Mental Health, Dual-Diagnosis, & Behavioral Addictions

Welcome to the Mental Health, Dual-Diagnosis, & Behavioral Addictions topic center

This topic center will provide information on: 

  1. Dual-Diagnosis/Co-Occurring Disorders.
  2. Behavioral Addictions.

Whether you have struggled with substance abuse yourself or have studied it from an outside perspective, you probably know that mental health is a critical piece of the puzzle. In fact, substance use disorders (SUDs) are included in the manual of mental illnesses, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Mental health difficulties like anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress can often lead to substance abuse problems; conversely, using substances can worsen mental health. Mental illness and substance use disorders frequently occur together, and this is called a “dual-diagnosis,” or co-occurring disorder. The following mental health problems co-occur frequently with addiction:

To learn more about these mental health topics be sure to check out the Mental Disorders section of our website, which contains thousands of pages and comprehensive information on a variety of psychological and social issues.

Sometimes, addictions can develop in the form of behavioral addictions or “process addictions.” These might include the internet or social media, gambling, eating, shopping, or sex or pornography.

*As always, you should consider contacting a medical professional to be properly evaluated and treated for any mental health or addiction related disorder.

If you think you might have both a mental health and substance use disorder (dual-diagnosis), here are some options for seeking treatment. Be sure to ask the treatment center if they offer dual-diagnosis treatment!

  • Use the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) treatment finding tool to find inpatient and outpatient services in your area.
  • Call 1-888-993-3112Ad Info & Options to learn about addiction inpatient detox, treatment, and recovery facilities, including their cost, location, and amenities. Some facilities treat mental health concerns as well. Be sure to ask specific and detailed questions about whether the facility treats mental illness in conjunction with addiction. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about other things that might be important to you, like whether staff are properly credentialed; what the schedule is like; and what types of therapies are offered. 
  • Contact your insurance company to learn about treatment options and providers that are covered under your plan.

Mental Health, Dual-Diagnosis, & Behavioral Addictions

Dual-Diagnosis: What You Need to Know

What is a Dual Diagnosis?

Also known as comorbidity, having a dual diagnosis implies that someone with a substance use disorder simultaneously suffers from one or more additional psychiatric disorders. Dual diagnoses are more common than most people think.
What is a Dual Diagnosis?

  • In one study, 75% of individuals admitted to a substance abuse facility had a co-occurring mental illness. Despite these high percentages, as few as 7% of individuals with a dual diagnosis receive effective treatment.

Why Do Some People Develop a Co-occurring Disorder While Others Don’t?

Find Treatment for Addiction If you are struggling with both an addiction and mental health disorder, click here to explore possible inpatient treatment options.