A dual diagnosis is a term used to describe someone who suffers from a drug or alcohol addiction and a mental health disorder at the same time. While the two conditions occur simultaneously, this does not necessarily mean that one causes the other or that one precedes the other; that is something that professionals need to determine. At drug rehabs in New York, they understand the complexities of these illnesses, and have specialized dual diagnosis treatment plans to address both conditions during your stay.
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Virtually any drug or alcohol addiction can occur at the same time as any mental health disorder. However, the basic ways in which addiction affect the brain and body and the ways in which mental health disorders affect both the brain and body as well, lead some combinations to occur more frequently than others.
Eating disorders are a certain type of mental health disorders that are most commonly associated with body image issues in girls and women especially. However, it is important to keep in mind that many boys and men also suffer from eating disorders of some kind. Some of the most common symptoms of an eating disorder include:
If a person has both an eating disorder and a drug addiction, the addiction will most commonly be to some form of stimulant drug. Stimulants are drugs that excite the nervous system. In other words, they stimulate the brain and nervous system to perform certain actions. Some of the side effects of such drugs include high levels of energy for prolonged periods of time (several hours) and the suppression or reduction of appetite. Some stimulant drugs include cocaine, Ritalin, meth, Adderall, and other amphetamines.
Depression is one of the most common and prevalent mental health disorders in the nation today. In fact, 14.8 million people in the United States suffer from depression every year according to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Depression can have many symptoms. Among those common symptoms are:
When depression and addiction coincide, the addiction is more commonly to alcohol than anything else. While you may think that a depressed person being an alcoholic wouldn’t necessarily make sense, the effects that alcohol has on the brain when it enters the body, make it an expected combination. When alcohol enters the bloodstream, it stimulates the brain to release dopamine, a chemical responsible for feelings of pleasure and contentment. The effect is short-lived but does make a person feel temporary (false) reprieve from their depression symptoms.
Psychopharmacology involves using prescription drugs to treat a mental health disorder. For a person with an addiction, the use of prescriptions in closely controlled and monitored so that the patient does not begin abusing those drugs or relapse with their existing addiction.
Psychotherapy is counseling that focuses on discussions between the therapist and recovering addict and mental health disorder sufferer. The idea is to explore issues and underlying causes related to the mental health disorder as well as the addiction and try to unravel both as well as their connections. This process helps the individual to recognize triggers and develop ways to cope that do not lead to substance abuse and continued problematic behaviors.