Mental health and addiction challenges may make you feel tired or unmotivated to care for yourself like you usually would. You may lose the desire to work out, eat healthily, and practice good hygiene. You may also find yourself in a bad mood despite your usual laid-back nature.

If you are going through a rough period that does not seem to improve over time, you may need the support of a dual diagnosis treatment program.

Enroll in Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment Programs at Promises Brazos Valley

When you choose Promises Brazos Valley, you can feel confident that you will receive a customized treatment plan designed to address all substance use and mental health disorders. Our team of professionals will curate a program that includes the most relevant behavioral and holistic therapies along with an appropriate medication regimen. Reach out to us at 979.426.0086 to learn more about how we can help you overcome co-occurring disorders.

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