What is a dual diagnosis? Dual diagnosis is a complex mental health concern that can make it more difficult to recover from a substance or alcohol use disorder. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that nearly 38% of U.S. adults with addiction also live with additional mental health conditions. To find treatment for dual diagnosis in Argyle, TX, call Santé Center for Healing at 866.238.3154.
What Is Dual Diagnosis?
Dual diagnosis is also referred to as comorbidity or co-occurring disorders. Dual diagnosis is not itself a mental health condition. The term is used to describe the experience of having one or more mental health conditions in addition to a substance use disorder. People with dual diagnoses have a combination of mental health conditions.
When mental health conditions go untreated, they can lead to or worsen substance use problems. Likewise, substance use disorders can make the symptoms of a mental health condition worse.
For example, a person with depression may self-medicate their symptoms with alcohol. Alcohol can provide temporary relief from depression symptoms, but it also impacts the brain’s neurotransmitters and makes depression symptoms worse in the long run.
Feeling worse could lead to more alcohol use, creating a vicious cycle. As substance use increases, mental and physical health issues may also increase.
What Are the Symptoms of Dual Diagnosis?
Substance use disorders and mental health conditions each have their own specific symptoms, but some of those symptoms overlap. Before receiving addiction treatment, clients undergo a thorough health evaluation that includes mental health screening.
However, a mental health condition may not be diagnosable until after a person has completed detox. Many of the symptoms of acute substance use overlap with the symptoms of a mental health condition.
Symptoms of a substance use disorder include:
- Engaging in risky behaviors
- Feeling sick between periods of substance use
- Having strong physical or psychological cravings
- Avoiding friends, loved ones, or events in preference for substance use
- A decline in personal hygiene
- Using substances in risky situations, such as drinking and driving
- Lying or stealing to get substances
- Experiencing physical, emotional, social, or legal consequences from substance use but continuing the behavior
Symptoms of a mental health condition can vary depending on the condition itself. Some of the general warning signs of mental health problems include:
- Isolating and avoiding friends and family
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Extreme mood swings
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
- Suicidal ideation
What is a dual diagnosis caused by? There are many theories about why mental health and substance use issues occur together. Researchers point to common risk factors. Both genetics and environmental factors, such as trauma, can play a part.
What Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment Like?
Dual diagnosis treatment addresses both a substance use disorder and a mental health condition at the same time. A combination of therapies may be included in your individual treatment plan.
Behavioral therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy are typically combined with other modalities, including:
- Support groups
- Trauma therapy
- Family therapy
- Stress management
- Relapse prevention planning
- Mindfulness training
- Nutritional therapy
Every person comes to treatment with their own unique experiences. Individualized treatment plans that meet each client’s needs are the most effective. Your exact treatment plan will vary according to your needs.
Find Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Santé Center for Healing
If you are still asking, “What is a dual diagnosis?” or suspect you may be experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition in addition to a substance use disorder, Santé Center for Healing offers compassionate, comprehensive treatment. Contact Santé Center for Healing today at 866.238.3154 for more information about dual diagnosis treatment.