Many people that suffer from an addiction disorder also meet the diagnostic criteria for other mental health disorders. In fact, it’s very common to have both, and often, quitting an addictive substance unearths an underlying psychological disorder.
A carefully tailored addiction treatment program with substance abuse specialists, psychotherapy, and medication takes a comprehensive approach to ending the cycle of mental health disorder and overlying addiction.
There are many ways to go about treatment, and a dual diagnosis treatment center can help you choose the right care.
Signs that Your Loved One Might Have a Dual Diagnosis
There are many signs that your loved one might be suffering from both addiction and a mental health disorder. Sometimes people self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to cope with mental illness, and often these substances seem to exacerbate risky behavior or other psychological problems. Signs of a possible dual diagnosis include:
- It is hard for your loved one to maintain a job or do well in school.
- They engage in harmful and risky behaviors.
- They lie or steal.
- They have unpredictable or disordered sleep schedules.
- They try to quit addictive substances but relapse, or they express regrets about an addiction but can’t seem to stop.
- They isolate themselves from friends and family and perhaps find a new group of people to socialize with.
- They hallucinate or have paranoia.
- They use substances to deal with anxiety, low mood, or what they perceive as failing to meet impossible demands.
If you knew your loved one before their addiction, perhaps you can also remember if they displayed any signs of depression, anxiety, or other psychological problems before their addiction began.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center: Receive a Continuum of Care
Addiction and mental health treatment centers were separate for many years, and patients often had to choose whether to treat their mental illness or addiction first. This model led to higher rates of relapse and drawn-out timelines for treatment. In a dual diagnosis treatment center, the program seeks to stabilize the many aspects of mental health simultaneously for better outcomes.
Programs will usually include medication, therapy, and counseling on addiction and mental health. Dual diagnosis treatment centers can help diagnose underlying mental health disorders that perhaps you were not aware of before treatment. They can also help if medications your loved one used to treat a mental health disorder resulted in addiction and trying to quit those medications causes symptoms.
Depending on the severity of your loved ones’ mental health disorder or addiction, they may benefit from in-patient or out-patient options for treatment. Outpatient options require a firm commitment from them to stick to the treatment plan and return to the center frequently for monitoring and evaluation.
Get Help for Complex Diagnoses
Although you now know some signs and symptoms of dual diagnosis, these disorders are not easily diagnosed. If you suspect your loved one suffers from a mental health disorder and addiction, help them contact a dual diagnosis treatment center to receive a professional evaluation and the right plan of care.