A dual diagnosis of drug or alcohol addiction, coupled with a mental disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder, will need a specialized approach when it comes to treatment and ensures long term recovery. Most treatment specialists will recommend medications such as antidepressants or mood stabilizers that can be very effective.
But it’s a good idea to be aware of other, nonpharmaceutical methods that can be used alone or along with medication with very positive results. a holistic approach to dual diagnosis treatment is possible with the guidance of a treatment professional who is trained in the treatment of mind, body, and spirit.
The goal of a holistic approach to dual diagnosis treatment is to heal the whole person, not treat disorders or conditions separately. With addiction treatment, this means looking at the addiction itself, its underlying issues, and all the issues a person may be dealing with.
A holistic approach will often view addiction as a symptom of a deeper issue. This means treatment will approach addiction as simply one part of a larger, interconnected web that makes up a person’s health and well being. For a patient with a dual diagnosis, a holistic approach tends to be more effective because it takes into account all of their issues at once. Treatment should be ideally done under one treatment plan at the same facility.
In order to get a better understanding of how a holistic approach can be applied to dual diagnosis treatment, and how holistic healing works in general, take a look at the following overview of the three holistic treatment categories and they are applied to addiction recovery:
Treating the body.
Drug and alcohol abuse can have a profound effect on the body, especially when it comes to affecting emotional health. It’s not uncommon to hear of recovering addicts and alcoholics struggling with depression, anxiety, or physical pain triggered by those emotions. Some of the holistic treatment options for healing the body include:
-changing one’s diet and nutrition
Acupuncture in particular has been shown to be very effective for treating depression symptoms and other mood disorders in those who are in recovery. Acupuncture can also be used to treat withdrawal symptoms and to help curb strong cravings.
Treating the mind.
Addiction also takes a toll on a person’s mind, especially with their mind-body connection. A holistic treatment plan will take this disconnect into consideration when focusing on healing the mind. Controlling the mind, becoming more aware of emotions and thought patterns, and being better equipped to handle them is one of the goals of holistic healing of the mind. A few techniques that will be used include:
-individual and group therapy sessions
-hypnotherapy and guided visualizations
Acknowledging the spirit.
Healing the spirit is something that all too often gets overlooked in the recovery process, especially for dual diagnosis treatment. It’s unfortunate because one’s spirit is something that is necessary to know and experience in order to facilitate true, long-lasting healing. Some forms of spiritual healing can include:
-regular yoga practice
-energy healing such as reiki
-some form of spiritual guidance or counseling
-attending 12 step meetings
Choosing to integrate holistic methods with traditional treatment is a good strategy when it comes to dual diagnosis treatment. Holistic healing can certainly add a new dimension to the recovery process and ensure that healing is a lifelong choice, not a quick fix to addiction.