What Is Dual Diagnosis?

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When someone you know suffers from both an addiction and a mental health disorder, that condition is known as dual diagnosis. Many times those afflicted with a mental health issue will use drugs and alcohol to treat the symptoms of a mental health condition, whether it is depression, anxiety, or a mood disorder. Conversely, years of drug and alcohol abuse can contribute to the symptoms of a mental health disorder. These are two separate illnesses, which deserve individual treatment plans to create an integrated treatment plan for one person.

Fortunately, there is help. In today’s field of advanced psychotherapy and substance abuse treatment, the client has a much greater chance of achieving a holistically happy and healthy lifestyle, in the care of experienced health professionals.

Common Dual Diagnosis Conditions

Common co-occurring mental health conditions seen in clients today are: anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. These disorders can be debilitating, preventing addicts and alcoholics from wishing to seek outside help and escalating the effects of a co-occurring mental condition. Such conditions require specialized treatment in addition to recovery from drugs and alcohol.

Behavioral therapy, integrated group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, individual therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and medication therapy are all ways in which wellness practitioners may aid the client on his or her road to recovery. Licensed therapists and treatment specialists are trained to identify the key indicators of each condition in order to treat the complete picture of the individual. Furthermore, if a client is displeased with the side effects of certain medications, a trained psychiatrist is able to identify imbalances and assess which changes should be made to create the ideal conditions for the client.

Dual diagnosis deals with a special kind of client: one who requires additional attention to parts of the mind, body, and spirit afflicted with both addiction and mental health condition symptoms. In creating a safe, protected environment for the client, where he or she can experience the consistency and calm required to address such issues and challenges, recovery is possible.

Detox from all drugs and alcohol and continued attendance of regular group therapy meetings specifically geared to treat addiction, along with individualized therapy and possible medication or alternative therapies, will aid in the long-term recovery of the client. Trained professionals understand that it is absolutely vital to address and treat underlying mental health conditions for a client with dual diagnosis. In the care of expert professionals in the field of recovery, the possibility of a happy, fulfilled life is greater than ever before.