Making the decision to get treatment for an addiction is already a very difficult and frightening change to go through. Receiving a dual diagnosis of an addiction combined with a mental illness can be a devastating blow as you worry about what to do next. How can you recover from your addiction while coping with the symptoms of your mental illness at the same time?
The important thing to understand about dual diagnosis is that it is a very common problem for people with substance abuse issues. Mental illness and addiction often go hand in hand because the two problems are closely related. People with mental health problems frequently turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their issues and substances tend to worsen a person’s mental health.
Whether you had a pre-existing mental illness or your drug use caused some symptoms to appear, it is crucial that you get the right kind of treatment. Someone with a dual diagnosis will not fare well at a more general addiction treatment center because they will not have the support they need to reduce the symptoms of their disorder. In the same way, someone receiving treatment for their mental illness will not make much progress if they are still abusing drugs.
Although it might seem intimidating to consider the idea of treating two disorders simultaneously, it is the only way to ensure that you are able to make a complete recovery. Special programs cater toward dual diagnosis because it is such a widespread problem. According to studies, 37 percent of alcohol abusers and 57 percent of drug abusers also have a mental illness.
Finding Help for Dual Diagnosis
Once you are diagnosed as having co-occurring disorders, the next step is to educate yourself about the problem and seek the right kind of treatment center. You can research dual diagnosis and different treatment methods that tend to have a high success rate. Look into any local programs that offer dual diagnosis inpatient care that also fit within your budget.
It is helpful to research the subject thoroughly and take your time finding the right program that will suit your needs but don’t wait too long to get help. You will need a lot of support from a treatment team in order to recover and the longer you wait the more complicated your problem will become with continued substance abuse. Dual diagnosis is a difficult problem with a high risk for self-destructive behavior and even suicide so the sooner you get help the better.
When you find a dual diagnosis treatment program that will meet your needs and suits your personal budget you can start the process of enrollment. You might first receive an assessment that will determine the severity of your addiction as well as the specific symptoms of your mental illness. This assessment and evaluation will allow the professional team to come up with a customized treatment plan that will provide the best results.
Comprehensive and Inclusive Treatment
Patients with a dual diagnosis will benefit the most from treatment programs that include group and family therapy as well as counseling and education. Someone with a dual diagnosis needs to understand as much as possible about their own mental illness which may be a new idea to them. They may have lived for years with the symptoms but never understood that they had a specific disorder.
It will take time and patience to learn how to cope with a mental illness while you are in addiction recovery. Group therapy can be an especially helpful way to understand more about how your mental illness has affected you by hearing other people’s stories. If they have the same disorder you might relate to their experiences and begin to get a better idea of the bigger picture of having a mental illness.
Family therapy is especially important because every close member of your family also needs to learn about and understand your illness as well as your addiction. They need to know how to handle your symptoms and provide their support throughout your recovery. When family becomes more educated it tends to help the individual to continue their success as they return back home.
People who have been given a dual diagnosis need lots of regular sessions of psychotherapy to address both their addiction and the treatment for their mental illness. Therapists who have extensive experience in treating people with a dual diagnosis will understand how to support each patient in recovery. Therapy can be a transformative experience that makes it possible for people to move on from many of the difficulties that have plagued them for years.
If you have just received a dual diagnosis, make sure to find a rehab facility that specializes in dual diagnosis care so that you can receive the best treatment possible.