Dual Diagnosis: A Challenge to Healthcare
Dual diagnosis is the term that’s given to individuals having a mental illness and alcohol or substance abuse both occurring at the same time. Conditions like these occur frequently together within a person’s behavior.
Management of either one of these problems are stressful enough to the medical practitioner handling the case. To make things more complicated, adding the symptoms caused by the mental disorder that overlaps and masks the ability of the practitioner to recognize both events and make an accurate diagnosis. End game? A difficult status which is complex, challenging and is extremely exhausting to be able to make a possible solution.
In able to achieve the desired outcome, both of the disorders should be treated in a way that both ill be affected by the treatment. Simultaneous attempts must be made in order for cumulative effects to influence all aspects of an individual’s personality and can greatly increase any risk for relapse upon recovery.
There is relative evidence that both mental illness and substance dependence go hand-in-hand. Although, it is still a bugging question which aggravates which. Experts are trying to figure out if the cause for the mental disorder is because of the abuse of the person in drugs or alcohol. Another contradictory statement elicits that when a person is already experiencing symptoms of mental illness, it ends up in strict alcoholism because of the negative ways of how the person is coping with the situation.
Majority has concluded that oftentimes the psychiatric problems are the one that initiates in the person. When the person can no longer sustain the problem, in order to get and feel better, the individual results to self-medication thus, leading to chemical dependency. Whereas when a person is already at the brink of alcoholism or drug addiction, evidences of anxiety, depression and other emotional breakdowns will occur thus affecting the mental capacity of the person.
Whatever the cause is, the primary step in living a healthier and more productive life is to eradicate the individual’s body from all the harmful and addictive substances. Detoxification is ideally done inside a rehabilitation center or under the supervision of a professional medical practitioner. The process can last for a couple of days and even weeks. It’ll all depend on the substances that the person took and how long was he exposed to the substance.
Dual diagnosis is sometimes referred to as co-existing morbidity, co-occurring disorders, and the like. Statistics show that in dual diagnosis, there are about 53% of drug dependents and about 38% of alcoholics that has one mental illness that’s seriously co-existing. More or less, there are about fifty percent of individuals suffering from the severity of a mental disorder who is also being affected by the problem is substance dependency.
The possibility of identifying co-existing disorders is vague. It is can be quite difficult on the part of the psychiatrist to hit two birds with one stone. Several symptoms of substance and drug abuse can be also be the same symptoms of mental illness some of which are depression, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations and delusions. With these symptoms’ impact, the individual can no longer function in a proper and healthy state because of the decline in self-mobilization and self-care.
Dual diagnosis affects the lives of people around the individual suffering from it. Therefore, it is important that the family can also recognize the early symptoms for treatment to take place.