Drug and alcohol addictions do not occur in a vacuum completely separate from other health issues. As such, sometimes when a person has a dual diagnosis, they require special treatment for their conditions in order to fully recover. In order to ensure that you get the right treatment for your drug or alcohol addiction if you are dual diagnosed, you need to understand the condition and how it needs to be treated. To learn more about how you can overcome the struggles of a dual diagnosis, contact Alcohol Treatment Centers New Haven at (203) 388-1729.
When an expert refers to dual diagnosis, what they are referring to is the coexistence or co-occurrence of two disorders. One of these disorders, of course, is the addiction to drugs or alcohol. The other is a mental health disorder or mood disorder.
If you are so afflicted, your first instinct is to assign blame to one disorder or the other for causing the other one. However, either the mental health disorder can cause the addition or the addiction can cause the mental health disorder. Being dual diagnosed is not about assigning blame, but about the co-existence of the two disorders and recovering from both.
When it comes to being dual diagnosed, virtually any combination of mental health disorder and drug abuse can occur. However, in reality, some mental health disorders occur with specific addictions more often than others. A few examples include:
Depression is an extremely common mental health disorder. It affects millions upon millions of people every year, and that is only those who are diagnosed with the disorder. The most common symptoms of depression include immense and intense sadness for prolonged periods of time, suicidal thoughts, and feelings of helplessness or hopelessness. This can also lead to social isolation, feelings of physical pain, and other issues.
If a person has an addiction in addition to depression, it is often to alcohol. Alcohol is a drug that when consumed stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical responsible for feelings of happiness and pleasure, and as such will temporarily counter the effects of depression in the brain and body.
OCD is a mental health disorder known as a panic or anxiety disorder in mental health categorizations. The acronym is short for obsessive compulsive disorder. OCD is characterized by two factors. A person with this issue has thoughts that are uncontrollable, repeated and fixated and actions that are equally uncontrollable that are related to those obsessive thought patterns.
Some of the common symptoms of OCD can include obsessive cleaning and hand washing, repeated behaviors in specific numbers and sequences, hoarding, or other disruptive patterns of behavior, as well as fixated and consuming thoughts, an inability to focus, and social isolation.
The addiction that most commonly occurs alongside OCD is to opiates. Opiates have dual effects in the body. First, they block out sensations of pain by bonding to pain receptors throughout the body. Secondly, the affect the brain stem, effectively slowing down the basic operations in the body such as breathing and the heart rate.
This causes a person to feel immensely relaxed and calm which helps a person to overcome their compulsive behaviors and quell their obsessive thoughts. However, the drugs are also quite dangerous. Some examples include OxyContin, Vicodin, and morphine.
Psychotherapy is a form of counseling in which the bulk of treatment occurs as discussions between the therapist and the patient. The idea is to help the person to realize the reasons they developed a mental health disorder, deal with those issues through thoughtful discussion and exercises, and develop coping mechanisms to prevent relapse of both conditions.
Psychopharmacology is a complicated word for a simple concept. It focuses on treating a mental health disorder with prescription drugs. This is carefully monitored and controlled when a person has a history of abuse to prevent relapse and future addictions.