3 Tips for Managing Your Dual Diagnosis

What You Should Know: Three Tips for Managing Your Dual Diagnosis

When many people think about the ideas of drug and alcohol addiction, they do not think about how it might relate to or be connected to other health conditions and issues. This is due, in part, to the fact that drug and alcohol addictions are such overwhelming problems with so many different spheres of impact in a person’s life. However, it is important to keep in mind that drug and alcohol addictions are often connected to and responsible for both medical and mental health issues. Dual diagnosis is a term used in addiction treatment that many people are unaware of. Get to know more about dual diagnosis, dual diagnosis treatment, and important tips for managing your dual diagnosis.

What Is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is a concept used in medical and mental health treatment and indicates that a person has two different conditions at the same time. In terms of addiction, dual diagnosis is a situation in which a person has both an addiction and a mental health disorder. These two types of conditions co-occur quite often because they both affect the brain and specifically, the brain chemistry.

As such, perhaps the most important of all of the tips for managing your dual diagnosis is to seek out dual diagnosis treatment programs to help you overcome your addiction and your mental health disorder simultaneously.

What Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Of course, before you can learn all of the tips for managing your dual diagnosis, you may find yourself asking, “What is dual diagnosis treatment?” Dual diagnosis treatment programs are treatment options that are designed to treat both a mental health disorder and a drug or alcohol addiction at the same time. These two conditions are so interrelated and connected that treating one without the other often leaves a person extremely vulnerable to relapse in regard to one or both of the conditions.

When a person opts to pursue dual diagnosis treatment, they will receive therapies, medical care and support, and other treatments for both their addiction and their mental health issue simultaneously. Essentially, they will receive individual and group therapy and counseling for each condition. Some of these sessions will focus just on one of the conditions while others will focus on the complex ways in which these conditions interact.

The best dual diagnosis treatment centers offer comprehensive and holistic treatments that effectively address both health conditions. Holistic treatments include traditional medical and psychological treatments as well as alternative therapies including yoga, biofeedback, acupuncture, expressive therapies, and more.

Tips for Managing Dual Diagnosis

Now that you know what to look for in the best dual diagnosis treatment centers and what dual diagnosis and dual diagnosis are, it is important to understand a few tips for managing your dual diagnosis.

#1 Build Yourself a Support Team

First and foremost, it is important to know that you should not go it alone when you are trying to manage a dual diagnosis. As you are first entering into treatment and recovery, you will be struggling to cope with your daily life, your thoughts, your emotions, and your cravings. This is tough, and you need people around you that can lend you a helping hand or just be there for you to help you avoid making a major mistake. Build a support team and keep their contact information with you at all times so that you can contact them anytime you need them.

#2 Find a Creative Outlet for Your Thoughts and Emotions

When you have an addiction and a mental health disorder, your thoughts and emotions can often be overwhelming. These overwhelming feelings and thoughts can lead you to fall back into behaviors that are not good for your recovery and can even lead you back to substance abuse if you do not find a better way to cope. Finding a creative outlet can do just that for you. Think about taking up painting, writing, playing an instrument, or some other creative endeavor to help.

#3 Take It One Day, One Minute, or One Second at a Time

Recovery is not a quick and easy straight path. There are curves in the road, obstacles, and hills. In other words, some days are going to be easier than others. On days that are rough and difficult, just remember that you can make it through.

Focus on the here and now of your recovery, even down to the second. If you can make it through this second, this minute, this hour, and this day without relapsing, then you are successful in your recovery. Relapses and slip-ups do happen as well, though. And recovery is not about perfection. It is about recognizing your mistakes and then, getting back to that one second, minute, or day of recovery without relapse. Keep this in mind, and you will be able to manage and recover from your dual diagnosis successfully.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.