A dual diagnosis is a mental disorder compounded by substance abuse or addiction, including alcohol. That creates a complex condition with a wide variety of effects that are often difficult to manage.
Patients with mental health conditions sometimes turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate to manage or cope with the already present stress, fear, and anxiety. The issues co-exist and may result in noticeable changes in behavior, personality, and mood along with suicidal thoughts and confused thinking.
It’s recommended the two issues be treated together, as one cannot be healed without the other issue being addressed. Some mental health issues often linked to dual diagnosis include attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It’s estimated that 45 percent of Americans suffer from dual diagnoses.