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Coping with a Dual Diagnosis

dual diagnosis identifying and coping

Updated on

Coping with a Dual Diagnosis

dual diagnosis identifying and coping
Worried About Dual Diagnosis? There’s Help.

You weren’t like other addicts you knew. Your situation seemed more complicated than others. You didn’t drink because you liked to drink or get high because you simply liked getting high. Something else was fueling your drinking and drug use. You struggled with depression, anxiety, racing thoughts, extreme changes in emotions or even heard voices.

After you entered treatment, you get the news that you have dual diagnosis, mental health and addictions issues at the same time. This diagnosis is shocking, but at the same time it made sense. There’s a reason behind your thoughts, feelings and behaviors–it’s not just the alcohol or drugs.

Barriers to Recovery

You might feel like you’re the only person in this situation, but having a dual diagnosis is common. Many people with mental health issues try to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, and some people abuse drugs and alcohol to the point they develop mental disorders. Whichever the case, people with one or both problems avoid seeking treatment.

Reasons for not getting dual diagnosis treatment:

  1. Addict’s denial
  2. Misdiagnosis
  3. No access to the right type of treatment

These barriers in your recovery can cause your life to get even more complicated and the problems stack up even higher.

Overcoming Barriers

If you receive a dual diagnosis, don’t despair. There are things that can help you get through this initial shock and get you focused on recovery.

  1. Learn all you can about dual diagnosis. You’ll see that it’s not such a strange or scary thing. And the best part is that it is treatable.
  2. Get the right type of treatment. Dual diagnosis treatment includes focusing on addiction AND your mental health at the same time.
  3. Find support from loved ones, meetings and groups.

Being prepared for the new road of mental health and sobriety makes the journey seem possible.

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