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.
The terminology that is utilized to describe patients with both substance abuse and psychological disorders has developed to be more accurate, just like the field of treatment for both of them.
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.
Also, there can be more than just two disorders present, while these terms are implying otherwise. People who suffer from co-occurring disorders (COD) have one or more disorders that have to do with mental disorders and one or more disorders that have to do with the use of drugs and/or alcohol. When a minimum of one disorder of both types can be confirmed which isn't dependent on the other, we can talk about diagnosing co-occurring disorders and it isn't just a bunch of symptoms that are caused by just one disorder.
For the purposes of this article, we will use the dual disorders term interchangeably even if the co-occurring disorder is the most current term used professionally.
The acronym MICA (short for Mentally Ill Chemical Abusers) is sometimes used to label people with a co-occurring disorder and a noticeably serious and chronic 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. Some of the other acronyms are: CAMI (chemical abuse and mental illness), MISU (mentally ill substance using), MISA (mentally ill substance abusers), SAMI (substance abuse and mental illness), ICO PSD (individuals with co-occurring psychiatric and substance disorders) and MIC'D (mentally ill chemically dependent).
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 people might have more than two disorders, even though the cornerstone of this is on dual disorders. Multiple disorders go by the same rules that apply to dual disorders.
The existence of combined co-existing conditions and those of psychiatric disorders can differ in several significant aspects like chronicity, gravity, disability and level of impairment in bodily operations. For example, both disorders could be of the same severity or one could be mild while the other is severe. Indeed, the seriousness of both disorders may alter over time. Levels of impairment and disability in functioning may 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.
More than 50 per cent of adults who suffer from a serious mental disorder are also weakened by substance use disorders (addiction or abuse connected to alcohol or other substances).
Compared patients who have a COD use problem alone or a mental health disorder, and more serious and chronic medical, social and emotional problems are often experienced by the patients with dual disorders. As they suffer from two disorders, they're at risk of a co-occurring disorder relapse and their mental disorder could also worsen. Additionally, dependency relapse most of the time causes psychiatric functional deterioration and worsening of psychiatric difficulties which further results in dependency relapse. Therefore, preventing a relapse must be consciously devised for those who suffer from dual disorders. 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.
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.