Adolescents and teens who have been diagnosed with a substance use disorder often struggle with a mental health issue at the same time. This is called a co-occurring disorder, and it can be difficult for both the child and the parents to deal with without professional help. Unfortunately, this type of disorder is very common in adolescents and teens who have been attempting to self-medicate with mind-altering substances. The use of these substances may provide short-term relief or distraction from the underlying issue, but it will only worsen a person’s overall health in the long run.
Finding a co-occurring disorder treatment center is one of the first steps toward recovery. At Imagine Boise, we offer co-occurring disorder treatment programs that are designed specifically to address the needs of adolescent and teenage patients. Teenagers need all the help they can get when they experience mental health disorders. If you would like to know what Imagine Boise can do for your child, you can call us at 208.487.8260 to learn more.
4 Common Co-Occurring Disorders
Teenagers and adolescents who have experienced depression are far more likely to start using drugs or alcohol than those who have not. At the same time, those who have tried using drugs or alcohol are also more likely to experience depression. It can be difficult to determine which issue presents first in a patient’s life, but what is clear is that untreated mental health issues often lead to substance use disorders.
2. Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD affects millions of Americans per year, and teens are no exception. Among teens and adolescents, a dual diagnosis with PTSD may indicate previous trauma. This trauma may be their own experience or something they witnessed happening to someone else. Since teens and adolescents are going through a time of immense change and new experiences, many different external factors may cause this trauma. Those suffering from PTSD often attempt to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.
3. Bipolar disorder
Teens suffering from bipolar disorder typically go through extreme highs or extreme lows. These moods are not the same as the normal and expected ups and downs that most children experience. There can be serious effects on the teen’s ability to function at school and at home. Teens may experience unexpected and unprovoked changes in sleep quality, energy, and ability to focus. These large, uncontrollable swings in mood can make a person feel as though they have no control over themselves, and many turn to substance use as a way to regain control.
4. Anxiety disorder
It is normal to feel anxious, nervous, or worried from time to time, especially when there is a clear external factor that makes you feel that way. It serves a purpose in that it lets you know that you need to be careful or wary. For teenagers and adolescents, causes can range from examinations to first dates. Because there are so many new things going on in a child’s life, some anxiety is expected. However, an anxiety disorder means that a teen may feel anxious with no apparent cause. The all-encompassing worry and dread that an anxiety disorder causes can quickly become overwhelming, causing the teenager or adolescent to seek relief through drugs or alcohol.
Get Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders at Imagine Boise
A co-occurring disorder is a serious condition that can be hard to deal with on your own. Teenagers who are struggling with two conditions simultaneously need the support of their parents and professional assistance to address the root cause of the issue. Our co-occurring disorder treatment center not only helps with a teen’s disorders but also teaches essential life skills and positive coping mechanisms. We also offer a variety of therapies that can address your child’s specific needs, such as:
- Individual counseling
- Family therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT
- Group therapy
Don’t let a co-occurring disorder take away the best years of your child’s life. If you want to learn more about what Imagine Boise can do to help, contact us now at 208.487.8260.