How Do I Know if I Have a Dual Diagnosis Disorder?

Posted by Amos Fred on November 18th, 2019

Struggling with a substance use disorder is tough. But wading through drug addiction and mental health challenges at the same time can feel overwhelming. Mental health problems can make it tough to cope, treat, and recover from drug addiction while drugs can make mental illness symptoms to become more severe.

This quick guide will help you know if you or a person you care about needs dual diagnosis treatment in under 10 minutes.

What does it mean to have a dual diagnosis?          

People who experience diagnosed mental illness and substance abuse symptoms simultaneously are said to have a dual diagnosis. A co-occurring disorder is another term used to refer to the dual diagnosis symptoms.

Either the mental health challenge or the substance abuse issue can come first. 

How common is dual diagnosis?

In the U.S. alone, about 9.2 million Americans struggled with dual diagnosis disorder in 2018, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). About 17% of adults in the population have co-occurring disorders.

What are the signs that you need dual diagnosis treatment?

There are dual diagnosis symptoms you can watch out for to see if you, a loved one, friend or another person has a dual diagnosis disorder.

  • Started drinking or using drugs to try and deal with anxiety, depression, or other mental health challenges
  • Dramatic mood swings and energy level changes
  • Emotional outbursts such as crying out loud while feeling helpless  
  • Have withdrawal symptoms
  • Have a history of trauma, including witnessing death and experiencing a horrific accident, sexual abuse, or war
  • Uses drugs and have a family history of mental illnesses
  • Engage in highly risky behaviors while under the influence, such as contemplating suicide or hurting someone else
  • Easily irritated and quick to conflicts
  • Difficulty holding down responsibilities such as a job or a personal relationship
  • Have sleep problems—insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Have appetite problems such as eating too much or not eating

These are just some of the common symptoms of dual diagnosis disorder. You may experience more and need a specialist dual diagnosis test done to be sure.

What causes dual diagnosis disorder?

Many times, people experiencing mental health problems use drugs such as marijuana, alcohol, and misuse prescription drugs to try and cope with the challenges.

Unfortunately, substance abuse causes mental illness to worsen.

Dual diagnosis recovery: How is dual diagnosis treated?

You’ll need to receive a specialized dual diagnosis program.

What is a dual diagnosis program?

That is an intensive dual diagnosis treatment aimed at helping people suffering from diagnosed mental illness and substance use disorder recovery. You no longer have to be denied mental health treatment if you are drinking, for example.

The best dual diagnosis rehab centers use a combination of treatment options such as medical-supervised detoxification, psychotherapy, and supportive housing to help with dual diagnosis recovery.

You can have the dual diagnosis disorder treated in one place to ensure consistent recovery and follow up by professionals who understand your dual diagnosis records.

What Next?

If you find out you or a close person needs dual diagnosis treatment, don’t worry. It is treatable and many people have fully recovered. Just be sure to act fast and get the best co-occurring disorder treatment from a dual diagnosis rehab you can trust. 

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Amos Fred

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Amos Fred
Joined: April 24th, 2018
Articles Posted: 205

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