Have you (Alcoholics and Addicts in particular) ever encountered someone, a boy or girl, man or woman, who was shy and sensitive, easily anxious, overwhelmed in crowds, but extremely intelligent and exceptionally observant, particularly when all variables in any given situation are as he or she prefers them to be?
Fast forward a bit. If he is an Addict or Alcoholic, getting clean and sober makes sense, right? His true personality, talents and attributes can fully emerge and flourish. That makes sense, right?
Well, sometimes the problem occurs where one or more variables in her neat, organized world are not as she expects them to be.
Suddenly, he can’t deal, he can’t handle it all, and he feels overwhelmed despite the fact that he is clean and sober.
He cannot explain it, but he feels anxious, ill-at-ease, restless, worried, unhappy, stuck, and in some cases, perhaps even paranoid; maybe he even hears voices telling him he is not enough; that she will never get better; that she will never dig herself out of this predicament; that she should start using drugs, prescription pills, or alcohol again.
No one around him can understand what is happening. They respond with “…calm down.” She tries, but she can’t.
Others ask him, “Have you been drinking alcohol….Are you using drugs? He sincerely responds, “no.”
Well then, what is the problem?
To be honest, he suffers from another disorder other than Alcoholism, or Drug Addiction.
Yes, there is such a thing! Together they are often referred to as co-occurring disorders, otherwise known as comorbidity.
There is no limit regarding the number of disorders that an individual may suffer; several may exist all at once. They are not mutually exclusive.
Proper treatment of symptoms regarding one ailment will not abate symptoms concerning another.
With regard to the above situation, in addition to his Alcoholism, he suffers from Gross-Anxiety and is a High-Functioning Autistic.
In another case, an individual may be suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Alcoholism.
Meanwhile, another may display symptoms of Bi-Polar II, Drug Addiction, and Generalized Anxiety.
Any number of combinations may exist.
These other disorders run the gamut.
Meanwhile, just as mentioned above, as Alcoholism and Drug Addiction must be treated with the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, all other co-occurring disorders must be treated as well for the individual to obtain optimal well-being and maintain the best possible quality of life.
There are places that treat both.
Cedar Hills Hospital, a mental health and chemical dependency hospital, is one such place.
Cedar Hills Hospital in Portland, Oregon is a full service psychiatric and chemical dependency hospital that provides co-occurring disorder treatment. They offer a full range of specialized mental health and chemical dependency treatment programs to meet the needs of each individual patient. Their specialized co-occurring programs offer comprehensive treatment, including detoxification, partial hospitalization and outpatient chemical dependency treatment programs.
A staff journalist at RecoveryNowTV and News recently interviewed an alumna, Danielle S, a former patient at Cedar Hills Hospital.
Danielle S. completed a 16 day treatment regimen at Cedar Hills Hospital. Subsequently, she traveled to Laguna Beach, California where she completed a 28 day program at Spencer Recovery Centers.
Today, Danielle is currently an intern at Dr. Paul’s At The Bay In St. Pete Beach, Florida.
Lets learn a little bit more about the star of this success story.
As mentioned above, her name is Danielle S, she is in her early twenties and quite cerebral. She looks younger than her years and is all smiles, from ear to ear.
She is not unlike the exceptionally ambitious, quick-witted young person her age…..university-educated, bright, otherwise healthy, fit and articulate. She studied math and business administration at a university and until she recently focused on being a math teacher.
Always feeling like she only had two choices, perfection or death, her young life became peppered with a suicide attempt, bouts with depression and anxiety, and temporary periods of exaggerated drug and alcohol abuse.
She started with heroin, as she just wanted to take the edge off a bit. To make a long story short, Danielle became suicidal, which resulted in her first trip to Cedar Hills Hospital.
Temporarily recovered, Danielle then tried methamphetamine. Off and running again, she bottomed badly and quickly; she was later arrested and temporarily jailed.
At this point, Danielle and her family realized something had to be done, as two of the three, jails, institutions and death, Danielle now had experience with.
Hence, she returned to Cedar Hills Hospital, this time with her eyes wide open, much more aware of the havoc that drugs and alcohol cause.
Danielle returned to Cedar Hills Hospital willing. She remained there for sixteen days and during that time, counselors, doctors and other professionals not only addressed her addiction issues, but they also treated and helped her face her issues with anxiety, depression and facing life on life’s terms.
Dr. Hategan, her psychiatrist, who she referred to as “compassionate” and nurturing, helped with “showing me how to love myself and others.”
Jason, one of her counselors “….was so understanding…..often telling me that I could drop everything and take deep breathes if needed to.”
Carrie, her Discharge Planner, helped her take a look at consequences of her actions with regard to the consumption of drugs and alcohol. “Instead of using drugs or drinking alcohol because I can’t do something perfectly, I learned to put my focus on what I am good at not on my imperfections.”
During the course of the interview, I learned a few things about affirmations that Hiedi taught Danielle. There is something regarding a dinosaur….it slips my mind at the moment, something to do with visualization and self-affirmation. For example, and in her words, “I am forgiving, I love my family and my pets, and I will love myself.”
She also learned the necessity of forgiving herself, which is absolutely integral to remaining sober.
These days, Danielle applies everything that she learned at Cedar Hills Hospital to remain clean and sober.
Everyone at Cedar Hills Hospital helped with “….holding my hand, guiding me from one moment to the next. They assured me that I don’t have to be perfect or dead.”
“I am feeling really happy and proud of myself….am hopeful and plan to stick with sobriety.”
Today, Danielle is clean and sober, exploring her creative side, considering artistic endeavors, and as mentioned above, is an intern at Dr. Paul’s At The Bay. She is putting her sobriety first, and studying to become a Drug and Alcohol Counselor.
Sometimes chemical dependency treatment alone is not enough. If you or someone that you love is struggling with mental health issues, psychological disorders, drug addiction and or alcoholism, please call or text us. We want to help you.
For Cedar Hills Hospital, a free and confidential assessment is available. Call 503-944-5000 or 1-877-703-8880. They are there 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to calls.
Photo Courtesy of: cedarhillshospital.com