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Is dual diagnosis common?

Discussion in 'Dual-Diagnosis Treatment' started by sunflogun, Apr 22, 2015.

  1. sunflogun

    sunflogun Community Champion

    The words dual diagnosis might sound uncommon, but actually it's something more common than we can imagine. According to the Journal of the American Medical association 37% of alcoholics and 53% of drug addicts have mental illnesses. I do wonder if this is considering when treating addictions?
    cheffy likes this.
  2. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Community Champion

    I think it should be taken into consideration completely. Most people with addictions I know, they struggle emotionally and they have a lot of stress and they feel like they want rest for their mind and get rid of the stress. I think it's completely related when it comes to dual diagnosis because it's very important to take in consideration what's the cause of the addiction, or why people are addicted to a certain thing.
    cheffy likes this.
  3. sunflogun

    sunflogun Community Champion

    That's how I see it too, I mean, the physical and the mental part are not separated, so it doesn't make sense to cure the body and leave the mind as it is. We need to address the psychological problems if we want to get totally clean and ready for a new life.
    cheffy and kylerlittle like this.
  4. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Community Champion

    That's absolutely true. We have to always work on ourselves inside, because from inside is where comes our perception of the world, indeed.
    cheffy likes this.
  5. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    This doesn't surprise me at all - I think with a lot of mental health issues, drugs or alcohol are used by individuals as a self medication mechanism. Ultimately, you need to get to the root cause of the issue, otherwise I think there's always going to be relapses. Too often though I think band-aid fixes are the way of the world these days, and that causes problems...
    cheffy likes this.
  6. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Community Champion

    Absolutely, I agree with you and the root cause of the issue might be emotional, mental or even physical sometimes, and it might be the hardest part to actually find. The root cause of the issue, once it's found, if it's dealt with then all other issues will fade.
    cheffy and kassie1234 like this.
  7. sunflogun

    sunflogun Community Champion

    That's pretty much like any other disease, we need to identify the causes and act on them because if we just act on the symptoms the cause will still be there and sooner or later will make us repeat the same actions.
    cheffy likes this.
  8. kana_marie

    kana_marie Community Champion

    I feel like most addicts/alcoholics got addicted in the first place because of some kind of mental issues... Be it depression, bipolar, low self-esteem, or anything else. If you don't treat the issues, why wouldn't they fall back into old habits.
    cheffy likes this.
  9. sunflogun

    sunflogun Community Champion

    Actually I don't share your opinion kana. Based on my experience, many try it just because they want to get high, they want to try something new and don't know how dangerous it is.
    cheffy likes this.
  10. kana_marie

    kana_marie Community Champion

    You aren't wrong, by any means. I dont honestly know the most common reason. I can only guess based on what i know and what ive seen. Just like you said, its an opinion. I bet one thing we can both agree on is numbers don't matter, the individuals do.
    cheffy and sunflogun like this.
  11. sunflogun

    sunflogun Community Champion

    The fact is that we are all messed up because this society is not made to create healthy people. At the same time I don't trust the medical community as I fear they have economical interests behind. Getting alienated is so easy these days.
    cheffy and kana_marie like this.
  12. kana_marie

    kana_marie Community Champion

    I have seen doctors do some irresponsible stuff to get paid. I know not all doctors are like this, just to be clear. But when I broke my leg in a car accident, the insurance company wouldn't pay the doctor until I was released. They called me wanting payments, but I told them I couldn't. Broken leg equals no job equals no money. He released me from doctor's care before my leg was completely out of the splint. I still have trouble out of it, 20 years later. But my neurologist that diagnosed me with epilepsy, knew I was broke. He never once charged me. I set up a payment plan after my baby was born, and I was back at work.
    cheffy likes this.
  13. sunflogun

    sunflogun Community Champion

    You have seen, I have seen, most of us have heard insane stories. Your story is shocking, but how many similar are there? Just recently my mother had issues with her doctor too, he didn't want her health, just her money.
    cheffy likes this.
  14. JohnBeaulieu

    JohnBeaulieu Community Champion

    The distinction between psychiatric health and physical health, at least where I live, is something that the medical community has been trying to remove. I don't think dual diagnosis is weird because most people have an illness compounded by another at some point in their lives. For example, I am a type one diabetic with neuropathy as a complication. They go hand in hand in my case.
    cheffy likes this.
  15. sunflogun

    sunflogun Community Champion

    It's impossible to separate body and mind, but I do feel that many therapeutics today focus mostly on profit and on giving medicines and that is totally the wrong approach!
    cheffy likes this.
  16. Unfortunately, Dual Diagnosis is extremely common. Symptoms of mental health issues and addiction can overlap, causing a lot of confusion for those afflicted.
    cheffy likes this.
  17. People with Dual diagnosis/Co-occurring disorders can suffer from a variety of special, challenging symptoms. Mental illness and addiction share many of the same symptoms and come in many different combinations which require a unique approach and treatment.
    cheffy and deanokat like this.
  18. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    And the addiction and mental health issues have to be treated simultaneously!
    cheffy and Thomas Leonard like this.
  19. Dual diagnosis is the norm. I am yet to treat someone with a dependency issue or an improper use of substances or alcohol or prescription medication who does not have a mental illness.
    cheffy and deanokat like this.
  20. cheffy

    cheffy Senior Contributor

    I've been seeing the term 'Dual Diagnosis' a lot lately (which is a new term to me) in terms of substance abuse and mental illness. Let me just say that I believe that substance abuse is ALWAYS a symptom of a mental illness except in the case of recreational use. So it seems to me that there is always a potential Dual Diagnosis involved with mental addiction, and that this is really not anything new. There are many people out there that don't believe clinical depression, schizo, anxiety, etc. is real. They have a 'just get over it, quit the drugs, and find a job' mentality. While I do think people are over-medicated in the US, I know for a fact, through my own experience, that these problems are real and are out there affecting lots of people, many times beyond the point of disability, e.g., suicidal tendency is beyond the point of disability. People don't just go commit suicide for no reason. People don't just pace back and forth in their family room for hours thinking they can figure out the cure for cancer... again, for no real reason. People don't just tell you that they can see and hear things that aren't there without cause. People don't get mentally (and then physically) addicted to 'feel good' drugs without a reason - and I'm not talking about recreational users who may get physically addicted, but are not mentally addicted. Let me say this again - except for non-recreational use, - substance abuse is a symptom -. It's a symptom of mental illness - and provides a genuine relief and escape from the horrible feelings that mental illness creates. It's a self-prescribed medication. I will even go as far as stating that there must always be a Dual Diagnosis involved when someone is mentally addicted to drugs. Mental Illness begets addiction begets mental illness and on and on.

    Too often the mentally ill drug addict is told to either stop the drugs or else get out of the house for good, at the most critical point in their lives in terms of the need for acceptance and help. Instead, they are unable to care for themselves, and become ostracized and the target of society's condescension. I wonder what would happen if they had a sign on the front of their shirt that said "The reason I'm an addict is that I'm mentally ill".

    So anyways, these are my feelings about the Dual-Diagnosis thing. I'm kind of all over the place in this writing - it just keeps getting bigger the more I think about it - but I think you get the point and I will appreciate any feedback you may give me.
    deanokat likes this.