Identifying and Treating Dual Diagnosis


Double diagnosis is a broad category of mental illness wherein a person suffers from more than one coexisting disorders, usually a disposition disorder such as depression or panic and substance abuse problem like addiction to drug or alcohol. Also referred to as comorbidity or co-occurring disorders, it might affect an individual physically, psychologically and socially.

It is difficult to determine which usually problem led to the other, as any of the two – mental illness and substance abuse – can develop first. An individual experiencing a mental illness risk turning to alcohol or drugs to improve the troubling symptoms they encounter. However , substance abuse only worsens all those symptoms. At the same time, abusing substances may also lead to mental health problems because of the effects drugs have on the person’s mood, behavior and brain chemistry.

Addictive problems are chronic, deteriorating brain problems that change the brain functioning – with effects of drugs being much harmful, and often, self-destructive to the mind. According to a 2014 report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), addictions cost America more than $800 billion annually and causes nearly 90, 000 deaths.

As the recognition of mental illness in chemical abusers is difficult, it is difficult to determine if an individual is actually dealing with a dual diagnosis, unless the dependancy has been adequately taken care of.

To this finish, the International Conference and Exhibition on Dual Diagnosis, with theme “Research strategies, advanced technologies and innovations in Dual Diagnosis, ” will be held on July 18-19, 2016 in Chicago.
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It is aimed at achieving addiction recovery and eliminating psychiatry problems.

How to identify if someone has co-occurring disorders?

Within dual diagnosis, about a third of all people experiencing mental illnesses approximately half of people living with severe psychological illnesses experience substance abuse, with both getting their own unique symptoms. Individuals suffering from the dual diagnosis often face an array of psychosocial issues and may experience several interacting illnesses, so prevalence prices for this disorder are difficult to identify.

A person may encounter a variety of problems as a result of a dual diagnosis, and yes it takes time to determine what might cause possibly conditions. Although substance abuse and mental disorders are closely linked, one may not necessarily influence the other. The following signs and symptoms can help identify if there is a reason to seek help:

A person may mask the psychiatric symptoms by alcohol or drug use.
The patient’s addiction to a drug or withdrawal from this can give the appearance of some psychiatric illness.
Psychiatric symptoms can occur due to an untreated chemical dependence.
On noticing withdrawal from friends and family.
Sudden changes in behavior; engaging in dangerous behaviors when high.
Using ingredients under dangerous conditions; loss of control over use of drugs or alcohol.
Establishing withdrawal symptoms; feeling as if the individual needs any addictive substance to be able to function.
Treating dual diagnosis

Irrespective of which problem developed first, both the mental illness and addiction have to be treated simultaneously. The integrated treatment is the most common and the best way of treating dual diagnosis. Since there are various factors leading to a dual medical diagnosis, the treatment also may vary from person to person. Nevertheless , each patient must receive take care of the specific mental illness and the substance abuse at the same time.

The treatment involves a combination of medicine, psychotherapy, and self-help and organizations. Of late, role of genetic aspects in the development of coexisting disorders provides received a great deal of attention, with beneficial family history being considered a major risk factor for children.

According to a 2015 report by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately 8. 9 million grown ups have co-occurring disorders and only seven. 4 percent of individuals receive treatment for both conditions, with 55. 8 percent receiving no treatment at all.

“To help explain this particular comorbidity, we need to first recognize that drug addiction is a mental illness. It is a complex brain disease characterized by compulsive, at times uncontrollable drug craving, looking for, and use despite devastating consequences – behaviors that stem from drug-induced changes in brain construction and function, ” says NIDA director Nora D. Volkow, M. D.

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