Twin Rivers Approach to Dual Diagnosis
The term ‘Dual Diagnosis’ is widely recognised now by practitioners as well as clients looking for residential treatment. Twin Rivers specializes in Dual Diagnosis Treatment as we fully appreciate the importance of addressing the clients addiction and mental health status. A common example is a client with alcohol addiction and depression as well which means that the client needs to be educated in better understanding on how to stop drinking alcohol and stay stopped as well as psychotherapy and psycho-education regarding the management of their depressive state. It is also the therapists responsibility to ascertain as to the clients history with alcohol and depression as mentioned below in ‘Chicken & Egg Theory’.
Dual diagnosis describes a client who suffers with a drug or alcohol addiction and a mental health disorder such as depression. Several theories have been formulated to explain the relationship between psychiatric disorders and substance abuse. One theory suggests that certain types of substance abuse can lead to mental illness, whilst people with severe mental illness misuse substances in an attempt to impact feeling of anxiety or depression for example. It is also possible that a client may be experiencing side effects from psychiatric medication and the client may abuse other medication or alcohol in order to try and feel ‘normal’
Chicken & Egg Theory
It is extremely important, when assisting a client with a Dual Diagnosis to explore and hopefully gain a clearer understanding of what came first, the mental heath disorder or the addiction? It is important to ascertain as to whether the addiction exacerbates the clients mental health or whether the clients mental health negatively impacts the clients relationship with drugs or alcohol. This knowledge can assist the client in improving their understanding of what has happened in the past and why they find themselves in rehab!
The bottom line is that both illnesses may affect the person physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. Because the illnesses are interrelated. An integrated approach is the key to treating the two disorders at the same time. Varying degrees of mental health disorders impacts a clients emotional well being and so its very important to address a client relationship with their emotions which are directly linked to relapse if not effectively explored. Emotional problems do not always produce concrete answers and so helping a client to ‘manage’ their emotional self reduces the risk of relapse.