There have been several surveys that prove that out of the 12 million US citizens who suffer from addiction, 8 million are detected with dual disorders. This means that a considerable population suffers from addiction along with an underlying mental health issue. This condition is a lot more serious than it sounds.
Dual diagnosis means you are suffering from more than one health condition. One is affecting your mental state and the other one is targeting your entire body. Therefore, it becomes important to gain awareness about dual diagnosis.
What Exactly is Dual Diagnosis?
The National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI defines dual diagnosis as “a term for when someone experiences a mental illness and a substance use disorder simultaneously.” In such a case, either one of them can occur first.
For example, you begin to drink alcohol for recreational purposes. You feel overjoyed and happy when drunk. As the effect wears off, you normalize and become the same person as before. You drink again to reward yourself with joy and happiness. This cycle of consumption continues and soon you develop an addiction to the substance.
As the addiction becomes severe, you begin to feel depressed when sober. This is a sign of a mental health issue that is about to develop. To overcome the depression, you drink again. This continues and now you suffer from two problems-alcohol addiction and depression.
The same can happen otherwise. You begin drinking to overcome the depression that has been a problem for a long. The depressing feelings vanish when you are drunk and return once you are sober. You continue this to overcome depression. But what you are doing here is fueling alcohol addiction.
Soon you are detected with two disorders-depression and alcohol addiction.
How can Dual Diagnosis be Treated?
The treatment for dual diagnosis begins with assessment. The professionals at a rehab center run a few tests on you to identify the exact issues. Once the mental health disorders and addiction are identified, a treatment plan is created. The plan also includes your treatment needs.
Once everything has been formulated, you begin with the process. It starts with:
- Detox or medical detox
- Therapies and counseling
- Aftercare or sober living
How to Get Help?