Dual Diagnosis: Addiction And Other Conditions
Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Bipolar Disorder
In most situations, addiction does not exist in a vacuum; people with addictions often struggle with other issues (e.g., home and work relationships, financial problems) and mental health conditions.
Sometimes, addiction results from a person's attempt to self-treat an undiagnosed or treatment-resistant mental health problem. For example, an individual whose family or community stigmatizes or dismisses mental illness may not seek help from a psychiatrist; rather, they may turn to alcohol or drugs as a way to lessen or escape from distressing or debilitating symptoms. This is a particularly common path for people who have experienced a traumatic event, or suffer from chronic anxiety or depressed mood. In other cases, addicts may feel anxious, paranoid, depressed, or even psychotic or suicidal as a result of chronic abuse of substances like cocaine, or the social, emotional, career, and relationship repercussions of any addiction (including process addictions).
Which comes first – an addiction or related psychiatric conditions – is not always clear cut; in some cases, the two evolve simultaneously and even reinforce each other. Below you will find a list of some of the conditions that we treat at the UCLA Dual Diagnosis Program. As part of our outpatient program, we provide medication management, psychotherapy, and other treatment services.