Bullied to Addiction

Bullying | Addiction Treatment Center in Pasadena, CA | ASAP Rehab

Bullied to Addiction

I first came to treatment as a teenager for a dual diagnosis of mental health issues and substance abuse. Living at home with my parents and 3 older siblings didn’t give me much freedom. I was being bullied at school and bottled up my feelings. My anger began to come out in other ways sometimes exploding in anger at home. I began drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and abusing prescription pills in an effort to avoid dealing with the trauma. Now I know my addiction was tied to my experience of being bullied – bullied to addiction.

At one point, I had been admitted to psychiatric hospitals several times in a matter of a few months for suicide attempts and was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and was taking medication to help manage my emotions. My parents finally admitted me into a treatment program, however, they had no idea what I was going through, they had no idea I was being bullied or the extent of my addiction. My parents had no idea that I was being bullied to addiction.

Fighting the Help I Needed

During the first few weeks of treatment, I fought the help the treatment team and my therapist was trying to provide. I threatened to leave constantly, rebelled against the program’s rules, and yelled/cursed at staff. My parents were desperate for help, not knowing what to do, and searching for answers to their questions of how to handle me, their daughter. I begged them to remove me from treatment, and they held strong. When I finally surrendered to the program, the therapeutic work began and honestly, I started to feel relief. Relief from the anger, sadness, guilt, shame, and resentment that had been tormenting me. I had no idea it was possible. I could imagine it. It gave me hope. I had hoped something could be different for me and I could have a different life.

Different Types of Therapy

In individual therapy, my therapist worked with me on increasing my awareness of when I started feeling angry and on verbalizing my anger to supportive people in my life. We talked through my experience of being beaten up at school and explored positive coping strategies that I could implement instead of using drugs and alcohol. I found relief and groundedness in simple things like listening to music, going to the beach, and taking deep breaths.

In family therapy, my therapist worked with me and my parents on practicing listening skills, improving our understanding of each other’s perspectives, and communicating effectively. It helped me build trust with them again. My parents attended a weekly parenting group that allowed them to learn about how to set healthy boundaries. I didn’t like this at first, but appreciate it now and set my own boundaries with them. They also received feedback and support from other parents going through similar experiences. My parents worked on how to recognize and manage their own anxiety. They also learned how to work together so they weren’t sending mixed messages.

Letting Go to Grow

As I made progress in treatment, I could go on the weekends on a short family pass. Eventually, I could return home for the better part of a day. My father was very nervous that I would act out old behaviors (screaming, crying) when it was time to return to treatment. My therapist and I prepared ahead of time. I began to learn ways to communicate with words rather than actions, without displaying the old behaviors. I returned later that evening and both my father and I had a great time together. In treatment, I learned that the entire family system is affected by addiction. As a family unit, we began to understand it was a shared responsibility to help make changes that would benefit the whole family unit.

Finishing Treatment

By the end of treatment, my therapist helped me by expressing proud feelings of the progress I had made. My therapist worked with me on the ability to accept that feedback. We had talked during therapy about the various ways that people give and receive love. My parents and I identified that we each value quality time. My parents went home and discovered that my brothers and sisters value quality time too. Toward the end of my treatment, my parents rented an RV and took all us on a camping trip to the beach for the weekend. This helped me transition back and spend quality time together before returning home.

My parents had a better understanding of my potential triggers and worked with me, my school and environmental adjustments to significantly lower the exposure.  Overall, the work my therapist, the treatment team, my family and well, the work I did, helped me to change my life. I was free from being bullied to addiction. My family and I worked hard to create a new foundation for positive change that we continue to build upon together.

Drug Treatment Care: Making it Count

Freedom From Drug Addiction in Pasadena, CA | ASAP Rehab

Drug Treatment Care: Making it Count

Helena began her drug treatment care at 18 years old. She opened herself to drug treatment with the staff’s teamwork and her willingness. When her first family session was scheduled, she asked to talk with me. Helena shared her fears about returning home after drug treatment care to live with her parents. She said her family did a lot of entertaining that often included drinking and sometimes even drug use. There was a fair amount of alcohol and marijuana kept in the house. Helena felt her family would be unwilling to change their lifestyle to support her recovery. She did not feel it would not be a stable environment to maintain her sobriety. It is likely she was right.

Drug Treatment in a Veil of Denial

During the first family session, her mother said Helena had the addiction problem and that it was not her responsibility to change her lifestyle. Helena’s father said he was ashamed because all of his friend’s children were attending ivy league colleges and his daughter was in rehab.

Asking For Help

Helena and I had agreed that the best support her parents could provide for her continued drug treatment care was to financially help her get into sober living. Her parents were wealthy, however, they said they could not afford sober living. Helena, her parents and I had multiple family sessions to attempt to educate her parents about her need to live in a sober environment. By the end of each session, Helena would dissolve into tears feeling hopeless and unsupported by the only people she thought she could count on. She said she was afraid her parents would not agree to continued drug treatment care and pay for sober living. It was impressive to see that at such a young age she understood that returning home was not a good choice, that it would not be safe for her. And it was great to see that she did not simply give up in light of the initial resistance with her parents.

Protecting Your Recovery

During her third family session, something shifted. Helena’s father heard her. He heard her request for help. He said he needed to be supportive of her request for help. Helena did continue her drug treatment care and go to sober living. Many other challenges have come over time and she pushed through. Now she has been sober three years, has a full-time job with benefits and she and a roommate are sharing their own apartment. While she has no interest in changing her parents, Helena limits her exposure to her parent’s lifestyle to support her own recovery. Now, she runs community support groups, has a strong recovery support network, works with her sponsor and sponsors others.  It has been a pleasure watching her grow in her recovery.

We have expert addiction-specialists standing by ready to speak confidentially with you. Call us today!

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Women’s Addiction Treatment

Women’s Addiction Treatment

Women’s Addiction Treatment

Women’s Addiction Treatment

Our women’s addiction treatment addresses unique issues specific to women. We focus on the impact of women’s addictions and co-occurring disorders. Our compassionate approach addresses the shame, trauma, and unique challenges women face in their recovery. We help women process and address self-defeating thoughts, codependency, self-esteem, and attitudes and behaviors that hold women back from the belief that they can live in strength. We help them see the courage that they see in others, yet cannot see in themselves, within. Our program builds a strong community and develops therapeutic alliances that help with overcoming the shame and trauma needed to solidify recovery to create life balance.

When two diagnosable sets of symptoms apply to one person, this is known as a “dual diagnosis” or co-occurring disorder. In addition, process addictions may be present and become more evident as the women’s addiction treatment begins and the drug and alcohol addiction symptoms fade.

Co-occurring Disorders and Process Addictions

Co-occurring disorders and process addictions often go hand in hand. Addressing these through the needs of the treatment plan and therapies helps each client resolve any co-occurring and/or process addictions. While treating women’s addictions

Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders & Process Addictions can Include the Following:

Often, these become more prevalent as the drug and/or alcohol addiction is treated. Therefore, it is important to address co-occurring disorders during the woman’s addiction treatment.

We have expert addiction-specialists standing by ready to speak confidentially with you. Call us today!

Call Now! 833.827.2727