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Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis refers to the presence of another mental disorder with addiction. Recovery is not likely to be successful if the mental disorder is not treated at the same time as the addiction. Interactions between alcohol and drugs and the other mental illness can make either condition worse.

Incidence and cause
Addicts are twice as likely than the general population to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders, and the reverse is also true. Sometimes we do not know whether the substance abuse or the mental disorder was a factor in the second disorder. Remember that addiction is also a neurobiological disease. Both genetic and environmental factors can come into play with co-occurring mental disorders.

Co-occurring mental disorders with addiction include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality disorders

Classified as Axis II disorders these personality disorders are further defined in DSM-1V Clusters A, B and C and may include these specific types:

  • Borderline
  • Narcissistic
  • Histrionic
  • Antisocial
  • Schizoid

After rehabilitation and treatment of co-occurring disorders, then continued care – outpatient or residential rehab – is usually indicated.