If you are searching for co-occurring disorder treatment in Los Angeles for yourself or a loved one, it is important to be educated on co-occurring disorders and the way they affect an individual. Co-occurring disorders, also commonly referred to as comorbidity or dual diagnosis, can have a major effect on an individual’s overall health, influencing their physical, mental, and social condition.
Continue reading to learn more about co-occurring disorders, the signs of this condition, how it can affect an individual, and the most effective forms of treatment.
Co-occurring disorders can have a considerable influence on a person’s life, influencing their physical, emotional, and social health.
What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?
A co-occurring disorder refers to when someone has two or more psychological health or substance use disorders at once. These conditions can range from depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia to alcohol or drug addiction. These illnesses can interact and take a toll on a person’s physical, emotional, and interpersonal health. It is essential to recognize that people with comorbidity need tailored treatment that focuses on both disorders at the same time, as dealing with just one of the problems will not be enough to help the individual.
Does Addiction or Mental Illness Develop First?
Establishing which of the two, substance use disorder or mental illness, developed first is usually complicated as both can be attributed to a combination of genetics, environment, and psychological issues. In some cases, a person may already have an existing mental health issue that leads them to take drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, resulting in addiction. On the other hand, there are also cases when addiction is the first to appear, which can then cause the emergence of mental health concerns such as depression or anxiety.
It is also possible for an addiction and a mental health disorder to develop at the same time, as the signs and actions of one disorder can aggravate the other. For instance, someone suffering from addiction may experience high levels of stress and emotional distress, which can result in the emergence of mental health concerns. Equally, an individual with a mental health disorder may be more susceptible to developing an addiction due to the emotional and mental discomfort that their condition brings about.
Signs of Co-Occurring Disorders
It is possible to recognize co-occurring disorders via certain indicators, which may differ depending on the particular conditions, but some of the universal symptoms to watch out for include:
- Feelings of helplessness or distress
- Difficulty concentrating
- Change in appetite or sleeping habits
- Increased irritability
- Social withdrawal
- Increased anxiety
- Intense mood swings
- Legal and financial issues
It is essential to keep in mind that the symptoms mentioned could also be indicative of other medical issues, so it is important to consult a specialist for an accurate diagnosis. Additionally, some individuals may not display any signs at all, so having an evaluation by a professional is necessary for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Common Co-Occurring Disorders
Although co-occurring disorders are not limited to specific combinations, there are several common co-existing conditions. They include the following:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Substance Use Disorder (SUD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse are frequent conditions that arise alongside each other. PTSD is a dangerous type of fear that can emerge after a person has gone through or seen a difficult experience. Substance abuse is a practice of ingesting drugs or alcohol that can bring about physical and mental issues. These afflictions often happen together since individuals may use substances to manage the signs of PTSD.
Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are among the most frequently observed co-existing conditions. Despondency is usually identified by sentiments of sorrowfulness, despondency, and an absence of enthusiasm for activities, while nervousness is usually identified by feelings of worry, apprehension, and uneasiness. When these two disorders manifest concurrently, they can form a destructive loop wherein uneasiness intensifies depression, and depression intensifies uneasiness.
Bipolar Disorder and Substance Use Disorder (SUD)
People who have bipolar disorder may find themselves also suffering from substance abuse. This mental health condition is known for its alternating phases of mania and sadness, and those with it may attempt to use drugs or alcohol to deal with their symptoms. Unfortunately, this kind of coping mechanism can just make the symptoms worse and create a vicious cycle of substance abuse.
Schizophrenia and Substance Use Disorder (SUD)
Schizophrenia and addiction can simultaneously exist in individuals. Schizophrenia is a severe psychological condition signified by illusions, unrealistic beliefs, and disorganized thought process. People afflicted with schizophrenia may start using drugs or alcohol in order to cope with the difficulties of their mental health condition, but this can make the symptoms of the disorder even worse and cause a continuous cycle of substance abuse.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Depression
People who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may be more likely to experience depression because of the difficulties they have with controlling their symptoms, which are recognized as inattention, lack of impulse control, and overactivity. Depression, on the other hand, is characterized by feelings of sadness, powerlessness, and a lack of enthusiasm for activities. Both of these conditions can appear simultaneously.
