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Devotions: Authentic Christian Recovery

Dual Diagnosis Program

Individuals who have substance dependence as well as psychological disorders at the same time and vice versa are considered as having co-occurring disorders (formerly known as dual disorders). For example, an individual may have cocaine addiction as well as major depression disorder.  We have experienced that Christian therapy is very effective in treating CODs, restoring peace and joy back to people’s lives.

Co Occurring Disorder Diagnosis

However, co-occurring disorders (COD) aren’t diagnosed identifying any specific sets of substance use disorders and mental health disorders. These disorders  are usually diagnosed when a person is established with at least one disorder of each type, independent of the other.

That means these disorders are not merely a bunch of symptoms arising as a result of one disorder. The symptoms of both the type — substance abuse and mental health disorders — must be identified in the suspected individual.

In addition, it’s not that people with COD only have two disorders at the same time. They may have one or more disorders associated with the substance use and one or more disorders associated with the mental health.

Dual Diagnosis Signs and Symptoms

There are no specific signs and symptoms to diagnose COD. The signs and symptoms include those relating to substance abuse as well as those relating to mental disorders.

Common mental health disorders observed in people with COD include:

The diagnosis of COD is a difficult process, as it takes time to assess what signs are as a result of a mental disorder and what signs are as a result of substance use disorder. Moreover, denial is common among people with COD. They often find it hard to admit what they’re coping with.

Other problems associated with COD

In addition to the serious symptoms of psychiatric disorder and substance dependence, individuals with COD are reported to engage in a variety of associated problems, including financial issues, family problems, social disintegration, homelessness, incarceration, sexual and physical harassment, violence, suicide, symptomatic relapses, serious medical illnesses, and hospitalizations.

Self-assessment of co-occurring disorders

Unlike substance use or mental health disorders, you can’t self-assess COD based on a screening tool or a set of questions. Diagnosis of COD is an ongoing process, because a basic screening and assessment involves a larger process of gathering information related to background, substance use, and mental health problems.

To diagnose COD, a professionally designed screening process must be established and a trained professional should carry it out. In addition, the screening process should also indicate how any screening tools or questions are to be designed and what establishes scoring negative for a specific problem.

The assessment is integrated by evaluating and examining data relating to one disorder in light of data relating to the other disorder. The diagnosis is confirmed by taking approval from a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, or other skilled medical professional.

Assessing COD in 12 Steps

A total of 12 specific steps are used in the assessment for COD. The assessment characteristically involves a clinical investigation of the functioning and well-being of the sufferer and comprises a number of tests and written and verbal exercises.

As mentioned above, the assessment process follows a set of sequential steps; hence, only a qualified professional (preferably, a psychiatrist) can determine whether you have COD or not. However, if you’re suspecting that you have a problem related to substance abuse or mental health — or both, consider contacting us immediately.

How to Help Someone with Co-Occurring Disorders?

Supporting a family member, friend, or someone you love can be a roller coaster for you, if he/she is coping with both a substance abuse and a mental health problem. A complete recovery from COD is a lengthy process, and tolerance and withdrawal are common obstacles for an ongoing treatment.

For more help and suggestions, call us today to talk with a Devotions Recovery Center psychiatrist.

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