Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders

Dual-diagnoses are common in individuals struggling with addictive type illness, such as an eating disorder or substance abuse.  This means that if you or a loved one is recovering from an addictive disorder, you may also be at risk for developing a co-occurring issue, such as drug abuse, self-harm, or sexual addiction, that needs to be addressed to get to the root of the problem.  Research has shown that eating disorders, in specific, have the potential to create alterations in the brain’s reward system, which can increase the risk of other addictive illnesses developing, such as substance abuse. Commonalities to both substance abuse and eating disorders include compulsivity around addictive behaviors, feelings of powerlessness and unmanageability.  Also, having a family history of addictive disorders or history of trauma are overlapping factors that can also contribute to an increased risk.

Treatment options for co-occurring disorders include various forms of psychotherapy, music therapy, movement therapy, medication management, and individual/family therapy.  Other helpful models for recovery from co-occurring disorders include the 12 Step Program, which reinforces the necessary steps to take to overcome addiction and encourage overall wholesomeness.  Comprehensive treatment will ensure that any co-occurring issues that may be unresolved or hidden behind an eating disorder will be properly addressed to promote healing and recovery.  Learn more insight about this topic by listening to this blog talk radio post.

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