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Co-Occurring Disorders And Addiction: Types, Signs, & Treatment
If you’re living with addiction, it’s important to be aware of the possibility of co-occurring disorders. This means that you may be dealing with more than one mental health condition at the same time. Co-occurring disorders can make addiction treatment more complicated, but it’s important to get help if you’re struggling.
In this post, we’ll talk about the different types of co-occurring disorders, signs that you may have a disorder, and treatment options.
One of the most common co-occurring disorders is attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Many people with ADHD will also struggle with addiction at some point in their lives.
There are a few reasons why ADHD and addiction may be linked. People with ADHD may turn to substances to self-medicate. They may also be more impulsive and less likely to think about the consequences of their actions.
It’s also possible for people with ADHD to start abusing their prescribed medications. Stimulant medications like Adderall and Ritalin can be abused for their ability to improve focus and concentration.
This is another common co-occurring disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by frequent mood fluctuations. Individuals who suffer from bipolar disease may experience bouts of sadness and happiness.
Mania is characterized by an elevated mood, increased energy, and impulsive behavior. This can lead to risky behaviors like substance abuse. People with bipolar disorder may turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate during a manic episode. Depression is also a common symptom of bipolar disorder. This can make it hard to motivate yourself to get help for addiction. But treatment is important for both conditions.
Borderline Personality Disorder
With borderline personality disorder (BPD), people often have issues with impulsivity and regulating their emotions. They may also struggle with intense mood swings, which can lead to substance abuse.
BPD is often treated with a combination of medication and therapy. This can help people to better manage their emotions and make healthier choices. When coupled with substance abuse treatment, it can be an effective way to address both disorders.
One of the most prevalent mental health disorders is depression. This is characterized by long periods of sadness, low energy, and lack of motivation. People with depression may turn to drugs or alcohol to try to ease their symptoms. But this can often make things worse in the long run.
Depression can make it hard to find the motivation to get help for addiction. But treatment is important for both conditions. Ignoring either one can make the other worse.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety is a common emotion but when it comes to generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), it’s more than just feeling a little nervous. People with GAD often have excessive worry and tension that interferes with their daily lives. This can lead to substance abuse as people try to self-medicate.
GAD is often treated with medication and therapy. This can help people to address not only the addiction but also the anxiety.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
A traumatic experience might result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This can include things like combat, sexual assault, or car accidents. People with PTSD often have flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety.
To self-medicate, people with PTSD may turn to drugs or alcohol. But this can make the symptoms worse. Treatment for PTSD is crucial. This can help people to process the trauma and get their lives back on track.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is defined by recurrent ideas and activities that a person feels compelled to repeat. This can make it difficult to function in daily life.
People with OCD may turn to drugs or alcohol to try to cope with their symptoms. They may ignore the necessity to seek proper treatment due to their compulsions. But treatment is important for both conditions.
For people who are obsessed with food and their weight, an eating disorder can develop. This is characterized by unhealthy eating habits and an excessive focus on calorie counting and dieting. People with eating disorders may also turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with their issues.
It’s also possible for some to use certain substances to lose weight. Illicit drugs like methamphetamine are often used for this purpose. But this can lead to addiction and other serious health problems.
Treatment for eating disorders is important. This can help people to develop healthy eating habits and cope with their issues more positively.
While not as common as anxiety or depression, schizophrenia is a serious mental health disorder. People with schizophrenia often have delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized thoughts. They may also be withdrawn and isolate themselves from others.
Because of the nature of the disorder, people with schizophrenia may turn to drugs or alcohol. It’s also possible for those with addiction issues to develop schizophrenia due to the long-term effects of substance abuse.
Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders
After being diagnosed with a mental health disorder, it’s important to get treatment. This can help to address both the addiction and the underlying mental health condition. Finding the right approach, however, can be challenging.
You need to look for a dual diagnosis treatment program that can help you with both conditions effectively. It’s critical that you find a program that’s tailored to your specific needs. Otherwise, you’re at risk of relapse or not getting the help you need.
An addiction treatment center that specializes in dual diagnosis can help you to get the treatment you need. They will often have a team of professionals who are experienced in treating both conditions.