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Dual Diagnosis

What Is Dual Diagnosis?

 

 Dual diagnosis is also commonly referred to as co-occurring disorders or comorbidity. All of these terms can be used to describe situations where someone suffers from a drug or alcohol addiction as well as a behavioral or mental health disorder.

Co-occurring mental health conditions and substance use disorders affect nearly 8.9 million Indians each year. Of those only 7.4% receive appropriate treatment, with the vast majority bounced among treatment systems with different and opposing treatment structures.Studies have also consistently shown that being diagnosed with either a substance abuse disorder or a psychiatric condition places an individual at a greater risk for developing problems with the other. We at The Hermitage specialize in treating complex co-occurring disorders. Treatment may include behavioral therapy, medicines, and support groups as an integral part of the program at The Hermitage. 

 

 Mental Health Conditions Commonly Found With Substance Abuse :

 

  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Bipolar disorder.
  • Schizophrenia.
  • Personality disorders.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder.
 It is not uncommon for people to seek out substances, such as alcohol, in order to cope with life stressors such as a mental health disorder.In many cases, the use of substances can allow the individual to escape from their problems and feel a sense of relaxation.

However, this is only temporary. As the individual continues to use substances as a way to cope, they do not learn important coping skills nor do they take any action to address the underlying problem causing their symptoms in the first place.

As such, these individuals are more likely to continue seeking out substances as a way cope.

 

Some common symptoms of mental health conditions that could contribute to and/or influence the treatment plan prescribed for substance abusers with dual diagnoses:

 

  • Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness.
  • Loss of interest in daily activities.
  • Changes in appetite or weight.
  • Changes in sleep habits.
  • Increases in irritability or anger.
  • Loss of energy.
  • Excessive feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
  • Feelings of fear, worry, nervousness, panic or uneasiness.
  • Difficulty relaxing or sitting still.
  • Racing thoughts or the feeling like you cannot control your worries.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Reckless behavior.
  • Thoughts of suicide.

Suicidal ideation, even if shared in confidence, is not something to take lightly. If you or someone you love is experiencing these thoughts, seek help immediately!