Destination Hope Blog » Case Study: 50-Year-Old Woman Bipolar with Substance Abuse

Case Study: 50-Year-Old Woman Bipolar with Substance Abuse

Client was a 50-year-old female presenting to Destination Hope for substance abuse and mental health treatment. Client presented with a history of trauma, depression, anxiety and PTSD and was recently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Client’s mental health symptoms were exacerbated by her substance abuse history. Client had abandonment issues that stem from her parents divorcing and client’s mother leaving her when she was 13 to work and live on her own. Client had been a primary caregiver throughout her life and suffered from ‘burn out.” Client has a history of sexual and physical abuse which caused her to act out in promiscuous ways. She attempted treatment many times but always relapsed which added to her guilt and shame. Client was licensed in the medical field until she had to surrender her license due to her substance abuse and mental health decline. Client also had multiple suicide attempt with acute feelings of hopelessness.  Client entered into our residential level of care with high hopes of building a sober support network gaining back her self-esteem and developing healthy relationships.

Treatment Progression

Despite her challenges, client was invested in treatment from the very start. Client identified a history of medication noncompliance and worked with the medical team to regulate and develop a regime of consistency. With her therapist she quickly came to understand her barriers to treatment. The therapist implemented Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as the most beneficial approach for client healing. As she worked with her Therapist in session, as well as doing homework exercises outside of session, she began to apply the skills of CBT. During group therapy she also processed years of emotional and physical abuse with her peers. Client introduced prayer and meditation into her daily routine and engaged in yoga therapy. The client learned to calm her mind as well as relax her body and developed a strong relationship with her Higher Power. Client began working a 12-step program and building a sober support network for a strong foundation. Due to the loss of her professional license and compulsive spending, this client had created a financial hardship which had negatively impacted her recovery efforts in the past.

Treatment Outcomes

With newfound purpose, client worked closely with Case Management and began the process of applying for her medical license to be reinstated. Client took advantage of our Vocational Rehabilitation services and was looking forward to being gainfully employed.  Client accepted all clinical recommendations and was able to transition to a lower level of care living at our Cottages structured living and eventually discharged to long-term structured living. This client left treatment with a clear understanding of who she is, a greater understanding of her sense of purpose and confidence in her own abilities. Client left saying, “I am ready to face my fears instead of avoiding them. I am now viewing myself as a survivor instead of a victim.”