Many people who are addicted to drugs are also dealing with underlying mental health issues. They often may have started taking drugs as an attempt to self-medicate or manage symptoms associated with mental health issues like anxiety, depression, trauma, or a personality disorder. In other instances, abusing drugs may have caused or worsened the mental health condition. Sometimes, it’s a combination of both where the mental health disorder leads to the addiction, and the substance use only exacerbates the symptoms.

When people are dealing with co-occurring disorders, it is necessary to treat both conditions simultaneously. If one is left untreated, it could cause the others to reappear, taking the patient on a downward spiral and negating the effects of recovery. This article will provide more information on ‘what is dual diagnosis’ while explaining its treatment benefits.

What are Common Co-Occurring Disorders?

Co-occurring disorders don’t have to include addiction. For example, some people may be dealing with anxiety and depression. Others may be dealing with anxiety and trauma.

However, it’s common for people with mental health disorders to self-medicate using drugs or alcohol, so an addiction may often develop.

Many people with mental health issues choose not to see a therapist. They may be reluctant to open up because they are afraid of what people will think of them. They may not believe their problems are that serious, or they may not want to take the time to deal with them.

These people turn to drugs and alcohol to relieve their symptoms. And while the drugs provide temporary relief, they make things worse in the long run. Patients will now have two disorders to treat, causing them to sink further into their emotional turmoil.

And while it’s common for addiction to form alongside mental illness, it’s not the only type of co-occurring disorder. Here are some others that may occur simultaneously.

  • Depression: It’s common for people with a mental disorder or substance abuse issues to become depressed. Their depression may get so bad that they may become unable to function properly.
  • Anxiety: Anxiety is another disorder that commonly occurs alongside other mental health illnesses. It is characterized by restlessness, nervousness, and functional impairment.
  • Bipolar Disorder: People with bipolar disorder will experience soaring highs and crashing lows that make for unpredictable behavior. It’s common for people with this illness to self-medicate and experience anxiety and depression.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: PTSD is caused by past traumas that people relive in flashbacks and nightmares. Those that are dealing with it may self-medicate and may suffer from anxiety.
  • Schizophrenia: Schizophrenia causes the affected individual to experience hallucinations, psychosis, delusions, and an inability to tell fantasy from reality.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: ADHD typically starts in childhood, but it can carry on into adulthood. It is characterized by an inability to focus, impulsive behavior, and excessive restlessness.

How to Treat Dual Diagnosis Disorders

Several types of therapy can be brought into the dual diagnosis treatment process. If addiction is involved, detox may be used to cleanse the body of illicit substances.

Once detox is completed, patients move on to therapy. They are assessed based on their mental illness, the severity of the condition, and their personal situation to determine the treatment that will work best for them. Types of therapy often integrated include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational enhancement therapy, alternative therapies, and dialectic behavioral therapy.

Finding Dual Diagnosis Treatment Near Me

Many rehabs offer dual diagnosis treatment. However, it can still be challenging to find the one that’s right for you. Atlanta Recovery Place is highly recommended if you are looking for the best facility for your recovery needs.

Atlanta Recovery offers a variety of outpatient treatments, including partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient. They allow patients to recover while going about their everyday lives. They can graduate to less intensive forms of therapy as their wellness increases.

We treat a variety of co-occurring disorders, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders, and PTSD. We assess each patient to work out a customized plan that’s best for them. We offer a long-term solution for recovery.
Dealing with co-occurring disorders is not easy. Now that you know the answer to the question, ‘what is dual diagnosis’ you can take the first steps towards healing. Call Atlanta Recovery Place to find out how we can assist you on your journey.

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