Mental Health and Addiction; A Common Co-Occurrence

Mental Health and Addiction; A Common Co-Occurrence
December 18 09:36 2017 Print This Article

Co-occurring disorders, which are also referred to as dual diagnosis, are a condition in which a person suffers from substance abuse along with some type of mental health disorder. Research has shown that substance abuse and mental health actually tend to go hand in hand with each other. Dual diagnose actually tends to make sense when taking a further look at the two type of disorders.

A person who suffers from depression or anxiety might try to self-medicate themselves by using drugs or alcohol. However, during the time that this person might be trying to cope with their mental health disorder they might begging to use higher quantities of a substance which would then lead to either substance abuse or dependence. There are numerous mental health conditions that can co-occur with substance abuse such as:

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,
  • Borderline Personality Disorder,
  • Schizophrenia,
  • Bipolar Disorder.

It can be tough for someone who is suffering from a mental health condition along with substance abuse to get the proper help that they need. Many times people might notice one condition without the other or vice versa. You might recognize that a family member or friend might be drinking a lot, however, you might not know that his or her drinking was caused by a mental disorder.

Treat Both Issues at Once

When it comes to seeking treatment for dual diagnosis conditions, it is vital that both the substance abuse and mental disorder are both being treated simultaneously. If a person is receiving help for substance abuse, but not a mental disorder this leaves that patient at a greater risk of relapsing once he or she completes treatment.

When individuals check into a dual diagnosis treatment center, they are given a medical evaluation which helps to identify other possible conditions outside of just the addiction. Dual diagnosis treatment is best served when services are matched to the individual needs of a patient. Medical professionals at dual diagnosis treatment centers are able to identify co-occurring mental health disorders during intake and can implement a dual diagnosis treatment program that will serve to help the patient overcome both conditions.

There are effective treatment programs to help those who are suffering from co-occurring disorders such as:

  • cognitive therapy classes,
  • group educational classes,
  • daily individual sessions
  • psychiatric evaluations.

The goal of these sessions is to not only help patients overcome their addiction, but also to help them find healthy ways to cope with their mental disorders that do not revolve around drugs and alcohol.

A Holistic Option

Many drug and alcohol treatment centers are starting to implore holistic based treatment options to help those who are suffering from substance abuse as well as mental health disorders. Treatment centers such as Ranch Creek Recovery offer supportive treatment programs such as yoga, guided meditation, garden therapy, equine therapy, as well as acupuncture. Paired with traditional forms of treatment, holistic treatment programs are healthy alternative options to assist those who are suffering from co-occurring conditions.

If you have questions about mental health disorders or substance abuse, you should speak to a medical professional as soon as possible. These professionals are able to provide more information about what treatment programs would be best, based on the needs of the person you are inquiring about.

Mental health and drug abuse can be tough subjects for people to talk about, but doctors and other medical professionals are trained to address these topics in a calm and nurturing manner. The sooner you speak to someone about substance abuse, the sooner you or a loved one can begin to receive the help that they need to go on to live healthier lives free from addiction, and a better understanding of how to deal with any other disorder that may follow.

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Clare Louise
Clare Louise

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