Mental health and substance use disorders go hand in hand. At times it is difficult to separate one from another. More often than not, each condition exacerbates the other. More than 50% of those suffering from a substance abuse disorder have what is considered dual diagnosis. The term dual diagnosis is more commonly referred to as a co-occurring disorder .
For anyone struggling with substance use disorder, the stress of the holidays can be overwhelming, but those diagnosed with co-occurring Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can find it especially challenging.
In the USA, nearly 6 in 10 individuals who struggle with substance use disorder also experience some other kind of mental health issue at the same time. We call these dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders and, when it comes to substance use, they’re far from uncommon.
Here are 10 things you may not know about co-occurring disorders:
Ever feel like your childhood experiences are still influencing the decisions you make today? Whether you’re a social drinker looking to cut down, or involved in more heavy consumption of alcohol and searching for the answers to recovery, the experiences you went through as a child might be holding you back from sobriety. Let’s look at the link between childhood experiences and substance use disorder, and how you can start to address these today.
For many people, substance use disorder is more than just a physical struggle with drugs and alcohol; it takes root in unresolved issues, trauma and mental health. In fact, nearly 6 in 10 individuals who struggle with substance use disorder are also affected by at least one co-occurring disorder, making the acknowledgement or discovery of these conditions a critical component of treatment.
When someone suffers from a substance use disorder and a psychiatric disorder (such as depression, anxiety disorder, PTSD, schizophrenia, OCD, or a personality disorder), the conditions are considered co-occurring because they are occurring at the same time.
Is there a connection between being a workaholic and having an alcohol use disorder? There could be, according to a recent study, which showed a correlation between working too many hours and drinking. In fact, those who voluntarily worked 5 or more hours of overtime a week were almost three times more likely to struggle with alcohol than their less work focused peers.
Lent is a season in which many people pick a habit that they try to give up for 40 days…just in case that New Year’s resolution didn’t stick. Trying to give up chocolate, dessert or smoking is common during Lent. Another common habit that is often given up is alcohol.
How Did I Get Here?
When you or a loved one is suffering from a substance use disorder, often you will ask “Why did this happen?”
Many people who struggle with addition to alcohol or drugs also have difficulty controlling the amount of food that they eat. It is common to hear about someone binging in college or at parties with alcohol. However, what is less common is to hear others speak of repetitive binges on food. Yet, addiction to alcohol or drugs, and binge eating disorder (BED) share many common features.