Substance Use Disorders

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I used to discuss with clients how to transition from letting things and people define me in my journey. For instance, I struggled with discussing my mental health and challenges, feeling as though they controlled me because I stigmatized myself. So, each day, I asked myself what small action I could take to define my journey. I sought support only from qualified individuals, eventually empowering me to avoid being defined by others’ unhelpful and problematic beliefs and opinions.

Remember, it’s not about achieving perfection immediately. It’s about taking small steps to realize your potential, and that’s empowering too. Remember you got this even on your hardest days and that reaching out for help processing and going through challenging moments is more a sign of strength.

Also, it is not about not having those moments or challenging thoughts or memories that define progress. It’s about how you relate, define, process and acknowledge them because sometimes our biggest milestones and progress are the things that are unseen in our journey that we don’t realize are progress.  #ADHD #ADHDInGirls #BipolarDisorder #AnorexiaNervosa #Anxiety #Depression #LearningDisabilities #SubstanceUseDisorders #Neurodiversity

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I’ve been feeling really uneasy and confused today. That old feeling of condemnation has returned. The stigma attached to mental illness and SUD, is hard to overcome. I’ve internalized it and feel self-loathing as a result. It’s hard for me to remember to objectify the illness in myself and not objectify myself, especially when everyone else seems to be doing that to me. I need to remember I am not my illness or my past behavior. When people become emotional due to suffering they moralize, judge and condemn. And that’s okay, because all feelings are valid and just feelings not facts. What is not okay is to abuse someone with that judgement and condemnation and that’s what society does. It stigmatizes and makes it even harder for those who need help to seek it due to lack of support and resources and the belief that it’s a moral issue not a mental health issue. I have to make sure I don’t lose empathy for myself even when others have none to give me. #SubstanceUseDisorders

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Don’t tell me to conquer my “demons”. That I have
“emotional baggage”. That I need to clean up my life, repent, repair my relationships and restore my place in society. That I need to change my perspective from “half empty to half full”. Just think positive, smile, lighten up, etc. All of this is dripping with misogynistic beliefs and patriarchal values. No, I won’t put a fucking smile on my face for anyone. I don’t owe anyone pretty, or perfection. I don’t have to be anything other than what I am or feel. I am not ashamed of my mental illnesses or disabilities! I am not trying to rid myself of anything. I embrace all of me. All of my humanity, all my emotions all my feelings, all my wounds, and scars. Don’t ever, ever tell me, my trauma is “darkness”, “evil” or “demons”. That is emotional abuse and is part of the problem that caused most of us to get sick in the first place. Morality causes almost all suffering in society. Not the lack of it, but the strict enforcement of it that leads to all kinds of condemnations, violations of rights and lack of emotional intelligence and empathy in the world. I support Radical Self Acceptance!


