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Dual Diagnosis Symptoms & Signs

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Individuals who struggle with both substance use disorders and mental health disorders are diagnosed as having a co-occurring disorder. Also referred to as a dual diagnosis, many factors are considered before a co-occurring disorder is diagnosed, and there are specific and unique treatment programs that can effectively treat individuals with a dual diagnosis. Our drug rehab in Langhorne, PA, can help you recognize if you or a loved one is suffering from a dual diagnosis as well as the warning signs to look out for.

Co-Occurring Disorders Definition

Also referred to as dual diagnosis, co-occurring disorders refer to the presence of two or more disorders or conditions in an individual. Specifically, in the context of mental health, co-occurring disorders usually refer to the presence of a mental illness and substance use disorders in one person. For instance, an individual may be diagnosed with depression and alcohol use disorder.

Common co-occurring disorders examples include:

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and substance use disorder
  • Bipolar disorder and substance use disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder and substance use disorder
  • Conduct disorder and substance use disorder
  • Eating disorders and anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorder
  • Schizophrenia and substance use disorder
  • Substance use disorder and depression

The term co-occurring disorders may also refer to the presence of other health problems or conditions that occur alongside mental health disorders, such as a person who struggles with diabetes and depression. However, oftentimes, co-occurring disorders simultaneously occur because they contribute to each other.

For instance, many individuals with mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety, will develop substance use disorders because they turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate their symptoms. Conversely, long-term drug and alcohol abuse can affect the brain’s chemical makeup and contribute to the development of a mental health disorder. Effective dual diagnosis treatment addresses both mental illness and addiction simultaneously and individually, ensuring the individual’s symptoms are properly addressed.

Common Symptoms of Co-Occurring Disorders

The signs and symptoms of a co-occurring disorder vary because each mental health disorder has its own unique symptoms that, when combined with addiction, may manifest themselves in different ways. Common dual diagnosis symptoms include:

  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Changes in mood, such as irritability, sadness, or anxiety
  • Difficulty with concentration and focus
  • Financial or legal problems related to substance use
  • Increased use of drugs or alcohol
  • Loss of interest in personal hygiene and grooming
  • Poor judgment and decision-making
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or excessive sleep
  • Unexplainable physical symptoms like headaches, stomach problems, or muscle tension
  • Withdrawal from loved ones
  • Withdrawal from social activities and hobbies

It’s important to note that these signs and symptoms can be indicative of a wide range of mental health and substance use disorders. A professional evaluation conducted by a healthcare provider is necessary for accurately diagnosing and treating a co-occurring disorder.

Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment at Banyan

Because a dual diagnosis is made up of two or more different disorders, it’s important for the individual to receive care that addresses each condition individually and how they impact each other. In addition to individual Philadelphia substance abuse programs, our rehab center also offers treatment for co-occurring disorders that incorporate a variety of evidence-based therapies to support long-term recovery.

For more information about our services and how we can help you or a loved one get sober, call Banyan Treatment Centers today at 888-280-4763 or send us your contact information, and we’ll reach out to you.

Related Reading:

5 Things You Should Know About Treatment for Dual Diagnosis

The Benefits of a Dual Diagnosis Rehab Program


Banyan Treatment Center can help you manage your dual diagnosis. Successful recovery is possible through drug and alcohol treatment. If you believe that you are suffering from a co-occurring disorder, contact us today. 888-280-4763

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Dual Diagnosis Symptoms & Signs
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