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Signs and Symptoms of a Dual Diagnosis

Dual Diagnosis Explained

Dual diagnosis, also known as a co-occurring disorder, means that an individual simultaneously lives with an active substance abuse disorder and a mental illness. Often the two co-occurring disorders will impact one another, and it can be challenging to identify which one came first. As your mental illness begins to have unpleasant or significant side effects that can be hard to manage, many will turn to drugs and alcohol to mitigate the undesirable side effects and attempt to feel ‘normal.’ However, using drugs and alcohol will often exacerbate the severity of your mental health disorders, creating a cycle of substance abuse and worsening symptoms of mental illness. 

Common mental health disorders that occur alongside substance use disorders are

  • Anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder 
  • Panic attacks 
  • Mood disorders including depression, dysthymia disorder, and bipolar disorder 
  • Psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, substance-induced psychotic disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and delusional disorder 
  • Personality disorders include antisocial disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and paranoid personality disorder. 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder 

To discover the benefits of addiction treatment at Novo Detox and start the admission process, click here to call (844) 834-1777 today.

Signs and Symptoms of a Dual Diagnosis

To provide a loved one or yourself with the appropriate treatment programs, it is essential to be aware of the signs of mental health and symptoms of substance abuse to ensure that you are receiving the proper support for a co-occurring disorder if it is present. 

Symptoms of substance abuse to be mindful of are: 

  • engaging in high-risk behavior while under the influence of drugs and alcohol 
  • Inability to control substance abuse 
  • Developing a tolerance to drugs and alcohol leading you to have to use more to reach the same desired effect
  • Extreme shifts in behaviors or having mood swings that are out of character 
  • experiencing financial or legal problems stemming from your substance abuse 
  • social isolation from loved ones 
  • experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you are no longer using drugs and alcohol 
  • Having intense cravings for drugs and alcohol when you are not engaging in substance abuse 

Signs of mental health disorders can include:

  • Changes in sleep patterns or experiencing insomnia 
  • Lack of sex drive 
  • Feeling unexplained physical pain or discomfort 
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Confusion or delirium 
  • Changes in eating patterns 
  • Challenges functioning throughout day-to-day activities 
  • Exaggerated emotional expressions of sadness, fear, or anger, often displayed in extreme mood swings 
  • Mood swings that go between extreme highs and lows and having a difficult time with emotional regulation 
  • Isolation from loved ones and activities or hobbies that once brought you joy 

The Importance of Treating Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders in Tandem

Getting support for your substance use disorders and mental health issues is essential. Both need to be given the same levels of care and treatment to provide long-lasting success for addiction recovery and mental illness stability. 

Your treatment plans should incorporate methods of addiction and mental health-specific therapies that will assist you in understanding the root causes of your addiction. Patients will also receive behavioral therapy support while learning the tools to successfully overcome their triggers with the tools for relapse prevention. While you participate in addiction therapy methods, learning natural, holistic ways of managing your symptoms of mental illness is crucial. With the tools provided through mental health treatment, you will be able to manage your mental health symptoms without turning to drugs and alcohol as a method of coping. 

Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Novo Detox Center

At Novo Detox, we specialize in providing top-level care to patients requiring the support of a dual diagnosis treatment program. Through our continuum of care, patients will be supported throughout their addiction recovery process no matter what stage of treatment they are in for their co-occurring disorder. Contact Novo Detox at (844) 834-1777 to hear more about our addiction treatment programs and get started on your healing journey today.