Denova’s Health Blog

Your Gateway to Mental and Physical Health Insights and Inspiration

A Guide to Co-Occurring Disorders

Substance use concerns can be very difficult to overcome, however, it can be easier with the support of professionals. It is common for substance use to occur alongside other behavioral health concerns like depression, which can make the situation even more complicated.

If you think that you or a loved one is suffering from “co-occurring disorders,” the experienced professionals at denova Collaborative Healthcare can help you to overcome these challenges and live a healthier, happier life.

What Are Co-Occurring Disorders? 

Co-occurring disorders are not uncommon and occur when a person who has a substance use disorder also suffers from a behavioral health disorder. For example, a person who has an alcohol use disorder and is also suffering from major depression has a “co-occurring disorder.”

As you may expect, there are many different combinations of substance use disorders and behavioral health disorders, but they’re all referred to under the umbrella term “co-occurring disorders.”

What Are Some Symptoms of Co-Occurring Disorders?

Whether you believe you may be suffering from a co-occurring disorder, or you think that a friend, partner, family member, or other loved one may have be struggling, there are a few signs that may indicate there’s a concern.

  1. Changes in eating or sleeping habits – Overeating or failing to eat properly can be a sign of a co-occurring disorder. Insomnia or excessive sleeping may also indicate this issue.
  2. Experiencing extreme emotional highs and lows – Mood swings can be a sign of many behavioral health disorders, and these are often worsened by the use of substances like alcohol, prescription drugs, and/or illicit drugs.
  3. Difficulty focusing or thinking clearly – Feelings of fuzziness, a lack of concentration, or an inability to think things through properly may indicate a co-occurring disorder.
  4. Isolating from family or friends – If you have found yourself physically or emotionally isolating yourself from family or friends, or a loved one is engaging in this behavior, this could be a sign of a co-occurring disorder.
  5. Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts – When you’re suffering from behavioral health concerns like PTSD or depression, substance use can make suicidal thoughts stronger, leading to serious thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts.
  6. Inability to see changes in one’s own behavior or personality – People who suffer from co-occurring disorders may be unable to see that they’re acting differently, and this can cause a lot of arguments and conflict with loved ones and family members.
  7. Lack of attention to personal hygiene – Someone may stop taking care of themselves or their environment such as not doing laundry, bathing properly, shaving, or paying attention to other aspects of personal hygiene, leading to a more unkempt appearance.

How Are Co-Occurring Disorders Treated?

There is no “one-size-fits-all” treatment for co-occurring disorders. Several options such as therapy, rehabilitation, pharmaceutical intervention, and lifestyle changes may be helpful.

The proper treatment depends on the individual, the specifics of their substance use disorder, and their particular mental health issues such as depression, PTSD, or anxiety. To get the treatment you need, it’s important to turn to professionals who use holistic, customized treatment plans, such as denova Collaborative Healthcare.

At denova Collaborative Healthcare, we create personalized, integrated treatment plans that help you reclaim your wellbeing, and we offer a whole-person approach to treatment. We will work closely with you to treat co-occurring disorders and provide the expert care you need to overcome your situation and get back to your daily routine. Schedule an appointment now to get started.


Choose Recovery Over Addiction

We’re here 24/7 to help you get the care you need to live life on your terms, without drugs or alcohol. Talk to our recovery specialists today and learn about our integrated treatment programs.

Amanda Keenhold, LAC

Licensed Associate Counselor

Yorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Etiam eu turpis molestie, dictum est a, mattis tellus. Sed dignissim, metus nec fringilla accumsan, risus sem sollicitudin lacus, ut interdum tellus elit sed risus. Maecenas eget condimentum velit, sit amet feugiat lectus.