Thursday, June 13, 2024
Book Reviews Mental Health

Co-Occurring Disorders: Mental Illness and Addiction

Photograph by rtdisoho

What is Co-occurring Disorder?

When a person has both mental health disorders and substance use disorder, then they are said to have co-occurring disorders or dual disorders.

What is Substance use disorder?

Addicted to drugs or alcohol is said to be a substance use disorder, this makes a person emotionally unstable and physically weak. They can’t control themselves and keep away from these substances. Substances can like alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine, even some may continue their medications for a long time and become addicted to those drugs. If you or your loved one is addicted to the substance, no worries there many ways to stay sober

What is Mental health disorder?

Mental health Disorder found independent people include anxiety and mood disorders. Most of those who have this kind of disorder have co-occurring disorders. Once a person is mentally depressed or stressed out a lot, failing or facing any issues in life can be a common prey to these kinds of disorders. Bipolar disorder, Major depression, Dysthymia were the part of Mood-related disorders, whereas Schizoaffective, Schizophrenia were severe mental illness, another big stream of the disorder is anxiety-related one which has PTSD, Generalized anxiety disorder, Social anxiety, Panic disorder, Obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Two entwined problems

Identifying a person is having a co-occurring disorder is very difficult. The symptoms for their substance abuse can be a mask for them and they are really confused in diagnosing the co-occurring disorder. Even if a person is having mental health disorder, he or she won’t address their substance abuse disorder, so this on many conditions provides much confusion in identifying a person is having either a co-occurring disorder or not. But even though there were some physical patterns emerge with this co-occurring disorder.

Many people who have mental health disorder often use substances to feel better, for those who were anxious they want something to make them feel calmer and those people who often feel very depressed want something for them to be animated, those who have the feel of fear need something that makes them not more agitated, so directly or indirectly they fall as a prey to some substance addiction or the use of illegal drugs, this even worsen the symptoms of mental illness when they are under the treatment. 

Many rehab centers in Philadelphia, clinicians, and addiction specialists may not know the situation or be prepared to address both the conditions. 

How to treat both:

In the past, both the disorders were treated separately, but the scenario of identifying the co-occurring disorder was very less and the treatment of treating them both was not available, even the impact on one can affect the other was also unaware. It is false, that if one of the disorders is treated the other one will automatically be cured and this is not an effective treatment plan. A treatment that can handle both the things at the same time, in the same place and treated by the same team, then that is said to be as integrated treatment. 

by Yamini R N


Andreas Michaelides

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