Many people dealing with a substance use disorder also have one or more underlying mental health disorders. It can be hard to tell if the addiction causes a mental health issue or vice versa. Individuals diagnosed with a dual diagnosis, or a co-occurring disorder, should have all their concerns addressed when they admit themselves to an addiction treatment program. That gives clients the best chance of achieving lasting recovery.
What Are Some Common Issues That Exist Alongside Addiction?
Some mental health disorders consistently manifest alongside an addiction. They can be the thing that causes addictive behavior. An addiction specialist should account for any symptoms of mental health issues when they are crafting a long-term addiction treatment program.
Mental health disorders often connected to substance use disorders include:
- Depression — People dealing with depression often turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate their symptoms. While it can provide some short-term relief, individuals may experience extreme lows once the effects wear off.
- Bipolar disorder — Individuals with bipolar disorder may start abusing substances to deal with the extreme highs and lows caused by the mental health disorder.
- Generalized anxiety disorder — Individuals with anxiety may turn to various substances that make their symptoms more manageable. It can get to a point where people feel they cannot function unless they are consuming drugs or alcohol.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — People who have survived traumatic experiences like childhood abuse or a near-death experience may experience continuing mental fallout. Drugs and alcohol are common fallbacks for individuals struggling with PTSD.
What Are the Signs of a Mental Health Disorder and Addiction?
Substance use disorders can trigger effects in the brain that can mimic those of a mental health issue. Some users may find themselves experiencing symptoms like psychosis causes a break with reality. Other factors that can play a role in aggravating an addiction or mental health disorder include:
- Genetic makeup — You can be more vulnerable to developing a mental health condition or addiction if there is a family history.
- Environmental factors — Growing up in an unstable or abusive environment can increase your chances of ending up with mental issues or problems with substance abuse.
- Peer pressure — Getting started with drugs or alcohol at a young age can lead to substance abuse problems as an adult. The effects of it can be exacerbated since the brain is still developing in adolescents, leading to permanent damage.
People with a dual diagnosis may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Changes in behavior
- Neglect of hygiene
- Problems handling tasks and dealing with responsibilities
- Cutting off social contact with friends and family
- Signs of disorganized thinking
- Inability to perform at school or work
- Having thoughts of self-harm
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Treating clients with a dual diagnosis requires taking a comprehensive approach to treatment. There should be considerations made for both the addiction and any underlying mental health disorders. Getting all issues under control is essential to helping clients achieve recovery and possibly avoid relapsing once they leave treatment.
Treatment plans for clients can vary depending on their specific issues. There are therapies available that can help individuals manage their mental disorders and substance abuse problems, including:
It can take time and a lot of commitment to adequately address all aspects of a dual diagnosis. Clients should keep in mind that setbacks can be part of the process while they are in treatment. Getting help in a supportive environment can help clients learn to manage those hardships and come out stronger. The lessons learned by getting through the hard parts can be helpful when it comes to navigating difficult situations in the real world.
Get Treatment for Mental Health and Addiction Issues
Midwest Detox Center offers people from all walks of life the chance to get help for their addiction and mental health issues. Learn more about the services we provide by calling 833.647.0392, or contact us online.