A co-occurring disorder is defined as having a substance abuse disorder as well as one or more mental health issues. These can be tricky to navigate while still in the throes of addiction as one issue often amplifies the other. Many people resort to self-medicating or other unhelpful coping strategies in an attempt to manage their symptoms on their own, and most don’t realize how bad things have gotten until they start to improve and have found healthier ways to cope.
However, with the help of a trained clinician and a compassionate recovery program, mental health issues in recovery can become much more bearable.
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When an individual has a dual diagnosis, it is critical that they receive treatment for both aspects of their disease. Treating one without the other will offer limited benefits and likely present challenges to lasting recovery.
For example, someone may obtain extensive treatment for their substance use disorder, yet continue to relapse and have difficulty maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This could be the result of an undiagnosed or untreated mental illness.
Either disorder has the potential to manifest first—a mental health issue might sometimes make substance misuse more likely, and substance abuse can lead to mental health issues in some situations. A licensed facility with experienced, trained clinicians will work to understand the underlying conditions so that they can create an effective treatment plan for full recovery.
What Is Self-Medicating?
Using substances to drown out overwhelming emotional issues typically magnifies the symptoms of mental health disorders. For example, if someone is bingeing cocaine to cope with their manic depressive condition, it might lead to a lack of sleep, which exacerbates manic symptoms. Cocaine’s stimulant effects can create extreme and irrational mood swings, leading to emotional outbursts, rash decision-making, and other unintended consequences that make matters worse.
If left misdiagnosed and untreated, co-occurring disorders will feed off each other, regardless of the substance. As symptoms progress, many are drawn to self-medicate with increasing amounts – which amplifies the condition and often leads to a vicious cycle of spree and remorse. Thankfully, this cycle can be interrupted by seeking treatment and following through. The desperation that accompanies this stage can often be a gift that enables people to seek the help they need.
Managing a Co-Occurring Disorder
Any treatment for a co-occurring disorder must address both mental health and substance abuse issues. For those with a diagnosed or potential co-occurring disorder, a thorough evaluation when beginning treatment is wise. Most evaluations are completed post detox, as detox itself is challenging, both emotionally and physically. Treatment for co-occurring disorders is best managed under the supervision of a specialist, as certain conditions can be life-threatening.
People who receive treatment at an accredited facility for both illnesses simultaneously are often the most successful. Ask specific questions if you’re not sure if the center you are interested in offers an integrated treatment plan like this
Mental Health Treatment in Scottsdale
Scottsdale Providence treats adults with primary psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and co-occurring disorders. Our services are delivered by a multidisciplinary team experienced in treating complex mood and psychiatric disorders.
Finding the right treatment for your or your loved one’s specific needs can be challenging. Substance abuse and mental illness do not respond to a “one size fits all” approach. Scottsdale Providence provides individualized treatment designed to address issues including drug and alcohol addiction, mood disorders, trauma, and co-occurring disorders. Our goal is for every client to experience a profound change through cutting-edge, evidence-based practices provided by an experienced, compassionate team, in a safe, luxurious Scottsdale environment. We know that true change is possible and sustainable.
We offer PHP, IOP, and Evening IOP. Our therapists work with you to identify your goals and develop a program that fits you. Our comprehensive addiction treatment program includes individual and group therapy, psychiatric care, and 12-Step Facilitation. The clinical foundation of our program is in Interactive Journaling, an innovative experiential modality that puts the client at the center of their change process. Our expert treatment team blends CBT, Motivational Interviewing, DBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Narrative Therapy, EMDR, Neurofeedback, and Occupational Therapy to promote long-term recovery. Psychiatric care, case management, discharge planning, acupuncture, yoga, and fitness all make up a truly comprehensive treatment experience.