Once you know someone with a mental illness, depending upon their disorders it is possible that you may have noticed this term. You may have also heard about any number of terms as well, however. Co-occurring disorders. Comorbid disorders. Co-occurring ailments. Co-morbidity. There are a number of terms utilized to describe the same issue that a person may have. That can be confusing, but as long as you know what dual diagnosis means then you will know what all of them mean.
Some may assume that dual diagnosis means that a person has two mental illnesses at the same time. Nevertheless , this is not true. Rather, one of the problems that a person faces with a dual medical diagnosis is not a mental disorder at all. When someone has a dual analysis, they have two very closely connected ongoing issues. The first is a psychiatric diagnosis. The second is a substance abuse medical diagnosis. Dual diagnosis is more frequent compared to one might think, often because the mental disorder can lead to the use of medicines or alcohol or vice versa.
The Psychiatric Side
There are many different mental illnesses that a person may experience when a dual diagnosis is given.
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However , there are some mental disorders that tend to be more common than others. Depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and personality problems appear more frequently in a dual analysis than others. Mental disorders have an effect on people in different ways, and based upon how they are coping with their condition in conjunction with the substance abuse, it may not be apparent right away that there is a problem. At other times, the symptoms of substance abuse and the symptoms of the particular mental disorder may overlap one another. This can make diagnosis more difficult due to the fact telling one symptom from an additional can be difficult. They can even mask one another, leading to additional diagnosis and therapy problems.
The Substance Abuse Side
Drug abuse can take the form of drugs or even alcohol. It is possible that because of the mental disorder, people seek out ways to help cope with their problem without searching for professional help or speaking to loved ones initial. Continued use can lead to a chemical dependency which will only compound the void of the mental illness. It is also probable that the continued use of drugs or alcohol is at the starting point, allowing for the mental illness to come within later. Some people may acknowledge a single illness and yet fail to acknowledge the second. They may accept that they are depressed, but when another person attempts to tell them they are also an alcoholic, they may get into denial. Things can quickly turn into a dangerous cycle where the person tries to self-medicate, fails, worsens their mental condition, and continues to use drugs or alcohol to cope or mask their particular issue.
The Final Combination
Having a mental illness together with substance abuse can be harmful for the person, both mentally and physically. They need help and therapy. There are many different possible combinations and styles that deal with mental illness plus substance abuse. Each of these things put together can make it difficult to figure out what the problem is, as well as how to properly combat it. Even if a person is going through withdrawal of alcoholic beverages or drugs, some of their symptoms may even mimic a mental illness or the symptoms of one.
If you suspect someone you know has a mental illness, but can also be taking drugs or drinking alcohol, see if you can find a way to give that person the assistance he or she needs. Take note if they appear to be having troubles financially, if they pull away from social situations, have troubles at work, with family, or within intimate relationships, increased emergency room admissions, multiple admissions for psychiatric care, or even have legal problems or even face incarceration. The sooner you can encourage them that you want to help and that they might benefit from treatment, the better off they are.