Why do people begin abusing drugs or alcohol? In addition to genetics and social conditioning, there’s the possibility of co-occurring disorders. What are they? Most importantly, what should you do if you struggle with these conditions right now?
What are Co-Occurring Disorders?
When someone struggles with chemical dependency and a mental health disorder, therapists call it a co-occurring condition. It means that there are two separate disorders in play that affect one another. For example, there might be an alcohol use disorder as well as a social anxiety problem. Another combination may involve stimulant abuse and depression.
Almost half of substance abuse cases come with a dual diagnosis. This means that therapists recognize a co-occurring condition. Few people have a formal diagnosis. Therefore, they typically self-medicate without realizing what they’re doing.
For example, a person might struggle with a traumatic event from the past. There are unwelcome thoughts and intrusive emotions. Rather than receiving professional help, they numb themselves with a nervous system depressant. Doing so eventually results in chemical dependency.
It’s not unusual for someone to believe that they need the drug to function. In this way, co-occurring disorders point to substance abuse as a crutch. A person may think that they can’t go out in public without fortifying themselves with a few drinks. This illustrates that a dual diagnosis often points at a physical and psychological addiction.
Rehab Must Address Both Conditions
A dual diagnosis treatment center is the ideal place to seek help. Therapists understand how the conditions feed off one another. Most importantly, they know that you have to manage both of them for healing. Therefore, they’ll put together treatments that target these conditions.
- Dialectical behavior therapy as a tool for getting overwhelming emotions under control
- Cognitive behavioral therapy that focuses on the connections between thoughts, feelings, and actions
- Life skills training as a tool for regaining control over your daily processes
- Group therapy for social skills training, boundary setting, and peer mentoring
- Family counseling that helps minimize triggers and stressors in the home while addressing loved ones’ needs for healing
- Psychotherapy, which is a tool for talking through the roots of your mental health concerns
While you’re in therapy, you explore the development of new coping skills. You learn self-care skills that encourage a productive and healthy lifestyle after rehab. Most importantly, you work within the framework of the mental health disorder. Frequently, these are chronic conditions.
Therefore, you learn to manage the condition. Almost all program participants appreciate the opportunity to gain control over their mental health. It empowers them to live productively. For many, it means a return to work or school.
Enlist the Assistance of Therapists to Make Changes Today
You don’t have to self-medicate to feel normal. Because there are healthy ways of managing your condition, you can now function without drugs or alcohol. Besides that, you can change your lifestyle to focus on healthy activities that help you cope. In the process, you significantly reduce the cravings for drugs.
Are you ready to have therapists assist you with overcoming co-occurring disorders? At Bayview Recovery, therapists routinely help people just like you enter long-term recovery. Call 855.478.3650 now to learn more.