Podcast: Dual-Diagnosis in AA Recovery

What is dual diagnosis

March 13, 2021

By Andy F

Categories: Podcasts

What is dual diagnosis in recovery?

What is dual diagnosis? Very simply, it applies to someone who comes into recovery from alcoholism but also suffers from a co-existing mental health issue. This is a simple and understandable definition of dual diagnosis. There is some confusion in the fellowship regarding what untreated alcoholism really is. Is there a difference between the symptoms of untreated alcoholism and the presence of co-existing mental health issues?

Anxiety and depression in AA sobriety

For some recovering alcoholics, severe anxiety and depression make it difficult for them to stay sober. They find life in recovery too challenging. Their symptoms are so pronounced that some members need to seek professional medical advice. There are members who lean towards a more fundamentalist approach to recovery. They have difficulty accepting that some members suffer from problems other than alcoholism.

For reasons that are not always clear, they declare that the symptoms described by some members are not real mental health problems. They believe that these members are merely suffering from untreated alcoholism. They maintain that these members are merely suffering from self-pity and not a depressive illness.

Mental health or untreated alcoholism?

It appears to be easier for people who take the AA literature literally to believe that ALL alcoholics in recovery are merely suffering from defects of character. In the fellowship, defects of character are frequently associated with untreated alcoholism.

AA fundamentalists declare that symptoms of depression are nothing more than self-pity. These members also believe that anxiety is nothing more than self-centered fear. What do you think? Is depression just self-pity, and is an anxiety disorder merely alcoholic self-centeredness?

I hope you enjoy the podcast

In fellowship

Andy F

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