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. Someone might have a problem with substance abuse along with bipolar disorder, for instance.
While the scope of treatment for drug dependency and mental conditions has emerged to be rather specific, the same thing goes as well for the terms used to refer to individuals who both have problems with drug dependency and mental conditions.
The terms dual disorder or dual diagnosis are replaced by the term co-occurring disorders. These latter terms, though used commonly to point to the mixture of substance abuse and mental disorders, are confusing in that they also point to other mixtures of disorders (like mental retardation and mental disorders).
Additionally, the terminology may denote of the occurrence of just two disorders simultaneously when as a matter of fact there could be others, too. 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. 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.
In this article, the term dual disorders will also be used, even though the term co-occurring disorders is currently utilized among professionals.
The acronym MICA, which constitutes the phrase Mentally ILL Chemical Abusers, is eventually used to nominate people who have a COD and markedly serious and continued mental disorder like 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. The other acronyms used are as follows: MIC'D (mentally ill chemically dependent), MISA (mentally ill substance abusers), SAMI (substance abuse and mental illness), MISU (mentally ill substance using), ICON PSD (individuals with co-occurring psychiatric and substance disorders) and CAMI (chemical abuse and mental illness).
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. Whilst the theme of this relates to dual disorders, a few patients suffer from three or even more disorders. The concept that applies to dual disorders normally applies also to multiple disorders.
Combinations of mental disorders and co-occurring problems differ across crucial aspects like seriousness, level of impairment in functioning, duration and disability. 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. Levels of impairment and disability in functioning may also differ.
Therefore, no single combination of dual disorders exists and there's indeed significant lack of consistency amongst these disorders. Although patients with the same combination of dual disorders most of the time are met in some treatment programmes.
Over half of adult individuals having serious mental illness also have drug use disorders which can come in the form of misuse or dependency associated with the use of alcohol and drugs.
The differences between patients with a mental health disorder or only a co-occurring disorder problem and patients with dual disorders are that the latter frequently suffer more serious and long-lasting medical, emotional and social challenges. The severity of their condition makes them more prone to COD relapses as well as to worsening of their mental health disorders. Also, impairment of mental issues many times lead to dependency relapse and addiction relapse commonly leads to further mental deterioration. Thus, for patients with dual disorders relapse prevention must be specially designed. Unlike patients who only have one disorder, those with dual disorders would mostly need prolonged treatment, have more difficulties and have slow progress in treatment.
Personality, psychotic and mood disorders are among some of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders diagnosed in dual patient disorders.