What is a Co-Occurring Disorder?

What is a Co-Occurring Disorder?

People who have mental health disorders in conjunction with substance addiction are often diagnosed as having a co-occurring disorder — also known as dual diagnosis. Though having a co-occurring disorder can be common for an individual in recovery, it can still present more challenges. So here's what you should know:

Common Types of Co-Occurring Disorders

While there are many different types of co-occurring disorders, the following are the most common mental health disorders that typically coincide with drug or alcohol addiction:

  • PTSD - (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • OCD - (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Schizophrenia

Warning Signs of Co-Occurring Disorders

While each co-occurring disorder case is unique, there are some common warning signs and symptoms to be aware of, and may include the following:

  • Socially withdrawn
  • Changes in appetite
  • Gain or loss of weight
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Prolonged feelings of hopelessness and despair
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Suffering grades
  • Consistently missing work or school
  • Mood swings
  • Easily irritated
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Engaging in risky behavior
  • Financial trouble
  • Neglecting self-care (grooming, bathing)

How a Professional Rehab Center Can Help

Co-occurring disorders are often treated with behavioral therapies. Some of the most common therapies used in dual diagnosis are:

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy - Targets behaviors that interfere with quality of life such as mood disorders, binge eating, ADHD, PTSD, substance abuse, negative thoughts, and low self-image.
  • Group Therapy - Sharing experiences with others can help individuals remember that they aren’t alone in experiencing depression, anxiety, anger, fear, and shame.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - During CBT, individuals discuss their thoughts, feelings, and negative behaviors with a mental health professional.
  • Individual Therapy -Tailored individual therapy sessions provides a safe environment to identify and treat issues that could possibly hinder recovery. Some hurdles often include co-occurring conditions.

If you or a loved one is struggling with a co-occurring disorder, professional help from an Arizona drug and alcohol addiction treatment center can be paramount to overcoming their addiction and learning how to manage their mental health disorders. Blueprints for Recovery provides young men between the ages of 18 and 30 substance abuse therapies in a supportive and safe environment. Contact us today at (888) 744-9969 to learn more about our customized treatments.


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