Addiction is often but one issue that a person must deal with. It can be the first of two major conditions the addict suffers from. When this is the case, it is referred to as a dual diagnosis.
In simple terms, a dual diagnosis is when a person suffers from an addiction and a mental condition simultaneously. The addiction, in most cases, is related to either drugs or alcohol. The mental condition can vary, and may have begun long before the addiction or may have been caused by the substance abuse. Some common mental health problems that are part of a dual diagnosis include depression, bipolar disorder, social anxiety and many others.
One of the issues that treatment providers face is the ability to understand what causes both conditions. In some cases, the addiction happened as a result of the mental condition in the person’s attempt to self-medicate or deal with the issue.
An example is with a person who has an obsessive-compulsive disorder. This person has an uncontrollable urge to continue some behavior beyond the normal. He or she may use drugs to relax or alcohol to cause the mind to settle down and stop focusing on the obsessive behavior. In time, the alcohol or drug stops working and may even exacerbate the problem. If you know someone suffering from co-existing disorders, it is important you get the professional help as soon as possible. The medical and mental health experts at Drug Treatment Centers Abilene can help you find them the appropriate method of treatment. Give Alcohol Treatment Centers Abilene a call today at (325) 603-0959.
In some instances, the mental condition may develop as a result of the addiction. For example, a person who abuses alcohol may suffer from depression. It can be difficult to know if the depression came about because of the alcohol or if the person is using alcohol to deal with the depression.
Since depression is a symptom of alcohol addiction, many people assume that it will go away if the alcoholism is treated. If it is an ongoing problem, the depression will not go away when the alcoholic receives treatment. In fact, without treatment of the depression, alcohol addiction may become a recurring problem. The addict is more likely to relapse because both conditions were not treated.
The most effective treatment for a person with co-existing disorders is when both illnesses are addressed. It is preferable for the two disorders to be treated at the same time and in the same facility. This allows the two therapists to work with each other so that the patients receives a successful outcome for both conditions.
There are several challenges in treating someone with two disorders. It can be more difficult to get them to follow the treatment plan and stick with therapy. Another issue is that suicide rates are higher among people with co-existing disorders. Detoxing can be especially difficult for the person who also suffers from a mental condition.
Another problem is that the addiction can mask the other condition so that no one recognizes that it exists. A prime example is the person who suffers from severe social anxiety. He or she may use drugs or alcohol to relax and get through social situations that would otherwise leave the person in a state of panic or unable to function in social situations. Because of the alcohol or drug abuse, people may not recognize that the person has any problems with socializing. After successfully treating the addiction, the person may be tempted to use the drugs or alcohol again the next time he or she is in a similar situation. Without treating the disorder, the addiction is more likely to continue. This is why it is crucial to seek the help of a professional treatment team that understands the complexities of addiction and mental health, and can help patients address, manage and treat both conditions effectively.
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