Many people do not realize that they may not only have an addiction to drugs or alcohol but also have a dual diagnosis. However, in order to get the best treatment if you are dual diagnosed, you need to be fully aware of the condition as well as its treatments.
When a person has both a mental health disorder (also known as a mood disorder or mental illness) and an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, he or she is said to have a dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis refers to the fact that the two conditions are occurring at the same time. However, it does not indicate or imply which condition (if any) came before the other, nor does it indicate whether one of the conditions caused the other. When a person receives that dual diagnosis, they may feel as if they need to assign order or blame to the situation, but it is not always a cut and clear situation that can be easily decoded.
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Specific mental health disorders often occur at the same time as specific drug or alcohol addictions. These combinations occur because of the different effects mental health disorders and addictions have on the brain and the rest of the body. Some common mental health and addiction combinations can include:
When a person suffers from depression, they often feel alone and isolated. However, the irony is that depression is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders in the nation affecting millions of people. In addition to feelings of aloneness and isolation, people who are clinically depressed also often feel as if they are helpless or hopeless, they feel overly fatigued or tired, and may even have suicidal thoughts and ideations (or may even attempt suicide).
Depression often pairs up with alcoholism when a person is dual diagnosed. Alcohol is a depressant which may make many people unsure as to why a person who suffers from depression may also suffer from alcoholism. However, alcohol is unique in that it triggers the brain to release dopamine, which causes a person to feel a wave of pleasure and happiness.
OCD, also known as obsessive-compulsive disorder, is a mental health disorder that falls within the category of anxiety disorders. This particular anxiety disorder has two different components that are related to one another. The first is a series of thoughts that occur repeatedly and become fixated and all-consuming. The second is a set of actions and behaviors that a person performs in specific routines and rituals that the person uses in an attempt to help relieve the pressure of those obsessive thoughts.
People who are dealing with OCD who have an addiction are most often addicted to opiates. Opiates are drugs that are potent and powerful in nature. They have two primary effects. The first is pain relief and the second is extreme and rapid relaxation. The relaxation occurs because opiates slow a person's breathing and their heart rate drastically. Some opiate drugs include heroin, morphine, codeine, and Vicodin.
Psychotherapy is a form of mental health counseling that generally uses discussion as the primary method of treatment. These allow the patient to openly talk about the reasons behind their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and explore those issues in-depth in an open forum.
Psychopharmacology is a form of mental health treatment in which a doctor or psychiatrists prescribe drugs to treat the mental health disorder.