There is a complex relationship between substance use disorders and mental health issues. When a person experiences both simultaneously, it is called a dual diagnosis. Most of the time, people struggling with a dual diagnosis only receive treatment for their substance use disorder. Women are also disproportionately more likely to develop a dual diagnosis but are less likely to ask for help because of the stigma associated with mental health issues and addiction. More than half of the women who experience substance use disorders also have a co-occurring mental health problem.
If you or a loved one needs mental health treatment, the Atlanta Center for Mental Health is a dual diagnosis treatment center. Women experiencing a dual diagnosis receive compassion and support, allowing them to address both conditions simultaneously. Call us at 833.625.0458 to set up an appointment with an Atlanta therapist today.
5 Common Dual Diagnoses in Women
Women with multiple diagnoses who enter a treatment program for substance use disorder often have one of the following mental health issues:
1. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Millions of Americans have post-traumatic stress disorder, more commonly known as PTSD. Among women, a dual diagnosis may indicate previous trauma. Women who have a dual diagnosis are more likely to have suffered abuse or violence. However, abuse is not the only cause of PTSD, as the death of a loved one or intense grief can also cause the condition. A traumatic event can cause people to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism.
Almost twice as many women as men experience depression at some point in their lives. Women who suffer from depression are at increased risk of using substances. At the same time, women who suffer from a substance use disorder are at increased risk of developing depression. Depression is one of the most common dual diagnoses, with nearly half of all women who experience a substance use disorder simultaneously struggling with major depression.
3. Eating Disorders
Many women struggling with a substance use disorder also develop an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Eating disorders may develop as coping mechanisms for a person to attempt to regain control over some part of their lives. This control contrasts with a substance use disorder, in which a person may feel that they have no control over their behavior.
4. Bipolar Disorder
People struggling with bipolar disorder will experience manic periods and depressive periods. This wild swing between moods can cause a person to feel as though they are not in control of their lives. Many people with bipolar disorder turn to substance use to cope with the intense emotions that they experience. Substance use can also intensify manic and depressive episodes.
Schizophrenia is a severe mental health condition that affects how people think, feel, and behave. It is common for people struggling with schizophrenia to have trouble distinguishing reality from the imaginary. Substance use may be a way for a person with schizophrenia to attempt to cope with the extreme stress caused by the condition.
Why Choose a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center
Living with a dual diagnosis can be extremely taxing for a person and their loved ones, as it is difficult to untangle the relationship between the substance use disorder and the mental health disorder. The substance use disorder can worsen the mental health issue, and the mental health issue can cause dependence on harmful substances. It takes a lot of time, effort, and skill to treat these issues properly.
Get Dual Diagnosis Treatment at the Atlanta Center for Mental Health
A dual diagnosis is a unique challenge that must address both disorders with specific techniques and treatment modalities. The mental health professionals at our treatment center in Georgia utilize effective mental health therapies and medication for a dual diagnosis. We also offer a variety of other treatment programs to support the dual diagnosis treatment:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- Group therapy sessions
Call us today at 833.625.0458 for competent, comprehensive treatment and start your journey towards recovery.