Dual diagnosis is the condition of suffering from a mental illness and a co-morbid substance abuse problem. Instead of drawing a hard line between psychiatric health and addiction, these areas are treated as part of a continuum.
If both the diagnostic criteria for a mental health disorder (depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, a personality disorder, etc.) and for an addictive disorder (alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling addiction, sex addiction or another behavioural addiction) exist, a Dual Diagnosis may be diagnosed. Effective treatment for a Dual Diagnosis involves considering both the addiction and the mental illness.
How would a Dual Diagnosis be developed?
There is no single treatment option that works for everyone. The range of mental health disorders is broad, and the relationship between the psychiatric condition and substance abuse is complicated.