Disorders that occur at the same time are referred to as co-occurring, dual diagnosis or dual disorder. For example, an individual may suffer from bipolar disorder as well as substance abuse.
The terminology that is utilized to describe patients with both substance abuse and psychological disorders has developed to be more accurate, just like the field of treatment for both of them.
The term co-occurring actually takes the place of the terms dual disorder and dual diagnosis. The said terms although usually used to refer to both drug and mental disorders as accompanying conditions, it can be easily misconstrued since they may also mean the combination of other health conditions like mental ailment or mental delay.
Besides, these terms imply that only two disorders occur at the very same time when in reality there can be more than two disorders. 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. When a minimum of one disorder of both types can be confirmed which isn't dependent on the other, we can talk about diagnosing co-occurring disorders and it isn't just a bunch of symptoms that are caused by just one 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. Mentally ill chemically affected people is the phrase that is preferred because the word affected is not pejorative and it designates their condition in a better way. Other acronyms include SAMI (Substance abuse and mental illness), MISA (mentally ill substance abusers), MISU (mentally ill substance using), CAMI (chemical abuse and mental illness), ICO PSD (individuals with co-occurring psychiatric and substance disorders) and MIC'D (mentally ill chemically dependent).
Common examples of co-occurring disorders include the 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. Whilst the theme of this relates to dual disorders, a few patients suffer from three or even more disorders. The fundamentals that have to do with dual disorders normally also have a bearing on multiple disorders.
The existence of combined co-existing conditions and those of psychiatric disorders can differ in several significant aspects like chronicity, gravity, disability and level of impairment in bodily operations. For example, both disorders could be of the same severity or one could be mild while the other is severe. In fact the seriousness of both disorders can alter as time passes. Other factors that may also vary include the level or degree of disability or impairment in day to day functions.
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.
Over half of adult individuals having serious mental illness also have drug use disorders which can come in the form of misuse or dependency associated with the use of alcohol and 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. As they suffer from two disorders, they're at risk of a co-occurring disorder relapse and their mental disorder could also worsen. Also, a cycle is likely where once there is a relapse in addiction recovery, the patient becomes more prone to a psychiatric worsening which makes it much easier to relapse into an addiction. Therefore, the treatment of relapses should be specifically designed for those with dual disorders. Dual disorder patients often need longer periods of treatment, have more crises and progress slowly in treatment in comparison to patients who have a single disorder.
Mental disorders that are most common amongst dually diagnosed people are personality disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders and mood disorders.