What is Dual Diagnosis? Things You Need to Know

  • Posted at Sep 28, 2023
  • Written by Rebecca
What is Dual Diagnosis? Things You Need to Know

What is dual diagnosis? Dual diagnosis is when an individual is diagnosed with more than one mental health issue in which symptoms of both disorders are manifesting at the same time. Concurring mental health issues should be treated simultaneously in order for people to receive individualized care in which they can learn how to manage symptoms of concurring mental health issues. While dual diagnosis is the term for more than one mental health issue being diagnosed for one person, dual diagnosis programs are the treatment approaches that are often used for treating concurring mental health issues. So, dual diagnosis is a term that is used interchangeably to refer to both the occurrence of mental health issues as well as the treatment of concurring mental health issues within the realm of mental health treatment.

Here are some important things to understand about dual diagnosis:

Concurring Mental Health Issues Isn’t a Rare Thing

When mental health issues are talked about, most sources and outlets don’t often mention concurring issues. However, it isn’t necessarily rare. In fact, according to a 2021 survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA), about 9.2 individuals living in the US are diagnosed with more than one mental health issue. Therefore, treatment for dual diagnosis should be more prevalent, and considering more than one mental health issue at play may be something to consider if you haven’t been diagnosed yet.

Most People Living With Concurring Mental Health Issues Don’t Get Treatment

Unfortunately, most of the individuals who are living with concurring mental health issues never get help through treatment. This may be due to a number of things including the fact that not many mental health treatment programs offer dual diagnosis services. For example, some addiction treatment centers may not offer help for concurring depression, anxiety, or PTSD conditions. Another reason these people may not get the help they need is because they only get treatment for one condition and not the other. This may be due to misdiagnosis or even not knowing that concurring issues are at play.

Some People are at a Higher Risk for Concurring Mental Health Issues

It’s important to know that there are some groups of people who are at a higher risk for developing more than one mental health condition. For example, people who are living with substance use disorders are at a much higher risk for developing other mental health issues. This is mainly because people who aren’t getting help for mental health issues may use drugs or alcohol as a means to cope with unaddressed symptoms of mental health issues. Another article published by SAMHSA claims that over one in four people living with mental health issues also are diagnosed with a substance use disorder. Other people who are at higher risk of dual diagnosis include people with a family history of dual diagnosis and people who have a higher risk of developing schizophrenia or other personality disorders due to genetics.

Help for Concurring Mental Health Issues at Yellowbrick

Do you think you or a loved one is living with more than one mental health issue? Yellowbrick offers mental health treatment services, including dual diagnosis, for young and emerging adults who are struggling with the impacts of a number of mental health issues. We provide outpatient services and even a residential space for young people to live and recover in order to sustain lasting healing and a life of mental well-being. Find out more about our treatment center located in Evanston, IL today from our website.

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