Although many people have heard the word ‘rehabilitation’ at some point during their lives, there is still some confusion as to what the term means. In its simplest form, rehabilitation stands for the process of restoring an individual to their former capacity, preparing them to resume a normal lifestyle after a period of illness or poor health. Rehabilitation can come in many forms, and there is unfortunately no uniform option capable of suiting every person perfectly. Rather, it can take some time to discover the right rehab center and treatment option for each individual, and this is especially relevant in the cause of dual diagnosis, when people suffer from not only mental ill health, but also addiction.
Individuals who are dealing with mentally ill loved ones whose problems have been compounded or enhanced by substance abuse face extremely complex problems, as many mental health services are simply not prepared to deal with a patient suffering from both afflictions. In some circumstances, only one of the problems is appropriately identified and dealt with, which can have a negative impact upon the treatment’s chances for success. In other cases, patients with a co-occurring disorder have been transferred back and forth between various services quite unsuccessfully. Luckily, there are now signs that these issues are being recognized, and programs are appearing which attempt to address and deal with the treatment needs of people with correlating mental health and addiction problems.
Factors Affecting Treatment
Substance abuse and addiction can complicate practically every aspect of care when it comes to assisting someone with mental illness. In some instances, individuals suffering with a mental disorder can be more difficult to engage within treatment as their judgement may be impaired. Most of the time, people who have been dual-diagnosed deny the existence of both conditions, and when they are resistant to approach treatment, experts have found that they struggle more aggressively with depression, often highlighting a high risk of suicide.
Any individual who is entering a rehabilitation center in the hopes of receiving treatment for both mental illness and addiction will have a completely unique profile, but there are some factors that many professionals feel are necessary to pay close attention to, including:
- The severity and type of mental health issue the patient has been diagnosed with
- The duration of the illness, whether it is occasional, caused by a reaction to a particular stressor or event, or is ongoing
- The drugs or combination of drugs and alcohol that have been used
- How severe the level of addiction is
- Whether the person is motivated to attempt recovery
Rehabilitation and Treatment Options
Evidence has begun to show that the most effective treatment for co-occurring disorders is in the form of an integrated approach. This is when both the addiction or substance use and the mental health disorder are addressed and treated at the same time. When it comes to mental health issues and addiction, rehabilitation and treatment options can be complicated, as the symptoms for both areas are largely overlapping and can be misinterpreted. The best way to proceed is typically to undertake a comprehensive assessment, which considers the physical, social and psychological issues each individual patient is dealing with. It can be helpful if the patient is willing to volunteer as much information as possible themselves, but in the case of individuals with personality disorders and other issues that could lead to confusion or false information, family members can be particularly useful.
Once a health professional has appropriately evaluated patients’ specific needs, their rehabilitation treatment plan will typically be tailored to meet those requirements, usually involving some combination of group therapy, counselling, various treatment modalities, and sometimes the prescription of non-addictive medications used to manage cognitive functioning or reduce the effects of some mental illnesses.
Mental Health Treatment Modalities
Some of the treatment modalities that might be used within a mental health rehab center include:
- Grief, loss therapeutic groups to help with treating trauma, overcoming grief, and preventing increased chances of addiction relapse.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy which is used to help question and alter the negative thoughts and beliefs individuals have about themselves, the mental health issues they are suffering with, and their reliance upon addictive substances.
- Dialectical behavior therapy, which is used to assist a patient in regaining their emotional stability, improving their reaction to impulse control and assisting with coping mechanisms for general anxiety.
If you believe that you need help in dealing with mental health issues, addiction, or would like to learn more about rehabilitation treatments, please call Creative Care today.