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Five Dual Diagnosis Disorders of Addiction

When someone is struggling with addiction, they are usually masking something below the surface. Whether it’s childhood trauma, sorrow surrounding loss, or a mental health disorder, sobriety usually comes with working on the problems that pushed the person to use drugs and alcohol in the first place. A large amount of addictions are compounded by a dual diagnosis. Below are five mental health issues that can lead to addiction and require dual diagnosis addiction treatment.


One of the most common ailments that lead to a dual diagnosis with addiction is depression. Depressive disorders come in all varieties. Clinical depression impacts about 7 percent of Americans. This chemical imbalance is typically a genetic predisposition and can be triggered by many things.

Since depression can be difficult to live with, causing lack of motivation to participate in life, many people who are depressed turn to drugs or alcohol to alleviate the depression and boost their mood. However, it isn’t a solution. Drinking and using drugs to quell depression can lead to addiction because the person is essentially self-medicating. Whether it’s depression or another mental health issue, self-medication can end up in addiction requiring dual diagnosis treatment.

Manic Depression

Manic depression, otherwise known as bipolar disorder, is another mental health issue that is commonly self-medicated. Bipolar disorder requires medication and cannot be managed without treatment. If a person hasn’t been diagnosed for manic depression, they are more likely to use drugs and alcohol to mitigate the symptoms. Even if the person has been diagnosed and is being treated, there is still a risk for addiction. While bipolar disorder can be difficult to manage, if you dedicate yourself to treatment and stay away from drugs and alcohol, you can live a full and happy life.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is often self-medicated with drugs and alcohol. Whether the individual went to war, has had traumatic experiences with sexual abuse, or experienced some other form of trauma, they can seek refuge in drugs and alcohol. PTSD requires comprehensive treatment that includes therapy and medication. It is very common for people who have untreated PTSD to become addicted to something. Whatever makes the pain go away becomes a habit that is irresistible because they know it will make them feel better. Except the relief is only temporary.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is a complex mental health issue like depression. While most people know what anxiety feels like, others are burdened with it as a disorder. Drinking and using drugs may provide relief from the feelings of anxiousness, but in the end the anxiety increases. Self-medicating anxiety is very common. While there are many methods to decrease anxiety, drugs and alcohol are often an easy way to quell the stress and tension. Instead of using drugs and alcohol, Hydroxyzine for anxiety can be effective, as well as medications. Those recovering from opioid addiction should consult a doctor about their XanaX prescription when they are using Suboxone to ease withdrawal symptoms because it can be dangerous to take the medications together.


Schizophrenia is another mental health issue common in dual diagnosis. The symptoms of schizophrenia can be very intense. If un-medicated, the person may go to drugs and alcohol to mitigate these symptoms. In some cases they can be compounded. This mental health disorder requires medication and cannot be treated very well without it, especially if the person is using drugs and alcohol. If the individual is already doing drugs or drinking and has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, dual diagnosis treatment will be necessary.

These are five mental health issues that are commonly associated with dual diagnosis addiction treatment, but there are others that can lead to drug and alcohol abuse. Whatever the person is going through, seeking comprehensive treatment is the path forward. Not everyone who has problems with addiction also struggles with a mental health disorder, but many do. Dual diagnosis can also be used to treat trauma and other life events that lead to addiction.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, it’s a good idea to encourage them to seek treatment from a dual diagnosis addiction rehab center. Not only will the professionals at one of these facilities help them get started on their recovery, they will offer resources to work on the underlying issues that led to the initial substance abuse.