First thing’s first. Addiction is an illness. It is not a sign of weakness, in fact, admitting you may have a problem and seeking help is one of the bravest things you can do. But where do you start to get the help you need to overcome something that seems stronger than every part of you? If you have an addiction, of any sort, here’s some guidance to help you get the help you need and deserve.
Don’t confuse passion with addiction. You may love to run, cook or watch sports on TV. Reasonably, sometimes too much of a good thing can interfere with other important aspects of your life. Addiction, on the other hand, is a complex medical condition in which compulsive behaviors result in dangerous or harmful consequences. In many cases, the addiction – whether it is to alcohol or drugs (both legal and illegal), gambling, sex or porn – can take over your life and have devastating effects on your loved ones, job, and your place in society. And while the addict too often seems the damage that is occurring to them and around them, their addiction is so overpowering that they can’t – or won’t seek help.
Recognizing the Problem
The first step of getting help for your addiction is to recognize –and accept – that there is a problem. Even if there is an intervention by friends, co-workers or family, successful outcomes are not easily attained if the addict is unwilling to recognize their addiction. The second step is to know that no matter how hopeless your situation may seem, there is hope. Making that first call to a qualified psychiatrist can launch a way ahead in which you and your doctor can develop a plan that may include any number of treatment options.
Depending on your addiction, your psychiatrist will ensure that the care you receive not only benefits you, but your loved ones as well. With compassion, as well as understanding the sophisticated nuances of your condition, your psychiatrist will develop a treatment plan that may include any or all of the following –
- Formal Assessment. Does an addiction even exist? The only way to know for sure is for a medical health professional to determine what the problem is, and the extent of the problem. There may be underlying medical conditions – some physical and some mental – making matters worse. By determining and ensuring these conditions are properly addressed, then treatment for the addiction can be more easily attained.
- Behavioral counseling. Whether it’s one-on-one, group or family therapy, the goal is to get to the root cause of your addiction, as well as open up dialogue with those who may feel shut out or helpless trying to help you. Through behavioral counseling, you will learn how to repair relationships you may be strained, and a very important thing — to forgive yourself by acknowledging the past and looking forward to a brighter future. Through these sessions, you will also learn healthier coping skills.
- Medication is used only to control cravings and minimize withdrawal symptoms. If your psychiatrist finds that you have a mental health issue, he may prescribe antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication. Likewise, your mental health may have been medically mismanagement in the first place, in which case your doctor will work with your other medical providers to ensure your medication is properly adjusted and not interfering with any other medical conditions or medication you may be taking now.
- Therapeutic Communities and Out-patient program. Whether it is self-help groups like Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous, or their family support groups, there are many organizations that provide a community of support for those with addictions and their loved ones. Many workplaces offer employee assistance programs; veteran’s organizations and the Veterans Administration offers counseling to vets and their families; and many religious groups have fellowships that can help people seek comfort and fellowship.
Individualized Treatment with Dr. Stracks
Addiction treatment requires collaboration between you and your psychiatrist. If you are motivated and committed, there is no reason you can’t succeed. At Psy-Visions, Dr. Mark Stracks treats his patients for psychiatric, behavioral, and emotional disorders and has provided help to military veterans, adults, adolescents, children, and geriatric patients. Dr. Stracks doesn’t believe in the blanket approach toward addiction treatment. As such, he builds and maintains strong relationships rooted in trust and compassion. Nothing fills him with more joy than seeing his patients live positive lives that are free from addiction. Find out what makes Psy-Visions different by reaching calling us at (203) 405-1745 or request an appointment online to get the help you need, and deserve.