The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
WHAT IS DUAL DIAGNOSIS / CO-OCCURING DISORDERS? Dual Diagnosis, also known as Co-Occurring Disorders, is when an individual experiences both a substance use and mental health disorder at the same time. This is a relatively new concept to the mental health field that encompasses treating the whole individual who may be experiencing two or more disorders simultaneously. Despite being a newer clinical concept, it is quite common for an individual who has been experiencing drug or alcohol problems to also experience mental health issues. According to a national survey on drug use and health, around 7.9 million adults were diagnosed with a co-occurring/dual diagnosis in 2014.
Signs and Symptoms of a Co-Occurring Disorder
Drugs or Alcohol (see also Drug or Alcohol Abuse)
- Legal concerns due to drinking or drug use such as driving while intoxicated
- Physical health issues such as memory loss, illness, seizures, frequent vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, insomnia, weight loss
- Difficulties with maintaining work, social, or family obligations
- Relationship problems
- Lack of interest in doing things or feeling hopeless
- Loss of income due to drinking and drug use
- Participating in impulsive behaviors such as binge eating, one-night stands, shopping sprees, etc.
Common Mental Health Issues Co-Occurring With Drug or Alcohol Disorder (not all are listed below):
- Anxiety Disorders
- Hallucinations or psychotic disorders
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Personality disorders
- Bipolar Disorder
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)