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Co-Occurring Disorders

a person talks to a therapist in a session about co-occurring disordersThe term “co-occurring disorders” is most commonly used to refer to simultaneous mental health and substance use disorders. Mental health issues often go hand-in-hand with substance abuse. But, there are several criteria for diagnosing co-occurring disorders. There are also multiple approaches to treating co-occurring disorders depending on the complexity of the client’s case and circumstances.

If you or someone you love needs dual-diagnosis services, The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare is available to help today. Call us at 844.413.2690 to learn more about The Arbor Experience. We offer a distinctive treatment approach committed to whole-person wellness and innovative supporting programs right in the heart of Texas.

What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?

Co-occurring disorders are complex; their causes are not yet fully understood. However, several factors contribute to co-occurring disorders, also known as dual diagnosis. Certain substances may sometimes make a person more susceptible to mental illness. For example, cannabis use may contribute to affective or psychotic disorders.

For others, mental illness or neurodivergence like generalized anxiety, PTSD, or ADHD may precipitate substance use. Even eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia may co-occur with substance use disorders. Often, people turn to self-medicating in the absence of effective professional treatment for many physical or mental issues.

How Dual Diagnosis Programs Address Co-Occurring Disorders

It is necessary to treat both addiction and mental illness in co-occurring disorders. There are often multiple overlapping symptoms across mental and substance use disorders. Therefore, a client will typically be evaluated by multiple medical professionals. These experts comprehensively evaluate the person’s symptoms and history using various diagnostic tools. In this way, dual diagnosis programs offer the best opportunities for an accurate diagnosis and creating a personalized treatment plan.

Treatment Modalities for Co-Occurring Disorders

The best treatment plan will be tailored to the needs of the client. But, there are many common treatment modalities that medical professionals can employ in a person’s treatment program.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) encourages clients to examine how their underlying feelings, attitudes, and beliefs affect their behavior. Addressing these psychological and emotional factors, a person can understand why they make their choices. With this new understanding, a client works to change harmful behaviors with the support of mental health professionals.

12-Step Programs

12-step programs have a decades-long history of success in supporting addiction recovery. The steps in the program, such as making amends, learning to ask for help, and paying forward the support received in the group, are fundamental aspects of completing a 12-step program. Additionally, support groups create a sense of accountability and of being part of a larger community. This sense of belonging can fulfill the acceptance of a higher power, often the first step of a 12-step program. In addition to community and accountability, 12-step programs provide a safe space both to talk about challenges to sobriety and to celebrate successes.

Equine-Assisted Therapy

Addiction can be an isolating experience. So, it is vital for the client to once again access their capacity to establish safe connections with others. Equine therapy, while a relatively new treatment modality, is a way to begin to create these connections. The non-judgemental nature of horses and the wide, open spaces where clients interact with them create an environment where a person can begin healing without shame and guilt.

With the Arbor Experience, You Have Choices

Co-occurring disorders are difficult to manage, and these are just a few treatment options available at The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare. If you or someone you love is living with a substance use disorder, especially one compounded by mental illness, help is available. With a wide-ranging continuum of care and luxury facilities, you or your loved one will enjoy a personalized approach to their recovery at The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare. Call us now at 844.413.2690 for more information. Our intake specialists will be happy to assist you.