Dual Diagnosis Rehab
Dual Diagnosis Rehab
Frightening statistics released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in their annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health, state that approximately 8.5 million people over the age of 18 are suffering from dual diagnosis. The term dual diagnosis means the presence of both a chemical addiction and mental health disorder simultaneously. A combination of such illnesses requires immediate attention in a dual diagnosis rehab, so this article examines the different options available to patients and explores some of the symptoms and side effects of a dual diagnosis. The article also explores treatment within dual diagnosis rehabs.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five Americans have a mental illness, and with such cripplingly high rates, it is important to understand some of the factors that increase peoples risk of experiencing psychological disorders.
Interestingly, lots of the factors relating to mental illness risk are the same as those that apply to drug addiction. These common factors include:
* Socio-economic status
* Isolation and neglect
* Abuse in childhood
* Relationship problems
An individual's family history is taken into consideration when assessing risk, as there is an increased chance of developing mental illness if a parent or guardian suffered from one.
Types of Mental Illness
There are actually five categories of mental illness, and they are:
* Anxiety Disorders
* Mood Disorders
* Psychotic Disorders
* Eating Disorders
* Addiction Disorders
Given addiction disorder is classified as one of the five types, dual diagnosis suggests the presence of two co-existing mental illnesses in a person. Accurately assessing a person's symptoms and diagnosing a particular mental health problem through consultation is a difficult task, so it's no surprise then that a dual diagnosis treatment plan can be tough to implement. Addiction adds to the complexity of the problem and it's the role of a medical professional to work out which illness came first.
Why is it Important to Know Which Illness Came First?
An appropriate dual diagnosis rehab will engage a treatment program to address both the addiction and the mental illness. However, the balance of therapies will depend on the severity of each illness.
For example, a depressed individual may self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to help ease or mask their symptoms. A health practitioner would, in this case, identify that the patient's addiction is secondary and so the effective treatment of the mental illness could contribute to healing the drug or alcohol dependency.
On the other hand, a patient may develop a mental illness because of their drug habits. As chronic drug use can change a person's brain chemistry, they may develop psychosis or even schizophrenia. In this instance, a health practitioner has the complicated task of appropriately diagnosing a course of dual diagnosis treatments that will save the patient from permanent mental health problems.
A person suffering from an eating disorder may develop addiction issues due to weight loss stimulants. An example of a diet pill is phentermine, a psychostimulant drug from the amphetamine family. Illicit amphetamines include speed and crystal meth. Phentermine works by suppressing hunger signals that the brain releases. A phentermine user will likely display increased energy levels and a loss of appetite. Leading to rapid weight gain, those with eating disorders often consume this substance, but its highly addictive quality leads a person to become dependent. Some examples such as this show why dual diagnosis is incredibly multi-faceted and complex. Dual diagnosis rehabs need to have the capacity to deliver tailored treatment programs to an individual's specific needs.
How do Dual Diagnosis Treatments Occur?
Historically, dual diagnosis treatment happened in an incremental style approach. A patient would be required to get clean from drugs before they could engage in treatments for their mental illness. Luckily Health Practitioners today understand that dual diagnosis treatment is holistic and needs to tend to all parts. A common mistake for a dual diagnosis sufferer is to undergo a detox and attempt to maintain their sobriety without addressing the mental illness. The usual outcome is a rapid spiral into relapse as the untreated mental illness continues to wreak havoc and drive them back to drugs. While the balance of therapies certainly need to be right to help a patient get back to their full health, dual diagnosis treatments need to co-occur; much like the illness itself.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This psychotherapy works to change a person's unhealthy thought processes and degradative behaviors. The foundation of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is built on the belief that a person may not be able to control some of the negative things that happen in their lives but they can control how they respond to them. A patient will learn valuable skills through CBT to help them to cope in their daily life. Equipping them with tools to navigate difficult, unproductive and emotionally fueled thoughts and behaviors, this therapy is beneficial as a dual diagnosis treatment. Tackling mental health problems like anxiety and depression, CBT enables a patient to ground themselves to their present surroundings and take them out of their heads. For the addiction aspect, CBT helps a patient to identify triggers that may cause them to relapse.
A key consideration for anyone wishing to try CBT is the requirement for the participant to be fully engaged in the therapy and a willing party. While other treatments like counseling can help transition a resistant person to an active participant, CBT requires patient buy-in from the start.
Types of Holistic Therapies
Holistic therapies are those that treat the spiritual, emotional, psychological and behavioral elements of the human state. These types of therapies are substantially less clinical than psychotherapy, to the point where they don't really feel like dual diagnosis treatments. Some good examples of holistic therapies include acupuncture, massage, and meditation. These very relaxing treatments can help restore peace and harmony within the patient.
Holistic therapies are usually adopted into a dual diagnosis treatment rehab in addition to psychological treatments. It is important to note that holistic therapies are not sufficient as a stand-alone; a successful dual diagnosis treatment program will usually combine a healthy balance of treatments that address the clinical needs and spiritual well-being of a person.
Some people balk at the idea of attending a support group, but these programs that are facilitated through peer engagement and storytelling can be beneficial. A highly renowned support group is the 12-step program adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous. Millions of people credit the 12-step program with their addiction recovery, and often cited as their reason for success is the fact the program provided them with so much group support.
The benefit of a support group is that they tend to make a person more accountable for their actions. While one-on-one counseling is daunting, it is significantly more frightening to face a group weekly to discuss progress. Because of this, lots of people strive to stay abstinent as they do not want to disappoint their new extended network.
Support groups are fantastic for newly recovered addicts as they act as a relapse prevention strategy. Furthermore, support groups offer indirect treatment for depressed or anxious people as they expose themselves to more human contact which usually helps to reduce the symptoms of these mental illnesses.
Traditional counseling is always underestimated; it should in some capacity sit on a dual diagnosis treatment plan. Talk therapies have long been heralded for their success; often a dual diagnosis patient is suffering in silence, so counseling enables them to have an outlet to vent. Counseling can help a person feel supported, and it also teaches them to deal with their inner demons. The simple act of talking can go a long way in alleviating some of the burdens that dual diagnosis patients feel.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment Outlook
According to SAMHSA, dual diagnosis is often concealed. In fact, it is common for a sufferer to appear fully functioning in their everyday life. With over half of dual diagnosis patients going without treatment in 2017, there seems to be still a stigma attached to mental illness and addiction.
Those suffering from co-existing drug dependency and mental health problems are urged to get help. If you know someone that may need to enter dual diagnosis rehab, reach out and show them that you care. Restrain from casting judgment and offer them your support. The best call an addict can make is to a reputable dual diagnosis treatment rehab. It is not easy to ask for help, particularly when the patient themselves may not understand their illnesses. But there is no easy way to heal.
Get Help Today
Dual diagnosis treatment requires support from professionals in specialist inpatient or outpatient services. One thing is for sure; a patient can't overcome their drug or alcohol addiction alone. Those who attempt to heal themselves are highly likely to fail and thus, relapse. Reach out today and get the support that you deserve. You can overcome your addiction with the help of a quality dual diagnosis rehab. Don't wait any longer, get help today.
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