A patient who is struggling with both a drug and/or alcohol problem and a psychiatric or emotional disorder is said to be living with a co-occurring disorder, or a Dual Diagnosis. These issues can have signs that intertwine and affect each other, causing the patient to experience serious problems with symptom management.
How can you tell if your loved one is struggling with a co-occurring disorder of a substance abuse issue and a mental health problem? Contact us today at the phone number above to learn more about your options in evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.
Signs of Co-Occurring Disorders Are Unique
The signs of co-occurring disorders will vary depending upon which mental health disorder is diagnosed and the drug of choice. For example, if your loved one is struggling with marijuana abuse and schizophrenia, the signs of these issues will be far different from those of a patient who is living with crystal meth addiction and bipolar disorder. In general, however, patients who are living with co-occurring disorders find functioning on a day-to-day basis to be significantly difficult – if not impossible. Many struggle with:
- An inability to maintain employment
- An inability to maintain functional relationships
- Legal problems
- Financial issues
- Extreme mood swings or an inability to control their emotions
Your loved one’s instability can make it difficult to depend on them, and their emotional ups and downs often interfere with family gatherings, your ability to take care of others in your family, or your ability to live without worry about your relationship. You’ll see signs of drug abuse, chronic intoxication, and poor decision-making that only seem to cause more problems and never fix the current issues. When your loved one’s emotional problems and substance abuse become problematic for them and everyone else in the family, it’s time to seek Dual Diagnosis treatment.
Who Has Co-Occurring Disorders?
Mental Health America reports that patients with certain disorders are at the following rates of increased risk for the development of a substance abuse disorder:
- Antisocial personality disorder: 15.5 percent
- Manic disorder: 14.5 percent
- Schizophrenia: 10.1 percent
- Panic disorder: 4.3 percent
- Major depressive disorder: 4.1 percent
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): 3.4 percent
- Phobias: 2.4 percent
This means that a patient who is diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder is 15.5 percent more likely than someone who is not diagnosed with any mental health disorder to also be diagnosed with a substance abuse issue.
Is Your Loved One in Need of Dual Diagnosis Treatment?
If you believe you see the signs of co-occurring disorders in someone you love, we’re here to help you find a mental health treatment center with the resources to address both issues simultaneously. Without treatment for substance abuse issues, your loved one will make little progress in learning how to manage their mental health symptoms, and without mental health treatment, long-term sobriety is unlikely. Evidence-based medical and psychotherapeutic intervention is recommended for both disorders and, when they co-occur in a patient, Dual Diagnosis treatment that has the capability of providing intensive care for both diagnoses is highly recommended.
This is not an issue you must tackle alone. At the phone number listed above, we have counselors waiting to answer your questions and to help you choose the program that will be most effective in your situation. Call today to get started.
Further Reading About Observing the Signs
David W. Newton is a board certified pharmacist and also has been a board member for boards of examiners for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy since 1983. His areas of expertise are primarily pharmaceuticals as well as cannabinoids. You can read an article about his expertise in CBD on the National Library of Medicine.
Reviewed by: Kim Chin and Marian Newton