Dual Diagnosis Treatment Gets Real

By Tdorante10 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68745362

In February, 2019, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, the star of reality television programs such as Jersey Shore, announced that he sought help at a holistic rehabilitation center.

Staying about a month at the treatment facility, Ortiz-Magro sought treatment for depression and alcohol abuse. While Ortiz-Magro’s life on reality shows may initially appear different from the lives of others, his diagnosis is extremely common.

One study followed 188 alcohol dependent people before detox and rehab and after detox and rehab. It found that 63.8 percent of these alcohol dependent people also had depression. Many other alcohol dependent people struggle with other mental illnesses, such as anxiety, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or bipolar disorder.

If doctors determine that people have one or more of these mental illnesses and a condition where they abuse alcohol or drugs, the people have a dual diagnosis, a condition also known as a comorbidity or co-occurring disorder.

Each condition in a dual diagnosis affects the other. Depression can cause people to feel hopeless, so they might turn to alcohol or drugs to forget these feelings. But, alcohol and other substances are depressants. This means that they’re substances that can make people feel depressed, which can drive people to use even more drugs or alcohol, creating a vicious cycle of depression and substance abuse.

Since the conditions feed off each other, they can be difficult to address. Ortiz-Magro acknowledged this difficulty. Because of his conditions, he said, “I was definitely in a place where I just didn’t know how to control my life.” He said even with assistance, the conditions can be difficult: “I think it’s a chronic disease, it’s a progressive disease.” He added, “I’m still struggling. I’m going to struggle for the rest of my life.”

Ortiz-Magro discovered that he doesn’t have to fight his conditions alone, though. He sought help at a holistic rehab center that features differing holistic offerings, including:

  • Meditation
  • Different kinds of yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Aqua therapy
  • Physical therapy and training
  • Breathwork
  • Somatic experiencing (a practice that aims to realign thoughts and feelings)
  • Reiki (healing through touch)
  • Qigong (a combination of physical and breathing exercises)

The above list of options illustrate how holistic treatments address the spirit, mind, and body to treat addiction and mental illnesses. Perhaps Ortiz-Magro’s visit to a holistic rehab center will bring attention to these rehab options. Maybe the reality star will help make holistic rehab, and asking for assistance, realities for people who need help.