Defining Dual Diagnosis Treatment
In the field of addiction recovery, dual diagnosis treatment is a newer treatment for those in addiction recovery. Until the last few decades, people with mental health problems were treated differently from alcohol or drug addicts.
Typically, the most common symptoms of mental health disorders include everything from:
- Anxiety attacks
- Depressive behavior
- Delusional episodes
- Mood swings
Yet, it’s not uncommon for these conditions to overlap. Sadly enough, though, patients were typically denied mental illness treatment until they got sober and clean. Since substance abuse is linked to mental disorders, this resulted in many patients with a dual diagnosis to fail to get treatment.
Why Dual Diagnosis Treatment Is Different
Blending substance abuse treatment and mental health, dual diagnosis recovery is surprisingly different.
Rather than distinguishing between addiction and mental health, these problems are treated together. In fact, dual diagnosis clinicians work hard to get training for co-occurring mental disorders. Even better, there are tons of rehab treatment centers that are specialized for patients dealing with a dual diagnosis too.
But that doesn’t mean that finding the right rehab center for you is going to be easy. This is particularly true if you are suffering from anxiety and depression as well as substance abuse. Unfortunately, statistics have shown that only a small number of people with a dual diagnosis receive treatment for their conditions.
On the bright side, you may qualify as a dual diagnosis patient if you meet the following criteria for mental health disorders:
- Bipolar disorder
- Anxiety disorders
- A personality disorder
In addition to this, you must also meet the necessary diagnostic criteria for addictive disorders such as:
- Drug addiction
- Gambling addiction
- Sex addiction
- Other behavioral disorders
Of course, getting treated for a dual diagnosis involves recognizing your mental illness and addiction too!
Steps to a Full Recovery
If you want to fully recover from your dual diagnosis, here are a few steps you should take:
- Get “parallel treatment” for substance use and mental disorders by highly trained members of a treatment team
- Take psychotherapeutic medications like anti-anxiety meds or antidepressants to treat both disorders
- Have a positive approach to psychotherapy that build self-confidence and reinforces self-esteem
- Have a strategy that brings children, spouses, or partners into psychotherapy for group meetings
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Receiving a Dual Diagnosis
To get a dual diagnosis, you’ve got to meet all of the criteria for mental disorders listed in “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.” Written by the American Psychiatric Association, this guideline helps clinicians treat and diagnose patients in a clinical setting.
It gets better – if you have mental problems or addiction to gambling, sex, alcohol, or hard drugs, you can receive a dual diagnosis treatment from the following professionals:
- A psychiatrist
- A physician
- A psychologist
- A counselor
- A therapist
Incredibly enough, receiving a dual diagnosis can be a big relief if you’re ever lived with an undiagnosed mental problem for a long period of time. Plus, getting a name for your condition can give you a feeling of hope, especially if you’ve dealt with severe flashbacks, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, sadness, hopelessness, or mood swings.
The best part is that once your condition is named, it can be managed!
Addiction Signs and Symptoms
While it is difficult to find the exact reason why some new people suffer from co-existing disorders and others do not, several risks and causes can contribute to your overall issue, including:
- Abandoning family or friends and favor of a new crowd or new activities
- Having a hard time keeping up with work or school
- Stealing or lying to continue addictive behaviors
- Sleeping during the day and staying up late at night
- Having feelings of regret or guilt over compulsive behaviors
- Seeking out more drugs, alcohol, or risky behaviors to get high
- Having symptoms of withdrawal after attempting to quit
Naturally, you can only know for sure if a dual diagnosis is present when you consult an addiction treatment specialist with a background in psychiatry. At rehab centers for dual diagnosis treatments, evaluation specialists and intake counselors will take a look at your psychological history. Then, your substance abuse patterns will be evaluated before they create the right treatment plan for you.
Remember – reaching out for a helping hand is often the hardest part!
Treatment For a Dual Diagnosis
Therapy For a Dual Diagnosis
Luckily for you, you may qualify for dual diagnosis therapy depending on if you’ve been diagnosed with the following:
- Mood disorders like bipolar disorder or major depression
- Anxiety disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or generalized anxiety
- Personality disorders like antisocial disorder or borderline personality disorder
- Eating disorders like anorexia, binge eating, or bulimia
To begin, your treatment might include meeting with psychotherapy professionals like a psychiatrist or a psychologist for group therapy or individual sessions. For the best results, you may want to receive medication for your illnesses as well.
Medications For a Dual Diagnosis
Another treatment for a dual diagnosis includes medications, which can be prescribed to you depending on:
- The seriousness of your condition
- Your personal medical history
- Other kinds of medications that you might be taking
Not only can these medications help you stabilize your mood, but they can also reduce agitation and anxiety. Besides this, they may help you prevent flashbacks and hallucinations too!
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