Is someone that you know and care about acting unusual? How can you tell if it is substance abuse or mental illness? Both of these issues can have similar symptoms, and often someone will have both conditions at the same time and require a dual diagnosis. Sometimes it can be difficult even for trained medical professionals and mental health specialists to distinguish between these two until a thorough and extensive evaluation has been done. If both substance abuse and mental illness are present then specialized treatment that addresses both issues must be received in order to achieve a full and permanent recovery. If one issue is left unresolved and untreated then your problems will just come back at some time in the future.
In order to determine whether someone has mental illness, substance abuse, or both an in depth evaluation is usually needed. Any symptoms experienced should be discussed with the medical professional. It is important to be honest so that the correct diagnosis can be made and the right treatment plan developed. Both substance abuse and mental illness can usually be successfully overcome when the right treatment programs and methods are used. Signs of either of these conditions should never be ignored. Without treatment the problem will only get worse, it will not go away on it’s own. Mental illness and substance abuse can still carry an unfair stigma, but you should not let this stop you from seeking the help that you or a loved one needs. Many treatment programs offer privacy and complete confidentiality.