Living with more than one mental illness can be extra challenging. For example, it can impair how a person functions and interacts with the world and can lead to avoidance and isolation. But through proper diagnosis and therapy from co-occurring treatment centers like Sana Lake BWC, individuals can gain control of their lives.
A dual diagnosis is when someone has more than one mental illness or disorder at the same time or co-occurring. A dual diagnosis is often referring to mental illness and substance use disorder (SUD). But it’s possible to have more than one mental illness at a time.
It’s not as common as having SUD and mental illness, but it happens more than we realize. For example, over 18 percent of U.S. adults with mental illness have co-occurring SUD. Compared to 3 percent of adults with more than one mental illness and not SUD.
Life can be hard when a person battles co-occurring disorders. Living with depression is challenging. The symptoms cause chaos and make daily life difficult.
However, having depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) means having two sets of symptoms. The symptoms can co-occur severely impacting a person’s life. For instance, the anxiety from OCD can trigger feelings of guilt that comes with depression.
Comorbidity means having more than one chronic illness at once. Approximately 1 in 10 U.S. adults has comorbid or co-occurring mental health disorders. So, unfortunately, it is more common than most people think.
Anxiety is the most common comorbidity in major depression. The comorbidity rate is almost 60%. For this reason, many professionals consider one disorder a predisposing factor for the other. Approximately 5-9% of the adult population has a diagnosis of anxiety and depression.
A person with major depressive disorder is also at a higher risk of psychotic disorders and suicide. At the same time, those with a high risk of suicide may be at risk of anxiety and psychotic disorders.
Comorbidity is so common in bipolar disorder that according to the National Comorbidity Survey, 95% of people with bipolar disorder have three co-occurring disorders. At the same time, 65% had at least one co-occurring mental disorder. Other common comorbid conditions include:
Comorbidity in eating disorders can present itself in many ways. It can also be hard to treat as the dysfunctional eating hinders treatment. Comorbid conditions include:
One of the hardest challenges of treating a personality disorder is only a few people have no comorbidity. For example, 96% of those with personality disorders also have a mood disorder. Furthermore, between 71% and 83% suffer from depression. Anxiety disorder is also shared, with 88% of people suffering both. Similarly, up to 56% of people have comorbid PTSD.
Many people with PTSD have at least one comorbid mental disorder. The National Comorbidity Survey shows 88.3% of men and 79% of women suffer from one comorbid disorder. Also, 59% of men and 44% of women have three comorbid disorders. Comorbid mental disorders can include:
A study by the U.S. National Library of Medicine found the therapies used to treat a single mental illness is effective in treating co-occurring mental disorders. But developing a successful treatment plan can be challenging. Seeking treatment through co-occurring treatment centers like Sana Lake BWC offers the best chance at recovery.
Co-occurring treatment centers provide a full range of therapies. Our team at Sana Lake BWC is highly trained in diagnosing and treating dual diagnosis. Members or individuals with mental illness have multiple symptoms, and a correct diagnosis is the first step to treatment.
We believe that each person is unique and so are their needs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse finds the most effective treatment programs can tailor treatment to the person’s needs. And the best place to receive treatment is co-occurring treatment centers.
Living with multiple mental illnesses can be stressful, tiring, and even life-threatening. For this reason, integrated treatment is crucial. It offers the medical, therapeutic, and holistic therapies members need for recovery.
Common life-threatening issues of mental illness include:
For this reason, treating the “whole person” is vital. Therapy promotes lifestyle changes, such as behavioral changes, healthy eating habits, and communication skills.
Psychotherapy for co-occurring mental disorders is the most common form of therapy. It contains different treatments. For example, many co-occurring treatment centers use individual and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to build coping skills and process traumas. Therapies for co-occurring mental illnesses are available in residential, outpatient, and partial hospitalization programs as well as others.
Individual therapy is a form of one-on-one therapy. It is helpful when members aren’t comfortable talking in groups. Sometimes, a member can be ashamed of past actions.
Moreover, other members may have past trauma; they don’t want everyone to know. Individual therapy can address mental health issues, feelings, and trauma. Also, therapy builds coping skills to handle stress.
CBT is the most common talk therapy. A therapist can use CBT in individual, group, and family therapy. Members with co-occurring disorders suffer from many different symptoms. Often symptoms revolve around unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. CBT helps members change their bad thoughts and actions with practical self-talk and positive actions.
DBT helps treat borderline personality disorder (BPD). Also, DBT is useful in treating other mental illnesses. The main goals of DBT are living in the moment, excellent coping skills, controlling emotions, and improving relationships.
DBT is used in individual, group, and family therapy. In therapy, members learn to accept their life. As a result, members can make changes to improve behaviors and social skills.
Many people with dual diagnoses have communication and interpersonal issues. In therapy, members learn the skills to improve social skills and communication. These changes improve all types of relationships. For this reason, interpersonal therapy is extremely useful in family therapy.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR) helps treat PTSD. During EMDR, eye movements stimulate the brain. The back-and-forth eye movements help recall traumatic memories. By recalling them, therapists can help members process the event and increase recovery.
Many people in co-occurring treatment centers find group therapy extremely helpful. Because there is a wide variety of comorbid disorders, each person can offer advice and support to others. Generally, a therapist leads the group. Each session covers a different topic helping to build recovery skills.
Family therapy in dual diagnosis is crucial to recovery. Mental illness causes chaos and stress in the family. But, family therapy can resolve those issues. The goal of family therapy is to rebuild the family unit and create a healthy support system.
Medication therapy is essential in treating co-occurring disorders. FDA-approved medicines can reduce symptoms of mental illness. Controlling the symptoms increases long-term recovery.
Holistic treatment in dual diagnosis treats the “whole person.” Holistic therapy believes recovery requires treating the mind, body, and spirit. Therefore each aspect needs addressing to find balance and promote recovery.
Holistic therapy can include:
Holistic therapy encompasses both conventional and alternative treatments. Combining both when treating co-occurring disorders builds a more balanced and self-loving individual. In short, holistic therapy creates positive thinking, healthy behaviors, and recovery for life.
The data in Missouri shows mental health and comorbidity are growing. Of the one in ten adults with mental illness, only 40% seek treatment. Furthermore, 90% of counties have a shortage of co-occurring treatment centers. Meanwhile, 61% of those counties lack a licensed psychiatrist.
Thus, it can take a person in Missouri up to six months to get a mental health appointment. As a result, in 2015, Missouri hospitals treated almost 86,000 people with mental health issues. And of those numbers, each person was seen nearly four times each.
Thus, having access to urgent care for mental health issues can ease the burden on emergency rooms and hospitals.
At Sana Lake Behavioral Wellness Center, we understand the need for treatment of co-occurring mental disorders. If you or someone you love is suffering from PTSD or depression, we can help.
Our team of professional doctors, therapists, and wellness coaches are dedicated to each member finding Recovery for Life. Contact us today and start your journey to recovery.