Dual Diagnosis Treatment in San Angelo, TX

Dual diagnosis treatment in San Angelo uses integrated treatments and therapies designed to address both the addiction and the co-occurring mental health disorder simultaneously. In order to improve likely outcomes, dual diagnosis treatment programs use a combination of therapies that factor in the mental health issue at the same time as dealing with behavioral problems associated with addiction.

Dual diagnosis rehab facilities advocate the use of prescription medications to ensure the symptoms of the mental illness are managed properly. Specialized behavioral therapies are then used to identify each person's individual psychological triggers behind addictive behaviors. For many, self-medicating in an effort to relieve symptoms of the mental health disorder may be a strong trigger for turning to drugs or alcohol.

Dual diagnosis treatment in San Angelo encourages recovering people to learn healthy, productive ways to manage symptoms of mental illness without the need for drugs or alcohol.

Therapy also helps each person develop a strong strategy for relapse prevention in San Angelo to help reduce the risk of returning to self-destructive behaviors associated with addiction after leaving the dual diagnosis rehab center.

What Is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is the term used when a person has symptoms of at least one mental health disorder at the same time as an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol.

Research has established a strong link between mental illness and addiction. Many people suffering with a mental health disorder may turn to drugs or alcohol in an effort to self-medicate.

Symptoms of mental illness can be extremely distressing for sufferers, causing the body to respond by releasing abnormally large amounts of cortisol into the system, the body's natural stress hormone. When cortisol levels are elevated and don't have an opportunity to subside, the person may experience increased levels of distress associated with mental illness.

Research shows that consistently increased levels of stress interfere with the brain's normal cognitive control levels, making the person more vulnerable to maladaptive behaviors associated with addiction.

Some substances may provide temporary relief from symptoms of mental illness. However, symptoms always return when the effects of the drug wear off, sometimes even worse than they were originally. The substances being used can also trigger symptoms of mental illness or make existing symptoms even worse.

Types of Mental Health Disorders

Some types of mental health disorders are more commonly linked to addiction than others. Chronic stress is significantly associated with many mood and anxiety disorders, which increases the risk of substance abuse disorders. Commonly linked mental health disorders include:

Anxiety: Anxiety and panic disorders are extremely distressing for sufferers. The person may experience feelings of dread of fear of an oncoming attack even before symptoms emerge. However, symptoms escalate during an attack, increasing the risk of the person attempting to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to escape the distressing emotions and fears.

PTSD: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating condition characterized by intense anxiety and painful memories and emotions that can leave the person feeling powerless or out of control. Drugs or alcohol provide a temporary means of escape from distressing symptoms.

Depression: Depression is a serious mental health disorder that has long been linked with alcohol abuse and addiction. Many people with depressive illness will use drugs or alcohol in an effort to temporarily elevate mood or numb painful feelings and emotions.

Personality disorder: Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a condition that causes a person to distort their self-perception and interferes with the person's ability to maintain stable relationships. People with BPD may be judged as being manipulative, overly-dramatic, dependent, or otherwise dysfunctional in social situations. However, the behaviors are the person's way of attempting to cope with overwhelming feelings of inadequacy and anxiety associated with not feeling accepted.

Bipolar disorder: Bipolar disorder was once commonly known as manic depression. Bipolar is a serious mental illness characterized by extreme shifts in mood and behavior. The person may be hyper and manic one moment and sunk into the depths of profound depression the next. It's estimated that around 56% of people with bipolar also had a drug or alcohol addiction during their lifetime.

Why Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment Necessary?

In the past, people struggling with more than one type of disorder were often sent to opposing systems of care to treat each condition separately. Recovering people were sent to drug rehab centers first to get sober before being sent to different systems of care to treat the symptoms of mental illness. Unfortunately, the underlying mental illness may be a strong trigger for a large percentage of people struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

In order to effectively treat both conditions, it's important that dual diagnosis treatment programs in San Angelo integrate the right combination of therapies to ensure the mental health issue is addressed at the same time as the addiction. The person is taught strong new coping skills for managing the mental health condition at the same time as learning to avoid high-risk situations associated with substance abuse.

Dual diagnosis treatment in San Angelo also introduces the person to a range of alternative therapies designed to provide natural and healthy ways to reduce stress levels associated with post-acute withdrawal. Yoga and meditation can be highly beneficial for promoting relaxation and reducing cortisol levels within the system.

While the recovering person is in a dual diagnosis rehab facility, they have the opportunity to begin learning strong relapse prevention strategies to help reduce the risk of returning back to dysfunctional behaviors associated with addiction. Just as the triggers behind each person's addiction are different, the strategies needed to maintain sobriety will also vary between people.

Another important aspect of drug and alcohol rehab programs that incorporate dual diagnosis treatment in San Angelo is regular attendance at group support meetings. Specialized dual diagnosis group meetings allow recovering people to meet others facing similar challenges during the recovery process. Group meetings provide a level of peer support and reduce feelings of isolation.

Even after the person leaves drug rehab, continued attendance at group support meetings can provide ongoing motivation to remain clean and sober over the long term. Call now at (325) 213-7500.

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