Family Systems Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Just as an individual’s addiction affects other family members, the interactions of those family members may have also have an impact on the individual’s addiction. Family systems therapy in addiction treatment addresses the interdependence, healthy or otherwise, of each member of the family.

The Importance of Family Members

Researchers emphasize the importance of involving family members in the treatment of addiction, recognizing that it can have a positive impact on client engagement as well as on psychiatric functioning and the potential for relapse. It’s been found that family discord, stressful parent-child interactions, or living with a partner who is addicted to drugs or alcohol can result in a substance use disorder in the individual experiencing these situations.

Understanding these factors, especially the importance of family member interactions, can enhance the effectiveness of addiction treatment. Family systems therapies work on the premise that changing the family interaction model through improved communications and a renewed connection through a sense of loving care can result in improved patterns of interaction. This can then lead to effective treatment for an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Family Systems Therapy

Family systems theory was developed by Dr. Murray Bowen, a psychiatrist, who included eight interlocking concepts based on his research. These concepts include topics such as differentiation of self, emotional cutoff, and sibling position that can impact an individual and their family members. The theory is essentially one of human behavior. It views the family as an emotional unit and describes the unit’s complex interactions.

Although people can feel distant or disconnected from their family, it is probably more feeling than fact, according to Dr. Bowen. A family’s nature is that the individual members are intensely connected emotionally. The connectedness and reactivity of each member of the family makes all the members interdependent. As a result, when one person’s functioning experiences a change, it is typically followed by reciprocal changes in the other members’ functioning.

Addiction and the Family System

Family systems therapy in addiction treatment can help the individual understand how his family has impacted him, as well as how his addiction has affected other members of his family. Dr. Bowen’s family systems perspective describes addiction as the “outcome of a system having exhausted its capacity to manage anxiety and stressors.”

Even though the individual who is addicted is the one who is “symptomatic,” the substance use disorder is viewed as a family symptom, as all of the significant members in the family system play a part in the way each one functions in relation to the others. When anxiety is elevated within the family, the symptom of addiction will erupt. In turn, the individual’s addiction will increase the level of anxiety in those family members who are dependent on that person. As Dr. Bowen stated, “The process of drinking to relieve anxiety, and increased family anxiety in response to drinking, can spiral into a functional collapse or become a chronic pattern.”

Focusing on the Challenges of Being Human

The family systems theory does not simply focus on what causes issues for one individual, but rather on the bigger picture of the patterns within the family system. The theory is concerned with the challenges of being human within these family relationships instead of being focused on a mental illness. There is no room within family systems therapy for seeing victims and villains in relationship networks.

The individual is invited to see the world through the lens of each family member within their system. This helps them to move beyond blame so they can see the relationship forces that have set each family member on their own paths. They will help them avoid the attempt to find fault and instead work toward a unique path that will enable them to move forward in a mature and healthier life.

Addiction and Mental Health Support for Men

At PACE Recovery, we optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your addiction to drugs or alcohol and your mental health issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

Personality Disorder Treatment | Types of Personality Disorders

A personality disorder may exist when one or more personality traits becomes so inappropriate for the situation and so pronounced that they disrupt an individual’s ability to function on a daily basis. There are several different types of personality disorders, each with their own symptoms. Personality disorder treatment typically consists of therapies designed to address those symptoms.

Defining the Personality Disorder

Everyone has specific personality traits, those ways of thinking and reacting that make them who they are. These traits are usually relatively stable, particularly in adulthood. A personality disorder exists when these traits become rigid and maladaptive, impairing the individual’s ability to function at work or to interact appropriately with other people.

An individual with a personality disorder can experience significant distress because they are not able to adjust socially. In fact, their distress is one of the primary reasons they may seek personality disorder treatment.

A personality disorder will usually start to become evident in late adolescence to early adulthood. The individual’s symptoms will vary, depending on the type of disorder, as to their severity and in how long they persist. Some symptoms may even resolve themselves over time.

Approximately 10% of the general population has a personality disorder. There seem to be no clear distinctions in terms of socioeconomic class, race, or sex, although men outnumber women who are diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder by six to one. In clinical settings, women outnumber men who are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder by three to one.

