Detox Centers in NJ Look for Co-Occuring Mental Disorders in Their Clients

When a patient arrives at one of the detox centers in NJ, an intense medical evaluation is done to figure out the root cause of the addiction, which often stems from a co-occurring mental disorder. This is called a dual diagnosis and usually means that the patient is suffering from a mental disorder such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder. These kinds of diagnosis play a huge role in the treatment of addiction.

Dual Diagnosis Explained

Solely suffering from addiction is rare. More often than not, a patient will have anxiety and addiction, or depression and addiction, etc., and need to be treated for both in order to efficiently live a sober lifestyle. This is called a dual diagnosis.

Addiction and mood disorders are very intertwined for a number of reasons. First of all, a person can abuse medication they are given for their anxiety or depression and that can lead to addiction. Alternatively, many people self-medicate with alcohol or drugs to ease the symptoms of their mental disorder, which only makes things worse and also leads to addiction.

People who suffer from anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder can feel an extreme physical discomfort and an inability to function as a normal part of society. Therefore, turning to drugs and alcohol can seem like a reasonable solution, just to get through the day. It doesn’t help that society still tends to hold a stigma around mental disorders, so the person might feel ashamed and like they need to hide it. Some don’t even seek out treatment for it and make the decision to take their treatment into their own hands.

The High Price of Self-Medication

Self-medication is a problem detox centers in NJ see all the time. It may start with a few Detox Centers in NJ Self MEdicationcocktails as a social lubricant to get through the evening, but before you know it the person is drinking first thing in the morning. They feel the need to do so just to give them the energy to rise out of bed, ease the symptoms of last night’s hangover, and be a productive member of society.

In truth, drugs and alcohol alter the chemistry of the brain, and this can have extremely detrimental effects for anyone with a mental illness. Their symptoms can become much more exaggerated and extreme, leading to more use of their drug of choice. A vicious cycle that is nearly impossible to break without professional treatment begins, and now the person has much more to deal with than just their mood disorders.

Some people may think that doctors cannot really help their mental illness and that they need to take things into their own hands. Well, there are a lot of options out there, and there continue to be more every day. Treating anxiety, depression, and similar disorders take some time and commitment but it is a whole lot better than the mess a person will find themselves in if they take it upon themselves.

To truly prevent relapse and make sure an addict has the tools they need to stay sober and not be tempted to use, treating their mental illness is non-negotiable. By addressing both with dual diagnosis, it sets up the patient for long-term success, and not just a temporary solution.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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