You may have wondered, “What is dual diagnosis?” The short answer is that someone can have two mental issues at the same time. A somewhat common example is a person with alcohol addiction also has an anxiety disorder. What makes dual diagnosis important is that both diseases must be treated at the same time for a person to recover at a facility such as Sunflower Wellness Retreat.
What Is Dual Diagnosis?
Dual diagnosis refers to an individual who suffers from both mental conditions and substance use disorder simultaneously. And this is a common characteristic of addiction, as half of those who experience addiction also have some form of mental health disorder.
Dual diagnosis is also known as co-occurring disorders, dual disorder, or comorbidity. Frequently, people use this term to refer to the combination of mental conditions and substance use. But dual diagnosis can also refer to any combination of disorders—for example, a person with an intellectual disability and a mental disorder. Or someone that has depression often experiences addiction as well.
And while it is true that dual diagnosis is common, it is still a complex clinical issue. Without specialized treatment and the right methods, it is unlikely a person will fully recover. The severity of the specific diseases in a dual diagnosis varies and can change over time. So there are more challenges to overcome in the treatment for dual diagnosis. As a result, the treatment often takes longer than ordinary substance use disorders.
Signs of Co-occurring Disorders
The particular symptoms of a dual diagnosis depend on the type of mental condition and substance abuse that affects the individual. And they vary based on the life circumstances, the type of substance used, and the mental condition of the individual. So it is hard to define what is dual diagnosis in terms of symptoms.
But the common symptoms include:
- Poor hygiene and health problems
- Violent behavior
- Increased isolation
- Enhanced aggressiveness
- Decreased concentration
- Seemingly random mood swings
- Noncompliance to treatment
For some, suicidal thoughts can accompany a dual diagnosis. And often, housing and employment conditions may become unstable. It is usually difficult to determine whether a mental condition is a side effect of addiction or whether it is the other way around. Therefore, seeking the help of medical professionals is a must.
The Causes of Dual Diagnosis
Dual diagnosis is associated with various risk factors that include environmental factors and genetics. Also, people with mental health disorders stand a much greater likelihood of having a substance abuse disorder compared to those that don’t.
When it comes to alcohol abuse disorder, conditions such as schizophrenia, antisocial personality disorder, and bipolar disorders have a high correlation. Alcohol use disorder is also more prevalent in those with various depressive and anxiety disorders.
With these important factors in mind, the four primary causes of dual diagnosis include:
- Environmental triggers like trauma and stress
- A genetic predisposition
- Mental conditions of substance abuse may affect brain system functions
- Early exposure to drugs or alcohol can make individuals more vulnerable to mental conditions
The Stigma of Dual Diagnosis
So, you now know what is dual diagnosis. It is when you have more than one health condition to face at the same time. But the reality is that you have more to confront than only these challenges. The stigma associated with a dual diagnosis can be even more difficult to face than your health conditions.
The fear of what others will think is what prevents many people from seeking help. There exist many misconceptions about mental conditions that include people with mental conditions pose a danger to others. This leads many to deny themselves treatment to avoid embarrassment.
Seek Help and Support from Sunflower Wellness Retreat
If you or someone you know is struggling with a dual diagnosis, it is important to find help. So to find out more about what is dual diagnosis, consult medical experts. The professional staff at Sunflower Wellness Retreat know what you are going through. Let us help by calling Sunflower Wellness Retreat at 855.730.8825 today or contact us online today!