Types of Personality Disorders

There are many types of personality disorders, with their own symptoms and behaviors. These are categorized into three different clusters:

  • Cluster A – Odd or eccentric behavior
  • Cluster B – Dramatic, erratic, or emotional behavior
  • Cluster C – Anxious, fearful behavior

Cluster A

Schizoid Personality Disorder – withdrawn, solitary, distant, emotionally cold, distant, absorbed with their own thoughts and feelings.

Paranoid Personality Disorder – interpreting others’ actions as demeaning or threatening; untrusting, unforgiving, and prone to anger or aggression.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder – odd or eccentric manners of speaking or dressing; outlandish or paranoid beliefs; difficulty forming relationships.

Cluster B

Antisocial Personality Disorder – ignoring normal rules of social behavior; impulsive, callous, and impulsive; a history of irresponsible behavior, aggression, and possibly even violent relationships.

Borderline Personality Disorder – unstable in a number of areas, including mood, behavior, relationships, and self-image.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder – an exaggerated sense of self-importance, seeking constant attention; prone to extreme mood swings between insecurity and self-admiration.

Cluster C

Avoidant Personality Disorder – hypersensitive to rejection, excessive social discomfort and fear of criticism; very hurt by others’ disapproval.

Dependent Personality Disorder – exhibiting a pattern of submissive and dependent behavior, relying on others to make their decisions for them; requiring excessive reassurance and easily hurt by criticism with a strong fear of rejection.

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder – striving for perfection, never satisfied with their achievements; orderly and methodical but inflexible and unable to adapt to changing situations.

Personality Disorder Treatment

Psychosocial therapies are the most effective treatment for these disorders. When an individual is seeking treatment and is motivated to change, both individual and group psychotherapy can be effective in addressing the disorder. Medications may help control specific symptoms in certain cases, to control anxiety or depression, for example. However, the personality disorders themselves are typically not responsive to drugs.

Complicating treatment options are disorders that may co-occur, such as substance use disorders, eating disorders, depressive disorders, or anxiety. These conditions will need to be treated together to address the symptoms of each.

The first step in personality disorder treatment is to help the individual recognize that their issues are not caused by anything external, but rather by their own internal traits. Then it is necessary to reduce the distress caused by the disorder.

The mental health professional will work with the individual to help decrease the behaviors that are considered to be socially undesirable and that keep them from being able to adapt to social settings appropriately. Therapy can also aid in modifying the personality traits that are causing problems for the individual and for those around them.

Mental Health Treatment for Men at PACE

If you are experiencing personality disorder symptoms, it is time to reach out to the professionals at PACE Recovery. We optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your mental health and any substance use issues you may also have. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

At PACE, we understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

Male Body Dysmorphia | Body Dysmorphia Symptoms

It’s natural to want to look your best whenever you can. It’s also understandable when you have something you just don’t like about the way you look. When you look in the mirror, you may think “I wish I had curly hair” or “I wish I had straighter hair.” When you look in the mirror several times an hour and are obsessed about what you perceive as an imperfection, you may have male body dysmorphia.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

A body image disorder, body dysmorphia is characterized by constant and intrusive preoccupation with a slight defect, or an imagined defect, in your appearance. People who have the disorder usually find fault with their skin, hair, nose, stomach, or chest. Even though the imperfection, if it exists, is minor, the individual with body dysmorphia will consider it to be prominent and significant, which will cause them severe emotional distress and challenges with functioning on a daily basis.

People who have body dysmorphic disorder think about their flaws for hours every day and cannot control their negative thoughts about themselves. They won’t believe anyone who tells them they look fine. They live in constant fear that others will notice what they perceive to be their physical flaw.

Under-Recognized and Under-Diagnosed

Body dysmorphia occurs in about 2.5% of males in the US and 2.2% of females. The disorder can affect people of any race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, and almost any age. Two-thirds of individuals diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder experience the onset of the disorder before the age of 18.

However, scientific research studies have shown that the disorder is under-recognized and under-diagnosed. Individuals who have male body dysmorphia may not want to talk about their body image concerns, even when the disorder has affected them to the point that it is the reason that they seek mental health treatment.

