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Managing Co-Occurring Disorders

One of the most difficult parts of any recovery journey is processing multiple disorders. It is not uncommon to discover that the addictive behavior we are trying to remedy is only a piece of a more complex riddle. Co-occurring disorders happen when a substance use disorder (SUD) coincides with an often underlying mental illness. These two disorders usually have some degree of interplay and affect each other. As the name suggests, these disorders may be active simultaneously or at different times.

What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?

A good example of a co-occurring disorder, and the most common one, is the relationship between depression and SUD. Now you may be wondering if it is important to know which one came first, mental illness or substance use? Research would indicate that it is often difficult to accurately discern the order in which the illness manifested. Also, the order has little bearing on the outcome of the healing process.

Alcohol and drug use have been closely linked to feelings of depression and anxiety. Likewise, many who are struggling with mental health issues turn to substance use in an attempt to self-medicate the disorder. Though co-occurring disorders seem daunting and overwhelming, many proven methods and techniques have improved the lives of thousands and brought meaningful and lasting healing.

Managing Co-Occurring Disorders With Treatment

With the current mental health crisis plaguing this country, awareness of co-occurring disorders has exploded in the mental health community. There is now an abundance of options for treatment. These options range in intensity and duration based on the needs of the individual and should be discussed with a mental health professional before jumping in.

Partnering With a Mental Health Team

Surrounding yourself with a team is possibly one of the most practical steps to take in dealing with co-occurring disorders. Partnering with a licensed counselor will enable you to establish a clear therapeutic plan for care. Mental health professionals can provide a more accurate diagnosis and create a clear treatment plan.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is perhaps one of the most beneficial forms of therapy when it comes to dealing with co-occurring disorders. CBT addresses a variety of topics in a comprehensive way. These sessions usually cover everything from trauma, a family of origin, coping strategies, attachment styles, and abuse. CBT is effective when it comes to co-occurring disorders because such disorders usually arise out of one of the previously mentioned developmental processes.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Another beneficial form of therapy is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT focuses on self-awareness and introducing techniques for regulating yourself when you experience strong emotions or triggers. Additionally, DBT is practical and can help you to develop a better self-image and stronger relationships. Positive self-talk, grounding exercises, and mindfulness are all essential as you work to achieve healing from co-occurring disorders.

At The Guest House, we understand that co-occurring disorders are commonplace in the world of recovery. It is important to take a whole-person approach to care to ensure your needs are being met. Our facility offers an array of conventional and holistic practices to ensure you’re experiencing the best treatment possible. For guidance getting started, you can reach us at (855) 483-7800. We have a dedicated team of talented and caring individuals who will help you find the healing you deserve.