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Just a little about me

I always felt like my time on this earth was limited.
When I was a little girl, I lived in my head because the “reality” that I would make in my head was so much safer. As the sun went down and the sky grew darker and darker I would lie in bed with my eyes closed trying to drift to sleep trying to come up with a new reality in my head but all that I could think about was how scared I was. When I did fall asleep, I’d wake up and just cry. I have done that for as long as I can remember. My dad has been an alcoholic since before I was born and my mother was a workaholic. My dad was never really a dad to me but took my brother (who has Down syndrome) to every sports game ever. I used to beg my mom to leave my dad. The only time my dad and I spoke was when he was yelling at me. The first time I ever spoke about suicide was to my mom one night after weeks of being yelled at, and crying myself to sleep every night by my narcissistic father during my freshman year. I looked at my mom and said, “ I feel like the world would be a better place if I wasn’t in it.” At this point, I’ve been self-harming for two years. I found out my mom was having an affair when I was 15 and at 16, I moved with my mom and little brother. A few months later I was raped by my boyfriend I was dating at the time. In 2015, I began dating someone I thought was the love of my life. He fooled me because he was a psychopath. This psychopath introduced me to meth. I had been dabbling with drugs since High School and a very committed pot smoker since 7th grade but meth quickly consumed every ounce of my body, my mind, and my spirit. I was living with a psychopath, enduring abuse every day and then smoking meth to numb every emotion I had. On August 28, 2017, he attacked me pulled a loaded gun out, and told me he was going to take my life and then his. That was the last time I used it for the next 5 1/2 years. I began drinking, using cocaine, and popping benzodiazepines every night and when I didn’t have to work that day then it was all day. February 27, 2018, 10 days after my 23rd birthday I attempted to take my own life. I was sent to a psych ward where I spent three days and then my dad picked me up and took me to rehab. I stayed a month and moved in with my dad, step mom and brother. I had my new diagnosis of bipolar, I was on medication, I started going to meetings and aftercare and I was doing good until I started drinking again. I was drinking 1 sometimes 2 bottles of wine a night and stopped taking my medication. October 17, 2018, I was date raped. I woke up the next morning, naked and drove home while still intoxicated. When I parked and started walking towards the house, my dad came out and we started fighting and that night I took roughly 40 or more different medications. I woke up in the ER throwing up and all I remember feeling was pissed. I was sent to another psychiatric ward and spent 5 days. I moved in 2019 to my moms and step dads and I significantly reduced my drinking and got a really good job. I moved back to my hometown two years later to live with my grandpa and my grandma who has stage 7 Alzheimer’s. It wasn’t too long until my old lifestyle slowly creeped in. I was living at the bars, doing cocaine and then in the summer of 2022, I relapsed on meth. The biggest lie I have ever told myself was that I had control over my addiction. I became the biggest liar to everyone around me, including myself. I was getting myself into awful, scary situations and it didn’t matter and I stopped taking my medications. My body also started doing some scary stuff. I started experiencing vasoconstriction and that led to me seeing a rheumatologist because I was convinced that what I was experiencing was an autoimmune disease and not caused by me poisoning my body every chance I got. In August of 2023, I was raped and two months later, I finally admitted to myself that I needed help. I detoxed by myself in my room and after three weeks, I used again. In December, I went to the ER and they asked if I wanted help and I declined and then two weeks later they called me again and I accepted help but I never followed through. January 8th, I was at my suppliers house and around 4:00 AM I looked at him and said I was done and I meant it…. After being clean for a couple weeks, I couldn’t stop feeling really really depressed. That feeling that I’ve had since I was a little girl was still so strong. I just wanted to die. I wrote a suicide note which is something I didn’t do the last two attempts but this time, I really really thought I wouldn’t wake back up to have to deal with the consequences of trying to kill myself for the third time. February 13, 2024, I had my outpatient group meeting and when it got to my turn to talk about how I was doing, I didn’t say much, all I could think about was my note. After group, I had my therapy appointment over video and I started telling her that I was “tired” and that “ I wanted to go out fast.” She told me that I either drive myself to the ER now or she has to call the police. I drove myself to the ER and started to tear up. I walked in and saw my best friend of 7 years who works at the ER. The same best friend that sat with me while I was on my first 50-1-50 hold before being transferred out. I was in the ER for 1 1/2 days and then transferred to the psych ward. I spent 7 days and was put on new medications and I left to ward feeling like a new person and for the first time in my life I didn’t have suicidal thoughts. In the beginning of March, I met someone from my outpatient groups and we were glued. He had two weeks clean and I was a little over two months clean. One morning, I called him and when I went to his house he was high. He told me he used the night before and I said, “ Ok. This is your only day” and then I drove us to my supplier’s house. 76 days down the drain. I was the highest I’ve been since the first time I ever smoked meth. The next day, I couldn’t drive, I was hurting all over, I could barely walk and I definitely wanted to die. Today, I have 11 days clean and I don’t know what’s next for my life but I do know that I want to help others who have been through similar situations and let them know that they are not alone. I want to share my story. #MentalHealth #SubstanceUseDisorders #SuicidalThoughts #Addiction #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #Trauma #BipolarDisorder #Depression

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Substance Use Disorders #SubstanceUseDisorders #Addiction #Depression #Anxiety #AlcoholDependence

I started drinking when I was a kid. My parents would give me sips of their beer when I would tell them I was thirsty and then laugh at how cute I was when I drank it. I loved the attention. I got drunk the first time at 11, after my sister died. I started drinking full time at age 14. I drank almost every day from the age of 19 until I was 40, except when I was pregnant: twice (and boy, did I not like that).

I “tried” to quit drinking a few times it never lasted. Finally, I joined AA. There, I was love bombed and abused much like the dysfunctional family I grew up in. They taught me I had a disease that was incurable and I was morally bankrupt. Any normal human emotion was a selfish symptom of my alcoholic/addict brain. Since, I was morally bankrupt I couldn’t be trusted to manage my own health. I must rely on a “higher power”.

I was encouraged to stop taking my prescribed medication and to stop seeing therapists and was being steered towards a certain religion. Further disempowering me, and making me dependent on the program, was the belief that I would have to remain dependent on this
“higher power” and be a life time member or I would die.

So to put it simply I had a scientific “disease” that science could not cure, I was too morally deficient to think for myself and AA knew what was best for me. I stayed for 6 months, before I had a falling out with a member when my dad died. The lack of empathy for my situation was appalling.

