Dual diagnosis, or co-occurring conditions, is where an individual experiences both a mental health issue - for example, anxiety, bipolar disorder or depression, alongside an addiction or behavioural health issue - such as, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, or an eating disorder.
Why do these conditions co-occur?
It is not clear why these illnesses or conditions can co-occur, and the order in which they develop may vary from person to person. Individuals who experience mental health issues often self-soothe or self-medicate through using drugs, alcohol or food. It is common for a person with an eating disorder to also develop a mood disorder, for example, depression or anxiety, or a co-occurring addiction, for example, drugs or alcohol. Equally, anxiety disorders are often associated with drug or alcohol addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.
Why do they need to be included as part of treatment?
If left untreated, co-occurring conditions can impair the effectiveness of treatment for a number of reasons. These issues can each limit how well a person responds to treatment, as the symptoms for each condition interfere with their ability to function, how they relate to other people and how they cope with life stresses.
Co-occurring conditions also interact with and exacerbate one another, for example, a person experiencing an untreated mental health issue may find that their drug or alcohol addiction worsens too. Additionally, untreated mental health problems can make dealing with alcohol, drug or addictions even tougher for the individual. Therefore, the chances of recovery are greatly reduced where other conditions exist but go undetected and untreated.
How is dual diagnosis treated at Life Works?
At Life Works, our treatment programme includes assessment and treatment for other pre-existing mental health issues, behavioural health issues or mood disorders - for example, depression – that may also be affecting the individual. These issues often exist alongside a person's addiction, eating disorder or other behavioural health issue and if left untreated, they can impair the effectiveness of treatment, so it's essential that they are identified and addressed as part of the treatment programme.
As a leading facility for the treatment of addictions and behavioural health issues, Life Works is Dedicated to Recovery. We are able to provide a holistic treatment programme that focuses on the physical, psychological and spiritual needs of the individual. Our treatment programme helps individuals look at the underlying causes of their behaviours, to come to terms with their illness and start to create healthy strategies for coping once they leave.
Life Works provides first rate support and guidance in the treatment of multi-disorders. To discuss how we can help you, please call 0800 081 0700 or click here to complete a short enquiry form.