Treating Trauma and Co-Occurring Disorders

Many people don’t fully understand what co-occurring disorders are and how important treating trauma and other co-occurring disorders is. Even though the majority of addicts suffer from Dual Diagnosis, most will remain untreated and undiagnosed. We are not taught about mental health in school or in church, so how are we ever to know if we are suffering from a mental health condition? The answer is: about 8.5 million Americans suffer from co-occurring disorders. The likelihood of someone having a mental health condition is high if that person is an addict.

The other big question is: What came first? The mental health disorder or addiction? Addiction typically stems from trauma, depression, anxiety and biochemical imbalances, which leads many people to self-medicate to relieve themselves of emotional pain.

A proper, comprehensive treatment plan is the key to sustainable recovery. This means sustainable recovery can only be established by admitting to a Dual Diagnosis treatment facility that helps individuals unravel the underlying causes and conditions that trigger relapse. Anything less falls short of the mark.

What Does Co-Occurring Mean?

A co-occurring disorder is essentially a Dual Diagnosis—a mental health condition anywhere from alcoholism and depression to drug addiction and PTSD and anything in between. A co-occurring disorder can seem overwhelming, but it is important to recognize that many people struggle with both mental health issues and Substance Use Disorder (SUD). You are NOT alone! Co-occurring disorders are totally treatable with the help of mental healthcare and addiction professionals.

Dual Diagnosis or co-occurring disorders are not a new phenomenon. The concept was studied and emerged over 20 years ago, however many treatment establishments do not have a good understanding of how to appropriately treat co-occurring disorders.

Trauma and Substance Use Disorder

ma and Substance Use Disorder have a strong link. Studies suggest that almost 50 percent of people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) also suffer from addiction. The relationship between Substance Use Disorder and PTSD is embedded in substance use to deflect the symptoms of PTSD. People suffering from PTSD self-medicate to avoid feeling, remembering and thinking about the emotions related to the traumatic experience and temporarily block those painful feelings.

The issue for those suffering from PTSD is that, with time, substances are not as effective as they first are—leading people to use higher doses or quantities of the substance to achieve the same effects as before. The more people try to avoid the painful symptoms of withdrawal, their PTSD symptoms will also worsen.

The recovery process for all mental health conditions are hindered with substance use. PTSD especially, can be complicated with substance use because recovery from PTSD involves the individual to reconnect with thoughts, feelings and memories that have been suppressed and avoided. Drugs numb emotions and make it difficult for the individual to process trauma while actively using. It is important to know that substance use prolongs the avoidance cycle of PTSD and can make PTSD last much longer. Substance use also worsens PTSD symptoms.

Other Common Co-Occurring Disorders

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Dual Diagnosis patients are usually high-risk. Addiction by itself is difficult to overcome, and the idea of co-occurring disorders may seem daunting. Do not be discouraged. Recognizing and knowing the two disorders can make the overall treatment more effective—since both conditions are treatable. Knowing that two disorders exist can allow for a more comprehensive treatment plan to be assigned.

Some common co-occurring disorders include:

  • Process Addictions and Substance Use Disorder
  • Anxiety and Substance Use Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder and Substance Use Disorder
  • Depression and Substance Use Disorder
  • Panic Disorder and Substance Use Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Substance Use Disorder
  • Schizophrenia and Substance Use Disorder

How We Treat Co-Occurring Disorders at HEAL

HEAL Behavioral Health provides a client-centered approach to addiction treatment including a variety of therapeutic modalities to treat the individual as a whole rather than just the symptoms of addiction. We treat both Substance Use Disorder (SUD) as well as mental health disorders. Our objective is to help clients source the root cause of symptoms and provide a foundation of long-lasting recovery that sustains beyond the walls of our treatment center.

Our clinicians have over 40 years of experience in the field of trauma and are Spirit to Spirit trained. Treating trauma and co-occurring disorders is what they do best. They have dedicated their lives to building refuge for victims of trauma and other mental health disorders. Ultimately, our goal is to motivate and help individuals overcome the fear of making a change, becoming sober, and ultimately work through their maladaptive behaviors.

We offer a variety of holistic and experiential therapeutic modalities which will allow individuals to identify and heal the “soul wounds” that drive their addiction.

Some of the therapeutic modalities include:

  • Group and Individual Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Narrative Exposure
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Equine Therapy
  • Expressive Art therapy
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Yoga
  • Breath Work
  • Mindfulness
  • Experiential Therapy
  • Psychodrama

The Importance of Dual-Diagnosis Treatment

The HEAL Ranch

The Heal Ranch, our serene Jupiter Farms property was chosen specifically with healing in mind. We realize that every detail can have an impact on a vulnerable person’s state of mind. Many of those entrusted to our care face other challenges on top of addiction. Depression, anxiety, trauma and anger issues can be directly associated with addiction. For a foundation of strong recovery, individuals need a proper diagnosis of any co-occurring mental health condition so that appropriate treatment can be placed in effect. Many people who do not stay sober after undergoing one treatment program find that they never knew another condition even existed. The importance of getting proper Dual Diagnosis treatment is so that individuals have a better understanding of their own needs and how to fulfill them.

If you know someone struggling from Substance Use Disorder and/or a mental health disorder, reach out to get more information on Dual Diagnosis treatment.