Coral reefs are beautiful parts of this earth that share a close symbiotic relationship with the fish who live in the reef. The corals give fish protection from predators. And the fish help the corals survive by eating other plants that can hog the sunlight they need to survive. Symbiotic relationships like this exist all over, but not all of them are as well intentioned.
For people who struggle with a drug or alcohol addiction, it’s common for a mental health disorder to also be present. Unfortunately, addiction and mental health disorders play off each other to form a toxic cycle of substance abuse and anxiety or depression.
What is a Dual Diagnosis Disorder?
A dual diagnosis disorder is when someone with a drug or alcohol addiction is also suffering from a mental health disorder. In fact, roughly four million people in the country suffer from dual diagnosis disorders. One of the reasons dual diagnosis disorders are so common is this idea of self-medicating to manage the symptoms.
For example, if you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder, the fear and worry becomes too much to bear on a daily basis without a way to cope. So, you start using drugs or alcohol to numb the mental health symptoms you’re experiencing. While drugs and alcohol might be a way (although dangerous) to manage your anxiety symptoms in the short term, the underlying cause is left unchecked.
Once the drug or alcohol use becomes habit, it can make your anxiety symptoms worse. Before you know it, you’re trapped in a vicious cycle of anxiety and substance abuse.
The Symptoms of One Disorder Trigger the Other
Part of what makes mental health disorders and substance abuse so challenging is the way they fuel each other. In some cases, it’s possible for substance abuse to cause mental health symptoms like depression, anxiety and paranoia. And mental health disorders can make it much harder to overcome addiction if it goes untreated.
If you’re using drugs or alcohol to manage your mental health symptoms, it can be even harder to break free from substance abuse on your own. Substance use releases a rush of dopamine in your brain to help you feel better. However, when dopamine wears off, those mental health symptoms re-emerge and enable further substance use in order to find relief.
How to Know if You Have a Dual Diagnosis Disorder?
How do you know if you’re suffering from a dual diagnosis disorder? After all, it can take time to figure out if a mental health disorder is factoring into your addiction or vice versa. It can help to take a look at some of the common warning signs that you’re dealing with a dual diagnosis disorder:
- You’ve noticed a connection between your substance abuse and mental state.
- You use drugs or alcohol to cope with any anxiety, stress or changes in your mood.
- You feel depressed and anxious when you’re sober.
- You have been treated or diagnosed with a mental health disorder or substance abuse disorder.
- Members of your family have a history of mental health disorders or substance abuse.
If you think you might be suffering from a dual diagnosis disorder, the good news is there is hope for recovery. Addiction rehab centers like Silver Maple Recovery offer dual diagnosis treatment. This approach to addiction treatment addresses both disorders at the same time while helping you get to the root of your mental health disorder.
Discover Hope for Lasting Recovery Today
Silver Maple Recovery is a dual diagnosis treatment center in Lorain, Ohio. What sets us apart is how we take the time to gain a full understanding of how your condition affects you, so we can provide as personalized treatment as possible. Our detox services offer a strong foundation for your recovery and our chemical dependency counseling can help you manage any stress or anxiety you experience during detox.
We know suffering from a mental health disorder and substance abuse is challenging, but we’re here to help. Contact us today to talk with one of our professional caregivers who are ready to hear your story.