The term dual Diagnosis refers to the presence of psychological disorders including but not limited to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia concurrent with the presence of drug addiction or alcoholism.
In simple words, people who suffer from depression, anxiety disorder, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (commonly termed manic depression), tend to make efforts to overcome these psychological problems or symptoms with the use of alcohol or drugs.
Whilst this ‘self-medication’ creates a temporary sense of relief from the symptoms, in reality it actually makes their condition worse as the dependence on these chemicals (drugs or alcohol) gradually increases. These psychiatric disorders thereby lead to an eventual drug addiction or alcoholism, giving rise to dual diagnosis.
Dual diagnosis also arises amongst alcoholics or those addicted to drugs when continuous addiction or alcoholism leads to depression, anxiety disorder or other psychological problems.
How Do I Know If I Have A Dual Diagnosis Issue?
A definitive diagnosis of this disorder can only be made by a clinician. However, you can ask yourself few basic questions in order to get an idea if you suffer from this condition.
The most important thing in the discovery and cure of any ailment is being honest to one’s own self in admitting the existence of a habit or condition. Being in a state of denial of a condition or symptom will only make it worse and its treatment all the more difficult and prolonged.
Some symptoms of depression:
- Feeling pessimistic about everything happening around you
- Feeling like crying all the time
- A tendancy to feel that nothing will ever go right
- Significant changes in sleeping and eating patterns
- Always feeling worried and anxious
- Thinking of committing suicide
- Avoiding socializing or not being able to enjoy things once enjoyed
These, as well as many other symptoms are indicative of depression in an individual.
Symptoms of mania or manic depression (Bipolar disorder) vary from these and include:
- Aggressive behavior
- Increased self confidence or overconfidence
- Decreased sleep without feeling tired
- Hallucinations and delusive thoughts
If you have been suffering from any of these symptoms or are already aware of your psychiatric state, you should check for the presence of addiction.
To check for alcoholism, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you tend to get aggressive or angry when people point out your drinking habits?
- Do you find yourself out of control at certain times in the day or week for the want of a drink?
- Do you tend to have withdrawal symptoms or experience a sense of being ill when you are not able to drink? This can include shivers, anger, irritability, nervousness or sweating.
- Do you have a tendency to avoid fulfilling your responsibilities towards family, friends and society?
- Do you have poor immunity towards common infections or diseases?
Similar symptoms are often noted amongst those addicted to drugs or moving towards drug addiction.
What is the Treatment for Dual Diagnosis?
Dual diagnosis treatment is a challenge which is dealt with and met by very few centers all over the world. The treatment of dual diagnosis is done only at a dual diagnosis treatment center like ours at Sovereign Health, where a team of specialists is dedicated towards taking up that challenge.
Why is Dual Diagnosis Treatment a Challenge?
Dual diagnosis treatment is often called difficult or challenging as the treatment involves addressing two major issues simultaneously treatment of the psychological disorder (including depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, etc.) and rehabilitation treatment for the addiction.
Whilst this might sound as simple as treating any two concurrent conditions, the process is far more complex. The medications involved in the treatment of the psychological disorders often produce side-effects or symptoms that can worsen the withdrawal symptoms that arise during the treatment of addiction.
Dual diagnosis treatment thus involves a very careful and selectively chosen treatment plan with a modified combination of psychotherapies, talk therapies and medications, as well as behavioral interventions. An inpatient treatment plan is usually the most effective in dual diagnosis treatment.
What to Expect From Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Each individual presents with a different set of symptoms. Therefore, dual diagnosis treatment at Sovereign Health involves a specific program, personalized to suit the particular needs of each patient, designed by the team of experts and clinicians at our dual diagnosis rehab facility.
Most importantly, dual diagnosis treatment at our dual diagnosis treatment center will begin with a correct and complete diagnosis of your condition and the problems faced by you. We have team of specialists who will put forth questionnaires carefully designed to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. Once a correct diagnosis of the condition has been achieved, our expert, experienced team will design a complete plan for recovery. This will involve Group therapies, Psychotherapies, medications and behavioral interventions, combined with other, holistic therapies designed to treat the complete individual, not just the condition.
Complete support and assistance is provided at each step of the dual diagnosis treatment plan with the help of our dedicated team of experts and specialists.
What Are The Effects Of Medications? Will I Get Addicted To Them?
The medications administered during dual diagnosis treatment at Sovereign Health are not addictive and dosages are carefully and closely monitored by our team of dual diagnosis rehab experts to minimize any adverse side effects. These medications are chemicals that alter brain functions and help you get rid of the psychiatric problem and its symptoms. Whilst these can have some side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, etc., all these side-effects are also well taken care of by our specialists. If you feel that the symptoms or side-effects of any medication is beyond your tolerance, you should report this to our dual diagnosis rehab team, when alternatives can be provided.
Dual diagnosis treatment plans involve a close watch on the fact that one stays away from alcohol or drug use. This is an extremely important aspect and cannot be overlooked as getting back to these addictions will also bring back the psychological problems.
What If I Slip Or Relapse?
There is a common fear of relapse from dual diagnosis treatment amongst a majority of patients. If you have found yourself the right dual diagnosis rehab, you have also helped yourself stay away from the danger of relapse.
At Sovereign Health, the risk of relapse, or slipping from treatment, will be taken care of with the help and support provided by our aftercare program. Our experts are available to help you utilize the skills and techniques you will have learned during treatment. . Constant support from your family or friends or health-professionals also prevents a relapse.
What Is The First Step To Be Taken By Me?
Our team of expert advisors is available 24/7. It just takes few minutes to make a call or send an email. We will take care of the rest.
All you need to do is to remind yourself: There Is Help Out There!