Dual Diagnosis

The co-occurrence of mental illness and substance abuse problem is called dual diagnosis. A wide range of psychosocial issues and several interacting illnesses can be felt by an individual who has dual diagnosis.A person’s physical, psychological, social and spiritual aspects are all affected when one faces dual diagnosis. It must be taken into story that an individual who has dual diagnosis doesn’t have two detached illnesses. There is an interaction of these two illnesses. The illnesses may exacerbate each other and each disorder predisposes to relapse in the other disease. One of the problems of dual diagnosis is the overlapping and the masking of the symptom’s illnesses because it proves difficult for treatment.

Dual diagnosis can be explained in many ways. The causality theory is one of them. Causality theory proposes that there are types of substance abuse that leads to having mental illnesses. Example of this is the use of marijuana and the development of psychosis which has evidences of casual links. An added theory is the multiple risk factor theory. Multiple risk factor theory explains that there are hazardous factors that direct to having dual diagnosis. Examples of these hazardous factors are association with people who abuses drugs, people who are lonely and in poverty. There is also an additional theory known as the super sensitivity theory. It explains that there are individuals with intense mental illness who has psychological or biological vulnerabilities. One’s genes and environment can caused this vulnerability. These vulnerabilities can result in getting a psychiatric disorder. This attempts to explain dual diagnosis in terms of treating the psychotic disorder using anti-psychotic drugs. These anti-psychotic drugs will in the long run create a tolerance in the individual’s body. This would then result to dual diagnosis.

Dual diagnosis poses many problems. One of the main problem is only one illness is identified in most cases of dual diagnosis resulting to a lack of treatment. The denial which is almost always present in different cases is also a problem. These create therapists and psychiatrists to have a hard time recognizing dual diagnosis and make them recommend treatments that would only provide a little help.

It creates quite a problem looking for proper treatments for this kind of condition. A person with dual diagnosis would find it hard to locate a treatment center that would help his or her condition recover. A treatment center that addresses to the problem of substance abuse refuses to admit someone with serious mental conditions. On the other hand, a treatment center that helps for the recovery of people with serious mental conditions is not proficient in dealing with people who is afflicted with substance abuse. This really is such a big deal.

The only thing that exists for treatment of individuals with dual diagnosis is by principles. Specialist suggests that the treating of the two co-occurring disorders should not be taken apart but rather should be joined together. There are prescriptions that have been proven to be effective. Examples of these medications are opioid replacement therapies or naltrexone) and clozapine.

There are different co-occurring illnesses that can be identified as dual diagnosis. It’s not just all about substance abuse and mental illness. One can be depressed and alcoholic, psychotic and cannabis abuser, or can have intellectual disability while at the same time having a mental illness. In the field of psychology, dual diagnosis is quite new which explains the fact of its problems regarding treatment. There is always progress in the psychological field, it is no impossibility for a treatment center to be established that would cater to the special needs of those who have dual diagnosis.

Dual Diagnosis is more than the co-occurrence of substance abuse and mental illness. It can also be the co-occurrence of depression and alcohol abuse among many others.

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