Attempting to overcome a substance use disorder without the help of an addiction treatment center can be a profoundly difficult experience. That difficulty can be all the greater when a person is also struggling with a co-occurring mental health disorder.
The term “co-occurring disorder” refers to the presence of a secondary mental health diagnosis in addition to a primary diagnosis of substance use disorder. Because substance abuse and co-occurring disorders can feed off each other, overcoming a substance use disorder while also experiencing a co-occurring disorder can make recovery exponentially more difficult and can make rehab and treatment substantially more complex.
Many individuals who struggle with substance use disorders also experience co-occurring disorders. While we treat a wide range of co-occurring disorders at Serenity Knolls, located in California, the following disorders are some of the most common among individuals who come to us for help:
- Depressive disorders: Marked by sad mood, lack of ability to experience pleasure in everyday life, low motivation, and a range of other symptoms, depressive disorders can seriously impair an individual’s ability to successfully recover from substance abuse. Sometimes individuals with a co-occurring depressive disorder use substances in order to feel pleasure or block out pain or in an attempt to self-medicate.
- Anxiety disorders: While there are a number of different types of co-occurring anxiety disorders, these disorders, as a category, can be distinguished by the presence of fear or anxiety that is out of proportion to the thing or situation that is feared. For example, people with generalized anxiety disorder go through most of the day feeling anxious even though there is nothing in particular that is triggering those feelings. People with anxiety disorders may abuse substances in order to help them feel more calm and relaxed.
- Bipolar disorder: Bipolar disorder is marked by the presence of depressive episodes and manic or hypomanic episodes. Depressive episodes include many of the symptoms described above, while manic episodes are periods of time when an individual has excessive energy, reduced need for sleep, elevated impulsivity, poor judgment, and can spend inordinate amounts of time on improbable or unrealistic projects. People with bipolar disorder may use substances as an attempt to deal with the highs and lows of manic and depressive episodes.
- Trauma-related disorders: Trauma-related disorders are, as their name implies, disorders that are related to experiences of trauma. One of the most common of these disorders is adjustment disorder. When a person has adjustment disorder, he or she experiences substantial distress in response to a stressor that is out of proportion to the severity or intensity of the stressor itself. People with trauma-related disorders may use substances in order to numb the pain of their traumatic experience.
- Personality disorder: Personality disorders are characterized by maladaptive personality traits that can cause difficulty in the individual’s life. Personality disorders can affect an individual’s way of perceiving not only him or herself, but external events as well. Additionally, individuals who are suffering from personality disorders can have difficulties with emotional expression and stability, ability to function in relationships, and ability to control impulses, among other symptoms. People with personality disorders may abuse substances in an attempt to ignore or minimize problems that personality disorders can cause their lives.
In many cases, individuals with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders may not even recognize the presence of a co-occurring disorder. This most commonly occurs because either their substance use is masking the disorder, or the symptoms of the co-occurring disorder blend in with the symptoms of substance abuse. As a result, at Serenity Knolls in California, we place a high value on a thorough initial assessment during the admissions process to ensure that individuals who come to us for care can receive treatment for their concerns, even if co-occurring disorders may not be immediately apparent. We work to produce the best in addiction rehab and mental health treatment at our center.
We understand the difficulties that can accompany a struggle with substance abuse and co-occurring mental illness when effective rehab for addiction and treatment for co-occurring disorders is not sought. As such, we are prepared to provide a treatment experience at our center that will put individuals in a position to build a strong foundation for a sober life and give them the best possible chance to overcome substance use disorders once and for all.
Treatment and rehabilitation for individuals with co-occurring disorders is specially tailored to meet their needs. Individual therapy, group therapy, and all of our other treatment modalities are designed to thoroughly address the interwoven effects of primary substance use disorders and co-occurring mental illness so that each person can heal successfully and live the life that he or she is meant to live. Situated in California, Serenity Knolls is a place to conquer addiction and recover your life. If you or someone you love might benefit from the top-notch substance abuse and co-occurring disorder rehab and treatment that we provide at our center, please do not hesitate to contact us. There is no sense in delaying the beginning of a healthier life.