Co-occurring Disorders Overview

What is Co-occurring Disorder

Co-occurring disorders, also called dual diagnosis, happen when a person has two or more different conditions at the same time.

Specifically, in mental health, it means having a mental health problem alongside a substance use problem. Co-occurring disorders can include various mental health issues like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and others.

Dealing with co-occurring disorders can be challenging, as the symptoms of each condition may overlap or worsen each other.

Effective treatment involves simultaneously addressing the mental health issue and substance use problem. This usually means a combination of therapy, medication, support groups, and making positive changes in one’s lifestyle.


Warning Signs of Co-occurring Disorders

Early recognition of warning signs plays a crucial role in facilitating timely, effective co-occurring disorders and improving the likelihood of successful treatment outcomes. It is important to be aware of these signs, which may include:

  1. Increased Substance Use: Escalating the use of alcohol, drugs, or medications beyond normal or recreational levels can be an indication of substance use disorder co-occurring with a mental health condition.
  2. Worsening Mental Health Symptoms: If an individual’s mental health symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, or mood swings, become more severe or frequent, it may indicate the presence of a co-occurring disorder.
  3. Difficulty Functioning in Daily Life: Struggling to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home, experiencing a decline in performance or attendance, or having difficulty maintaining relationships can indicate co-occurring disorders.
  4. Neglecting Self-care: Neglecting personal hygiene, losing interest in previously enjoyed activities, or experiencing a significant change in appetite or sleep patterns can be signs of underlying co-occurring disorders.
  5. Increased Risk-taking Behavior: Engaging in impulsive or reckless behavior, displaying aggression or hostility, or having frequent conflicts with others can manifest co-occurring disorders.
  6. Withdrawal from Social Interactions: Avoiding social situations, isolating oneself from friends or family, or experiencing a loss of interest in socializing can indicate co-occurring disorders.
  7. Poor Treatment Response: If an individual’s response to treatment for either mental health or substance use issues is inadequate or ineffective, it might suggest the presence of co-occurring disorders.

Health Complications with Co-occurring Disorders

Co-occurring disorders can lead to various health complications, affecting both mental and physical well-being. Here are some common health complications associated with co-occurring disorders:

  1. Worsening Mental Health: Co-occurring disorders can exacerbate symptoms of mental health illnesses such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder. This can result in increased emotional distress, difficulty coping with daily life, and a higher risk of self-harm or suicide.
  2. Substance-related Problems: A substance use disorder and mental health conditions can worsen substance-related problems. It may lead to increased substance dependence, drug overdose, or other physical health issues from long-term substance abuse.
  3. Impaired Physical Health: Co-occurring disorders can have adverse effects on physical health. Individuals may neglect their physical well-being, leading to poor nutrition, weakened immune systems, and increased vulnerability to illnesses.
  4. Social and Relationship Challenges: Co-occurring disorders can strain relationships and social interactions. Isolation, conflicts, and difficulties maintaining healthy connections with family, friends, and colleagues may arise, further impacting overall well-being.
  5. Financial and Legal Consequences: Addressing this complex disorder can contribute to financial hardships due to the high cost of dual diagnosis treatment, legal issues arising from substance-related offenses, and reduced work productivity.

If you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms of co-occurring disorders, reach out to Absolute Center, a trusted provider with over 11 years of experience. We provide professional dual diagnosis counseling and develop the best co-occurring disorders programs based on each patient’s condition. Take the initial step towards healing by calling (626)-792-8797 and accessing the support you deserve from one of the best Dual Diagnosis Rehabs LA.

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