Dual diagnosis care is the treatment of addiction along with the other issues and illnesses that often accompany it, including depression and anxiety, as well as other forms of addiction such as gambling and sex addiction. When we’re struggling with addiction, we often are also contending with other equally destructive conditions.
Mental health illnesses can be similarly debilitating and when untreated will often work in tandem with our addictions to weaken and destroy us. Programs that offer dual diagnosis treatment will help you to address and heal not only your addictions but your other conditions as well.
What is Dual Diagnosis?
Dual diagnosis is generally used to describe the condition where a person has both an addiction problem and at least one other mental health issue. The most common dual diagnoses include:
- Bipolar disorder
- Anxiety disorders
- PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Conduct Disorder
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
- ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
According to studies, in the US about 4 million people have a dual diagnosis of addiction and mental illness. Studies also show that people with these particular mental health issues are at higher risk of developing addiction problems. For example, one research study found that individuals who had an anxiety disorder were two times more likely to develop an alcohol problem compared to the general population (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism).
How Dual Diagnosis Can Help
With dual diagnosis treatment, we receive education on the common underlying issues that cause, contribute to, and exacerbate our addiction and mental health issues. This includes things such as traumatic experiences we’ve sustained but haven’t yet addressed.
Therapy provides us a safe space to revisit and examine our trauma. We’re supported through the process of analyzing our thoughts, emotions, and fears. In treatment, we work to identify the habits, cycles, and patterns that we’ve adopted over the years that are contributing to our conditions. Then, we practice healthy coping mechanisms and learn new life skills to develop new habits and patterns. We make conscious changes to our ways of thinking, our behavioral patterns, and our emotional responses. In addition, we learn how to handle ourselves in healthy ways and how to shed the self-destructiveness we’ve been developing for much of our lives.
Benefits of Dual Diagnosis
With dual diagnosis care, we gain newfound clarity and perspective on our lives and our conditions. We often have been suffering without knowing exactly why. We might know we suffer from addiction, but we might not have been diagnosed with a mental illness. As a result, we’ve been struggling to understand why we think, feel and behave the way we do.
Receiving the right diagnosis can be empowering because we’re no longer in the dark about such important aspects of our personalities, our conditions, and our lives. Things start to make more sense for us. We shed layers of confusion and inner turmoil because we have a new understanding about ourselves. Once that happens, we start to have more hope that we can heal, because we have the very important foundation of self-awareness. Then, we start to regain faith in ourselves because we feel more connected to ourselves and less alienated from our truth. Our issues are often complex and interrelated. When working to recover, dual diagnosis care can be the gateway to deeper, more comprehensive healing.
Getting Help With Dual Diagnosis Treatment
The recovery programs at Bayview Recovery include individualized dual diagnosis treatment. This is personalized to each client to help address your unique needs and challenges.
Recovery from addiction is challenging. A co-occurring mental health issue complicates that recovery if we don’t treat it at the same time. Dual diagnosis treatment is the key to a successful recovery. Call 855.478.3650 today for more information.