Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Share This Page

It is true to say that the newest innovation in the treatment of addiction is dual diagnosis treatment. People with mental issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and delusional behavior were, until 1990s, were treated separately from those who were battling drug and alcohol abuse.

What Is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is when a person has both an alcohol or substance problem, and a mental disorder. It is good to note that these conditions occur together more frequently. The interactions of the two conditions only worsens either of them, of course, to the disadvantage of the human body.

Why Do Mental Disorders and Substance Abuse Disorders Occur Together?

Figuring out which condition comes before the other is a conundrum for researchers and healthcare professionals. More often than not, the two conditions co-occur, although it cannot be established if either of them is as a result of the other.

Even though more research is being done to unravel the cause of co-occurrence, most researchers believe that there could be three possibilities as to why they occur together.

Trauma, genetics and stress are common risk factors that researchers believe contribute to mental problems and substance use disorders.

According to MedlinePlus, substance use can change the human brain in such a way that it is likely to develop mental disorders.

Also, mental disorders could contribute to substance use, whereby affected persons turn to drugs, alcohol and other addictive substances to feel better, at least temporarily.

Dualdiagnosis.org indicates that one out of four adults with a mental disorder are also reported to have a substance abuse disorder.

Facts about dual diagnosis

1. Dual diagnosis is common phenomenon

Recent studies have revealed than near 50% of all people who abuse substances also have a mental disorder.

2. Dual diagnosis comes in many forms

When you think about dual diagnosis, you should be aware that possibilities are endless. For example, any blend of substance abuse (drugs, sex, gambling, e. t. c) and mental issues (anxiety, trauma, stress) is a good description of a patient with dual diagnosis.

3. It may take longer to treat

Fixing dual diagnosis is a process that can take several months. Think of care and patience required to treat mental illnesses. Now, that is the same effort required when treating dual diagnosis.

4. Both conditions are best treated under one roof

Treating both addiction and mental disorder at the same time under one roof has been found to treat dual diagnosis faster and effectively than treating each separately.

5. Dual diagnosis is complicated and hard to treat

Only psychiatric experts are able to give professional care and treatment to people suffering from dual diagnosis.

As you have already learnt, dual diagnosis is a very complicated illness. For example, depression is caused by myriad issues, which means that there is no way to tell whether the depression a patient is battling is being caused by alcohol abuse. This challenges medical practitioners to research more in an effort to find the root cause of dual diagnosis.

Dual diagnosis treatment

If you meet the diagnostic criteria for a mental illness and addictive disorder, the doctor will classify you as a dual diagnosis patient, eventually entering you into treatment.

When treating dual diagnosis, both addiction and mental illness are considered. Treatment and care for dual diagnosis patients includes:

  • Treatment of both disorders by a highly trained psychiatric staff
  • Use of psychotherapeutic medicine such as anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medicine.
  • A supportive approach towards patient in order to boost their self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • Inclusive treatment strategy that brings in close relatives, friends, spouse, and children.

Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment Achievable?

Getting a diagnosis should come as a huge relief for you if you have been battling a mental illness characterized by hallucinations, mood swings, hopelessness, trauma, flashbacks, and suicidal thoughts now and then.

If you or someone near you starts showing signs of co-occurring illnesses, you should check into any medical facility for checkup.

Signs and Symptoms

During dual diagnosis treatment, the mental health and addiction treatment expert will examine you. The following signs and symptoms show that you may be suffering addiction occurring together with mental illness.

  • Abandoning people who are lose to you
  • Lying or stealing to maintain an addictive habit
  • Struggling to keep up with school
  • Guilt
  • Withdrawal
  • Quitting a bad behavior but relapsing again
  • Staying up late into the night and sleeping during the day

Treatment Options

Different patients with signs of dual diagnosis require different treatment options that are specific to them.

Your doctor could diagnose you with anxiety disorder, post-traumatic issues, personality disorder, eating disorder, mood disorder, bipolar issues, or anti-socio behavior alongside your addiction.

For the treatment to be effective, the medical expert must test for your specific disorder together with addictive disorder. He or she must, of course, study your personal health history.

Treatment options available include inpatient, outpatient and residential treatment. You can benefit from cognitive-behavioral therapies, individua/group therapy, 12-step programs and peer support.

Understanding the Need for Treatment

Handling dual diagnosis patient is always difficult because the two conditions that constitute the disorder affect the functioning of the human brain directly. For example, a person struggling with depression may decide to stop taking medicine if they start thinking that life is not worth saving.

Anxiety can drive a person away from people. Such conditions could result to a patient neglecting medicine without their wish.

If you discover such signs in you or your loved one, it is only good for you to seek help immediately. Yes, it can be difficult extending your trust to someone else especially if dual diagnosis strikes hard, but a medical expert can help you deal with that effectively.

Getting your life back on track requires help from people around you and experts. If you or someone you love is battling dual diagnosis, understanding mental disorders and addiction is the first step towards your recovery. Give us a call today so that we can help you connect to facilities that provides dual diagnosis treatment.

24/7 Confidential
Addiction Helpline

Get Help Now. Call Our Addiction Helpline (844) 377-8070