You or your teen went to rehab to get help for a drug addiction and was also diagnosed with a mental illness. Now what? Getting a dual diagnosis, especially one that includes addiction and mental health, is not unusual. You are certainly not alone in your struggle. Consider it a bonus that you were able to get into recovery for addiction and learn about your mental health issues. Now you have the chance to get treatment for both and to become truly well.
Addiction And Mental Health
Addiction and mental health often co-occur for several possible reasons. If you had an underlying mental illness for which you did not get a diagnosis and, therefore, was not being treated, you may have begun to self-medicate. To self-medicate means to use substances, typically alcohol or illegal drugs, in an attempt to feel better. When you were high or drunk you could ignore the bad feelings you had.
On the other hand, addiction can make an underlying condition worse. Drugs and alcohol don’t usually cause a mental illness, but they can make it worse. You may also have experienced the onset of a mental illness as a result of your substance abuse. It may be that the illness was there, lying in wait, and your use of drugs or alcohol caused you to start experiencing symptoms for the first time.
How Is A Dual Diagnosis Treated?
The most important thing to understand if you have received a dual diagnosis is that both conditions require treatment. Also know that treatment for both is ongoing. Addiction is a chronic illness that can flare up throughout your lifetime. Most mental illnesses are the same. Be prepared to seek treatment for both conditions and realize that you will need to keep up with that treatment, even when you are feeling better.
Treating both addiction and mental illness can be complicated. For caregivers, the first priority is to make sure you are safe. If you received your diagnosis in rehab for addiction, you are already on a good path. You have received intensive treatment for your addiction and can now get help for your mental health issue. In fact, most professionals agree that treating the addiction first is most important. Once you have gotten sober you can focus on your mental health.
Turn to those professionals at your rehab facility for guidance in treating your mental illness. These experts understand how to treat both conditions at the same time. Although you are now sober you still need care for your addiction. The most effective treatment is one that includes both addiction and mental health care and addresses the ways in which they are intertwined.
How Do I Cope With Both Addiction And Mental Illness?
Getting that extra diagnosis while in recovery for addiction may seem overwhelming. It may seem like a big challenge to overcome both conditions, but in understanding what your or your teen’s mental health issues are, you actually have a better chance to heal. With good therapy you will begin to understand why you turned to drugs and alcohol and how to get better.
As you cope with being in recovery along with treating your mental illness, be sure to rely on others for support. Being around loved ones who care will help you to carry on with treatment. You can also get great encouragement from support groups. Ask your therapist for resources so you can find one to join. Finally, devise strategies for coping with stress and the urges to relapse. When you minimize these you will heal more quickly and be able to live a healthy and happy life.
If You Or Your Teen Needs Help With Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Call Us Now!