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Do I Have a Co-Occurring Disorder?

People with a substance use disorder (SUD) are at a higher risk of having a mental health diagnosis than people without an addiction. When a person has both SUD and a mental health issue, this is called a co-occurring disorder.

The severity of substance addiction and mental health disorders can differ from one person to another. Time can also affect the degree a person is affected by a SUD or a mental health disorder. Because substance addiction and mental health disorders affect a person’s medical and mental health well-being, treating both conditions is vital.

What Is the Connection Between a Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder?

A co-occurring disorder—substance addiction and a mental health disorder like anxiety—is a diagnosis of simultaneously occurring health issues. Many individuals diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder experience disruptions in their relationships, physical health, environment, or career.

Those diagnosed with a mental health disorder like anxiety or depression may use substances to help them cope with their emotions. Conversely, substance use can increase the severity of a mental health disorder.

The causes of a co-occurring disorder include genetic predisposition and influences from the environment. In some cases, genetic risk and environment combine to increase the risk of a co-occurring disorder. For instance, someone with a mental health disorder like bipolar or antisocial disorder is at an increased risk of an alcohol use disorder.

What Are the Signs of a Co-occurring Disorder?

A co-occurring disorder’s symptoms include the signs of a specific mental health and substance addiction disorder.

For example, some signs of depression are:

  • Feeling hopeless, sad, or empty
  • Sleep disturbances—insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Weight loss or weight gain caused by appetite issues
  • Isolation from loved ones

A few symptoms of opioid addiction are:

  • Disruption in sleep patterns
  • Weight loss
  • Isolation from family or friends

A person diagnosed with co-occurring disorders has an increased risk of relapse, homelessness, hospitalizations, or social isolation.

What Is the Treatment for a Co-occurring Disorder?

A co-occurring disorder diagnosis can mean your substance and mental health treatment will take longer to treat than a person with a single-issue diagnosis. Why? Your therapist needs to take the time necessary to help you understand your mental health and substance addiction disorder. The integrated treatment approach includes comprehensive care that can help you replace harmful coping habits with healthy habits.

Individual or group therapy can also include psychoeducational classes that raise awareness of mental health and SUD symptoms. You will also receive relapse prevention information. Additionally, your treatment center can offer aftercare or alumni groups to help you maintain your well-being.

Co-occurring disorders are when two or more mental health or substance addiction disorders coincide. For example, a person with a mental health disorder like anxiety may turn to substances to help them cope with their feelings, and a person with a substance addiction may experience increased anxiety. Finding a treatment center that provides comfort and care shouldn’t be challenging. The Guest House’s services combine traditional and holistic therapy. Our expert staff welcomes you to explore healthy coping skills. Step away from your stressors and immerse yourself in our idyllic 52-acre estate located in Central Florida. To learn more, call us at (855) 483-7800.