About Dual Diagnosis Treatment
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), roughly 7.9 million adults in the United States had co-occurring disorders in 2014.
Co-occurring disorders, sometimes known as dual diagnosis, occur when a person has multiple mental illnesses or substance addictions at the same time. A person with co-occurring disorders may have both depression and schizophrenia, both schizophrenia and alcoholism, or both alcoholism and cocaine addiction, to name only a few examples.
When people are diagnosed with multiple conditions, the conditions often work additively – in other words, one disorder makes the other disorder(s) worse and vise-versa. For this reason, people with co-occurring disorders often need more intensive treatment. Treating one condition while failing to treat the other condition(s) may result in little relief or even worsening symptoms.
At Sovereign, we understand the importance of recognizing and diagnosing co-occurring conditions. We provide our patients with a world-class dual diagnosis program so that all of their needs can be met concurrently.
Do I have a co-occurring disorder?
It’s not always easy to tell when a person is fighting multiple conditions at the same time, since one condition often masks another.
Here are a few examples:
- A man with depression and alcoholism believes that he only drinks to self-medicate his depression. He suspects that – once his depression is cured – it will be easy to stay sober. Unfortunately, his brain is still hooked on alcohol regardless of his treatment progress, which makes him feel hopeless and even more depressed.
- A woman is addicted to cocaine and feels like she can’t function without it. It helps her do her chores and stay on top of deadlines. When she gets sober, she realizes that she’s falling behind on her work and starts using again. She does not realize that she was using cocaine to control her adult ADHD.
- A man is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. When the man complains to his doctors about racing thoughts, they assume that his mood stabilizer is too low and up the dosage. Unbeknownst to the doctors, the man is struggling with both bipolar disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. His bipolar disorder is over-medicated and his anxiety is under-medicated, making him feel worse than before.
If any of these situations sound familiar to you, you might have a co-occurring disorder. Our expert team performs a thorough assessment on all patients to make sure that none of their disorders are untreated.