It’s common that mental illness can lead to addiction. Whether it’s having a drink or taking someone’s else pain medication, the symptoms of depression or Bipolar Disorder can more easily be managed. No matter the form of mental illness, developing an addiction is easy when the inner experience is difficult!
Tania was diagnosed in her early 30’s with Bipolar Disorder. She lives in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles and has a difficult time managing her emotions. To make matters worse, her current home life is not supportive and hasn’t been for years. Her husband helps her when he can, but he is mostly gone on business travel. Mostly it is she and her two boys at home, and their unruly behavior seem to only worsen her swinging moods between depression and mania.
Tania recalls having a very difficult childhood. She cannot remember a time when her mother was completely attentive to her. One time, when she was about five years old, they were waiting in the lobby of a physician’s office where she and her brother we bothering all of the other patients who were also waiting and their mother completely ignored them despite their misbehavior.
In fact, Tania’s mother was never really tended to her. She never learned the important skill of emotional self-regulation. It’s something that most healthy adults do naturally. When sadness takes over in the middle of the workplace, most people can put that sadness on the shelf for a time being and attend to their responsibilities. Plus, many adults experience that sadness as an emotion separate from their sense of self. However, those with Bipolar Disorder can easily lose their sense of identity, particularly when they experience intense emotions.
The inability to regulate emotions can easily lead to drug use, which was the case with Tania. When she was in her adolescence she began to drink. Growing into her 20’s, her drinking got worse and hasn’t stopped. She knows that a drug abuse rehab center or facility for sober living in Los Angeles would be good for her. Since she’s already been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, she also recognizes that the drinking is only a symptom to a larger problem.
Her hope is to achieve sober living in Los Angeles so that she can attend to her boys and avoid the negligence her mother inflicted on her. She knows that a halfway house can support her ability stay sober and begin her journey of recovery.
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