Understanding How Co-occurring Disorders Are Treated Through the Kimberly Center

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Understanding How Co-occurring Disorders Are Treated Through the Kimberly Center

Co-occurring disorders are more common across the nation than one may think, but they can sometimes be difficult to diagnose. Someone with a co-occurring disorder struggles with both substance misuse and a mental health disorder simultaneously. Treating someone with this type of disorder can be a delicate business, as it is important to ensure that neither disorder worsens as a result of treatment connected with the other. 

It’s important that when treating a co-occurring disorder, both disorders are treated as equally important and given the same level of attention. As these co-occurring disorders affect one another, integrated treatment is necessary. Integrated treatment refers to using the same treatment team to treat both disorders at the same time. 

Understanding Co-occurring Disorders 

Mental health and substance misuse so often go hand in hand. Many people who struggle with mental health disorders turn to substance misuse to try to cope with their pain, alleviate their symptoms, and try to make themselves feel normal. In reality, this can often only make their mental health even worse. Substance misuse can be compared to a band-aid placed over the wound of a mental disorder. It may temporarily hide it from view, but when the band-aid is removed, the issue is still there. The only way to recover from mental health disorders is to tackle them head-on by seeking help and following a treatment plan.  

Many people who struggle with substance misuse don’t want to continue down this path. They don’t want to be engaging in substance misuse. However, they may fear that if they quit their habits, their mental health problems will become worse. Furthermore, individuals struggling with trauma or grief may fear that if they stop engaging in substance misuse, they will have no choice but to confront the pain that they have been trying to suppress. It’s for these reasons that many people put off seeking treatment for an extended period of time. 

Substance Misuse and Mental Health

There are a lot of different combinations in which co-occurring disorders may take place. For example, someone struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may struggle with alcohol use which they have turned to in an attempt to ease their pain. Someone who is struggling with severe anxiety may be battling marijuana addiction, which is their way of coping. 

Additional mental health disorders that can appear in co-occurring disorders include but are not limited to: 

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Eating disorders 

The substances identified in common co-occurring disorders include but are not limited to: 

  • Alcohol
  • Opioids 
  • Marijuana 
  • Stimulants 
  • Tobacco
  • Hallucinogens 
  • Prescription Drugs 

Seeking Treatment

One cannot only treat one of the two disorders and still expect the patient to be successful. Both disorders must be addressed, and they must be addressed by a treatment professional who is experienced and capable of treating both of these disorders at once. By treating only one disorder and not the other, the chance of relapse is not only possible but likely. This is because the root cause of the addiction has not yet been addressed, and the patient will likely fall back into the exact same habits. 

How Co-occurring Disorders Are Treated at The Kimberly Center 

It can be very daunting to prepare to enter a substance use treatment facility for the first time. Knowing a little bit about what to expect can really help ease one’s nerves. At The Kimberly Center, we strongly believe in holistic treatment methods. We help our patients discover that there are steps they can take to make themselves feel better mentally without having to turn to substance misuse. For example, helpful habits such as maintaining a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep, and fitting some form of exercise into one’s daily routine can do wonders for one’s mental health.

Additionally, attending therapy sessions on a regular basis, practicing mindfulness, and working towards self-awareness can be hugely beneficial. These all play a critical role in finding relief from mental health disorders. We encourage our patients to go beyond the urge to look for outside solutions and instead look within themselves to acknowledge the power they possess to live a happier and healthier life. 

Our team at The Kimberly Center is highly trained and experienced in treating co-existing disorders. We work closely with our patients to identify their needs and ensure that our treatment matches their unique needs and situations. Furthermore, we are always aware that every patient is different, with each patient having different experiences and backgrounds. The type of treatment plan that may work well for one person might not be the right fit for the next person. This is why we offer individualized treatment and are considerate of the fact that everyone’s story is different. 

Co-occurring disorders are very common but can sometimes be difficult to diagnose and treat. Typically, someone in this situation struggles with substance misuse and a mental health disorder at the same time. Integrated treatment is necessary to ensure that both disorders are treated at the same time and given the same level of attention. Treating one disorder but not the other can risk the chance of the individual relapsing. At The Kimberly Center, we encourage our patients to utilize alternative methods to treat mental health problems that don’t involve any substances. If you are struggling with a substance use disorder, there is hope, and our team can help. Call (855) 452-3683 today to learn more. 

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