Co-Occurring disorders are present when there are two or more disorders at the same moment and these disorders were also called dual diagnosis or dual disorder. For instance, an individual can go through substance dependency while having bipolar disorder, too.
While the scope of treatment for drug dependency and mental conditions has emerged to be rather specific, the same thing goes as well for the terms used to refer to individuals who both have problems with drug dependency and mental conditions.
The two terms dual diagnosis and dual disorder are replaced by the term, co-occurring disorders. The said terms although usually used to refer to both drug and mental disorders as accompanying conditions, it can be easily misconstrued since they may also mean the combination of other health conditions like mental ailment or mental delay.
The terms are also misleading in that they only cover two disorders occurring at the same time which is not the case as two or more can occur at the same time. One or more disorders in the clients with co-occurring disorders (COD) relate to the use of alcohol and/or other drugs of abuse as well as one or more mental disorders. In order to get a co-occurring diagnosis, at least one disorder of each type has to be established and traced to be independent and not just a combination of symptoms springing from one disorder but manifesting as independent.
For the purposes of this article, we will use the dual disorders term interchangeably even if the co-occurring disorder is the most current term used professionally.
For people that suffer from COD, another term is commonly used and it is MICA, which means Mentally Ill Chemical Abusers in cases where patients suffer from an extreme and constant mental disorder like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. A preferred definition is mentally ill chemically affected people since their condition is better described by the word affected and is not derogatory. Other acronyms that are used to refer to people with COD are CAMI, Chemical Abuse and Mental Illness; MIC'D, Mentally Ill Chemically Dependent; MISA, Mentally Ill Substance Abusers; MISU, Mentally Ill Substance Using; Sami, Substance Abuse and Mental Illness and ICO PSD, Individuals with co-occurring psychiatric and substance disorders.
Some common types of co-existing conditions consist of the combinations of major depression types associated with cocaine dependency, alcohol dependency along with panic disorder, extreme alcoholism along with polydrug abuse with schizophrenia and as well as borderline personality condition with sporadic polydrug misuse. Some patients have more than two disorders although the article focuses more on dual disorders. Multiple disorders are usually based on the same principles that can be used when talking about dual disorders.
The severity, degree of impairment in functioning, chronicity and disability are some of the factors that differ in the occurrence of combinations of psychiatric disorders alongside substance abuse problems. For instance, each of the two disorders may be serious or mild, or one may be more serious than the other. Truly, the seriousness of both disorders can be modified eventually. Degree of disability and weakening of bodily functions can as well differ.
Therefore, there isn't a specific combination of dual disorders; in reality, there's a big difference among these. This is not to rule out the fact that one can come across patients who have the same combination of disorders in the course of treatment.
More than 50 per cent of adults who suffer from a serious mental disorder are also weakened by substance use disorders (addiction or abuse connected to alcohol or other substances).
Patients that have co-occurring disorders commonly feel stronger and chronic medical, emotional and social issues compared to those that only have a mental disorder or COD without the other. Since they have two disorders, they are at a risk of COD relapse and deterioration of the psychiatric ailment. Further, worsening of psychiatric problems often leads to addiction relapse and addiction relapse often leads to psychiatric decompensation. Therefore, preventing a relapse must be consciously devised for those who suffer from dual disorders. Users with dual disorders commonly need longer rehab, have a greater number of crises and advance more slowly in treatment compared to patients that only have a single disorder.
Mental disorders that are most common amongst dually diagnosed people are personality disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders and mood disorders.