Co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders (SUDs) can complicate recovery and require additional therapeutic support. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “Researchers have found that about half of individuals who experience a SUD during their lives will also experience a co-occurring mental disorder and vice versa.” Twilight Recovery Center uses evidence-based and alternative therapies to provide guests with the tools they need to heal from dual diagnoses and underlying issues.
What Is Dual Diagnosis?
An individual with a dual diagnosis has two or more diagnosed conditions. In most cases, individuals with SUD will have a dual diagnosis related to the symptoms or side effects of substance use. However, sometimes multiple disorders develop spontaneously, and their symptoms overlap, making it challenging to recognize undiagnosed conditions.
Additional mental health issues may cause more severe or longer-lasting symptoms during treatment. A whole-person approach to care that addresses underlying issues can make it easier to stabilize mental health and relieve symptoms. Twilight Recovery Center uses holistic care to ensure mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. Our treatments include group and individual trauma therapy, psychotherapy, holistic healing, and peer support.
Possible Risk Factors
Anyone can develop co-occurring disorders. A few of the most common risk factors include:
- Family history of addiction or mental health issues
- Chronic stress
- Witnessing or experiencing trauma
- Environmental factors
Chronic pain and other disabilities are also common among individuals who abuse substances. Some people self-medicate mental or physical illnesses using alcohol or drugs, while others have mental illnesses caused by substance abuse. Cognitive and physical disabilities increase the risk of developing mental health issues. Therapists often use integrative treatments to address dual diagnoses.
What to Expect From Treatment for Dual Diagnosis
Dual diagnosis can significantly increase the severity of symptoms experienced during detox, withdrawal, and early recovery. Mood shifts may be more severe, and some people have difficulty focusing on recovery. Dual diagnosis treatment aims to reduce the adverse effects of multiple conditions by using evidence-based and complementary therapies.
Every case is unique and requires tailored care. Most people collaborate closely with their clinical team to create a comprehensive treatment plan that gives them essential tools for recovery. A few common treatments for dual diagnosis include:
- Peer support and group therapy
- Family therapy
- Individual therapy
- Trauma therapy
- Holistic therapies
Recovery is not linear, and often in the case of co-occurring disorders, the process can take a little longer and require additional treatments to address all active, underlying, and complicating health issues. Psychotherapy is an essential part of rehabilitation for individuals with dual diagnoses. Talk therapy gives them a safe and judgment-free space to discuss their fears, doubts, goals, and hopes for the future.
Disabilities and Dual Diagnosis
Many people who struggle with addiction live with cognitive and physical disabilities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Adults with disabilities experience higher levels of mental health conditions and substance use than do adults without disabilities.” Facilities like Twilight Recovery Center use a holistic approach to ensure all clients can access accommodations that meet their unique needs during detox, withdrawal, and continuing recovery.
According to the CDC, “One in 4 U.S. adults–61 million Americans–have a disability that impacts major life activities.” Some of the most common disabilities include:
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Mobility-related disabilities
- Severe illnesses including cancers and heart disease
- Cognitive impairment
Any comorbid disability that interferes with mental or emotional stability can affect recovery. Dual diagnosis treatment programs can provide additional support and accommodations to ensure clients with co-occurring mental, substance use, or physical disorders have the tools they need to achieve personal growth and manage symptoms.
The Importance of Holistic Care for Dual Diagnosis
Holistic care provides tailored care that treats all issues related to recovery, including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Twilight Recovery Center looks at each client as a whole, not a single diagnosis or set of symptoms. Holistic treatments for dual diagnosis can include:
- Mindfulness-based techniques
- Equine therapy
- Adventure therapy
- Art and music therapy
Learn the Skills You Need to Manage Dual Diagnosis
Learning essential life skills can make dual diagnosis easier to treat during continuing care. Your therapist will help you learn how to do the following during dual diagnosis treatment:
- Decrease stress using mindfulness and coping techniques
- Problem-solve and create preventative strategies
- Recognize, regulate, and process emotions in a healthy way
- Communicate effectively and actively listen to others
- Construct and maintain healthy social boundaries
- Develop healthy relationships
Dual diagnosis treatment prepares you for challenges related to recovery and stress management. Long-term sobriety is easier to manage when you have the tools to identify and cope with daily stressors related to your mental and physical health.