Symptoms of Dual Diagnosis
Symptoms of dual diagnosis include those associated with both drug addiction and mental illnesses. It is often difficult to differentiate between the two sometimes because both alcoholism/drug addiction and some mental health disorders share common signs to some degree. It is easier to properly diagnose a patient when he or she is no longer under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Some common signs of drug addiction include:
- Physical health issues like unusual lack of energy and motivation
- Erratic changes in behavior like excessive secrecy and extreme efforts to isolate themselves from family members and friends
- Suspicious spending habits such as asking constantly for money without any significant reason
- Drastic weight loss
- Person appears to get defensive without reason and is abnormally aggressive
- Decline in physical hygiene
Here are some common mental health disorders that are commonly associated with dual diagnosis:
- Anxiety Disorders: Person responds to certain situations and objects with irrational fear and responds in a manner that is unsuitable for that situation. They show physical signs of panic
- Mood Disorders: Involve persistent feelings of sadness or hopeless, as well as periods of extreme happiness and fluctuations between the two. These include depression and bipolar disorder
- Psychotic Disorders: Involve distorted thinking. The two most common symptoms of these are hallucinations and delusions. Schizophrenia falls into this class
- Personality Disorders: Demonstrates extreme personality traits that interfere with the person’s normal functioning. They are problematic to the person’s work and/or social relationships and differ greatly from usual behavior. These include obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and paranoid personality disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Person is plagued by constant fears and thoughts that cause them to perform certain routines. An example is someone who constantly washed their hands because they are afraid of germs
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Condition that can develop following the occurrence of a traumatic event such as a physical assault, a natural disaster, or the unexpected death of a loved one. Those with PTSD often have frightening thoughts and memories of the event, which interferes with their normal functioning
Diagnosing patients for dual diagnosis can be very tricky and it’s very important that they be evaluated once they have been taken off of all mind-altering substances. Drug and alcohol withdrawals can have some serious side effects and clinicians can usually get a more accurate evaluation of the patient following the detox process.
Finding Treatment Center ion California
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder, please call the California Dual Diagnosis Helpline at 855-980-1736. A representative will assist you and help you find a treatment center in your area that specializes in dual diagnosis treatment.
If you or a loved one has an issue with addiction, your problem may extend further than substance abuse. Please call us for help on this matter and we will give you guidance on how to treat this problem.
- Addiction: The cause and result of troubled family relationships
- Knowing the science behind addiction useful in helping loved ones overcome substance abuse
- Misdiagnosis bars dual diagnosis patients from receiving psychiatric help
- Addiction is not a choice, but your choices may lead to it
- Addiction and mental illness: Does one cause the other?