Psychiatric disorders alone can be difficult to manage. There are literally hundreds of diagnosable mental health problems. When combined with addiction, both the disorder and the addiction will worsen. Appropriate simultaneous treatment is necessary to arrest both diseases and relieve the unmanageability, dysfunction, and consequences associated with both.
If you feel out of control, intense fear, or a host of other extreme moods and you have been using drugs and alcohol to manage your feelings, you may be suffering from a dual diagnosis. Recovery Connection can help you find a quality comprehensive medically based treatment program to help you address both problems. Don’t let another day pass without help. Call 866-812-8231 now.
A psychiatric disorder is described as consistent behaviors and moods that create extreme discomfort that persist throughout every aspect of a person’s life. These disorders impact both mood and behavior. Disorders and mental health problems can impair normal thought processes, emotional or behavioral functioning, and can cause inappropriate behavior and social difficulties. There are a number of factors that contribute to the presence of a psychiatric disorder. These can include:
Mental health problems are psychiatric or psychological illnesses that interfere with daily life. If you are depressed, you may have trouble getting out of bed, connecting with people, or finishing tasks. If you are anxious, it might be hard to relax, concentrate, or fall asleep. According to the World Health Organization, almost 50% of mental health disorders show up before age 14 and depression is the leading cause of disability.
“Mental illness represents four of the top six sources of disability from medical causes for Americans ages 15-41; suicide accounts for more deaths each year than either homicide or AIDS. Recent estimates put the economic costs of treating mental disorders at $150 billion, with elements of these costs increasing beyond 20 percent per year”.
Because of the complexity of psychiatric disorders and mental health problems, and at times the overlapping symptoms associated with each disorder, The American Psychiatric Association developed a method of categorizing and identifying conditions that are outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Every several years, a panel of experts, review the classification system and the symptoms of mental health disorders and make revisions that allow for more accurate diagnosis. Once a mental health disorder has been identified, the appropriate treatment can be determined.
There are a number of factors that contribute to the onset of psychiatric disorders or mental health problems such as genetics, or the ability to handle stress as well as environmental, emotional, behavioral and neurobiological. Brain disruptions influence every aspect of a person’s life including work, education, family, social life and finances. The sad reality is that often people who suffer from mood disorders, or other mental health disorders, such as those mentioned above, are not diagnosed. They feel out of control and do not know why. Sometimes, they turn to drugs and/or alcohol to minimize the impact of the mood, the fear, or the psychosis. Perhaps, there is initial relief but, soon, the body develops a tolerance for the drugs or alcohol and the need for more is necessary. An addiction has developed. The original cause for emotional and physical discomfort is now compounded by the addiction which, in turn, can worsen the symptoms of the mental health disorder.
Sadly, people can live their lives with intense fears, feelings of sadness, or confusion and never seek medical help. These people are unaware that addiction makes mental health disorders worse while complicating an appropriate diagnosis. Drugs and alcohol may temporarily relieve the emotional pain, but ultimately they lead to even greater consequences as the addiction progresses. Alternatively, an addicted person ‘s brain chemistry is altered which can lead to a myriad of emotional and psychiatric conditions that mimic psychosis, or worse, create a frank psychosis.
- Anxiety Disorders
- Bipolar Disorder / Maniac Depression
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Schizoaffective Disorder
Drugs and alcohol can make a psychiatric disorder or mental health problem worse, increasing the symptoms of anxiety, paranoia, or depression for example. Drug addiction can also create new mental health disorders in addition to the original problem. Indulging in self-medicating behaviors for an extended period of time is a sign of addiction.
According to a Department of Justice report of drug abuse and mental illness, in 2002, 4 million Americans suffered from a serious mental disorder and a substance dependence. People with the following comorbid psychiatric disorders were at greatest risk for drug abuse. In order of those at greatest risk:
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Manic episode
- Panic Disorder
- Major depressive episode
Proper treatment for psychiatric disorders combined with substance abuse treatment can give you a new perspective on life. Don’t go another day undiagnosed or receiving inappropriate treatment. Call 866-812-8231 and get the right treatment for you needs.
A primary issue of concern tends to be the shuffling of patients back and forth between psychiatric and alcohol or drug treatment services. This creates more problems in the long run, as both conditions can worsen with time. Addiction rehab programs must be staffed by professional experts in the diagnosis and treatment of co-existing disorders. The inability of staff to appropriately diagnose and treat mental health disorders and drug or alcohol addiction simultaneously is problematic.
A person suffering from both a psychiatric disorder (mental health disorder) as well as an addiction needs to get treatment in a drug addiction rehab center with dual diagnosis therapies. An addiction rehab program that does not provide treatment for the dually diagnosed cannot help an addict with the disorder fully recover. Without treating both the disorder and the addiction, both problems will progress. Be aware that not all drug addiction treatment programs are able to handle a person suffering from dual diagnosis.
A variety of treatments are available for comorbid psychiatric disorders such as psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychotropic medications, self-help groups, hypnosis, and ECT (electro convulsive therapy). These treatment modalities must be blended with the substance abuse treatment provided in order to develop a comprehensive, cohesive treatment plan.
A dual diagnosis program should include:
- Dual diagnosis education
- Medication management
- Varied therapeutic modalities
- Family therapy
- Individual and group therapy
- Individualized treatment plans
- Job training
- Exercise and nutrition counseling
- Relapse prevention for mental health disorders and addiction
- Aftercare plans
Often the connection between mental health disorders and drug or alcohol abuse are not made. Without the dual diagnosis, odds are increased that the untreated mental health disorder or the untreated addiction will result in a person returning to the use of drugs and alcohol and the mental health disorder worsening. Simultaneous treatment is needed. A dual diagnosis treatment program serves the needs of an addict struggling with mental health problems by addressing substance abuse and the underlying mental illness simultaneously.
Learn more about mental health, mental health treatment, and the most common mental health problems associated with addiction to drugs and alcoholism.
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