Many of those struggling with addiction find themselves entangled in a web of underlying mental health issues. Substance abuse and mental health symptoms often work together to fuel and trigger each other, dragging you further into the depths of addiction. While a dual diagnosis may leave you feeling hopeless, it is possible to get your life back on track with professional treatment. Oasis Runcorn offers a lifeline for those who need help overcoming a dual diagnosis.
What is a dual diagnosis?
A dual diagnosis refers to the co-occurrence of both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder. It is the convergence of these two conditions that present a unique and intricate challenge in addiction recovery. The term “dual diagnosis” recognises that addiction and mental health disorders often intertwine and influence each other, creating a complex interplay that can exacerbate symptoms, hinder recovery and increase the risk of relapse.
Substance abuse can contribute to the development of mental health disorders by altering brain chemistry. Conversely, if you have a pre-existing mental health disorder, you may turn to substance use as a means of self-medication or coping with distressing symptoms. Understanding and effectively addressing dual diagnosis requires a comprehensive and integrated approach that acknowledges the complexity of both conditions.
What are some common dual diagnosis disorders?
Studies have shown that, among the 42.1 million people with a mental health issue, 18.2% also have a substance abuse disorder. If you fall into this statistic, Oasis Runcorn is here to help. Some of the dual diagnosis disorders we treat include:
Anxiety and addiction
If you struggle with anxiety, you may take substances in an attempt to calm your nerves and find some relief from your symptoms. However, this is only a temporary fix, as substance abuse and addiction can cause your anxiety to return tenfold.
Bipolar disorder and addiction
The ups and downs of bipolar disorder can be intensified by substances, causing chemical imbalances that can lead to addictive behaviours, increased episodes of mania and worsened depression.
Depression and addiction
Feelings of loneliness, despair and hopelessness can propel you towards substance abuse as a way to escape. This, in turn, creates a vicious cycle where you drink or take drugs to feel momentarily better, only ending up worse as a result.
Insomnia and addiction
Being unable to get a good night’s sleep may cause you to abuse substances, including alcohol, benzodiazepines or Z-drugs, in order to get some rest. This can quickly turn into a slippery slope.
Self-harm and addiction
Alongside other acts of physical self-harm, substance abuse can also be considered a type of self-harm. It is possible that you punish your body with drugs and alcohol which can lead to addiction.
Suicide and addiction
Regularly consuming drugs and alcohol can coerce you into a state of hopelessness, leaving you susceptible to suicidal ideations. Studies have shown that over 70% of suicides may be complicated by substance abuse and addiction.
PTSD and addiction
Both PTSD and addiction can occur as a response to a serious traumatic event. It is also possible that you use drugs and alcohol as a means to self-medicate and avoid symptoms of PTSD.
Codependency and addiction
Codependency and addiction are often two interconnected issues faced simultaneously. If you would like to learn more about the two and how they relate, click the button below.
Recognising a dual diagnosis
Identifying a dual diagnosis can be challenging as the symptoms of addiction and other disorders can often overlap and mask each other. It is therefore important to look out for the signs of a dual diagnosis and take appropriate steps to combat symptoms early.
Some indicators of a dual diagnosis include:
- Regularly engaging in substance abuse despite any negative consequences
- Being unable to control or stop the consumption of drugs or alcohol
- Frequent and intense mood swings, unexplained outbursts of anger, irritability, sadness, or emotional numbness
- Social withdrawal, isolation and a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Difficulties with concentration, memory, decision-making and problem-solving
- Chronic physical ailments, unexplained changes in appetite or weight, sleep disturbances and a decline in personal hygiene
- Strained relationships with family and friends
- Consistent difficulties in maintaining employment or academic performance
If you have noticed any of the above signs in yourself or a loved one, it is time to reach out for professional help. There is no shame in seeking guidance for a dual diagnosis and doing so could turn your life around for the better.
Treating a dual diagnosis
With dual diagnosis, treating one condition while neglecting the other can impede progress and increase the likelihood of relapse. It is therefore imperative that treatment addresses both disorders using a holistic approach. At Oasis Runcorn, we are proud to offer a broad range of rehab therapies that focus on you as a whole, not just an addiction.
Some of the therapies offered at Oasis Runcorn include:
- Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT): Helps you to focus on the present moment, accept any negative emotions and manage them in a healthy way.
- Group therapy: Creates a sense of community and connection, a support that is vital as you battle addiction recovery and mental health disorders.
- Family therapy: Helps you to improve communication skills with family members, learn how to set healthy boundaries and work on repairing broken bonds together.
As well as these key therapies, Oasis Runcorn also offers activities that promote a healthy lifestyle. Through detox, yoga and meditation, art therapy, gong baths and mindfulness activities, you will begin healing from the inside out, ensuring that both your mental and physical health is nourished.
If you believe that you are suffering from addiction and a mental health disorder, it is important to speak to a healthcare provider who can correctly diagnose you. If you would like to speak to our team, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to support you through your recovery and help you to achieve happiness through rehab.
Frequently asked questions