Co-occurring Diagnosis

I thought I would talk about co-occurring diagnosis today. I have been researching the topic in one of my psychology classes. The statistics are very high for the co-morbidity of mental illness and addiction such as alcoholism or drug addiction.

According to NAMI information, the statistics are as high as 50%. Some of the research I have read puts it up higher for some mental illness disorders.

The stigma for alcoholism and/or drug addiction isn’t very bad these days. There are a lot of famous people who talk openly about their addiction. Betty Ford made it very acceptable with her clinics. Going to “treatment” became cliche almost in society for a drinking or drug problem. The judicial system are sending many people into treatment for DUIs all the time.

Then you have mental illness. The stigma for mental illness is not accepted. It isn’t ok to be mentally ill despite the high numbers. The numbers point out that you are more likely to be mentally ill than to be an alcoholic or drug addict. Yet it isn’t accepted.

That is a shame that society is so down on people with brain disorders.

Then we have the statistics that are for people who are dually addicted with both mental illness and substance abuse.

How do those people fare?

Not very well if they don’t get help for both their problems at the same time. If they don’t treat both disorders in tandem, then their recovery isn’t likely to last very long or be very successful.

Fortunately, times are changing and help is coming to those who are dually addicted. If you or a loved one is dually addicted, search for help. Don’t let the stigma of mental illness stop you from getting help for both the mental illness and the substance abuse.

I am dually addicted. I am fortunate enough to treat both my problems at the same time. It is the only way I have been able to successfully recover.

I have a wonderful future ahead of me because of the tandem treatment and the grace of God. I did it one day at a time.

You can too.

Try it.