Dual diagnosis

Dual diagnosis is when a person is affected by both mental illness and substance use (also referred to as the use of alcohol and/or drugs). Dual diagnosis is a term typically used to refer to individuals who are living with a mental illness and substance abuse issue at the same time, and as a result are suffering from co-morbidity or co-occurring disorder (COD). Mental illness and substance use interact to make each diagnosis worse and to have serious, adverse effects on many areas of functioning (including work, relationships, health, and safety). Recovery from mental illness is much more challenging for people with a dual diagnosis, and the issues faced by families of people with dual diagnosis can be more complex and confusing than mental illness alone. Research has recently determined that people with mental illness use drugs and alcohol for the same reason as other people to feel better or different, relax, have fun and be part of a group. According to Psychology Today, “Clients with co-occurring disorders (COD) have one or more disorders relating to the use of alcohol and/or other drugs of abuse as well as one or more mental disorders, and a diagnosis of co-occurring disorders occurs when at least one disorder of each type can be established independent of the other and is not simply a cluster of symptoms resulting from the one disorder” (Psychology Today, 2014). Most experts believe the initial condition, whether it’s a mental disorder or substance use issue, tends to influence a person’s path to the second condition.

 

  • Mood Disorders
  • Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Screening Center
  • Co-occurring Illnesses/Disorders
  • Related Concerns
  • Co-occurring Disorders
  • Depersonalization disorder

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