Dual Diagnosis Problem

Every year, thousands of people are finding that they’re suffering from mental illness and getting over the strong urge to practice substance abuse. This makes finding a treatment method and effectively sticking to it a lot more complex than usual. Dual diagnosis is the term for a type of treatment that treats both addiction and mental health. In fact, according to recent studies from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, people who suffer from mental illnesses account for one third of those who report substance abuse. These numbers are also only the ones reported from people who took a survey, so the amount could potentially be much larger. Understanding how this cycle forms and effectively dealing with it is key to ensure your health is protected in the long run. Let’s break down some key things to remember about addiction in general, dealing with co-existing disorders, and the best way to find genuine help.

Stress and anxiety can cause dual disorders.

  • Symptoms play off of one another. Often, specific drugs can cause issues that trigger mental health symptoms like delusion, depression, and anxiety that aren’t fun to deal with at all. When someone becomes under the influence, especially several times a week, these symptoms become much more pronounced than usual in comparison to being sober. As the drug’s effects wear off, these symptoms can remain as an existing disorder that leads to poor decision making, extremely negative feelings during the “come down”, and a sense of stress and urgency to take the substance another time to return to feeling “normal”. If you’re dealing with a substance abuse, it’s imperative to understand that the mental illness you’re experiencing is likely to cause of taking it so often during your daily life.
  • ADHD is another common mental illness that is paired with substance abuse. It’s defined as a chronic condition that includes impulsive behaviors or difficulty with attention, but for those who develop it later in life they may aim to self-medicate. Adults can try to avoid seeking a doctor and grow a dependency on drugs like marijuana or alcohol to cope with the symptoms that come with it. Nearly fifteen percent of people who reported having ADHD had a difficult time not relying on another substance to combat it. Actively avoiding this link can lead to serious consequences, so I urge you to seek a holistic treatment plan as soon as possible.
  • Common signs of co-occurring disorders can be subtle to almost in your face. You may be feeling helpless about the plateau of your situation, lose interest in the people or daily activities that once gave you happiness, or you may be seeing changes in your weight or sleep. You could also experience a dramatic loss of energy to get through your day, a difficulty with focusing on important tasks, and feel oncoming emotions of anger that express your frustration. All in all, the addition of taking drugs with mental illness symptoms are pretty draining and can seriously affect aspects of your life like your school performance, professional career, family life, and other relationships.
  • Pursuing treatment isn’t difficult. When it comes to helping yourself deal with a dual disorder, treating one problem as more important and urgent than the other can make the issue much worse. You need to treat your mental illness by connecting to a local counseling center, support group, or even an online professional who can recommend your next best step. You’ll also find that sharing your emotions and experiences by being more open will allow others to share their perspective as well. As for drug recovery, a local addiction treatment center is the best route to detoxify your system the right way. Starting a series of psychotherapy sessions is a preferred method to jump start drug recovery as it helps people look at their substance abuse habits on a much deeper level, work on staying clean, and develop a customized plan to combat their temptations.
  • Relapse isn’t the end of the world. Don’t get too discouraged if you relapse at any point in time during your recovery. Slips in your progress can happen, but with enough discipline you can get back on to making positive changes. The important thing to remember is to keep a record of what environmental changes, social changes, or diet fluctuations happened while you relapsed so you can avoid a similar situation in the future.
  • Look to the holistic lifestyle. No, you don’t have to become an expert in yoga or breathe in lavender perfume everyday like the name suggests. What I’m advising to you is to incorporate just a few healthy tweaks in your lifestyle to see a change. Whether it’s swapping out processed foods for organic ones, listening to music in the morning to help you reflect on your goals, or starting a new exercise class in your local gym, giving your body physical attention is great for strengthening your mind. Your mental health and physical health are closely correlated so you want to be giving both aspects as much help as it deserves to create change.

Don’t Give Up

It’s not the end of your life if you’re going through a dual-disorder. You are in charge of how your future will progress and it all comes down to the little decisions you make every day. Building up a strong habit of making wholesome choices for your body is the key to effectively recovering from any substance abuse or mental illness. Seeking a dual diagnosis treatment center is also helpful so you can get professional advice and input on how to create a rehab plan that fits your needs, lifestyle, and environment. The worst thing to do is to believe that recovery is a one size fits all type of process, because everyone at the end of the day is entirely different. We all have our own fears, desires, and goals for our life so never settle for a method that doesn’t fit right with what you ultimately want!


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