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. An example is when someone suffers from drug abuse and bipolar disorder.
The special terms used to describe people with dual disorder has evolved in the same way that the area of addictions and mental disorder treatment has grown and advanced.
The terms dual disorder or dual diagnosis are replaced by the term co-occurring disorders. Even though the terms dual diagnosis and dual disorder are used regularly to refer to the combination of psychological disorders and drug use, these terms are misleading as they can also refer to other combinations of disorders like mental retardation and psychological disorders.
Furthermore, the terms relate that there are only two disorders occurring at the same time, when truly there may be more. People who have co-occurring disorders also referred to as COD, often have at least one mental disorder and at least one disorder springing from alcohol or substance abuse as well. 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.
For people that suffer from COD, another term is commonly used and it is MICA, which means Mentally Ill Chemical Abusers in cases where patients suffer from an extreme and constant 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).
Some common types of co-existing conditions consist of the combinations of major depression types associated with cocaine dependency, alcohol dependency along with panic disorder, extreme alcoholism along with polydrug abuse with schizophrenia and as well as borderline personality condition with sporadic polydrug misuse. Some patients have more than two disorders even if the focus of this is on dual disorders. The set of ideas which is relevant to dual disorders is as well used for 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 example, both disorders could be of the same severity or one could be mild while the other is severe. In fact the seriousness of both disorders can alter as time passes. Levels of impairment and disability in functioning may also differ.
Therefore, there isn't a specific combination of dual disorders; in reality, there's a big difference among these. Though, patients with combinations of dual disorders that are alike are regularly found in specific treatment environments.
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.
Patients that have co-occurring disorders commonly feel stronger and chronic medical, emotional and social issues compared to those that only have a mental disorder or COD without the other. They are susceptible, since they have two disorders, to both further impairment of mental disorder and COD relapse. Additionally, dependency relapse most of the time causes psychiatric functional deterioration and worsening of psychiatric difficulties which further results in dependency relapse. That means that patients with co-occurring disorders require a specific relapse prevention plan. Dual disorder patients often need longer periods of treatment, have more crises and progress slowly in treatment in comparison to patients who have a single disorder.
Psychiatric disorders most prevalent among dually diagnosed patients include personality disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, and anxiety disorders.