Disorder Rehabilitation | Dual Diagnosis
Countless people have co-occurring disorders, or an addiction along with another diagnosable mental health problem. For these people, each is a primary condition. That is, they have two conditions that require stabilization and management if they are to be healthy and successful in their lives. Such co-existing conditions may be referred to by several terms, all indicating the same type of problem. You may hear them called, for example, co-occurring or co-existing disorders, dual disorders, dual diagnosis issues or concurrent disorders.
Co-occurring disorders can pose multiple, often serious challenges for the people who have them, as well as for their loved ones. For recovery, not only is an accurate diagnosis required, but so is the help of professionals with the right expertise to address them simultaneously. Without concurrent stabilization, addiction recovery becomes very complicated, and sadly, impossible for many. An unresolved co-existing disorder will sabotage any recovery effort. We are pleased to have a team of professionals at The Sanctuary that is highly skilled and well-experienced in providing the appropriate care for co-occurring disorders.
Synergy occurs when parts of a phenomenon interact to create a more forceful energy than each part separately can. Co-occurring disorders can be tragic examples of this. For instance, one’s depression may be manageable and not immediately dangerous, but can ‘combine forces’ with substance use to create psychosis or suicidality.
The synergistic effects of co-occurring disorders can be very specific—depending upon what type of mental health condition is present, how severe it is, what type of substances are used and how they are used. Symptoms of both amplify and trigger the other, leading to complicated sets of symptoms that are difficult to diagnose and manage. It is not uncommon for psychiatric emergencies to occur when the two disorders are active. Mutual triggering can result in such clinical issues as depression, anxiety, panic, behavioral disorganization, hallucinations, delusions, mania, suicidality, anger and aggression.
Unfortunately, people with co-occurring conditions not only suffer immensely, but encounter profound obstacles when seeking help. Their symptoms are often attributed to the wrong cause, for example. Symptoms of addiction can look like other mental health conditions and the reverse is true as well. The result of this ‘symptom masquerade’ is that the true problem goes undiagnosed and untreated. Left unresolved, either ‘partner’ in a set of co-existing conditions will undermine efforts made to manage the other.
Diagnostic difficulties are just one problem that people with co-occurring disorders encounter. Theirs can be a long, arduous and unsuccessful search for relief that is eventually fraught with hopelessness and the temptation to give up recovery efforts altogether. Many, for example, have gone multiple times to excellent facilities with highly- skilled staff only to return to their addictions. Somehow, they fell through the cracks of the programs they attended.
We are very fortunate here at The Sanctuary to have found a holistic, science-based understanding of both addiction and mental health problems. We know that the two always go hand in hand and that they must be aggressively addressed at the same time, in the same recovery program, and by the same professional staff. Consequently, we have sealed up many of those clinical cracks that have left so many individuals and their families in despair. No matter how many times you have tried before, and no matter how hopeless you feel about your situation, or that of a loved one, you need to know that there are cutting edge methods that have become our routine that you may not have encountered before.
A good number of our program participants have had an arduous and unsuccessful pursuit of recovery before they came to us. Our comprehensive, integrated and holistic program was exactly what they needed. They left us equipped with a sustainable program for sobriety and mental health. Those experiences, and our ongoing monitoring of applicable new science, have led us to firmly believe that there is always hope for recovery, no matter how much you have become convinced otherwise.
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