The Top 5 Ways Co-Occurring Disorders Can Affect You
Co-occurring disorders can have a serious impact on an individual’s physical, mental and emotional health. If left untreated, co-occurring disorders can affect every aspect of a person’s life and have a long-term negative impact. It is important to recognize the warning signs of co-occurring disorders and take steps toward treatment to minimize the impact it can have on an individual’s life. The following are the top 5 ways in which co-occurring disorders can affect an individual:
Increased symptoms can be overwhelming and can greatly impede an individual’s ability to cope with daily life. It is important to recognize the signs of increased symptoms and seek help from a medical professional. If left unmanaged, these increased symptoms can lead to reduced quality of life, resulting in a decrease in physical and mental well-being.
As a result of the symptoms of co-occurring disorders, individuals may find it especially difficult to maintain relationships with family and friends. This could be due to the difficulty they have in communicating and understanding others, or feeling uncomfortable in the presence of those they care about. The inability to maintain healthy connections with loved ones can lead to feelings of guilt and isolation that can further compound their mental health issues
The difficulty of holding a job can be greatly exacerbated by co-occurring disorders. Many people with these conditions may find it difficult to concentrate and complete tasks. This can lead to frustration and ultimately, an inability to maintain a job.
Physical Health is Neglected
The difficulty in managing physical health caused by the symptoms of co-occurring disorders can have a significant impact on an individual’s well-being. It can lead to difficulties with self-care, such as keeping on top of personal hygiene and make it hard for an individual to keep up with medical appointments.
Creates Difficulty in Getting Help
The difficulty in accessing the appropriate treatment for co-occurring disorders can be attributed to the fact that each disorder has its own set of symptoms, causes and treatment needs. This often leads to an individual not receiving the adequate level of care needed to properly address their condition(s). Furthermore, this can cause a delay in recovery and may prevent individuals from receiving the help they need.
Are Co-Occurring Disorders Common?
Yes. Studies indicate that approximately half of those who suffer from mental health issues also have a problem with substance abuse, while roughly one-fifth of people with a substance abuse issue also have a mental health concern. Moreover, it is not uncommon for individuals with co-occurring conditions to have additional physical health issues that can make treatment more complex.
Why Is Integrated Treatment Important in Treating Co-Occurring Disorders?
It is essential to provide comprehensive treatment when managing co-occurring disorders, as this approach takes into consideration both the mental health issue and the substance use disorder. This is essential because these two conditions frequently interact in a way that can make it hard to treat one without confronting the other.
For treating co-occurring conditions, it is necessary to recognize the source of both issues, as well as to deliver assistance for the management of the symptoms and for maintaining sobriety. Integrated treatments usually include a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, medication management, and other evidence-based practices.
Furthermore, integrated treatment concentrates on the overall person, taking into consideration their physical and emotional health, the surroundings they are living in, and the social elements that could be adding to their issues. This can help to enhance general well-being results, stop backslide, and improve the quality of life for the person.
Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment in Los Angeles
If you or someone close to you is suffering from a co-occurring disorder, it’s critical that you get assistance quickly. Launch Centers in Los Angeles is dedicated to helping individuals who are struggling with addiction and mental illness by giving them the resources to build a new life and reach their full potential.
Our team of experts can guide you on your path to healing and reaching your goals with our unique program that includes career and educational guidance, healthcare, and extensive therapy to ensure your recovery is successful and you can live an abstinent lifestyle.
If you need help and want to learn more about the different services and treatments we provide, contact a specialist from Launch Centers straight away. We are here to support you throughout the process. Call us today.