Co-occurring disorders (previously called dual disorder or dual diagnosis) describe the existence of two or more than two disorders at the very same point in time. For instance, a person may not only suffer from bipolar disorder but from substance abuse too.
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.
Terms dual diagnosis and dual disorder have thus been replaced with the term co-occurring disorders. The terms being replaced may be misleading as they also refer to mental disorders and mental retardation occurring together in addition to their popular reference to a combination of substance abuse and mental 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. In order to get a co-occurring diagnosis, at least one disorder of each type has to be established and traced to be independent and not just a combination of symptoms springing from one disorder but manifesting as independent.
Even if co-existing condition is the latest term being used in the medical field, for this specific article, we will use the term dual disorder reciprocally.
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 definition of Mentally Ill Chemically Affected people is liked better as "affected" describes their state better and it isn't derogatory. 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).
Some common types of co-existing conditions consist of the combinations of major depression types associated with cocaine dependency, alcohol dependency along with panic disorder, extreme alcoholism along with polydrug abuse with schizophrenia and as well as borderline personality condition with sporadic polydrug misuse. Whilst the theme of this relates to dual disorders, a few patients suffer from three or even more disorders. The set of ideas which is relevant to dual disorders is as well used for multiple disorders.
The severity, degree of impairment in functioning, chronicity and disability are some of the factors that differ in the occurrence of combinations of psychiatric disorders alongside substance abuse problems. For instance, one disorder can be more extreme than the other, or both can be equally mild or extreme. However, with time, the extremity of both disorders might change. Degrees of impairment in functioning and disability might also differ.
Thus, there is no single mixture of dual disorders; in fact, there is huge variability among them. However, certain treatment settings are often encountered for patients with similar mixtures of dual disorders.
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.
Unlike individuals who are diagnosed with mental health disorders or those with alcohol and drug dependency issues alone, those with dual disorders most of the time undergo serious and long lasting medical, emotional and social difficulties. Since they have two disorders, they are at a risk of COD relapse and deterioration of the psychiatric ailment. What's more, an addiction relapse frequently results in psychiatric decompensation and when mental problems worsen it frequently results in addiction relapse. That means that patients with co-occurring disorders require a specific relapse prevention plan. Patients who battle with dual disorders frequently need longer treatment, experience more emergencies and advance more slowly in treatment than patients who battle just a single disorder.
Personality, psychotic and mood disorders are among some of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders diagnosed in dual patient disorders.