Many people who struggle with addiction also have a mental health disorder. This is known as a co-occurring disorder or a dual diagnosis. When someone has both an addiction and a mental health disorder, it can be hard to find an effective treatment plan for either one. There are many options for treating both of these conditions at once, and doing so can greatly enhance the chances of a successful recovery.
What Is a Dual Diagnosis?
A dual diagnosis is when a person has both an addiction and at least one mental health condition. This diagnosis is different from a single-diagnosis substance use disorder because it involves more than simply abusing drugs or alcohol. A dual diagnosis can include other types of substance abuse as well as serious mental health conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.
What exactly are the implications of a dual diagnosis, and what is the prognosis? Let’s take a closer look at how someone might develop a dual diagnosis and treatment options for people with these challenges.
You Are Not Alone
If your loved one is struggling with both an addiction and a mental health condition, you aren’t alone. Approximately one in five people with mental health conditions also have a substance use disorder. That’s why dual diagnosis treatment is so important; it provides the benefits of addressing the two conditions at once.
You might be worried that treating both your loved one’s addiction and mental health disorder will be too complicated or expensive. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available. There are also ways you can help your loved one stay motivated throughout the process. Don’t forget that often these two conditions go hand-in-hand, so addressing one will help improve the other.
The Challenge of Acceptance
One of the most challenging things about getting someone help is getting them to accept that they need it.
It’s crucial to understand that your loved one may not be ready for treatment, or if they are, it might take time for them to realize this. You can’t force someone into treatment against their will. However, you can try encouraging them to seek help and make sure they know how much you care about their well-being.
If your loved one resists getting help, try finding out why by talking with them about it in a calm and non-judgmental manner. If the issue seems insurmountable at first glance, consider asking other family members who may be able to assist financially or taking on some responsibilities while your loved one recovers from addiction.
What to Look for When Choosing a Treatment Facility
When choosing a treatment facility, it is important to ensure that the program acknowledges the dual diagnosis of mental health and substance abuse. A comprehensive dual-diagnosis treatment program should be able to treat both disorders as well as co-occurring disorders. It is also critical that the program you choose has an accredited or licensed therapist on staff.
What Questions to Ask
Ask about the qualifications of the staff. Do they have any experience in dual diagnosis treatment? How long have they been working at this facility?
Ask about the treatment plan. Will your loved one be evaluated regularly to make sure that their needs are being met? Will they be involved in a group therapy program, individual therapy, and/or family sessions when appropriate? How can you help your loved one throughout their recovery process?
Ask about success rates. Does this facility keep track of its clients’ progress over time? If so, what kinds of results should you expect for your loved one’s specific mental health issues and substance use disorder? Is this success rate comparable to the same type of treatment at other facilities?
Ask about recovery rates. What percentage of patients typically complete their stay at this facility without returning because of relapse? Does this number vary greatly depending on whether or not there were issues like depression or anxiety involved as well?
Unfortunately, many people are afraid of being honest about their struggles. This is because they fear judgment and stigmatization by society, family members, friends, and even employers.
Many people worry that if they admit their mental health issues to anyone besides their therapist or doctor (or maybe a close friend or two), it will result in losing their job, family, or home. Some even go so far as to believe that admitting their inner struggles will lead them to be institutionalized against their will.
Know the Symptoms
If your loved one is struggling with addiction, it’s essential to know what symptoms to look for so you can get them the help they need.
Look for signs of depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues
Symptoms of depression and anxiety can include:
- Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
- Decreased energy or motivation (fatigue)
- Sleep problems like insomnia or sleeping too much (hypersomnia)
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions
At Villa Oasis San Diego in California, we are here to help your loved one address the root of their co-occurring issues so that they can finally begin to enjoy life again.
If you’re struggling with a mental health condition and an addiction, it’s important to get help for both. It’s not easy to admit that you need help, but doing so will help you get the treatment and support you need.
Make sure the treatment facility you choose has staff who are trained in dual diagnosis treatment so they can address both issues at once. Keep in mind that there is no shame in seeking professional help when facing these problems.
Instead, seeking help can be a sign of strength and courage. If your loved one is showing signs of a mental health disorder along with an addiction, we can help them recover. Call Villa Oasis San Diego at (619) 373-9792.