Diagnosing Mental Health Disorders - Mental Health and Addiction

Diagnosing Mental Health Disorders

People seeking help for addiction often co-present with mental health problems and diagnosing mental health disorders is essential for recovery.

People seeking help for addiction often co-present with mental health problems and diagnosing mental health disorders is essential for recovery.

In order to effectively treat someone suffering from addiction and to give them the best chance at long-term recovery an in-depth assessment of their mental and physical health is essential, as both the addiction and mental health disorder need to be addressed during treatment.

Common mental health disorders associated with addiction include:

  • Eating disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Drug-induced psychosis

By understanding the causes and co-relations of both mental health and substance disorders our recovery professionals are able to design dual-diagnosis treatment plans perfectly suited to each person, which substantially increases the success rate of long-term recovery.

Correctly diagnosing mental health disorders

To arrive at a precise diagnosis a number of different health professionals need to be consulted – more often than not the journey to recovery begins with a comparatively ordinary visit to your general practitioner or a consultation with a local doctor working with our rehabilitation facility.

Physical assessment

The first step to accurately diagnosing mental health disorders is a thorough physical examination.
People with substance abuse issues can suffer moderate to severe physical symptoms as their drug use takes its toll on the body.

Also, symptoms indicative of mental health disorders like anxiety and depression can be caused by conditions like thyroid disorder.

In order to determine how to best meet the client’s needs in terms of treatment for their mental health issues, doctors will conduct a series of tests to eliminate physical causes as the reason for their symptoms.

The physical exam also gives a good idea of any additional treatment someone might require regarding conditions like cirrhosis of the liver or other diseases related to overuse of drugs and alcohol.

The results of this examination also inform the detox plan we put together for each individual.

Psychological assessment

The second step is an in-depth assessment carried out by our registered psychologist.

By asking the client to provide detailed information about their substance abuse history, mental health struggles and overall personal circumstances the psychologist will seek to determine whether the mental health problems are a result of their substance abuse or if pre-existing mental health conditions have been exacerbated by drug use.

Dual diagnosis

If a client is found to have co-occurring disorders, they receive what is called a dual diagnosis, meaning they will be treated for both substance abuse and mental health disorders.

It is not uncommon for a client to be diagnosed with more than one mental health disorder.
Common co-occurring disorders are:

  • Alcohol use and depression
  • Alcohol use and panic disorders
  • Cocaine use and severe depression
  • Ice use and schizophrenia
  • Poly-drug use and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

You can find out more here about common co-occurring disorders.

The result of the psychological assessment will determine the treatment plan and ensure our optimal support for each client.

Customised treatment plans

When the diagnosis is complete, we will design a treatment plan tailored to the individual’s needs, based on our holistic treatment model.

Once the initial phase of detox has been completed, clients will be supported to re-establish not only their physical but also their emotional, psychological, social and spiritual well-being during the residential treatment program and aftercare program.

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