women learning to manage their co-occurring disordersOn their own, both substance abuse and mental illness can be devastating. When two or more severe problems occur together, the proper treatment of each becomes even more critical. The following information will accurately define co-occurring disorders. It will also address why conditions such as substance abuse and mental health issues often occur at the same time. Finally, it will highlight the facts you need to know to make successful treatment possible.

What is a Substance Abuse Disorder?

A substance abuse disorder refers to the persistent misuse of addictive substances. This pattern of abuse occurs in spite of the upheaval that this behavior causes in the person’s life. A person experiencing a true dependence is often unable to stop this behavior until obtaining appropriate treatment.

What is a Mental Illness?

A mental illness refers to a wide array of disorders that impact a person’s thoughts, behaviors, and mood. Mental illnesses can include such conditions as chronic anxiety, depression, personality disorders, and numerous related problems.

Defining co-occurring disorders happens when the presence of one or more of these common issues are present in the same individual. It is very common for mental health conditions and dependence to occur together, resulting in a complicated situation requiring prompt treatment.

Why do Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Often Appear Together?

Mental illness and substance abuse frequently occur together for a couple of reasons. For one thing, the nature of drug dependence itself can create changes in the brain that can lead to the development of mental illness. Secondly, the act of self-medicating with addictive substances to alleviate the effects of existing mental illness is very prevalent. In the end, it doesn’t matter which condition comes first. When two problems occur together, they both require their treatment protocols.

How Should Co-Occurring Disorders be Treated?

It’s no surprise that co-occurring disorders can complicate the treatment process. However, a successful recovery from both types of issues is possible. In the case of a dual-diagnosis, you should treat each problem as a separate condition. Even though they’re connected, these issues are their entity and require different therapeutic strategies for management. For example, specific trauma treatment is essential to the recovery from traumatic events that led to substance abuse.

Supporting a Family Member

Do you have a family member who is struggling with a complicated dual-diagnosis? If so, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed and saddened by the situation. As you help your loved one locate a proper treatment center for her needs, continue to do your best to show your loving support. At times, just listening to her concerns and feelings can be very beneficial.

When a dual-diagnosis does occur, it’s important to find a rehab center that has experience in dealing with co-occurring disorders. Don’t be afraid to ask about the center’s success rate and experience in dealing with these complex issues. Quality addiction treatment services at a facility will take pleasure in explaining the techniques they’ve used to help others like you overcome similar conditions in the past.

The Willows at Red Oak Recovery

Women face many unique challenges when it comes to the treatment of substance abuse and accompanying disorders. The Willows is a quality rehab facility dedicated to meeting the needs of women in a rehab setting. By providing a female-only environment, women seeking professional rehabilitation can feel completely comfortable in their decision.

You don’t have to allow substance abuse or mental illness to prevent you from having the type of life you deserve. You can overcome the most complex dual diagnoses by seeking professional treatment right away. Call The Willows at 855-773-0614 to find out how their professional staff can help you with your co-occurring disorders.