It is so common nowadays to ask someone “What they do for a living” as a means of small talk. For 6 years my answer to this question was “I’m an addiction counselor” and as a response I would receive some variation of “Bless you, that must be so hard to work with them”. It took me a long time to realize that people did not know how to respond because of the stigma attached to addiction and mental illness in general.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of seasonal depression that is not uncommon to experience at this time of year, as the days start to get shorter, and the weather gets colder. Affecting over 10 million Americans each year, SAD symptoms include oversleeping, lack of energy, overeating, and isolating yourself from friends and family.
Addiction treatment programs in the United States follow many of the same foundations and principals, but because there are not mandatory certifications, accreditations, or training you can’t expect that you’ll receive the same level of service or professionalism regardless of where you go for treatment.
Substance abuse typically occurs along with other mental disorders. The co-occurrence of two or more disorders complicates recovery as one can make the other worse. If conditions are not treated together, then recovery is unlikely.
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 mental health or psychiatric disorder (such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, schizophrenia, OCD, or a personality disorder), the conditions are considered co-occurring because they are occurring at the same time.