Benefits of Residential Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual Diagnosis TreatmentDual diagnosis is a condition defined as the presence of a simultaneous mental or behavioral disorder and a substance addiction.  The concept of a dual diagnosis is also referred to, alternatively, as co-occurring or co-morbid disorders. Some examples of this could be a person who suffers from clinical depression and abuses alcohol or someone with bipolar disorder who also abuses drugs.

Since historically there has not been a continuum between treating mental disorders along with active substance abuse issues, treatment for dual diagnosis is relatively new and can include dual diagnosis residential treatment, which takes place in residential dual diagnosis treatment centers, or outpatient dual diagnosis treatment. Both types of treatment require expertise both in the areas of mental illness and addiction. When deciding how to treat dual diagnosis, it is important to understand the condition itself as well as the benefits of residential dual diagnosis.

The signs of mental illness and substance abuse often go hand in hand. Symptoms of mental illness can include:

  • Dramatic changes in mood, behavior, and energy level
  • Experiencing delusions and/or hallucinations
  • Risky behavior
  • Withdrawal from friends and loved ones; refusing to accept support
  • Having trouble keeping up with school, jobs, and/or relationships
  • Expressing feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and despair for extended periods of time
  • Using drugs or alcohol excessively to cope with stress and anxiety

Signs of addiction can include:

  • Withdrawal from friends and loved ones while possibly seeking social activity from a new crowd
  • Having trouble keeping up with school, jobs, and/or relationships
  • Expressing regret or guilt about compulsive behavior and use
  • Using higher and higher doses of the same drug or alcohol in order to get high
  • Obvious symptoms of withdrawal after trying to cut down the dose
  • Risky behavior

It is important to always consult a qualified professional when determining whether an individual’s symptoms are a dual diagnosis, and specific treatment will vary by individual and should be based on the person’s needs and preference. Treatment for dual diagnosis often utilizes behavioral therapy in conjunction with medication. Treatment should also support positive reinforcement that helps the person rebuild confidence and self-esteem, rather than confronting them with aggression and negativity. For a person with a severe dual diagnosis, inpatient treatment in a residential dual diagnosis treatment center will offer many benefits over outpatient treatment.

Inpatient treatment offers immersive rehabilitation which allows for easily scheduled access to behavioral therapy in both group and individual settings, various styles of which are a huge component of recovery. Patients will also benefit from scheduled medication management, peer support groups, and living for much of the duration of recovery in a community of people who are learning to recover from their addiction while treating their mental illness. Because of the intensely complicated nature of dual diagnosis, those learning to live with this condition will have a better chance of recovery because of the readily available support, on-site professional care, and additional services offered in a residential dual diagnosis center. This can pave the way for a more solid reentry into independent living, ensuring a greater chance of success for the individual in the long run.

It is not easy to come to terms with the necessity of treatment for dual diagnosis. Most people suffering from this condition do not ask for help and therefore go without the treatment they need. People suffering from this condition often experience denial, as well as many other negative feelings as a result of mental illness that can make it very difficult to want to ask for help. By doing so, however, they are taking the first step toward recovery. Be sure to consult professional resources for help when being directed toward care.

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