Exploring Some Facts About Dual Diagnosis you may not Know
Dual diagnosis is a term used to describe when a person is diagnosed with both substance abuse disorder and a mental health condition. Otherwise known as co-occurring disorders, dual diagnosis is not a rare occurrence in the addiction treatment realm. So, it’s something that people in treatment or people considering treatment should know more about.
Dual Diagnosis is a Common Phenomenon
Many people may not know how prevalent dual diagnosis really is. But, according to a study done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, individuals with a mental health condition are almost twice as likely to also struggle with substance abuse disorder. So, it’s important that individuals who are considering treatment or their families are aware that mental health issues may be a factor. And, should be addressed during treatment for the best results.
Dual Diagnosis can Refer to a Number of Different Co-Occurring Illnesses
Dual diagnosis can mean the diagnosis of substance abuse disorder and any other mental health disorder. So, there are many types of patients who may need help with both in treatment. Certainly, there are more dual diagnosis patients diagnosed with depression or anxiety, as they are the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorders in the country. But, that doesn’t mean that these individuals are the only type of co-occurring disorder patients. Other mental health conditions which can contribute to dual diagnosis may include bipolar disorder, PTSD, OCD, schizophrenia, and more.
Self-Medication of Mental Health Conditions Often Leads to Addiction
One of the main causes of co-occurring disorders is that people living with mental health disorders attempt to self-medicate their symptoms with drugs or alcohol. The result is not only poorly managed symptoms of mental health conditions but the development of substance dependence.
Addiction can Also Lead to Mental Health Issues
While it’s more common for dual diagnosis patients to develop an addiction as a result of self-medicating mental health symptoms, it can also happen the other way around. Addiction can take a toll on not only a person’s physical body but their mind and emotional state too. Without addressing these symptoms of long term drug abuse, it’s possible that individuals may develop mental health conditions as a result.
Some Mental Health Conditions Increase a Person’s Risk for Addiction Even More
As mentioned previously, studies show that individuals with mental health issues may be twice at risk for developing an addiction. But, those with severe mental health issues may be even more at risk for developing an addiction. For example, if a person struggles with anxiety and depression, they may be twice as likely to develop an addiction. But, a person diagnosed with schizophrenia or PTSD may be 4 to 5 times more likely than the average individual to develop substance abuse disorder.
Co-occurring Disorders Require Specific and Focused Treatment
Unfortunately, because dual diagnosis individuals deal with two or more mental health issues at once, they are harder to treat. Dual diagnosis is when addiction and mental health disorders play off of each other. So, treatment must include identifying how each issue affects the other. And, developing strategies to help individuals realize when their mental health conditions play off one another. Furthermore, since addiction is a different experience from person to person and mental health conditions can be a variety of different types, treatment must be individualized to become successful. This means that treatment works to identify and address the specific needs of patients, especially dual diagnosis patients.
Finding Treatment for Dual Diagnosis Patients
Here at Wellness Retreat Recovery Center, we develop individualized treatment plans for everyone who comes to our facility, including those affected by various mental health conditions.
We understand the challenge of facing both addiction and mental health conditions. And, work to help individuals find successful and long term solutions to symptoms of mental health conditions so they no longer need to be addressed by addictive substances. If you’re looking for a treatment to address dual diagnosis, contact us today to learn more about how we can help get you on the first step toward healing.