Co-Occurring Disorders | What are Co-Occurring Disorders?

What are Co-Occurring Disorders?

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You struggle with a substance abuse disorder. Sometimes, you feel like there’s more going on. But you can’t put your finger on it. Could you be dealing with co-occurring disorders?

Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders 

At a good-quality dual diagnosis treatment center, therapists routinely work with good people who’re trying to quit drugs or alcohol. Frequently, they started abusing substances because of peer pressure. Others have dysfunctional coping skills. Stress makes life difficult.

Therefore, they rely on drugs or alcohol to numb themselves. Over time, a substance abuse problem develops. It’s only a small step to a full-blown addiction. If this happened to you, it doesn’t make you a bad person.

There’s another group. In fact, about 12 to 16% of people struggling with addiction also have other conditions. What are co-occurring disorders? Typically, they refer to the presence of addiction and mood disorders.

How Co-Occurring Disorders Develop 

There are several mechanisms by which mood disorders and chemical dependencies connect. Cases in point are depression and stimulant abuse. You’re trying to function, but depression makes it difficult. Stimulants help you get going.

They help you function. Besides that, they increase dopamine levels in the brain, which makes you feel better. Therefore, you decide to self-medicate. Because you didn’t realize you struggled with depression, it seems like a workable idea at the time.

Conversely, you might be dealing with anxiety. Because you have a difficult time dealing with others, you drink alcohol. It temporarily emboldens you. Over a short period, your body develops a tolerance. 

Addiction’s the next step.

Seeking Treatment for Both Conditions 

It’s a common misconception that you have to tackle one condition at a time. That’s not true. Treatment is far more effective when you deal with both situations at a dual diagnosis facility. 

What Are Co-occurring Disorders Treatment Options?

Therapists typically assess you for a co-occurring condition before beginning treatment. The goal is to develop a care protocol that meets your specific needs. For example, possible modalities include:

Sometimes, a mood disorder or similar condition may develop after drug use begins. It’s not always easy to pinpoint which caused which. Even so, dual diagnosis treatment helps you heal no matter which condition came first. 

Contact AspenRidge Recovery for Assistance 

Both conditions will continue to worsen. Mental health disorders and substance abuse require professional intervention. There’s no self-help book or online course that’ll help you heal. Rather, one-on-one interactions with therapists make a difference.

Besides that, there are group sessions with peer counseling and accountability that make healing possible. You work with specialists who facilitate group interactions for maximum progress. Most importantly, you finally understand what triggers your substance abuse. 

Don’t you owe it to yourself to heal? Find out how you can learn to manage and overcome co-occurring disorders in your life. Reach out to AspenRidge Recovery at (855) 281-5588 for an insurance verification today.

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