Dual Diagnosis: addiction and psychiatric problems

Dual Diagnosis: addiction and psychiatric problems

Often addiction is not a standalone disease, but is coupled with other psychiatric problems. The combination of psychiatric problems and an addiction problem is also called a dual diagnosis. 

What is the difference between dual diagnosis and a comorbid disorder?

The term dual diagnosis often confused with  comorbidity. The literal translation of comorbidity is: 'another disease involved'. It involves having two or more disorders at the same time. This can, in contrast to dual diagnosis, also cover other diagnoses than addiction. 

Examples of dual diagnosis 

The psychiatric disorders that can be associated with addiction problems are: 

  • ADHD (Attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder); 
  • Schizophrenia; 
  • Personality disorders; 
  • (Anti-social) behavioural disorders; 
  • Bipolar disorder; 
  • Anxiety disorder; 
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD); 
  • Depression disorders. 

The influence of psychiatric problems on addiction  

A dual diagnosis is often not a coincidence. For example, addiction can sustain a psychiatric problem or, conversely, a psychiatric problem can sustain an addiction. For example, someone may suffer from an anxiety disorder and reduce those symptoms by using alcohol or drugs. On the other hand, it can also work the other way around, that the psychiatric disorder is worsened by substance use. Psychiatric disorders and addiction may also have roots in a person’s biological characteristics (for example: aptitude, heredity, nutrition and overall condition) and biographical area (factors in the patient's history), both of which add to the complexity of dual diagnosis.

Treatment of dual diagnosis 

At Triora, we have a team of expert psychiatrists, psychologists and nurses with experience in the research and treatment of dual diagnosis. Every patient who is treated at Triora is also tested for ADHD. At the beginning of treatment, the team also checks if there are other psychiatric problems. Additional treatment or guidance for dual diagnosis is usually based on the outcome(s) of the tests. If psychiatric problems preclude treatment at Triora, it may be advisable to first follow a separate treatment for the particular disorder.  
 
Do you suffer from psychiatric problems in addition to your addiction and wonder if Triora’s treatment is right for you? Contact us for advice. You are also welcome to call us. When you register, we will call you back for an initial orientation conversation.



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