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Friday, May 28, 2010

Dual Diagnosis & Dual Disorders

The Celebrate A New Life Christian Dual Diagnostic Track - Dual diagnosis often accompanies chemical dependency, drug and alcohol issues. At Celebrate A New Life, we recognize dual diagnosis as a co-occurring condition.

These Conditions include:
Bipolar Disorder
Clinical Depression
Anxiety Disorder
Eating Disorder
Attention Deficit Disorder
Clinical Mood Disorders

Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a major affective disorder between states of deep depression and extreme elation. Symptoms are: sleeping more than usual, then needing very little sleep yet never feeling tired, becoming uninterested in things you once enjoyed, becoming unable to make simple decisions, wanting to die, experiencing hallucinations or delusions, indulging in risky sexual behavior, feeling hopeless or worthless for a sustained period of time, paying no attention to daily responsibilities, and having bouts of uncontrollable crying.

Clinical Depression
Not everyone experiences clinical depression in the same way. Symptoms are: A persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood. Sleeping too little or sleeping too much, Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain, restlessness or irritability, fatigue or loss of energy, feeling guilty, hopeless or worthwhile, or thoughts of death or suicide.

Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorder fills people's lives with overwhelming anxiety and fear. They are chronic, relentless and can grow progressively worse if not treated. Symptoms include: trembling, profuse sweating, nausea, difficult talking, fatigue, muscle tension, twitching, irritability, easily startled, rapid heart beat, unable to relax, and hot flashes.

Eating Disorder
The term eating disorders have come to mean anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating. Anorexia nervosa is defined as the relentless pursuit of thinness. The symptoms are: Person is terrified of becoming fat, he/she reports being fat when very thin, weighs 85% or less than what is expected for age or height, he/she has compulsive rituals, strange eating habits, division of food, low tolerance for change and new situations, and may fear growing up. Bulimia is defined as the diet-binge-purge disorder. The symptoms are: Person binge eats, feels out of control while eating, vomits, misuses laxatives, excessively exercises, or fasts to get rid of calories. Bulimics are often depressed, lonely, ashamed, and empty inside. Binge eating disorder is when a person binge eats frequently and repeatedly. Symptoms are: depression and obesity, eats rapidly and secretly, may snack and nibble all day long. Binge disorder is not a process of vomiting like bulimia, it is a process of eating for emotional reasons to comfort themselves, avoid threatening situations and numb emotional pain.

Attention Deficit Disorder (Adult ADD)
Attention deficit disorder is described as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Symptoms include: lack of focus, disorganization, restlessness, difficulty finishing projects, and losing things. These symptoms interfere with success at work and get in the way at home or with friends.

Clinical Mood Disorders
Mood disorders range from depression, bipolar disorder and mania. Symptoms include: low self-esteem, less control over emotions, lowered capacity to feel pleasure, less tolerable to feel pain, not motivated and low energy levels.

Treatment centers across the country began treating a new classification of chemical abuse. Clients with a behavioral disorder coupled to compulsive/obsessive symptoms are classified as dual diagnostics. Many of these disorders in the past were seen only by mental health personnel; and the symptoms were more often than not treated erroneously because chemical addiction was not considered! In other words, a patient describing low energy, low self esteem, sadness and despair, was expressing all the feelings of depression. And he was labeled as such. He was a victim of depression. But if drinking and using were not discussed, if the therapist failed to discover the extent of the chemical habit, the direction of treatment took the wrong path.

Too, for years, health professionals thought to treat addiction, they had to find the underlying reason for the addiction. They would treat the "underlying reason" and figured the addiction would go away. Sadly, that is not at all the case. A person suffering from an obsessive/compulsive disorder, such as drinking and using, will surely return to that behavior after only brief success. Thus, relapse.

Probably the best way to understand the futility of psychotherapy is to use an example that is very fitting: Say, a person goes into treatment for fire setting. The therapist would have little success treating the underlying disorder if the patient were allowed to continue to set fires. Common sense can go a long ways-first, the fires have to go! Stop setting fires and now we have a chance to treat whatever else is wrong.

So is the case with many addicts. Learn to stay sober and clean, and if any severe underlying disorders still exist we have the benefit of time and experience to solve those problems also.

Chemical Imbalance
Some disorders will simply not go away with counseling, group therapy, 12 step programs alone. This is yet another type of dual diagnosis. It is more bothersome to the client, and in severe forms can distract from chemical dependency treatment. However, these types of disorders can be treated very successfully. These people suffer many times from certain chemical imbalances, and need additional help to overcome their challenge. A responsible treatment program should professionally diagnose all of its clients upon intake. At Celebrate A New Life we treat this kind of disorder in three phases:

Psychosocial evaluation
Proper medication to restore chemical balance
One-on-one counseling (evaluating and treatment planning)
Introduce client into the primary phase of chemical abuse treatment
When chemical balance is achieved, clients respond well to the general concept of standardized treatment:

> Group process
> Relating to others and gaining social skills
> Incorporating a treatment plan into their lifestyle that they can live a satisfying life
> Identifying and acceptance of their own personal challenges
For immediate intake information, Call Robert Nicholl
Toll Free
24 Hours a Day (800) 708-3173

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