Dual diagnosis is defined as the co-existence of a mental health problem and a substance use problem. A wide array of dual diagnosis interactions is possible, including specific causal links between disorders and broad bi-directional relationships.
Patients with a dual diagnosis face a number of complex challenges, with problems regarding patient placement, correct diagnosis, and increased rates of relapse. Common dual diagnosis interactions include depression and alcoholism, anxiety disorders and sedative abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcoholism.
To find out more about your treatment options at San Antonio Drug Treatment Centers at (210) 610-3419.
While dual diagnosis and co-occurring disorders are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between these two classifications. According to the Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC), the primary problem has to be related to substance use for someone to meet the criteria for co-occurring disorders.
The same does not apply for dual diagnosis, where the primary condition can be related to either mental illness or substance abuse. Further complexity surrounds the dual diagnosis classification, with some experts saying it’s inappropriate to label such a wide range of different people and interactions with a single condition.
Before treating someone with a dual diagnosis, doctors and clinicians will attempt to differentiate between pre-existing mental health problems and those induced by extended substance abuse. While clear causal relationships do exist in some cases, it’s just as likely for dual diagnosis conditions to have complex bi-directional relationships.
The original analysis between disorders greatly affects the treatment provided, with doctors able to choose between primary treatment, sequential treatment, parallel treatment, and integrated treatment plans.
A mental illness, also called a mental disorder or psychiatric disorder, is a problematic mental or behavioral pattern. Mental disorders manifest in numerous ways, with common examples including depression disorder, anxiety disorders, dementia, schizophrenia, personality disorders, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
People living with a mental illness often face difficulties with interpersonal relationships, work performance, communication skills, and basic activities of daily living, with medical intervention often required to support and manage the disorder.
People living with mental health disorders are at a greater risk of developing substance use problems, with people often using drugs or alcohol as a method of self-medication. Existing drug users are also at a greater risk of developing mental health problems, with drug dependence known to cause adverse mental outcomes.
Depression has been linked with a range of substance use disorders, with people often using drugs or alcohol as a way to escape their mental issues. Depressed people are likely to experience intense feelings of sadness, hopelessness, numbness and isolation, with people often unable to see a way out of their depressed state of mind.
Psychoactive substances are capable of providing temporary relief, with opioids taken to induce feelings of euphoria and amphetamines taken to provide energy and clarity. Self-medication can often get out of control, with the ongoing use of drugs only likely to lead to more depression down the road. Medical detoxification is needed to address withdrawal caused by abuse of medication or illicit substances.
The relationship between depression and addiction also goes the other way, with existing drug users more likely to get depressed as a result of their addiction. If you or anyone you know is living with a dual diagnosis, it’s important to reach out to San Antonio Drug Treatment Centers for help finding treatment centers. Dial (210) 610-3419.