One study revealed some of the explanations individuals with the disorder offer about why they are hesitant to speak up about it. The study participants said they were too embarrassed, were afraid of being judged negatively, didn’t know there was a treatment for the disorder, didn’t think it was a big problem or didn’t want to know the disorder was a problem, and believed that they were the only ones who had the disorder.

Body Dysmorphia Symptoms

Most people with body dysmorphic disorder perform a compulsive or repetitive behavior in an attempt to hide their flaws. They also constantly try to improve their flaws, even though any relief they find will be temporary. Other symptoms include constantly checking mirrors or avoiding mirrors, camouflaging the area thought to be imperfect with clothing or hats, excessive grooming, excessive exercise, and excessively changing clothes.

Muscle Dysmorphia

A subclass of male body dysmorphia is muscle dysmorphia, which primarily affects men. Even though the individual probably has a build that’s average or more muscular than average, they perceive themselves as less muscular and smaller than they are in reality. Men who lift weights or participates in bodybuilding competitions are more commonly affected by this disorder.

Men with muscle dysmorphia are typically considered to be very muscular by other people, since they routinely engage in activities that build muscles. However, the men themselves will see their bodies as lacking in muscle and even small in comparison with others. A man with this disorder will constantly lift weights, use anabolic steroids or other drugs to enhance their performance, skip social activities so they can spend more time exercising, or avoid social situations that will draw attention to their body, such as swimming.  

An eating disorder called orthorexia is also associated with this type of male body dysmorphia. Orthorexia is an obsession with eating healthy foods. These individuals will eat very regimented diets, becoming fixated on choosing the perfect foods to the extent that it will disrupt other areas of their lives.

Mood Disorder Treatment for Men at PACE

If you are experiencing symptoms of male body dysmorphia, it is time to reach out to the professionals at PACE Recovery. Asking for help is a sign of strength and is the first step toward improved mental and physical health. We optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your mental health and any substance use issues you may also have. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

At PACE, we understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

Anxiety Symptoms in Men

Symptoms of mental and physical health issues will often look different in men than in women, for a variety of reasons. Anxiety symptoms in men can be somewhat similar to those in women but with some key differences.

Stigma and Emotional Vulnerability

Men tend to view emotional vulnerability as a weakness. Given the stigma that can be associated with a mental health disorder, that adds to their reluctance to share their struggles with others. So, while men may actually have some of the same symptoms of anxiety as women, they will be less likely to talk about what they are feeling. Instead, they will react in a way that may seem, to them, to be a more masculine approach.

Women Twice as Likely to Be Diagnosed

The causes of anxiety are many and varied. They could be worries over work, finances, or relationships. An endless loop of self-doubt can evolve from these feelings of stress and apprehension, which could result in an anxiety disorder. In addition, medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or a decline in hormone levels can result in an anxiety disorder. Low testosterone has been shown to increase anxiety levels as well as contribute to an increase in cortisol, the stress hormone, which can drive anxious feelings.

Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the US. Of those, 14% are men. One type, social anxiety disorder, affects just over 4% of men and almost 6% of women. Even though those numbers may seem close, women are more likely to report lifetime social fears and internalizing disorders. They are also more likely to seek professional treatment for their anxiety disorder. Men were more likely to have externalizing disorders and use alcohol or drugs to relieve their symptoms.

Anxiety Symptoms

In men, the symptoms of an anxiety disorder often show up as irritability or anger. Physical symptoms can include sweating, a pounding heart, headaches, stomach issues, trouble sleeping, and fatigue. Emotionally, men are more likely to exhibit their feelings of anxiety in ways that seem to them to be more masculine, essentially attempting to not let their mental health issues show externally to others.

A researcher and clinical associate professor at Stanford University, Carmen McLean, PhD, explains, “I think the biggest thing is men are socialized not to show anxiety. Socializing to show agency and self-efficiency dissuades from showing anxiety.” Men will often display rage or anger when they are feeling the symptoms of anxiety. They are also more likely to experience strains in their relationships, because of their excessive worrying.

