Depression Treatment in South Florida

Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders

People who struggle with substance abuse disorders and mental health disorders are diagnosed as having co-occurring disorders. This is also sometimes called a dual diagnosis or referred to as a dual disorder.

At Banyan Mental Health, we use unique programs and therapies to effectively treat all co-occurring disorders so our patients can experience a happy and healthy life in recovery. Our staff of certified professionals provide patients with the right resources and care to effectively treat both mental health disorders and addiction.

What are Co-Occurring Disorders?

Substance use disorder (SUD), also known as drug use disorder, is a condition in which the use of one or more substances leads to a clinically significant physical impairment or distress. Substance use disorders can interfere with the way a person functions at work, at school, and in personal relationships. It is also diagnosed when substance abuse creates or worsens a medical condition. This disorder can completely take over a person’s life and lead them down a dangerous path.

A co-occurring disorder can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms of a mental health disorder and addiction can be similar. Individuals struggling with addiction may not know they have a co-occurring disorder. Although everyone is different, there are general signs of existing co-occurring disorders you can look out for. Professional treatment from our mental health residential program may be necessary for recovery from addiction and mental illness.

Combined Symptoms of Both Diseases

Some common symptoms of co-occurring disorders can include anxiety attacks, insomnia, extreme paranoia, and depression. An individual will also experience withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability and agitation, that can lead to repeated drug use. The need for medical care is so important because the combined effects of both diseases can be too much for one person to handle. If an individual stops taking drugs on their own, their mental health disorder symptoms can increase during this time, and the vicious cycle of addiction starts to take over.

Symptoms of co-occurring disorders include:

  • Mental health symptoms worsening even after receiving mental health treatment
  • If you are unable to fulfill your daily responsibilities at work or school due to your addiction or mental health issue
  • If you are neglecting your healthy relationships and are lacking in communication because you are struggling with drug use or mental health issues

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 wonderful but is often short-lived due to the risk of the situation. 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 Behavior Therapy
  • Reality Therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Pet Therapy

Co-occurring disorder treatment must address both issues as well as be customized to fit the individual’s needs. Successful treatment for this type of diagnosis includes therapy and rehab support to treat the substance abuse aspect of the diagnosis. Of course, every situation is different, and any co-occurring disorder should be treated on an individualized basis.

These treatment approaches are often used together to formulate a personalized approach. 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 ther

apies 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 trained in the dual diagnosis at hand. 

Everyone has a different story, but addiction can ch

ange a person’s life for the worst. Substance abuse may result in mental health issues or cause them. Some people actively seek out drugs or alcohol during difficult times and use drugs as a way to mask the symptoms from a mental health disorder. Individuals battling with addiction and mental illness may also benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, in which patients learn how their thoughts and behaviors go hand in hand. Ultimately, this can 

debilitate a person’s physical and mental state, and proper co-occurring disorders treatment might be needed to overcome this change.

At Banyan Mental Health, we give our patients the tools they need to effectively manage their mental health disorder symptoms without feeling the need to turn to substance abuse. The symptoms of a mental health disor

der can worsen if addiction is present and individualized care is the best option for treating both diseases. At our mental health facility, we use a variety of treatment methods to effectively treat all co-occurring disorders. Our trained and professional staff dedicates themselves to guiding our patients through every step of their recovery.

For more information on how our mental health programs can effectively treat co-occurring disorders, contact us today. We are here to help you truly recover and live a healthy life. Call us at (877) 360-1639.