Dual Diagnosis Treatment - A Doctor's Perspective
Many alcoholics struggle with depression and anxiety, and this often goes unnoticed when they enter a drug and alcohol rehab center. The focus is simply on the disease of alcohol addiction. It is critical, however, for depression and anxiety not to be ignored, especially since people who suffer from these problems often need more individualized attention to conquer their addiction to alcohol.
For many alcoholics, they suffer in silence for years. The depression and anxiety is accompanied by guilt and shame about their addiction. Alcoholics are experts at hiding their disease, and this can contribute to depression and anxiety. It is a vicious cycle. It is important for alcoholics to get treatment for the depression and anxiety. Alcohol treatment centers must not ignore depression and anxiety while they are helping patients beat their addiction to alcohol. There are many holistic therapies available to address these issues. Accupunture, meditation and relaxation techniques and massage can all be highly beneficial. Ask the admissions counselor at the treatment center you are considering if these therapies are avaialble.
It has been well-documented that depression and anxiety affect one's physical health. Depression and anxiety contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease, which can affect an alcoholic's overall health right now or in the future. Alcoholism itself is a physically devastating disease. Many alcoholics suffer from cirrhosis of the liver, high blood pressure and circulatory problems. When alcohol treatment centers address not just the alcoholism, but the depression and anxiety as well, addicts are able to face their problems and find ways to get healthier physically as well as emotionally.
Untreated depression and anxiety are major contributors to relapse. This is why it is so important that they be addressed while still in residential alcohol treatment. Methods of dealing with depression and anxiety should be taught as a means of relapse prevention. They are important recovery tools that will be put to use as the alcoholic learns to live thier life free of addiction.
With individual and group therapy and carefully monitored medication, it is possible for alcoholics to heal from their depression and anxiety, while at the same time, get sober and move forward to enjoy life once again. It is within every alcoholic's reach to live a happy and healthy life.