Co-Occurring Disorders: The Most Popular

Mental illness can result from drugs, alcohol, gambling, or sex addiction, which can be used as unhealthy methods of coping with the painful symptoms of mental conditions, as well as self-defeating behaviors. The effects of substance abuse often overlap with psychological disorders, including anxiety and personality disorders, as well as schizophrenia.

It is estimated that more than 9 million Americans had substance abuse conditions and mental illnesses co-occurring in 2018. It is estimated that sixty percent of adolescents in drug treatment today have a co-occurring mental illness due to their stage of brain development. According to this estimate, adolescents who have this condition are more likely to get alcohol or other drugs and suffer from serious depression.

The following information can assist you or a close relative get timely treatment for co-occurring disorders and mental illness and start your healing if you understand the interactions between mental health and addiction.

Psychiatric Disorders and Drug Overuse

The symptoms of mental illness are usually serious when drug or alcohol addiction is involved, just like the symptoms of medical sicknesses that result in other ailments getting worst.

The Following Symptoms May be Present:

  • Nosy ideas
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Fear of public situations 

Mentally ill individuals who misuse drugs to deal with their symptoms are at greater risk of becoming addicted. According to statistics, almost half of women in the US are either battling substance abuse or are developing an addiction to substances.

A released in 2016 indicates that over 8 million above 18 (3.4% of adults) suffered from both drug misuse disorder and mental illness over the last 12 months. Addiction and mental illness co-occur at the same time, hence it is imperative to treat them both. The symptoms of mental illness can be difficult to distinguish since many symptoms are similar.

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Dysfunctions that Co-Occur

These issues are often co-occurring with other mental illnesses, known as co-morbidity, or co-morbidity with drug misuse complications. Obsession and psychic disorders are closely related. Both brain wellness disorders and substance abuse disorders increase the likelihood of a person developing an addiction, especially if the mental disorder is left without treatment. On the other hand, substance mishandling, particularly at the level of addiction, can make many mental illness much more severe and more prevalent.

A lot of mental illness and addiction share many similar symptoms, so it’s hard to diagnose either correctly. Because of how hard it is to diagnose disorders, patients may be medicated for one condition, leaving the other untreated, leaving them susceptible to relapse and worsened mental health. So, every analysis has to be made and treated concurrently.

About 8 million Americans in 2014 got co-occurring ailments, often referred to as co-occurring disorders. Co-occurring disorders can occur as a result of mental illness and substance abuse, but certain combinations occur more commonly in people struggling with these disorders.

The More Common Kinds of These Ailments Include:

  • Cocaine addiction and major depression
  • Panic disorder with alcohol addiction
  • Schizophrenia and drug obsession followed by alcoholism
  • An individual with uncertain personality disorder with incidental substance overuse (drugs consumed when not intoxicated) is said to have a poly-drug abuse disorder.

Mental illnesses often go hand in hand with substance abuse, in some instances even worse than addiction. Many addictions result from similar factors as mental illnesses, like family records, intellectual capacity, and shock. When co-occurring complications are being treated, both the addictive disorder and the mental illness must be successfully handled for lasting results.

Co-Occurring Disorders: Common Signs

In Comparison to Mental Illnesses, Dependence on Heroin, Cocaine, Pain Medications, Marijuana, and Hallucinogenic Drugs Has Many Prominent Symptoms.

  • Euphoria
  • Low hunger
  • Depression
  • Sleeping problems
  • shaky hands and sweaty palms
  • Excessive activity
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • People’s personalities and attitudes suddenly shift
  • Unsatisfactory performance at school or work
  • Feeling down
  • Fright
  • Withdrawal from society
  • Being forgetful

Bipolar Dysfunction, Grief, and Schizophrenia are Some of the Illnesses Which May Lead To:

  • Depression
  • Euphoria
  • Social isolation
  • Irritability
  • Irrational or hallucinatory thoughts
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Problems related to anger
  • Anxiety and fear

Mental Illnesses as Well as Addictive Disorders are Also Associated with Similar Consequences. A Few are:

  • Irreversible brain damage
  • Relationships with unreliable partners
  • Monetary difficulties
  • Lay-off
  • Poor health
  • Suicide risk increases

Co-occurring disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and mental illness are more common in people with a family history of depression and anxiety. People with first-degree relatives are more likely to suffer from mental disorders such as despair, bipolar, anxiousness, and obsessive-compulsive dysfunction than anyone else, suggesting that these conditions may be inherited. 

