We love bringing you the thoughts and feelings of others. It’s just a great opportunity for all of us to share, learn, and grow.
Lisa Frederiksen is a researcher, writer, speaker, and consultant specializing in family alcohol abuse and alcoholism. She stopped by our blog and said hi, so we visited hers at breakingthecycles.com. We found it to be a comfortable place featuring quality content. Lisa’s written seven books, her most recent, If You Loved Me, You’d Stop! What You Really Need to Know When Your Loved One Drinks Too Much.
Well, here’s Lisa’s…
More on Dual Diagnosis
When I lecture at a treatment center or talk with parents and other groups whose work or lives put them in contact with either alcohol or mental health illness or both, the question about mental illness (e.g., depression, PTSD, ADHD, bipolar) and whether there’s a connection between it and alcohol (or any substance) abuse often comes up. In treatment center circles, when a person is diagnosed with both a mental illness and addiction, this is referred to as a dual diagnosis.
In doing some research, yesterday, I found a few links that may answer questions for those trying to understand whether there is a connection between mental health illnesses and alcohol abuse/addiction, and if so, what can, might or should be done. Here are three:
- Dual Diagnosis: Information and Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders. This is from Help Guide’s website, a nonprofit organization created following the tragic suicide of Morgan Leslie Segal. According to their site, “We believe that ‘health literacy’ is vital — Morgan’s tragedy could have been avoided if she had had easy access to good non-biased information on her condition [major depression] and various treatment alternatives. Our goal is to provide cutting-edge, professional articles that are easy to look at, easy to understand and above all useful!” There is so much on this site. It is well worth browsing for issues beyond mental health, substance abuse and addiction and dual diagnosis, as well.
- Managing Depressive Symptoms in Substance Abuse Clients During Early Recovery.This is a free publication offered by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), which you can order and have mailed to you, free of charge. It is written for substance abuse counselors on “the ‘what,’ ‘why,’ and ‘how-to’ of working with clients with depressive symptoms and substance use disorders, covering topics such as counseling approaches, clinical settings, cultural concerns, counselor roles and responsibilities, screening and assessment, treatment planning and processes, and continuing care.” I have not read it, and have just ordered a copy, myself, but it would seem that even though it is written for counselors, it should give you some answers.
- A Consumer’s Guide to Mental Health Services Decade of the Brain NIH. This appears under SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)’s National Mental Health Information Center and offers answers to some common questions about mental health illnesses.
We sure appreciate Lisa’s expertise and resources. You can be sure we’ll ask her if we can pick her brain down the road. Here’s the post on Lisa’s blog.
How has alcohol impacted your life? More specifically, it what ways has it been a factor in your emotional and mental distress? Would you comment? Just click on the post title and scroll on down to comment.