Identifying the most appropriate rehabilitation centre for substance use disorder, or alcohol use disorder, or indeed any other form of addiction, requires careful consideration of various factors. Here are some of the key factors to consider:
Author : Andrew da Roza
COVID-19 has posed a challenge to everyone, and those more physically vulnerable in our community clearly need our care and attention.
There are also people whose mental vulnerability deserves equal care.
Mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and addictions are exacerbated by a pandemic crisis in multiple ways.
Collective family and community fears are (in themselves) contagious; and the constant bombardment of medical and financial bad news, can leave those with mental illnesses lost in a cascade of negative rumination and catastrophising.
The mentally ill and people with addictions commonly have compromised immune systems, and suffer stress or substance, tobacco and alcohol abuse related diseases – leaving them wide open to severe pneumonia with acute respiratory distress symptoms – and other complications from COVID-19.
Isolation, separation and loneliness – caused by working at home and social distancing – are perhaps the worst contributors to: low mood; agitation; irrational fears; moments of panic; self-disgust; resentment; anger; and even rage.
People whose ability to pause, use reason and find practical solutions can be severely compromised. They may find themselves bereft of the motivation, and ability to engage in even the simplest tasks of self-care.
Added to this, listlessness, boredom and frustration can lead to despair. Then self-harm and suicidal thoughts may arise, take hold, and even overwhelm them.
Those in recovery or active addiction may also turn to their compulsive and impulsive behaviours of choice, to sooth and find momentary respite from the moods and thoughts that have hijacked their mind. Triggers, urges and cravings may become relentless and unbearable.
The solution may begin with finding a way out of isolation.
Starting the journey out of this darkness can start with talking to people who can demonstrate unconditional positive regard, show kindness and compassion, and help reframe the situation. Such people can assist those suffering to put a name to and validate their emotions.
In short – therapy can help!
In times of COVID-19, working with a therapist via teleconsultation can be effective using ZOOM, Skype, WhatsApp video and FaceTime.
Although the calming and soothing sensation of the physical presence of a therapist is absent, for those in isolation – distraught with shame and despair – Internet enabled therapy can prove a lifeline.
Isolation can be further broken, using similar Internet methods, by attendance in recovery groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous – all of whom now hold Zoom meetings in Singapore.
These Zoom opportunities in Singapore are supplemented by Zoom, Skype and telephone conference meetings in Hong Kong and Australia (in Singapore’s time zone) and in the U.K. and the US (during our mornings and evenings).
Having broken the isolation, the second step therapists can provide is guidance and motivation towards self-care. This would include tapering or abstinence from the addictive substances or behaviour. A well thought through relapse intervention and prevention plan, specifically tailored to a person’s triggers, will also assist.
Triggers may be particular places, situations, people, objects or moods.
The acronym “HALT” is often used by those in recovery; which stands for the triggers of being: Hungry; Angry; Lonely; or Tired.
When these triggers arise, people are encouraged to
- HALT their behaviour;
- breathe deeply, with long outward breaths;
- think through consequences;
- think about alternatives;
- consult with others; and
- use healthy tools to self-soothe.
Daily mindfulness, meditation, exercise, sleep hygiene, healthy eating and following a medication regime are important aspects of self-care – and for some suffering mental illness – these actions – and time – may be all they need to find their footing again.
Luckily, the Internet gives a vast array of possible self-care options, including things to distract us, soothe us and improve us.
Everything is available from: calming sounds and music; guided meditations; games; home exercise, yoga and tai chi; self-exploration and improvement videos; video chats with loved ones; to healthy food delivery options. They can all be had with a few keystrokes.
Today we live at a time when suffering from mental illness and addictions is commonplace. But we also live at a time when the solutions are literally at our fingertips – if we only reach out for them.
For information on teleconsultation for addiction therapy and addiction recovery meetings, contact: Andrew da Roza at Promises Healthcare by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Promises Healthcare clinic at: (+65) 6397 7309
Sufferers are often exasperated.
“I love my wife and my family. They are the most important part of my life. I can’t live without them. But the thought of losing them just doesn’t seem to stop me. I can’t figure out why. It’s so crazy!”
Compulsions are defined in many ways – but there is a common thread. When a person is bonded to compulsive behavior: their life is unmanageable, and they cannot stop. What does that look like for sexual compulsion?
Here is a checklist.
Is the person about to lose or have they already lost their job? Their marriage? Their children? Their health (e.g. an STD)? Their finances?
And are they still acting out anyway?
Are they isolated from their friends?
Do they want to act out rather than spend time with their spouse or children?
Do they stop hobbies and sports?
Do they lie? Cheat? Deny? Justify? Rationalize and minimize – even about the most trivial things?
Do they spend most of their time obsessing about acting out?
When they are not acting out: are they anxious? Fearful? Jumpy? Depressed? Sleepless? Restless? Angry and snappy? Distracted and distant? Aloof and tearful?
Do they appear to drink more? Smoke more? Eat more junk food? Or lose interest in eating?
Do they go back to using sex to deal with all these things?
If the answer to more than one question is “yes” – there may be a problem.
Sex addiction is as real as the suffering it causes. But there is good news! It is manageable and it is treatable. Professionals and self-groups can help. If you are suffering or know others to be suffering, there is hope. At Promises Healthcare, we are committed to helping you through your journey to recovery. Discover a new life, away from addiction and find renewed hope. Please contact our clinic for inquiries and consultations.