Dual diagnosis is a term that refers to the state of being diagnosed with a mental health disorder and suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction at the same time. The term only refers to the fact that they occur at the same time but not that one caused the other or that one came before the other. An addiction can cause a mental health disorder or vice versa. The same goes for the order in which they occurred.
Seeking dual diagnosis treatment is the first step towards living a healthier, happier life after addiction. Call Alcohol Drug Treatment Jackson at (601) 326-1554 to get started.
There are several mental health disorders that often co-occur with a drug or alcohol addiction. However, it is important to note that even if a person has a mental health disorder that is not common to co-occur with a drug addiction, it is still possible for it to be a part of a dual diagnosis. Some of the more common combinations include:
Eating disorders are a category of mental health disorders that have to do with an unhealthy body image and sense of self as well as an obsessive relationship with food and exercise. Some of the common symptoms of these mental health disorders are:
The addiction that most often coincides with eating disorders is to stimulant drugs. Stimulants are specifically designed to excite the central nervous system and brain to action. This excitement of the nervous system has a common side effect of significantly increased energy and stamina, both mental and physical while under the influence of the drug. Additionally, stimulants also cause a person to have a significantly reduced appetite. Some examples of stimulants include cocaine, Ritalin, meth, and Adderall.
OCD, also known as obsessive compulsive disorder, is a mental health disorder that falls under the category of panic or anxiety disorders. People with this disorder suffer from uncontrollable and fixated (obsessive) thoughts and uncontrollable, often ritualistic, actions that accompany them. Some of the symptoms of OCD include:
Oftentimes, the addiction that co-occurs with OCD is to opiate drugs. Opiates are also known as opioids or narcotics. They are powerful drugs that block the body’s pain receptors and also suppress the operations of the central nervous system and brain. This makes a person feel simultaneously painless and relaxed. These drugs can also make a person feel content and euphoric in their calm and relaxed state. Some opiates include heroin, morphine, fentanyl, and codeine.
It is important to seek dual diagnosis treatment as soon as possible. A professional addiction specialist can identify what conditions a person is struggling with in addition to a drug or alcohol addiction.
Dual diagnosis treatments can include:
Psychotherapy is a form of individual therapy that focuses on discussion as a means of developing self-awareness and healing. Through open conversations with a therapist, a recovering addict and mental health disorder sufferer can start to understand the reasons behind their disorders, how they may trigger one another, and how to avid and cope with those triggers and issues.
Psychopharmacology is the use of prescription drugs to treat a mental health disorder. This is closely regulated and monitored when a person has a drug addiction so that they can keep themselves from forming another addiction or resuming abuse of the already addicted substance.
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