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5 Signs of Co-Occurring Disorders

Person with face in hands, experiencing signs of co-occurring disorders

Serious drug and alcohol problems co-occur with other issues that harm your mental health. In other words, they often affect you simultaneously as depression or another diagnosable mental health issue. As a rule, the combined effects of two overlapping conditions will seriously impair your everyday function. To overcome them, you need formal co-occurring disorders treatment. Do you or your loved one display the signs of co-occurring disorders and meet the criteria for this kind of treatment program? Find out by contacting Northpoint Recovery in Idaho today at 208.486.0130.

About Co-Occurring Disorders and Dual Diagnosis

People showing symptoms of co-occurring disorders have a dual diagnosis. One diagnosed condition is always some form of substance abuse or addiction. The second is a mental health issue that produces its effects in other ways. Research shows that a co-occurring disorder affects roughly half of all people with substance abuse problems. You may develop this disorder before you lose control over your drug or alcohol abuse. You may also develop it after you’re already affected by a drug or alcohol problem.

If you’re in substance abuse treatment, the presence of another condition can significantly alter your recovery. You must get help for that second issue to make real gains toward sobriety. At the same time, your progress toward sobriety helps you deal with the second condition affecting you. For these reasons, co-occurring disorder treatment plans differ from the typical rehab plan. They require the involvement of mental health experts and addiction treatment specialists. They also tend to require a broader range of treatment options.

5 Symptoms of Co-Occurring Disorders

You may notice visible signs of co-occurring disorders. However, the specific symptoms can vary widely from case to case. Different kinds of substance abuse problems may have differing outward effects, and co-occurring mental health issues also produce a broad range of external effects. This means that telltale indicators of a dual diagnosis can be hard to spot. Still, you may notice sure common signs, including the following:

  • Withdrawal from social contact
  • Rapid or extreme changes in mood or behavior
  • Problems focusing or paying attention
  • Involvement in highly risky activities
  • Difficulty functioning well at work, at school, or home

You may also notice things specific to a substance abuse problem or additional mental health issues. For example, your loved one may frequently drink or take a particular drug. If they’re affected by depression, they may repeatedly talk about suicide or death in general.

Psychological Effects of Co-Occurring Disorders

Co-occurring disorders can also produce symptoms you can’t see from the outside. Like outward signs, the symptoms of a co-occurring disorder can vary a lot. For example, your loved one may crave more alcohol or drugs. They may also:

  • Feel paranoid or highly anxious in certain situations
  • Experience frequent or constant feelings of sadness
  • Have suicidal thoughts they never mention to you
  • Hear voices or otherwise hallucinate
  • Think delusional thoughts
  • Feel tired much or all of the time

Issues like these may go undetected unless your loved one receives a mental health screening or assessment.

Contact Northpoint Recovery Today to Learn More About the Signs of Co-Occurring Disorders

Do you think you have noticed some co-occurring disorder signs in a friend or family member? Dual diagnosis experts can help determine if overlapping substance abuse and mental health issues exist. These specialists can also provide effective, customized treatment. Want to know more about what it takes to identify or recover from co-occurring disorders? Contact the caring and compassionate team of Northpoint Recovery today at 208.486.0130 or complete our online form. Our team of specialists can answer any questions you may have.