Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs in Cambridge, MA (617) 500-9167
Many people believe that a drug or alcohol addiction exists independent of any other condition a person may suffer from. However, dual diagnosis is a serious and real condition that should not be overlooked. Being aware of dual diagnosis treatments will help a person suffering from the condition get the right help for them and their needs.
Dual diagnosis treatment is available to patients struggling with mental disorders and addictions. Contact Drug Treatment Centers Cambridge at (617) 500-9167 for help with your search.
What is a Dual Diagnosis?
Dual diagnosis is a state of being in which a person has two disorders or conditions at the same time. In the case of a person with a drug or alcohol addiction, being dual diagnosed refers to having both the alcohol or drug addiction and a mental health disorder (also known sometimes as a mood disorder).
When a person discovers that they have co-occurring conditions, it is easy to jump to the conclusion that one condition caused the other or preceded the other. However, either one could be true. In other words, an addiction can cause a mental health disorder just as much as a mental health disorder can cause an addiction.
Mental Health Disorders and Addictions
Based on the basic terms and definitions of a dual diagnosis, it can be easily concluded that any mental health disorder can coincide with any drug or alcohol addiction. However, the ways in which drugs or alcohol interact with the brain and the ways that mental health disorders affect the brain make it so that some combinations occur more frequently than others. Some of the common combinations can include:
Eating Disorders and Addiction
Eating disorders are a category of mental health disorders that are quite complicated and all seem to revolve around an unhealthy relationship with food and/or exercise. Some of the more common symptoms of eating disorders are:
- Obsessive thoughts about weight and appearance
- Skipping meals
- Fixation on unrealistic goal weight or size
- Food hoarding
- Secretive eating habits
- Overly restrictive or extreme diets
- Body dysmorphia
- Excessive exercise
- Constantly checking mirrors for flaws
OCD and Addiction
OCD, also known as obsessive compulsive disorder, is a mental health disorder that is characterized by extremely obsessive thoughts and accompanying compulsive behaviors. Some of the more common symptoms of people who are suffering with OCD include:
- Compulsive cleaning
- Fear of contamination of self or home
- Precise routines that must be followed exactly
- Requiring specific order or organization
- Superstitious thoughts and obsessions with luck or lack thereof
- Fear of punishment or negative events from not completing behaviors
- Insomnia or inability to sleep or rest
- Intense anxiety and worry
What Dual Diagnosis Treatments are Available?
There are a number of effective dual diagnosis treatments available. Many rehabilitation programs offer specialized plans for patients with co-occurring disorders. Having a specialized plan for dual diagnosis treatment offers the benefit of keeping both conditions in mind while devising ways to address each. The most effective treatments for dual diagnosis keep therapies for mental illness and addiction in stride of one another, with progress in one effecting the way the other is handled.
Some common treatment methods include:
Medical detox provides a clean slate for co-occurring disorders patients because it removes the mind-altering substances from their bodies. This allows therapists to accurately assess the extent of their mental illness as well as the extent of their mental dependency on substance abuse without the complications of withdrawal symptoms.
Psychotherapy is a form of counseling that focuses on discussions between the therapist and the person who is dual diagnosed to help determine the reasons behind the development of the co-occurring disorders, to overcome those reasons, and to develop coping mechanisms that prevent relapse and backsliding with regard to both the mental health disorder and the accompanying substance abuse problem.
Psychopharmacology refers to using prescription drugs to treat a mental health disorder. When a person is dual diagnosed, the doses and type of drugs prescribed are carefully selected and monitored to help avoid substance abuse relapse and additional substance abuse problems.