Getting a dual diagnosis when you first go to rehab can be confusion. What does it even mean? Dual diagnosis is actually very common and it is a good thing that it got diagnosed to give you the best possible chance at a successful recovery.
Getting a dual diagnosis means that you have a co-occurring mood disorder along with your addiction. A mood disorder is usually one of the following:
- Bipolar disorder
There is a lot of stigmas attached to mood disorders, even as more and more people are publicly speaking out about their own experiences and sharing ways to cope. Addiction and mood disorders often go hand in hand because people use alcohol and drugs to mask the symptoms of their mood disorder. For many, turning to drugs and alcohol is a better option than admitting the problem and going to the doctor. For others, they may not even realize they have a mood disorder and they start using drugs and alcohol thinking it is the only way to mask symptoms they perceive to be in their head.
Getting a Dual Diagnosis at Rehab
If this all sounds familiar to you, more than likely you will have a dual diagnosis. When this happens, you will be treated simultaneously for your mood disorder and your addiction. This is because this will give you the best possible chance of a successful recovery. Without even knowing it, your mood disorder contributes greatly to your addiction. Symptoms of mood disorders can range from mild to crippling and you may not know how to cope with those symptoms.
In rehab, your therapist will make sure that your mood disorder is properly diagnosed and treated so that together you can see how it affects your addiction. For many people, properly managing symptoms of anxiety and depression get them most of the way towards being able to live without drugs or alcohol.
Rehab gives you a unique opportunity to be able to do some serious self-study and time to work on yourself to set a foundation for a great future. Many times, the root cause of your mood disorder may be something you need to expose in order to let it heal and get better. Through a combination of individual and group therapy, you will have the opportunity to explore your emotions and how they affect you and your addiction. You will attend process groups where you may talk through certain events and situations so that you can study your own actions and get to know yourself better.
Medications During Treatment
Your doctor may also decide that prescription medication is a good part of your recovery. Whether short-term or longer-term, there are plenty of medications out there. Using them can make your mood disorder symptoms non-existent so that you are free to live a happy, comfortable life. This alone can make you much less likely to relapse since many people do so to combat negative feelings. For example, a person with social anxiety might drink too much. Or, a person who is depressed may do cocaine to be more outgoing. This isn’t to say that medication will make you completely at ease at all times, but it can help to make you more even keel so that the highs and lows aren’t as dramatic.
Getting Help at Willow Place for Women
There are things a person can do when they get a dual diagnosis to ensure proper treatment. But, first and foremost, it’s important to learn and much as you can about your disorder. And, how it affects you. So many people have mood disorders. So, you don’t need to worry about this making you different, or strange, or an outsider. The more you feel comfortable with it, the more people you will realize are dealing with the same thing. Think of dual diagnosis as a blessing in disguise. And that after diagnosis, you have been given a great chance at gaining a successful sober life.