Dual Diagnosis Treatment to Stop the Cycle of Addiction

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People who have a mental disorder may experience horrible episodes of despair that can prove devastating both to them and to their loved ones. As a person with a mental health problem, such as general anxiety, clinical depression or bipolar disorder, goes through life, the individual experiences uncomfortable symptoms almost daily.

Self-medicating

A fear of social settings, thoughts of hopelessness and a lack of focus can impair the person’s ability to function normally. To quell these feelings and attempt to regain control, the individual may turn to drugs or alcohol. Each time the person needs relief from the pain, he or she may self-medicate, initiating a cycle that leads to chemical dependency.

The numbing effects of the drugs or alcohol may quell the negative emotions, but the relief is only temporary. Without proper treatment, the symptoms of the mental illness will resurface repeatedly.

Co-morbid Conditions

When people have co-morbid conditions, the coexisting issues are often related. Thus, when symptoms of one health issue present, the other disorder is aggravated. This is the relationship between mental illness and chemical addiction. People who have a mental disorder are more apt to experience significant repercussions when a chemical addiction is present.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, over 50 percent of people who abuse drugs and over 35 percent of individuals who abuse alcohol also battle a mental illness. Since the mental illness and the addiction are correlated, it is important for these individuals to receive rehabilitative treatment that addresses both conditions simultaneously. The best type of treatment for chemically addicted patients who display signs of mental illness is dual diagnosis treatment.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual diagnosis treatment programs are designed to treat the mental illness and the addiction, giving the patient the best chance at recovery. The treatment is often administered in special inpatient treatment centers called dual diagnosis treatment facilities.

During treatment at these centers, patients are regularly evaluated to help identify factors that may be initiating their cycle of substance abuse. As the triggers are discovered, patients are taught healthy coping mechanisms that help them regain control without the help of addictive substances.  

Dual diagnosis treatment programs also help patients detox to remove any remaining traces of drugs or alcohol from their system. Non-addictive medications may be used during this segment of treatment to help minimize withdrawal symptoms.

Patients can also expect to participate in group therapy sessions and receive counseling to help them overcome past emotional traumas. As the dual diagnosis patients heal physically and mentally, they are better able to live an addiction-free life.

A Mental Health Relapse Isn’t Failure. Here’s Why.

 

 

screenshot-from-2017-01-19-150049Has your doctor or therapist suggested that you get admitted into one of our mental health inpatient treatment centers? If you have already received treatment before at inpatient mental health centers, you might quickly view this suggestion as a sign of failure. Many people who experience a relapse of mental health symptoms immediately think “Oh, no! What did I do wrong?” Truth is, going through relapse can be unsettling, but it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. In fact, there is a brighter side to relapse…

Consider this. When a person with a chronic disease such as diabetes experiences relapse it means they need to modify some lifestyle factors like diet or medication to improve. It’s that simple. No one beats themselves up about relapsing with a medical condition, but mental health patients are much more likely to view relapse as a sign of defeat.

Relapse is an opportunity to regroup and recharge in order to improve your health in the future. It’s a chance to temporarily be selfish about your own health and well-being, leaving family, friends, and work behind to attend to your mental and emotional stability. Mental health inpatient treatment centers are designed to help patients with acute symptoms re-evaluate their treatment plans, change or increase medications, become more compliant with treatments, get informed about their conditions, develop aftercare plans, and build relationships with other patients and staff who understand your unique situation.

If you relapse and end back up in the hospital due to complications with bipolar disorder or depression, you haven’t failed. You have been granted the chance to take a step back, look at your life and see what you have been doing that is worsening your situation and what you could be doing more of to improve your situation. Relapse means that you, your support system, and/or your mental health care providers are monitoring your symptoms well enough to recognize when you’re not doing well in order to get you back on track.

Here’s what you can do to get yourself back on track after a psychiatric relapse.

  • Comply with your medication regimen as directed by your doctor. Never stop taking medications unless supervised by your doctor, even when you start to feel better.
  • Learn the triggers that contribute to your symptoms worsening. Work with your therapist to develop coping skills to better handle these situations.
  • Build a strong support system of family, friends, support groups members, and providers who offer encouragement and accountability.
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle. Eat nutritious food, exercise, and drink plenty of water. Get enough sleep. Engage in activities that help you fight stress.

