Most people who struggle with addiction also have a co-occurring mental health disorder. This is when someone has a mental health disorder at the same time as their addiction or substance use disorder (SUD). Sometimes a co-occurring mental health disorder will cause someone to become addicted to substances. In other instances, addiction can cause the development of a co-occurring mental health disorder. It's very much a chicken-or-egg situation, but both disorders exacerbate the other into a vicious cycle. This can make coming up with a treatment plan a bit tricky, as both mental health disorders must be treated at the same time.
When you treat one disorder over the other, it will make the other disorder worse. You can focus on some aspects of treatment at a time, but ultimately they must be treated together. It's why at Pathways Wellness Center, a wide variety of therapies are available to make creating individualized treatment plans easier. It can be difficult to undergo a treatment plan, but clients can expect to be supported and encouraged throughout the process. All treatment plans are made to help clients meet their goals, not set someone up for failure.
To understand how a co-occurring mental health disorder affects addiction treatment, we must learn which disorders are most commonly encountered alongside addiction.
Just about any mental health disorder can become a co-occurring mental health disorder. However, some disorders are most well known for being co-occurring mental health disorders to addiction. These are bipolar disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), borderline personality disorder (BPD), schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety disorders.
When looking at the list of mental health disorders above, it can be hard to see how a treatment plan can cover them and addiction at the same time. The truth is that it takes careful management and a collaborative effort between clients and mental health care professionals to succeed. Sometimes it can take several tries to find the right treatment plan. The point is to not give up. At Pathways Wellness Center, clients can trust that we will find the treatments needed to be effective. There are a few commonly used therapies that are effective for both co-occurring mental health disorders and addiction.
For anxiety-based disorders, clients can expect to receive therapies that focus on treating trauma. Psychotherapy is a common feature of nearly all treatment plans, and it's very effective for anxiety disorders. Clients will also receive therapies that teach self-calming skills, mindfulness, and meditation techniques.
Depression can be hard to treat because it can be caused by both trauma and physical problems, such as a brain injury. As a result, depression is often treated with the use of medication to help manage mood. Medication management is vital here, as those struggling with addiction may need to take medicine to reduce withdrawal symptoms as well. It takes a balancing act to prevent negative medication interactions, but treatments are possible for addiction and depression. People with depression and addiction often participate in adventure therapy, which brings clients outdoors and allows them to engage in exercise.
The same can be said with ADHD, as it's a mental health disorder that often needs medication too. Though with ADHD, psychotherapy also comes in handy for the teaching of healthy coping skills. These skills not only help someone cope with ADHD but also cope with cravings and other symptoms of addiction. They may also make use of art therapy, which can help teach a client to focus and communicate difficult concepts through the use of art.
Bipolar disorder, BPD, and schizophrenia all can benefit from dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT is used to teach someone how to recognize harmful behaviors, including ones associated with these mental health disorders. It's also an important part of addiction treatment. Sometimes these three disorders may need medication to treat their symptoms. Overall, those with these disorders will need treatments that help them regulate their emotions, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
As you can see, there's a lot to consider when making a treatment plan for addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder. It's important to understand that even though it looks complicated, recovery is possible. It just takes time, personal effort, the right treatments, and support to recover.
Many people with addiction have what is known as a co-occurring mental health disorder. These disorders can sometimes be the cause of an addiction or be the result of an addiction. When someone undergoes addiction treatment, they must have their co-occurring mental health disorder treated at the same time. Making a treatment plan to account for both can be tricky, but not at Pathways Wellness Center in Glendora, California. Here, our clients can get the compassionate and quality mental health care they need to recover from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. To learn how treatment can help you or a loved one recover, call us today at (888) 771-0966.