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What you Must Know About Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis can be the best way to go in treatment for people with mental disorder problems.

Dual diagnosis can be the best way to go in treatment for people with mental disorder problems.

An individual who suffers from dual diagnosis is considered to have both a substance abuse problem and a psychiatric illness at the same time. Dual diagnosis causes some additional challenges when it comes to treatment for addiction because both the chemical dependency and the mental condition of the individual must be treated in conjunction with one another. Treating one and not the other will likely result in relapse and in most cases will not be effective. Here’s a look at what you must know about dual diagnosis before you consider treatment at a drug rehab center.

Recognizing Dual Conditions

One of the most common issues that surrounds dual diagnosis is the fact that the existence of both a mental condition and drug addiction can be difficult to decipher. Many people use drugs or alcohol to cover up their mental status such as depression or anxiety thus causing a dual condition. Likewise, some people who use drugs or alcohol excessively end up with a dual mental condition as a result of the substance abuse. Because these situations can be difficult to pinpoint, many dual diagnosis conditions remain undiagnosed for many years.

Mental Conditions Commonly Associated with Dual Diagnosis

While any mental condition that is evident at the same time that an individual is addicted to substances such as drug or alcohol can be considered a dual diagnosis there are some particular mental conditions that are common with dual diagnosis. For instance, dual diagnosis often includes depression or anxiety. Other common disorders that accompany substance abuse include bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and a range of personality disorders.

The Evidence of Violence in Those with Dual Diagnosis

People who suffer from dual diagnosis often suffer a tendency to be violent. Unfortunately, the dual diagnosis and presence of drug addiction results in severe chemical imbalance that causes the addict to have violent episodes which can land them in jail or prison. Often times, those who are dually diagnosed, when treatment is not provided will attempt to commit suicide and may even cause undue harm to others as a mere result of their condition.

People Who Have a Dual Diagnosis Mask the Situation

Another common problem with dual diagnosis is that people who have a dual condition such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia or another mental health condition tend to mask the situation with substances such as drugs or alcohol. This is a form of self medication that often takes place with those suffering from dual diagnosis. The problem with self medication is that using drugs or alcohol when there is an underlying mental condition is that the substance abuse only makes matters worse and heightens the mental condition.

Finding Help for Dual Diagnosis

Unfortunately, finding help for dual diagnosis is not always as easy as it is to find help just for a mental health condition or just for a substance abuse problem. Dual diagnosis takes a specialized treatment that can help with both the mental health and the substance abuse. Not every treatment center is properly equipped with the correct staff and medical team to help those with dual diagnosis. Many times, dual diagnosis is left untreated for years and results in the mental condition and substance abuse problem worsening before it gets better. It’s important that if you suffer from dual diagnosis you ask the treatment center that you are considering getting help at if they provide treatment for those with dually diagnosed conditions.

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