Depression and Anxiety - Dual Diagnosis

What Do I Need to Know About Dual Diagnosis?

If you have received a dual diagnosis for substance abuse and a co-occurring mental disorder, help is available. Contact The Forge today!

What Do I Need to Know About Dual Diagnosis?

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

June 7, 2022

The Forge Recovery Center

It is common to struggle with mental health disorders while addicted to drugs. It is estimated that nearly half of people who have a substance use disorder also have a mental health condition. When someone is diagnosed with substance use and mental health disorder, this is known as a dual diagnosis

If you have already begun seeking addiction treatment, you may have had a doctor or therapist suggest that you have a dual diagnosis. If that is the case, you will need additional support on your road to recovery. Receiving a dual diagnosis can be overwhelming, but various treatment options can help you beat addiction and improve your mental health. 

What You Need to Know About Dual Diagnosis

The most important thing you need to know about receiving a dual diagnosis is that your conditions are co-morbid. This means that if your mental health worsens, your addiction will worsen and vice versa. To make a full recovery, you will need to treat both conditions simultaneously. 

For example, drugs and alcohol have been shown to negatively impact mental health by increasing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Certain substances will also cause hallucinations, further deteriorating your mental health. 

Similarly, mental health conditions can leave someone feeling empty inside, driving them to find any coping mechanisms that may relieve feelings of depression, anxiety, or stress. People often become addicted to drugs because they look for ways to feel better, but this behavior will usually end in addiction. 

Discontinue Substance Use

If you are given a dual diagnosis, you must stop using drugs and alcohol. Continuing to use will feed your substance use disorder, and your mental health will continue to deteriorate. This will cause a cycle of self-abuse that will prevent you from healing and moving on with your life.

Additionally, you will need to seek treatment for your mental health. Luckily, there are steps that you can take day by day that will help you on your journey to recovery. 

Seeking Treatment for a Dual Diagnosis

If you have a dual diagnosis, safely detoxing in an environment that will provide you with mental health services will be crucial to your recovery. Inpatient and outpatient detox centers will offer you caring environments that will help you stop using under the care of medical providers and provide you with individual and group therapies.

Additionally, inpatient and outpatient treatment centers will more than likely give you medication to limit cravings and help ease the symptoms of your mental health condition. 

Join a Sober Living Home

If you have already been through detox and are searching for additional care options, joining a sober living home will provide you with the support you need to reach your recovery goals. At a sober living home, you will be in an environment free of drugs and alcohol and surrounded by peers who share your recovery goals.

This will allow you to connect with others and share your struggles in a judgment-free environment. 

Additionally, sober living homes will have expertly trained staff that will be there to support you through cravings and provide you with therapies and medications for your mental health and substance use disorders. 

I'm Seeking Treatment: What Now?

If you are already in treatment, there are other skills and coping mechanisms you can develop and practice to help you recover from your addiction and improve your mental health. One of the most critical habitats you can create is a routine based on self-care. 

Maintain a Schedule 

When your mental health is deteriorating, or you have developed an addiction, the ability to take care of yourself is often compromised. This could mean that you are not eating, sleeping well, exercising, or taking the time to enjoy the things you love. Improving these areas of your life has shown to be vital in recovering from a dual diagnosis. 

Poor diet and a lack of sleep will exacerbate mental health conditions and substance use disorders. Exercising and investing in hobbies and relationships can boost mood, help you develop a support system, and improve your overall physical and mental health. 

The Power of Self-Care and Self-Love in Treating Dual Diagnosis

More importantly, self-care is crucial to learning to love yourself again. Self-love plays an essential role in recovery as it will give you confidence in yourself and your abilities to move forward in your life. You will learn to reconnect with yourself and develop compassion for your struggles through self-love. More importantly, as you practice self-love, you will understand that you are worthy of a life filled with happiness, peace, and health without drugs or alcohol. 

Dual Diagnosis Can Be Overwhelming … But It’s Also Treatable at The Forge Recovery Center

If you have a dual diagnosis, it is crucial that you seek help for your mental health and substance use disorders. At The Forge Recovery Center, we are here to ensure that you will not be alone on your journey to recovery. We have experience treating mental health and substance use disorders, focusing on compassion, healing, and scientifically based treatments that can help make your recovery more manageable.

For more information, contact The Forge Recovery Center today.

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