Last year, seemingly every media outlet followed actress Amanda Bynes as she exhibited strange behavior both in public and on social media, which prompted her to enter and discharge from an inpatient treatment center and was seemingly making great strides toward continued recovery. However, at the end of September this year she was arrested on a DUI charge with the peculiar behavior continuing into October, before she reportedly entered treatment again.
Although it is shocking to watch a childhood celebrity with outstanding talent publicly struggle with mental illness and substance abuse issues, Bynes is certainly not alone in her ongoing journey. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), roughly half of all individuals with severe mental health issues are also affected by substance abuse. In addition, women with co-occurring disorders are at higher risk for relapsing, making recovery a continuing process that does not cease once inpatient treatment ends.
Brookhaven Retreat is founded upon giving women a fresh start at building a healthy whole. This means addressing the root cause of the emotional breakage that has stunted the development of essential skills that help women cope with mood disorders and mental health issues. For women with substance abuse, addressing the physical addiction first is critical to recovery. A highly trained and caring nursing staff that is available 24/7 helps women detox from alcohol, drug and prescription addiction as comfortably as possible so that they are then able to explore the mental and emotional distress without distraction.
Maintaining a positive outlook and a motivated attitude is easier when you are surrounded by the support and comfort of a residential treatment facility, but can be completely different when faced with daily stressors and real world pressures. In order to successfully maintain lasting recovery women must address the aspects of life that may compromise their health upon returning home, and is the reason behind Brookhaven Retreat’s exclusive Poncho® program. After their first 30 days of treatment and stabilization, the women at Brookhaven Retreat participate in the Poncho® Life Skills class. Women analyze their various pieces of their life the role they play in recovery. This allows women to build a healthy whole that can thrive during the toughest times.
Part of what helps women recover from emotional breakage, codependency struggles, substance abuse and mental health issues is the unique bond formed at a women-only treatment center. The support from other women who are on this same journey promotes self-esteem and encourages healthy thoughts and behaviors. These friendships are often an integral part of their recovery well after they leave treatment. Brookhaven Retreat has set up a comprehensive alumnae program that allows for an open-door policy and continued support from fellow graduates and staff through weekly phone calls, a private social networking site and an annual alumnae reunion.
Healing and recovery from mental illness and substance abuse is not an easy nor smooth journey, and it certainly does not stop after inpatient treatment is complete. Although, many women will face bumps in the road and some days may be difficult, things don’t have to stay the same. Through self-discovery and understanding mental health issues and emotional pain women become equipped with the tools needed to safeguard their mental and emotional wellness as they redesign their life.
“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
- Harriet Beecher Stowe