Category Archives: Dual Diagnosis

PTSD Doesn’t Just Affect Vets

Post-traumatic stress disorder is often associated with war veterans, but it’s a disease that can affect all types of people, even children and adolescents. According to the National Survey of Adolescents, about 4 percent of of teenage boys and 6 percent of teenage girls meet the clinical definition of PTSD. Since kids and teens are not exempt from witnessing or experiencing traumatic events, this puts them at risk.

What Leads To PTSD?Better Not Bitter-PTSD Doesn't Just Affect Vets-TheRiverSource

Some of the most common causes of post-traumatic stress disorder are:

  • Violent assault
  • Sexual assault
  • Childhood abuse
  • Natural disasters
  • Military combat
  • Neglect

Why Are Some People More At Risk Than Others?

The reason why one person develops PTSD and another does not is not well understood. The causes of PTSD vary based on the severity of the trauma, how many times the trauma was witnessed and how close the person was to the trauma. There are also genetic, environmental and physical factors that put some people more at risk than others.

What Are The Signs?

Symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Avoidance of things related to the trauma
  • Severe anxiety
  • Sleeplessness
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Angry outbursts

PTSD And Substance Abuse

When a person suffers from this mental disorder, they are more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. It’s estimated that over 50 percent of PTSD sufferers also have alcohol problems, and over 30 percent have drug problems. Both anxiety and addiction treatment are necessary to help the person recover from the substance abuse and the mental illness.

When drugs and alcohol are used to manage symptoms, the condition only worsens. Under the influence, people with PTSD are more likely to engage in risk-taking behavior, avoid the underlying problem and worsen depression and anxiety. Those with post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse are more likely to deal with legal problems, poverty, incarceration, broken homes and unemployment.

Treatment For Dual Diagnosis

To stop the cycle of drug abuse and treat this mental illness, dual diagnosis treatment centers in Arizona address both disorders. Treatment includes working on the trauma that caused the PTSD and helping the person to find new ways to cope with the pain outside of drugs and alcohol. It’s a difficult road, but progress is seen when the proper diagnosis is made.

Bottom line: PTSD is not just a veteran condition. It’s something that affects children, teens and adults, and it deserves specialized treatment in order to treat or prevent substance abuse problems.

If you or someone you love is suffering from substance abuse and PTSD or another mental illness, call The River Source. We are experienced in treating dual diagnosis cases, and our holistic approach helps patients heal mentally, physically and spiritually. Let’s walk the journey together.

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What Can Cause A Mental Health Disorder?

Many people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol are also diagnosed with other mental disorders. Compared to the general population, people with substance abuse problems are twice as likely to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders. About 37 percent of individuals with alcoholism and 53 percent of individuals with drug addictions have at least one serious mental illness according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Mental Health Disorder-Dual Diagnosis Treatment-TheRiverSource.org

Which Comes First? Mental Illness Or Substance Abuse?

With such high rates of mental disorders in people with addictions, it’s important for treatment centers to address both problems. It’s unknown which comes first, but research suggests the following:

  • Drug abuse may bring out symptoms of mental illness. For instance, the risk of paranoia or psychosis with certain drugs can create anxiety problems.
  • Mental disorders may lead to drug abuse. People dealing with anxiety or bipolar depression may use drugs or alcohol to self medicate and temporarily alleviate their symptoms.

When seeking recovery, the goal is to treat both the substance abuse and the underlying mental disorder with dual diagnosis treatment in Arizona.

What Causes Mental Health Disorders?

Since substance abuse and mental health disorders are closely related, it’s natural to be concerned about what causes these problems. You may feel that you have more control over addiction because abstinence can prevent it. But what about a mental illness? Do you have the same control?

There is no single cause for mental health disorders. Research suggests that they are caused by a mix of psychological, biological and environmental factors.

  • Genetics: Mental illness sometimes runs in families, suggesting that people with a family history of mental illness may be more at risk. Research suggests that susceptibility is passed down through certain genes, which are then triggered by traumatic events, stress or abuse.
  • Psychological: Some mental illnesses may be triggered by some type of trauma such as abuse or neglect or a significant loss early in childhood. If the issue isn’t dealt with, it can lead to negative thought patterns.
  • Environmental: How a person is raised also contributes to the onset of mental illness. Certain stressors – a death, divorce or dysfunctional family upbringing – can create an unstable environment that triggers a mental disorder in someone who is already at risk.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

When a person is diagnosed with both a mental health disorder and substance abuse, they are said to have a dual diagnosis. It’s important to choose a treatment center that is experienced in diagnosing and treating dual diagnosis cases if you suspect both problems are present. Only a licensed mental health professional can give an accurate diagnosis.

The River Source works with dual diagnosis patients. We provide integrative care that includes detox, counseling and a sober living environment. Each patient receives individualized care that addresses the mental health disorder and the addiction.

Call Us Today To Start You Or Your Loved One On This Incredible Life-Changing Path!

