Guilt is the feeling of “I’ve done something bad” or “I didn’t do something I should have done” and it is something we all experience. The problem with guilt is that it is a very self-centered emotion. Guilt is focused on us and our actions. Guilt is about being critical of ourselves. Feelings of guilt are ultimately self-harming and unproductive.
It can be difficult to think of having PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). What I really dislike about the diagnosis all are the negative connotations that surround it. For many people, the thought of PTSD is one of broken people who who will suffer for the rest of their lives. Having PTSD can come with feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, and hopelessness. None of this is true.
I have worked with many people who have had bad experiences with therapy. Sometimes this is due to the expectations of the client or their level of willingness to be honest and do the necessary work, but I have heard some very disturbing experiences related to actions of the therapists. Let’s be honest, in any field, you are going to find some some people who are very good, some that are truly horrible, and a lot that are somewhere in the middle.
There is a high level of substance abuse issues among individuals with mental health disorders; at the same time, the percentage of people with a substance use disorders who also suffer from a mental health disorder is far lower. Huh? What does that mean? It means if you have a mental health issue you have a higher risk of developing issues with addiction, but individuals with co-occurring disorders (formally referred to as dual diagnosis) make up a relatively small, although still significant, portion of individuals with addiction issues.
I’ve often been asked about trauma causing substance abuse. My answer has always been no, trauma doesn’t cause substance abuse issues, but it can be the precipitating factor in their development. It also aggravates substance abuse issues and can make recovery more difficult. But lets dig a bit deeper into what that actually means.