What Are Symptoms of Dual Diagnosis?

People talking about dual diagnosis symptoms

Dual diagnosis, also known as co-occurring disorders, is an overlap of substance abuse problems and other mental health issues. This combination is relatively common in U.S. adults and teenagers. If your child is affected by dual diagnosis, a specialized treatment plan can help them recover. How can you tell if your child needs help? That depends on the nature of the substance and mental health issues affecting them. Call 888.291.2309 to learn more about dual diagnosis treatment at Imagine Forst Collins in Colorado.

The Basics of Teenagers and Dual Diagnosis

Overall, the odds of overlapping addiction and other mental health issues are about 50/50. However, research shows that mental illness does not necessarily lead to substance problems. Substance problems also do not necessarily trigger other mental health concerns. Instead, the two conditions share some critical underlying factors in common. In addition, if your child is struggling with mental illness, they may turn to substance use as a form of self-medication. Also, teen substance use can produce changes in the brain that make other mental health problems more likely.

Any combination of substance problems and mental illness can form the basis for dual diagnosis. This is the case for teens, as well as adults. The most common mental health issues in affected people include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder

Two additional issues are of particular concern for teenagers. The first of these concerns is conduct disorder. The second is attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Substance abuse rates are much higher in teens with ADHD than those unaffected by it. That’s especially true for teenagers with undiagnosed or untreated ADHD.

Potential Dual Diagnosis Symptoms

There is no such thing as a single set of dual diagnosis symptoms. This is unavoidable, given the number of conditions that could affect your teen. Still, the combination of ADHD and addiction provides a helpful example.

Potential telltale signs and symptoms in teenagers struggling with ADHD include forgetfulness and easy distractibility. They also have difficulty sitting still or completing or organizing tasks. Impulsive behavior and a poor ability to spot danger are typical—so are extreme talkativeness and frequent fidgeting or excessive movement.

A teenager with a substance problem may undergo several changes. The long list of things you may notice include:

  • Unusual moodiness or irritability
  • Social withdrawal
  • Secretive behavior
  • A sudden change in friendship groups
  • Declining hygiene
  • Poor grades or other problems in school
  • Unexplained bouts of peppiness or sluggishness

You may detect smoke or other unusual smells on your child’s clothing or breath. In addition, you may find drug paraphernalia or empty alcohol containers.

The Importance of Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Teens

Overlapping substance problems and mental illness tend to have an amplified impact on your teen’s well-being. To combat this problem, effective dual diagnosis treatment is required. That treatment addresses your child’s health, including mental illness and addiction.

Therapy is a top choice for a well-designed care plan. Standard options include dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Medication-based care may also be essential. The specific types of medication in use depend on the details of your teen’s situation.

Find Teen Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Colorado at Imagine Fort Collins

Have questions about the wide-ranging potential symptoms of dual diagnosis? Talk to the mental health experts at Imagine Fort Collins. We can help you determine if your child is affected. We can also identify their specific dual diagnosis symptoms.

Imagine Fort Collins is your source for specialized teen dual diagnosis recovery. Our customized plans give your child a workable path to health and wellness. That’s true regardless of the combination of conditions present. To learn more, just contact Imagine Fort Collins today at 888.291.2309. You can also get the information you need through our online form.