How Can One Successfully Navigate a Dual Diagnosis?

It is quite common for individuals to face great confusion after receiving a dual diagnosis from a mental health professional. An individual may first start by questioning whether the onset of their substance abuse was due to their mental health condition. On the other hand, they may wonder if their mental illness was encouraged by misusing alcohol or drugs.

Once diagnosed, it is also typical for individuals to feel a bit discouraged in moving forward with treatment because they lack direction in doing so. It is common for individuals to feel a bit uncertain whether the treatment will be successful due to a lack of confidence.

Mental health treatment with 12 South Recovery can help individuals unravel the culprit of their condition and better comprehend their medical history. Expert staff members can provide services that are best tailored to their needs to create a more successful recovery outcome. 12 South Recovery understands there is a strong link between substance abuse and mental illness. Fortunately, the 12 South dual diagnosis program can be an effective remedy for those facing multiple challenges.

What Is a Dual Diagnosis?

As stated by MedlinePlus, a dual diagnosis is classified as having both a mental illness and problems with substance abuse. It is common for these conditions to co-occur. Approximately 50% of individuals will be diagnosed with substance use disorder (SUD) and a mental health condition in their lifetime. It has been found that the interaction between the two disorders can worsen both.

Why Do Substance Abuse and Mental Health Conditions Commonly Co-occur?

Individuals who experience addiction may misuse drugs or alcohol. Sometimes they misuse both. For example, a person may binge drink, misuse prescription medications such as opioids, or use illicit drugs. Sometimes these drugs can cause changes in the brain that contribute to mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. On the other hand, people may turn to addictive substances to cope with distressing mental and emotional symptoms.

Knowing these conditions commonly occur together does not imply that one condition was the cause of the other. It can be difficult to decipher which came first. Recent research has theorized a few possibilities as to why both conditions intertwine. Common risk factors may include:

  • Genetics
  • Family history of substance abuse
  • Prenatal exposure to viruses or substances
  • Low self-esteem
  • Stress
  • Trauma
  • Self-medicating an undiagnosed mental health condition
  • Brain alterations due to prolonged substance abuse

Common Co-occurring Mental Health Conditions Linked With Sud

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), it has been estimated that approximately nine.2 million U.S. adults have been diagnosed with a co-occurring mental disorder and SUD. Common co-occurring mental health conditions linked with severe SUD that many individuals face challenges with may consist of:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality disorders

Symptoms of a Dual Diagnosis

If SUD and a co-occurring mental health condition are left untreated, especially for a prolonged period, an individual’s life can be severely impacted. Substance abuse alone can negatively impact an individual’s ability to function in the workplace, effectively concentrate in an academic setting, and keep healthy relationships. As stated previously, SUD and mental illness can worsen each other’s symptoms. For example, an individual may experience symptoms such as:

  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Having an abrupt change in behavior
  • Losing control over substances
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Depending on drugs to function
  • Developing a high tolerance to drugs

Moving Forward With 12 South Recovery’s Dual Diagnosis Program

Experiencing mental instability along with intense substance dependency can become very distressing for some individuals. Due to having low self-esteem, one may feel hesitant to move forward with treatment as they may not feel they are strong enough to possibly recover from such anguish. Others may feel not even a professional could understand how they got themselves into such turmoil in the first place.

Although it can take extra effort to treat a dual diagnosis, many individuals find success after surrendering to addiction and mental health treatment with 12 South Recovery. Our staff members understand that this can be a tough cycle to break. When searching for a treatment facility many individuals look for expert clinical staff, evidence-based therapies, maybe a holistic approach, and most importantly an individualized treatment plan. At 12 South Recovery, we offer all of that in our treatment approach. Our dual diagnosis treatment program helps address all aspects of both conditions and provides ongoing support to ensure a positive outcome. 

Equally importantly, it is imperative to stay dedicated to treatment to see positive results and achieve long-term recovery. If an individual feels their treatment progress is slipping, it is important to share any concerns with their mental health provider and stay on track with the program. Everyone deserves to heal. Reaching out to family and friends can sometimes provide the direction and emotional support needed to stay motivated on the path to addiction and mental health recovery.

If you have a dual diagnosis involving both an addiction and mental health issue, don’t despair. As a leader in Orange County mental health treatment, 12 South Recovery has the expertise to address dual diagnoses. Our team understands that effective treatment for a dual diagnosis requires a comprehensive, integrated approach. Our program is designed to address both the addiction and the underlying mental health condition in a supportive, nonjudgmental environment. As a substance abuse treatment center located in Orange County, CA, we offer a comprehensive dual diagnosis program designed to address the unique needs of individuals with co-occurring disorders. Call 12 South Recovery at (888) 830-8374 to learn how we can help you successfully recover from a dual diagnosis. 

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