Co-occurring Disorders (Dual Diagnosis)
Dual diagnosis is generally defined as a drug or alcohol addiction in conjunction with one or more co-occurring mental health disorders or conditions. These disorders include depression, anxiety, maina or bi-polar disorder, borderline personality disorder, psychoses, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive, PTSD and others. WIthout treatment of both the addiction and the mental health disorder, either problem can easily exacerbate the other, leading to a downward spiral of mental health problems and addictive berhioral problems. If you or a loved one is suffering from dual diagnosis, it is important to seek proper treatment, as the combination of addiction and mental health disorders can be devastating to individuals and families, and lead to massive unmanageability and negative consequences in life.
The following articles discuss mental health conditions and disorders which commonly co-occur with addiction, otherwise known as dual diagnoses
Dual diagnosis treatment is a treatment methodology that treats substance abuse in conjunction with a co-occurring mental health disorder. These mental health disorders can include: depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, mania, and disassociative disorders. It is important to understand that the behavioral unmanageability associated with drug and alcohol addiction is not specifically a sign of dual diagnosis, as it will improve with the treatment of the addiction.
Low self esteem is the number one causative factor that the vast majority of drug and alcohol addicts share in common. By definition, those possessing low self esteem are typically challenged in four key areas.
- They feel that they lack personal power and so their ability to influence others is compromised.
- Many with low self esteem feel as though they are insignificant to others, lacking the affection and attention of others who hold them in low regard.
- Low self esteem results when people feel that they lack virtue. In other words, they are plagued by an inherent nagging sense of not being a good person morally or ethically. They often feel unloved, unappreciated, and unwanted and so they conclude that they must not be good enough to be worthy of such love and appreciation.
- Those possessing low self esteem often hold themselves as incompetent in one or more areas of life. They fear they are unable to maintain control of their lives and as a result, they are easily dominated by others who they perceive as being more powerful and capable than they are. This anger often results in ineffective communication and social conflicts which further lead to diminished self esteem.
Treatment for bipolar disorder is a comprehensive process of bringing an unmanageable life back under control. For the millions of Americans suffering through the unpredictable mood swings of bipolar disorder, effective treatment is crucial in order to reduce and better manage symptoms. Treatment for bipolar disorder is not a rapid process - it usually requires knowledgeable mental health professionals and the involvement of the loved ones of the person affected.
Codependency is now considered to be one of a long list of addictions. The co-dependent person is addicted to helping. Codependency is a self-gratifying behavior which leads to the abnormal need to help others, wanted or not. The co-dependent will set themselves up for failure, and disappointment by getting involved in a dysfunctional situation, believing that they can fix it. Codependent people typically come from dysfunctional families, have low self esteem and sense of self. Codependency is found within any dysfunctional environment. It is often said, "misery loves company." The codependent is addicted to being miserable under the guise of helping the addict . Codependent behaviors are very similar to those with other addictions. One common behavior is that most of us know what will happen if we confront an addict about their addiction, which is going to erupt into argumentative behavior, and denial. The same will happen if the "fixer" is told that they are co-dependent or are enabling the addict.
Depression is a common mental disorder that affects millions of people around the world. It is characterized by depressed mood, feelings of guilt or low self-esteem, low energy, poor concentration, and inability to feel pleasure. In some cases these symptoms can beocome particularly intense and/or persist over a long period of time, significantly affecting a person’s ability to lead a normal life. At its worst, depression can exacerbate other illnesses, trigger sleep disturbances, ruin relationships and eventually lead to death by suicide.
The following is an overview of the major forms of depression, their symptoms, warning signs and treatments.
The addict “du jour” is Charlie Sheen, but if you are intellectually honest you have to admit that only a few months ago Charlie was just a sit-com actor and those in the media were chasing after Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton. This essay is neither for the Charlie Sheens nor the Lindsay Lohan's of the world. It is written for the countless high functioning enablers who are necessary to allow them each to survive and continue their self-destructive behaviors. (If you are at this moment imagining yourself as somebody who is above media hype, then quickly answer this question; who plays the other 1 ½ men in Charlie Sheen’s sit-com 2 ½ men)?