For most people who are dealing with an addiction, seeking help takes time and a serious commitment to getting better. But many may be surprised to find that they also suffer from a condition that further complicates their recovery – a dual diagnosis.
Roughly half of all people who abuse substances are also suffering from a dual diagnosis, which adds up to an astonishing 8 percent of the U.S.’s total population. But the complicated nature of addiction means that these symptoms are rarely addressed, only further complicating the cycle of addiction. With only 12 percent of people with a dual diagnosis getting the specialized care they need to address both their addiction and mental illness, dual diagnosis residential treatment centers in Orange County and beyond are very much necessary in our world today.
What is A Dual Diagnosis?
A dual diagnosis, also called a co-occurring disorder, is when someone has both a substance addiction and a mental health disorder. It is not uncommon for individuals to present with symptoms and behaviors that lead to a dual diagnosis of addiction and mental illness, because both conditions both share similar risk factors. For some people, their mental health condition appeared first, and for others it was their addiction that appeared first.
For many people seeking help for their addiction, they aren’t even aware that they have mental health symptoms, or they don’t realize how serious they are. When it comes to the signs and symptoms of dual diagnosis, but here is what you should look for:
- Avoiding friends or family members
- Spending a lot of time alone
- Having sudden and significant weight gain or loss
- Experiencing angry or violent outbursts
- Sleeping too much, or too little
- Feeling constantly worried or tense
- Not being able to concentrate on tasks, or retain information
- Experiencing delusions or hallucinations, especially when you’re not high
- Intense feelings of depression, hopelessness, worthlessness, or despair
- Having certain “rituals” you use to relieve anxiety, like counting or touching objects
- Sudden and severe changes in energy levels or moods
- Using substances to treat or relive any of the above symptoms, or to deal with bad memories or other negative feelings
Understanding the connection between mental health issues and addiction when seeking dual diagnosis treatment centers in Orange County is an important part of getting the right treatment for both issues. Research has found that three different risk factors can contribute to a dual diagnosis. These include:
- Both addiction and mental health disorders can be caused by genetics, stress, environmental factors, and emotional or physical trauma.
- Mental disorders can contribute to substance abuse and addiction. Many people with mental health issues turn to drugs or alcohol in an effort to self-medicate their symptoms.
- Substance abuse and addiction can actually lead to a mental health disorder. This happens because of the way that addiction changes your brain, which makes certain mental health issues more likely to develop.
There is no such thing as just one reason or cause that someone ends up with a dual diagnosis. Just like the many complications in life that can lead to an addiction, there are many different things that can influence a dual diagnosis.
Borderline Personality Disorder:
Common Symptoms: an intense fear of abandonment, pattern of unstable relationships, rapid changes in self identity, stress-induced paranoia, highly impulsive and risky behavior, suicidal behaviors, intense mood swings, feelings of emptiness and intense anger
Major Depressive Disorder:
Common Symptoms: intense feelings of sadness, angry outbursts, loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities, extreme tiredness, sleep disturbances, disrupted appetite, anxiety, slowed thinking, suicidal thoughts, unattributable physical pains and ailments
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD):
Common Symptoms: showing intense interest or fear in a certain thing or topic and engaging in ritualistic behaviors, patterns or thoughts
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD):
Common Symptoms: persistent and intense worrying, excessive overthinking of worst-case scenarios, distressing over uncertainty, indecisiveness, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, sleep disturbance, intense muscle tension, nervousness, nausea and irritability
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:
Common Symptoms: intrusive, unwanted memories, mentally reliving traumatic events, intense nightmares, severe emotional distress, avoidance of all people, places and conversations related to the traumatic events, hopelessness, feeling detached, difficulty maintaining close relationships and memory disturbances
Common Symptoms: intense swings between mania or hypomania and depression, unpredictable changes in mood or behavior
Dual diagnosis is a complicated issue, but our staff is expertly trained to handle clients who are struggling with substance abuse and mental illness without relying on the use of dangerous substances. Addiction and mental illness both have a cyclical nature, often leaving individuals feeling caught in an endless loop. Substance abuse treatment alone is often not as effective because it is hard to discern where the true cause lies. The key to success when you have a dual diagnosis is also receiving appropriate treatment for your mental health condition. Only then can you find the lasting recovery that you need to get back to living a happy and healthy life.
Dual Diagnosis Residential Treatment in Orange County
Our dual diagnosis treatment center in Orange County offers integrated treatment that allows our clients to focus on their healing and progress. By following an individualized plan, we move at a pace that is both comfortable and appropriate for the individual. Learn more about our admissions process and contact Pacific Sands today at 949-426-7962