Co-Occurring Disorders Formerly was known as the dual disorder or dual diagnosis, co-occurring disorders explain the existence of two or more disorders at the same time. Someone might have a problem with substance abuse along with bipolar disorder, for instance.
Just like the area of treatment for drug use and psychological disorders has developed to become more exact, the terminology that is employed to describe people who suffer both from psychological disorders and drug use has also become more precise.
The terms dual disorder or dual diagnosis are replaced by the term co-occurring disorders. Even though the terms dual diagnosis and dual disorder are used regularly to refer to the combination of psychological disorders and drug use, these terms are misleading as they can also refer to other combinations of disorders like mental retardation and psychological disorders.
The terms are also misleading in that they only cover two disorders occurring at the same time which is not the case as two or more can occur at the same time. One or more disorders in the clients with co-occurring disorders (COD) relate to the use of alcohol and/or other drugs of abuse as well as one or more mental disorders. 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.
Even though the term co-occurring disorder is the most up to date term that is used by professionals, the term dual disorders will be used interchangeably for the objectives of this article.
The acronym MICA, which constitutes the phrase Mentally ILL Chemical Abusers, is eventually used to nominate people who have a COD and markedly serious and continued mental disorder like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. The definition of Mentally Ill Chemically Affected people is liked better as "affected" describes their state better and it isn't derogatory. The other acronyms used are as follows: MIC'D (mentally ill chemically dependent), MISA (mentally ill substance abusers), SAMI (substance abuse and mental illness), MISU (mentally ill substance using), ICON PSD (individuals with co-occurring psychiatric and substance disorders) and CAMI (chemical abuse and mental illness).
Some typical examples of co-occurring disorders are the combinations of cocaine addiction with major depression, occasional polydrug abuse with borderline personality disorder, panic disorder with alcohol addiction and polydrug addiction and alcoholism with schizophrenia. Even if the emphasis for this dwells on dual disorders, there are a number of patients who have more than two conditions. 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. As an example, both disorders can be mild or serious or one disorder can be more serious than the other disorder. Indeed, the seriousness of both disorders may alter over time. Degrees of impairment in functioning as well as disability can also change.
Therefore, it is important to note that there is no single combination of co-occurring disorders; they actually vary depending on the mentioned factors. Though, patients with combinations of dual disorders that are alike are regularly found in specific treatment environments.
More than half of all adults with serious mental illness are further caused by substance use disorders (abuse or addiction related to alcohol or other drugs).
The differences between patients with a mental health disorder or only a co-occurring disorder problem and patients with dual disorders are that the latter frequently suffer more serious and long-lasting medical, emotional and social challenges. 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, preventing a relapse must be consciously devised for those who suffer from dual disorders. Users with dual disorders commonly need longer rehab, have a greater number of crises and advance more slowly in treatment compared to patients that only have a single disorder.
Personality, psychotic and mood disorders are among some of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders diagnosed in dual patient disorders.