What are co-occurring issues when it comes to mental health treatment? This term refers to other conditions that a client is also struggling with, apart from an already known diagnosis.
It can also be a dual diagnosis, such as depression and addiction, but some clients may have more than two co-occurring disorders. However, it’s worth noting that depression and addiction often occur together, making it one of the most common examples of a dual diagnosis. Depression can increase the risk of developing chronic illness, including substance use disorder. The latter can develop due to the client self-medicating. Up to a third of clinically depressed people have addictive behaviors.
A treatment program that addresses both depression and addiction can help to stop the progression of both disorders. Some experts say that both need to be treated simultaneously for significant progress to occur. Contact Foothills at Red Oak Recovery by calling 866.300.5275 to learn more about the treatment options available.
What Are Co-Occurring Issues?
Co-occurring issues or disorders arise when a client has two or more mental health issues that they’re struggling with at the same time. These mental and medical difficulties may overlap or begin at the same time.
In many cases, co-occurring issues are both mental health conditions. A co-occurring physical condition would not be typical. Co-occurring mental health disorders are common in clients with substance use disorders. In fact, about half of people with an addiction will develop at least one co-occurring mental health issue in their lifetime. Here are some reasons why clients with substance use disorders are also often affected by depression or another mental health issue:
- Overlapping risk factors: These risk factors can include genetics and environmental factors, such as exposure to trauma.
- Self-medication: Mental health disorders can lead to substance use disorders because people can use the latter to cope with their mental health disorder’s symptoms.
- Changes in the brain: Substance use can cause changes in the brain’s chemical makeup, leading to mental health disorders. This can increase someone’s likelihood of developing symptoms of a mental disorder. The areas of the brain affected by substance use seem to be correlated with areas associated with impulse-control, schizophrenia, mood, and anxiety disorders.
What Are the Dangers of Habitual Sadness and Addiction?
People with severe depression may turn to substance use to get relief from their habitual sadness. Depression and substance use can often feed into one another, leading to increasingly severe forms of these disorders. That’s why it’s essential to diagnose co-occurring issues and seek treatment for them right away.
A person’s mental state may eventually deteriorate and lead to accidental injury, self-harm, or suicide. Depression can also affect the immune system and cause a person’s body to weaken considerably. Combined with substance use, these effects of depression can put a person in a lot of physical and emotional danger.
Can Depression and Addiction Be Treated at the Same Time?
Treatment plans for dual diagnosis involving depression and addiction should take depressive symptoms into account while also addressing addiction. These symptoms may include:
- Low energy levels
- Low motivation
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Loss of interest in hobbies
- Withdrawing from family and friends
We may recommend inpatient treatment initially, especially if the client expresses suicidal thoughts or has a history of suicide attempts. Clients that are struggling with both depression and addiction issues can go through detox with 24-hour support and supervision.
Once the client is ready to transition into the next stage of recovery, an outpatient or partial hospitalization program (PHP) can increase a client’s focus on independence and self-determination. Clients with a dual diagnosis will benefit from long-term support while recovering. More data helps ensure that the treatment clients receive is appropriate for their current psychological status.
Seek Treatment at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery
If you’re looking for a treatment center in North Carolina to manage co-occurring issues effectively, contact Foothills at Red Oak Recovery. Call 866.300.5275 or reach out to our team online.