Dual diagnosis refers to a condition where a patient has two disorders present at the same time, an addiction and a mental disorder. Mental illness and addiction are both diseases that need dual diagnosis treatment from medical professionals.
Successful recovery with dual diagnosis treatment depends greatly on addressing both simultaneously so that one disorder does not worsen at the expensive or the other being treated. There are many pitfalls to overcome as both an addict and as someone who suffers from a mental disorder and these challenges can be multiplied when both appear as part of a dual diagnosis in one patient.
Dual diagnosis treatment is available now. If you are seeking dual diagnosis treatment for yourself or a loved one, call Alcohol Treatment Centers Bay Shore at (631) 729-7145.
Neither mental illness nor addiction are unique to the modern society that we live in today although both are treated much differently than even 100 years ago.
Up until the early 1900’s people afflicted with mental illness were usually separated from society in either a hospital specifically for the mental ill or in a prison, depending on the current attitude towards the illness during the specific time. There are still hospitals for those who need full time medical care, but the predominant idea is for individuals with treatable mental disorders to be part of society as a whole.
Similarly, the goal of treating drug addiction or alcoholism is so that the person can return to leading a balanced life as part of their community, not separated from it in a facility for long periods of time. Even with modern treatment techniques for both mental disorders and addiction, cases of dual diagnosis were treated differently in the recent past.
Under what was considered traditional medical practice, if a person was diagnosed with two different illnesses then two different departments would address each diagnosis separately. So if someone was being treated for clinical depression but it was also discovered that they were addicted to pain killers, they would receive treatment from one medical area and then go to another area for the other disorder.
This shipping of patients back and forth from addiction care to psychiatric was time consuming and not productive and in the end not the best course of action for the patient. Clinicians now realize that the best results for patients with co-existing disorders is for them to be treated together under the care of one medical unit with personnel from appropriate disciplines available to take care of the different aspects of each illness.
By proceeding in this way, patients improve in all areas and one disorder is not set aside or even negatively impacted by the treatment of the other. There are many combinations of addiction and mental disorders, with some occurring more frequently than others, like alcohol addiction and depression or addiction to opiates and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Identifying that co-existing disorders are present in a patient as early as possible is advantageous to both the treatment professionals and the individual as the severity of addictions and in many cases the symptoms from mental disorders increase over time.
One way to make sure this occurs is to be 100% honest when discussing any type of medical condition with doctors or other clinical professionals. This can be hard for people with addictions as well as mental disorders because they are often embarrassed by the fact that they suffer from either and tend to withhold or water down the level of the challenges they face.
Battling co-existing disorders is a tough road to travel, but with the proper personnel involved it is a journey worth taking. For more information on dual diagnosis treatment, contact Alcohol Treatment Centers Bay Shore at (631) 729-7145.