The stigma of mental health and their own sense of masculinity keeps men from opening up to others and that can cause their emotions to build to a breaking point. Attempting to bury or hide their anxiety can make the situation much worse. The result can be a flood gate of anger and irritability. Women typically have a close circle of friends that they feel they can confide in, where many men do not have that type of support or simply choose not to share their mental health struggles with anyone else.

Anxiety and Addiction

McLean adds that anxiety disorders in men are often accompanied by substance abuse. Research has consistently found links between substance use and mental health disorders in men. For example, a recent Columbia University study determined that men use alcohol and drugs more often than women to relieve their anxiety symptoms. Men will often forego professional treatment, not wanting to open up about their feelings of anxiety, and may instead turn to drugs or alcohol to cope. This behavior is often the doorway to addiction.

Mental Health Treatment for Men at PACE

If you are experiencing anxiety symptoms, it is time to reach out to the professionals at PACE Recovery. Asking for help is a sign of strength and is the first step toward improved mental and physical health. We optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your mental health and any substance use issues you may also have. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

At PACE, we understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

Men’s Health Month 2021

The month of June has been designated as Men’s Health Month. The week of June 14 through June 20 is Men’s Health Week, with Father’s Day occurring on June 19 this year. During Men’s Health Month 2021, it is important to take a look at some critical factors affecting men’s mental and physical health.

Focus of Men’s Health Month

Individuals and organizations involved in Men’s Health Month activities are focused on heightening an awareness of preventable health problems, as well as on encouraging early detection and treatment of mental and physical health issues, for men. Men are encouraged this month, in particular, to seek medical advice and to seek out early treatment for diseases or injuries.

Men’s Health Month itself was created in 1994 by Senator Bob Dole and Congressman Bill Richardson. The proclamation was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton as Men’s Health Week, the week ending in Father’s Day. It was expanded to include the entire month in the late 1990s. The annual awareness month continues to focus on preventable mental and physical health problems experienced by men. Healthcare providers use this time, especially, to encourage self-exams and screenings in men.

International Men’s Health Week came about in 2002 when representatives from six leading men’s health organizations across the globe met at the 2nd World Congress on Men’s Health in Austria. They resolved to work together on the dedicated week to increase awareness of men’s health issues on a global level, including encouraging providers to develop policies and services that meet the specific needs of men and their families.

Men’s Health Facts

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics from 2018 show a number of areas where men have the opportunity to improve their physical health. Their numbers include:

  • 9% – the percent of men aged 18 and over who are in fair or poor health.
  • 5% – the percent of men aged 20 and over with obesity (numbers are from 2015 to 2018).
  • 9% – the percent of men aged 18 and over who had five or more drinks in 1 day at least once in the past year.
  • 3% – the percent of men aged 18 and over who currently smoke cigarettes.
  • 9% – the percent of men aged 20 and over with hypertension (measured high blood pressure and/or taking antihypertensive medication) (numbers are from 2015 to 2018).
  • 6% – the percent of men aged 18 and over who met the 2008 federal physical activity guidelines for aerobic activity through leisure-time aerobic activity.

In addition, the CDC notes that the leading causes of death for men are heart disease, cancer, and accidents or unintentional injuries.

Men and Alcohol Use

The CDC also states that men are more likely than women to drink excessively. The organization points out that this excessive drinking is associated with significant risk to the health and safety of men and that the risks increase with the amount of alcohol. When drinking alcohol or using other substances, men are more likely to take risks that could put their health and their lives in danger, such as having multiple sex partners or taking chances in a car by not wearing a seat belt. CDC statistics on men and alcohol include the facts that:

  • Almost 59% of adult men report drinking alcohol in the past 30 days compared with 47% of adult women.
  • Men are almost two times more likely to binge drink than women. Approximately 22% of men report binge drinking and on average do so 5 times a month, consuming 8 drinks per binge.
  • In 2019, 7% of men had an alcohol use disorder compared with 4% of women.

