Commonly Co-Occurring Disorders

Disorders involving a myriad of symptoms, such as anxiety or mood problems, can occur alongside addictions to drugs or alcohol. When this happens, it affects how an individual behaves, feels, and interacts with the world and others. Addictive substances and behaviors can be a way for individuals with mental disorders to cope with their symptoms, which leads to the development of co-occurring disorders.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Although there are numerous different forms and combinations of drug abuse and mental illness, some combinations tend to occur more often than others. Common co-occurring disorders clinicians performing dual diagnosis treatment in winston-salem, nc include:

·    Major depression alongside cocaine addiction

·    Panic disorder alongside alcohol addiction

·    Schizophrenia alongside poly-drug addiction and alcoholism

·    Borderline personality disorder alongside episodic abuse of drugs

As cases vary, experts have noted that drug use tends to spur the development of mental illness while in other individuals the opposite is true with mental illness being the catalyst for drug addiction or abuse. When two or more disorders must be addressed, treatment must be designed to target both addiction as well as mental illness to see effective results.


Symptoms that individuals with co-occurring disorders experience will be different depending on numerous factors, including the drug being abused and the mental disorder being experienced. Symptoms of addiction can include:

·    Euphoria

·    Moodiness

·    Paranoia

·    Forgetfulness

·    Hyperactivity

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·    Decreased appetite

·    Difficulty sleeping

·    Vomiting & nausea

Mental illness symptoms may be experienced as well and can overlap with the symptoms of drug addiction. Symptoms of mental illness, such as depression, include:

·    Social withdrawal

·    Increased anxiety

·    Moodiness

·    Suicidal thoughts

·    Hallucinations

If you’re worried about yourself or a loved one who may be dealing with co-occurring disorders, contact a healthcare professional near you to find out what next steps you should take to protect the health as well as the safety of those you love.