It's not uncommon for certain mental health issues to occur in pairs. For example, a person who has an anxiety disorder might also have depression. And there are so many reasons for that. According to experts, co-occurring mental health issues can happen because one sometimes triggers the other, which is often the case with anxiety and depression. Other times, genetics play a role. And, in other instances, someone may develop a second disorder — such as substance use disorder — as a way of coping with the original problem.
"Some of it is genetic, some of it is has to do with the neurochemicals that are involved in one disorder and neural pathways that are the same as the other, and sometimes — particularly in the case of comorbid [meaning occur together] depression — one can trigger another," clinical psychologist Dr. Josh Klapow, host of The Web Radio Show, tells Bustle. "Perceptions of loss of control and helplessness (i.e. learned helplessness) can trigger depression. This is why you see depression co-occurring with both psychiatric disorders that are debilitating and physical disorders (i.e. chronic health conditions). If an individual feels helpless in their situation they can trigger a secondary depression."
The good news is, once it's discovered that two or more mental health issues are occurring together, it can suddenly feel like everything makes sense. And, it can make creating a treatment plan even more effective, since a therapist and/or psychiatrist will finally know just what they're treating. Here are a few mental health issues that tend to occur together, according to the experts.