Medical Services

Tips on How to Deal with Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis is commonly referred to as co-occurring disorders and is a term that is used to describe someone who has a substance use disorder and a mental illness at the same time. It is difficult to tell which disorder develops first either the mental illness or substance use. For instance, a person experiencing a mental health condition can turn to alcohol or drugs to improve their condition.


Dual diagnosis symptoms come in two forms: Substance abuse symptoms: These include high tolerance and withdrawal symptoms, behavior change, engaging in risky behavior, losing control over substance use and withdrawing from friends and family members. Mental health conditions symptoms: These include mood changes, concentration problems, suicidal thoughts, confusion and avoiding friends.

What you Should Know About The Dual Diagnosis

Here is everything you should know about dual diagnosis treatment. Dual diagnosis is far from being a rare phenomenon. People consider those that are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction as having a certain form of mental condition. However, there are others who find this to be a baseless argument.

Dual diagnosis assumes many forms. Therefore, anyone who has a combination of mental conditions such as anxiety disorder, depression, bipolar and addiction of any kind, such as gambling, sex, drugs or alcohol can be considered as a dual diagnosis patient. Treating the condition can prove to be quite challenging. This is due to the fact that, it is difficult to know where the symptoms are emanating from. For instance, if a patient is suffering from depression, it is hard to know whether the disease is being caused by their drug addiction or mental illness. Moreover, depression can be paired up with several conditions. Therefore, it is hard for the medical professional to discover the root cause in order to determine the right diagnosis. Consider reading an article on depression that offers valuable insights into how to handle the condition. People with dual diagnoses are considered high-risk patients. In addition, patients with dual diagnoses have to contend with the anguish that comes with mental illness and that can be quite complicated. Furthermore, more often than not, the complications are immense and can trigger suicidal and violent tendencies. Several facilities are not equipped to handle dual diagnoses. Therefore, it is difficult to handle these cases without suitable facilities. Institutions that have psychiatric staff are in a better position to handle them.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment:

Detoxification: People with dual diagnoses often have to pass through detoxification in order to get well. Therefore, it is important to be admitted in a place whereby trained medical staff can monitor the person all the time and ensure that they are performing according to the doctor’s instructions. Inpatient rehabilitation: A person who has a mental illness and depends on substance use will be best placed in a rehabilitation center. In these treatment centers, they will be offered therapy, medication, support, and health services to be able to cure this disorder and any underlying issues. Psychotherapy: The most effective treatment of dual diagnosis is psychotherapy. This includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) whereby patients with the dual diagnosis will be taught how to cope and change their behavior especially in regard to substance use. Medications: A patient with a dual diagnosis will benefit from the right medication. Consequently, they will be able to handle their condition successfully.