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Dual diagnosis is when a person has both a mental disorder and an alcohol or drug problem. These conditions often occur together, however someone who initially has a mental disorder will often try to self medicate which can result in addiction. In particular, alcohol and drug problems mainly occur following depression and anxiety, but schizophrenia and other personality disorders can be the culprit as well. Identifying someone with dual diagnosis is easier said than done.

It is difficult to determine the difference between someone who needs dual diagnosis treatment versus someone who’s alcohol or drug abuse lead to the depressive symptoms that they are feeling.

Often times patients with substance abuse disorder and a mental health disorder are misdiagnosed. This is due to the fact that most treatment centers diagnose a patient’s mental health disorder within hours of intake. At Serenity Acres, we wait until the patient has gone through detox completely before trying to diagnose a mental health disorder. The reason behind this is to not confuse the patient’s behaviors that are related to the addiction with a mental health disorder. Once we come to a conclusion, we use a combination of therapies to prevent additional depression, possible psychosis, and other paranoid behaviors.

Treatment for dual diagnosis patients can include:

  • Behavioral Therapy
  • Medicines
  • Support Groups
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Neurobiofeedback
  • Motivational Interviewing Therapy

Both the mental health issue and the addiction affect a person’s life in different ways, and need to be treated separate in order to ensure complete recovery. Treating just one of these illnesses is not sufficient, since they often influence and exaggerate the effects of the other. Our goal at Serenity Acres is to treat both disorders, get to the root of which disorder is the primary cause of turmoil within the addict’s life, and then provide effective treatment for both disorders as well as a comprehensive aftercare plan.

If you want to recover from addiction but think you may have a dual diagnosis, the staff at Serenity Acres is prepared to help you. Contact our admissions team today.

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