Dual Diagnosis Treatment at First Step to Freedom

In the realm of substance abuse and addiction, you may come across the term “dual diagnosis” at some point. Many people who suffer with mental issues are dependent on drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication. Sadly, they do not realize that the use of drugs and alcohol only exacerbates the mental issues, which in turn lead the person to seek further relief from the mental torment. At First Step to Freedom, we understand this and we have programs to help any individuals struggling with mental health issues and addiction.

Dual diagnosis is a vicious cycle of one disorder adversely affecting another. Our dual diagnosis treatment addresses both the addiction issue and mental health issues at the same time; It is administered by our experienced medical professionals who understand all the complexities of the issues involved.  There are many types of dual diagnosis treatment programs available for people who struggle with this dilemma, and success of recovery can be achieved. Many people have been able to overcome their drug and alcohol addiction while managing their mental disorders with medication and other types of therapies.

Common forms of Mental Health Issues

The most common forms of mental issues associated with dual diagnosis are mood disorders that often stem from past physical or emotional issues that were difficult and unpleasant for the person to endure. People who have been abused or neglected in childhood or have experienced a tragedy or life-threatening experience are some examples. These upsets usually manifest in specific types of behaviors that affect a person’s mood.

One of the most common forms of dual diagnosis disorders is anxiety. Anxiety can cause a range of emotions and feelings such as being irritable and edgy for no apparent reason. It can also produce episodes of panic attacks, irrational fear, sleep disorders, flashbacks, confusion, dread, and much more. Anxiety also produces a myriad of physical symptoms that can include headaches, nausea, elevated heart rate, chest pressure, numbness, tingling, and more. When a person is experiencing multiple symptoms at one time, it is easy to understand why they want to self-medicate.

Depression is another mental disorder commonly associated with dual diagnosis. People with depression are often overwhelmed with feelings of sadness and hopelessness that last for a long period of time. Some of the symptoms of depression include confusion, fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, physical aches and pains, a lack if interest in things once enjoyed,  stomach problems, insomnia, and thoughts or acts of suicide.

Dual diagnosis treatment for depression includes medications, psychotherapy, and in severe cases electro-convulsive therapy. Treatment with antidepressant medications to control the symptoms of depression, along with psychological counseling, is very effective in most cases. A person can begin to take control of their life again and enjoy feelings of satisfaction as they continue in dual diagnosis treatment.

Treating Both Mental Health and Addiction

The other side of a dual diagnosis is the addiction to drugs and/or alcohol that also has to be treated. Substance use disorder can range from mild to moderate to severe. When a person consistently uses drugs or alcohol to the point that it begins to impair their physical, psychological, social, and financial well-being, they are in the downward spin of dependence and addiction. If the person is also struggling with mental disorders, their situation becomes more dangerous and complex. Substance use disorders could cause a variety of symptoms depending on what is being consumed and the severity of the addiction. Some common symptoms might include mood swings, anger, a lack of motivation, hyperactivity, performance impairment, fear, alienation from family and friends, financial problems, paranoia and much more.

Treatment for substance abuse is readily available at First Step to Recovery. The medical team will remove all offending substances from the patient’s body during the detox process. Other dual diagnosis treatments will begin after the detox process is successfully completed. Depending on what someone’s dual diagnosis is, he or she should be reassured that there are many types of medications and therapies that can effectively manage addiction and mental disorders.

Dual diagnosis treatment involves short and long-term goals to support and educate the patient and equip them with the tools they need to stay well. After the initial phases of therapy, the patient will receive long-term care to help him stay sober and cope with any issues that may arise. The patient will be able to better manage his mental disorder and control the cravings and triggers of substance abuse. Over time, he will also be encouraged to become socially active again, possibly seek employment or schooling, and begin to lead a healthy, happy life. All you have to do is make the call to change your life today. You can reach First Step to Freedom’s recovery advocates at (888) 415-8810.