You’re seeking help for a drug or alcohol problem. While talking to a counselor, you learn that you may be suffering from co-occurring disorders. What are they? More importantly, how do they affect your recovery?
Mental Health and Substance Abuse
Sometimes, a mental health disorder and a substance abuse problem go hand in hand. It’s impossible to tell if one caused the other. However, it’s entirely possible that one aggravates the other. Examples of mental health problems run the gamut from anxiety-related issues to mood disorders.
On the anxiety side of the equation, you may have panic disorders, social anxiety, or trauma. Mood issues refer to conditions such as bipolar disorders or depression. In some cases, you’ll also find mental illness alongside an addiction. A common problem is schizophrenia.
Therapists refer to the presence of addiction and mental health issues as co-occurring disorders. Someone might use a drug or alcohol to quiet disturbing thoughts. You may experience intrusive feelings that you want to numb. In this way, a substance abuse problem can form around a disorder.
Dealing with Co-Occurring Disorders in Rehab
When you discuss your treatment with an intake counselor, the expert may ask you to undergo a dual diagnosis assessment. This assessment allows a therapist to evaluate your situation for the presence of a mental health issue. If you suffer from dual conditions, the therapist puts together a treatment protocol to help manage both disorders. Of course, this is only a part of your recovery.
By getting the mental health condition under control, you’ll eliminate one of the reasons for using drugs or alcohol. Other modalities then help you handle the addiction issue separately. Examples of treatments include:
- One-on-one talk therapy that allows for cognitive behavioral therapy applications and similar interventions
- Group therapy, which introduces you to healthy peer relationships in an environment where others want to see you succeed
- 12 Step program attendance that introduces relapse prevention strategies as well as personal accountability
- Exercise therapy and nutritional counseling to ensure physical healing as well as emotional recovery
- Spiritually informed care that offers healing across all planes of consciousness
What Happens after Treatment?
As you continue in your recovery, you’ll eventually leave the rehab facility and return home. You might also opt to live in a sober living facility for a while before returning to daily life. It’s vital that you continue with your treatment even after rehab. Friendly counselors ensure that you have referrals to specialists who can help you manage a mental health condition.
Recovery, too, continues. You may choose to attend 12-step group meetings to keep benefiting from the camaraderie with others. You might decide to have an accountability partner who helps you to stay on track. These exercises assist with relapse prevention but also help you if you should stumble.
Before you can get there, you need to take your first step on the road to recovery. You don’t have to continue suffering from addiction. Reach out for help to the Soledad House by calling 866-314-3222 today.