Dual Diagnosis

Dual Diagnosis – Effects & Treatment Methods

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What is dual diagnosis?

  Many people who suffer from substance abuse also suffer from a co-occurring disorder. Known as dual diagnosis, this makes treatment approaches more integrated and comprehensive. Not only is there the main substance abuse issue to address, but there’s also underlying conditions to face, too.    According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 45 percent of people with addiction have a co-occurring disorder. Many addicts suffer from depression, anxiety and severe stress. This is either as a consequence of their addiction or as the negative cause for their addictive behavior.    Seeking professional, specialized and comprehensive treatment for co-occurring disorders gives you the best chance of overcoming your problems for good. This way, you can return to a healthier, happier and more fulfilled you.   

Common co-occurring mental health issues

  When it comes to addiction and substance abuse, there are many mental health conditions that can present themselves. It’s vital to your recovery to never ignore any signs or symptoms of your mental health concerns. If you want to recover in the long-term, you must aim to address both your addiction and your mental health concern that might be holding you back.    Common disorders include:   


  Depression is one of the most common dual diagnoses seen when a person enters treatment for substance abuse.   A person is often at rock bottom when they come to rehab, and they’re unhappy in their current life situation. Depression is self-perpetuating, meaning that negative emotions stimulate more negativity. It’s a dangerous cycle to fall in to, and the sooner you can address your depression and substance use disorder, the better.   

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is another common co-occurring disorder that is often present. Caused by stress and the inability to cope in life, GAD can overwhelm a person and ruin their day-to-day environment.   

Post-traumatic stress disorder

  When a person develops PTSD, their brain produces fewer endorphins and makes a person feel more unhappy. When this happens, it’s easy to turn to substances by means of escaping this negativity. PTSD is a common issue across the United States, and it can be the trigger that leads to addiction.   

Eating disorders

  Eating to feel better is the same as using substances to feel better. Unfortunately, many mental health concerns cause eating disorders in a person. Depression may cause someone to have low self-esteem and body image issues, which may result in disorders like anorexia. People can also turn to unhealthy comfort foods as a way to escape their daily negativity, too. 

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Contact an admissions

Contact Tikvah Lake Recovery today for a chance to speak to one of our addiction treatment specialists. Help is waiting.

The signs and symptoms of dual diagnosis

There are many signs of dual diagnosis to watch for, including: 

  • A dramatic change in behavior
  • Becoming a social recluse and avoiding social situations
  • Ignoring health, exercise and diets
  • Erratic and irrational behavior
  • Poor financial management
  • Low performance at work
  • Talk of suicide or attempts to take one’s life

One sure-fire sign is to consider signs and symptoms over time. If you feel like you or a loved one has prolonged signs and symptoms of dual diagnosis, it’s time to seek professional help.

Get help for dual diagnosis

  Dual diagnosis can go both ways. Some develop a substance abuse disorder and then an underlying mental health condition. Others turn to substances by means of escaping their mental health concerns. Regardless, getting professional help early gives you the best chance to conquer both.    When it comes to seeking help, it’s paramount to find a tailored treatment plan. Treating the entire patient should be the priority to give them the chance of recovery.  

Entering rehab for dual diagnosis

  To do this, an inpatient rehab center is often the best place to go. In rehab, you can address co-occurring disorders in a safe and private environment. It’s an environment away from negative triggers and where there’s lots of positive empowerment and guided support.   Once you’re settled, the treatment process can begin. Recovering at Tikvah Lake will incorporate many therapies. You may attend group and individual therapy, and there are five-star amenities and activities to take advantage of, too. Therapy sessions include:   

  • Psychotherapy: This therapy treatment is a big part of dual diagnosis treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy, in particular, helps you learn how to cope and change negative thinking.
  • Support Groups: These are great when dealing with a dual diagnosis that can feel isolating. Support groups let clients share frustrations, celebrate successes and find referrals for specialists. They also provide a space for forming healthy friendships filled with encouragement to stay clean.
  • Holistic wellness practices: Art therapy, yoga, meditation classes and other forms of wellness practices help deal with dual diagnosis. Often, a person’s mental health is the big cause of substance abuse disorders. Removing negative triggers and introducing healthy habits allows a person to rest. It also helps calm their mind and learn the tools they need to prolong their recovery for the rest of their lives.

  To find out more about treating dual diagnosis and to discover how Tikvah Lake Recovery can help you or a loved one overcome their concerns, contact at expert today.