Addiction and Dual Diagnosis: Connecting the Dots For Addiction Recovery

Updated on December 3, 2021

Depression and personality disorders are common co-occurring mental health illnesses, but what happens if you have both? How would you feel if you completed a 12-step program and discovered that some of the causes for your alcoholism stemmed from severe depression?

There is a good probability that you will benefit from dual diagnosis treatment if you are struggling with addiction and feeling hopeless. However, choosing a reliable service provider is critical, and you should know that clients are treated with best-customized care at Quest 2 Recovery.

What is A Dual Diagnosis, And How is it Different From A Single Diagnosis?

Drug addiction and depression are examples of dual diagnosis situations in which both illnesses are present at the same time in the same patient. There was a lengthy period of time where those with mental health issues such as mood swings or panic attacks, were treated separately from those with substance misuse issues.

A patient’s mental health therapy was often denied if they didn’t address his or her substance abuse issues first. We now know that the patient must be treated holistically if they are to heal in the long run.

Types of Dual Diagnosis

There are three basic forms of dual diagnosis:

Addiction and Mental Health

Many persons with mental illness are also addicted to substances, according to the American Medical Association. Alcohol and drug abusers are more likely to suffer mental health disorders than the general population.

Although drug and alcohol abuse can exacerbate and prolong psychotic symptoms, it is not the cause of the other, even if they are closely associated. People with mental health issues self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to alleviate their symptoms, which is something we know for sure.

Mental health issues that cause unexpected mood shifts or social discomfort frequently prompt patients to take substances to help them cope with their emotions or temporarily “fix” their mood. But these substances can have long-term adverse effects and exacerbate the symptoms of their mental illness.

Additionally, medicines intended to address some mental health conditions can be weakened or rendered useless if used at the same time as drugs and alcohol. This complicates this dual diagnosis.

Addiction and PTSD

For the most part, drug misuse is a result of childhood trauma or a painful event in adulthood, but it may also contribute to trauma.

Many people who have been traumatized avoid admitting that they are in pain. They’re not interested in reliving sad experiences or reopening old wounds. Some of them use drugs, sex, or alcohol to make themselves forget about what happened to them, and while they are drunk or high, they find some relief.

People who have been sexually assaulted as a kid may develop alcoholism or a dependency on painkillers as adults, for example.

Trauma and Mental Health

As with the two other main forms of dual diagnosis, it can be difficult to determine which occurs first in terms of mental health difficulties and trauma. Certain severe mental health illnesses can lead to traumatic experiences for certain people, such as being physically or sexually assaulted by other individuals.

Many people suffer from PTSD due to a vehicle accident, a natural disaster, or a combat veteran’s traumatic experience. Phobias, anxiety, and interpersonal difficulties can result from traumatic events.

Why is Dual Diagnosis Complicated?

Many patients are unable to receive the correct diagnosis because of significant obstacles. Clinicians may not recognize that a patient has a major mental health condition since they will ascribe their blueness to their use of alcohol or marijuana because of the chemical effects of the substances.

Alcohol, on the other hand, has long been associated with anti-social behavior. It’s common for trauma victims to hear that their anxiety would subside as they become older, but this isn’t necessarily true.

Treatment for Dual Diagnosis

There are a number of factors that must be taken into consideration while deciding on the best treatment option for you. In order for a dual diagnosis treatment plan to be effective, it must take into consideration the patient’s childhood, traumatic events, medical and drug use history, family and interpersonal concerns, and social life.

It is only then that an appropriate dual diagnosis rehab program may be devised by the therapist

Choosing a Dual Diagnosis Rehab Center

To get an accurate diagnosis from an experienced team of mental health professionals who have specialized training in treating a wide range of conditions is critical. In addition to helping you through detox and addiction treatment, your service provider should be able to assist you to get to the root of what is prompting you to use substances, such as childhood trauma or mental health problems. It is essential to note that treatment is only possible after diagnosing the problem correctly. Finally, the treatment program you select must be tailored to match your individual needs.

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