What are some of the challenges that are associated with having a dual diagnosis?

The Challenges of Dual Diagnosis Treatment Recognizing that addiction is often a symptom, dual diagnosis treatment requires specialization, increased risk of relapse or development of maladaptive behaviors, the struggle with self-medication. A dual-diagnosed person has a mental disorder and an alcohol or drug problem. About half of people who have a mental disorder will also have substance use disorder at some point in their lives and vice versa. The interactions of the two conditions can worsen both.

Treatment for your mental health problem may include medication, individual or group counseling, self-help measures, lifestyle changes, and peer support. Patients with a dual diagnosis usually have symptoms of an apparent mood disorder that can range from dysthymia to a major depressive episode. For example, alcoholism therapy is administered individually or as a group by one or more alcoholism counselors, while psychiatric treatment (including counseling and medication management) is administered by a psychiatrist. Because a person with a dual diagnosis may experience more extreme and chronic symptoms, they are more likely to neglect self-care.

Dual diagnoses are also associated with financial problems, employment problems, housing problems, and legal issues. Dual diagnosis rehabilitation centers face the unique challenge of treating multiple disorders without aggravating any course of treatment. The presence of a dual diagnosis can complicate the course of treatment a little, but, with better understanding and education, this complex condition can be successfully recovered. For example, standardized treatment packages and insufficient guidelines on substance abuse treatment make it difficult to treat patients with dual diagnosis.

Unfortunately, a dual diagnosis can result in dual stigmas if not well understood, leading to poorer social support. These challenges can affect a dual-diagnosis patient's approach and response to treatment, making recovery more complicated. This article suggests that a more flexible and longer treatment period, together with more sufficient guidelines on dual-diagnosis treatment and more formalized collaboration with substance abuse treatment centers, will make it a less difficult topic to treat patients with dual diagnosis. Because each dual disorder can aggravate the course of the other, both disorders must be treated so that the patient has the best chance of obtaining a good outcome (Woody et al.

Dual diagnosis is a common term used to describe a person with a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. Importantly, people who experience a dual diagnosis are affected in different ways and therefore have individual needs. The health consequences of a dual diagnosis depend both on the substance being used and on the mental disorder present.

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