What is a Dual Diagnosis?

Posted on: June 7, 2021 by in Co-Occurring Disorders
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A dual diagnosis can be referred to as situations where someone is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction as well as a behavioral or mental health disorder. This is actually pretty common. For most, it is helpful to receive this type of diagnosis; this can help you and your doctor to develop a more defined treatment plan tailored specifically to your needs.

Dual Diagnosis Warning Signs

Here are some warning signs of someone struggling with a dual diagnosis:

  • Difficulty maintaining good grades or good performances at work or school
  • Reciting regrets about a habit
  • Quitting drinking, drugs, or gambling and then relapsing multiple times
  • Leaving friends and family
  • Being associated with new groups and activities

Here are some warning signs for someone who is struggling psychologically:

  • Isolates themselves from others
  • Struggles with retaining a job, home, or friendships
  • Drastic changes in moods or levels of energy

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Individuals who are experiencing a dual diagnosis are known for having denial behavior and have a tendency to ignore their treatments and disregard medical advice. Dealing with two different conditions can complicate treatment. Treatment programs need to be able to address the individual’s addiction and mental health disorder.

No matter whether you choose an inpatient rehabilitation program or an outpatient program, you and your doctor will work together to come up with a treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Types of Treatments:

  • Detox
    • Used to treat the effects of the substance use
  • Behavioral Therapy
    • Can be used with or without the addition of medication
    • Multiple types
      • Dialectical
      • Integrated Group
      • Cognitive
      • Individual Psychotherapy
  • Medication Therapy

Getting Help

Seeking a medical professional to determine the proper diagnosis will aid in the overall treatment and recovery for someone who has received a dual diagnosis. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the symptoms above, reach out to a medical professional to get help. Returning to a stable and productive life is absolutely possible for someone who chooses to get the help they need.

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