What is dual pathology and how does it affect people?

If drug addiction is such a serious alteration, it is, among other things, because these types of pathologies very often lead to other health problems.

So much so that a term has been coined to refer to the clinical picture of those who have developed an addiction and who also have a mental disorder. This is pathology, a concept we will discuss in this article..

    What is double pathology?

    As we have argued, double pathology is a combination of health problems: on the one hand, an addiction to one or more substances, and on the other hand, a psychological disorder.

    In such cases, both types of pathologies adversely affect the quality of life of the person at the same time, but not in a completely independent way, since they are mutually reinforcing, deteriorating the mental and physical state of the person. behavior that makes their problem worse. In addition, people with worse physical health are also more prone to anxiety disorders and psychopathologies such as depression, due to the problem of dealing with negative emotions that this physical discomfort produces.

    Now, as you can see, in the concept of double pathology correspond to many types of disorders. Also, it should be noted that there is no clear scientific consensus on the definition of the term, so it is sometimes used including all existing psychological disorders, but at the same time it is used mostly when the disorder psychological is severe., As with schizophrenia, major depression, etc. However, beyond the theory and official definitions used in diagnostic manuals, it is in practice a useful concept to help people with this type of condition.

    How does this affect people?

    These are the main ways in which the dual pathology impairs a person’s state of health and quality of life.

    1. Using drugs to try to relieve the discomfort

    Many people with dual conditions are trapped in a loop: They try to overcome their discomfort with moments of temporary relief caused by the use of addictive substances.

    2. Facilitates social exclusion

    The accumulation of physical behavioral complications allows the person to remain socially isolated, either through the inability to adapt to this new situation while maintaining family or friendships, or through the reaction of rejection from others. This, on the other hand, also goes hand in hand with economic problems, with the fact that the available social support network can be lost.

    3. Careers can be truncated

    Even those who had a good standard of living before developing these disorders have a lot of problems to make the work. On the other hand, the double pathology occurs mainly in medium and medium-low houses, in these situations it is even more difficult to escape the precariousness of employment.

    4. Emotional instability

    Emotional imbalances are caused by the hours that have passed since the last drink and by the intensity with which the symptoms of the psychological disorder are currently expressed.

    5. Problems of organizing the day

    The fact that the discomfort associated with the addiction or disorder can arise relatively unexpectedly (and with great intensity) it forces people with dual pathology to face difficult situations without seeing them coming, Which makes it difficult to organize the tasks of the day or the week without help.

    6. Possible risk of death

    It should be remembered that the abuse of many drugs leads to a risk of death from overdose. In addition, an altered state of consciousness can put people in very dangerous situations.

    Are you looking for treatment for addictions and psychotherapy?

    Faced with the double pathology, it is very important to have therapeutic assistance and to begin a process of medical and psychological treatment as quickly as possible. Faced with this type of health problem, we invite you to contact us.

    Fr CITA clinics we have both a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals and fully equipped facilities. We offer both psychotherapy and psychiatric care sessions and an outpatient service as well as the possibility of entering our residential module, surrounded by nature and full of activities and leisure options, which enjoys a ongoing support and supervision by doctors, nurses, trainers and psychotherapists.

    Bibliographical references:

    • Drake, RE; Wallach MA (1993). Moderate alcohol consumption in people with severe mental illness. Hospital & Community Psychiatry, 44 (8): pages 780-782.
    • Drake, RE; Mueser, KT (2000). Psychosocial approaches to dual diagnosis. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 26 (1): pages 105-118.
    • Upadhyaya, HP. (2007). Management of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in the Presence of a Substance Use Disorder. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 68 (11): pages 23-30.
    • Samet, S .; Nunes, E .; Hassin, D .; et al. (2006). The diagnosis of comorbid psychiatric disorders in drug addicts is assessed by the Psychiatric Research Interview for Substance Abuse and Mental Disorders by the DSM-IV. American Journal of Psychiatry, 163 (4): pages 689-696.
    • Sciacca, K .; Thompson, CM (1996). Program development and integrated treatment in dual diagnostic systems: mental illness, drug addiction and alcoholism, MIDAA. Journal of Mental Health Administration, 23 (3): pages 288-297.
    • Wright, S .; Gournay, K .; Glorney, E .; Thornicroft, G. (2000). Double diagnosis in the suburbs: prevalence, need and use of the hospitalization service. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 35 (7): pages 297 – 304.

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