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Concurrent Disorders

5 Common Concurrent Disorders

By June 28, 2019 December 11th, 2019 No Comments
Concurrent Disorders

A concurrent disorder has two components. The first is an addiction, either to a substance like alcohol, or a behaviour like gambling. The second component is a mental health issue, such as anxiety. 

Concurrent disorders are very common among those with addictions. This is because addictions often cause intense forms of pressure, like stress, which can grow into long-term mental health problems. Alternatively, these same pressures can sometimes cause an individual to seek comfort from drugs or alcohol. 

The following combinations are among the most common types of concurrent disorders.

Substance Addiction and PTSD

People who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder often develop coping mechanisms to lessen their burden. While some of these coping mechanisms can be helpful, others can be damaging. 

There is a strong link between PTSD and substance abuse. Sufferers of PTSD will sometimes turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of temporarily escaping their pain. However, this can lead to an addiction, which ultimately exacerbates the condition.

Substance Addiction and Depression

Like those who suffer from PTSD, people experiencing depression may turn to drugs or alcohol to ease the difficulty of their condition. In many cases, a depressed person will find temporary solace in the high offered by certain drugs, or even a sedative effect.

Of course, the reprieve lent by substances is only temporary, and the person can become reliant. As the person’s tolerance to a substance becomes stronger from more and more use, the risk of addiction becomes greater and greater.

Behavioural and Substance Addictions and Panic Attacks

Regular panic attacks can be a debilitating disorder. Sufferers often withdraw from social situations as a means of self-preservation, only to find themselves isolated and misunderstood. This feeling can instigate the use of drugs or alcohol, leading to substance addiction.

On the other hand, people who suffer from behavioural addictions may start to suffer from panic attacks. Compulsive gamblers, for example, can feel panicked by the ying-yanging emotions of winning and losing vast sums of money. People addicted to the internet or video games may suffer panic attacks when deprived of their chosen medium.

Behavioural and Substance addictions and bipolar disorder

Gambling is more than a financial transaction; for some people, it gets the heart beating like nothing else. Winning is the highest of highs, losing is the lowest of lows. The entire spectrum mimics the symptoms of bipolar disorder, and can result from or cause the condition.

People who suffer from bipolar disorder may also develop a substance addiction. When feeling low, drugs can be a coping mechanism. When feeling ecstatic, drugs can be used to fuel and prolong the sensation. 

Behavioural and Substance Addictions and Anxiety

Behavioural addictions can cause anxiety, since they can disconnect people from their peers or cause them to neglect personal maintenance tasks. Anxiety can also cause behavioural addictions, which serve as a distraction.

Substance addictions are often intertwined with anxiety as well. Recognizing problematic behaviour, but being unable to rectify it because of an addiction can lead to severely anxious feelings.

There are Many Other Forms of Concurrent Disorders

These examples are among the most common forms of concurrent disorders. But they are far from the only manifestations. Mental health and addiction are so tightly tied together that they commonly exhibit in pairs, regardless of the specific addiction or symptoms.

When receiving treatment for either an addiction of mental health issue, it’s strongly recommended to receive treatment for the other as well. Leaving one half of a concurrent disorder untreated can lead to a relapse of the other. When treated together, on the other hand, the patient has a much better chance of seeing holistic improvement. 

Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres

Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres

We offer residential and outpatient rehab treatment programs for addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.

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