Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center
Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, there are almost eight million people who suffer from mental illness and drug addiction simultaneously. The term for the presence of both of these illnesses together is dual diagnosis. If you or a loved one need help to tackle both mental health and addiction problems, it is important to seek help in a specialized dual diagnosis treatment center.
According to Mental Health America, a person's health and safety are at higher risk if they are suffering from co-existent mental illness and substance abuse disorder. With research suggesting that one in three people with depression also suffering from substance dependence, there is a need for a treatment plan that tends to both of the illnesses. Furthermore, it is essential to investigate the root cause of the co-existing issues, and so seeking comprehensive support in a dual diagnosis treatment center is the way forward. Under the roof of dual diagnosis treatment centers is a range of therapies that tend to both the physical and psychological side effects of the illnesses. The medical field has recognized the importance of taking a collaborative approach to the treatment of comorbidities such as mental illness and drug addiction.
Why do People Suffer from Dual Diagnosis?
Dual diagnosis is complex and can be difficult to assess. The examples by which dual diagnosis can arise are varying and can involve either the substance abuse or mental health issue proceeding the other.
A person may have a mental illness which leads them to develop drug or alcohol problems in a quest to escape. On the other hand, drug addiction may cause a person to develop a mental health problem due to adverse chemical reactions in the brain. Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers offer a person suffering from both problems to get all of the treatment that they need under the one roof.
While drug and alcohol addiction is widely understood; that is the physical and psychological dependence of alcohol and drug substances, mental illness is still a taboo subject.
What is a Mental Illness?
Mental illnesses affect a person's psychological well-being. Commonly recognized mental illness include depression and anxiety, but there are so many more psychological disorders that are less well known. There are five categories under which mental illness can fall. These categories are:
Anxiety Disorders Mood Disorders Psychotic Disorders Eating Disorders Addiction Disorders
This list is interesting as it mentions addiction as a type of mental illness, which suggests that dual diagnosis is, in fact, the coexistence of two mental illnesses in a person.
Some examples of anxiety disorders include:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder Panic Disorder Social Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder is a mental illness that causes a person to suffer irrational anxiety, embarrassment, and fear in social settings. Social Anxiety Disorder can significantly impact on a person's quality of life. They may withdraw from family and friends and shirk away from social occasions.
Thankfully, Social Anxiety Disorder is very treatable, and therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be very beneficial.
Mood Disorders include:
Depression Bipolar Disorder Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder affects up to 5 percent of the American population. This mood disorder causes a person to have an unstable image of themselves, their image and their relationship with others. Mood-stabilizing drugs are not approved for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, so talk therapies are key here.
People suffering from a Psychotic Disorder may be diagnosed with: Schizophrenia Paraphrenia Substance-induced psychotic disorder
A substance-induced psychotic disorder is directly caused by the effects of drugs or alcohol consumption. This mental illness is a prime example of dual diagnosis. There are lots of treatment options including antipsychotic medications and in most cases, admittance to a psychiatric hospital. Once a patient is stabilized, long-term treatment will be required and can take place in a dual diagnosis treatment center.
Eating Disorders include:
Anorexia Nervosa Bulimia Nervosa
Bulimia Nervosa is present when a person binges on large quantities of food and then purges in an attempt to avoid weight gain. A person suffering from this eating disorder may feel a lack of control when they eat and obsess over their body image.
A person with an Addiction Disorder may have:
Substance Abuse Substance Dependence Chemical Dependence
Chemical Dependence refers to a person's psychological and physical addiction to a mind-altering drug. This addiction disorder can have lots of negative repercussions including relationship breakups, job loss, and more mental health problems. A person suffering from chemical dependence is highly likely to require help in a dual diagnosis treatment center.
Treatments for Dual Diagnosis
Effective dual diagnosis treatments will provide a balanced approach to both the mental illness and addiction problem. The treatment combination will depend on the type of illness in the person. Medication combined with talk therapies usually form the core of a care plan in dual diagnosis treatment centers. Those undergoing dual diagnosis treatment will often engage in a therapeutic strategy for the long term. Ongoing treatment is vital for relapse prevention.
Medically Assisted Detox
Usually, the first step in treatment for patients with addiction and mental illness in coexistence is detoxification. Ridding the body of the toxins that chemical dependency provides is imperative; a healthy body can lead to a healthy mind.
Patients undergoing detoxification in a dual diagnosis treatment center will have round the clock supervision from medical professionals. For particularly severe withdrawal symptoms, a patient may be administered pharmaceuticals to ease their pain.
Historically, dual diagnosis sufferers were treated sequentially; they were refused treatment for their mental illness until they had adequately addressed their addiction problems. Once they were deemed addiction free, they would then engage in mental illness treatments. Given the high chance of relapse in dual diagnosis patients, it is fantastic that the medical world is now recognizing the importance of tending to the coexisting conditions simultaneously.
The term given to the psychological methods used to treat mental health disorders, psychotherapy is essential to treat addiction sufferers. There are many different types of psychotherapies, and they include:
Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies Behavior therapy Cognitive therapy Humanistic therapy Integrative or holistic therapy
Humanistic therapy strives to help a client achieve a healthier sense of self. Having low self-esteem is detrimental to someone suffering from drug addiction or mental health problems. Fundamental to humanistic therapy is achieving a person's self-actualization; that is when a person realizes their real potential. Counselors often adopt a humanistic therapy approach in their treatment of dual diagnosis patients.
Behavior therapy is a term for treatments that challenge destructive behaviors and work to change them. Aversion therapy is one example; this therapy helps to heal drug and alcohol abuse problems.
Effects of Dual Diagnosis
A person who has a dual diagnosis will face many problems in their life that can damage their relationships, their personal and professional growth, and their health outcomes. Some issues commonly faced by dual diagnosis sufferers include:
Lack of Understanding and Support
Dual diagnosis is complex, and so it is understandable that a patient's family and friends may be confused, upset or angry with the patient. Often, a dual diagnosis sufferer loved ones might be aware of one or the other illnesses but not both. They may struggle to cope through this lack of knowledge. If you are diagnosed with both addiction issues and mental illness, it is crucial that you seek support from someone you trust.
Similarly, if you are caring for someone with chemical dependency, watch out for signs of mental illness. It is highly likely that they have a psychological disorder in some capacity (in addition to the addiction problem)
Insufficient Access to Treatment Funds
Dual diagnosis treatment centers can be costly. If you or your loved one is considering entering rehabilitation, ensure that you consult with the healthcare insurance provider. There may be a component of the insurance that covers some of the cost of treatment for drug addiction and mental illness.
Worsening of Mental Health and Addiction Problems
When battling multiple illnesses, it is natural that a person will suffer high levels of emotional distress. Not surprisingly, a dual diagnosis sufferer might experience a deepening of their mental illness or dependency issue. A patient may become profoundly depressed and experience suicidal thoughts. Some sufferers may self-harm or engage in risky behaviors such as promiscuity. These behaviors are a person's way of separating themselves from their psychological pain.
While a dual diagnosis sufferer has a lot to contend with, there is indeed hope for them. With so many exceptional dual diagnosis treatment centers across the United States providing a high level of care, there has never been a better time to seek support.
Getting Help Today
If you or your loved one has been given a dual diagnosis, ask for help today; the journey to full health and a full recovery from addiction will be a challenging one but one worth taking. Get help from a dual diagnosis treatment center today.
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