Mental illness is often considered to be a comorbid condition along with addiction. There are people who do suffer from addiction as well as mental illness. For example, a person with depression may also be addicted to cocaine. Perhaps the depression led to the individual feeling very sad all of the time and he wasn’t sure why. He finally could not take the hopeless and sorrowful feelings that he was experiencing on a constant basis so he decided to take some cocaine in an attempt to feel better.
As anyone who is well acquainted with addiction knows, however, the great feeling that a person might experience the first time becomes harder and harder to achieve. The individual will often feel the need to continue taking higher doses to get the same elevated feeling. Before the person knows it, he will be very addicted, and the depression will probably be worse than it ever was. If the depression had been diagnosed early on, the cocaine addiction may never have started.
Hindsight, however, is always perfect. Once the person has both a mental illness and an addiction, he will definitely need help to overcome these. He will need a treatment plan that delivers relief to both the mental health problem as well as the addiction. In the case mentioned above, this would likely include counseling and perhaps some medication used to treat depression as well as a professional addiction counselor or treatment program.
This will often in include a twelve step program to help the person overcome his problem. No matter what happens, such an individual will definitely need a dual diagnosis treatment program in order to experience any success.
When a person is looking for a dual diagnosis treatment program, it is important to choose professionals who are very familiar with mental health problems as well as addictions. Sometimes a person may find a psychiatrist that is proficient in both areas. At other times, it may require a team of professionals to be able to help the person who is suffering.
There are often inpatient facilities that are able to provide solutions. Inpatient facilities are places that the patient will actually go and live for a while. Because the person is living under the roof where the treatment will occur, it is often possible to provide a much more intensive form of treatment options. The person will have more groups to attend and more counseling hours than he would get if he were not living within the facility.
In a situation such as this, the team will typically work together to find the best solutions. This means that the medical professionals, counselors, addiction specialists, as well as other mental health professionals will all gather to discuss each patient. They will put their minds together to formulate a plan to help the person with the best dual diagnosis treatment.
Outcomes for dual diagnosis treatment are much more favorable than other treatment programs that are more isolated. The person will have all of his problems more in focus and have help in overcoming each one. The results of many studies show that it really is important to find ways to treat each condition. If either one is left untreated, the patient is unlikely to ever get better.
For example, a person who has bipolar disorder but only receives treatment for his addiction will still have many of the original problems and will be unlikely to be able to overcome the addiction or the mental health problem. This will make his life very unmanageable and can have very devastating outcomes. Fortunately, there is help available through dual diagnosis treatment.