Family relationships may be linked to mental illnesses if they are also influenced by learned responses to fear, stress, or loss. Co-occurring dysfunctions can have devastating effects on you or your loved ones, so they should be treated as soon and comprehensively as possible.

Familiar Co-Occurring Maladies

The misuse of pills and liquor can be caused by underlying mental health concerns, including loneliness, loneliness, and shame. People abuse these things to adapt to a broad variety of passions and activities, such as distress, stress, blame, and humiliation.

The Following Disorders are Prevalent Co-Occurring Disorders:


In many cases, people abuse substances to feel joy or pleasure, even if artificially, even if they need to become numb to their emotional pain. Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses across the globe, affecting millions of people worldwide. But substance-induced depression, also recognized as drug-induced happiness, also happens with alcohol and other drugs after the first elation has worn off. Substance abuse then increases, as the individual desires both euphoria and to avoid contradictory emotions. A bad series thus occurs where depression intensifies dependence and vice versa.


Many individuals with anxiety and mental illness turn to substance abuse for relief or to ease the burden every day. There are many types of anxiety and it is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders. In social situations, drinking can reduce anxiety, and prescription drugs can take away anxiety. As anxiety and mental illness sufferers consume substances to cope with their symptoms, their dependency on those substances increases, making them more vulnerable to addiction and making their anxiety worse.


Drug abuse can make you feel unworthy, hopeless, and suicidal. Feelings of hopelessness can trigger you to use more substances like stimulants to feel good. The negative side effects of abusing the drug tend to lead to more drug abuse and a greater risk of self-harm and mental illness.

Bipolar Disorder

Those who suffer from Bipolar disorders and mental illness experience excessive and unruly scenes of both sadness and obsession due to an imbalance in brain chemicals. The cruelty of these incidents is typically reduced through the abuse of drugs, which ultimately leads to increasingly irregular brain activity. Some studies suggest that bipolar depression and mental illness may be associated with substance abuse disorders when compared to conditions not diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

People with PTSD experience conditions such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) and PTSD more frequently than individuals who do not. Many veterans return from war with PTSD from their traumatizing combat experiences. The development of PTSD may be accompanied by psychological, physical, or sexual abuse. 

Many different symptoms may indicate post-traumatic stress disorder, such as flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, horrors, and hyper-vigilance. Additionally, medications and liquor are temporary remedies for PTSD. The indications of PTSD may occur sooner, create more serious contradictory emotions, or interrupt sleep schedules. As PTSD symptoms can be debilitating, some victims lose control and abuse drugs or alcohol to cope.

Borderline Personality Disease

BPD is a mood disorder characterized by sudden mood swings, extreme temperamental restlessness, unpredictable behavior, scattered thoughts of self, others, and the environment, and trouble forming steady connections. Around 6% of adults in America suffer from this disorder. People who suffer from these symptoms often abuse drugs and alcohol to adapt to “controllable” symptoms. This temporary relief is usually short-lived, and can sometimes aggravate symptoms of mental illness.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Benefits

Identification and treatment of co-occurring ailments require a substantial amount of expertise.

The following key features of a therapy schedule may help you determine whether it can help you with your craving and/or co-occurring mental illness:

  • A team of mental illness experts and addiction clinicians who have special expertise in treating individuals who have co-occurring disorders
  • A single rehab facility provides integrated care for individuals with psychic sickness and addictions
  • The treatment consists of intimate cooperation among all parties.
  • For individuals with psychiatric and addictive disorders, therapy sessions, help groups made up of their mates, and aftercare rehabilitation support is available.
  • Mental health situations can be treated pharmacologically through the availability of medications.
  • Massage, and other treatments such as hypnotherapy, acupuncture, and counseling for dual diagnosis patients

Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment Options

Staff members located in Treatment Centers of Foundations Recovery Network understand the similarities between psychic disorder and substance abuse. At our treatment centers, you can expect to find specialists in both sections.

We have experts on mental illness that are readily available to assist you to regain control over your substance addiction and restore you to a qualified mental condition. You can contact us all day and get answers to all your concerns. Reach us today at 615-490-9376 to learn more about treatment for mental illness.


Center for Behavioral Health Statistics. “Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States:Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.” SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, SAMHSA, Sept. 2017.
“Co-Occurring Disorders.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 25 Jan. 2018.
Family History of Psychiatric Illness Increases Risk in Offspring.” Psychiatry Advisor, 27 July 2018.