Dual Diagnosis: Alcoholism and Mental Illness

Once the condition becomes apparent, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly when an alcoholic lost control. And yet, understanding the stages of alcohol use disorder can help you determine whether you or a loved one has a problem and how to help an alcoholic on the journey to recovery. The stages include problematic drinking, severe alcohol abuse, and obsessive alcohol abuse. Because of the ways in which AOD-use disorders complicate severe mental illness, comorbidity rates tend to be particularly high among young males and clients in high-risk settings, such as hospitals, emergency rooms, and homeless shelters. The high rates of AOD-use disorders, especially among young adults, may be due partly to changes in the United States’ mental health care system during the past few decades. An entire generation of people with severe mental illnesses developed their disorders during the era of deinstitutionalization.

Is alcoholism a depressive disorder?

Alcohol-induced depressive disorder refers to a depressive-like syndrome (characterized by depressed mood or anhedonia) that occurs only during and shortly after alcohol intoxication or withdrawal, remits after 3 to 4 weeks of alcohol abstinence, and is associated with significant distress and impairment.

Make sure that the program is appropriately licensed and accredited, the treatment methods are backed by research, and there is an aftercare program to prevent relapse. Additionally, you should make sure that the program has experience with your particular mental health issue. Some programs, for example, may have experience treating depression or anxiety, https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/13-actionable-tips-to-stay-sober-at-different-times/ but not schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Using one or more of several types of psychological therapies, psychologists can help people address psychological issues involved in their problem drinking. A number of these therapies, including cognitive-behavioral coping skills treatment and motivational enhancement therapy, were developed by psychologists.

Addiction and Mental Health Resources

His denial of his alcoholism
waned with persistent gentle confrontation by his counselors, and he began attending
the hospital’s 12–step program. Three weeks after admission, he continued
to exhibit improvement in his mood but still complained of some difficulty sleeping. However, he felt reassured by the clinician’s explanation that the sleep disturbance
was likely a remnant of his heavy drinking that should continue to improve with
prolonged abstinence. Nevertheless, the clinician scheduled followup appointments
with the patient to continue monitoring his mood and sleep patterns. A review of the patient’s
medical records is another potentially rich source of information. This review
should look for evidence of previous psychiatric complaints or of laboratory
results that might further implicate alcohol in the patient’s psychiatric problems
(Allen et al. 2000).

A BAC of 0.18% to 0.30% causes profound confusion, impaired speech (e.g. slurred speech), staggering, dizziness and vomiting. A BAC from 0.25% to 0.40% causes stupor, unconsciousness, anterograde amnesia, vomiting (death may occur due to is alcoholism a mental illness inhalation of vomit while unconscious) and respiratory depression (potentially life-threatening). A BAC from 0.35% to 0.80% causes a coma (unconsciousness), life-threatening respiratory depression and possibly fatal alcohol poisoning.

Homelessness and Dual Diagnosis

Several procedures could improve the detection of AOD-use disorders and of potentially harmful AOD use among psychiatric patients. For example, mental health clinicians should be educated about AOD’s and, subsequently, should maintain both a high index of suspicion for AOD-use disorders and an awareness of their clinical correlates. Little evidence exists indicating that psychiatric patients can sustain moderate AOD use over long periods of time without incurring problems (Drake et al. 1996a), although AOD use without abuse may occur at any time (Lehman et al. 1996). Consequently, clinicians should pay attention to any current AOD use, even if there appear to be no harmful consequences.

Sometimes, mental illness can develop as a result of severe AUD, but many people turn to alcohol to cope with trauma or an underlying mental health condition. In any case, Northbound has found that treating substance abuse and mental health simultaneously is more effective than addressing them separately. To answer these questions, it’s important to recognize that there are countless types of diseases and mental illnesses, all of which can manifest very differently in different people. So, while AUD doesn’t look like many other types of chronic disease, such as cancer or heart disease, it’s still considered a medical condition.

How do alcohol use disorders affect people?

This question-and-answer fact sheet explains alcohol problems and how psychologists can help people recover. Most people will feel better in a couple weeks, and the depression will get better. If you still have depression after 4 weeks of not drinking, talk to your doctor.

What is alcoholism in abnormal psychology?

Alcoholism can result in mental illness, delirium tremens, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (memory loss), irregular heartbeat, an impaired immune response, liver cirrhosis, and increased cancer risk.

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