Dual Diagnosis: What Is It and How Do We Treat it?

There is a strong link between substance abuse and mental health problems. When both occur simultaneously, it is known as a dual diagnosis. It is important that both conditions are treated concurrently to ensure that you can move on effectively and get your life back under control. Banbury Lodge has a team of fully trained, professional therapists ready to help you overcome your diagnosis once and for all.

What Is Dual Diagnosis (Co-Occurring Disorders)?

Mental health problems often occur in those who abuse mood-altering chemicals such as alcohol or drugs. Conversely, though, the presence of mental health problems such as anxiety disorder or chronic depression can lead to substance abuse. When mental health problems and substance abuse issues overlap, a dual diagnosis is present.

This is a complex condition that requires comprehensive treatment. It used to be the case that those who presented with mental health and substance abuse issues were treated for one condition only.

For example, the substance abuse or addiction was dealt with, while the mental health issues were not. The problem with this scenario is that it is often the mental health issues that are causing the substance abuse. Without treating both conditions at the same time, the risk of relapse is thus much higher.

Fortunately, we now know that because of the strong links between addiction and mental health issues, both conditions must be treated at the same time in order to give you the help you need to get better.

We are aware that there are certain drugs that can increase your risk of mental health problems, and we also know that certain drugs can make the symptoms of a mental health problem worse. To help you overcome a dual diagnosis, therefore, we need to tackle your addiction and the symptoms of your mental health issue at the same time.

How Do I Know if I Have a Dual Diagnosis?

According to a report by the mental health charity MIND, around thirty-to-fifty percent of those with mental health issues also abuse mood-altering chemicals. With so many individuals struggling with both conditions, it can be difficult to tell which symptoms are associated with substance abuse and which ones are caused by the mental health issue.

The signs and symptoms of dual diagnosis will vary depending on the type of substance that is being abused and the mental health problem that the affected person has. Nevertheless, if you are worried that you may have a dual diagnosis, you can look out for the following signs, which can give you an indication of whether you need treatment or not:

  • You are using a mood-altering chemical such as alcohol or drugs to help you feel better
  • You believe that your drug of choice is the only thing that brings you pleasure or numbs the pain you are feeling
  • You have a history of mental health problems
  • When you try to quit your drug of choice, you experience strong feelings of anger, hopelessness, or suicidal tendencies
  • You only feel normal when taking drugs
  • You have a family history of mental health problems.

If you can relate to any of the above, it may be the case that you have underlying mental health issues as well as problems with substance abuse. It is essential that you speak to someone as soon as possible because these conditions will not go away on their own.

How Does It Affect Me?

Dealing with both mental health problems and addiction can be a major challenge. Regardless of the substance, you are abusing and the mental health condition that you have, you are likely to find that you struggle to cope with day-to-day life.

You may be unable to hold down a job because of the impact of your complex condition, which could also be having an impact on your relationships with others. It is common for individuals with a dual diagnosis to deliberately withdraw from others, which can have a negative impact on themselves and their family.

You might find that you begin to suffer from hallucinations or paranoid delusions because of your condition, and this can affect your ability to get on with daily life. If you believe that everyone is out to get you, for example, or you are seeing or hearing things that are not there, you could find it extremely difficult to interact with others.

Use of mood-altering chemicals may also be having a negative impact on your physical health. Abuse of alcohol or drugs can lead to you developing both short- and long-term health problems. The longer your condition goes untreated, the higher the chance that your mental and physical health will deteriorate even further.

How Is Dual Diagnosis Treated?

Banbury Lodge has therapists specialised in the field of dual diagnosis treatment. We understand that this is a complex condition that affects each person in different ways and there is, therefore, no single treatment plan that will work for everyone.

Instead, you can expect a plan of care that caters to your individual needs. There is likely to be a complicated relationship between the type of substance you are abusing and the mental health condition you are dealing with. As such, careful consideration will be given to the type of plan that is expected to work most effectively.

The type of treatments that we use as well as the level of care that you require will depend on the severity of your illness. It is likely that you will need to detox initially so that you can quit the substance to which you have become addicted.

Due to your mental health illness and the risk of suicidal tendencies during detox, it is best to detox within a dedicated facility where you can be carefully monitored around-the-clock. At Banbury Lodge, we offer comprehensive detox and rehabilitation programmes for those with a dual diagnosis.

Our staff members can offer support and care throughout all aspects of your recovery. Moreover, with experience and knowledge of effectively treating the condition, you can be sure that you will be in safe hands.

We use a variety of therapies in the treatment of dual diagnosis, including both individual and group therapy. We may use medication to help regulate your moods and to reduce feelings of agitation and anxiety. The use of appropriate medication can also help to prevent the occurrence of hallucinations or flashbacks.

Motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioural therapy have proven to be effective tools in the treatment of dual diagnosis as they help with the development of new thought patterns and behaviours. We also use a range of holistic therapies that can help to heal the mind, body, and spirit. The use of such treatments has proven time and again to help to recover.

Why Should I Consider Banbury Lodge?

Our clinic offers a safe and comfortable environment in which you can overcome your dual diagnosis. We use a range of therapies that are designed to help with the treatment of addiction and mental health conditions.

Our mindful fitness programme utilises the practice of mindfulness where you will learn how to develop a state of awareness that can improve your wellbeing and reduce stress. Mindfulness is particularly useful in terms of relapse prevention, and when combined with fitness techniques such as yoga, it can improve your mind, body, and spirit.

Our state-of-the-art facility offers private en-suite accommodation and is staffed by a team of fully trained professionals who will do everything in their power to help you get well again. Set in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside, you can enjoy a facility that has a gym and access to a nearby swimming, as well as a range of activities to help you fully recover.

We want you to know that your safety and security is important to us. While recovering at our clinic, you will be protected from temptations and triggers and there will be no distractions from the outside world that might interfere with your progress.

We also provide support for your family while you are with us. As part of our family recovery programme, members of your family will be invited to take part in either individual counselling sessions with your therapist or group meetings with other family members, yourself, and your counsellor.

Our family therapy programme aims to help you and your family get back on your feet and deal with any underlying issues relating to your illness.

Will You Provide Additional Support after Rehab?

When your rehab programme ends, you can rest in the knowledge that our support will continue. We know that you are going to find the transition back to normal everyday living tough, but you will not be alone. We offer an additional twelve months aftercare support for all patients who complete their recovery programme with us.

If you are interested in help for a dual diagnosis, please contact Banbury Lodge today. We can assess your situation and diagnose your condition as well as provide information and advice on the next steps you should take to get well again. Please call now to find out more about what we can do for you.

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