Dual diagnosis is more common than once believed. The truth is, 60% of addicts have another mental health condition that is either feeding their addiction or is a result of it1. Drug treatment centers are now working to offer more dual diagnosis treatment programs because of this very fact.

There are 4 clear signs that your loved one may have dual diagnosis. These are the most common but and most often lead to a dual diagnosis condition. We do ask that you consult with a dual diagnosis professional before making any concrete judgments.

Erratic Mood Swings – Mood Control Issues

Extreme mood swings, especially multiple swings in the same day, could be a sign that your loved one may have a dual diagnosis. The most common forms are periods of extreme emotional highs and then extreme depression.

Angry, violent, or even reckless behavior are usually severe signs and if the person is threatening others or themselves, it’s time to see someone as soon as possible. Individual counseling for dual diagnosis is a start and may help just in time.

Increased Drug or Alcohol Use

Often, the addiction may mask the mental illness. Friends and family may simply believe that the person suffering from dual diagnosis is just on a bender or using drugs and alcohol to cope. While that is true, it is only part of the problem.

An increase in drug use can be a sign that the coping mechanism is no longer working, and this is where we enter dangerous territory. Be sure to consult with an addiction specialist as soon as possible.

A History of Trauma – Family History Mental Illness

Certain mental illnesses are hereditary, often being triggered by traumatic events. While others are the results of traumatic events, a way that the sufferer copes is to turn to substances.

Take a look at your loved one’s immediate family and look into family history. It could be an uncle, a grandparent, or even a parent that suffers from a mental illness.

Social Withdrawal

Some of the affects or mental illness can be heightened by substance abuse. Social isolation and withdrawal can be slow at first, but you may notice that they are no longer going to group events. This is usually because they are experiencing intense or prolonged feelings of despair, hopelessness, and worthlessness.

Could This Be the Answer?

If you believe your loved one may have dual diagnosis, please call us first and allow us to consult with you, to give you the right answers: 1-877-977-4866


[1]: Drugabuse.gov – Addiction and Co-Occurring Mental Disorders

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