Understanding the Meaning and Needs of People with Dual Diagnoses

More than 9.2 million adults in the United States live with a mental health disorder and an addiction to drugs or alcohol, according to a survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 

To learn how to care for yourself or a loved one with both a mental illness and an addiction, it’s important you understand the concept of a dual diagnosis

The team at Insight Health & Wellness specializes in treating people with dual diagnoses and ensure they receive the right kind of care to address their every need. They offer insight into what a dual diagnosis means and how to provide support and compassion for those battling multiple afflictions.

What is a dual diagnosis?

A dual diagnosis describes a person who has a co-existing mental illness and substance abuse disorder. Either condition can develop first and lead to the secondary condition.

For instance, a person with depression can turn to alcohol or drugs to help them cope with symptoms of their illness. There are also people who develop mental health issues like depression and anxiety due to their misuse or abuse of alcohol or drugs.

The combined effect of dual conditions can affect people differently, but the side effects of both illness and addiction are often the same. Some of the most common indications a person may need mental health help or treatment for addiction include:

All of these issues can also lead to actions of self-harm and thoughts or attempts at suicide.

How dual diagnosis treatment differs from other therapies

Many people struggle in recovery when they don’t receive the proper care a person with a dual diagnosis should have. For this reason, the team at Insight Health & Wellness specializes in a variety of treatments that cater to people with co-existing mental health and addiction issues.

To effectively address all factors involved in a dual diagnosis, the team first provides comprehensive diagnostic testing to assess the type of care you need. They also help you understand how each condition affects the other.

The ultimate goal of their custom treatment plan is to provide care for both your underlying mental health disorder and your addiction issues to ensure relapse prevention and boost your overall health and wellness.

What to expect during dual diagnosis treatment

Insight Health & Wellness takes an integrated approach to dual diagnosis care. The team is fully qualified to treat both mental health disorders and addiction on an inpatient or outpatient basis.

In many cases, treatment begins with detoxification from all substances. This ensures the team can accurately evaluate your mental health without any influence from alcohol or drugs.

Following detox, you’ll benefit from talk therapy on an individual or group basis to learn more about yourself and how to cope with your conditions. Insight Health & Wellness also offers family therapy to provide necessary resources to family members in support of their loved ones, which is an important part of an individual’s recovery program.

In addition to talk therapy, people with a dual diagnosis may benefit from participating in:

To address underlying psychological traumas that trigger mental health issues and substance abuse, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is available. EMDR is a type of psychotherapy that helps you heal from emotional stress caused by traumatic life experiences.

The medical team has compassion for those they treat and tailor care plans to address the needs of each individual.

If you’re struggling with a dual diagnosis, schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Insight Health & Wellness. You can call the office in West Los Angeles, California, or request a confidential appointment online today.


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