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. For instance, an individual can go through substance dependency while having bipolar disorder, too.
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 two terms dual diagnosis and dual disorder are replaced by the term, co-occurring disorders. The terms being replaced may be misleading as they also refer to mental disorders and mental retardation occurring together in addition to their popular reference to a combination of substance abuse and mental disorders.
The terms are also misleading in that they only cover two disorders occurring at the same time which is not the case as two or more can occur at the same time. 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. An identification of co-existing condition is made when there is an existence of at least one disorder of each type which is also separate from the other, not just a series of indications stemming from a particular disorder.
Dual disorder is used interchangeably in this article to refer to co-occurring disorders although the latter is the most recent development in the lingo as used in the medical field.
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. A preferred definition is mentally ill chemically affected people since their condition is better described by the word affected and is not derogatory. The other acronyms used are as follows: MIC'D (mentally ill chemically dependent), MISA (mentally ill substance abusers), SAMI (substance abuse and mental illness), MISU (mentally ill substance using), ICON PSD (individuals with co-occurring psychiatric and substance disorders) and CAMI (chemical abuse and mental illness).
Some common types of co-existing conditions consist of the combinations of major depression types associated with cocaine dependency, alcohol dependency along with panic disorder, extreme alcoholism along with polydrug abuse with schizophrenia and as well as borderline personality condition with sporadic polydrug misuse. Even if the emphasis for this dwells on dual disorders, there are a number of patients who have more than two conditions. Multiple disorders are usually based on the same principles that can be used when talking about dual disorders.
The mixture of psychiatric disorders and COD problems differ along important dimensions like chronicity, disability, severity, and degree of impairment in functioning. For instance, one disorder can be more extreme than the other, or both can be equally mild or extreme. Truly, the seriousness of both disorders can be modified eventually. Degrees of impairment in functioning as well as disability can also change.
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.
Further impairment to adults who face severe mental disorders as a result of substance abuse or dependence such as alcohol or other drugs is common.
Unlike individuals who are diagnosed with mental health disorders or those with alcohol and drug dependency issues alone, those with dual disorders most of the time undergo serious and long lasting medical, emotional and social difficulties. They are vulnerable to both COD relapse and a worsening of the psychiatric disorder because they have two disorders. Additionally, dependency relapse most of the time causes psychiatric functional deterioration and worsening of psychiatric difficulties which further results in dependency relapse. Thus, for patients with dual disorders relapse prevention must be specially designed. 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.
Personality, psychotic and mood disorders are among some of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders diagnosed in dual patient disorders.