A dual diagnosis occurs when you experience both a substance use disorder and a mental health condition at the same time. Approximately 45% of Americans have a dual diagnosis, many of which never seek the appropriate treatment they need to cope with it.
In the past, those who presented with both a substance use disorder and a mental health condition were often directed by their healthcare providers to get sober first prior to attempting to address any mental health issues. And while at the time that was a valid request based on the research available, today it is much different. Studies have shown just how connected substance use disorders and mental health conditions are, prompting healthcare providers to now tackle both conditions simultaneously.
Signs & Symptoms of Dual Diagnosis
So, how do you know if you have a dual diagnosis? That can be difficult to identify in yourself despite the signs and symptoms being right there. But, the more educated you are, the more likely it is that you will be able to catch the red flags in yourself or in others and seek the appropriate care.
The signs and symptoms of dual diagnosis can vary depending on a number of factors. For instance, not all people with a dual diagnosis have the same type of substance use disorder or mental health condition. With each addiction and mental illness comes their own set of symptoms. However, if you have a dual diagnosis, there are many signs and symptoms that are commonly shared among all who have this condition. Some of these include the following:
- Continuing to abuse drugs or alcohol despite the known risks of doing so
- Experiencing consequences of substance abuse but continuing to use
- Developing unexplained mood swings
- Experiencing financial problems due to support substance abuse and/or other things to help self-medicate their condition
- Participating in risky behaviors
- Developing confused thinking
- Having problems concentrating
- Being unable to communicate well with others
- Changes in appearance
- Being easily overwhelmed
- Becoming irritated easily
- Having problems controlling emotions
The amount of symptoms you might experience can depend on the severity of your condition. The more severe the dual diagnosis, the more intense symptoms tend to become. That is one reason why it is so important to get professional help, as symptoms can quickly infiltrate and overtake your life.
Risks of Untreated Dual Diagnosis
The good news about dual diagnosis is that it can be treated. With the right care and approach, you can learn how to stay in control of your symptoms rather than allowing your symptoms to control you. However, not getting treated for dual diagnosis isn’t only dangerous, but it can also be fatal. Some of the risks associated with ignoring the need to get dual diagnosis treatment include the following:
- Worsening of symptoms – Both the symptoms of your substance use disorder and your mental health condition can continue to get worse the longer you put off treatment. For example, this means that symptoms such as irritability can cause you to become aggressive and violent. Or, a symptom such as continuing to abuse drugs or alcohol can lead to an overdose. The more severe the symptoms become, the more complex the dual diagnosis is.
- Increased risk for additional mental health problems – Continued substance abuse, regardless of the kind of substance, can lead to the development of depression and/or anxiety disorders. It is not uncommon for substance abuse to induce an additional mental health condition, which can complicate an already complicated situation. Additionally, untreated mental illnesses like generalized anxiety disorders can morph into more serious disorders, such as panic disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder. The sooner treatment is obtained, the less likely these issues are to develop.
- Physical and psychological damage – Continued substance abuse impacts all areas of your body, including your brain and your vital organs. Depending on what substance you are abusing, you can suffer vital organ failure, seizures, brain damage, physical injuries like broken bones, and so on. Getting treated as quickly as possible can help reduce the risk of experiencing physical an psychological damage like this.
Dual diagnosis is a serious condition. Attempting to self-medicate or take matters into your own hands will likely end negatively. There are countless professionals available who can help you through this difficult aspect of your life so that you can be content.
Benefits of Dual Diagnosis Treatment
There are countless benefits to be obtained simply by getting the appropriate dual diagnosis treatment. Not only can you start regaining control of your life, but you can also benefit in many other ways.
Medications are prescribed with knowledge of your history of addiction
If you are in dual diagnosis treatment, there is a good chance that you will be prescribed some type of medication to help address either your substance use disorder or your mental health condition. You may even receive medications for both. The greatest benefit here is that your healthcare providers know the extent of your history of substance abuse, allowing them to choose medications that are non-habit forming and will work best with the goals you are attempting to achieve.
