Mental Health Intervention in Vermont
As the family member or friend of someone who is suffering from mental health problems or drug/alcohol addiction, you may be considering a professional intervention. Confusion about the intervention process can cause families to avoid confronting loved ones about their struggle. This article will give you some information that will help you decide when to proceed with a professional intervention.
Mental health problems can hurt family and friends in many ways. Sometimes a lack of understanding about the illness can cause people to think that their loved ones are “acting out” and that if they wanted to, they could manage the illness on their own. Other times, family members may tiptoe around their loved one for fear of triggering an episode until the entire family dynamic revolves around the mental health issue. Therefore, it is helpful to understand a few mental health diagnoses that commonly require professional intervention for the loved one to commit to long-term treatment.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is widely known but can vary in symptoms depending on the catalyzing event. It typically starts within a few months of the event but may not occur until years later. Family and friends of loved ones with PTSD are often shocked by the personality changes that occur, including intense anger, sadness, and/or shame, substance abuse problems, insomnia and nightmares, flashbacks, and even auditory or visual hallucinations.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder, characterized by episodes of mania alternating with depression (although mixed episodes can also occur), also vary widely from person to person. A correct diagnosis will identify a subtype that will aid in properly treating the illness. Manic episodes are characterized by euphoria, risky behavior, aggression, and often substance abuse; depressive phases may include sadness, anxiety, sleep difficulty, disinterest in activities your loved one once found enjoyable, and suicidal thoughts.
Since many individuals with mental health issues also have substance abuse problems, some clinicians make a dual diagnosis to facilitate a more comprehensive treatment program. This must be done with care, as some substance abuse sufferers inadvertently trigger mental health problems, while in other patients the substance abuse occurs in an attempt to self-medicate the mental health problem. This approach is often the first step to unraveling the progression of both diseases so educated choices can be made about intervention and treatment.
Whatever the mental illness your loved one suffers, professional help is a key component in convincing them to commit to treatment and create more functional family dynamics. Mental health intervention in Vermont should be conducted with a certified, experienced professional.
Drug and Alcohol Problems
According to the National Institutes of Health, substance abuse problems hurt families across generations. The non-abusing parent may become overly focused on meeting all of the children’s needs, and/or a child may act as a surrogate spouse for the addicted parent. If the loved one is abusive or violent when under the influence, family members and friends may become frightened and even need to seek legal protection, further disrupting the family dynamic and stunting individual growth. The loved one may seek approval and companionship from other drug and alcohol abusers, leading to further isolation from the family.
Interventionists and Interventions
It is comparatively easy to convince someone suffering from a mental health issue or substance abuse problem to seek treatment; it is much more difficult for them to personally commit to treatment for the long term. This is why the role of a certified, experienced interventionist who will remain available to your family throughout treatment is so important.
Many people think of interventions as lasting only a few hours, but they typically take two to three days. Work is done with the entire family to address dynamics and proactively support treatment while alleviating some of the stress of dealing with the disease. The interventionist also helps the family cope with the effects of the loved one’s treatment, which are often stress-inducing even when the treatment is successful. The family is coached through the process of coming back together once the disease is being managed with a goal of greater health and happiness for everyone concerned.