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What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?

man looks in mirror considering what are co-occurring disorders

Many of those living with substance abuse and addiction struggle with co-occurring mood disorders like depression, anxiety, OCD, ADHD, and bipolar disorder. In fact, mental health, mood disorders, unprocessed trauma, and prolonged stress all affect substance abuse, addiction, and recovery. Dual diagnosis treatment is the leading approach to helping people cope with mood disorders and addiction at the same time.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and mental health, the co-occurring disorder treatment center at NuLife Behavioral Health can help. Our clinic helps clients throughout the state of Massachusetts and beyond recover from co-occurring disorders for long-term happiness. Call us now at 888.568.2057 to learn more about the benefits of co-occurring disorder treatment programs like NuLife Behavioral Health’s in Massachusetts.

What Are Co-Occurring Disorders and Dual Diagnosis?

Studies show that addiction does not occur in a bubble. This means that all aspects of a person’s life, especially their mental health affect their risk of addiction and risk of relapse. Co-occurring disorders are disorders that happen at the same time as one another. This means that someone can struggle with depression while also living with addiction, PTSD, and other co-occurring disorders. Co-occurring disorders consider a holistic approach to healing by assessing a person’s entire health. Life history, mental and physical health, belief systems, and thought patterns all affect the diagnosis and treatment of co-occurring disorders. This approach is called dual diagnosis.

Unfortunately, a lack of mental health education, stigmas, and lack of mental health resources lead many people to struggle with undiagnosed co-occurring disorders. It’s increasingly rare that someone lives with just one co-occurring disorder or struggles with substance abuse without an underlying co-occurring disorder.

Six Common Co-Occurring Disorders

Once someone develops one co-occurring disorder, they may develop others. Six of the most common co-occurring disorders include:

  • Depression: There are several types of depression characterized by a depressed mood, hopelessness, and numbness.
  • Anxiety: Anxiety is increasingly common and puts the body into a fight-or-flight response when there is no present danger.
  • Bipolar disorder: A type of depression, bipolar disorder shifts between episodes of high-energy mania and depression.
  • PTSD: Post-traumatic stress disorder can affect anyone at any time in their life, causing adverse effects related to traumatic events.
  • ADHD: This mood disorder can make it hard for people to focus on tasks or sit still without medication.
  • OCD: Obsessive-compulsive disorder can often lead to self-medicating.

Drugs and alcohol often reduce co-occurring disorder symptoms, making self-medicating a popular choice. Unfortunately, any relief from symptoms is temporary. In fact, symptoms often worsen with prolonged use of drugs and alcohol. Co-occurring disorder treatment can help patients understand how their thoughts, behavioral patterns, and belief systems affect their mood, daily life, and addictive tendencies. Today, an increasing number of adults also live with process addictions, like social media and video games or disordered eating. These are also co-occurring disorders that commonly accompany substance abuse.

Begin Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment in Massachusetts Today

Living with a co-occurring disorder can be overwhelming. Whether diagnosed, self-diagnosed, or underlying, co-occurring disorders impact every moment of a person’s life. Luckily, co-occurring disorders are manageable and treatable. Comprehensive treatment for co-occurring disorders can reduce addiction triggers and the risk of relapse. If you or someone you love shows signs of co-occurring disorders, NuLife Behavioral Health can help. Our warm, friendly Massachusetts clinic meets clients where they are for individualized treatment and care for mental health and addiction recovery. Our programs provide intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization for clients across the state of Massachusetts alongside referrals for residential and aftercare programs with our trusted partner clinics. No matter where you are in your recovery, diagnosis, treatment, and care for co-occurring disorders, the team at NuLife Behavioral Health is here to support you.

Call NuLife Behavioral Health Today to Learn More

Don’t let co-occurring disorders control your life. If you’re ready to learn more about diagnosis and treatment for co-occurring disorders at our Massachusetts clinic, call us now at 888.568.2057 to enroll today.