Men and Mental Health

Mental health is also a topic that needs attention during Men’s Health Month 2021. Mental Health America (MHA) reports that six million men are affected by depression each year. Over three million men experience an anxiety disorder. These mental health disorders often go undiagnosed, though, as men will tend to report their experiences as fatigue, irritability, or a simple loss of interest in their work or relationships. MHA also reports that 90% of the people who are diagnosed with schizophrenia by age 30 are men.

Addiction and Mental Health Support for Men

If you are experiencing mental health or substance use issues, we want to help get you back on track with your life. At PACE Recovery, we optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your addiction to drugs or alcohol and your mental health issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

What is Black Tar Heroin?

Heroin is an illegal and addictive drug. There are different types of heroin, all of which are dangerous and often even life-threatening. What is black tar heroin? What makes it different from other types of heroin?

Created From the Poppy

Processed from morphine, a natural substance that is found in the seed pod of certain poppy seeds, heroin is a highly addictive drug. It can be produced in a number of forms or grades. White powder heroin is the most pure and black tar heroin is the least pure of these. White heroin is made by isolating the morphine molecule from the opium found in poppy seeds and then synthesizing the drug from the morphine.

The process of producing black tar heroin, though, skips the step of morphine isolation and synthesizes the heroin straight from the opium. This type of heroin is quicker and less expensive to produce than white heroin and so may be a cheaper option for those addicted to opioids.

Pure Heroin

A white powder that has a bitter taste, pure heroin predominantly comes from South America. It has also been known to originate in Southeast Asia. This type of heroin dominates the US markets east of the Mississippi River. This highly pure heroin can be more appealing to new users, as it can be snorted or smoked, rather than injected. The drug is more typically sold as a white or brown powder that has been cut with starch, sugars, powdered milk, or quinine.

Black Tar Heroin

Named for its stickiness, similar to roofing tar, black tar heroin can also be hard like coal. It is usually produced in Mexico and sold west of the Mississippi River in the US. It has a darker color because of the crude processing methods that create impurities. Users of black tar will dilute, dissolve, and inject the drug into their muscles, veins, or under their skin.

Black tar heroin is distributed as a sticky chunk that is blackish-brownish. It has been around for more than 100 years, but it became popular in the US in the 1970s as it is cheaper and easier to make than white powder heroin.

There are many dangers associated with black tar heroin, beyond the serious consequences of heroin use itself. This type of drug may be diluted with black shoe polish or dirt. The soil can contain the spores of a toxic substance known as Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism, a potentially fatal type of food poisoning. If this spore infiltrates a wound on the body, it can cause an infection known as wound botulism.

Dangerous, Life-Threatening Consequences

Because of the way it is cut, black tar heroin can have serious, life-threatening consequences, especially for people who inject the drug. Between September 2017 and April 2018, there were nine cases of wound botulism reported in San Diego, California. All of the individuals suffering from the infection reported injecting heroin, with seven of them having used black tar heroin. Six of the individuals had injected the drug. One of them died as a result of the infection.

Another case of wound botulism was reported in San Diego County in October 2019. This case was also associated with black tar heroin injection. Additionally, between October 2 and November 24, 2019, nine people who had injected black tar heroin were admitted to San Diego County hospitals with severe myonecrosis. This disease damages muscle tissue. Seven of these individuals died from their infection. They ranged in age from 19 to 57; five were male.

There were 13 cases of probable and confirmed wound botulism in the last three months of 2019 in southern California. These cases mostly involved black tar heroin users.

Addiction and Mental Health Support for Men

We want you to be safe and healthy. When you are addicted to a dangerous drug such as black tar heroin, we can help. At PACE Recovery, we optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your addiction to drugs or alcohol and your mental health issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

How PTSD Presents in Young Men

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has long been associated with veterans and first responders. However, anyone who experiences a traumatic event can be susceptible to PTSD. June is PTSD Awareness Month. Understanding how PTSD presents in young men is an important area to be aware of, especially now.

What is PTSD?

When something disturbing or unsettling happens, it’s normal to be a little upset for a while. When you experience a traumatic event or circumstance and your negative feelings last a month or longer, you may have PTSD. The anxiety disorder may not become apparent immediately after the trauma. Sometimes it takes weeks or even months to experience the symptoms of PTSD.

