Dual Diagnosis: Substance Abuse And Mental Health


Multiple disorders? Learn how to fight addiction when you have depression, anxiety, or another mental illness. You are suffering from mental and/or physical problems that have been increasing. Then you can go to drug and mental health rehab.

Addiction And Mental Health

Dual diagnosis refers to the presence of both substance abuse and mental health issues, such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, etc. Abuse of substances, addiction, or alcoholism is not always simple. When paired with mental disease, it can be even more severe.

When co-occurring diseases arise, you may be unable to work or attend school, maintain a stable family, deal with life’s challenges, or communicate effectively due to the symptoms of your mental illness and drug or alcohol addiction. It is essential to recognize that co-occurring disorders interact with one another.

Substance Misuse Or Mental Health Issues?

Substance misuse and mental health illnesses like sadness and anxiety are related, but one does not cause the other. Marijuana and methamphetamine can trigger psychotic outbursts, and alcohol can worsen melancholy and anxiety. Also:

Alcohol and medications are often used to treat mental health issues. People commonly abuse alcohol or drugs to ease mental disorder symptoms, cope with tough emotions, or change their mood. Self-medicating with drugs or alcohol typically worsens the problems they once relieved.

Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis is hard to spot. It takes time to distinguish between a mental illness and a drug or alcohol issue. Signs and symptoms differ by mental health issues and substances misused, such as alcohol, recreational drugs, or prescription prescriptions. There are some general warning indicators of co-occurring disorders:

  • Do you use alcohol or drugs to cope with bad memories or sensations, to control pain or moods, to face scary situations, or to stay focused?
  • Does your substance use have an impact on your mental health? Do you drink and get depressed?
  • Has someone in your family battled a mental illness or substance abuse?
  • Feel gloomy, worried, or out of balance when sober?
  • Have you had an addiction or mental health treatment? Did substance abuse therapy fail because of your mental health or vice versa?

Common Co-Occurring Symptoms

Depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety can co-occur with substance misuse.

Depressive Symptoms

  • Helplessness, despair
  • Loss of motivation
  • No enjoyment
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Sleep issues
  • Exhaustion
  • Hurt or guilt
  • Distractions
  • Rage, agony, and recklessness (especially in men)

Stress Symptoms

  • Excessive anxiety
  • Feeling antsy
  • Feeling “on edge”
  • Racing heart/shortness of breath

Nausea, Trembling, Dizziness

  • Tension, headache
  • Can’t focus
  • Insomnia

Bipolar Manic Symptoms

  • Euphoria or anger
  • Grandiose beliefs
  • Less sleep
  • Energy
  • Rapid speech, ideas
  • Impair judgment, impulsive
  • Hyperactivity
  • Rage

Dual Diagnosis Care

The optimal treatment for co-occurring disorders is an integrated approach that treats both problems at once. Long-term recovery requires treatment for both illnesses by the same therapist or team.

Dual Diagnosis Assistance

In addition to professional treatment, self-help steps can aid with substance misuse and mental health. Sobriety is just the beginning. Your recovery depends on continuous mental health treatment and developing healthier coping techniques and making better decisions.

  1. Manage Stress And Emotions.

Manage your stress. Misguided stress management might lead to substance abuse.

  • Network

Prioritize face-to-face time with friends and family.

  •  Change Your Lifestyle

Remain active. Exercise relieves stress, calms anxiety, and boosts mood and outlook.

  • Find Significance In Life.

To be alcohol- or drug-free long-term, you must establish a new, fulfilling life.

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