What is dual diagnosis?

A person with a dual diagnosis can mean that they have a mental illness and a medical condition. In addition, it may refer to a person with a mental illness as well as a substance use disorder. Another term used for dual diagnosis is comorbidity. Comorbidity occurs when a person has two or more different illnesses at the same time. Comorbidity in mental illness can refer to a circumstance in which a person obtains a medical diagnosis, such as diabetes, followed by a mental disorder diagnosis, such as depression (or vice versa). It can refer to a mental disorder diagnosis followed by another mental disorder diagnosis, for example, anxiety and ADHD. The interplay of the two illnesses has the potential to exacerbate both. Dual diagnosis is experienced in as many as one in four of us. Dual diagnosis means that you qualify for two different diagnoses (mental health illness/es and/or medical condition/s) simultaneously. For many individuals with a substance use disorder, it is almost guaranteed that they have an underlying mood disorder.

How is dual diagnosis treated?

Perhaps the most effective dual diagnosis recovery services would tailor a therapy regimen to each patient's unique circumstances. Regardless of the type of dual diagnostic illness or dual diagnosis that might coexist with drug and alcohol abuse, it is beneficial for all presenting problems to be treated simultaneously. Moreover, treatment involving a multi-disciplinary team who offer evidence-based treatment has proven to be beneficial. There are a plethora of clinics that provide such treatment programs where the person with a dual diagnosis can benefit as an inpatient as well as an outpatient.