Dual diagnosis is the term used when a person suffers from both a drug or alcohol problem and a co-occurring psychiatric disorder. This could include depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, or a personality disorder. In dual diagnosis treatment, we identify any psychiatric problems and treat them alongside the drug or alcohol addiction.
Co-occurring Mental & Behavioral Disorders We Treat
- Depression – Overwhelming sad feelings, low energy, and lack of interest in activities
- Anxiety Disorders – Constant or abnormal levels of fear and anxiety (includes OCD)
- Bipolar Disorder – Mood swings between very “low” and very “high” feelings
- Personality Disorders – Impulsive behavior, hostility, and need for attention are some characteristics of this variety of disorders
- Social Phobia – Social phobia is an anxiety disorder that causes severe anxiety and nervousness in everyday social situations
Integrated Treatment in Addiction Rehab
Dual diagnosis is common among people entering addiction rehab and is always heavily entwined with their substance abuse problem. In the midst of active addiction, psychiatric disorders are hard to diagnose and treat. It is difficult to discern if symptoms, such as the low moods of depression or the highs of bipolar disorder, are because of the psychiatric disorder or because of the drug use. Often, people self-medicate their mental health disorder symptoms with, for example, drinking to ease anxiety or taking painkillers to help with depression, without knowing they have the disorders.
Research shows that unless the mental health disorder is treated integrated with the substance abuse addiction, full recovery is unlikely.
Ongoing Psychiatric Evaluations
Dual diagnosis treatment involves a variety of approaches, including receiving the care of a psychiatrist. Once you are clean and sober and are no longer feeling withdrawal symptoms after detox treatment, you can begin to separate out what emotional states were from drugs and alcohol, and what can be attributed to an underlying psychiatric condition. Ongoing psychiatric assessments monitor your condition for changes. These evaluations are necessary to provide patients with the most accurate psychological diagnosis and rapid-fire responses to avoid crisis in a patient’s condition.
Medical Protocols for Dual Diagnosis Disorders
Your doctor may prescribe medication to treat your mental health disorder. These drugs may include anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, and anti-psychotics. With medication, we also provide both individual and group therapy to provide patients with the coping skills needed to live with a dual diagnosis. We emphasize how to be mindful of your thoughts and behaviors, as well as how to work on your relationships with others. Patients also receive medication management lectures as well as education about their mental disorders. Understanding how these disorders work on emotions and behaviors allows patients to stay one step ahead of the disorder and to maintain abstinence.
Finally, we stress the importance of exercise, recreation, and a healthy diet. Exercise significantly reduces stress, anxiety, and depression through increased endorphin activity. Recreation can help establish better social interaction and open the doors to new hobbies. And eating a healthy diet improves your overall well-being.
Continued Psychiatric Dual Diagnosis Treatment
It is absolutely vital to give your psychiatric disorder as much attention and care as your addiction, for the two are so closely related. It is all too common for someone in early recovery to start feeling better and think they do not need their medications. Without realizing that the prescribed medications are a reason for the healthy feelings, patients will stop taking the medication and begin the downward spiral. Eventually they will start to feel symptoms of depression, anxiety, and paranoia again, which may start the whole process of self-medicating with drugs or alcohol over.
Questions? Call or Ask By Chat Now!
If you have questions about our dual diagnosis treatment center in Florida, or would just like to speak with someone about a drug or alcohol problem, please call our 24-hour Addiction Helpline at 866-957-4960. You can also Live Chat from your computer or use our Contact Us form.