Dual Diagnosis: What does this mean?

Dual diagnosis is a term used to refer to an individual suffering from two or more medical conditions at once. In the field of drug and alcohol addiction this can mean one of several things.

  • A problem with drugs or alcohol as well as a mental health condition
  • A problem with drugs or alcohol and a physical health condition
  • A problem with drugs or alcohol and another addiction

Research shows that over half of people who suffer with addiction to drugs and alcohol have one of these varieties of dual diagnosis. Other medical terms used for this condition are ‘comorbidity’ or ‘co-occurring disorders’.

Common mental health disorders associated with addiction include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Schizophrenia

Other addictions associated with dual diagnosis include:

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Co –dependency
  • Eating Disorders
  • Gambling Addiction
  • Process Addiction
  • Sex Addiction

This is a highly specialised field of addiction treatment. In the most complex cases individuals can suffer from one or more personality/mental disorders plus their addiction or several addictions at one time.

A treatment program is needed that blends the most successful aspects of mental health care with effective substance abuse treatment. Accurately diagnosing comorbidity is the first step and can be challenging. For some addicts their mental health condition has been made worse by their drug use while for others their use of substances has masked an underlying condition.

Some people diagnosed with psychological disorders find that once they address their substance issues their other symptoms disappear. This is because the negative effects of drug and alcohol use can easily mimic symptoms common to depression, anxiety or psychosis.

Why Choose a Residential Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centre?

The best environment for the treatment of comorbidity is within a residential program. A constant provision of care is delivered within a single framework. Diagnosing and treating clients in their own homes is challenging for several reasons.

  • Several support providers may be involved with the different aspects of the individual’s problem.
  • Often this results in inadequate care and supervision.
  • Addiction, alcoholism and some mood disorders can mean clients are unable to engage or unwilling to attend the appointments.

Effective Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Seasons Thailand

Seasons Thailand believes in a fully integrated, holistic provision of care. Our experienced team includes specialists that can accurately diagnose and treat co-occurring disorders. They will identify which condition is primary and treat that first.

Although chiefly a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre we understand the importance of addressing the whole problem. Wherever possible we work closely with the clients diagnosing physician back home to formulate a treatment plan.

The clinical and medical teams consult with each other on a daily basis to ensure the continuing progress of each client. Often these conditions interact making the client more susceptible to relapse and destructive behaviours such as self-harm and suicide.

Members of our well trained clinical team are on duty 24 hours a day and know these residents need additional support. Seasons has helped many clients who suffer from a complex combination of co-occurring disorders to successfully achieve long term recovery.

We highly recommend that clients with a dual diagnosis remain in the Primary Program for the full 90 days. This gives time for both conditions to stabilise and to be addressed. Seasons Thailand also offers 28 and 60 day treatment programs.

After treatment our well connected team can make referrals to the right people if further maintenance of a psychiatric condition is required.

Mental Health Conditions Treated at Seasons Thailand

Treatment for Depression and Addiction

The most common co-occurring disorder amongst addicts and alcoholics is depression. This can exist on a scale from mild to manic or bipolar.

Firstly the substance issue needs to be addressed as this alters the mood of the user. After their addiction is treated some people’s symptoms of depression disappear. For others the symptoms remain and require ongoing management.

At Seasons Thailand we offer a range of depression treatment solutions which can be tailored to each individual. Some clients need to come off antidepressant medication whereas others need to stay on it. These decisions are made after careful consideration by our clinical team including our psychiatrist and in consultation with the client and their prescribing doctor.

Treatment for Anxiety and Addiction

Anxiety disorders are also relatively common among addicts and alcoholics. Stresses related to the consequences of addiction associated with family, work, finances or unresolved grief can bring on anxiety. Or it can be truly physiological in its origin. Whatever the cause this is a debilitating condition which is characterised by distorted thinking, fear and even panic attacks.

This is a complex area of addiction treatment because a whole range of factors are intertwined. Sometimes sufferers self-medicate to relieve their symptoms and others become addicted to the anxiety medications prescribed by their doctors.

Seasons Thailand treats both disorders concurrently and specially tailors the approach to address each individual’s unique needs. Our Clinical team are highly trained and experienced at providing effective anxiety treatment within a therapeutic community.

Other co-occurring conditions treated at Seasons Thailand include but are not limited to:

  • Bi-polar disorder
  • Borderline Personality disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Obsessive Compulsive disorder

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