Things You Should Know About Dual Diagnosis
Alcohol addiction is a medical disorder, one that destroys both the lives of the person living with the issue and the lives of those who love them. Mental health, physical health, and emotional health all deteriorate when chronic alcohol abuse is an issue. Dual diagnosis is a term for when someone experiences a mental illness and a substance use disorder at the same time.
Those with specific mental illness are less likely to be able to limit their alcohol consumption. A diagnosis such as bipolar disorder or severe anxiety means that the individual may have trouble finding steady ground even when sober. These people depend entirely on alcohol for survival and experience restlessness when alcohol is unavailable.
When Does A Patient Need Dual Diagnosis?
When the patient is living with both alcohol dependence and a mental health diagnosis like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other disorders, as per research, alcoholics are more likely than the sober people to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
The National Institute of Alcohol abuse and alcoholism study found that patients with a history of alcohol addiction were more than four times as likely to experience a major depressive episode as those without a history of alcohol addiction and abuse.
Treatment Of Dual Diagnosis
When a patient is dealing with issues related to both alcohol addiction and a mental health disorder, it is necessary to receive medical treatment for both problems at the same time. In the past, it was believed that addiction should be treated before the mental health issue. However, it was quickly found that it was almost impossible for Dual Diagnosis patients to avoid relapse in early recovery when they weren’t receiving treatment for their mental health symptoms.
Often patients turned to alcohol to self-medication their mental health issues, and these untreated symptoms can serve as a trigger for relapse without effective medical and psychotherapeutic intervention.
Those individuals with a dual diagnosis can slip into any number of addictive behaviors, i.e., drugs, gambling, forced sex, etc. For those suffering from mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, depression or anxiety, alcohol can be used as a crutch to deal with the more advanced and distressing symptoms.
It is crucial for an individual with mental illness and alcohol addiction to receive proper treatment; he must enter an alcohol rehab facility that treats dual diagnosis patients. Having all of a patient’s addiction and psychiatric treatment under one roof helps improve the quality and efficiency of the care immensely.