Dual Diagnosis Simply Defined

When a patient is diagnosed with both an addiction to drugs or alcohol and a mental illness, it is referred to as dual diagnosis. In order to properly address dual diagnosis, programs must treat both issues simultaneously.

Dual Diagnosis Defined | Info And Treatment For Co-Occuring DisordersThose labeled dual diagnosis are chemically and physically addicted to mind-altering substances. They also struggle with mental diseases, including bipolar, anxiety, depression dissociative and manic disorders.

Additional names for dual diagnosis include co-morbid disorder, dual disorder, double trouble, concurrent disorders and co-occurring disorder.

Examples Of Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis patients may struggle with any one of the following: substance abuse with a major mental illness; a personality disorder with substance abuse; personality disorder with substance abuse and symptoms including depression or hallucinations requiring a psychiatrist’s care; or a combination of mental illness with substance abuse and evidence of organic syndromes. These syndrome types most often occur due to dysfunctional brain activity.

Side-effects Occurring With Dual Diagnosis

The use of drugs and/or alcohol by those with a dual diagnosis can result in a variety of side effects when combined with prescription medication used to address mental health issues. This abuse type can cause psychiatric reactions leading to hospitalization.

Treatment through one single provider specializing in therapy for both alcohol and drug dependency and mental illness is the most effective means in achieving health and recovery.

Theories On Dual Diagnosis (Co-occurring) Disorders

Many in the mental health field view nerve functionality deficiencies as indicators of dual diagnosis. Co-occurring disorders have also been linked to those with a history of parental neglect, poverty, physical or sexual abuse, inner city living and self medicating.

It is often difficult to determine whether substance abuse is a result of mental illness or if mental illness stems from long-term substance abuse. Dual diagnosis treatment caters to the idea that it does not matter which came first. As such, simultaneous treatment is highly advocated.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

The Journal of American Medical Association states that “roughly 50% of individuals with severe mental disorders are affected by substance abuse.”

Looking for a dual diagnosis personality disorder treatment? Contact the caring experts at Touchstone Ranch today!

Check Out This Q&A About Dual Diagnosis