Alcoholism is common among people suffering from mental health conditions. People experiencing anxiety, depression, impulsivity, or other diagnosable mental illnesses often turn to alcohol to find temporary solace. Additionally, people who do not have a mental health diagnosis, yet are encountering a phase of overwhelming emotions, drink dangerously.
For example, while struggling with the aftermath of trauma, such as physical or sexual abuse, people drink to escape the pain. Alcohol is used as a coping mechanism for those enduring a great deal of stress or hardship, such as getting fired from a job or losing a loved one.
Drinking represses the negative emotions that affect the mental well-being of those with diagnosed mental health concerns and those who simply feel emotionally flooded.
As the holiday season winds up for its last big week before Christmas, here are a few spiritual tips to help you remember what the season’s all about. This is part two of a two-part article (part one is here).
4. Celebrate your truth.
I have a friend named Wayne who had an awful life. He was maybe 12 years old when, looking around the dinner table, he finally did the math that estranged him from his family.
You see, Wayne had four older brothers, each a year apart, and Wayne was born four years after the last. He knew immediately that he wasn’t supposed to be there; he knew immediately that he was an accident. Even worse, he knew that everyone in that household hated and resented his existence.
As the holiday season winds up for its last big week before Christmas, here are a few spiritual tips to help you remember what the season’s all about. This is part one of a two-part article.
1. The reason for the season.
I don’t care what religious denomination you call your own. The holidays are always about giving and giving back, which — if you really think about it — is the cornerstone of every thriving belief system.
For me, giving has a very specific look. It starts with hour after hour spent poring over the gift lists my wife and I have compiled, followed by standing in line after line at toy stores, department stores, and jewelry shops all over the city.
In many ways, recovery is an individual experience. Moving through recovery means becoming well-acquainted with your own thought processes and tendencies.
It is a time when you become highly attuned to why you are abusing drugs and alcohol, and a time to find ways to become the person you want to be.
Although much of recovery involves your own individual journey, the value of support systems cannot be underestimated. There are several reasons they are vital to recovery.
Addictions are never easy to deal with, but they become even more challenging during the holidays. Holidays bring with them tremendous pressures, sometimes good and sometimes bad.
But the one thing that’s true for most people is that the holidays always make the stress much worse, and that increased stress can make it hard for you to hold fast to your goals and your recovery plan.
Despite the fact that the holidays add enough stress to make many people consider alcohol or drugs just to wind down, it’s possible to deal with the stressors and difficulties. You just need to remember a few key points to help you cope.
Making the transition from addiction to sobriety is a major change. It is sure to transform your life in several positive ways.
In order to make this transformation, many people will choose to enter into a treatment program of some kind. In such programs, you will have the support of addiction counselors, doctors, and maybe even other addicts. They will help you find the way to a happier and healthier life.
Here are a few ways you can expect your life to change in treatment.
When a student heads off to college, friends, family members and loved ones hope that they are prepared both emotionally and academically for transitions and the independence that comes with college life. But for some students, drinking problems emerge with potentially serious consequences for a student’s academics, relationships and mental and physical health.
Colleges have long struggled to identify who is most at risk for developing drinking problems and which interventions best treat problems once they emerge.
With more than 1,825 college student deaths from alcohol-related accidents, according to a 2009 study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, it’s also a question of keen interest and scientific investigation for psychologists. What have they discovered?
Staging an intervention for a loved one is stressful and emotionally taxing. Having an addict in your life is difficult in its own way and leads to many strong and difficult emotions, including anger, sadness, and guilt. If someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, you may feel powerless and frustrated.
Ultimately, only an addict can decide to get help, but you may be able to influence his or her decision by staging an intervention. Doing so will give you and other loved ones an opportunity to communicate with the addict about the way his or her behavior is making you feel.
Recovering from addiction, whether it be a substance abuse or alcohol problem, can be an arduous and trying process. Completely reworking your life into something uncomfortable and different from what it was often is stressful and mentally taxing.
But keeping a positive attitude and an open mind toward learning new things can turn recovery from a lot of hard work to something that can actually be a little enjoyable.
Below are five ways that recovery can be more fun.
Completing treatment for substance abuse or alcohol addiction is a major accomplishment. But the real work starts when you walk out the door. You are now making a commitment to abstinence from drugs and alcohol every single day.
You will encounter cravings for your drug of choice, and for any escape, an opportunity to numb out, and perhaps, sometimes, an overall desire to not feel what you are feeling.
You will encounter triggers in the form of events, people, and subsequent emotions that will make you want to drink or get high again. What can you do in these situations?
Substance abuse is defined as a pattern of harmful use of any substance for mood-altering purposes. Mental illness refers to disorders generally characterized by dysregulation of mood, thought, or behavior, as recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th edition, of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-5).
When a person is suffering from both a substance abuse and a mental health disorder, it is called a co-occurring disorder. Some people refer to this as “dual diagnosis.”
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately 50 percent of individuals with severe mental health disorders are affected by substance abuse. NAMI also estimates that 29 percent of all people diagnosed as mentally ill abuse alcohol or other drugs.