Co-Occurring disorders are present when there are two or more disorders at the same moment and these disorders were also called dual diagnosis or dual disorder. For instance, a person may not only suffer from bipolar disorder but from substance abuse too.
Just as the field of treatment for substance abuse and mental disorders has developed to become more accurate, so too has the terminology used to narrate people with both substance use and mental disorders.
The terms dual disorder or dual diagnosis are replaced by the term co-occurring disorders. These latter terms, though used commonly to point to the mixture of substance abuse and mental disorders, are confusing in that they also point to other mixtures of disorders (like mental retardation and mental disorders).
Furthermore, the terms relate that there are only two disorders occurring at the same time, when truly there may be more. People who have co-occurring disorders also referred to as COD, often have at least one mental disorder and at least one disorder springing from alcohol or substance abuse as well. A diagnosis of co-occurring disorders is caused when at least one disorder of each type can be managed independent of the other and is not the simple bunch of symptoms resulting from the on disorder.
In this article, the term dual disorders will also be used, even though the term co-occurring disorders is currently utilized among professionals.
Mentally Ill Chemical Abusers, MICA, is used to refer to people who have a co-occurring disorder and a very serious mental disorder such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. The most ideal term used is mentally ill chemically affected individuals because the term affected more aptly describes their condition and is not derogatory. Other acronyms are: ICOPS (individuals with co-occurring psychiatric and substance disorders), SAMI (substance abuse and mental illness), MIC'D (mentally ill chemically dependent) CAMI (chemical abuse and mental illness), MISU (mentally ill substance using), and MISA (mentally ill substance abusers).
Combinations of alcohol addiction with panic disorder, major depression with cocaine addiction, borderline personality disorder with episodic polydrug abuse, and alcoholism and polydrug addiction with schizophrenia are some of the most usual cases of co-occurring disorders. Whilst the theme of this relates to dual disorders, a few patients suffer from three or even more disorders. Multiple disorders go by the same rules that apply to dual disorders.
The mixture of psychiatric disorders and COD problems differ along important dimensions like chronicity, disability, severity, and degree of impairment in functioning. For example, both disorders could be of the same severity or one could be mild while the other is severe. How severe the disorders are also varies with time and is not constant. Degrees of impairment in functioning as well as disability can also change.
Therefore, there isn't a specific combination of dual disorders; in reality, there's a big difference among these. Though, patients with combinations of dual disorders that are alike are regularly found in specific treatment environments.
Further impairment to adults who face severe mental disorders as a result of substance abuse or dependence such as alcohol or other drugs is common.
Compared patients who have a COD use problem alone or a mental health disorder, and more serious and chronic medical, social and emotional problems are often experienced by the patients with dual disorders. Since they have two disorders, they are at a risk of COD relapse and deterioration of the psychiatric ailment. Further, worsening of psychiatric problems often leads to addiction relapse and addiction relapse often leads to psychiatric decompensation. Therefore, the treatment of relapses should be specifically designed for those with dual disorders. Unlike patients who only have one disorder, those with dual disorders would mostly need prolonged treatment, have more difficulties and have slow progress in treatment.
Personality, psychotic and mood disorders are among some of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders diagnosed in dual patient disorders.