If you are suffering from a substance abuse disorder and mental health condition, you will be given what is referred to as a dual diagnosis. A recovery journey is challenging for most people because, apart from the withdrawal symptoms, they also have mental health issues. When you are dealing with both, it is termed a co-occurring disorder. That is why you will find a lot of recovery centers having an integrated approach that focuses on both substance abuse and mental health conditions. The reasoning behind this is that you can not treat one condition and leave the other if you want to reduce the chances of a relapse. Here are some signs that you need dual diagnosis treatment.
You Feel Like You Need Alcohol or Drugs to Function
You may be suffering from a co-occurring disorder if you feel that you have to take alcohol or drugs to function. When a substance-use disorder and a mental illness occur simultaneously, your behavior and emotions tend to be off. For instance, someone with an anxiety disorder that has been abusing benzodiazepines may feel like they cannot handle their emotions or feelings of anxiety if they do not use drugs. The same applies to alcohol or other drugs where you feel to fully function, finish a task or face people, you need to use these substances first.
Trying to Quit Substances Makes You Angry, Violent, or Suicidal
Withdrawal is often challenging, especially for people that have been using it for a long time. It is only expected for one to feel out of control when dealing with these withdrawal symptoms. However, quitting drugs or alcohol should not make you violent or suicidal. If trying to quit makes you feel all these things, then it is time to get help. In addition to that, other signs to watch out for include overwhelming fear, flashbacks to a traumatic experience of general hostility. This shows that beyond substance abuse, there is also an underlying mental health issue that needs to be addressed.
A Family History of Mental Condition
If any of your relatives are diagnosed with a mental health issue like bipolar disorder, depression, or anxiety disorders, you are at high risk of developing a mental health condition as well. Mental illness usually includes some genetic components. Unfortunately, it also erodes your resiliency, meaning you are more than likely to turn to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism.
Drugs Make You Feel Like Yourself
As much as most drug users will turn to drugs to escape stress or experience something new, others turn to drugs to feel normal. If you are among them, you may have an underlying mental illness. At Impact Recovery Center, you will get help if you think that you need to use drugs to feel like yourself. Depending on the drugs you are using, the list below can give you an insight into the mental health issue you may be dealing with,
- Benzodiazepines like Ambien, Xanax, and Ativan are common among people with anxiety disorders.
- Stimulants like meth and cocaine are common among people with depression, ADHD, and seasonal affective disorder.
You Have Dealt With Trauma in The Past
Research by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that trauma can also lead to co-occurring disorders. Trauma comes in various forms, such as experiencing war, sexual and physical abuse, the death of a loved one, a road accident, or a natural disaster. If you have experienced trauma before, you may be using drugs or alcohol to escape the negative feelings.
If any of the above signs apply to you or a loved one, you need professional help to prevent further distress. Drugs and alcohol do not solve any mental health issues. If anything, they only make them worse and ruin your life. Find a recovery center and get the help you need.
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