When a person has a drug or alcohol addiction, he or she may also have a mental health disorder. Someone who has both of these is given a dual diagnosis. However, many people do not understand dual diagnosis or the different treatments a person with dual diagnosis may need.
Dual diagnosis is a state of being that can affect the quality of addiction treatment as well as the treatments that are necessary. When a person is dual diagnosed, it refers to the fact that he or she is both addicted to drugs or alcohol and suffer from a mental health disorder (often also referred to as a mood disorder).
Many people try to assign blame when they find out they have two simultaneous disorders. This, however, is not the point of being dual diagnosed. What is the emphasis is that the two conditions coexist and both need to be treated at the same time in order to heal and overcome both.
If you are suffering for co-occurring disorders, call Albany Drug Rehab at (518) 626-8504.
A wide variety of mental health disorders can occur at the same time as a drug or alcohol addiction. However, each one has a slightly different effect on the human brain and psyche. Similarly, different types of addictive drugs have specific effects on the brain and psyche as well. Because of these effects, some mental health disorders tend to coincide with addictions more often than others. Some examples include:
Eating Disorders and Addiction
Eating disorders revolve around negative body image, body dysmorphia (seeing yourself differently that you actually are and being obsessed with an unattainable ideal), an unhealthy relationship with food, and obsessive and compulsive behaviors regarding food consumption and exercise.
People who suffer from eating disorders as well as addiction more often than not develop addictions to stimulants. Stimulants excite the central nervous system. As a side effect, these drugs often will make a person feel far more energetic sometimes to a manic state in which they do not sleep at all until the drug tapers down. These drugs also cause the appetite to reduce.
OCD and Addiction
OCD (short for obsessive-compulsive disorder) is a mental health disorder that has two primary components. The first is obsessive thoughts. In other words a person has repeated fixated thoughts that continue ad nauseam for a prolonged period of time. These obsessive thoughts are then paired with the second side of the mental health disorder, compulsive behaviors that are designed to help a person to alleviate or relieve their obsessions, at least temporarily. An example of this is an obsessive fear of contamination paired with compulsive hand-washing.
OCD usually pairs with an addiction to opiates. Opiates are drugs with extremely potent and powerful effects, which include blocking out physical pain as well as calming the mind and body by slowing the breathing and heart rate. And finally, they also cause the release of large amounts of dopamine, making a person feel a wave of pleasure. Examples of opiates include heroin, morphine, codeine and Vicodin.
Psychotherapy is a form of counseling in which therapists and patients deal with the mental health disorder through open forum discussions between the therapist and their patient. These discussions are designed to help a person understand the reasons they developed both disorders in the first place and ways that they can resolve both issues.
Psychopharmacology involves treating a mental health disorder with prescription medications. This is closely monitored when a person has an existing addiction already.
Albany Drug Rehab can help you deal with your dual diagnosis. Call us at (518) 626-8504 today!
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