Dual Diagnosis: Mental Health And Addiction

Dual Diagnosis: Mental Health And Addiction

When it comes to discussing mental health and addiction, many people are hush-hush. However, the truth is that almost everyone knows someone in their life who has either a mental health disorder or an addiction, yes, even if those aren’t diagnosed yet. A lot of people know someone who has both a mental health condition and an addiction to drugs or alcohol. The reason for this is that the cycle of mental health symptoms often causes a person to try drugs or alcohol to self-medicate and numb those symptoms. When someone abuses drugs or alcohol, it can cause anxiety, stress and many other mental health symptoms.

These are just some reasons why dual diagnosis treatment needs to be so readily available. Here at ARIA (Addiction Recovery Insititute of America), we can help you or someone you know, get into the dual diagnosis treatment program needed.

What exactly is a dual diagnosis?

A lot of people receive a diagnosis of substance use disorder (SUD) while they have mental health or behavioral health condition. When this happens, it is known as a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. In fact, dual diagnosis disorders require a specialized, integrated treatment plan that can help the person to work through both these issues at the same time. If only one of them is treated, the other is likely to cause a relapse. By seeking dual diagnosis treatment, you or someone you know can have a better chance to fulfill your life goals and live a healthier lifestyle in general.

What are the common mental health issues related to a dual diagnosis?

As noted above, when someone has a dual diagnosis, they have a mental health condition and an addiction. Sometimes, the addiction causes the mental health disorder and other times the mental health disorder causes the addiction. In some cases, they didn’t cause one another, but do need to be treated together.

It may help to read more about some of the most common mental health issues that are related to dual diagnosis treatments. That way, if you or someone in your life is struggling with any of these mental health conditions or any others, you know that help is available.

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD (People with this condition may have a higher risk of abusing alcohol or drugs because they want a way to handle the ADHD symptoms. In addition, people with ADHD have often prescribed stimulant drugs, which they can become addicted to and then abuse.)
Bipolar Disorder (Around ½ of those with this disorder will struggle with a drug or alcohol addiction. Just like with other mental health disorders, people often try to self-medicate to treat the symptoms of bipolar disorder.)
Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD (Studies show that borderline personality disorder and addiction often occur at the same time. Approximately, ⅔ of those who have bipolar disorder have abused alcohol or drugs at some time throughout their lives.)
Depression (Around 1 in every 10 adults throughout the United States have stated they struggled with depression at some point during their adulthood. Many who receive a depression diagnosis do self-medicate with alcohol or drugs which only further exacerbates the depression. After the high or drunkenness is gone, the depressive condition worsens, leading the person to use more drugs or alcohol. The cycle continues until it is broken through dual diagnosis treatment).
Eating Disorders (Most of the time eating disorders come from inferiority complexes. However, no matter the reason why someone has an eating disorder, using drugs to suppress their appetite is not the answer. The good news is there are treatment programs that can help a person to overcome both an eating disorder and addiction.)
Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD (At the top of the list of mental health conditions diagnosed in the United States is generalized anxiety disorder. It affects approximately 18% of adults in the country. Unfortunately, people who struggle with this disorder often turn to alcohol or drugs as a way of coping with their emotions.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD (When someone struggles with compulsive thoughts or actions, they may want to escape their reality. Sometimes, it is due to being frustrated that they can’t seem to stop or control their thoughts or actions. Other times, it is because OCD causes depression and anxiety.)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD (Unfortunately, people with PTSD have fewer endorphins made by their brain than those without this condition. This can cause feelings of unhappiness or even depression. Sometimes, when a person is dealing with traumatic memories or these feelings related to PTSD, they may abuse drugs or alcohol to numb their pain. To give you an idea, approximately ¾ of all veterans who struggle with PTSD, also abuse alcohol. However, it is important to remember that veterans aren’t the only ones who have PTSD. There are many other traumatic things that can happen in a person’s life that cause this disorder and the subsequent alcohol or drug abuse, as well.)
Schizophrenia (People who have schizophrenia experience delusions and hallucinations. These can be frightening, depressing, or downright terrifying. Due to the extensive feelings that are brought about due to the symptoms of this condition, many people who have it will abuse drugs or alcohol to escape their own minds.)

No matter which mental health condition and addiction you or someone in your life, it is vital to know there are dual diagnosis treatment programs available today. Our ARIA Florida team can help you find the one that is right for you.

Why are co-occurring disorders treated differently?

According to various studies, approximately ½ of the adults in the United States struggle with a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. Unfortunately, so many people are ashamed to admit they need help, so they continue to suffer in silence. Our ARIA Florida team wants you to know that you aren’t alone. We have a team of addiction recovery professionals here who understand what you are going through. We know that dealing with mental health issues on top of addiction is tougher than some people can imagine, but we get it. We are here to help you overcome both the mental health disorder and addiction together, through dual diagnosis treatments.

What factors can aggravate substance use disorder or mental health disorders?

Professionals in this field know that oftentimes a substance use disorder and mental health disorder go hand-in-hand. However, a lot of people aren’t aware that substance use and mental health disorders get worse due to various factors.

