Dual diagnosis is a condition where addiction and mental disorders co-exist. It is also known as co-occurring disorder or dual disorder. In most of the cases, existence of one can lead to another. Addiction to alcohol, drugs and pain killers, which is termed as substance abuse, causes anxiety, delusions, irritation and withdrawal symptoms. This anxiety can grow into depression or some sort of personality disorders. The vice-versa is also true; anxiety and depression may lead a person on the path of becoming an addict. Often the symptoms of the two are similar and clash with each other thus putting the patient in a vicious circle where he or she does not understand how to come out of it or how to seek help for it.

The number of men and women suffering with dual diagnosis is equal yet mostly with different mental disorders. However, men with dual diagnosis are mostly suffering from mental disorders like schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder or bipolar disorder whereas women with dual diagnosis are most commonly suffering from disorders like depression, post traumatic stress, phobias or panic attacks.

Men with addictions and mental disorders are reported to have been involved in harassment and creating public nuisance cases and often tend to break law and order whereas women are mostly victimized due to their mental illness and thus resort to some form of addiction. Men are less victimized as compared to women; most of the female patients admitted for dual diagnosis have been victimized in some situations at home or socially. Also, women using alcohol or drugs are more sexually abused as compared to men. Women and children are often treated as prime targets in dangerous situations.

Women can develop serious health conditions with […]