A person with a dual diagnosis is one who suffers from a both a mental disorder and a substance abuse problem. According to statistics, almost half of all people with a severe mental disorder are affected by substance abuse, and 29 percent of all people diagnosed as mentally ill abuse either alcohol or drugs. Often the psychiatric problem occurs first followed by an attempt to feel better through self-medication with drugs or alcohol. Other times the alcohol or drug dependency occurs first and leads to depression, anxiety and more severe emotional and mental problems. Whatever the case may be, a patient’s chances of recovery from either disorder are miserably slim unless both disorders are simultaneously treated.
The Need for Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Drug Addiction and Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety is a common emotion that some people feel every day, but anxiety disorders are much more severe and have serious consequences on a person’s ability to live a normal life. That’s why some people who suffer from an anxiety disorder such as General Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Social Phobia or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) will attempt to self-medicate their symptoms by turning to alcohol or drugs. This may provide a temporary escape, but the substance abuse will inevitably increase the severity of their anxiety symptoms.
Drug addiction can also include prescription drug abuse. Long-term use or abuse of certain drugs prescribed for anxiety symptoms can lead a person to develop an addiction. Whatever the drug of choice is, a person suffering from drug addiction and an anxiety disorder will need dual diagnosis treatment in order to overcome both disorders.
The Need for Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Drug Addiction and Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric illness that can seriously impact a person’s life. Also known as manic depression, bipolar disorder creates extreme shifts in a person’s mood and energy that range from mania to depression. Bipolar disorder and alcohol/drug addiction often go hand in hand, and the symptoms of each disorder overlap is such a way that’s it can be very difficult to recognize that both an addiction and bipolar disorder co-exist. Once both disorders have been identified, dual diagnosis treatment will be the most effective way to treat the symptoms of both disorders and help the patient manage their bipolar disorder without depending on drugs or alcohol.
The Need for Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Drug Addiction and Depression
Like bipolar disorder, the symptoms of depression and drug addiction are so similar that it may be difficult to know where one disorder begins and the other one ends. Many people will turn to drugs to self-medicate their depression symptoms and others will develop severe depression as a result of using drugs over time. No matter which comes first, drug addiction and depression puts a person in a vicious cycle that can be effectively ended through dual diagnosis treatment. Properly addressing and treating the depression symptoms will be the only way a patient can begin the journey to drug addiction recovery.
How to Choose a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facility
A good dual diagnosis treatment facility will address all issues relating to the mental illness and the substance abuse problem. It should provide treatment for drug and alcohol use, behavioral addictions, codependency patterns, mental health, trauma issues, eating disorders, sexual addiction, family functioning, social relationships, physical health and fitness, diet and nutrition, vocational and education needs, and legal problems.
Without comprehensive treatment, a person suffering from bipolar disorder, depression or an anxiety disorder will inevitably continue the unending cycle of self-medicating their mental illness symptoms through substance abuse. If you know someone who has dual diagnose symptoms, encourage them to seek treatment at a dual diagnosis drug rehab where they can be properly diagnosed and effectively treated.