Co-existing conditions which is also referred to as dual diagnosis or dual condition pertains to the existence of more than one medical condition at the same time. For example, an individual may suffer from bipolar disorder as well as substance abuse.
Just as the field of treatment for substance abuse and mental disorders has developed to become more accurate, so too has the terminology used to narrate people with both substance use and mental disorders.
Dual disorder and dual diagnosis terms are replaced by the term co-occurring disorders. 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.
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. Patients who have coexisting conditions can have one or more conditions associated with alcohol or drug dependency and also one or more mental condition. Co-occurring disorders can be diagnosed when a minimum of one disorder of each kind can be verified separate from the other disorder and it's not just a group of symptoms that stem from one of the disorders.
Dual disorder is used interchangeably in this article to refer to co-occurring disorders although the latter is the most recent development in the lingo as used in the medical field.
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. 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 are: ICOPS (individuals with co-occurring psychiatric and substance disorders), SAMI (substance abuse and mental illness), MIC'D (mentally ill chemically dependent) CAMI (chemical abuse and mental illness), MISU (mentally ill substance using), and MISA (mentally ill substance abusers).
Borderline personality disorder with periodic polydrug abuse, alcoholism and polydrug addiction alongside schizophrenia, cocaine addiction alongside major depression are some of the most common or popular examples of co-occurring disorders. Some patients have more than two disorders although the article focuses more on dual disorders. The concept that applies to dual disorders normally applies also to multiple disorders.
Extremity, chronicity, disability and the level of impairment in functioning are some differing extents in which combinations of COD issues and mental disorders vary. For instance, in the event if having two disorders, one may be either serious or mild or that one may be more serious than the other. Indeed, the seriousness of both disorders may alter over time. Degrees of impairment in functioning and disability might also differ.
Therefore, it is important to note that there is no single combination of co-occurring disorders; they actually vary depending on the mentioned factors. Although patients with the same combination of dual disorders most of the time are met in some treatment programmes.
Further damage is inflicted in more than 50 % of all adults that have severe mental disorder as well as substance abuse disorders (abuse or addiction to alcohol or illicit drugs).
Patients with dual disorders go through much more emotional, social and chronic medical problems in comparison to patients who only have a mental health disorder or a co-occurring disorder caused by substance abuse or dependence only. As they suffer from two disorders, they're at risk of a co-occurring disorder relapse and their mental disorder could also worsen. What's more, an addiction relapse frequently results in psychiatric decompensation and when mental problems worsen it frequently results in addiction relapse. This is why relapse prevention should be particularly made for patients having dual disorders. 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.
Mood disorders, personality disorders, psychotic disorders and anxiety disorders are some of the most common mental disorders present among patients that suffer from co-occurring disorders.