10 symptoms of dual diagnosis

Mental illness and substance abuse often go hand in hand, with one condition exacerbating the other. This co-occurring condition is known as dual diagnosis.

It’s crucial to identify dual diagnosis early on since it can be challenging to diagnose and treat as two separate disorders.

In this article, we’ll discuss the ten symptoms to look out for that may indicate a dual diagnosis. By recognizing these symptoms, individuals struggling with mental health disorders and substance abuse can seek the appropriate medical help they need.

1) Fluctuating mood swings

Dual diagnosis can be characterized by mood swings that shift from extreme highs to extreme lows. These mood swings are usually unpredictable and range from extreme agitation to depression.

2) Difficulty in concentrating and memory lapses

Both drug addiction and mental illness can hamper cognitive functioning, making it difficult to remember and concentrate on critical tasks.

3) Insomnia and erratic sleep patterns

Dual diagnosis often interferes with sleep, making individuals toss and turn all night or experience erratic sleep patterns.

4) Social isolation

Social isolation can be particularly challenging for people who are struggling with dual diagnosis, which refers to individuals who have both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. These individuals may face additional barriers to social connection, such as stigma, discrimination, and difficulties in accessing appropriate treatment.

Social isolation can have negative effects on mental health, exacerbating symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. It can also increase the risk of substance use and addiction. Therefore, it’s important for individuals with dual diagnosis to find ways to stay connected with others and receive support during times of social isolation.

5) Unexplained increase in energy

They may suddenly experience an inexplicable surge of energy, usually accompanied by racing thoughts, impulsiveness, or hyperactivity.

6) Physical withdrawal symptoms

Those addicted to drugs or alcohol may show physical withdrawal symptoms, such as shakiness, sweating, and irregular heartbeat, if they try to stay sober, contributing to their mental health issues.

7) Poor judgment and impulsivity

Impulsivity is evident in people who have a dual diagnosis, which can lead to poor judgment or making bad decisions in relationships, work, or finances.

8) Anxiousness and fear

Anxiousness and fear are common signs of dual diagnosis, which refers to individuals who have both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. These symptoms can be caused by a variety of factors, including the effects of drugs and alcohol, the underlying mental health condition, and the stress of living with a dual diagnosis.

Anxiety is a common symptom of many mental health conditions, such as generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and panic disorder. Substance use can also contribute to feelings of anxiety and fear, especially during withdrawal or when experiencing the negative effects of drug use.

9) Unchanged or sudden weight loss or gain

People with dual diagnosis may experience changes in their appetite and fluctuating weight, which can lead to further health issues.

10) Intense cravings

Those addicted to drugs or alcohol can experience intense cravings and uncontrollable urges to seek out drugs or alcohol.

Get the right help for a dual diagnosis

Recognizing the signs of dual diagnosis is the first step in helping someone get the right sort of medical care they need. People struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues are vulnerable and require treatment that addresses both conditions.

A dual diagnosis is a complex and challenging condition to treat, but with the right sort of support and the right course of action, recovery is possible. If you or someone you love is struggling with a dual diagnosis, reach out for professional help. Together, we can help you achieve a life of health, happiness, and fulfillment.