Common Co-Occurring Disorders
It is difficult to track the exact rates of different types of co-occurring disorders, as diagnoses may include multiple substances. In addition, there are no exact patterns of use. For example, stimulants, alcohol and tobacco use may be paired with schizophrenia, but opioids and alcohol may be used in mood or personality disorders. Alcohol is widely used across many different types of mental health disorders.
Research shows that lifetime substance use disorders are linked to mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, and several personality disorders. While substance use may cause new mental health disorders to develop, substance use can also be a coping strategy for an existing mental illness.
Some co-occurring disorders are more common than others. The most common include mood, anxiety, personality, eating, and psychotic disorders.
Mood disorders are characterized by disturbances in a person’s mood. There are different types of mood disorders, including major depression, anxiety disorders, and bipolar disorder. The signs and symptoms of mood disorders vary based on type, but they can include loss of pleasure in usual activities, social withdrawal, extreme euphoria or recklessness.
Related Topic: Alcohol and Depression
Anxiety is often used as a blanket term, but there are many different anxiety disorders. For example, panic disorder, social phobia and specific phobias like claustrophobia are all considered types of anxiety disorders. The signs of anxiety disorder can include physical symptoms like sweating or shortness of breath. It can also include behaviors like avoiding anxiety-inducing situations or becoming overly dependent on a person or thing that brings comfort.
Personality disorders can cause extreme, inflexible thoughts or behavior that make it difficult to function in day-to-day life. Different personality disorders include antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder. Each disorder is characterized by different features or symptoms, such as obsessions or paranoia. Personality disorder symptoms vary depending on the type, but they can involve unpredictable behavior and fearful thinking.
Eating disorders are characterized by disturbances in eating behaviors and obsessions about food, body weight, size or shape. As there are different types of eating disorders, there is no specific set of symptoms that represents all eating disorders. People with eating disorders can have a range of body shapes and sizes, and they may struggle with undereating or overeating. Others may feel out of control around food or overcompensate for energy intake. As a result, the signs of an eating disorder may not always be obvious to others.
Psychotic disorders sometimes called psychosis, cause people to lose touch with reality or experience unusual thoughts or perceptions. Early signs of psychosis can include a decline in performance at work or school, suspiciousness of others, decreased hygiene or inappropriate emotions. Different types of psychosis include schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and delusional disorder.
Related Topic: Can alcohol cause schizophrenia?