We had one member who was the leader rather than someone who shared that role with everyone the way the meetings are traditionally conducted. She verbally attacked me, stalked me, harassed me, started a smear campaign and threatened physical harm. Even my sponsor was harmful, she joined right in and so did her husband. I almost got a restraining order, instead I didn’t leave my house for almost a year. Even after, I rarely go out alone.

That experience caused me to finally quit, not because the “program” worked, but in spite of it. I never wanted to be involved with people like that again, nor did I ever want that life again.

So, those outside of the 12 step programs don’t know, and believe they’re great programs. Let’s be honest, that’s what you’ve been taught to believe, and until recently there has been no other choice. For those in the programs, you are desperately seeking love, acceptance, approval, and relief of your addictions (self medicating, that’s what it truly is). You have been taken advantage of, I hope you realize that, and get some real help someday. And for those who left, I’m proud of you, for finding that inner strength that was repressed in you; thinking for yourself, so you will never fall victim again to exploitation and empowering yourself to truly heal.

I’m 6 years alcohol free, and nearly 2 years tobacco free. No higher power did that. Thoughts and prayers didn’t do that. I did that. I can have all the alcohol and tobacco I want, I simply don’t want it. I have healthier choices and better ways to love my self.

I know a lot of people reading this, will experience cognitive dissonance.

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#DepersonalizationDisorder #DerealizationDisorder #SubstanceUseDisorders #Bipolar1 #Bipolar2 #Insomnia

I learned two things about myself today. Apparently, I have been experiencing Depersonalization / Derealization for a very long time but I didn’t know what it was. I knew I dissociated, but I suddenly started having some strange experiences lately that I have concluded are depersonalization. This has led to discovering that I have experienced many symptoms of both Depersonalization / Derealization for decades. The second thing I learned today, is that, my issues with sleep may not be solely bipolar disorder, but a trauma response. My brain speeds up after a certain point at night, and I think it is hyper vigilant to protect me from the unpredictable behavior of my parents. They threw wild parties and I heard lots of loud yelling, laughing, fighting, music and violence. I never knew what was going to happen. I would lock myself in my bedroom by pushing my dresser up to the door and put a butter knife in the door frame as a makeshift lock. I was afraid of their friends. I needed stuff, but was too afraid to leave my room to get it, lest I draw too much attention to myself. So, I went without, or listened and waited trying to discern a time that I might fly under the radar. The noise was so loud, I couldn’t sleep even if I wanted to. Often, I just ended up putting a pillow over my head, tuning them out, so I could fall asleep and eventually did from exhaustion. My parents both suffered from substance use disorder. I do too, or did anyway. I quit using 6 years ago and quit smoking 2 years ago. Trauma often causes us to ignore its’ symptoms, because we are used to them, don’t think they are symptoms, or that those symptoms aren’t important enough to talk about, or seek treatment for.

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Trauma and Addiction: Often Interlinked

Trauma Treatment

Trauma and substance use disorders are thoroughly interlinked. People who experience trauma are more likely to develop substance use problems, and those who have substance use problems place themselves at higher risk of traumatic experiences. When seeking recovery, it’s essential that these traumas are addressed by trained mental health professionals in order to optimize your chances of success, and to ensure that your treatment results in greater overall mental health.

What is Trauma?

The American Psychological Association defines trauma as “an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape, or natural disaster.” People respond to trauma in a number of different ways – but immediately after the event, it’s common for people to feel shock, intense negative emotions, or outright denial.

But for many people, the effects of trauma can last for months or years after the event has passed. When the symptoms of trauma continue for extended periods, it is classified as a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which carries symptoms such as:

Invasive memories about the traumatic event

Nightmares about the traumatic event

Experiencing flashbacks where you feel like the event is occurring again

Attempts to avoid distressing memories or feelings

Significant mood changes, such as anger, detachment, or an inability to experience positive emotions

Hypervigilance, or constantly feeling on guard

Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorders can lead to severe impairment. It may interfere with your ability to work, to maintain meaningful relationships, or even just to enjoy your daily life. And as a result, many people turn to substance use as means of coping with their symptoms – which can quickly spiral into addiction.

The Connection Between Trauma and Substance Use Disorders

People who live with disorders such as PTSD have dramatically higher risk of developing a substance use disorder. According to one national study, 46.4% of people who have had a diagnosis of PTSD in their lifetime also met the criteria for substance use disorders.

