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The High-Functioning Addict—Hiding in Plain Sight

By: Michael Plahn

The High-Functioning Addict is a term used to describe an individual who may appear to have a very productive, seemingly manageable, and in some cases an almost idyllic life…on the outside. However, it is as if he/she is living a secret dual-life. One of productivity, maybe even marked with high-achievement, while the other is a life of escape through alcohol, drugs, and/or other addictions (that the addict’s family may be oblivious). This person is able to succeed in their life well enough to where the effects of their addiction(s) has not impacted the life they project to others. This article is written about alcohol and other mind-altering drugs, but other addictions may apply.

According to an article by Kristen McGuiness: Are You a High-Functioning Addict? published on the Huffington Post website, The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reported in a 2007 study, that claimed 19.5 percent of all alcoholics(nearly four million people) are of the “functional” subtype.

Every high-functioning addict whom I have ever met in Recovery admits to having excruciating dark times that other addicts also report. However, my experience, both personally and professionally, is that career success and wealth can delay or even prevent the initiation of the Recovery process. Career and personal successes, wealth, power and ego-inflation stemming from an impressive title or elite social circles can actually defer the emotional and spiritual pain that is typically involved with an addicted individual’s willingness to seek help. An addict’s type of career can even seemingly promote over-indulgence and make certain behavior (as long as it is not egregious) acceptable, if it is for the good of the firm.

Some high-functioning addicts have the means to take extraordinary measures to keep the pain away. This is exemplified by one Recovering addict, who asked to remain anonymous, who stated, “I knew an eight-figure guy who bought a new car every two months to get enough juice to keep the pain away; it actually worked for a while.”

Having a high-functioning person with elevated status (be it a celebrity or someone respected in a professional community) come forward about his/her struggles and subsequent Recovery is rare. Anonymity has been synonymous with most successful Recovery. Instead, we hear about the horror stories, PR nightmares, and tragedies of celebrities and professional athletes.

However, recently Chicagoans were privy to a very public admission of a struggle with addiction. A letter was posted on the WGN-TV website, written by evening news anchor Mark Suppelsa, where he admitted to having a problem with alcohol and was voluntarily entering Hazelden’s Center City, MN location for treatment. He returned a month later, as planned, and received overwhelming support from viewers, fans, colleagues, and management at WGN. The brief letter defined a very secretive high-functioning individual who was finally ready to seek help.

I am an Addiction Recovery Expert and someone who was once a high-functioning addict who understands that a high-achieving addict has tremendous responsibility. At LifeSkills Authorities, LLC. (“LSA”), I help families and self-referring individuals find appropriate help for addiction, depression, anxiety, and related issues. While it may be obvious to others and recommended by professionals to take an extended leave of absence, at LSA we look at each situation individually to find the most appropriate and realistic solution for the afflicted individual and those affected by their affliction to begin the Recovery process.

Without professional help and a well-designed and appropriate plan that is respected by the bright high-functioning person, the request to seek help usually stops abruptly. If you want a positive outcome and a plan that will help a high-functioning addict begin to recover, contact LSA now to learn about The LSA Pre-Treatment Solution and our other individualized approaches to solving our clients’ concerns.

LifeSkills Authorities, (LSA) helps individuals and families who suffer from the effects of addiction, depression, mood disorders, chronic pain and/or aging issues. LifeSkills Authorities is unmatched in its role as an objective advocate that creates a customized plan and blueprint for recovery.  This personalized solution ends the needless suffering and brings about healing and positive change for the afflicted individual, family, and loved ones.  LifeSkills Authorities is based in the Chicagoland area and serves clientele nationwide.

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Disturbing trend for 50-59-year-olds – Baby boomer addiction soars

Disturbing trend for 50-59-year-olds: illicit drug abuse more than doubled from 2002 to 2010, Baby Boomer addiction | http://t.co/Q7rnEqAP

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Study Shows Depressed People Surf Web Differently

Surfing the web has become a daily ritual for most of us, whether it be a necessity for work, or a way to kill time.  But what we do online may offer up clues to our emotional well-being, according to this column from the NY Times.   A study was set up to research how people spend their time online, be it watching videos, emailing, playing games, or downloading and sharing files – to get a clue about people’s psyche.

In the study the questionnaire clued researchers in that 30 percent of participants met the criteria to be called depressed.  This isn’t a stretch considering national averages place 10-40 percent of college students as at some times depressives.  Missouri University of Science and Technology researchers then watched how these students – depressed and non – used the internet.

What did they find?  That the depressed group behaved online in a different way than their non-depressed peers.  The depressed folks tend to have a tougher time concentrating (a symptom of depression according to the National Institute of Health) and switched tasks more frequently.  They also checked email more frequently (leading to or resulting from higher anxiety?) and shared files (such as movies and music) more frequently.

The next step with this data is to create a software application that parents, universities or others could install to track users’ online behavior and send an alert when patterns appear that indicate depression.   The thought being that this could help with kids who are already under treatment need an added measure of security.   What happens with this research remains to be seen, but is in no way a replacement for mental health professionals.

How do you spend your time online?

LifeSkills Authorities helps individuals and families who suffer from the effects of addiction, depression, mood disorders, chronic pain and/or aging issues. LifeSkills Authorities is unmatched in its role as an objective advocate that creates a customized plan and blueprint for recovery.  This personalized solution ends the needless suffering and brings about healing and positive change for the afflicted individual and family.  LifeSkills Authorities is based in the Chicagoland area and serves clientele nationwide.

 

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Deaths Increasingly Due to Heroin in Lake County

The statistics are alarming.  In Lake County the number of overdoses due to heroin are increasing at levels leading many to declare a “heroin epidemic” in Chicago’s northernmost county.

The consequences of heroin addiction are alarming, as the percentages of Lake County deaths that involved heroin is on the rise. In 2011, 84 cases investigated by the Coroner’s Office were a direct result of substance abuse, 82% of those were accidental overdoses and 35% of deaths were people under the age of 30.

  • 2009: 88 deaths from substance abuse; 34% (30) involved heroin
  • 2010: 92 deaths from substance abuse; 37% (34) involved heroin
  • 2011: 84 deaths from substance abuse; 42% (35) involved heroin

The Lake County Coroner’s Officeshows that drug abuse deaths have occurred throughout the county, including Lake Forest, Highland Park, Deerfield, Hawthorn Woods, Buffalo Grove, Riverwoods, Libertyville, Mundelein, Gurnee and Grayslake.

 

LifeSkills Authorities helps individuals and families who suffer from the effects of addiction, depression, mood disorders, chronic pain and/or aging issues. LifeSkills Authorities is unmatched in its role as an objective advocate that creates a customized plan and blueprint for recovery.  This personalized solution ends the needless suffering and brings about healing and positive change for the afflicted individual and family.  LifeSkills Authorities is based in the Chicagoland area and serves clientele nationwide.
Copyright © 2017 — LifeSkills Authorities Blog

Contents on LifeSkillsAuthorities.com including any images, text, external links, graphics or any other material posted on this website is intended solely for informational purposes. The information contained herein is written by non-medical professionals and not a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis of any disease or disability. Please seek advice from a qualified medical professional with any questions that you may have regarding your physical or mental health condition(s). If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, or any other medical emergency, dial 911 or visit your local emergency room immediately. The thoughts and views expressed here are not necessarily those of LifeSkills Authorities, its owners, employees, or management.