Dual Diagnosis in Knoxville, TN (865) 329-7145

Dual diagnosis in Knoxville is becoming more and more common in addiction treatment. However, one of the biggest obstacles in getting dual diagnosis treatment is a person's own lack of knowledge about the condition. After all, you cannot seek out help for something you do not know exists. But with proper knowledge and understanding a person who has a dual diagnosis can find the help they need. Alcohol Treatment Centers Knoxville, can help find the right treatment center for you, just call (865) 329-7145.

Mental Health Disorders and Addiction

Dual diagnosis is a state of simultaneously having a mental health disorder and a drug or alcohol addiction.

There are many mental health disorders in existence and any one of them could theoretically affect a person who also has a substance abuse problem or addiction. However, as far as symptoms of mental health disorders go and the ways in which drugs or alcohol affect the body and mind, it is clear that some combinations will inevitably be more common than others. Some of these combinations of mental health disorders and drug addictions include:

Eating disorders are complex mental health disorders that can not only co-occur with substance abuse problems but also commonly with other mental health disorders (or may show characteristics of those other disorders). Some of the more common symptoms of eating disorders are:

  • Excessive exercise
  • Skipping meals
  • Obsessive thoughts about weight and appearance
  • Fixation on unrealistic goal weight or size
  • Secretive eating habits
  • Food hoarding
  • Overly restrictive or extreme diets
  • Constantly checking mirrors for flaws
  • Body dysmorphia

Many people with eating disorders also suffer from depression as well as having an eating disorder. When a person with an eating disorder also has a drug addiction, it is almost always to some form of stimulant. Stimulant drugs excite the nervous system and essentially stimulate it into action. This has numerous effects upon the mind and body. While stimulants can produce a feeling of euphoria, the appealing part to people with eating disorders is the other side effects. Stimulants can give a person a sudden surge of energy that can last for several hours at a time. This can aid in excessive exercise habits or give the person energy in spite of dangerously poor nutrition. And, of course, stimulants have a common side effect of suppressing a person's appetite. Some stimulants include cocaine, Adderall, Ritalin, and meth.

OCD, also known as obsessive-compulsive disorder, is a mental health disorder that (as its name suggests) involves obsessive thought patterns and compulsive actions and behaviors. Specifically, some of the symptoms are:

  • Fear of contamination (germs, diseases, etc...)
  • Requiring specific order or organization
  • Fear of punishment or negative events from not completing behaviors
  • Compulsive cleaning
  • Precise routines that must be followed exactly
  • Intense worry and anxiety
  • Superstitious thoughts and obsessions with what is lucky or unlucky
  • Hoarding

People with OCD can get so extreme in their behaviors that they can cause themselves physical pain (excessive hand washing can cause skin ruptures and bleeding, for example). Because of the mental and physical edginess and pain this disorder can cause, it is most often linked to opiate addiction. Opiates are powerful drugs also known as narcotics or opioids. These drugs block pain receptors in the body and also suppress the central nervous system, slowing operations throughout the body (including in the brain) which makes a person feel relaxed and calm. Examples of opiates include heroin, morphine, oxycodone, and Vicodin.

Treatment Options

Psychotherapy is a form of counseling in which the person with a dual diagnosis in Knoxville meets with a therapist and discusses their conditions, looking for patterns of thought, emotion, and behaviors as well as past traumas and other issues that contribute to the person's mental health disorder and how all of that also relates to drug or alcohol addiction and substance abuse. The end goal is to heal and to be able to cope in the future so that relapse does not occur.

Psychopharmacology is when a psychiatrist or other doctor uses prescription drugs to treat a mental health disorder. In the case of a dual diagnosis in Knoxville, the recovering addict and their therapists and doctors must be careful to stay aware and in control to avoid future substance abuse and addiction issues.

If you are looking for treatment, contact Alcohol Treatment Center Knoxville at (865) 329-7145. They will help to answer all of your questions and get you the treatment you need.

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