Dual diagnosis: A stepwise treatment approach

Dual diagnosis: A stepwise treatment approach

A recent report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) revealed that nearly 7.9 million US adults struggled with a psychological disorder co-existing with a substance or alcohol addiction, in 2014. Surprisingly, just a small fraction of these individuals seek treatment for both the disorders, whereas a majority receives no treatment at all. Read more

Understanding various treatment options for dual diagnosis

Understanding various treatment options for dual diagnosis

Dual diagnosis is a unique phenomenon when a person suffers from both a substance use disorder and a mental health condition at the same time. Either of the conditions can develop first and lead to another. Often, people struggling with a mental illness start taking drugs or alcohol as a self-medication to alleviate their devastating symptoms.  On the other hand, substance abuse can also lead to mental health problems since drugs and alcohol are known to affect an individual’s mood, behavior, and brain chemistry. Read more

The ‘wild child’ Cluster B personality disorder

The ‘wild child’ Cluster B personality disorder

The “Mr. Know-it-all” at the office who has to have the last word and insists he’s always right, and may even be described as a narcissist. Or the dramatic woman who uses her beauty and allure to get what she wants: the histrionic drama queen. We tend to throw these words around while unaware that narcissistic and histrionic are true personality disorders. These are grouped under Cluster B personality disorders. Many refer to this cluster as “wild.” Cluster B also includes borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder as well as those previously mentioned: histrionic and narcissistic. Read more

The 'wacky' Cluster A personality disorder

The ‘wacky’ Cluster A personality disorder

People with personality disorders have numerous problems in social relationships and mood regulation that are usually present throughout their adult life. In these patients, patterns of perception, thought and response are fixed and inflexible, although their behavior is often unpredictable. Schizoid, schizotypal and paranoid personality disorders are part of the Cluster A group. Individuals in this group are often referred to as wacky, distrustful, suspicious and magical thinkers. These personality disorders should not be confused with the Axis I disorder schizophrenia, which is not a personality disorder but an actual brain disorder that presents with anatomic, neurotransmitter and immune system abnormalities. Personality disorders, on the other hand, are Axis II diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

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