You have a prescription medication to treat your diagnosed anxiety but you often leave it at home or forget to take it as prescribed. Enter alcohol as “a quick fix.” Grabbing a few drinks after work becomes more of a regular thing and trips to the grocery for food start to include several bottles of wine “just in case.”
As the bottles clank first into the recycling bin and then the garbage can, you start to wonder if maybe you should have thought twice because you know you shouldn’t drink alcohol with your medication. Next time someone offers you wine you happily accept and decide you just won’t take your medication since you haven’t been taking it regularly anyway.
It will be two years before you admit any of this to your psychiatrist while crying in her office.
If left untreated, these disorders can become negative influences on a person’s recovery, lending to potential triggers for relapse. Effective treatment engages modalities that address both substance use and mental health disorders, with methods including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy and mindfulness and stress management practices. Vertava Health Texas is poised to deliver you, or your loved one, this compassionate and in-depth care.
A dual diagnosis is sometimes referred to as a co-occurring disorder and requires certain types of treatment to address both issues. In many instances, these accompanying conditions may have led to substance abuse, aggravated it, or even caused it.
Because of these connections, it is extremely important that an individual receives personalized and treatment addresses these specific concerns. Not only will this treatment aid a person in overcoming their addiction, but it will also help them to protect themselves from relapse.
What Is The Definition of Dual Diagnosis?
Dual diagnosis is defined as two disorders that co-exist, most commonly mental health disorders, but these may also include instances of trauma or the presence of a dual addiction.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grants perspective on the prevalence of these, noting that in 2014, over a third (7.9 million) of the 20.2 million adults with a substance use disorder had a co-occurring mental health disorder.
Common dual diagnosis conditions include:
- Eating disorders
- Personality disorders
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
It is possible that a person has more than one co-occurring disorder, including several mental health concerns, such as borderline personality disorder, accompanied by anxiety and depression.
How Do Dual Diagnosis Disorders Affect Addiction?
It is important to realize that though often linked, depending on a person’s specific situation, either substance abuse or mental health disorders may occur first, as noted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Dual diagnosis concerns are prevalent within addiction. In these circumstances, they both frequently change the face of addiction, the negative behaviors attributed to it and the subsequent treatment.
One Example Shows Two Sides of Dual Diagnosis Disorders
Substance abuse has the heavy-handed potential to aggravate existing mental health disorders or create them, due to the way drugs and alcohol change a person’s biochemistry.
As a person strives to self-medicate these concerns, the drugs or alcohol often worsen the symptoms, leading a person to use more and creating a vicious spiral into addiction.
On the other hand, substance use disorder may lead to a disorder in certain circumstances. If left untreated, these mental health disorders or trauma may serve to create stress or triggers that could cause a person to relapse.
Despite these associations, dual diagnoses do not always come about as a result of one another. In addition to these connections, research also illustrates another potential cause. Both substance use disorder and mental health disorder share common risk factors, including genetic or brain weaknesses and/or experiences with situations causing emotional distress or instances of trauma at a young age, as explained by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
How to Handle a Dual Diagnosis
Within individualized and holistic care, treatment is adapted to a person’s unique needs, including the presence of any comorbid disorders. These realities help to inform and shape the way the treatment staff creates a person’s treatment plan, ensuring you or your family member the best chance at healing and balancing the body, mind and soul.
Treatment seeks to do several things, including increasing a person’s awareness and commitment to both acceptance and change. It also teaches coping and interpersonal skills and aids in creating a solid relapse prevention plan.
We offer co-occurring disorder treatment in Texas that addresses a patient’s mental health symptoms during treatment. Patients will examine the relationship between the two, rather than have them treated separated like with a dual diagnosis.
What is The Difference Between Comorbidity and Dual Diagnosis?
Comorbidity is typically defined the same as two disorders that co-exist but goes more specifically. Comorbidity implies the two disorders and occur at the same time or one after the other, as well as one disorder can aggravate the other.
What is The Dual Diagnosis Model of Treatment?
Treatment for these conditions benefits the patient with a seamless team of clinicians to treat the multiple disorders with a comprehensive therapy approach. Modification of some traditional methods to treat one disorder may have to be made in consideration for potential harm to the additional disorder. The goal is to learn to manage both illnesses in order to pursue meaningful life goals.
What Are The 5 Most Common Mental Disorders?
Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are the most common mental disorders, according to the National Institute for Health.
What is a Dual Diagnosis in Mental Health?
A dual diagnosis is most commonly defined as having a mental health disorder that co-exists with a drug or alcohol use disorder. This can be traced to the method of self-medicating a mental disorder through drugs or alcohol, ultimately becoming an addiction that needs treatment as well as the original disorder. This situation of mental disorder to alcohol can also occur in the opposite order.
A dual diagnosis can also include multiple addictions or multiple mental health diagnoses. It is also commonly used concurrently with comorbidity. This term allows for the possibility of more than two disorders as well as one occurring subsequent to arrival of the second disorder.