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I am a graduate of the fairly new Post Graduate Concurrent Disorders Program at Mohawk College. I didn’t know what that term meant until researching the program. Turns out, I am not alone. To clarify, Concurrent Disorders is a term describing a person experiencing both a mental health issue(s) and addiction(s) simultaneously.
How does one develop a Concurrent Disorder?
It may be more common and easier than you think. It is becoming more and more recognized that mental health and addiction go hand in hand. The question is which came first; the chicken or the egg, the addiction or the mental health issue. The development of a Concurrent Disorder may happen in one of three ways.
How to help someone experiencing Concurrent Disorders?
To start, you can help by offering love and compassion. We are all just one crisis away from needing help. Treatment wise, both the mental health issue and addiction need to be addressed. An individualistic approach works best to determine which issue should be addressed first or if both can be addressed simultaneously. Best practice suggests if substance misuse is involved, the substance use should be treated first. This is because substance abuse can have shorter-term effects than mental health issues and once the substance use has ceased, the mental health issues will be clearer and easier to determine. Treatment for Concurrent Disorders would involve integrated therapy to treat both the mental health issue and addiction. One example of integrated therapy to treat a Concurrent Disorder such as depression and alcohol use may involve an antidepressant and talk therapy.
If you or someone you love is experiencing mental health and/or addiction, call Bayridge Counselling Centre at 905.319.1844 to book an appointment. We can help.