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Simplified Guide: Co-Occurring Disorders And Dual Diagnosis Treatment!

It is not rare for a patient to have both substance abuse issues and mental illness, and that’s what co-occurring disorders are all about. This simply means that a patient has two distinct problems – one is substance abuse (drugs and alcohol), while other is a mental health issue, such as anxiety and depression. Going by studies, the number of patients suffering from co-occurring disorders is huge all over the world, and this is where dual diagnosis treatment comes in the picture. In this post, we take a look at both, with focus on some of the basic aspects like symptoms.

Understanding co-occurring disorders

Let’s start by understanding a simple case of co-occurring disorder. For example, if a person has anxiety about certain things, he may have not asked for help in time, and instead, he may have tried to reduce the anxiety through alcohol. In this case, alcohol abuse and anxiety are two distinct problems, but both impact one another, because alcohol may have a rebound effect or can make things worse as far as anxiety is concerned. The idea of dual diagnosis treatment is to reduce dependency on substances, while treating the mental issue at the same time. Another good example is cocaine addiction, and patients who have this kind of addiction often also have psychiatric issues.

Symptoms worth knowing

Before you consider dual-diagnosis treatment or consult a therapist to know your choices, you have to first find the symptoms of co-occurring disorders. In most cases, patients need to depend on drugs, substances and alcohol to feel normal. Patients may be prone to erratic behavior, isolation, anger issues, irritation, depression and anxiety. Sometimes, the emotional highs and lows are so extreme that a patient may feel the need to go back to substance abuse, even when it feels like quitting.

Seeking help

If you have co-occurring disorders or want to consider dual-diagnosis treatment for someone you love, you have to select a reliable center where you can get the best possible care and treatment. Check with the therapists and follow their advice. For some cases, dual-diagnosis treatment is an obvious choice, but for many cases, therapists and experts may choose a different line of treatment. Don’t shy away from asking relevant questions and make sure you are not self-medicating or using drugs that have been not been prescribed.

With dual-diagnosis treatment, co-occurring disorders can be managed better and treated with a good success rate.

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