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Dual Diagnosis Symptoms: Recognizing a Co-Occurring Disorder in A Loved One

It can be difficult to stand by and watch your loved one struggle. You want what is best for them, but when they are not acting like themselves, you may feel lost. If they are turning to drugs and alcohol instead of you, you may not even know what is wrong. Are they simply sad or is it something more?

At Portner Counseling, we are taking a look at co-occurring disorders and the dual diagnosis symptoms that you should be looking out for with your loved one.

What Is A Dual Diagnosis?

Before you can even begin to help the person you love, you need to know what a dual diagnosis is.

A dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder are terms used to describe someone who suffers from both a substance abuse disorder as well as a mental health disorder at the same time. For many people, the mental health disorder can precede the addiction problems and cause a substance abuse disorder as they use drugs or alcohol to escape or cope with their problems. People who suffer from a dual diagnosis should seek out a mental health and addiction treatment center in order to address both problems.

Dual Diagnosis Signs and Symptoms

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from both a mental health disorder and drug addiction problems, look for signs of co-occurring disorders. You can’t get them help if you do not know what is wrong.

Some common dual diagnosis symptoms in your loved one may include:

  • Drug or alcohol use on a regular basis or not as recommended
  • Becoming socially withdrawn and pulling away
  • Suicidal thoughts, behaviors, or actions
  • Struggling to maintain their responsibilities
  • Talking about how drugs and alcohol make them feel better
  • Having a history of trauma or mental illness issues
  • Noticeable physical appearance changes like weight loss or neglecting proper grooming
  • Irregular sleep patterns
  • Drastic mood swings including possible violent outbursts
  • Making excuses about their behavior or drug habits
  • Incredibly poor upkeep of their home
  • Drug paraphernalia hidden or in plain sight

If your loved one is showing many of these co-occurring disorders symptoms, do not wait to get them help. Without proper mental health counseling and addiction help, these problems could spiral even more out of control.

At Portner Counseling, we want to not only help your loved one work through these issues but yourself as well. Being a bystander to a loved one’s mental health and addiction problems can take its toll on your own mental health. That is why we offer family counseling in Pompano so that together you can work through these issues and move forward.