Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders
Mental illnesses impact the way one thinks and feels. They can alter one’s mood, and even their ability to function in everyday life. Mental illnesses are diseases, and must be treated as such.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Behavioral Health Barometer in 2014 reported that 4.2% of American adults (or an estimated 10 million individuals) have a serious mental illness. This same report indicated that 26.5% of insured American adults did not receive treatment for these illnesses.
Furthermore, it is estimate that 8.9 million Americans have a co-occurring disorder, or the presence of two or more disorders at the same time. In this case, the number refers to Americans having both a mental and substance use disorder. A whopping 55.8% of these individuals receive no treatment at all.ipants in their own care. By learning to self-manage their addiction, individuals can live successfully in long-term recovery.
Individuals suffering with mental health disorders often use substances to feel better, whether it’s to feel calmer, happier, or more energetic. Not only does this fail to repair the problem, it can actually exacerbate it by magnifying symptoms or interfering with prescribed medications.
In order to help such individuals it’s important to seek out integrative treatment centers—a place where one can receive care for both their addiction and mental illness at the same time in one, stable setting. This means approaching both illnesses as chronic, relapsing conditions that require long-term support.
While there are many variations of co-occurring disorders, some mental health illnesses leave sufferers at a higher risk of substance abuse, including: anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, and personality disorders.