Addiction hurts. Mental illness hurts. Unfortunately, both can hurt at the same time.

7.7 million American adults have comorbidity. They have a mental disorder and a substance use disorder. Despite the prevalence of comorbidity, only nine percent of adults get treatment for both.

Those numbers need to change. A major factor in why so few Americans get through treatment is that Americans aren’t aware of their treatment options. Many people don’t even know what comorbidity is.

Get informed today. Here is a quick guide to comorbidity and how it can be treated.

The Basics of Comorbidity

Comorbidity occurs when one person has two or more disorders. These disorders can occur simultaneously or one right after the other. The disorders interact with each other, making symptoms worse and treatment plans harder.

Comorbidity applies to a wide range of medical contexts. Many people have arthritis alongside diabetes. Inactivity and aging can cause both, and treatments encourage weight loss to reduce symptoms.

People are diagnosed with a mental illness and substance use disorder for a few different reasons. Genetics can influence both disorders.

A person may have a gene that puts them at risk for developing depression or schizophrenia. That gene or another one can also influence how they interact with drugs.

Environmental factors can influence disorders. Stress can change genes, inspiring substance addiction and/or mental illness.

One could inspire the other. Substance use changes the brain.

Drugs fire up the reward circuit of the brain, pumping pleasurable hormones into the body. If enough drugs are consumed, the reward circuit adapts. It becomes harder for an individual to feel pleasure, which can produce or exacerbate mental illness.

The Recovery Process

Both disorders must be treated for a person to fully recover. Treatment plans are available to treat substance abuse and any mental disorder.

Psychiatrists can supply a number of therapies. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps a person recognize their harmful behaviors.

A person talks to a psychiatrist one-on-one. The two identify the person’s negative thoughts that have off-set their treatment. Then they set goals and strategies to reach those goals.

Assertive community treatment focuses a person on integrating themselves into their community. Therapists address a person’s employment and housing in addition to their therapy.

Choosing the Right Treatment Center

Your doctor, therapist, or family may ask you to go to a treatment center. Do not worry. Treatment centers have teams of professionals that can provide you support you cannot get elsewhere.

After a dual diagnosis, you should find a treatment center that provides resources for addictions and disorders. Many centers state that they do.

But do your due diligence. Read the services the centers offer and determine if they give equal treatment to mental illness and addiction.

Inpatient rehab allows a person to live at a treatment facility full-time. This is a good option for people who have had multiple treatment episodes.

It provides a new environment in which a person can discover themselves and learn new skills. Inpatient treatment also keeps a person close to an experienced medical team.

The families of people with addiction and/or mental illnesses are often left out. The best treatment centers offer family involvement.

Counselors advise the family on how to care for their loved ones. They can help the family recover from any traumatic experiences they underwent.

You should also check for the experience at the treatment center. Break down long how the treatment center has been in operation. Assess how many years the staff has been treating substance abuse and mental disorders.

Get the Help You Deserve

Comorbidity can be devastating. But getting the facts on it can get the recovery process started.

It occurs when a person suffers from a mental disorder and substance abuse disorder simultaneously. This can happen for a number of reasons.

If you have symptoms of one or the other, get a formal diagnosis. Follow up with your doctor when you notice other disturbing signs.

Go to experts with experience in comorbidity. The Burning Tree Ranch is the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex’s leading treatment center. Contact us today.