Traumatic Events

As a young man, you may experience a traumatic event or live through a traumatic circumstance in your life. While that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll develop the anxiety disorder, these are the types of experiences that can cause PTSD. Your fear in such a situation will trigger a “fight or flight” response, which is the natural way your body protects you in times of danger. You will probably also experience a heightened alertness, increased blood pressure, and a faster heart rate and breathing rate.

PTSD symptoms are longer lasting and more severe, in some cases. Those symptoms can be caused by an event that is life threatening such as a bad car accident or a violent assault. If you’ve been in a physical fight with someone else, that can be a traumatic event. You may have lived through a natural disaster that was devastating such as a flood or hurricane. The COVID-19 pandemic, with its uncertainty, fear, and isolation, has been a traumatic event for many young men.

You may also experience trauma when the situation is not necessarily life threatening to you. For example, you may have unexpectedly lost a loved one such as a grandparent or parent. You may have witnessed a car accident or someone else’s severe injury, rather than experiencing it firsthand. This can also be a traumatic event for you.

PTSD Emerging in Young Adults

While anyone can experience a traumatic event and subsequent PTSD onset at any age, the typical onset age for PTSD is in early adulthood. PTSD presents in young men in their 20s, with a median onset age of 23. Part of the reason for this may be that older adults do not put themselves in situations where they may experience trauma as much as young adults may do. Young men tend to be more active, join the military in early adulthood, and are less experienced with dealing with emotional and physical stress.

Do I Have PTSD?

After experiencing a traumatic event or circumstance in your life, you may have certain symptoms that can lead you to think you may have PTSD. If these symptoms last more than four weeks, you should consult with a healthcare professional to seek out treatment for your mental health. PTSD presents in young men in a number of ways. You may experience some or all of these symptoms, which are categorized into different types.

Re-experiencing symptoms. These occur when something reminds you or the trauma you experienced and you then feel that fear all over again. You might have flashbacks or nightmares as well as frightening thoughts.

Avoidance symptoms. You might try to avoid the people or situations that trigger memories of the traumatic event. You stay away from places or objects that remind you of what happened. If you were in a bad car accident, for example, you may not want to drive again.

Arousal and reactivity symptoms. You may be jittery or constantly on the lookout for danger. You can be easily startled, feeling on edge, and you can have trouble sleeping. You may also find that you have angry outbursts.

Cognition and mood symptoms. These are negative changes in your feelings and beliefs. You might start to develop negative thoughts about the world and about yourself. You feel guilty or are blaming yourself for what happened. You have trouble concentrating and no longer enjoy the things that used to interest you. In addition, you may have trouble remembering the important details of the traumatic event itself.

Mental Health Treatment for Men at PACE

As a young man, if you are experiencing PTSD symptoms, it is time to reach out to the professionals at PACE Recovery. Asking for help is a sign of strength. We optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your mental health and substance use issues you may also have. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

At PACE, we understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

Why Do I Isolate Myself? | Self Isolation in Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a new sense of isolation for most people across the country. Lockdown and restrictions regarding where we could go as well as when and how we could do certain activities forced us to stay home and distance ourselves from others for long periods of time. Even before the pandemic, there was a group of individuals who would isolate themselves for other reasons. Self isolation in recovery has many root causes and is probably based in the underlying reason for the addiction itself.

A Growing Epidemic

Prior to the pandemic, there was already a growing epidemic in the US. A rising addiction rate and a growth in deaths caused by drug overdose, alcohol abuse, and suicide have been and continue to be a serious concern. Over one million people in the US have died in the past decade from drugs, alcohol, and suicide. As a result, life expectancy decreased in 2017 for the time in 20 years. The combined death rate for drugs, alcohol, and suicide increased six percent from 2016 to 2017, rising to 46.6 deaths per 100,000 people. Many of these individuals died in isolation.

A Disease of Isolation

Addiction is often referred to as a disease of isolation. One theory for this is that people who are addicted want to be alone. Their desire may stem from an inability to connect with other people, either because of an attachment disorder or some other mental health concern. They tend to feel a sense of disconnect, even in a room crowded with other people.