Brain ResponsesWhen someone abuses drugs, it can cause symptoms that mimic a mental health disorder. For example, abusing stimulants can cause anxiety. The worsened anxiety can cause the person to abuse more medications to try treating (self-medicating) the anxiety.
GeneticsSome people are genetically predisposed to have a mental health disorder or an addiction. In fact, studies show that about ½ of someone’s risk to develop an addiction is due to their genetic makeup.
Environmental TriggersThere are many triggers in the environment that can worsen mental health issues or addiction such as chronic stress, regular anxiety, traumatic events, negative relationships, and a chaotic, disorganized environment.
Exposure in ChildhoodSometimes, people are exposed to drugs or mental health disorders in their childhood. Usually, that is due to a parent or another family member having one or both of these issues. This early exposure can lead to an increased risk of developing a mental health condition or addiction themselves.

As you can see, there are numerous factors that play a role in mental health disorders and addictions. Sometimes, these factors can affect both the addiction and mental health disorders.

What are the warning signs of co-occurring disorders?

There are different warning signs that show up depending on the individual. However, generally speaking, the symptoms will vary depending on the substance someone is abusing, what mental health condition they have and how severe the co-occurring disorder is at that point in time.

What are the dangers of self-medication?

What are the dangers of self-medication?

One of the most common problems surrounding co-occurring disorders is self-medicating.

When someone self-medicates, they are using drugs and/or alcohol to hide from the mental health disorder symptoms. However, even though they are using these substances to try treating the mental health disorder, it generally only makes things worse.

Think about it this way – When someone has a mental health disorder and they hide from their feelings, do you think those feelings just go away? No. They are hidden down deep, only to pop up, sometimes at the most inconvenient times. Not only that, but when someone abuses alcohol or drugs, they are more likely to experience symptoms such as anxiety, depression, hallucinations and irritability. So, in many cases, the exact symptoms someone is trying to medicate can get worse by using alcohol and/or drugs.

Are you doing any of the following:

  • Consuming alcohol to reduce your anxiety in social environments.
  • Taking a lot of benzodiazepines (or in high dosages) to stop a future panic attack
  • Using marijuana to help numb emotions due to grief or trauma
  • Injecting or smoking cocaine to increase motivation or energy

If you are doing any of these things, you are self-medicating. Right now, though, just know you aren’t alone. Our team is only here to help you overcome the addiction and mental health disorder. We want what is best for you and your lifestyle. Our dual diagnosis treatments can help to achieve your goals in recovery.

What are the statistics you need to know regarding co-occurring disorders?

When dealing with addictions and mental health disorders, it is important to know there have been many studies and years of research into these subjects. The results of some studies are astounding. However, knowing more about the statistics can help everyone to realize they aren’t alone in this fight against mental health disorders and addictions. You can get the help you need starting today. For now, though, hopefully, these statistics can benefit you in some way. 

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Get Help for a Co-Occurring Disorder

While there are some people who have an addiction
to alcohol or drugs before they receive a mental health disorder diagnosis,
others develop an addiction after they receive the diagnosis. Either way, the
end results are tough.

Overcoming just a mental health disorder or an
addiction on their own can be difficult enough. However, when someone has a
co-occurring disorder, both an addiction and mental health disorder, they will
likely need dual diagnosis treatment to help them overcome it.

Do you or someone you know have an addiction to
drugs or alcohol? Did you start using these substances to cope with a diagnosed
mental health disorder? Maybe, you currently struggle with high levels of
anxiety or flashbacks, but you don’t have a mental health disorder diagnosis.
Even without it, have you been abusing alcohol or drugs to numb your emotions?
No matter what the case might be, you can reach out for help today. There are
dual diagnosis treatment programs that can help you to overcome the mental
health disorder and addiction simultaneously.

 Here at ARIA Florida, our safe and structured environment is very beneficial for our clients. Reach out to us to find out more about the programs that can help you the most.

Should you attend an inpatient rehab treatment program?

Many people want to know if they must attend an inpatient rehab treatment program to overcome an addiction and mental health disorder. Well, the truth is that attending an inpatient rehab program is one of the best ways to treat co-occurring disorders. The primary reason for this is the high level of care and attention you receive in the inpatient program over what you would receive in any other treatment program.

Oftentimes, people who have a dual diagnosis come into the inpatient rehab center in distress and leave in a happier, healthier state. The combination of substance abuse and mental health treatments we offer here at ARIA Florida help to alter one’s lifestyle, behaviors, self-confidence, mood and overall views on life.

What questions should you ask the rehab center before enrolling in a treatment program?

If you or someone you know is finally ready to overcome an addiction and mental health disorder, even if you don’t have a diagnosis of either SUD or a mental health condition yet, please reach out to our ARIA Florida team today.

In the meantime, it may help to have some questions ready before you contact any rehab treatment center. These questions can help to ensure you are going to receive the best and most professional treatment available to you. 

What are the types of dual diagnosis treatments and services available?

What are the types of dual diagnosis treatments and services available?

As noted before, one treatment that is often best for dual diagnosis disorders is inpatient programs. These programs offer around-the-clock care and supervision, which you can’t get with any of the other programs. However, there are some people who can’t go to an inpatient program for specific reasons. If that is the case, it doesn’t mean you can’t get the help you need. There are other treatments and services that can help you to overcome an addiction and mental health disorder. 

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Get Help for Mental Health Issues and an Addiction Today

Here at ARIA Florida, we pride ourselves on helping everyone to see that they can overcome mental health disorders and addictions. We offer professional, individualized treatment for everyone who needs it.

Do you have a mental health disorder and addiction? If so, contact us today to get enrolled in a dual diagnosis treatment program right away.