Dual pathology is a very serious physical and mental health problem, as it combines two or more disorders that can quickly erode a person’s well-being and even their social and family relationships.
Therefore, in the face of this phenomenon, it is essential to seek professional help as soon as possible, starting a treatment that allows you to reverse the existing disorders in the daily life of the person and to prevent the problems that could occur in the future if they are not implemented. remedy. In this article we will see what they are the characteristics of this treatment of double pathology.
Features of double pathology
Dual pathology is a phenomenon that encompasses a wide variety of mental health problems; roughly speaking, it is the combination of an addictive disorder, on the one hand, and a psychological disorder, on the other hand. So, within this concept, it is possible to find health complications as different as the mixture of alcoholism and bipolar disorder, or heroin addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.
In addition, it may happen that the addiction was facilitated or triggered by the psychological disorder (as a means of inappropriately “compensating” for the discomfort generated by the psychopathology) or that the psychological disorder was caused by the addiction (such as as a disruptive element of the emotional balance of the person), even the two complications can occur in parallel because of a common cause (for example, a traumatic situation related to the sudden death of a loved one).
Why is double pathology a problem?
Although, as we have seen in this category, a wide variety of modifications are included, there are certain characteristics that make double pathology a very serious health problem that goes beyond the sum of the pathologies understood as separate disorders. Let’s see what they are.
1. Promotes emotional instability
The combination of a psychological disorder and an addiction disorder causes a person to experience frequent mood swings because to the discomfort caused by the relative lack of drugs in the body are added the problems of managing the emotions associated with it. That way, the “easy way” for the person is to continue using medication to relieve the discomfort even for the time being.
2. Requires more comprehensive treatment
Although this in itself is not a problem for the well-being of people with dual pathology is a factor that leads some not to decide to seek urgent medical help, which causes your health to deteriorate over time.
3. It promotes impulsivity
Dual pathology usually has a greater ability to cause the person to borderline situations in which he realizes that what happens to him upsets him, making it easier to give in to impulses, to the detriment of your health and your social relationships.
4. It can lead to death from overdose
In cases where the person’s ability to reason or interpret reality is impaired by the psychological disorder, the case of overdose death may occur. due to the inability to predict the consequences of consuming too much of the substance or mixing certain medications.
It is the effective treatment of double pathology
We will explain below the main characteristics of an effective treatment of double pathology, based on the principles of the NIDA (National Institute of Drug Abuse), which are those used by teams specializing in mental health and addictions.
1. Treatment should focus on the well-being of the whole person
Intervention should not focus solely on drug addiction or solely on psychological disorders, but on its ultimate goal must be to significantly improve the patient’s quality of life.
Of course, this is why it is important to take into account the different diagnostic conditions that can affect it, and to apply the therapies that have been shown to be effective in the face of these alterations, but without ceasing to give personalized treatment. .
2. Treatment should be monitored and evaluated
The assessment phase is not only given at the start of the intervention to see what problems are affecting the person; constant evaluation is necessary detect any progress made, or lack thereof, in order to be able to make corrections at any stage of the treatment.
3. The involvement of the family must be sought
Where possible, it is crucial to establish a fluid channel of communication with the patient’s loved ones and encourage them to get involved in restoring their health, both by giving directions on what not to do so as not to interfere with their progress, and by giving directions to accompany that person at home.
4. It is necessary to use the resources of medicine and psychotherapy
It is not necessary to adopt a closed and dogmatic point of view on which perspective best explains the problem of the double pathology of the person.; if it is possible to combine pharmacological and psychotherapeutic resources to obtain better results and contribute to the improvement of health over time, they should be used (of course, always on the basis of professional support, and not self-medication or “self-diagnosis”) by the patient).
5. Detoxification is only one phase of treatment
If we just focus on detoxification, soon after the drug has been taken out of the person’s body, the person will use it again, relapsing again and again.
Therefore, it is essential to focus not only on the problem of the presence of psychoactive substances in the nervous system of the person, but also intervene in patterns of behavior, thinking, emotional management and socialization. Part of the therapy is medical, and another part is psychotherapeutic, training the person to better modulate actions, feelings, the way of communicating and resolving conflicts, etc.
6. It is necessary to prepare the person to detect risky behavior and deceptive thoughts.
If the person is not trained to quickly detect the situations that facilitate his relapses or his strongly altered emotional balance, will be more vulnerable to double pathology.
Therefore, part of the treatment consists of metacognitive training, making the patient aware of his own mental processes at a distance and as objectively as possible (without losing sight of his goals and what interests him to maintain a good quality of life). .
7. The therapeutic alliance is the key
Therapy is not limited to providing textual information (oral or written) and medical resources. (like psychotropic drugs). Beyond this transmitter-receiver logic, it is essential to take care of the therapeutic relationship, so that the patient’s involvement is facilitated and the patient honestly explains what is happening to him, without however losing professionalism on the part of the clinical staff. . (Technically, therapists are not friends and should not aspire to be friends in order to actually help the people they care for).
Do you need therapeutic support for a double pathology?
If you wish to initiate a treatment process for a double pathology or an addiction problem, do not hesitate to contact us. A
Residential light plowing
Residential light plowing
Drug addiction treatment center
Plow light We specialize in the treatment of addictive disorders, offering both outpatient support and health and psychological care through intervention via admissions in our fully equipped residential module (and prepared for short, medium and long stays). duration). You will find us in Picassent (Valence).