How to Know If You Need Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

How to Know If You Need Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Dual diagnosis conditions occur far more often than many people might realize. Some statistics suggest as many as half of those who seek treatment to address and overcome a drug or alcohol use disorder also experience symptoms related to a mental illness (or vice versa). Often they may not realize they have a dual diagnosis despite experiencing a range of symptoms linked to mental health and substance abuse.


Ongoing struggles with mental health frequently lead to self-medication as a way to cope and reduce how significantly symptoms interfere with your day-to-day life. Using substances as a coping tool frequently leads to dependence on substances and, eventually, addiction. Conversely, those who struggle with an ongoing substance use disorder may experience new or worsening mental health challenges linked to drug or alcohol abuse.


What is a Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis conditions occur when someone struggles with a substance use disorder and a simultaneously occurring mental health diagnosis. When someone presents with dual diagnosis symptoms, medical and mental health providers may struggle to develop a treatment plan to address both conditions as they are often deeply intertwined and share similar root causes. The symptoms you may experience with a dual diagnosis often overlap. This means it is impossible to treat one illness without incorporating treatment for the other. Attempting to treat only one condition is also less than adequate or beneficial for the patient as it does not fully address the root causes of their illness.


What is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

In an Illinois dual diagnosis treatment program, your medical and mental health professionals will work with you to develop a dual diagnosis treatment plan that focuses on all areas of your health and overall wellness. Using evidence-based therapy models, we will help you learn more about identifying thoughts and behaviors that lead to harmful habits. Therapy tools will help you alter your mindset in favor of safer, healthier coping strategies that do not involve drugs or alcohol.


Another significant benefit to choosing a dual-diagnosis treatment program is learning how to identify triggers. When you struggle with a mental health condition, many day-to-day things can be triggering. People, places, situations, and even obligations and responsibilities may lead to mental health or substance use challenges. Learning how to manage triggering things without using drugs or alcohol is a vital part of recovery from a dual diagnosis condition. Learning about and practicing healthy coping strategies to handle triggers is also a critical element of ongoing recovery and relapse prevention.


What Disorders Are Commonly Considered Dual Diagnosis Disorders?

Dual diagnosis conditions occur frequently; however, some combinations of addiction and mental illness occur with a greater frequency than others. These include:

  • Major depression (clinical depression) and cocaine addiction
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and alcohol addiction
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and opioid addiction
  • Bipolar disorder and alcohol addiction
  • Schizophrenia and marijuana addiction
  • Eating disorders and appetite suppressants
  • Anxiety disorder and prescription drug addiction (also alcohol and illicit substances)
  • Personality and mood disorders and alcohol addiction


How to Know if You Need Dual Diagnosis Treatment

If you or a loved one struggles with a dual diagnosis, the greatest opportunities for recovery are found when you seek dual diagnosis treatment. Treatment that addresses the therapeutic treatment needs of both conditions is a vital part of your recovery journey. Although treatment of any kind is an important first step, choosing a program that addresses the needs of only one condition increases your potential for relapse in symptoms and a return to using drugs or alcohol to cope.


It is essential to mention that all licensed treatment programs provide comprehensive, evidence-based care to help you overcome addiction or manage your mental health symptoms. However, not all treatment programs are designed to address and treat the unique needs of dual diagnosis conditions. Therefore, it is vital to choose a program like Brightside Recovery, where our team of providers understands the deeply interconnected nature of mental health and substance addiction.


We will work side by side with you to develop a treatment plan using proven therapies that can help you understand and better manage the symptoms of both conditions. As a part of therapy, you will learn about the root causes or triggering situations that may worsen your mental health or addiction symptoms. We will help you learn about and practice vital relapse prevention skills you can take with you to help you maintain lasting recovery. If you are ready to put dual diagnosis challenges in the past, contact us today to learn more about dual diagnosis treatment at Brightside Recovery.

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