Dual diagnosis is the diagnostic term for those suffering from both the disease of addiction and mental illness. Over the years, studies have found that someone suffering with a psychological disorder or psychiatric disease is at higher risk for potentially abusing drugs and alcohol. In fact, many of those who battle mental illness will turn to drugs and alcohol in an attempt to self medicate. Unfortunately, the use of alcohol and drugs will exacerbate an already existing mental health issue, worsening the symptoms and thus furthering the progression of both disorders. In addition, those who are taking medication for the treatment of psychiatric disorders and continue to abuse drugs and alcohol not only interfere with the effectiveness of their medication, but run the risk of suffering serious medical complications as a result of mixing prescription drugs with alcohol and/or illicit drugs.
Some symptoms a person with a dual diagnosis may exhibit are:
- Restlessness and irritability
- Thoughts of suicide
- Lack of impulse control
- Addictive behaviors, such as excessive drinking and/or drug use, excessive spending, gambling, high risk sexual behavior
- Racing thoughts
- Sleeping too much
- Loss of energy
- Overwhelming feelings of sadness and grief
- Unintentional weight loss or gain
- Sudden and inexplicable outbursts and/or violent behavior
- Difficulty focusing
- Loss of interest in activities that once brought enjoyment
- Fear of people and/or social situations
In order to achieve long-term sobriety, both disorders must be treated concurrently. Addicts that have had difficulty staying sober in the past may be unaware that they are suffering from co-occurring disorders. Psychological disorders may obscure the symptoms of addiction and vice versa. It is imperative for any alcoholic or addict seeking treatment to undergo a thorough psychiatric evaluation done by medical professionals, in addition to a drug and alcohol evaluation, in order to be properly assessed and diagnosed.
Relapse prevention for both illnesses is an important part of maintaining your sobriety. Aftercare treatment plans include follow up appointments with a psychiatrist and monitoring of any prescription medications, in addition to the attendance of 12 step meetings.
Recovering Souls can place you in a treatment center that specializes in dual diagnosis treatment. Our treatment centers are staffed with medical professionals and licensed and certified therapists and addiction specialists. Our facilities utilize the latest research in order to provide clients with cutting edge medical care. We use a variety of therapeutic modalities and, if necessary, medication to treat psychiatric disorders. We believe in the healing power of Jesus Christ and have witnessed our clients’ lives transformed by the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. We believe, as do the leading experts in the field of addiction, that to provide the most effective and comprehensive treatment, you must treat the mind, body, and soul. To start receiving treatment for your dual diagnosis, contact Recovering Souls today.