Did you know that according to Mental Health First Aid, “In the United States, almost half of adults (46.4 percent) will experience a mental illness during their lifetime?”
With numbers like those, it’s virtually certain that you or a loved one will experience a mental illness at some point. We could all benefit from some understanding of how to handle illnesses, mental and physical.
Things get even more complicated when you or someone you know has multiple diagnoses at the same time.
When times get tough, it’s important to have knowledge at the ready to lend a hand.
So what is dual diagnoses, or multiple diagnoses? Simply put, it’s when you have multiple illnesses at the same time.
How can this happen? It could just be bad luck. You might be suffering from pneumonia, and happen to develop depression at the same time. This would an example of mixing physical and mental illness.
More often, though, multiple diagnoses occur when two illnesses are connected, or one illness causes another. For example, diabetes might lead to a foot ulcer.
Or, on the mental health end of things, an addiction might lead to a mental illness like depression or anxiety.
Addictions can also lead to or be facilitated by mental health issues like PTSD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and others.
The term dual diagnosis is often used to describe exactly this situation: when an addiction is interacting with another mental illness. Dual diagnosis centers exist to help patients in these circumstances.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Treatment for multiple diagnoses can be more complicated than treatment for a single ailment. The normal medicines for one part of your health issues might antagonize the other part.
Additionally, while each illness is unique, there’s something to be said for the idea that poor health in one aspect can cause poor health in general. While your body and mind are trying to fight off one illness, another illness might be making the battle all that much harder every step of the way.
When we suffer from multiple physical illnesses, we go to doctors and trust them to do the difficult work of understanding our illness or illnesses and finding a way, no matter how complicated, to help cure us.
Mental illnesses are a little different, as we often have to be an active participant in our own treatment. The road to recovery almost requires us to become an expert in our own mental health and in parts of mental health recovery in general.
Mental illness is the same as physical illness in that we often need the help of competent professionals to recover. Finding accredited dual diagnosis treatment centers can be the first step towards returning to health.
Keep Your Mind and Body Fit
We hope you’ve learned something helpful about multiple diagnoses in this brief summary. To read more about wellness, travel, love, and more, check out our other articles!