What are the Best Ways to Treat Comorbid Disorders?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “When two disorders or illnesses occur in the same person, simultaneously or sequentially, they are described as comorbid.” The term also implies that these two disorders are somehow associated with one another, either that one is helping to cause the other or that they began to occur around the same time, and that the course of both disorders will continue to affect each other. Though comorbidity is a broad category, many mental disorders that occur together can often be treated together as well.
Behavioral Treatments for Comorbid Mental Disorders
Whether a person is dealing with addiction and a mental illness simultaneously, or has developed an addiction as a coping mechanism for their mental health issues, both of these problems must be addressed together. Addictions, mood disorders, mental illnesses, and many other psychological issues can occur in this way, and if one is treated but not the other, it is likely that both will only become worse.
Therapy is one of the best treatment options for comorbidity. Behavioral therapies have been found to be especially beneficial in many cases, and “these approaches can be tailored to patients according to age, [gender,] specific drug abused, and other factors” (NIDA). Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or one of the most successful treatment options for these types of issues, helps many individuals learn better behavioral patterns to change the course of addictions, mood disorders, and many other psychological disorders.
Pharmacological Treatments for Comorbid Mental Disorders
Many different kinds of medications exist for the treatment of depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, agoraphobia, and a number of other mental disorders and illnesses. In addition, there are medications that can also treat addiction to opioids, alcohol, and nicotine. Depending what an individual’s comorbid issues are, they may be prescribed one or more medications to help increase the effects of the behavioral therapy and allow them to live their life more easily.
However, it is very important for doctors who treat patients with comorbidity to understand all of their patient’s needs and to know all the drugs, supplements, and other products they may be taking. This is because certain medications can react badly with others, even sometimes with supplements and herbal remedies. Therefore, it is very important that someone with comorbid disorders being treated with medication is very honest with their doctor and stays aware of any effects they experience from the medication.
Holistic Treatments for Comorbid Mental Disorders
Often, holistic methods such as yoga, meditation, art or music therapy, acupuncture, journaling, massage, or may other options can be beneficial to those with two comorbid mental disorders. This is because holistic methods are meant to treat the entire person, not just certain symptoms or one particular disorder. The success of a holistic method often depends on the individual and whether or not they embrace the treatment, so consider the possibility of one of these options if they sound right to you.
Are You Looking for Treatment for Two or More Comorbid Mental Disorders?
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