Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment


What Are Co-occurring Disorders?

Co-occurring disorders are a term used when an individual experiences multiple mental illnesses at the same time. Individuals who experience a mental health condition may turn to social isolation as a means to alleviate their emotional pain. In many instances, coping mechanisms are used as a form of self-medication in an effort to manage or improve their mental health symptoms.

Common mental health disorders include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. Research shows that various factors worsen the symptoms of mental illness. Millions of Americans have multiple mental health disorders. Having two disorders at the same time is also known as “comorbidity” and it can make treating each disorder more difficult.

Factors That Can Aggravate Mental Health Conditions

  • Brain Responses: Other conditions can elicit symptoms that appear to be a mental illness, like excessive marijuana use that can give rise to psychosis in some individuals, which is a severe mental disorder that causes a person to lose touch with reality.
  • Genetics: Having a family history, or the genetic predisposition for mental illness, can put individuals at a higher risk for developing a mental disorder. Research shows that genes make up 40% to 60% of a person’s susceptibility to becoming an addict.
  • Environmental Triggers: chronic stress, persistent anxiety, or a traumatic event can trigger an onset of a mental disorder.

Symptoms of Dual Diagnosis

The symptoms for dual diagnosis can vary widely due to the endless combinations of co-occurring disorders that can be present. Mental health clinics have begun using screening tools to help with identifying people who are at risk, as well as, any underlying factors that could be contributing to worsening their conditions. This will allow for an accurate diagnosis, and help with getting to the root problem quicker, which results in optimal treatment protocols. Some symptoms of a mental disorder may include:

  • Isolation or withdrawal from family and friends
  • Changes in behavior that are sudden
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Changes in patterns of thinking
  • Wanting to be in dangerous situations
  • Involvement in risky behavior
  • Loss of control
  • Having a high tolerance and withdrawal symptoms

The symptoms of a mental health condition can also vary. Some warning signs to look for are:

  • Extreme changes in mood
  • Confusion or problems concentrating
  • Avoidance of friends and social situations and activities
  • Suicidal thoughts

These signs and symptoms may be a definite warning to seek help.

Treatment of Mental Illness

Treating a dual diagnosis can be difficult because it is complicated to try to determine the cause of certain symptoms. For example, if a patient has depression, there is no way to say whether mental illness is the root cause of the problem. People with dual diagnoses are seen as high-risk patients. Battling with a mental illness comes with its own list of difficulties. But, when there are underlying conditions, this puts the patient at a higher suicide risk and a tendency to be more violent.

The best treatment for co-occurring disorders is an integrated intervention in which a person receives care for both their mental health disorder, as well as underlying factors that may be contributing to the problem. Proper evaluations and treatment plans combined with assessing the presence or absence of a mental health disorder is crucial to long-term success.

It is important to choose a mental health provider that is qualified in treating dual diagnosis. The individual and their chosen treatment provider should have a mutual understanding of the ways each condition can affect the other. Discussions on how treatment can be most effective should occur. Treatment planning and strategies for dual diagnosis are not streamlined and will differ from patient to patient.

Common Co-occurring Mental Illness Treatment Involves:

At Montare Behavioral Health, we utilize a wide variety of therapeutic approaches and evidence-based treatment modalities including:

Additional Treatment Elements Include:

  • Daily Individual therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Neurofeedback
  • Neuropsychological diagnostic testing
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Yoga
  • Recreational therapy
  • Holistic Therapies
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) for trauma therapy

What is A Dual Diagnosis Residential Treatment Program?

In a dual diagnosis residential treatment program, clients engage in comprehensive, individualized treatment programs focused on addressing the unique needs of the individual. Research shows that treating both disorders at the same time leads to much better outcomes. Individuals within a dual diagnosis residential treatment program have a primary mental health disorder or a psychiatric diagnosis such as major depression, anxiety disorder, or bipolar disorder. In the past, these individuals may have tried to treat their disorders individually and did not have much success.

For those individuals who are in need of dual-diagnosis treatment, Montare Behavioral Health is here to help. We are a mental health residential treatment facility that can treat dual-diagnosis clients with a primary mental health disorder. At Montare Behavioral Health, we can help you restore a sense of control to your life. Contact us today to learn more about how Montare Behavioral Health can help you with dual diagnosis treatment.