Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fwd: Treatment Solutions Network Articles: Guilt and Shame in Substance Abuse

Treatment Solutions Network Articles: Guilt and Shame in Substance Abuse

Link to Treatment Solutions Network Drug Treatment and Recovery Articles

Guilt and Shame in Substance Abuse

Posted: 22 Apr 2011 02:45 PM PDT

Guilt is powerful and it helps keep us from doing certain things. Guilt can also be a motivator when it comes to admitting we've done things wrong and that we need help.

Feelings of Guilt

Many drug and alcohol abusers know that what they are doing is wrong, even though they keep doing it. Some addicts feel guilt for their actions. Some realize the pain they've caused loved ones, or the financial trouble they got themselves into because of their addiction. These occasional feelings of guilt may not be enough to overcome the urge of an addiction, however, and so the substance abuse continues.

Other people do feel guilty every time they use, or every time they drink. These are the people who have enough moments of sobriety to see the effects of their addiction. They may see their young children who don't deserve this kind of life, or they may see the drama they cause in their family. Guilt is a good motivator, and it often helps these people see they need treatment.

Lack of Guilt

Many people, however, don't even realize the pain they cause, so they feel no guilt at first. Addiction is so powerful that it can blind us to the reality around us. Addicts can be so focused on satisfying their cravings that they don't care who gets hurt, or what crimes they may commit to get their drugs. That's why it is often very difficult to reach out to a loved one who has an addiction. They may honestly think they have not done anything really wrong. Because they don't see the pain caused, they don't feel the need for help.

Feelings of Shame

While not all people with an addiction may feel guilt before treatment, many people do feel shame. Shame is the tendency to feel bad about oneself, or one's reputation. A drug addict can feel shame over what other people may think of them, but this attitude actually keeps people from seeking treatment. A study done at the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) and George Mason University in Virginia distinguishes between feelings of shame and guilt with regards to substance abuse treatment. While guilt drives someone to treatment and to do better, shame makes people hide their problem.

Guilt vs. Shame

A breaking point in many addicts' lives is when they feel guilty about their actions. Sometimes this realization comes before seeking treatment, other times an intervention is necessary to help the person see. Still other people will not really feel guilt until partway through treatment when they are sober enough to see it.

On the other hand, we need to continue to clear up the stigma related to addiction. Instead of pointing fingers and making people feel ashamed, a better approach is to offer help and guidance so that the person can get better. Those who do feel shame need to see that the best thing for them and their loved ones is to get help.


"Face It Together" Works to Shatter Stigma Associated with Substance Abuse

Silent Drug Addiction in the Elderly Concerning to The Recovery Place

Shame, not guilt, related to substance-abuse problems

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Catherine Zeta-Jones Struggles with Bipolar II Disorder

Posted: 21 Apr 2011 09:22 PM PDT

Reports say that Catherine Zeta-Jones has been treated for a mental health disorder. This well-known actress is often thought of as being a strong individual. She plays leading roles in movies, she is viewed as having her life together, and she has been recognized for caring for her husband, actor Michael Douglas, as he battled throat cancer last year. Even with rumors of mental health problems in the past, she has remained constant through it all. But as fans have seen this week, mental illness can happen to anyone, and recognizing it and getting treatment is important.

Characteristics of Bipolar II

Zeta-Jones was admitted into a Connecticut mental health facility where she was treated for bipolar II disorder. This disorder, like bipolar I, is characterized by cycling episodes of a happy "high" feeling, and a low, depressed feeling. Bipolar II is the less severe of the two types, with the highs not becoming full blown manic episodes. Rather, the times of happiness are called hypomanic episodes. These are when the patient is happy, has more energy, and is often social and fun to be around. However, in all bipolar patients, the high is followed by a low, when getting out of bed is difficult, and the person suffers from depression. These episodes can last anywhere from days to years. Bipolar is usually detected when the depressive episodes keep the person from normal daily functions.

Bipolar disorder can affect anyone. Nearly 6 million people in the U.S. suffer from bipolar – 25% of the population. It can and does affect children, but most people are diagnosed in their late teens or early 20s with it. It does seem to have some genetic link, so that people with bipolar disorder in their immediate family are at greater risk for it themselves.

Bipolar disorder tends to get worse if not treated. It also can manifest itself more when the individual is under stress. Serious cases of bipolar disorder have left people debilitated and driven them to harm themselves or others.

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Treatment is important for this disorder. Treatment can be inpatient or outpatient, depending on the severity of the case and the program offered by the facility. Psychotherapy is beneficial for bipolar disorder. Medications such as mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and tranquilizers are used as well.

Because of the actions of Catherine Zeta-Jones, the public will become more educated about bipolar disorder. It is important for people to recognize the symptoms and to seek treatment when necessary. Reports say that Catherine Zeta-Jones is doing well and will be able to start work again soon. She, no doubt, gives hope to others struggling with this disorder.


Catherine Zeta-Jones Seeks Treatment for Bipolar II Disorder

Bipolar II Disorder

Catherine Zeta-Jones is treated for bipolar II disorder. What is it?

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