Clients experiencing symptoms of both a mental illness and an addiction often received separate treatment for each condition. Those who enrolled in an addiction treatment program rarely received any help for their mental health disorder. That led to situations where people failed to receive adequate treatment for both conditions. Modern approaches to treatment involve comprehensive care for mental health and drug addiction diagnoses. It’s led to a real evolution in getting clients into a dual diagnosis treatment program for their illnesses.
Common Mental Health Issues Associated with a Dual Diagnosis
Many people who end up with a substance abuse problem suffer from an underlying and untreated mental health illness. Effective treatment of a substance use disorder should include a thorough evaluation for anyone who shows signs of a mental health disorder. Treatment plans in a dual diagnosis treatment program should include therapies addressing all aspects of a client’s illness.
Some typical mental health disorders often found in those enrolled in a dual diagnosis treatment center include:
- Depression — Those suffering from clinical depression battle constant feelings of hopelessness and despair. They may find themselves driven to thoughts of self-harm to escape their painful feelings.
- Attention deficit hyperactive disorder — ADHD manifests in people through an inability to focus on tasks, problems controlling impulsive behaviors, and difficulty paying attention. It’s a neurological condition that may drive people towards drugs and alcohol as a way of self-medicating their symptoms.
- Bipolar disorder — People dealing with bipolar disorder suffer from major mood shifts. They may experience extreme highs followed by periods of lows. These episodes often last for days or even weeks at a time. Many people with bipolar disorder indulge in self-destructive actions that could lead to legal trouble or substance abuse.
The heavy use of drugs and alcohol may exacerbate a pre-existing mental health illness. They change the brain’s responses and ability to produce the correct chemicals when exposed to outside stimuli. It changes a person’s ability to respond rationally to stress or other environmental changes, intensifying the symptoms of their mental health disorder.
Signs of a Potential Dual Diagnosis
Only a qualified health specialist should make the call on whether a client suffers from co-occurring disorders for a dual diagnosis. Common symptoms often seen with those suffering from the disorder include:
- Dramatic changes in behavior
- Trouble regulating emotions
- Problems handling daily tasks
- Neglect of personal hygiene
- Lagging performance at school or work
- Acting out impulsively
- Problems managing finances
Drugs and alcohol are two mechanisms those dealing with an untreated mental disorder turn to for comfort. However, people usually end up building up a tolerance to drugs and alcohol. That leads to a vicious cycle where they must consume larger amounts of their substance of choice to find any relief.
No matter what substances of abuse present, there can be an end to the cycle of addiction and mental health symptoms. Addiction treatment center programs and therapies help clients break out of that destructive loop.
Improving Your Chances with Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program
Deciding to seek help at a dual diagnosis treatment program is an enormous step. You place yourself under the care of treatment specialists who work to understand all aspects of your substance use and mental health disorder. They create a treatment plan with therapy programs tied to your needs and meant to provide you with an optimal outcome.
Getting help for all aspects of your dual diagnosis gives you a better chance of achieving lasting recovery. You must commit yourself to all aspects of the treatment and use the tools provided to navigate a better path in life.