It is not at all uncommon for people to struggle with both an addiction and a mental health disorder at the same time. When this happens, they are often referred to as having a “dual diagnosis.” This means that they have at least two conditions occurring at the same time and interacting with one other. These are also sometimes called co-occurring disorders or comorbidities.
For example, a person who has a social anxiety disorder may turn to alcohol as a way to help ease the symptoms that result from that condition. However, self-medicating in this way often only serves to make the problems worse. The underlying issues of the social anxiety disorder are left unaddressed, and the alcohol problem gets worse as the person becomes more reliant on it to cope.
Alternatively, someone who has a habit of binge drinking may develop depression as result of alcohol’s effects on their brain and their behavior.
A few conditions that most commonly occur alongside drug, love, sex, and or gaming addictions include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Dual Diagnosis Help
We excel at treating patients who struggle with a dual diagnosis, even those who have tried and failed treatment many times before. We excel because our expert clinical team places an emphasis on thoroughly assessing each patient to uncover any secondary or co-occurring conditions that often accompany a primary diagnosis, in addition to teaching them the skills needed to navigate these disorders.
Too often, a patient’s treatment will be focused primarily on one disorder. We believe that leaving co-occurring conditions unaddressed increases the risk for relapse. Dual diagnoses often feed off of one another, so when left untreated, the symptoms of one condition can jump-start the symptoms of another. Our trauma-focused and brain-based approach helps us find and treat the root cause of the patient’s addictions and behavioral disorders.