What Are the Consequences of Co-Occurring Disorders?

Alcohol use disorder and mental illness are often seen together. Each condition can influence the other, no matter which one developed first. Both need to be treated for a person to experience a fulfilling life. Here are a few things you should know about the consequences of co-occurring disorders and why you should seek treatment.

The Role of Alcoholism

Alcohol use disorder is when a person cannot stop drinking despite understanding the occupational, social, and health issues it causes. The problem can lead to alcohol dependence. This means that the person needs to drink to feel and function normally. Symptoms that a professional may use to diagnose alcohol use disorder include experiencing strong urges to drink alcohol, not being able to cut the use of alcohol despite wanting to do so, drinking for longer periods or higher amounts than originally intended, and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking. An individual experiencing some of the above-mentioned symptoms can benefit from professional treatment. These symptoms signal an urgent need for help.

The Role of Mental Illness

Mental illness conditions involve changes in behavior, emotions, and thoughts. They can affect a person’s job, family, and social life. Factors like a limited social circle, feeling isolated, genetics, brain chemistry, and life experiences can contribute to a person developing a mental illness. Throughout a person’s life, their mental health status can change. It can depend on their circumstances and external factors, like their family situation or stress. When a person experiences a high-stress load over a long period, they are at a higher risk for dealing with a mental health disorder.

When Alcoholism and Mental Health Issues Are Experienced Together

Substance use disorder and mental illness are often referred to as co-occurring disorders. They can present serious challenges to the well-being of an individual. They must be considered together when getting treatment and with ongoing aftercare. One problem can lead to the other. Additionally, risk factors increase the chances of developing both disorders. For example, a person who is dealing with a mental health issue a return to alcohol to self-medicate.

The Consequences of Co-Occurring Disorders

Co-occurring disorders can affect your psychological and physical health. They feed off each other and can propel a person into a downward spiral of addiction and other mental health problems. If a person leaves co-occurring disorders untreated, they have a higher likelihood of financial problems, employment problems, and problems with their family. They are more likely to deal with STDs, live in neighborhoods where drug use is common, and experienced violence.

They are more likely to have suicidal thoughts and may deal with legal problems, which could lead to spending time in prison. It is common for doctors to only detect one part of the problem and recommend treatment. Individuals in this situation may have been in and out of rehab centers and hospitals and talked to many counselors and therapists. However, they may have never received a proper diagnosis. They have gone through multiple relapses because of this, which can lead them to feel hopeless. To receive proper treatment, a doctor or counselor must recognize that two disorders are occurring simultaneously. This will help them find treatments that will address both disorders.

Help Is Available for Co-Occurring Disorders

Various methods can be used to help individuals who are dealing with co-coring disorders. It starts with getting a proper diagnosis. From there, a treatment plan can be recommended to help an individual get sober and understand the best method for leading a life of sobriety and being mentally healthy. Treatment can involve talking with therapists, psychiatrists, and skills coaches. These individuals must be knowledgeable in treating mental health illnesses and alcoholism.

You need an entire therapeutic team to help you get started on the path to a healthier life and in helping you stay on it. Are you ready to get started? If so, call us today at 772-266-5320. We can discuss treatment options, what rehabilitation entails, and what type of facilities are available to help individuals who are dealing with co-occurring disorders. You don’t have to face all the consequences mentioned above or go at trying to be healthier alone.

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