Would My Loved One Benefit from Dual Diagnosis Treatment?Anna Ciulla
Substance abuse and mental illness are often entangled. If your loved one is suffering from depression, bipolar disorder or anxiety, he or she might have started self-medicating long ago to “treat” the condition. Research has found that people with mental illness have much higher rates of addiction (one study found 20 percent of those suffering from mental illness were also dealing with substance abuse problems). Here, you can learn more about dual diagnosis and why Beach House believes in dual diagnosis treatment to help its patients get healthy.
One mind, two conditions.
Simply put, a dual diagnosis is a concurring mental illness and a substance abuse problem. While it’s possible that your loved one’s addiction developed as a coping mechanism for their depression or anxiety, it’s also possible that their regular use of substances caused chemical changes in the brain that led to depression. Sometimes, a person’s behavior might look like a mental illness (for example, they might be experiencing a manic episode or behaving erratically), but you’re actually witnessing a side effect from the cocktail of drugs they’ve taken. While it can be hard for family members to figure out the root problem their loved one is struggling with, our staff is trained to determine whether there is an underlying diagnosis or if the substances themselves are causing the issue.
At Beach House, healing begins right away.
Each patient who enters Beach House is given a full medical and psychiatric evaluation upon arrival. At the head of our psychiatric team is Dr. Edward Zawadzki, a psychiatrist who has years of experience with dual diagnosis. He and his team of trained professionals will wait until after your loved one has undergone a monitored and supported detox before making a diagnosis. Our staff makes a point to get to know and observe each patient, in order to better understand their condition and who they are as a person. That way, we’ll be able to witness their progression throughout the entirety of their treatment.
Treating both conditions.
While the term “dual diagnosis” might sound overwhelming (especially with the knowledge that your loved one is struggling with two problems, not just one), accurately labeling the issue can aid their recovery. If your loved one was suffering from depression, but their rehabilitation only focused on their alcohol abuse, it’s likely they would eventually return to drinking, in order to once again ease the pain of their depression. At Beach House, your loved one will be working with trained professionals to resolve both issues. From AA meetings and group therapy to walks on the beach and time spent reconnecting with their purpose, our patients receive support and care that will facilitate healing on both fronts.
Making time for recovery.
A dual diagnosis doesn’t mean your loved one will be in rehabilitation for twice as long, nor does recovery happen overnight. At Beach House, we believe in comprehensive treatment, as well as the importance of the continuity of care. We want to work with each of our patients over an extended period of time to help them reconnect with themselves, develop healthy habits and become part of a community that will help support their path to a life free of substances.