A dual diagnosis (mental illness and addiction present at the same time) is difficult to treat. Due to the nature of the two concerns, it can be challenging for family members to determine where the mental illness symptoms end and the addiction symptoms begin, and vice versa. For this reason, it can be difficult to determine the underlying cause of the symptoms that a loved one is going through. To be properly diagnosed, he or she will need to be seen by a practitioner experienced in treating dual diagnosis.
Link Between Mental Illness And Addiction
Some people start using drugs and alcohol as a way to deal with the symptoms of a mental disorder. They may not know or understand what is happening to them at the onset of the symptoms of depression, anxiety or another mental health concern, and the substance use is a way to self-medicate.
In other instances, the addiction exists first, and the mental health issue appears afterward. Drug or alcohol abuse can trigger and lead to mental illness in certain people. Symptoms of depression can be brought on by long-term or excessive alcohol use. Some people turn to alcohol or drugs when they are feeling depressed in order to feel better. They may get a lift for a short time, but then the substance will start to make them feel worse.
Not All Rehabs Appropriate For Dual Diagnosis
If a dual diagnosis client is treated in a program that is not appropriate to his or her needs, and where staff is not qualified to treat addiction and mental illness concurrently and completely, issues are likely to continue to occur.
Issues That Arise When Dual Diagnosis Isn’t Properly Addressed
- Clients are at higher risk for leaving the drug or alcohol treatment program early.
- Their mental health symptoms may make it difficult for them to interact with others during group therapy and educational sessions.
- The client can be discharged quickly after treatment is finished without the necessary follow-up care for long-term sobriety.
- The individual has an increased chance at relapse.
If both addiction and mental health is not addressed and worked through, a client can’t achieve a full recovery.
Proper Dual Diagnosis Treatment
At Maryland Recovery, our staff is qualified to diagnose and treat dual diagnosis properly. We have the tools and expertise to treat each person as an individual and provide customized mental illness and addiction treatment programs specifically for each person’s needs.
Learn more about our dual diagnosis treatment in Maryland and break free from the bonds of mental illness and addiction.
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Dr. Bhalavat is Board Certified in General Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, and provides inpatient evaluation and consultation services at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital, Maryland Recovery Partners, and Citizens Care & Rehabilitation Center. Dr. Bhalavat’s background includes treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, substance abuse and dementia.