Dual diagnosis is a method of treatment in which a person is diagnosed with both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder, also known as co-occurring mental disorders. These treatment programs aim to treat the disorders together rather than separately because they could be causing one another. Cooccurring mental disorders are common in substance abuse. About half the people with mental health disorders will also have a substance use disorder at some point in their lives, or vice versa. Dual diagnosis is often used in a rehab program.
Having a dual diagnosis can make a rehab program much more complex. Often the outlook for substance use treatment is poor without proper care. Finding a recovery center that specializes in co-occurring mental disorders is key when dealing with dual diagnosis. According to one SAMHA report, if one co-occurring disorder goes untreated, they usually both get worse and more complications can arise.
Common Co-Occurring Disorders
Living with a mental health condition or mental illness can increase the risk of a person developing a drug addiction or alcohol addiction. Here are some of the most common co occurring disorder:
- Generalized anxiety disorder: Some may abuse a prescription drug like Xanax or clonazepam, while others rely on alcohol or drug abuse to cope with anxiety symptoms or enhance social skills.
- Depression: Many will use drugs or alcohol to deal and self-medicate their symptoms.
- Bipolar disorder: Many will self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to reduce intensity of the highs and lows
- Posttraumatic stress disorder: Those with PTSD may choose to relieve symptoms with alcohol or drugs, which can make their symptoms worse.
- Eating disorders: Often these individuals will use drugs like stimulants and diet pills or alcohol to suppress appetite, or to relieve self-esteem issues.
- Mood Disorders or Personality Disorder: Many will ruin relationships with their intense ups and downs and will turn to drugs and alcohol in order to cope.
- Attention Deficit hyperactivity disorder: These individuals may be prescribed stimulants which can be easily abused. Others may rely on drugs and alcohol to self-medicate and suppress their symptoms.
- Schizophrenia: Living with schizophrenia, many become unable to distinguish between reality and hallucinations, it is not uncommon for them to turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with these experiences.
Signs of a Dual Diagnosis
A psychological evaluation is necessary to officially diagnose a co-occurring mental disorder, but if you suspect it is present, finding a recovery center that will treat dual diagnosis is highly important. Some of the indicators to look for are:
- Not remembering the last time you felt fully satisfied with life without the assistance of drugs or alcohol
- You started using drugs or alcohol to overcome feelings of depression, stress, fear, and anxiety
- You have experienced trauma in the past and use drugs or alcohol to deal with feelings surrounding it
- There is a family history of mental illness
- Severe tension or worry
- Angry, violent, or reckless behavior
- Internal anxiety that can only be relieved by certain behaviors or rituals
- Dramatic shifts in moods or energy levels
- Inability to concentrate
- Delusions or hallucinations
- Social withdrawal
- Intense or prolonged feelings of hopelessness, despair, and worthlessness
- Trouble maintaining relationships because of behavior or mood swings
- Using drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism for any of the above
Healing The Roots Causes of Addiction at Quantum
Mental health and addiction often go hand in hand. If you or a loved one is battling addiction, a mental health disorder, or both, our alcohol and drug addiction treatment at Quantum Behavioral Health Services can help. Our dual diagnosis trement center aims to help identify the root causes of substance abuse and the problems driving their behaviors through individual therapy. Our medical professionals and peer support groups can help participants understand their addiction and their mental disorder. Through behavioral therapy, we then help you learn and practice the positive behaviors to turn your life around.
Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (609) 993-0733 and start your road to recovery today.