How is it Best to Treat a Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis treatment is a new concept in the field of addiction therapy and recovery. Up until the 1990s, people with mental health problems were treated separately than those who sought help from alcohol and drug use/abuse. However, certain conditions overlap, so a person can now be treated for both mental health problems and addiction.

How common is dual diagnosis disorder?

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Applied Studies, around 4 million Americans have suffered from dual diagnosis disorder at some time during life.

What is different about dual diagnosis treatment?

Dual diagnosis recover is now widely accepted and recognized in rehabilitation settings and medical facilities. These two conditions are treated together, so physicians work with other specialists to make treatment effective. Many substance abuse counselors are also trained in treating mental health disorders. Most rehab facilities offer personalized care for dual diagnosis.

How do I get a dual diagnosis?

To receive a dual diagnosis, you are evaluated by a mental health professional. You must meet certain criteria as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This book serves as a guideline for mental health professionals who diagnose and treat clients in clinical settings. A qualified psychologist, physician, or counselor can diagnose you with dual diagnosis disorder.

Receiving a dual diagnosis may be a huge relief, especially if you have lived with an undiagnosed mental condition for a long period of time. Consider seeing a therapist if you have symptoms of hopelessness, sadness, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, and traumatic flashbacks.

How is dual diagnosis treated?

There is no single plan of treatment that will work for every client who has been diagnosed with dual diagnosis disorder. The range of mental health conditions is broad, and there are many substances abused. This makes treatment complicated. People who seek therapy for addiction and mental illness are often diagnosed with:

  • A personality disorder, such as antisocial disorder or borderline personality disorder.
  • A mood disorder, such as bipolar disorder or major depression.
  • An anxiety disorder, such as obsessive compulsive disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • An eating disorder, such as bulimia or anorexia nervosa.

How will I know I need treatment?

Understanding the need for treatment is important for people with a dual diagnosis disorder. When your perceptions or thoughts are altered by a mental condition, it is easy to neglect your care. Depression makes you feel as if your life doesn’t matter, and anxiety will drive you away from others who could provide support. Getting your life back on track requires hope, help, and trust. At Pacific Bay Recovery, we understand your difficulties and know how to treat your dual diagnosis disorder.

What will I need to achieve a full recovery?

Finding the right rehabilitation center and program is imperative for a full recovery from dual diagnosis disorder. If you meet the diagnostic criteria for a mental health disorder and a substance abuse problem, you will be classified as dual diagnosis. Effective treatment involves consideration of both conditions. To increase your chances for achieving a real recovery, your care must include:

  • Acknowledgement of the importance of psychotherapeutic medications in the treatment of co-occurring disorders.
  • Parallel treatment for both the substance use and the mental health problem by members of a uniquely trained treatment team.
  • An inclusive treatment strategy that brings many members of your support network into therapy for individual and group counseling.
  • A supportive approach to treatment that reinforces self-confidence instead of focusing on negative, aggressive statements.
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