Recent studies have shown that while addiction rates continue to rise, a new development in the depths of the disease is becoming just as important in the fight for sobriety. A large percentage of people who suffer from addiction also struggle with a mental health issue. When an individual struggles with both a substance use disorder and a mental health issue, professionals refer to this as a co-occurring disorder. But through dual diagnosis treatment, the experts at Harmony Hills can help individuals heal from both conditions.
What is a Dual Diagnosis?
To receive a dual diagnosis, they must qualify for a substance abuse disorder and a mental health issue. As treatment advancements are made, more and more mental health issues have been added to the list that dual diagnosis can cover.
It is also very common for many people to suffer from multiple mental health issues and drug addiction. There is often added difficulty in treating co-occurring disorders because there can be a mirror effect between mental health and drug addiction.
This is why many substance abuse treatment centers did not have the entire picture of recovery they needed for so long. It leads to a missed diagnosis of a mental disorder or a missed substance abuse disorder diagnosis. Similarly, many people who have a more glaring mental health disorder will often not see their drug use or alcohol abuse as a problem, especially if the drug was prescribed for the mental issue. Therefore, individuals need to educate themselves about what common mental health issues arise or contribute to substance use disorder.
Common Issues Requiring Mental Health Treatment
Although the entire spectrum of mental disorders has been shown to co-occur with a substance abuse disorder, few tend to stand out from the rest and the most commonly associated dual diagnosis disorders. Perhaps the most common mental health issues that affect millions each year regardless of whether they struggle with a substance use disorder are mood disorders.
Depressive disorders can take a variety of forms resulting in severe intrusions on daily life. Symptoms can vary with the intensity of diagnosis but usually present extreme sadness, exhaustion, lack of motivation, loss of interest, and difficulty in social situations if you do not seek help from a depression treatment program.
Displaying excessive anxiety or worry for extended periods of time characterizes most anxiety disorders. Symptoms can include difficulty concentrating, extreme stress levels, panic attacks, restlessness, irritability, increased fatigue, insomnia, or other sleep disturbances. Many of these symptoms can identically mirror many different types of drugs and their side effects, making this extremely difficult to diagnose. Also, many people diagnosed with anxiety disorders can develop a benzodiazepine addiction to the medication they are prescribed.
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder causing unusual shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels. Most people experience extreme fluctuations between manic episodes of high energy to episodes of very depressive states. This can both increase and mirror substance abuse symptoms. People who struggle with bipolar can also become initially addicted to their medications, leading to further drug dependence and addiction.
Another common mood disorder that’s anxiety-related is an obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD. Characterized by uncontrollable and recurrent thoughts and behaviors. Some of the most common tells for the obsessive aspect of OCD fall under aggressive thoughts towards self or others, fear of germs or contamination, the overwhelming need to have things symmetrical or in perfect order. As for the compulsive aspect, they generally display themselves about obsessive thoughts.
Specific Mental Health Conditions Dual Diagnosis Targets
While mood disorders are the most common forms of mental health issues affecting people, millions struggle with specific mental health conditions. These are often rooted in past experiences like post-traumatic stress disorder, arising out of a need to assert control or have a genetic factor involved. Frequently, individuals are unaware that they are struggling with these mental health conditions. Their solution to manage them and the distress they cause is to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, which greatly increases the risk of developing an addiction. Our dual diagnosis treatment program can effectively zero in on what mental health condition a person struggles with and work with clients to design an appropriate treatment plan. Some examples include:
- PTSD: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder occurs when a person experiences first or second-hand an extremely disturbing event. Many people start using drugs after their traumatic event to self-medicate instead of seeking a PTSD treatment program. Symptoms of PTSD can manifest in different ways, such as recurring images of the event, insomnia, social anxiety, avoidance behaviors, flashbacks, and nightmares.
- ADHD: An ongoing hyperactivity pattern, impulsivity mark attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and difficulty paying attention or finding motivation. Many people diagnosed with ADHD in early childhood can become addicted to their stimulant medication. Also, some people can use other substances to help cope with their hyperactivity and racing thoughts.
- Eating Disorders: When a person obsessively monitors their eating, weight, appearance, or diet, they may be experiencing an eating disorder. Many people who suffer from an eating disorder can use stimulant drugs or excessive alcohol to limit their appetite.
Discover How Dual Diagnosis at Harmony Hills Can Help
The diagnosis and treatment for people with a co-occurring disorder can require a longer stay and a more in-depth mental health treatment than some other programs. However, dual diagnosis treatment can make headway in the fight against substance abuse and maintain positive mental health. We offer a wide range of therapeutic options, including:
- 12 Step therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- EMDR therapy
- Family therapy
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Relapse prevention therapy
- Trauma therapy
At Harmony Hills, our teams of experienced and compassionate counselors, therapists, and medical professionals have the expertise to help individuals address both their addictions and mental health issues so they can return to full health. Reach out to us today to begin your recovery by calling 855.494.0357.