Nothing can be more troubling and disheartening than having to suffer from dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders. Having to cope and recover from addiction is difficult enough, how much more when this problem is coupled with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other mental health issues?

Unfortunately, dual diagnosis is a common condition. In fact, statistics show that 1 out of 4 persons suffers from some type of mental illness and substance abuse problem at the same time. While records do not show a stark difference on the level of prevalence between men and women, there are figures that reveal how women are more prone to experience co-occurring disorder related to depression and PTSD.

Finding Light In Darkness: Seeking Out Treatment For Dual Diagnosis

The Importance of Gender-Specific Treatment for Dual Diagnosis

No matter how many people downplay the significance of a specific dual diagnosis treatment for women, many studies still affirm that women require a different treatment approach to fully address their specific recovery needs. At the end of the day, what works best for men, does not necessarily guarantee the same outcome for women.

Here are the reasons why it is essential that dual diagnosis should be addressed differently when women are involved:

  • The role and value of personal relationships among women are different compared with men. This means that it is critical to recognize how her past and current relationships, relationship with a husband or significant other, and her parenting role, among others, contribute and affect her condition. This is relevant in the crafting of the patient’s treatment plan and overall recovery program.
  • Women have unique health concerns that need to be considered during the treatment process.
  • Women generally play multiple caregiver roles throughout their life, which can significantly impact the content and general course of treatment. For instance, parenting roles, especially for single mothers, need to be explored to the fullest to completely address co-occurring disorders.
  • Women tend to be more bound by culturally determined roles and gender expectations. While the society has made progress on the “acceptable” roles of women in society, a dual diagnosis treatment for women program cannot completely exclude this element considering that gender bias still exists especially among women.
  • Faith and religion tend to play a significant role in a woman’s life, which greatly impacts her view and recognition of life and the world in general. Given this reality, it is important to explore whether Christian dual diagnosis treatment centers will provide a more suitable treatment program than secular ones.

These are just some of the most evident reasons why women should be provided with a gender-specific treatment program.

Finding an Effective Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facility

If you believe you are suffering from dual diagnosis and you want to enter a treatment facility, here are the qualities that you need to look for:

  • The facility should protect your privacy. No matter how common dual diagnosis conditions are, it is unfortunate that there is still a stigma that comes with it especially among women, which is why you should look for a facility that completely respects and value your privacy.
  • The facility should be specifically suited to address your treatment needs as a woman.
  • The facility should provide an integrated treatment approach. Studies reveal that the most effective treatment methods are those that address addiction and mental health issues at the same time.
  • The facility should create a program that is tailor-fitted to your needs. There is no single treatment approach that can work in all cases. At the end of the day, you have the best chance of recovery if the dual diagnosis program was created specifically for you after a thorough assessment and interview.

A dual diagnosis condition is treatable; however, it is important to note that the process is not simple and easy. While entering treatment with a positive and hopeful attitude can greatly help, you should do so with realistic expectations. Ultimately, what is most critical is you seek professional help immediately.

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