What Are You Thankful For?
By: Lakeview Health Staff
Published: November 21, 2020

Thanksgiving brings families together, but it can also be a stressful time. While this time is usually filled with family, food, and fun, for some, this holiday marks the start of a period of depression. Whether you are still using or in active recovery, you lost loved ones and have unwanted memories of using and unresolved anger, all of which contribute to depression. It is important to recognize your vulnerability during the holidays rather than risk relapse or worse. Contact Lakeview Health in Jacksonville, Florida, today to help you get started on your journey to recovery.

Building Gratitude Helps People Recover

Addiction deprives people of gratitude, leading them to think drugs and alcohol can replace the pain and emptiness they feel. It’s easy to focus on guilt and shame about your present and past choices, especially during the holidays. Sadly, guilt and shame do not help people overcome addiction. If you are suffering from an undiagnosed or untreated mental health condition, feelings of negativity during the holidays can multiply. At Lakeview Health, our professional clinicians can help people rebuild their lives and become grateful for the gifts they’ve been given. 

Building Gratitude, Overcoming Substance Use Disorder

Make a list of five things you are thankful for and look at them daily. You can add to the list if more things come to mind. Thanksgiving doesn’t just have to be about this one day in November – it can be every day. Gratitude helps people stay grounded in this fast-paced world, where we sometimes feel left behind. Today, be thankful you are sober and have a relationship with your family. Today, be thankful that if you are not sober, help is available, and it’s not too late.

Addiction and Trauma Treatment

Being around family sometimes brings unresolved trauma to the forefront of our consciousness. Fortunately, there is hope for overcoming both trauma and addiction with the proper treatment in the appropriate setting. Trauma-focused psychological interventions delivered with substance use treatment led to reduced PTSD severity and decreased alcohol and substance abuse. 

The trauma-informed therapies we offer at Lakeview lead to a greater likelihood of sobriety maintenance, whereas non-trauma-focused interventions did not lead to positive outcomes. Treatment for trauma was historically completed after sustained sobriety (if at all), but research has shown this approach to be much less effective than simultaneously addressing both disorders. Consider the following mental health and addiction treatment options if you are feeling stuck or overwhelmed by chemical dependency:

 To fully participate in and process the therapies, detox will generally be completed before beginning trauma work. Following detox, both disorders can be treated in an integrative and comprehensive manner. This can include individual and group therapies, mindfulness, medications, and family therapy, among other multidisciplinary approaches. Trauma-informed cognitive behavioral therapy with exposure techniques is highly effective in long-term symptom relief and improved overall well-being. 

Such treatment includes coping skills training, processing of trauma, relaxation exercises, psychoeducation, problem-solving, future planning, and relapse prevention skills. Comprehensive therapies help improve self-esteem, decrease avoidance behaviors, understand the relationship between trauma and addiction, achieve and maintain sobriety, and eliminate self-destructive behaviors. Making changes in one’s behavior, thought processes, relationships, and environment takes time but can lead to lifelong sobriety, stress reduction, healthier relationships, and improved quality of life. 

Addiction Interventions in Jacksonville

Talking to a loved one about their addiction is a grueling process. Interventions should be completed in a safe and honest setting that includes family member involvement, peer support, trust, and compassion. By following an integrative approach in a supportive setting, each person can make meaningful and lasting life changes. Remember that help is available if you or a loved one has struggled with trauma and substance abuse. Contact Lakeview Health to learn more today.