You will develop specific coping skills
With every dual diagnosis comes symptoms that can be difficult to manage. When you are receiving professional dual diagnosis treatment, your team of experts can help identify what types of skills you can benefit most from having in your arsenal.
You can identify and address triggers
You will spend time in dual diagnosis treatment figuring out what triggers your desire to abuse drugs or alcohol and what triggers your mental health condition to flare up. Identifying triggers is a priceless benefit, as it can allow you the ability to make plans for what to do when triggered rather than adopt negative self-medicating behaviors.
Both conditions will be treated at the same time
It is absolutely vital that both your substance use disorder and your mental health condition are treated at the same time. A dual diagnosis treatment program will employ medical and mental health professionals who will work cohesively to develop and maintain a treatment plan that is right for you. Only treating one part of your dual diagnosis is ineffective and will only lead to further challenges.
How to Choose a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center
When you are looking for a treatment center that can address your dual diagnosis in an effective and meaningful way, it is important that you are aware of what types of services they can provide. At Neuroscience Research Institute – Mental Health Center, we provide quality dual diagnosis treatment in residential treatment programs or partial hospitalization programs.
Residential treatment requires you to reside at our facility for the duration of your treatment. That way, you will have as much time and opportunity as possible to work on your recovery, free of distraction. You will be able to develop a relationship with your therapists, as well as connect with our clinical team, too. You can establish a strong support system that helps encourage you to continue on your road to recovery. Depending on your level of needs, you can remain in our residential program for 30, 60, or 90 days.
The other option for obtaining dual diagnosis comes through our partial hospitalization program, or PHP. Partial hospitalization at our facility allows you to continue to live at home while you are being treated. You will spend a large portion of your week at the facility obtaining care, which is why this type of program is most ideal for those with a substance use disorder who do not require detox services or 24/7 supervision.
A member of the Neuroscience Research Institute team can provide you with as much information as you need, as well as help get your moving towards the road to recovery.
How is Dual Diagnosis Treated?
Dual diagnosis is treated with a comprehensive approach so that all your needs are met. Your substance use disorder and your mental health condition are always at the forefront of your care. One condition never outweighs the other when dual diagnosis is being properly treated. The way dual diagnosis is treated is through the use of a modality known as integrated intervention.
Integrated intervention is an all-encompassing form of treatment that pays attention to your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs as you work to overcome your challenges with dual diagnosis. For example, if you are trying to obtain treatment for an opioid use disorder and depression, part of your treatment may include the use of medications that can help curb withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Additionally, you may obtain medications that can help treat your symptoms of depression at the same time. Our team of professionals can work to ensure that any and all medications you consume do not negatively interact with one another and are not high-risk for being abused. In the same breath, your depression treatment may require you to engage in several motivational interviewing sessions with your therapist to help encourage you to continue working towards your recovery.
Integrated interventions are conducted by both medical and mental health professionals, which allows you to reap the greatest benefits of their work. They work collectively to continue to alter your treatment plan if needed so that you can keep working towards your recovery goals.
Your Pathway to Dual Diagnosis Treatment
When you’re ready to get treatment for dual diagnosis, Neuroscience Research Institute is here for you. We’ve developed a streamlined process so you can get the dual diagnosis treatment you need with minimal delay. Here is a quick overview of your path to dual diagnosis treatment:
- Phone conversation with a member of our admissions team (available 24/7)
- Initial over-the-phone screening to make sure our dual diagnosis treatment center is the ideal place for you
- Admissions process, which a member of our team will guide you through
- Scheduling your intake date and arriving at our campus
- Meeting the members of your dual diagnosis treatment team and other residents
- Becoming familiar with our treatment environment
- Completing physical and psychological evaluations
- Receiving your individualized dual diagnosis treatment plan
- Starting dual diagnosis treatment
You can learn more about what we offer and what that means for your recovery by calling us right now.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment in West Palm beach
If you are in need of dual diagnosis treatment, now that we are here to help. Our talented team of professionals works hard to ensure that you are getting everything you need and then some so that you can live a happy, healthy life.