Dual-diagnosis disorders are when both mental health conditions and addiction coexist within one person, and the risk factors of a dual-diagnosis disorder are dangerous. Understanding the risks and dangers of a dual-diagnosis disorder can be the catalyst for a person receiving proper care. Treating both mental health and addiction to substances is essential to properly recovering and managing these disorders.
How Does A Dual Diagnosis Disorder Start?
When a person struggles with both mental health and a substance abuse disorder, they can be diagnosed with a dual diagnosis disorder. These dual-diagnosis disorders are common among Americans. It is prevalent in those who struggle with substance abuse disorders to also struggle with mental health conditions such as depression or other mood disorders, and anxiety or panic disorders. Often, these conditions begin because the person struggling with mental health uses drugs or alcohol as a means of self-medication. They may not realize that the mental health disorder exists, and they turn to drink or drugs to ease or mask the feelings they are experiencing.
Depression and anxiety disorders are extremely uncomfortable to endure and when drinking or drugging becomes a problem along with mental health, the risk factors of a dual-diagnosis disorder increase. Getting proper treatment is essential to healing.
Effects of a Dual Diagnosis Disorder
When a person struggles with both mental health and addiction they can feel the effects of both. Mental health conditions tend to wreak havoc in a person’s life. It can lead to missing work, family functions, or going out with friends. Depression causes isolation and suicidal thoughts and adding in addiction to substances like drugs and alcohol can cause these symptoms to increase. Addiction is a lonely place to be, and so is depression. So when a person struggling with both is left on their own using substances to cope, the symptoms of depression like suicidal thoughts and lowered self-esteem can become more prevalent.
Anxiety isn’t much different. The risk factors of dual diagnosis including anxiety can include increased anxiety. Often, people who are struggling with anxiety have a hard time being in places with a lot of people, including family and friend activities. Turning to drugs and alcohol can seem to alleviate the feelings anxiety causes. However, in the long run, drugs and alcohol can actually cause the symptoms of anxiety to become worse.
Risk Factors of a Dual Diagnosis Disorder
The risk factors of a dual-diagnosis disorder can be extremely dangerous. When the symptoms of mental health conditions are increased due to the use of drugs and alcohol, it can lead to fatal consequences. When depression is a factor of a diagnosis, drinking can lead to deeper and deeper depression as alcohol itself is a depressant. When a person is already feeling low and begins drinking or using drugs that are also depressants, they will inevitably feel worse, leading to increases in suicidal thoughts and behaviors, lowered self-esteem and self-worth, and increased isolation. Increased suicidal thoughts and behaviors can lead a person to harm themselves and potentially, that can be fatal.
How Detox Helps
Detox is a wonderful opportunity for anyone who is struggling with addiction. Not only can the symptoms of withdrawal be managed, but the symptoms of the mental health conditions can be treated as well. Being professionally monitored both medically and psychologically can help an individual achieve the desired recovery and management of these dual-diagnosis disorders. Proper treatment of both conditions is vital to recovery. If only one is properly treated, chances are the person will inevitably return to using drugs to medicate themselves and avoid dealing with or feeling feelings that are unpleasant and uncomfortable.
Why Therapy is Beneficial
Therapies such as CBT and DBT are beneficial to those who are struggling with the risk factors of a dual-diagnosis disorder because they teach new ways of thinking and acting. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on a person’s way of thinking and changing negative thought processes that lead to unhealthy behaviors into positive ways of thinking that could, in turn, change negative behaviors into positive ones. Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) helps those who feel their emotions very intensely. It focuses on feeling the feelings and accepting them for what they are so that they cannot negatively affect the individual. This helps to combat addiction when a person begins to feel cravings. They begin to understand that the feelings are temporary and they will pass.
Proper treatment is available, and a person can recover. All it takes is reaching out, and asking for help.
Treating Dual Diagnosis Disorders
Dual-diagnosis disorders are life-changing. Not only is suffering from mental health extremely life-altering, but factoring in addiction can complicate the symptoms of the mental health condition, and properly treating these diagnoses is the best way to achieve remission and management. If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health, substance abuse, or a combination of both, Ocean Hills can help. We offer comprehensive care personalized to an individual’s needs. Call us today and begin healing from mental health and addiction.