It’s not uncommon for someone who needs treatment for a substance abuse issue to also be living with a mental illness as well. When a person is dealing with both issues concurrently, this situation is referred to as a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. Dealing with a loved one who has become addicted to drugs is challenging for any family, but when the additional stress of a mental health disorder is added to the situation, it becomes even more strained.
Understanding Dual Diagnosis
Both of these issues cause symptoms that can make it challenging for a person to cope with everyday life.
- Someone may start using drugs to control the symptoms of his or her mental illness.
- Self-medication can make mental illness more difficult to diagnose correctly.
- Even if the mental illness is diagnosed appropriately, continued drug use may interact with medications used to treat it. Some medications are rendered less effective when combined with other drugs.
- Side effects from the substance abuse can make the mental health issues more pronounced and harder to treat over time. It’s difficult to tell which symptoms are attributable to the addiction and which ones are part of the mental illness.
Get Appropriate Treatment for Both Concerns
Treating a client with a dual diagnosis is a special situation. Drug treatment programs that accept clients who have these types of needs are staffed by counselors and therapists who have the training necessary to treat the addiction and the mental health concern.
A client will need to be carefully evaluated to confirm the dual diagnosis. If necessary, he or she will need to undergo a detoxification process (detox) to rid themselves of all drugs before appropriate treatment for each condition can begin. Going away to a drug treatment center tucked in the California Mountains gives clients the opportunity to focus on coming to terms with their diagnosis (perhaps for the first time) and on healing.
Live Life Well After Being Diagnosed with a Mental Illness
It is possible to live well with a mental illness. Part of the treatment will include learning about the disorder and understanding what it means for the client’s everyday life. The treatment program for addiction will include healthy sober activities, including hiking, meditating, and exercise classes. Some instruction in healthy eating will also be provided; getting well means nurturing the physical body while working on the emotional and spiritual aspects of recovery.
Whether the mental health concern is anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or another mental illness, getting the right treatment for a dual diagnosis starts with a proper diagnosis. The addiction can get in the way of people getting the right help for their concerns. Finding a drug treatment center with staff who understand the unique needs of dual diagnosis clients is essential for healing and recovery to take place.
If you suffer from addiction and think you might have a dual diagnosis, contact Above It All Treatment online, or call us at 1-888-997-3006.