Problems with Making an Accurate Dual Diagnosis
Dual diagnosis is defined as the recognition of two possible reasons for a person to behave as so. It is a diagnosis of mental illness and disorders combined with substance or alcohol abuse and addictions. Out of two million Americans, there are about fifty percent that is suffering with sever mental illness and abusive use of illicit substances and drugs. The problem counts as this – if there are two or more kinds of reasons to explain a person’s behavior, how can someone predict the most accurate diagnosis?
Professional counselors and psychologists are having difficulties in diagnosing accurately a person’s behavior because of the person having mental illness being involved in alcoholism and drug addiction. Abusive use of any substance for that matter can mask, aggravate and even mimic various disorders of the mind.
It is known that one of the most obvious sidekicks of mental disorders is alcohol and drug dependence. With alcoholics, there are overlapping tendencies to mental illnesses and other substances. Dependence with particular substances can cover serious problems pertaining to psychiatric illnesses. On the other hand, depression has the capability to disguise a disorder that is caused by substances.
Patients who are troubled twice as much is very difficult to recognize because there are cases wherein only one problem is diagnosed and identified while the other is left untreated. Someone who is diagnosed with a mental illness may deny his present status and point the finger on substance abuse and alcoholism while some of those who are classified as obvious substance abuse have the capability to disguise it through mental health disorders.
The most difficult part of the diagnosis is bringing it out from a teenager. There are thoughts of doubt regarding separating a teenager’s normal mood swings to intentional manifestation of bipolar disorder and alcoholism. Variables tend to stagger because of the combination of mood fluctuations and substance and alcohol abuse.
It is common for people to mask one disorder from the other. A client may admit the mental disorder but not the addiction or vice versa. And once the psychiatrist has already laid out the plans and treated the disease, they will instantly drop out from the treatment and go on with their addiction.
Some clients may deny the disorder because being a junkie is less threatening than accepting a psychiatrist’s diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Depression and frustration will hinder the client’s ability to see and recognize the problem, thus, not wanting to ask for help.
The client’s families are affected big time. Someone within the family who manifests the problems that are compounded by elements and substances lets the entire group face graver problems in proportions that are enormously laid out. Services for compounded mental health and substance problems are not yet equipped to deal with clients who are experiencing the affliction. Sadly, they may also get lesser support from their families and close friends.
One of the most prevalent behaviors for someone who is diagnosed dually is violence to himself and the people that surrounds him. Violence within the home is severe and the person may manifest suicidal attempts that become one of the most common attempts made by the client. Mentally ill people who get locked up in prisons are most likely drug addicts and abusers.