What is Dual Diagnosis?

A dual diagnosis is a form of diagnosis and treatment for clients who have co-occurring disorders. In most cases, co-occurring disorders include some form of addiction and a mental health issue. As such, a treatment specialist addresses the symptoms or behaviors associated with each.

One of the primary reasons why dual diagnosis is essential in treating co-occurring disorders is because a client is likely to relapse from addiction if the mental health disorder is not addressed. Encore Health Group is here to help you understand this form of addiction treatment and how it can help you treat both mental health issues and addiction.

What is Dual Diagnosis?

People with addictions often suffer from some type of mental disorder. This condition is often referred to as co-occurring disorders because they occur at the same time. The symbiotic relationship between the disorders takes on one or more different forms including:

The Mental Disorder Triggered the Addiction

A person with a mental disorder may not realize they have a problem for several years. Consequently, they have no idea how to manage the problem. To cope with the symptoms of the problem, a person may turn to alcohol or drugs as a way to self-medicate. Eventually, drinking or taking drugs turns into a habit, which turns into an addiction or dependency.

The Addiction Caused a Mental Disorder

The brain can only handle so much of a given substance. A person that abuses alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription medication over long periods can cause a mental disorder to occur in the brain. They may suffer from trauma, depression, or anxiety. The longer a person abuses a substance, the worse the mental disorder becomes.

No Relationship Between the Disorders

It is easy to assume that co-occurring disorders trigger and fuel each other. However, this is not always the case. It is possible that a person can have a problem with drugs or alcohol due to factors outside of their mental disorder. For instance, their problem may have come about as a result of their home environment, social environment, stress at work, or genetics.

Understanding the relationship between both disorders can help therapists develop a treatment plan that promotes long-term recovery and effective symptoms management.

Common Mental Disorders Associated with Addiction

To be classified as a dual diagnosis client, you must meet the criteria for having an addiction and a mental disorder. Common mental disorders associated with addiction include:

A treatment specialist may conduct a comprehensive assessment to determine your condition. This may include reviewing past medical records, a lengthy interview, or even speaking with family members. The key is to provide an accurate diagnosis so that you can receive the proper treatment.

What Does Dual Diagnosis Involve?

Dual diagnosis involves having a licensed and experienced specialist treat both your addiction and your mental health disorder at the same time. Part of your treatment may be the inclusion of medication to help with the symptoms of your mental disorder. Your medication will be closely monitored so that you do not form another addiction.

Your therapy sessions will reinforce self-confidence and self-esteem while helping you learn how to manage negative thoughts and emotions. Dual diagnosis also includes evidence-based treatment and holistic therapy in individual, family, and group settings.

Learn More About Dual Diagnosis at Encore Health Group

Learn more about dual diagnosis at Encore Health Group. We offer comprehensive treatment for addiction and mental disorders at our addiction treatment center. To find out more about your treatment options, contact us and speak with a specialist. We are dedicated to helping you get on the road to recovery.

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