Treating Co-Occurring Disorders - Mental Health Program at Banyan Treatment Centers
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Treating Co-Occurring Disorders

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Co-occurring disorders, also known as dual diagnosis disorders, occur when a mental illness exists with a substance addiction.

This can look different for everyone and can arise from a variety of combinations and illnesses. By entering a treatment facility that understands this, you can obtain a brand-new outlook on your mental health and why certain troubling instances continue to occur. 

Sometimes, an untreated mental illness results in improper coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse. In other cases, substance abuse pushes the development of mood or thought disorders. At Banyan Mental Health, our residential programs can help address co-occurring disorders. 

Why a Proper Dual Diagnosis Matters 

Understanding exactly what a person and their care team are up against can make a world of difference. Being that either condition can affect the other, both addiction and mental illness can be extremely frustrating to those suffering from them. While someone with a physical injury gets a certain amount of sympathy afforded to them, this happens less frequently for what often is an invisible illness. Aside from clear examples like job loss and other drastic life changes, it is easy for a person struggling with either condition to go undiagnosed and have their symptoms written off as a nuisance. This is especially true in communities where mental health is already not taken seriously.  

Additionally, being uninformed of any portion of one's own mental health can lead to more issues overall. For instance, a person can know they have a drinking problem. But if they are dealing with something like undiagnosed OCD, they could be running into even more issues getting through their day. With as many subtypes as there are of this disorder, the number of tasks that they struggled with could then lead them to drink the night away and forget how they felt.  

The cyclical nature of addiction is a frustrating one and realizing that an unknown mental illness is contributing to it can make a world of difference.  

Why Being Self-Medicated Isn’t Ideal  

It is hard to imagine just how difficult living with a mental illness is unless you experience it yourself. Some of the most common mental health conditions that co-occur with substance abuse include: 

  • ADHD 
  • Anxiety disorders 
  • Bipolar disorder 
  • Depressive disorders 
  • Personality disorders 
  • Schizophrenia 

For a person that has decided to self-medicate, it is easy to believe that they found the answer to whatever their struggles have been. Relief from debilitating symptoms is a wonderful thing but is often short-lived due to the risk of the situation as a whole. Sadly, a self-medicated individual is much more likely to grow dependent on, abuse, or overdose on their substance of choice. 

Treating a Co-Occurring Disorder 

A dual diagnosis requires a multifaceted treatment approach. They cannot be treated with a one-size-fits-all blanket solution. At Banyan, we incorporate personalized treatment methods into our residential mental health program to help address the root cause of co-occurring disorders. Treatment methods include: 

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 
  • Solution Focused Brief Therapy 
  • Group Therapy 
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy 
  • Reality Therapy 
  • Motivational Interviewing 
  • Pet Therapy 

These treatment approaches are often used in conjunction with one another to formulate a personalized approach for mental illness treatment in Boca. We believe that by combining several of the above therapies, our licensed therapists can provide the full scope of treatment our patients need for the successful treatment of co-occurring disorders. 

Treating Substance Use in Patients Struggling With Co-occurring Disorders  

Substance abuse is one aspect of a co-occurring disorder that must be treated with a specific approach. First, the patient must medically detox from the substances they have been abusing. Then, they need therapies to address the underlying causes of substance abuse. If a mental illness or disorder has contributed to their substance abuse, therapists must address the correlation between the two. A residential mental health program offers the best level of care for this treatment. 

Care does not have to end when the programs are concluded. Patients are also encouraged to maintain their success through our addiction aftercare programs. These plans are developed by our team of licensed professionals and allow patients to continue receiving effective care while readjusting back to their everyday lives. Options include community support groups, housing assistance, and continuing outpatient care with a provider that is trained in the dual diagnosis at hand.  

Motivational Interviewing  

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a therapeutic method that helps patients approach overwhelming goals. Through Motivational Interviewing, patients and therapists have healthy discussions about the patient’s current goals and challenges. They then work together to develop a plan for overcoming these challenges to meet their goals. Motivational Interviewing is a patient-driven technique. It enables the patient to establish ownership of their story. 

Pet Therapy 

Visits with trained therapy animals are facilitated at our facility in Boca. Pet handlers guide the interaction, and countless studies have proven the many benefits. This program serves as a favorite for many patients due to its engaging and therapeutic nature. The exact type of animal that the person engages with will be determined by their doctor and which they believe will benefit the patient more.  

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 

The idea behind this treatment method is that our thoughts and behaviors influence one another, which serves as a theme of many co-occurring disorders as well. By altering the way we think or behave in a situation, we can change our outlook on life. It seeks to further inform the individual about exactly why their behavior is damaging and where it may originate from. 

At Banyan Mental Health, we offer many treatment options for mental illness, substance use, and co-occurring disorders. We offer personalized treatment plans to help patients find happiness, health, and sobriety. If you or someone you love is struggling with a co-occurring disorder, reach out for information about our dual diagnosis rehab programs. 


Our licensed therapists are ready to offer you effective treatment approaches to help treat co-occurring disorders. Call us today at 888-280-4763, and learn how our programs can help. 


Related Readings 


Symptoms of Co-Occurring Disorders 

Hidden Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders 

Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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