Mental health disorders require dual diagnosis treatment. Co-occurring mental illness and addiction can be treated through dual diagnosis. Most people think of addiction as a substance problem.
However, people with dual diagnoses may suffer from mental health issues and addictions. Addiction to drugs or alcohol is possible for people with bipolar disorder. Taking care of one problem without taking care of the other can lead to relapse. People with mental health disorders need dual diagnosis treatment. Dual diagnosis treatment is far more effective in treating co-occurring mental illness and addiction.
The mental health system focuses on mental health, not addiction. Meanwhile, addiction treatment does not address mental health issues. Dual diagnosis programs make it possible to treat both at the same time.
What Exactly is Dual Diagnosis
Substance abusers become psychologically and physically dependent. Initially, they may use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, but over time, their tolerance builds, and they need more and more to achieve the same effect. They may then lose interest in other activities and withdraw from friends and family as their dependency deepens. Additionally, financial, and legal problems may also occur.
Consequently, mental illness can result from all these stressors. So, to address both substance addiction and its secondary mental health effects, dual diagnosis treatment is essential. Another possibility is that a mental health issue led to self-medication with addictive substances.
Examples of Dual Diagnosis
You have a dual diagnosis if you have a mental health condition and a substance abuse problem. An estimated 9.8 million people suffer from both conditions simultaneously. Substance abuse is associated with the following mental health conditions:
- Clinical depression: There are many aspects of life affected by this mood disorder. It impacts relationships, work, and self-care significantly. It can also lead to suicide ideation.
- Eating disorders: Physical and mental health are affected by these serious mental illnesses. By understanding the signs of eating disorders, you can take action before it is too late.
- Schizophrenia: There are three types of symptoms: positive, negative, and cognitive. Positive symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized speech. The negative symptoms include apathy or a lack of emotion, as well as difficulty carrying out daily activities. The symptoms of cognitive impairment include difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and difficulty focusing.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder: The condition is characterized by excessive and persistent worry. Worries may be unrealistic, out of proportion to actual concerns, or excessive. About 6.8% of the population suffers from a generalized anxiety disorder at some point in their lives.
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: This can develop when you experience or witness something that makes you feel threatened. PTSD may affect your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
- Borderline Personality Disorder: A mental illness characterized by difficulty managing emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Inability to manage day-to-day responsibilities or maintain healthy relationships can result from this.
Benefits of Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Since substance use disorders are often accompanied by mental health disorders, both disorders can feed off each other in a vicious cycle of destruction. For instance, depression might lead to excessive drinking and addiction if someone self-medicates with alcohol.
Or anxiety might lead someone to use drugs to calm down, resulting in drug tolerance and dependence. Therapists don’t try to figure out which came first since it can be hard to identify and does not affect the treatment outcome. However, clinical research has shown that they should be treated simultaneously.
Treating them separately, one after the another is not effective. It is much more efficient to help reduce both sets of symptoms at the same time. If you or someone you know has both a mental health disorder and a substance abuse disorder, you may be eligible for dual diagnosis treatment.
Seek professional help from a rehab clinic that addresses both disorders to get on the road to recovery. You should seek professional help as soon as possible if you have any mental health conditions and are also abusing substances. You shouldn’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help if you are suffering and your life seems out of control. Having both substance abuse and mental health problem is not unusual. If you would like to speak to one of our counselors, please call 844-639-8371.