Substance Use Disorder is scientifically documented in the DSM-5 As a mental illness. All of my work in the field of mental health and substance use disorder is grounded in raising awareness, eliminating stigma and normalization of symptoms of this disease.
We must have an ongoing dialogue to normalize these disorders/diseases as we do with any other disease.
Substance Use Disorder aka Mental Illness is a chronic and progressive brain disease. The great news is that it is diagnosable, treatable, and manageable, and we live a gorgeous and blessed life on the other side of recovery if we so choose. And, we can offer our journey as a way to empower and serve others.
In my opinion as a recovery leader, and mental health and wellness professional/practitioner, advocate and Keynote speaker, if we choose to remain “anonymous,” it can be indicative of shame and guilt, and reinforces the stigma surrounding this disease.
If we were living with Cancer, most of us would not remain “anonymous,” and we would readily ask for help to manage our disease.
We are trying to change the language and the mindset so that we come from a place of a public health approach where we all understand the meaning of substance use disorder and mental illness, and where we normalize these disorders so that those of us living with these disorders feel safe in asking for help no matter how many times we have relapses, and so that those living in silence and suffering feel safe in coming forward to ask for help. We deserve the same treatment as anyone else with any other disease receives…No shame. No guilt. No stigma.
A “12 step” program is a great adjunct to treatment, but in and of itself is not what sustains our recovery where we can thrive lifelong. We must have treatment along side of support in a program whether it is “12 step” or a “holistic health approach” as I offer in my practice, and is the way that I have sustained my recovery for nearly 8 years where I am thriving and helping so many on their journey.
My upcoming book “WRITE PRAY RECOVER:A JOURNEY TO WELLNESS THROUGH SPIRITUAL SOLUTIONS AND SELF CARE” will be of great support to our recovery and wellness communities.
For information on my Holistic Health practice including coaching support for Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health, please visit my website at http://www.harmonioushealth4life.com.
WE ARE NOT DEFINED BY OUR DISEASE OR OUR EMOTIONS.
I ask that we speak our truth aloud and together to create much desired change and recognition, to be empowered, and to help empower others in a PUBLIC HEALTH APPROACH.
Love and blessings,