Co-Occurring Disorders – Cycle Of Mood Disorders And Self-Medicating

According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 21 million American adults, or 9.5 percent of the population ages 18 and older have one or more mood disorders. These disorders include major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder (chronic, mild depression), and bipolar disorder (also called manic depression).5

Alcoholism and other types of drug dependence are frequently connected with these disorders. In fact, dual diagnosis of substance abuse and mood disorders is a somewhat common and serious psychiatric condition that requires professional treatment.

Cycle Of Mood Disorders And Self-Medicating

Cycle Of Mood Disorders And Self-Medicating-TheRiverSourceThere is often a cycle of mood disorders and substance abuse. Some believe that the abuse leads to a mood disorder. Others link the disorder as the cause for self-medication with alcohol or drugs. While this is often a “chicken or the egg” argument that often can’t be determined, the main point is that a vicious spiral often starts when those suffering from mood disorders treat their symptoms with substances.

For some suffering from mood disorders, the drug of choice is alcohol. Others will turn to cocaine or other stimulants that act on neurotransmitters in the brain’s pleasure center. In a National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), findings showed that about 20 percent of persons with a mood disorder also had a substance use disorder.

Treating Co-Occurring Disorders

Self-medication of mood disorders with drugs or alcohol is dangerous and often leads to long-term addiction. Treatment typically requires a combination of psychotherapies, antidepressant medication, and cognitive-behavioral interventions to identify harmful patterns of thoughts and behaviors and replace them with more healthy, beneficial ones.

Mental health experts now recognize that having co-occurring disorders can make addiction treatment more complex and can increase an individual’s risk for certain health complications. However, individuals often find that when a mood disorder is effectively treated, the desire to use drugs or alcohol lessens. This is why it’s so important to completely treat both conditions.

If you or a loved one is struggling with a mood disorder and addiction, contact The River Source today. Patients receive a full assessment before being admitted to ensure that they receive a customized treatment plan that addresses both the mood disorder and the substance abuse.

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Why Dual Diagnosis Is So Common

Individuals who struggle with substance abuse and a mental health disorder are described as having a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. Because there are two diseases feeding off each other, these individuals often have a harder time recovering from addiction. This, unfortunately, is an all-too-common situation.

How Likely Is It To Have A Dual Diagnosis?

Why Dual Diagnosis Is So Common-The River Source Phoenix

The National Alliance on Mental Illness suggests that between one-third and one-fourth of people who have a mental illness also battle addiction.

To complicate matters, the relationship can go both ways. People who have ongoing mental health problems may use drugs and alcohol to cope with their symptoms, while those abusing drugs and alcohol may show signs of mental illness.

Additionally, there are certain groups of people with mental illness that are more at risk for substance abuse, such as:

  • Males
  • Lower income individuals
  • Military veterans
  • People with underlying health conditions

What Are The Signs Of Dual Diagnosis?

Some of the signs of a dual diagnosis include:

  • Difficulty with day-to-day functioning
  • Trouble maintaining relationships
  • Irrational emotions and behaviors
  • Complications keeping a job

Why A Diagnosis Is Important

Finding treatment for a dual diagnosis may appear to be difficult, but rest assured that more treatment centers are recognizing the relationship between mental illness and substance abuse. If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from both conditions, the key is to get a complete diagnosis from a qualified health professional.

Treatment centers like The River Source provide each patient with an assessment before treatment is started. This ensures that your loved one gets the help they need for both the mental illness and the addiction.

Individualized Treatment Is Key

No one single method of treatment is the “right” way; instead it’s important to look at how the mental disorder is affecting the individual and how consuming the drug or alcohol addiction is. A person who abuses alcohol and suffers from depression will require a different course of treatment than someone who battles chronic pain and is addicted to painkillers.

With an accurate assessment from a dual diagnosis treatment center in Arizona, your loved one will receive individualized treatment for both issues. The good news is that holistic therapies like infrared sauna, vitamin therapy, acupuncture and biofeedback are beneficial for both conditions. When you combine these therapies with individual and group counseling, patients are able to tackle both illnesses and stop them from feeding off each other.

Dual diagnosis is a complex issue, but The River Source has the means to treat both issues. We will support you or your loved one through every stage of the recovery process and offer individualized treatment that includes detox, counseling and sober living.

Call Us Now To Begin This Journey That Will Transform Your Life!

What Are The Signs Of A Dual Diagnosis?

It’s incredibly scary to deal with a substance abuse problem, but the lines become even more blurred when a second problem lurks beneath the surface. This is what happens with a dual diagnosis. The patient will deal with an addiction to drugs or alcohol as well as a mental health disorder such as anxiety or depression. The two diseases have symptoms that intermingle and affect each other, and this makes it difficult to recognize and treat both problems.

Warning Signs Of A Dual Diagnosis

What Are The Signs Of A Dual Diagnosis-TheRiverSourceAs challenging as a dual diagnosis can be, it’s not impossible to identify the warning signs in your loved one and create a customized treatment plan that comprehensively addresses both issues.

