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Dual Diagnosis: What Are Examples of This Condition?

Person looking at themselves in the mirror and thinking about dual diagnosis examples

In the past, addiction and mental health conditions were treated separately with little or no coordination. It was eventually discovered that a coordinated approach to treating co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders was far more effective. This dual diagnosis treatment was a game changer for countless people who could recover successfully because their mental health was treated simultaneously.

At Virtue Recovery Killeen, we offer dual diagnosis treatment that incorporates the expertise and insights of a team of clinicians and support personnel devoted to your wellness and recovery. To learn about examples of dual diagnoses and how treatment for co-occurring disorders works, contact us today by completing this online form or calling [Direct].

What Is a Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis refers to two conditions co-occurring in a single individual—a substance use disorder (SUD) and another mental health condition. Since mental health and substance use are intertwined for many people, a dual diagnosis indicates the need for coordinated, synchronous treatment.

Mental health issues are risk factors for addiction. More than half of people with a mental health disorder will abuse substances and potentially become addicted. Conversely, addiction worsens the symptoms of mental health conditions. The escalation in the severity of co-occurring conditions makes dual diagnosis treatment especially important.

Dual Diagnosis Examples

Examples of dual diagnosis are a substance use disorder (SUD) co-occurring with any of the following mental health diagnoses:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Major depressive disorder or generalized depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Personality disorders
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Schizophrenia

People with one of the above mental health challenges often turn to substances to lessen their symptoms. This is called self-medication, which is dangerous and often leads to substance misuse and addiction. Someone with extreme anxiety may have social challenges or difficulty functioning at work. Drugs with sedative effects, such as alcohol or benzos, will mute anxiety but lead to other problems. Grief over losing a parent or spouse can lead to chronic depression. Uppers like cocaine or meth can take that away temporarily, and alcohol can dull the pain. But at what risk?

Many mental health symptoms seem to be alleviated by the use of drugs or alcohol. Whether someone is driven to distraction by compulsions, hears voices, lives with constant, crippling PTSD flashbacks, or feels hopeless and that life has no meaning—they may well turn to substances to function, which can easily lead to addiction and thus a dual diagnosis.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Benefits

You will be well-served in an evidence-based, dual diagnosis treatment program like the one at Virtue Recovery Killeen. Some of the benefits of this approach include:

  • Coordinated treatment – Therapists who provide dual diagnosis treatment understand both issues and can balance the approaches so that the symptoms of one condition do not interfere with the progress of the other.
  • Life skills – You will learn skills to help you with both addiction recovery and mental health to manage both post-discharge. Dual diagnosis therapeutic support can also continue beyond the end of rehab.
  • Individual and family therapy – Addressing your addiction in light of your mental health can help you and your family understand your situation, destigmatize your disorders, and gain support and knowledge. You will learn to advocate for yourself.
  • Long-term recovery success – When co-occurring disorders are treated in a dual diagnosis program, your recovery and mental health outcomes improve.

Addiction treatment that does not address a co-occurring mental health disorder, or vice versa, is almost always ineffective. The best approach to recovery and mental health is to receive professional, evidence-based dual diagnosis treatment.

Find Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Texas at Virtue Recovery Killeen

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you address your substance use disorder and any underlying mental health challenges. Our number is [Direct], or you can complete this form to connect.

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