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Benefits of Getting a Diagnosis of an Addiction Issue

Benefits of Getting a Diagnosis of an Addiction Issue

Drug addiction can be a complicated issue. Addiction and the destructive behaviors that result are often manifestations of more deeply rooted issues that may not be understood or apparent to the addicted individual or others. The addict and his or her family and friends may not understand why the person seems trapped in a continued downward spiral of destructive behavior, remorse and relapse.

Understanding Root Causes of Addiction

A diagnosis by a professional trained in psychology and qualified to treat matters related to addiction can shed light on psychological, situational and experiential factors that may contribute to the addiction. People who are addicted to drugs or behaviors such as gambling often suffer from psychological or emotional issues known as co-occurring disorders. Co-occurring disorders may include such concerns as the following:

  • Depression
  • Stress disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Psychological issues related to abuse or trauma suffered as a child

Many of these conditions can emerge without the person being aware of them. Stress disorders, for example, tend to “creep up” on a person little by little without his or her awareness. They often result in a desire to escape from the pressures of life and may manifest themselves in symptoms such as depression and substance abuse. The person is aware that he or she is having a difficult time coping with what seems like everyday life but does not fully understand why.

Co-occurring disorders can cause other problems for the person in addition to addiction. Using drugs is often an effort on the part of the afflicted person to escape from the pressures and problems caused by the underlying issue or issues. Unfortunately drug use is a maladaptive response to the situation and only serves to exacerbate the problem. The person seeks escape from problems through drug use, as a result of escaping into drug use the problems get worse and when the problems get worse the person seeks escape in increased drug use.

Treating Co-occurring Disorders and Addiction

A professional diagnosis can identify the root causes of an addiction issue. Understanding what caused the problem is essential to treating it effectively. Addictive behavior can be treated on its own, but without treatment of the underlying causes, treatment is not likely to be effective in the long run, and leaves the recovering addict open to relapse when stressful situations trigger familiar and well-practiced maladaptive responses such as seeking escape in drug use.

Treatment that addresses the underlying causes of the addiction as well as the addictive behavior itself is much more effective in achieving a lasting recovery from addiction. In addition to helping the patient recover from addiction, treatment of co-occurring disorders can improve the patient’s life in all areas. By treating any co-occurring disorders, the patient can hope to achieve a state of improved overall psychological health leading to greater happiness and a more productive and fulfilling life.

Need Help Finding Treatment for Addiction?

If you have any questions about addiction, co-occurring disorders or treatment, or if you would like help scheduling a diagnostic evaluation or finding treatment, call us. Our number is toll free, and we are available 24 hours a day.