Their sense of isolation could be one of the reasons they became addicted, as they turned to drugs or alcohol to help them manage their stress and deal with things that happen in their lives rather than turning to another human being. In the same manner, addiction can destroy an individual’s ability to develop a healthy relationship and many people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol end up destroying friendships and marriages because of their substance use and reckless behavior.

When a person is addicted, they may believe that their only friend or ally is the drug or alcohol itself. They tend to develop an emotional attachment to the addictive substance rather than to other people. Distancing from other humans is something of a defensive measure, to ensure that the addiction can continue without being threatened by another individual.

Worsened Physical and Mental Health

Recent studies have shown that a feeling of loneliness is related to worse mental and physical health. The results of the research also show that loneliness has a direct relationship with low self-esteem, low self-confidence, high risk behaviors, anxiety, tension, depression, and alcohol and drug abuse. Substance abuse may be linked to isolation and loneliness as being a way out of the negative feelings. The individual acquires a new feeling of security while using drugs or alcohol, satisfying their psychological and emotional needs. The study also indicated a greater sense of familial loneliness in those addicted to drugs.

Stigma and a Sense of Shame

While addiction may stem from a sense of isolation, a conscious desire to be separated from other people, self isolation may come out of a sense of shame and the stigma around drug and alcohol addiction, even in recovery. As the individual loses the support of their family and friends, they may fall deeper into isolation.

Addiction to drugs or alcohol is starting to be recognized as a chronic disease but it is still viewed by some as being the individual’s fault or a result of a lack of will power. Overcoming that misconception can be extremely helpful to the individual in recovery who needs to move forward with their lives in a positive way.

Addiction and Mental Health Support for Men

At PACE Recovery, we support you through your addiction treatment and recovery. We optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your addiction to drugs or alcohol and your mental health issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

Borderline Personality Disorder in Men

Some mental health conditions are thought to be more prevalent in women. However, men can be just as challenged with the struggles of mental illness. Given the stigma associated with mental health conditions, men are less likely to acknowledge their issues and to seek treatment. Borderline personality disorder in men is a condition that needs more attention, particularly for those men needing help with its impact on their lives.

Difficulty Regulating Emotion

When an individual has difficulties regulating their emotions, they may be diagnosed with a condition known as borderline personality disorder. Those who experience this condition will feel their emotions intensely for long periods of time. It is usually more difficult for them to return to a stable baseline after they’ve gone through an emotionally triggering event.

The inability to regulate emotion can lead to poor self-image, difficult relationships, impulsiveness, and an intensely emotional response to stressors. When a person struggles with self-regulation, they can also engage in dangerous behaviors, including self-harm.

Misdiagnosed in Men

About 1.4% of adults in the US experience borderline personality disorder. Almost three-fourths of those diagnosed are women. However, research suggests that men may be equally affected by the condition but are often misdiagnosed with other mental health conditions such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), conduct disorder, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) suggests that, rather than looking at each symptom separately in a man, the key may be to look at the collection of symptoms as a whole as well as the intensity of the emotions he experiences.

Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder in Men

Borderline personality disorder in men may manifest itself in the following symptoms, which are considered red flags to look for by NAMI.

Numerous and frequent relationships, often close together. A man with borderline personality disorder will experience a fear of abandonment and, as a result, refuse to commit to a romantic relationship. He may have multiple relationships, close together, that end after an argument or when he scares his partner away with a quick temper and possible physical aggression. He will have issues with controlling his emotions which often results in a quick ending to the relationship. He will then move on to a new relationship relatively quickly.

Behaviors and attitudes filled with drama. Women are usually thought of as being dramatic, but men can be so as well. Their drama will look a little different, though. A man with borderline personality disorder will have fluctuating emotions that can range from respect and idealizing someone to becoming emotionally detached and resentful. This drama can also affect a man’s frequent and turbulent romantic relationships.

Thoughts, behaviors, and emotions that are constantly up and down. A man with borderline personality disorder can change quickly from being warm and loving to being cold and distant, even angry and hostile. He can exhibit a stable and consistent pattern of behavior for a while and then suddenly change into what may seem like a completely different person.

