For millions of people in the U.S., mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and bipolar disorder impact their lives daily. For some, the use of drugs and alcohol is often also a part of their daily routines. Mental health experts refer to this as a co-occurring disorder.
What is a co-occurring disorder? It’s a condition in which a person has both a mental health disorder and drug or alcohol addiction. When both are present, a co-occurring disorder treatment program is critical to reclaiming health and wellbeing. At Fort Behavioral Health, our co-occurring disorder treatment program is designed to address both conditions as needed.
Co-Occurring Disorders Are Common
A person with a mental health disorder may use drugs or alcohol as a way to self-medicate. That is, the symptoms of depression or anxiety can become so hard to control that a person uses drugs or alcohol as a way to stop feeling them. Other times, drug use can lead to the development of or worsening of a mental health disorder. For example, drug use can trigger a predisposition for the development of bipolar disorder, making the symptoms of that disorder more obvious and impactful to daily life.
How to Know You Have Co-Occurring Disorders
The only true way to know if you have co-occurring disorders is to have a formal assessment and diagnosis from a licensed therapist. However, there are some signs to look for that may indicate you are at risk for this condition:
- Turning to drugs or alcohol to deal with stress
- Needing to use drugs or alcohol to manage life responsibilities
- Feeling anxious and overwhelmed when you don’t use drugs or alcohol
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms or cravings if you do not use
- Needing to use more of these substances to simply feel normal
- Using drugs or alcohol as a way to stop memories, worries, or emotional pain
Don’t ignore these signs. If they are occurring, that may indicate you could benefit from formal treatment. That treatment can transform your life, giving you more control and the opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle.
What Does a Co-Occurring Disorder Likely Mean for You?
Co-occurring disorders often play a significant role in daily life. Using alcohol and drugs becomes the focus of your day. You may be using much more of those substances than you did previously, especially if your mental health symptoms continue to impact your life. This condition leads to damage in relationships, financial struggles, and limitations on careers for many people. Your health may also be suffering.
How Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment Can Change Your Life
Reaching out for treatment enables a professional to help you with both components of your disorder. You’ll get access to medications to ease the withdrawal process, making it possible for you to stop needing to use. At the same time, medications can also help to reduce the presence of mental health symptoms. Many people feel more in control. They gain clarity.
From there, psychotherapy begins. This is the process of talking to your therapists about what’s happened and, in some cases, determining why. Therapy is empowering. It lets you comprehensively gain control over symptoms of both conditions. For some, therapy can also help you rebuild your self-confidence, physical health, and outlook.
At Fort Behavioral Health, we do this by providing a wide range of therapy options for you in a modern setting. Some of our therapy options include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- 12-Step program
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Trauma therapy program
Heal Co-Occurring Disorders by Contacting Fort Behavioral Health Today
Learning about co-occurring disorders and how they can impact your life may motivate you to get the help and support you need to start healing. At Fort Behavioral Health, our master clinicians, comprehensive programs, and welcoming atmosphere offer the ideal surroundings. Learn more about what we can help you with when you call 844.332.1807 or connect with us online now.