dual diagnosis treatment

Many people who suffer from addiction also suffer from different kinds of mental health disorders. Based on research, over half of the total population of individuals with addiction has a diagnosable mental health concern.

In most cases, no one knows which of the two comes first. But, they are strongly linked to each other.

One great example of this is the individuals who are suffering from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Many of them tend to self-medicate, which places them at risk for addiction. Likewise, taking drugs and other substances worsens the underlying mental health concern. Hence, it is unclear which of the two causes the other.

What is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Now, people who are diagnosed with both a mental health disorder and addiction are referred to as “dual diagnosis.” It is not rare and it comes in different forms. While it is unclear which one of the two starts the other, those who are suffering from a mental health concern are more prone to addiction.

Dual diagnosis is treatable. There are available treatments today that are effective and reliable. But, despite being common, not to mention the availability of the treatment, not all facilities and rehab centers can address the issues of dual diagnosis.

As noted, it is a very complicated issue. Only those facilities that target dual diagnosis and have effective psychiatric staff are the ones that can offer treatments and may lead patients to a new and sober life.

5 Things You Need to Know About It

As mentioned, dual diagnosis is not rare. But, there are tons of misconceptions and speculations about it. So, here are the top five things you need to understand about it:

  • This Treatment Takes More Time to Complete

Addiction alone is difficult to treat and overcome, even when done in long-term, inpatient alcohol rehab or inpatient drug rehab centers. Experts attest that it is a lifelong journey. The same is also true for mental illness.

Considering that dual diagnosis involves both addiction and mental health issues, it takes much more effort, resources, and time to treat the condition. While it is possible for rehab centers to treat and tackle the issue for months, the recovery itself may take years.

Keep in mind that there is no quick and easy fix for this matter. Hence, patience is a must for all parties involved.

  • It’s Difficult to Treat

Dual diagnosis is very challenging and difficult to treat. Aside from the fact that it is a very complicated issue, experts find it hard to determine the root cause, which makes the whole thing much more daunting.

This is why treatments toward it are customized. Keep in mind that two issues are being targeted in this matter, and both of them are equally complex.

For instance, an individual is suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder. There is no exact way to determine what causes the compulsion. Is it the drugs or the mental illness itself? The question stands, which is why experts and staff take more time to properly address all the issues.

  • Meditation and Counseling Are The Most Important

In treating dual diagnosis, medications are part of the program in all rehab centers that provide dual diagnosis treatment. But, another important factor that will help speed up recovery includes meditation and counseling.

Meditation has, time again, proven its effectiveness and reliability when it comes to treating mental health concerns. Likewise, it also offers great benefits to addiction. Considering that meditation makes one very mindful of the reality of the situation, further awareness allows the individual to focus on what’s more important.

Alongside meditation, counseling is also a great aspect of the treatment. Guidance from experts is essential as they know the specific needs of each case. This is why treatment programs today now widely offer meditation practices and guidance counseling.

  • There is a High Risk for Suicide

Dual diagnosis is a very complicated matter. Alongside this, treatments take time. Unfortunately, these are only some of the factors why patients face more personal issues, particularly with themselves. This is why many end up deciding to ultimately end their suffering by committing suicide.

Based on official data, people who suffer from mental health condition face 20 times more risk of committing suicide, and taking addiction into the overall equation, it makes the whole thing much worse. It is worth noting, though, that not all individuals who suffer from mental illness or addiction have tendencies to take their own lives. It is just that they are at more risk of committing suicide, according to studies.

  • Dual Diagnosis Comes in Many Forms

Dual diagnosis comes in many forms. Any individual who has a mental illness diagnosis and confirmed addiction suffers from dual diagnosis.

Any combination of the two may qualify for this condition. As the reports said, the possibilities are almost endless as any combination of mental health concern and addiction type falls under this category.

Mental health illnesses may include anxiety disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and panic disorder. As for addiction, it may include all types of substance dependency and behavioral-related addictions.

Among all, the most common dual diagnosis conditions include the following:

  • Alcohol addiction with panic disorder
  • Cocaine addiction with major depression
  • Poly-drug and alcohol addiction with schizophrenia-
  • Episodic poly-drug abuse with a borderline personality disorder

Final Thoughts

All in all, dual diagnosis is a daunting and challenging condition. But, despite all the difficulties, especially when it comes to overcoming it, it is a very doable action. With the help of the right people and exhaustion of the right treatment programs, people who are suffering from dual diagnosis will certainly recover and start anew after.

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