What Does Dual Diagnosis Mean And Why Is It So Important?

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A patient comes into an emergency room with an open wound, profusely bleeding. Assessing the situation, the nurse says, you’re bleeding, here’s a band aid and some gauze to stop it. As the patient or the family of the patient, there would be absolute outrage. Shouldn’t they find out what is causing the bleeding? Are there ways to seal up the wound? What if there is some kind of infection underneath the surface? When will it heal completely? Questions would abound. Doctors and nurses can’t simply hand out band-aids to fix open, bleeding wounds. It is their duty to discover the source of the problem and create as comprehensive of a treatment plan as possible to make sure the wound doesn’t continue bleeding, get any worse, and that the source of the problem is healed.

Dual-diagnosis, also called co-occurring disorders, is the term used to describe the bleeding wound and the source of the wound. Addiction is not often a primary disorder. Most commonly, addiction is co-occurring with another mental health disorder. There’s a wide debate which resembles that of nature vs. nurture, the chicken or the egg. Did the addiction come first or the mental health disorder? Commonly, it is the mental health disorder which came first. Millions upon millions of people are living with mental health conditions they are not aware of, have never been diagnosed with, or sought any treatment for. Though the development of PTSD is rare, most addicts and alcoholics have experienced some kind of traumatizing event in their lives. They developed symptoms of other mental health disorders as a result. Without help or treatment, or perhaps despite it, they found their greatest relief and comfort in drugs and alcohol. Many mental health conditions do develop purely out of genetics or a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Treating addiction strictly as addiction is like putting a band-aid on a bleeding wound. Much of the treatment process is focused on finding the “underlying issues” which contributed to the development of addiction. By treating the starting point and everything which has developed as a result, the problem can be solved, and the wound can be healed. It is the duty of the treatment industry to provide treatment for wellness and healing as well as solving the problem of addiction- because there is a solution.

Lakehouse Recovery Center wants to help you find the solution in your life. Your path to recovery starts here. Start it right now by calling us today for information on our residential detox and residential inpatient services.  877.762.3707.