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Living with a family member who has a dual diagnosis

December 12 2013 - By:

dual diagnosis

Living with a family member who is either suffering from a mental health disorder or who has substance abuse issue is extremely difficult, but living with one who has a dual diagnosis can be a nightmare. Dual diagnosis is when someone is suffering from both a mental health issue, such as bipolar disorder or depression, and is also battling a drug and/or alcohol addiction at the same time.

While a mental health issue does not cause a drug or alcohol addiction, or vice versa, it is important to note when dealing with dual diagnosis that the two areas are closely linked and can exacerbate each other. Someone with anxiety or depression may turn to drugs or alcohol to help them try to feel better, but it may have the opposite effect, actually worsening the mental health issues. While substance abuse can actually increase the risk for a mental health issue.

If you think you might be living with a family member who is suffering from dual diagnosis, it is important to consider your family history. Are there mental health issues in your family? What about addictions to alcohol or drugs? If yes, then it may mean your family is at a higher risk in these areas. Another thing to consider is whether or not you notice a link between mental health issues and substance abuse in your family member? For example, if he seems depressed or anxious, does he turn to alcohol or prescription pills? If yes, there is a possibility he is suffering from dual diagnosis.

At the Affordable Rehab of Worcester, we understand the necessity to treat both the addiction issues and the mental health issues when dealing with dual diagnosis. We will help your family member get sober in order to properly diagnosis the mental health issue. Once we have the mental health issue diagnosed, treatment can begin and we will teach coping strategies to help your loved one avoid relapse and set future goals.

We know that living with someone suffering from dual diagnosis can be scary. But there is hope. We can help your loved one, and your family, get back on track.

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