Week 4 (4/2-4/8): Updates And New Admissions
Hello everyone, and welcome back to my senior project blog!
For this week’s post I will be providing an update about the patients that I had begun working with last week as well as introduce two new patients that I have begun working with.
This patient talked about how this past week has been going well, and he feels a lot better than when he came into the program. He mentioned that he is getting used to the routine and structure of the program, and it has helped him. He once again mentioned that the WET (Writing Exposure Therapy) Group has been very helpful when processing his PTSD and has continued to journal. His goal for next week is to work on figuring out and finalizing his plan for his move into the next program he is going to, located in Southern California.
This patient talked about how this past week he is feeling pretty good and is happy with where he currently is. He mentioned that it has been helpful to learn different coping mechanisms and essentially just practice different skills. He wants to expand his knowledge and reiterated that he also wants to have these skills so if possible he can potentially help other people who are struggling with addiction. His goal for next week is to figure out his plan to get back home.
This patient was admitted last month and is an African-American female veteran in her early 30s with a history of alcohol use disorder, cannabis use disorder, and mild tobacco use disorder with a history of PTSD and an unspecified depressive disorder. She has stated that she wants to regain connection to her spirituality and feels like she needs structure in her life to avoid using while focusing on her health. She also hopes to control exposure to individuals in her life who trigger her. Her short-term discharge goal is to build a routine, be grounded, become sober, and work on her trauma. Her long-term discharge goal is to work on her boundaries and improve her physical health.
Looking at her history of substance use, she has reported no overdoses and has a low withdrawal potential. Her substances of choice are alcohol and marijuana. She has also used cocaine, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, and tobacco but has now stopped. She has also reported sex, porn, and masturbation addiction along with a history of excessive spending resulting in her giving up her financial control to her family.
She is reporting symptoms of depression like changes in appetite, difficulty with concentration, anhedonia, and sexual dysfunction but denies current suicidal ideation, depressed mood, and changes in sleeping pattern. She also has daily anxiety about her health. She has symptoms of PTSD due to a history of sexual and emotional trauma, reporting intrusive symptoms, avoidance of stimuli, negative alterations in cognition, marked changes in reactivity. She has symptoms of psychosis citing auditory hallucinations as of earlier this year and paranoid ideation. She has also reported impulsivity specifically with her history of drug use.
While talking to her, she stated how the past week has been very up and down for her, emotionally and that she has been going through a lot of internal turmoil. She stated that she is trying to be more assertive and speak up more, something she believes helps her. She talked about how having the groups is something that she values because it gives her an opportunity to connect with others and gives her real life practice for the skills she has gained in the program.
This patient was admitted this week and is a Caucasian and Filipino male veteran in his late forties with a history of alcohol use disorder, tobacco use disorder, depression, anxiety, and PTSD. He has received prior treatment along with a period of sobriety and has stated that he believes his relapse into alcohol use was due to isolation caused by COVID, stating that driving was to “drown problems away.” His discharge goals are to gain guidance to become sober and hopes to get back into school and begin working. He also wishes to explore his spirituality and religion to see if that might help.
Looking at his history of substance use, he has reported experiences with withdrawal symptoms. His substance of choice is alcohol, which he stated is his coping mechanism. He has also reported heavy use of tobacco through smoking for the past 15 years which he has recently quit. He has reported that he uses cannabis to help with sleep.
He is reporting symptoms of depression with suicidal thoughts and ideation as well as anxiety, but does not have any anxiety attacks. He has symptoms of PTSD, reporting feelings of anger and isolation, trust issues, paranoia, nightmares, and severe flashbacks and stated that drinking helps with these symptoms.