Facts About Dual Diagnosis
Dual diagnosis is a misunderstood problem involving mental illness and addiction. Since these two types disorders can become inter-connected, it’s important to know some basic facts about dual diagnosis.
What Is a Dual Diagnosis
Dual diagnosis is sometimes called a co-occurring disorder. It means that a person is diagnosed with both a mental illness and a drug or alcohol addiction. The more common mental illnesses associated with addiction are depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and personality disorders.
Mental Illness or Addiction First
In most cases, the mental illness has developed before the addiction. A mental illness can cause a person to feel isolated, emotionally overwhelmed, out of control, physically unwell, exhausted, and filled with despair that the misery might never end. In addiction usually starts when the person uses drugs or alcohol to self medicate. To use these substances to change how their body feels, blur their mind, and manipulate their emotions.
Gender Differences For Dual Diagnosis
Many typically have anti-social personality disorder or bipolar disorder, along with their addiction. Women are more likely to experience anxiety and depression disorders. Also, women who drink alcohol are more likely to have been a victim of sexual assault or abuse than men who drink alcohol. PTSD is of particular concern with abused addicted women.
Consequences of Untreated Dual Diagnosis
Almost a fourth of the prison and jail population is likely to have a dual diagnosis. People with dual diagnosis are more likely to attempt and commits suicide. Experts estimate that half the number of people with a mental illness also abuse drugs or alcohol. Many people with a dual diagnosis may not know that they have and therefore would not seek proper drug treatment.
Treatment For Dual Diagnosis
Both the mental illness, and the addiction need to be treated at the same time. It is so important that drug treatment is done in this way. So the person has a better chance at staying sober. If a mental illness is the underlying reason someone drink or use drugs, simply getting them sober won’t be enough. They will just resort back to their self-medicating habits because they are painful emotional symptoms haven’t changed.
Hope For People With Dual Diagnosis
If you or someone you care about has been struggling with an addiction the never seems to improve, it may be time for dual diagnosis treatment. A person seeking drug treatment needs to look into specialized dual diagnosis treatment centers. Since men and women self medicate with different motivations, an ideal choice would be a gender specific dual diagnosis treatment program. Having a dual diagnosis is difficult, but treatment can give you a more hopeful life.