A dual diagnosis is where a person with an addiction is also suffering from a mental health condition. This mental health condition may have come about as a result of an addiction or the person may have attempted to self-medicate their emotional/ psychiatric problem by turning to drink or drugs. Once the condition is discovered then the treatment will follow a similar pattern no matter what the cause. Difficulties can often arise prior to the diagnosis and it is this that we will examine here.
The first difficulty is actually spotting the presence of dual diagnosis in an individual. A serious addiction can share many symptoms associated with mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, or even hallucinations. It is easy for signs of another mental health condition to be missed amid all the symptoms associated with addiction. Individuals reporting unusual experiences such as severe unease or hallucinations, which would normally signify some type of mental illness, might easily be dismissed as just part of the addiction.
Failure to spot a dual diagnosis could have serious consequences for the chances of success of any recovery. An individual might manage to escape their addiction only to find that their life continues to be almost as unbearable as previously; in many cases, they actually feel worse than when they were abusing chemicals. It is unlikely that anyone feeling this way will maintain lasting recovery and if they do they will continue to find life unbearable and may even resort to suicide. All this can be prevented if the dual diagnosis is discovered. There is no reason why someone who has both conditions treated can’t go on to live a happy and fulfilling life.
Another difficulty that often occurs is that the individual with the dual diagnosis does not wish to have their addiction treated. They may be prepared to accept help with their other mental health issues but feel adamant that they want to continue using or drinking. This is a problem because it will not be possible to provide any real help for their mental health problems until they are willing to walk away from addiction. This is likely not something which a person feeling this way wants to hear, but the truth of their situation needs to be reinforced. If they continue with their current abuse they will continue to deteriorate both mentally and physically and will eventually reach a position where they can no longer be treated. This really is a difficult situation, but unless the individual is willing to cooperate in their recovery then any attempt to get them away from addiction is almost doomed to failure.
Despite these difficulties, people can and do manage to successfully manage their dual addiction by the help of Idaho drug rehabs. Life can be great for these people; those who escape such an intolerable way of living go on to really appreciate all the good things that life has to offer. Most mental health issues can be managed once the addiction is out of the picture.