Comorbidity (or co-occurring disorders) refers to when a person qualifies for more than one mental health diagnosis at a time. For example, anxiety and depression commonly occur together. This occurs frequently, as many mental health issues have overlapping symptoms and feed into each other. (A ‘dual diagnosis’ refers specifically to a substance use disorder alongside another disorder.)
For those struggling with mental health concerns, comorbidity makes sense. Someone experiencing untreated anxiety may begin to feel overwhelmed and incapable. They shut down and start experiencing symptoms of depression. A person going through a depressive episode may look for ways to cope and turn to drugs or alcohol to feel better.
Although comorbidity is common in the mental health world, it can be complex. Interacting symptoms and treatment of multiple problems at the same time can be tricky and take longer to find workable solutions. Fortunately, many of the treatment methods used in mental health work with multiple disorders.
When it comes to working with comorbid disorders, treatment will vary depending on the individual. Cognitive behavioral therapy is most commonly used to treat a variety of mental health issues due to its success and supported research. However, multiple methods will likely be used to help with the treatment of co-occurring disorders.
I offer in-person therapy and counseling in Seabrook, TX and virtual telehealth therapy for Texas residents. If you are seeking mental health treatment, give me a call or schedule a free 15-minute consultation on our online portal today.