The connection between the disorders is relatively clear: people experiencing severe trauma symptoms crave relief, and drug or alcohol use can provide some temporary reprieve from their invasive symptoms. But these benefits are short-lived. As people continue to use substances, their PTSD symptoms can return in greater severity than ever before, leading to people using more and more substances as a form of self-medication.

This downward spiral quickly develops into an addiction, and leaves people with two mental health challenges that need to be overcome to restore their mental health. And while this does complicate the course of treatment, there is hope for achieving a lasting recovery from both disorders, with evidence-based treatment methods that can treat both disorders simultaneously.

How Integrated Trauma Treatment in Nashville Can Help

At TN Detox Center in Nashville, Tennessee, our integrated trauma treatment center focuses on helping people overcome both their substance use disorder and any trauma symptoms or disorders simultaneously. By taking a trauma-informed approach, using evidence-based trauma treatment methods, and integrating that care into our comprehensive addiction treatment program, you have every resource available to achieve a lasting and worthwhile recovery.

What Is Trauma-Informed Care?

The best trauma treatment centers begin with a facility-wide commitment to trauma-informed care. Trauma-informed care isn’t a treatment itself, but rather an approach that extends to every element of a rehabilitation center: from your therapist, to the support staff, to admissions professionals, and anyone else in a client-facing position.

A trauma-informed facility teaches all of its staff on the effects that trauma can have on your everyday life. It helps our team recognize potentially triggering events, to offer compassion and understanding for people with experiences of trauma, and to reduce the risk of retraumatization. With trauma-informed practices at every level of care, you can feel safe and secure in your process towards recovery.

What Is Trauma Treatment?

Trauma treatment refers to the evidence-based therapies and interventions that our team uses to address traumatic symptoms and disorders directly. This could include therapies such as:

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing

Prolonged exposure therapy

Cognitive processing therapy

Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy

These therapies can offer a number of positive benefits for people who struggle with traumatic experiences. They can provide tools and strategies to help you overcome lingering symptoms of trauma, and help guide you towards regaining control over your life. They can also help people face their traumas, overcome them, and not live in fear any longer – but only when you’ve decided that you’re ready to take that step.

What Is Integrated Treatment?

TN Detox Center isn’t just a trauma treatment center – but an integrated treatment facility that helps people break free from addiction and co-occurring mental health challenges simultaneously. Integrated treatment brings both styles of treatments together under one umbrella.

Treating addiction alone leaves people with the symptoms of trauma that can ultimately lead to relapse. Treating only trauma carries similar risks, as a return to substance use can interfere with the treatment process and have your trauma symptoms return in force. But by choosing integrated treatment at a dual diagnosis treatment facility, you can achieve recovery from both disorders.

Integrated treatment is the gold-standard for addiction care, providing substantially better outcomes for clients with co-occurring conditions. It recognizes that addiction doesn’t occur in a vacuum, and that multiple life events and factors all contribute to your mental health challenges. Rather than treating a single problem at a time – we treat the whole person.

Start Treatment at TN Detox Center Today

When you or a loved one are struggling with co-occurring trauma and substance use problems, reach out to the team at TN Detox Center by calling 615-488-5311 or filling out our confidential online contact form. Our comprehensive treatment program can help you break free from addiction, work through your traumatic experiences, and will be there to help you post trauma treatment through our extensive aftercare program as well.

Living with co-occurring trauma and addiction can be incredibly difficult. But the path to recovery can be simple: all you need to do is make the call to start your healing journey today. " originalText=" "> #Trauma

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Addiction is hard but our families struggle too

Addiction almost never affects a single individual alone. Families, friends, spouses, and partners can all experience challenges and hardships when their loved one is living with a substance use disorder. And while addiction can often lead to serious damage in these relationships, they can also be a lifeline out of addiction.

Family Therapy | Tennessee Detox | Nashville's Safest, Most ...

Family therapy recognizes the ripple effect that substance use disorders can create – and can start the process of healing these relationships and building a stable source of support for addiction recovery.

Family Therapy | Tennessee Detox | Nashville's Safest, Most Effective Recovery

Family Therapy Addiction almost never affects a single individual alone. Families, friends, spouses, and partners can all experience challenges and hardship ...
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Understanding Brain Fog and Executive Dysfunction: A Personal Journey

Navigating the Haze: My Week of Staring at the Screen

As I sat there, gazing at my computer screen, a week slipping past with little to no progress on my Master's thesis, I realized that this was more than mere procrastination or writer's block. This was a tangible manifestation of brain fog and executive dysfunction, two often misunderstood and overlooked aspects of mental health.

What is Brain Fog?

