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What Does Dual Diagnosis Mean?

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Dual diagnosis means that a person has both a mental disorder and an alcohol or drug problem. It is common for the two to coexist. When someone is said to have a dual diagnosis, they can be any combination of a mental health disorder with any type of drug or alcohol use disorder. The numbers of people addicted to drugs and drinking alcohol usually have an undiagnosed mental health issue that needs treatment. The majority of people with mental disorders also have substance use disorders. The challenge of dual-diagnosed people is that each condition will make the other disorder worse when they interact. What Does Dual Diagnosis Mean?

Why Does Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders Happen Together?

The relationship between substance use disorders and mental disorders has been extensively researched. The answer is that both of these disorders cause a lack of peace and emotional stability. That means either the addict or the person with mental health problems is attempting to self-medicate. It is important to remember that although these conditions often occur together, it does not mean that one of them caused the other. Many Dual Diagnosis doctors and psychiatric experts state how difficult it usually is to determine which came first.

How to Help Someone With Dual Diagnosis?

It is vital to understand that someone struggling with a dual diagnosis must be provided professional help to take care of both conditions simultaneously. The programs available for dual diagnosis rely on advanced therapy and treatment methods that provide in-depth counseling and therapeutic interventions. The person will also require ongoing psychiatric assessments and will benefit from pharmacotherapies (medications) within their treatment plan to improve their mental health. The other key objective is for them to attain sobriety from all drugs and alcohol.

The National Institutes of Health Describe Dual Diagnosis and Treatment

Management of patients with dual diagnosis (Mental illness and substance use disorders) is a challenge. A lack of improvement in either disorder can lead to a relapse in both. The current consensus opinion favors an integrated approach to managing both the disorders wherein the same team of professionals manages both the disorders in the same setting. The role of pharmacotherapy for such dual diagnosis patients is well established. However, the non-pharmacological approaches for their management are still evolving. (NCBI)

What Causes A Dual Diagnosis?

The causes for Dual Diagnosis are still being researched, but so far, the reasons match what is known to cause someone to become an addict/alcoholic and as well as for someone to develop a mental health issue. For addiction and mental health, three areas will predispose someone to each condition if affected negatively. They are:

  • Genetics (family history of addiction or mental health disorders)
  • Stress (within employment, relationships, finances, health)
  • Trauma (personal history of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, witnessing violence, and history of neglect or abandonment)

When someone is suffering from the three influencers listed, they may become depressed, anxious, or disconnected and then use drugs, or vice versa. The reason anyone uses drugs or alcohol is to feel better. And persons with dual diagnoses are in some ways desperate to change how they feel either because of their mental health or their discomfort because they are suffering from the effects of untreated addiction and or alcoholism. Addiction to substances can lead to mental disorders. In addition, the use of a substance may alter your brain in ways that make you more susceptible to developing mental health problems.

We Offer Same-Day Admission to Evoke Wellness at Miramar: Dual Diagnosis Program

Call right now if you or your loved one is ready to receive evidence-based forms of therapy and emotional support from our expert clinical staff in the dual diagnosis program. We have helped thousands of dually-diagnosed patients achieve a better life. For example, our programs support bipolar and addictions, depression and addiction or alcoholism, anxiety and benzodiazepine abuse, methamphetamine and schizophrenia, and numerous other dual diagnosis combinations. It is our mission to help those suffering get treatment and experience peace of mind and freedom. Evoke Wellness Treatment Programs will always include behavioral therapies and medications in the dual diagnosis programs. Call right now to be admitted today.