Only a specialized addiction treatment center will be able to make an accurate diagnosis, as they are trained to recognize the signs of the drug or alcohol addiction and the mental health illness.

At The River Source, the most common dual diagnosis disorders that we work with are mood disorders, anxiety disorders and personality disorders.
 
 
Here are some of the most common signs that a dual diagnosis is at the root of the problem:

  • Day-to-day functioning is extremely difficult or impossible
  • Inability to maintain employment
  • Inability to maintain relationships
  • Inability to control emotions
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Panic attacks
  • Legal problems
  • Financial difficulties

Keep in mind that the signs of co-occurring disorders vary greatly between individuals. Not only does addiction affect people differently, but also so does the mental health disorder. A person suffering from a crystal meth addiction and bipolar disorder is going to have a different set of symptoms than someone dealing with an alcohol problem and anxiety.

Comprehensive Addiction And Mental Health Treatment

Once a dual diagnosis has been made, the future becomes immediately brighter. Comprehensive treatment addresses both the substance abuse and the mental health disorder simultaneously. Treatment usually includes medical and psychotherapeutic intervention for both diseases. The River Source offers this type of intervention as well as alternative treatments such as acupuncture, massage therapy, neurofeedback and nutritional education.

Here at The River Source, we can help your loved one safely and effectively treat an addiction and a mental health disorder. Our customized treatment plans are built specifically for each parent and include naturopathic detox, counseling, holistic therapies and sober living.

Call Us Now To Start The Journey To A Happier, Healthier Life That Is Within Reach!

Finding Treatment for a Dual Diagnosis

This entry was posted in Dual Diagnosis on by .

35821896_sA dual diagnosis means that a person suffers from a drug or alcohol addiction and a mental health disorder. Dual diagnoses, or co-occurring disorders, aren’t so cut and dry, though. They can be tricky to recognize because the drug and alcohol use can blur the lines of normal behavior for the individual. For example, if Kate is abusing alcohol and then suffers from bouts of depression, is it really the alcohol causing these feelings? Or could it be depression?

Because it’s difficult to make a dual diagnosis, it’s important to choose a treatment center that has experience in this area. Some treatment centers only look at the addiction portion. However, if the person does not have the underlying condition addressed, it’s more likely that they will relapse. That’s because it’s very difficult to expect someone with, say, depression to stop using drugs and alcohol to mask their feelings when the depression hasn’t been treated.

How Common is a Dual Diagnosis?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that substance abuse and mental health disorders frequently occur together. It’s estimated that about one-third of all people experiencing mental illness and about half of the people living with severe mental illness abuse drugs and alcohol. The people most at risk for having a co-existing condition include those of lower socioeconomic status, military veterans, those with medical illnesses and men.

The most common illnesses that go hand in hand with substance abuse are post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorders, anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.

What are the Symptoms?

With a dual diagnosis, both a mental health disorder and substance are present. The symptoms of a dual diagnosis do vary because there are many types of mental illnesses out there. A person suffering from depression may act very differently than someone with anxiety, for example. In a general sense, here are the symptoms to watch for:

  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Confused thinking
  • Problems concentrating
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Avoiding social activities
  • Engaging in risky behaviors when under the influence
  • Using substances under dangerous conditions
  • Loss of control

Choosing a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center

If you believe that you or a loved one is struggling with a substance abuse problem and a mental illness, it’s critical that you choose a recovery center that is experienced in treating both problems. True healing cannot begin until both problems are addressed.

At The River Source, each patient receives a full-assessment upon being admitted to treatment, and this is where we often make the diagnosis. From here, our counselors and doctors put together a personalized treatment regimen that takes  both problems into account.

Why Inpatient Treatment is Best

Residential rehab facilities are best in these instances because more intensive treatment is required. Many patients need time away from their current environment in order to better understand themselves and their condition.

Luckily, assigning a name to the problem helps a lot of patients. Some come into recovery thinking they are abnormal, and having a reason why they feel the way they do is validating. When they can deal with their “depression” or “personality disorder,” it’s much easier than trying to work through strange and erratic emotions.

Also, by treating the mental illness, the addiction becomes easier to treat as well. Some patients find that they don’t need to continue using drugs or alcohol when their depression or anxiety is managed. Others better understand where some of their dark emotions come from and how to manage them.

After Treatment

Once treatment is completed, it’s very important that the patient follows through with their aftercare plan, which will likely include medications to treat the mental illness and coping mechanisms for dealing with stress and anxiety.

It may also be recommended that the patient attends therapy. Psychotherapy is a large part of treating a dual diagnosis and helping people cope with the condition and change ineffective patterns of thinking. Self-help and support groups are also beneficial and offer safe, supportive environments where people can share their frustrations, successes and community support.

Treating an addiction is very difficult, as you probably are already aware. Throwing a mental illness into the mix stirs things up even more. But, it’s important to look on the bright side. If you or a loved one has an underlying problem, wouldn’t you want to know about it? Wouldn’t you want to get the help that is needed to feel better and have the energy to commit to treatment? Wouldn’t you want the best chances for success in recovery?