Dual diagnosis occurs when multiple illnesses are present in one individual at the same time. These can be problems with a chemical dependency and an emotional illness that combine to affect the person physically, spiritually, socially, and psychologically. With dual diagnosis, the illnesses produce symptoms that will interfere with the person’s social functions and they won’t be able to relate well with others. Individuals will have problems due to both illnesses interacting with each other. Treatment can be difficult because the symptoms will overlap and mask one another. Dual Diagnosis is more common than you might think.
This is A Widespread Problem
Dual diagnosis is difficult because it is hard enough trying to recover from one illness. If a mental illness is neglected then it can reoccur. Many of these individuals will self-medicate and develop a drug abuse problem. When individuals fail in their recovery, they experience feelings of alienation and low self-esteem. Dual diagnosis is a widespread problem because there are so many different types of psychological illnesses, along with a number of alcohol and drug abuse patterns. Many times the individual has the emotional problem first which causes the alcohol or drug abuse problems. They will drink or do drugs to mask the underlying problem and put a band-aid on it.
Many of the emotional problems which cause the dual diagnosis are depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias, schizophrenia, or other personality disorders which may have been caused by childhood trauma. All of these must receive treatment just as the alcohol or drug abuse problem needs treatment. You cannot treat one and not the other.
Problems that can occur are:
- Alcohol and drug use can cover up emotional symptoms
- Alcohol or drug relapse can happen if mental disorder is not treated
- Mental symptoms can reoccur if the chemical dependency is not treated
Dual Diagnosis can cause the following:
- Increase in emergency room visits
- Legal problems or jail time
- Financial problems
- Family problems
- Work related or school problems
- Social or isolation withdrawals
There is hope if you have dual diagnosis, and getting the proper care will ensure that each illness is addressed in order to achieve a successful and lasting recovery. Both problems can be treated together in a professional treatment center. Family counseling and therapy is also a necessity with dual diagnosis. The family must be educated about the individual’s illness and taught how to support and encourage the family member through their recovery from this debilitating disease.
To learn more facts about dual diagnosis, please contact one of our representatives at 4Rehabilitation today.