Dual Diagnosis: The Benefits of Treating Addiction & Mental Health Together
Addiction can be closely related to other mental health disorders. In fact, it’s not uncommon for someone who struggles with addiction to also have a co-occurring disorder, such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD. What’s crucial is ensuring that both disorders are rightly identified—this is called dual diagnosis—and treated in tandem.
Why Dual Diagnosis?
The benefits of this dual diagnosis method are numerous, but the most significant one is this: It’s the only way to really get to the root of the problem. For instance, if alcoholism is treated but co-occurring conditions like depression are ignored, it likely means that there is an underlying cause (brain chemistry, past trauma, etc.) that’s not being addressed at all. Thus, the treatment is strictly for the symptoms, not the real, root issue.
In addition, treating one disorder but not the other can increase the risk of relapse. Someone who’s in addiction recovery but still struggling with the pressures of anxiety or PTSD might turn to drugs or alcohol for comfort, triggering the struggle with addiction anew.
The flipside to this is that, when all mental health disorders are properly treated, it provides the clarity and strength needed to really commit to recovery—and to combat relapse. A full mental health rehabilitation creates a clean slate for pursuing lifelong freedom from addiction. Likewise, abstinence from drugs and alcohol prevents them from having an adverse impact on mental health, and potentially exacerbating other issues.
Choosing Dual Diagnosis Care
For those who believe their addiction is tied to another mental health condition, there is hope for full recovery—and that process begins with proper dual diagnosis care. Begin your recovery journey today. Reach out to the team at Get Real Recovery to learn more about dual diagnosis.