Behaviors that seem designed to draw attention. Men with borderline personality disorder seem to want attention. They will engage in self-destructive behaviors, such as cutting, and then draw attention to the fact that they have done so. They may exhibit a loud attitude, make accusations of being unloved and abandoned, or be aggressive in an effort to gain attention. Other risky behaviors can be unprotected sex, fathering children with different women, and making threats to keep everyone afraid of him.

Dependency and co-dependency. An individual’s fear of abandonment can make it difficult for him to maintain a healthy, safe, and satisfying relationship. In contrast, he may engage in a dependent or co-dependent relationship with someone who relies on him, emotionally and psychologically. The relationship is dependent on his partner, who may be just as psychologically and emotionally unstable as the man with borderline personality disorder.

Manipulating loved ones with suicide threats or attempts. In an effort to manipulate a loved one or to convince them that he is lovable, a man with borderline personality disorder may threaten suicide. For example, a man who becomes jealous of his wife talking to another man may threaten suicide if she does not stop talking to him.

Suicidal thoughts that alleviate the pain. Some men will seriously consider suicide when the symptoms of their mental health condition cause difficulties in their life. Their pain and their fear of abandonment is so intensified that their suicidal thoughts may temporarily comfort them.  

Mental Health Treatment for Men at PACE

When you are experiencing the symptoms of a mental health condition such as borderline personality disorder, it is time to reach out to the professionals at PACE Recovery. Asking for help is a sign of strength. We optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your mental health and substance use issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

At PACE, we understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

Addiction Quotes | Inspirational Quotes for Men

Sometimes an inspiring word is what you need to keep you focused and to keep you going. When you are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, a powerful, empathetic word can lift you up and give you the focus you need to continue on your journey toward recovery. Inspirational addiction quotes for men going through addiction and wanting to heal can help you or your loved get and stay sober.

Words of Guidance and Encouragement

It only takes a few words, sometimes, to reignite your drive toward recovery. Take courage and follow your path to a fuller life.

“The best way out is always through.” – Robert Frost

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” – C.S. Lewis

“All the suffering, stress, and addiction comes from not realizing you already are what you are looking for.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Quotes from People Who Have Been There

No one knows your challenges like someone who has been addicted and who has been through treatment.

“Getting sober was one of the three pivotal events in my life, along with becoming an actor and having a child. Of the three, finding my sobriety was the hardest.” – Robert Downey Jr., actor

“I’ve been sober for 18 years now. It wasn’t like you flick a switch, and you’re sober. It takes a while. You have to learn how to do everything all over again. There is life after addiction, and it’s really good. If I had known, I’d have stopped earlier.” – Joe Walsh, musician

“Sometimes we motivate ourselves by thinking of what we want to become. Sometimes we motivate ourselves by thinking about who we don’t ever want to be again.” – Shane Niemeyer, motivational speaker and author, formerly an overweight, homeless drug addict.

Words of Hope and Resilience

Resilience is the ability to cope with a crisis or stressful situation mentally and emotionally. Being resilient gives you hope for your future.

“Hope is a good thing, maybe even the best of things, and good things never die.” – Stephen King, author

“Every experience in your life is being orchestrated to teach you something you need to know to move forward.” – Brian Tracy, self-development author

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” – Steve Maraboli, behavioral science academic, best-selling author, and speaker.

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Quotes from Those Who’ve Succeeded Over Struggles

Sometimes, inspirational quotes come not from the world of addiction, but from people who’ve experienced other types of struggles and, more importantly, have overcome their challenges.

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford, inventor

“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength.” – Napoléon Bonaparte, French political and military leader

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela,  political leader, anti-apartheid revolutionary, and philanthropist.

Inspirational Quotes to Help You Believe in Yourself

You can overcome your addiction. Believe that you can do it, with a little help. The time to start is now.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident, and more and more successful.” – Mark Victor Hansen, founder and co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series.

Addiction and Mental Health Support for Men

At PACE Recovery, we optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your addiction to drugs or alcohol and your mental health issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

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