Professionally addressing addiction to drugs and/or alcohol
while also working on mental health issues a person is grappling
with is what is referred to as a dual-diagnosis approach.
While these issues can be treated separately, they are often
so intertwined that one each will naturally be affecting the
other in a great many ways, often more ways than you may
even realize when you begin seeking treatment and counseling.
What Is Dual-Diagnosis
Treating co-occurring issues simultaneously is referred to by medical professionals in the recovery community is referred to as a dual-diagnosis approach to addiction treatment. Although addiction and mental health are two completely separate issues, the two co-occurring disorders are typically intertwined in a very complex way.
There is no set path to a dual-diagnosis approach to treatment. Every person with addiction issues has to carve out and find their own path to recovery. When it comes to co-occurring issues, there are many ways that that addiction intertwines with mental or mood issues. For example, depression can precede an addiction, causing a person to turn to alcohol or drugs as a means to cope with the negative feelings caused by depression. On the other hand, a person who finds themselves addicted to alcohol or drugs can sink into a real state of depression due to the negative life consequences caused by addiction. Things like job loss, lack of motivation, legal troubles such as an OVI or DUI, and relationship issues are common occurrences that addicts face, all of which can cause or worsen depression.
While there are a wide variety of underlying issues that often go hand-in-hand with addiction, some of the most common include:
- Depression (ranging from mild to severe)
- Anxiety disorder
- Extreme high-stress issues
- Anger or rage issues
- Bipolar disorder
- Personality disorder
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Signs + Symptoms Of A Dual-Diagnosis
When considering disorders that occur simultaneously and contribute to each other, it is important to remember that signs and symptoms vary widely. Depending on the substance of choice and the length of time a person has been using, symptoms can run the gamut. This is why it is important to turn to a professional treatment center that is highly experienced in addiction treatment. While symptoms always vary from person to person, people suffering from addiction typically present with the following symptoms:
- Symptoms of alcohol and/or drug withdrawal after stopping using the substance of choice including shaking, sweating, tremors, headaches, mood changes, and nausea
- Changes in behavior that can reach extreme levels during the initial withdrawal period
- Increased tolerance to the substance of choice that was abused
- The feeling of lost control over using the substance of choice
- Engaging in risky behavior and/or encountering legal trouble in order to maintain the addictive habit
- Risky behavior and personality changes under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Self-isolation from friends, family, and school or work life
- Lack of ability to function normally, complete tasks or take care of self
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Many people suffering from addiction to drugs or alcohol tend to bounce around through a variety of programs and facilities. All of these facilities and the professionals working within them have one core goal: to help you overcome addiction and to treat co-occurring issues such as depression. This is very common when you finally admit to struggling with addiction and decide to seek the help of professionals and experts that focus on recovery. You are aware that these people have helped thousands of others battling addiction and have been successful in helping those people to recover and move forward in life.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and can benefit from speaking to an experienced professional, don’t hesitate. We are here to answer questions and help you take the first step to the recovery process. Our treatment centers offer a dual diagnosis approach to treat the entire person- mind, body, and soul. A healthy life free from addiction is within reach, and we are here to help you every step of the way.