Dual-Diagnosis is a Crucial Part of the Treatment Process
Mental health and addiction often go hand-in-hand. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), nearly half of all people with substance use disorders also have a mental illness.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction and a mental health disorder, it's vital to seek professional help as soon as possible. Here is what you need to know about the dual-diagnosis process.
What Does Dual-Diagnosis Mean?
Dual-diagnosis is the term used to describe someone struggling with both a mental illness and an addiction. It's important to note that a dual diagnosis differs from co-occurring disorders, meaning someone has two diagnosable mental health disorders.
With a dual diagnosis, one of the disorders is usually primary, meaning it's the underlying cause of the other disorder. For example, someone with bipolar disorder who turns to alcohol to self-medicate their symptoms would be considered to have a dual diagnosis.
Why is Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Important?
Treating both disorders at the same time is important because it can help to prevent relapse. If only one disorder is treated, there's a higher risk that the other disorder will worsen and lead to a relapse.
In addition, treating both disorders at the same time can also help improve overall mental and physical health and quality of life.
What Happens During Dual-Diagnosis Treatment?
The first step in dual-diagnosis treatment is a comprehensive assessment. This assessment will be conducted by a mental health professional team and can help determine the best course of treatment.
After the assessment, the individual will begin treatment for both disorders. This usually includes some combination of medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes.
It's important to note that dual-diagnosis treatment is not a quick fix. It's a long-term process that requires commitment and dedication. However, it is possible to recover and live a healthy, happy life with the right treatment plan.
Common Conditions That Occur with Addiction
As mentioned above, nearly half of all people with substance use disorders also have a mental illness. Here are some of the most common mental health conditions that occur with addiction:
Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness. They can include conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder.
Depression is another common mental health condition that often occurs with addiction. Depression can range from mild to severe and can include conditions such as major depressive disorder and dysthymic disorder.
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that is characterized by extreme mood swings. These swings can range from periods of depression to periods of mania.
Personality disorders are a group of mental illnesses characterized by rigid and unhealthy patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Some common personality disorders include antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMDD can cause symptoms such as irritability, depression, and anxiety.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that can develop after a person experiences a traumatic event. PTSD can cause symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety.
Georgia Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Center
While these diagnoses don't always indicate a substance use issue, research has shown a strong correlation between mental illness and addiction. Thus, choosing a treatment center specializing in dual-diagnosis treatment is a good idea.
If you or someone you love is struggling with a mental health disorder and an addiction, North Georgia Recovery Center can help. We offer comprehensive dual-diagnosis treatment tailored to each individual's unique needs. Contact us today to learn more.