Those struggling with addiction and mental health issues need special care to recovery. You may have heard about and want to know what is dual diagnosis. It may be the kind of help you or your loved one needs. Dual diagnosis, also called co-occurring disorder, affects nearly 8.9 million Americans each year. Thus, it makes sense to learn more about the condition and the treatment. First Step Center can provide you with answers.
What Is Dual Diagnosis?
When an individual suffers from mental health issues and a drug or alcohol addiction, it is called a co-occurring disorder. Dual diagnosis treatment not only identifies the underlying mental health issues but also treats it. At the same time, addiction and substance use disorder professionals help the individual detoxify. Also, they help clients work through their drug or alcohol issues. Designed to treat the whole person, dual diagnosis strives to prevent relapse.
Often, by addressing mental health issues, individuals are better placed to overcome their addiction. Mental health conditions frequently drive substance use in individuals as they attempt to self-medicate. Over time, this practice can lead to addiction while either leaving the underlying mental health issue intact or exacerbated. For instance, a few common mental health disorders seen in dual diagnosis include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Eating disorders, like bulimia and anorexia nervosa
- Personality and mood disorders
- ADHD and ADD
When an individual isn’t getting the necessary treatment for these issues, then they are especially susceptible to substance abuse.
Symptoms of a Co-Occurring Disorder
Each individual has unique issues. Therefore, the symptoms of dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder will vary. There are far too many combinations of mental health issues and substances that can be abused. However, experts have devised ways to screen individuals to see if they are candidates for dual diagnosis treatment. If you or a loved one experiences any of the following symptoms, you may want to know more about what is dual diagnosis:
- Sudden or persistent withdrawal from interacting with friends and family
- Lose of control or engaging in risky behaviors
- Sudden behavioral changes
- Believing you need substances to function properly
These conditions mixed with excessive worrying, persistent feelings of sadness or anger, or difficulties understanding or relating to other people. As they do so, individuals may seek out drugs or alcohol to alleviate the emotional or mental pain they are experiencing. At the same time, as they abuse a substance, the condition is frequently made worse. Therefore, it’s vital to know what is dual diagnosis and how to get help for it at First Step Center.
Finding Help at First Step Center
Getting to the heart of your addiction or root cause of substance use disorder, First Step Center develops a full understanding of not just your physical but also your emotional state. First Step Center has the experienced staff to help you explore and work to resolve your issues. We want to put you on the path to a lasting recovery. One way we can do this is by helping you understand what is dual diagnosis treatment. Call us today at 866.832.6398 to get answers to your questions and more details about how we can serve you or a loved one.