Dual Diagnosis Specialist Q&A
If you or someone you love is living with a dual diagnosis, then visit Psychiatry Unplugged. Patients may experience a sudden change in behavior, loss of control over the use of substances, or withdrawal from friends and family. Our specialists will help you to live a good quality of life. We have convenient locations to serve you in Los Angeles CA and Glendale CA. For more information, give us a call or request an appointment online.
Table of Contents:
What is Dual Diagnosis?
What mental disorders are associated with dependency?
Why is it important to have a psychiatric & substance use diagnosis?
Is dual diagnosis part of the program at Psychiatry Unplugged?
There are many types of mental disorders currently known in the fields of psychology and psychiatry. Common psychiatric disorders include Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and Bipolar Disorder. A dual diagnosis refers to anyone patient that has a psychiatric disorder as well as a substance use disorder; these two conditions are intrinsically linked and are common comorbidities.
A dual diagnosis is a person who is experiencing a co-occurring disorder, such as a mental health issue and a substance use disorder. For example, a person who struggles with both depression and an alcohol use disorder is experiencing a dual diagnosis. While the term is most commonly used in the context of mental health and substance use disorders, it can be used to describe any co-occurring disorders, regardless of the cause. While many people have only one disorder, those with a dual diagnosis face significant challenges and require specialized treatment. When a person has a dual diagnosis, they often experience complex symptoms, which can make treatment and recovery difficult. It can also be difficult to manage a dual diagnosis because of its inherent negative feedback loop, so it is imperative to find the right treatment and support.
One of the biggest factors in whether someone will develop a substance use disorder or not is a preexisting mental illness. Although some estimates are even higher, research has shown that about half of people with a substance use disorder have a co-occurring mental health issue, such as bipolar, depression, or anxiety. The connections between mental illness and substance use are complex; the mental health issue often comes first, and the substance use disorder frequently starts as self-medication used to prevent mental health symptoms. However, the opposite is also true: substance use can also cause mental health issues, and it can even exacerbate preexisting mental health issues. In some cases, both substance use issues and mental health issues may share a common cause, so it is crucial that anyone seeking help for substance abuse is also screened for a co-occurring mental health issue. If there is a co-occurring issue, for dependency recovery to be successful it must be treated concurrently. Mental health issues associated with dependency include:
– Major Depression
– Bipolar Disorder
– Anxiety Disorders
– Personality Disorders
It is important to have a psychiatric and substance use diagnosis because living with more than one mental illness is even more challenging than dealing with one and a proper diagnosis can help determine the next steps to take in order to live a good quality of life. By making very thorough and accurate diagnoses and planning treatment programs that address all existing conditions, such as trauma and substance use, treatment professionals can help these patients. Patients not only benefit from long-term treatment, but they also benefit from lifestyle and coping strategies that make it easier to live with more than one condition.
Yes, dual diagnosis is part of the program offered at Psychiatry Unplugged. The specialists at Psychiatry Unplugged understand that living with more than one mental illness is difficult and can significantly impair an individual’s ability to function as well as impede their quality of life.
If you believe you have a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder, come to Psychiatry Unplugged today. Our specialists are experienced at performing dual diagnoses and can help you better understand your mental health. Call us or book an appointment with our dual diagnosis specialist, or visit our clinic today. We serve patients from Los Angeles CA, Glendale CA, Beverly Hills CA, Santa Monica CA, Hollywood CA, Burbank CA, and Pasadena CA.