Personality disorders are difficult enough to deal with on their own, and that is why many people with personality disorders self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. These substances might provide temporary relief from a personality disorder, but over time, alcohol and drugs used by someone with a personality disorder is a toxic cocktail that makes symptoms worse. Before entering treatment, clients with personality disorders often wonder if they can receive counseling for both personality disorders and substance abuse at the same time.
It’s a smart question to ask before beginning treatment. Why? Over the years, scientists and addiction specialists have pondered the issue of dual diagnosis and conducted research that supports a dual diagnosis approach to substance abuse recovery. If you treat one disorder but ignore the other, relapse is likely. By treating both a personality disorder and substance abuse disorder at the same time, addiction specialists are able to help clients overcome both.
What is a Personality Disorder?
Personality disorders are a type of disorder where a person has a very rigid, unhealthy pattern of thinking in situations and interpersonal relationships. Common personality disorders include borderline personality disorder and histrionic disorder. Symptoms of a personality disorder may include:
- Fear of abandonment (borderline personality disorder)
- Unstable relationships (borderline personality disorder)
- Substance abuse (All personality disorders)
- Lack of empathy (antisocial personality disorder)
As you can see, one of the hallmarks of personality disorders is having difficulty in relationships. Add a substance abuse disorder to this, and you’ve got a recipe for the worst kind of troubles in life. Many people with personality disorders don’t even realize that they have this type of disorder until they are diagnosed in treatment. After all, the personality is something that all mankind clings to in order to navigate the world around them. To people with personality disorders, their line of thinking seems perfectly normal, even when it is glaringly abnormal to professionals or friends.
How Personality Disorders Affect Recovery
There is good news in all of this. People with personality disorders can recover just like the rest of the population. Once in treatment, professional counselors can observe the behavior of clients and see if a personality disorder is affecting a substance abuse disorder. If someone enters a treatment center already knowing they have a personality disorder, they can tell their healthcare professionals and receive quality help for perhaps the first time. There are thousands of people who will enter rehabs this year who are dealing with both a mental disorder and a substance abuse disorder. It is tragically common.
Dual diagnosis treatment centers are essential to a community that wants its substance abuse users to recover. They need both treatment for personality disorder and substance abuse disorder. Thanks to years of scientific research and practice, the recovery community now knows how to treat both mental disorders and substance abuse disorders effectively in treatment. Personality disorders can be particularly tricky to treat, so it’s vital to find a treatment center in Fort Myers that is well-equipped and staffed to deal with the issue of personality disorders. Some counselors will have special training for personality disorders and know common treatment methods (such as dialectical behavior therapy).
The recovery centers of the world want to help people get better from both personality disorders and substance abuse disorders. Unfortunately, this can be difficult, as many people with personality disorders are unaware that anything is wrong with their way of thinking or living life. Treatment centers know this and are equipped to deal with both problems through a combination of individual counseling, group therapy, peer support, and medication. The first step to getting help is making a simple phone call. From there, a treatment center can evaluate you over the phone and let you know if they offer dual diagnosis treatment.
It’s essential for someone with a personality disorder to pick a treatment program that is capable of handling both problems at one time. Without treatment of the personality disorder, rehab is going to perhaps provide a temporary sobriety, but it won’t give you long-lasting recovery. Thankfully, the rehabs of today’s world are competent to tackle both problems at once, giving you relief from both substance abuse and personality disorders at the same time.
Help is always just a phone call away. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call us at 844-639-8371 to discuss your treatment goals and needs. We’ll be happy to assist you.