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Seeking Treatment For Loved Ones

Whether it is your son or daughter, husband or wife, mother or father or very close friend; witnessing an individual struggle with a behavioral disorder, eating disorder or mental health disorder can be devastating. Initially, it may be difficult to recognize the warning signs until signs and symptoms become severe. Once these warning signs are recognized, many individuals struggle with communicating to their loved one about these warning signs and about the importance of seeking treatment in a timely manner. Talking to a loved one about their signs and symptoms can feel intimidating however it is important to understand that communicating in an honest and compassionate way about your concerns and about the importance of seeking treatment is extremely important in order for your loved one to receive the professional help they need in a timely manner.

Warning signs of a behavior or emotional disorder could include:

  • Drastic changes in behavior or personality
  • Easily getting annoyed or nervous
  • Often appearing angry
  • Putting blame on others
  • Having difficulty in handling frustration
  • Frequent tantrums and outbursts
  • Feelings of sadness
  • Social withdrawal and isolation
  • Intensive worries or fears that impede daily activities
  • Harming or threatening to hurt themselves, other people or pets
  • Damaging or destroying property
  • Lying or stealing
  • Not doing well in school, skipping classes
  • Early smoking, drinking, drug use or sexual activity
  • Consistent hostility toward authority figures

Warning signs of an eating disorder could include:

  • Spending more time in secrecy and isolation
  • A depressed or irritable mood
  • Hiding weight loss and restricting food
  • False perceptions about their body image and their behavior
  • Acting in anger and denial
  • Overspending on food and weight loss programs

Take a look at what our Alumni are saying about Discovery:

Would recommend this program to another individual/family:       

  Substance Use and Co-Occurring Disorders: 95% of Clients, 100% of Parents 
Mental Health: 96% of Clients, 100% of Parents 
Eating Disorder Residential: 94% of Clients, 96% of Parents  
Eating Disorder Outpatient: 86% of Clients, 100% of Parents   

Overall Treatment Experience was positive: 

Substance Use and Co-Occurring Disorders: 95% of Clients, 100% of Parents
Mental Health: 97% of Clients, 100% of Parents
Eating Disorder Residential: 95% of Clients, 97% of Parents
Eating Disorder Outpatient: 86% of Clients, 92% of Parents

Would Return to Discovery for treatment (if appropriate):

Substance Use and Co-Occurring Disorders: 91% of Clients
Mental Health: 95% of Clients
Eating Disorder Residential: 92% of Clients
Eating Disorder Outpatient: 88% of Clients

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Warning signs of substance abuse could include:

  • Eyes that are bloodshot or pupils that are smaller or larger than normal.
  • Frequent nosebleeds could be related to snorted drugs (meth or cocaine).
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns.  Sudden weight loss or weight gain.
  • Seizures without a history of epilepsy
  • Deterioration in personal grooming or physical appearance
  • Impaired coordination, injuries/accidents/bruises that they can’t/won’t explain
  • Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing.
  • Shakes, tremors, incoherent or slurred speech, impaired or unstable coordination.
  • Decline in academic performance
  • Missing money, valuables, prescription or prescription drugs, borrowing and stealing money.
  • Acting isolated, silent, withdrawn, engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors
  • Sudden change in relationships, friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies.
  • Frequently getting into trouble (arguments, fights, accidents, illegal activities).
  • Clashes with family values and beliefs.
  • Demanding more privacy, locking doors and avoiding eye contact.
  • Sudden mood changes, irritability, and angry outbursts
  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity or agitation.
  • Lack of motivation; inability to focus, appears lethargic or “spaced out.”
  • Appears fearful, withdrawn, anxious, or paranoid, with no apparent reason.

Warning signs of a mental health disorder

  • Drastic changes in personality or mood
  • Decline in academic performance
  • Social withdrawal
  • Low energy/ rapidly cycling mood swings
  • Decline in job or academic performance
  • Low daily motivation
  • Unable to complete daily tasks
  • Drastic change in finances
  • Change in sleep pattern
  • Change in appetite
  • Increase in apathy

How to communicate to a loved one who is in need of treatment

  • Always be open and honest with your loved one about your concern and feelings regarding their disorder. It is important to allow them to trust you and share with you details about their emotions and thoughts. If you think you can offer helpful advice then you should however if you do not know if you have anything to say, it is okay just to listen and seek help from a professional.
  • Never pass judgment as it can easily be hurtful and can result in trust issues. Remember that anyone is prone to a mental health disorder, behavioral disorder or eating disorder and although it may seem easy to place the blame on certain things, having an unbiased opinion can allow your loved one to open up to you and be more apt to seek professional treatment.
  • Educate yourself on your loved one’s disorder so you can learn about the signs and symptoms, complications, treatment and understand what is required for the road to recovery. Remember that you are your loved one’s best advocate.
  • Actively assist in finding treatment centers for your loved one. Take into account distance, insurance coverage, certifications, the type of therapies that are offered, the level of care, and the involvement of family and friends in treatment.
  • Offer to attend therapy sessions with your loved one and take an active role in their treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Keep open communication with your loved one throughout this process.
  • Do not come across as threatening and do not give ultimatums if your loved one disagrees with you.

Questions to ask when choosing a treatment center for your loved one

  • Do they have a bed available today?
  • What is their success rate in treating your loved one’s disorder?
  • What is your loved one’s expected length of stay?
  • Is the treatment facility licensed for co-occurring disorders?
  • What different level of cares do they offer and how do they handle transitioning between levels of care?
  • Is there an aftercare program available and how do they handle relapse?
  • What levels of licensure and credentials does the staff have?
  • What is their insurance coverage?

Discovery Behavioral Health treats substance abuse disorders, mental health disorders, eating disorders, and behavioral disorders with both the client and their family as the center of focus. Discovery Behavioral Health combines compassion and evidenced based treatment approaches with a thorough treatment team that takes into account any co-occurring disorders or underlying trauma that may also be present at the time of diagnosis.

Discovery Behavioral Health