The term dual diagnosis and the dual diagnosis definition may not seem to add up at first glance. By definition, someone diagnosed with a dual diagnosis has a mental health disorder and a substance abuse problem. If you or a loved one attend a dual diagnosis treatment center in Oregon, it does not mean that there is something majorly wrong with you. We will go further into the definition and what it means below.
The Dual Diagnosis Definition
First, what is dual diagnosis? Let’s start by making it clear that dual diagnosis not a diagnosis on its own. Dual diagnosis is a term that is applicable when a patient has at least one mental health condition and one substance abuse condition. Over one-third of people in the United States that have substance abuse problems also have a co-occurring mental condition.
There is no direct correlation between mental health and substance abuse. In other words, one is not known to cause the other. But, people with mental health problems have a higher probability of becoming addicted to substances, should they try them, than other people. A person with a mental illness that tries substances is two times more likely to contract a substance abuse problem than others. This often happens when people with mental disorders find relief from their mental health problems after using.
Self-medicating can work for people with mental illness for a short period of time, but, in the long run, it usually turns into trouble. Often substances will end up exacerbating or making the mental health condition worse. Not to mention that the cycle of addiction is started and the brain and body need more and more to sustain a state that feels “normal.”
The cycle of addiction is:
- Use to self-medicate
- Feel better for a bit then use again
- Repeat one and two
- Begin to need more and more to feel better
- Have a harder time stopping each time
- Use become problematic
When Does Addiction Become a Problem?
Addiction becomes a problem when you find that you can’t stop using despite the negative consequences. The stopping bit is what can make things especially hard for dual diagnosis patients. In patients with preexisting mental health problems, their brains are already not signaling correctly. This means that before they start self-medicating, they are already in the realm of wanting to feel better mentally.
When you take away the one thing that makes them feel better due to their mental health condition, they can have a tough time staying sober. The best way to stay sober in this situation is to get the patient to a place where they cannot access substances and where they can learn easy ways to prevent themselves from using again that are not rugs or a therapy session.
Getting over a dial diagnosis takes:
- Learning Coping Skills
- Learning About Safe Alternatives
- Making Friends That Do Not Use
When it comes down to it, the dual diagnosis patient needs to fully understand that they can be their own worst enemy when it comes to drinking or drugging. Sure, it makes them feel better, but it causes bigger problems elsewhere. Many patients are not told this, however, and it can take multiple attempts at sobriety to finally get it.
Seeking help from a dual diagnosis treatment center in Oregon is your best bet to begin the journey in figuring out how to stop using and how to turn your life around. Crestview Recovery offers multiple levels of care for those with a dual diagnosis. Additionally, we’re happy to explain the dual diagnosis definition to find the right treatment for you. Give us a call today at 866.262.0531 to find out more!