Addiction is devastating in how it affects the mind, body, and spirit. But just how deeply a patient’s life and well-being have been compromised isn’t often revealed until sobriety begins. This is especially apparent when an underlying diagnosis, such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is discovered early in the diagnostic process.

Referred to as “dual diagnosis,” how this presents itself as a patient enters rehab will become a critical factor in determining the best care that will follow in a specialized dual-diagnosis rehab.

Dual Diagnosis, or Comorbidity

Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other psychological conditions often go hand in hand with alcohol or drug addiction. But they don’t always add up to a clinical disorder, making it difficult to immediately recognize a dual diagnosis.

The NIH’s Institute on Drug Abuse defines dual diagnosis, or comorbidity as “two or more disorders or illnesses occurring in the same person. They can occur at the same time or one after the other. Comorbidity also implies interactions between the illnesses that can worsen the course of both.”

There has long been a “which came first—the chicken, or the egg?” debate in the addiction treatment field when a clinical mental health diagnosis is identified. Adding to the complexity, many patients don’t exhibit signs and symptoms until they have some sobriety under their belt. To provide the best comprehensive care, full-spectrum rehab facilities address both diagnoses simultaneously.

Holistic Rehab Treatment

Rehab treatment team members are trained to tackle various aspects of addiction diagnosis and treatment, but particularly with a dual diagnosis, a holistic approach is critical. And when detox is required, there are more layers involved in the treatment process. Cleansing the mind and body of alcohol or drugs is critical to laying a foundation for further therapies. Added support for the newly recovering patient is necessary at this stage of dual diagnosis treatment.

In many cases, a psychiatrist will make the diagnosis and suggest personalized protocols for holistic rehab treatment, some of which will include medication. Adjunct therapies, such as art, music, or equine therapy, may also be integrated in a customized treatment plan. In addition, group therapy or psychodrama might be offered in conjunction with individual and family therapy components.

Mental Health Awareness

May is National Mental Health Month, underscoring our need to not just be better informed, but to support good mental health treatment options and availability. Dual-diagnosis rehab options offered by facilities like Beachside provide that essential care.

For more information on dual-diagnosis rehab, call 866-349-1770 to contact our trained admissions staff.