Living with a mental illness can be an incredibly taxing experience. Not only because of its effects on the brain and body but also because of the stigma surrounding it. Finding even momentary relief from symptoms can be challenging when struggling with mental illness without professional help.
Treatment for mental illness provides patients with the tools, coping skills, and medication that can significantly reduce the stress brought on by mental illness. It gives patients a newfound sense of control over their emotional and mental health. Unfortunately, not getting treatment for a mental health disorder can lead to the development of unhealthy coping mechanisms. Among the many harmful coping mechanisms that someone might adopt, drugs and alcohol are some of the worst. This is because drugs and alcohol often make the symptoms of mental illness far worse.
When someone has a mental health disorder and a substance abuse problem, it is known as a dual diagnosis. What is a dual diagnosis? A dual diagnosis is not uncommon within the world of mental health, as millions of cases are diagnosed yearly. Because mental health conditions are common, it is essential to know the facts surrounding dual diagnosis, who it affects, and how it’s treated.
What Is a Dual Diagnosis?
Dual diagnosis is a term created to describe someone with a mental health disorder and a co-occurring substance use disorder. While the two co-occur, this does not necessarily mean that one caused the other. There are three prevailing theories on why the two might happen together. The first pertains to common risk facts that affect mental health disorders and substance use disorders. These risk factors may be genetic, stress, or trauma related.
The second theory considers how mental health disorders can contribute to the excessive use of drugs and alcohol. Commonly referred to as “self-medicating,” those living with a mental health disorder may use substances to cope with the stress brought on by their symptoms. The third theory examines the effects of substance use disorders and addiction on mental health. This theory believes that regular substance use can change chemical regulation within the brain, increasing the likelihood of developing a mental illness.
What Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?
There are several answers to the question: what is dual diagnosis treatment?
The first step to determining what treatment will look like is to undergo a psychiatric evaluation or intake exam so that doctors may determine how someone’s substance abuse might affect their mental health and vice versa. Mental health disorders commonly associated with dual diagnosis are:
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Borderline personality disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Disordered eating
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder
As one might assume, each of these disorders is treated in a particular way. Treatment will, therefore, be highly dependent on one, the substance being abused, and two, the mental health disorder affecting the patient. Once doctors have identified the combination creating a dual diagnosis, they will begin working with patients to develop a treatment plan. Within treatment, patients are likely to undergo various individual and group therapy, addiction counseling, and group activities and exercises that strengthen non-drug-related coping mechanisms.
Finding Dual Diagnosis Treatment Near me at Santé Center for Healing
Finding a treatment plan that someone can trust wholeheartedly can be difficult. Not only because of the time it takes up but also because of the commitment completing treatment requires. When someone asks, “what is dual diagnosis treatment?” they want to be ensured that recovery is a possibility.
At Santé Center for healing, we understand how difficult living with a dual diagnosis is and how scary committing to treatment can be. Our facility is open to any questions surrounding our curriculum. We hold the trust of our clients in the highest regard and want nothing more than to provide the best care possible. Contact us today at 866.238.3154 to learn more about our programs.