All of these tips will help you bounce back after relapse. View this situation as a learning experience rather than a failure and you will find yourself steadily improving over time.

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4 Facts about Schizophrenia Treatment

 

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A severe and chronic disorder, schizophrenia can dramatically affect an individual’s thought process, feelings, and behavior.   According to the National Institute of Mental Health, roughly seven or eight people out of 1,000 will suffer from schizophrenia at one point in life or another.   Unfortunately, due to common stigma and stereotyping attitudes, persons afflicted with the disorder often feels discouraged from seeking much-needed schizophrenia treatment.   Here are four facts about treatment that may hopefully motivate you and your loved one to consult a mental health expert immediately.

 

  1. Assessment

Schizophrenia treatment centers require clients to undergo thorough assessment and evaluation upon admission, to rule out other mental disorders that share similar symptoms with schizophrenia, and to arrive at a correct and accurate diagnosis.   Only after assessment can mental experts design an individualized treatment plan for each individual client.

 

  1. Prescription Medications

Antipsychotic medications are prescribed in liquid or pill form on a daily basis, or intravenously once or twice per month.   Improvement in symptoms such as hallucinations can be experienced after a few days, more severe symptoms such as delusions within a few weeks, and overall symptoms in about six weeks.   However, response to different antipsychotics vary from one person to another; thus doctors and patients should work hand in hand in finding the most effective medication, as well as medication combination and dosage.

 

  1. Psychosocial Treatments

Once clients have been somehow or other stabilized, they are now more open and receptive to psychosocial treatments.   These can dramatically aid them in dealing with day-to-day struggles, which may include connecting and communicating with others, maintaining relationships and keeping their jobs or keeping up with schoolwork.   Patients who take part in psychosocial treatment on a regular basis are less prone to relapsing and being hospitalized.

 

  1. Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is an integral program followed by schizophrenia treatment centers in general.   This process places a positive emphasis on training recovering clients socially and vocationally for them to become productive and active members of the community.   Since the development of schizophrenia usually strikes during the crucial career-development period in a person’s life (which is between 18 and 35 years of age), the career of afflicted individuals is put on hold and at risk.   Thus, they need assistance in learning essential life skills to live a relatively normal and productive life.   Rehab programs usually cover skills development and training, financial management counseling and employment services.

 

Most importantly, moral support from friends, family, and loved ones play a crucial role in effective treatment and successful recovery from this otherwise debilitating disorder

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3 Options for Bipolar Disorder Treatment

 

 

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There are certain individuals who experience bouts of extreme emotion, drastic change in sleep patterns and level of activity that is completely different from the typical range of behavior and emotions.  These symptoms are typical of those suffering from bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness.

 

Bipolar disorder is a disorder in the brain that results in extraordinary shifts in mood, levels of energy and activity, as well as the ability to do everyday routine tasks.  A person with bipolar disorder may have periods of extreme elation (manic episodes) and then bouts of intense sadness (depressive episodes).

 

Since people who are struggling with this kind of disorder have difficulty coping and functioning with the regular demands and challenges of everyday life, it is important that they receive bipolar treatment immediately.

 

There are several treatment options for people suffering from bipolar disorder.  Bipolar disorder treatment can include one or a combination of any of the following:

 

  1. Medications

The patient needs to take different types of medication to help alleviate the various symptoms of bipolar disorder.  Some of the more common forms of medication for this purpose include mood stabilizers to help manage erratic mood swings; anticonvulsants and antipsychotic medicines to address manic episodes; and antidepressant medicines to help treat depressive symptoms.

 

  1. Psychotherapy

Various psychological therapies such as family-focused therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and interpersonal therapy, have been proven effective in helping individuals with bipolar disorder, particularly if the same is carried out in combination with the right medication.  Psychotherapy not only helps the patient learn and manage the disorder but also encourages the involvement and support of family members in the treatment process.

 

  1. Alternative Treatment

Alternative forms of treatment include lifestyle changes – regular exercise, eating a well-balanced diet, and getting enough rest and sleep.  This treatment works to support and complement other forms of treatment such as medication and psychotherapy.

 

The options indicated above are some of the more common bipolar treatment options available.  Unfortunately, bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness, which means it is critical that the patient undergoes continuous treatment to manage the symptoms and help him to fully function in society.

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