- Written by Marcel Gemme C.C.D.C
What is Dual Diagnosis?
You have used drugs most of your teen years and young adult life. You cannot see yourself living without them. However, they have damaged your mind in such a way that not only are you a drug addict; you now suffer from a mental illness such as depression, delusions, paranoia, panic disorders. You now have a . This means you have a substance abuse problem and a mental illness, and both have to be dealt with.
Maybe you have not used drugs. However, you find yourself not able to make it through the morning without resorting to take a sip or two from the little thermos you carry in your briefcase or your purse. You are an alcoholic and have a dual diagnosis.
Whether it is alcohol or drugs, both run concurrently with mental illness problems. A dual diagnosis means not only that you have both conditions, addiction and a form of mental illness, but that both need to be recognized and treated.
A rehabilitation center recognizes that a dual diagnosis does exist and can work towards treating both. Medical and psychological professionals and counselors can work with the patient to find a route that works best for each individual situation. It is understood that one benefits from both conditions being treated because if you work on one and leave the other at the side of the road, you are just defeating the purpose and the hope for a successful withdrawal is limited. Only by treating dual diagnosis can one be assured of the greatest hope for success and helps minimize the possibility of entrapping one's self in a relapse.
Dual diagnosis is actually fairly common and can be treated properly when recognized. Choosing the right treatment program can mean the difference between success and failure. Family interventions and intake assessments will help determine which program is best for you.