Understanding the Link Between Co-Occurring DisordersIndividuals suffering from substance abuse disorder oftentimes also struggle with mental health problems, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and/or anxiety. When this happens, professionals refer to this as a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. Trying to overcome a substance abuse disorder can be extremely difficult but also having mental health issues makes the battle twice as hard.

Co-occurring disorders both produce unique symptoms that prevent individuals from functioning properly at work or school, maintaining a healthy home life, handling life’s spontaneous difficulties and relating to others around them. What makes co-occurring disorders more complicated is that mental health issues and drug addiction affect one another. The longer individuals go without mental health treatment, the more likely their substance abuse disorder gets worse, and vice versa.

How Substance Abuse Disorders Affect Mental Health Disorders

It’s important to understand that although mental health disorders and substance abuse disorders are closely linked, one doesn’t necessarily cause the other. But it’s important to note that individuals often rely on drugs and/or alcohol as self-medication for their mental health issues. Because most substances are known for producing euphoric feelings, people often rely on them when they’re unable to deal with their difficult emotions. However, the more drugs and alcohol they consume, the more their bodies rely on them and need increased dosages to produce the same feelings they crave. In the long run, this makes their mental health problems worse even though they may feel temporary relief at the moment.

What Causes Mental Health Disorders?

There are many factors that contribute to the development of mental health disorders, such as genetics, the environment, and traumatic life experiences. However, using drugs and alcohol as a means to cope with life’s problems puts individuals more at risk of developing mental health disorders. For those already dealing with mental health issues, using drugs or consuming alcohol can trigger new symptoms or increase the symptoms that are already present. Even those who may be taking specific treatment like antidepressants, anti-anxiety pills, and mood stabilizers, consuming drugs and alcohol can counteract with the medication and render them ineffective.

If you believe your loved one may be suffering from a co-occurring disorder, it’s important to understand that even though it will be difficult, treatment is possible. With determination, discipline, and support, those suffering from co-occurring disorders can overcome their addictions and keep their mental health intact. There are several treatment options to consider, the most popular being rehabilitation centers and alternative treatment centers.

Alternative Treatment Centers in Tennessee

Discovery Place is an alternative treatment center located in Burns, Tennessee, known for helping victims of substance abuse disorder overcome their addiction and move on to living happy lives. We offer several different treatment programs for those in need of our services. Some of our programs include a 30-Day Alternative Residential Addiction Recovery Program and a Long-Term Alternative Addiction Recovery Program. If you would like more information about our programs, call us today at (800)-725-0922 to schedule a free consultation.


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