Brain fog is a term used to describe a constellation of symptoms affecting cognitive abilities. It's not a medical condition in itself but rather a symptom of other medical conditions. It can manifest as:

-Memory Problems: Difficulty remembering information

-Lack of Mental Clarity: Feeling 'cloudy' or unable to think clearly

-Poor Concentration: Inability to focus or pay attention

-Feeling 'Spaced Out': A sense of being detached from reality

What is Executive Dysfunction?

Executive dysfunction, on the other hand, is a disruption in the efficacy of the executive functions of the brain. These functions include:

-Task Initiation: Starting tasks can feel insurmountable.

-Planning and Organizing: Difficulty in managing tasks and organizing thoughts.

-Impulse Control: Struggling with regulating emotions or actions.

-Flexible Thinking: Difficulty in adapting to new or changing situations.

My Experience: A Week of Stagnation

During my week of struggle, I experienced symptoms from both realms. I would sit down to work, only to find myself unable to start. When I did start, organizing my thoughts felt like navigating through a dense fog. I knew the work needed to be done, but my brain simply wouldn’t cooperate.

Understanding the Causes

The causes of brain fog and executive dysfunction are varied and can include:

-Stress and Anxiety: High levels of stress can impair cognitive functions.

-Lack of Sleep: Poor sleep quality or quantity can lead to cognitive issues.

-Nutritional Deficiencies: Lack of certain nutrients can affect brain function.

-Medical Conditions: Thyroid disorders, depression, ADHD, and other conditions can contribute to these symptoms.

Coping Strategies

Having experienced this firsthand, here are some strategies I found helpful:

-Structured Breaks: Taking short, regular breaks can help reset focus.

-Exercise: Physical activity can improve cognitive function and reduce stress.

-Mindfulness and Meditation: Practices that help in centering thoughts and reducing anxiety.

-Seeking Professional Help: Sometimes, it's essential to seek help from a therapist or doctor.

What I experienced during that week was a powerful reminder of how mental health can directly impact our daily functioning. Understanding and acknowledging these issues is the first step towards managing them.

We must remember, it’s not about a lack of willpower or motivation; it's about brain function and health.

#Depression #MentalHealth #SubstanceUseDisorders #ADHD

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The Fog That Lingers: A Journey Through the Haze of and Substance Use

In the world of mental health and substance use, there exists a phenomenon often whispered about but rarely addressed head-on: brain fog. It's a term that doesn't quite capture the full extent of its impact, yet for those who have waded through its murky waters, it's a reality that's both profound and debilitating.

Imagine waking up each day to a world that's out of focus. Your thoughts, once sharp and coherent, now feel like they're being filtered through a dense mist. This is the world of someone who has battled long-term mental health challenges and substance use. It's a world where the simple act of existing becomes a daily struggle.

Sarah, a 35-year-old woman, knows this world all too well. For years, she grappled with anxiety and depression, finding temporary solace in substances that promised quick relief but delivered long-term consequences. Over time, the clarity of her thoughts diminished. She describes her experience as "living in a dream where everything feels slightly unreal and disconnected."

This brain fog, as Sarah and many others experience, isn't just about forgetfulness or a lack of concentration. It's a comprehensive cognitive disturbance that affects memory, understanding, and even the sense of self. It's like trying to navigate through life with a GPS that's constantly recalibrating, never quite sure #of the destination.

But what causes this fog? Research suggests that prolonged substance use and mental health struggles can lead to changes in the brain, particularly in areas responsible for memory, attention, and decision-making. The brain, in its attempt to cope with the constant stress and chemical alterations, adapts in ways that aren't always beneficial in the long term.

For Sarah, the journey out of th#e fog wasn't quick or easy. It involved therapy, medication, and a steadfast commitment to understanding and addressing her mental health and substance use issues. Gradually, the haze began to lift, revealing a world that was brighter and more tangible.

Recovery, however, isn't a linear process. There are days when the fog rolls back in, obscuring the progress made. But with each day, Sarah learns to navigate these challenges a little better, to recognize the signs of the fog's return and to use the tools she's acquired to disperse it.

The story of brain fog in the context of mental health and substance use is a reminder of the complex interplay between our psychological well-being and our cognitive functions. It highlights the need for holistic approaches in treatment, ones that acknowledge not just the physical symptoms but also the cognitive and emotional landscapes that are so intricately intertwined.

For those walking through this fog, remember: you're not alone, and the haze does lift. With support, understanding, and a commitment to healing, the world can become clear once again.

#Depression #MentalHealth #DepressiveDisorders #BipolarDepression #PersistentDepressiveDisorder #ChronicFatigueSyndrome #SubstanceUseDisorders #Addiction

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