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Case Study – A Vet’s Story  

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Veteran shakes hands after successfully completing mental health and addiction treatment and getting back on his feet

Client is a male in his early 30’s admitting to Destination Hope for his second treatment episode from the Southern region of the United States of America. Client presented for substance abuse and mental health treatment having been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a Personal History of Childhood Psychological Abuse. Client reported first abusing alcohol at age 13 which became progressively worse throughout his life. Although experiencing job loss as a consequence of his alcoholism, he was able to maintain employment in a highly competitive field upon admission. Case Management worked with this client ensuring the necessary documentation was submitted in a timely manner paving the way for him to resume employment upon discharge. This support also eliminating the financial concerns that serve as an external distraction during treatment.

Upon arrival his arrival to Destination Hope, this client was ambivalent about his ability to change and Destination Hope’s capability to provide the services and care necessary to assist him in achieving his therapeutic goals and the change process. Hence, while compliant, he presented as guarded during his first week of treatment. Client committed to engaging in his change process only after hearing the story of an alumni veteran during an onsite 12 step meeting. The client later reported that this alumni’s story provided him with the confidence he was at the right facility and it was all up to him. Client’s motivation and treatment engagement significantly after surrendering to the process. Client was now was now ready to change. Moving forward, the client fully engaged in treatment process was able to process underling triggers for his depressive episodes, processed adverse childhood experiences that contributed to his alcoholism, grieve the loss of fellow service members releasing survivor’s guilt, challenge the shame he experienced due to viewing himself as an absent father and husband in his marriage during individual sessions, group therapy and family sessions.

See also  Case Study: Young Female Untreated Mental Health Stemming From an Adolescence of Unhealthy Family Relationships and Trauma

Client and his wife participated in Destination Hope’s weekend family program. They were both able to process their experience of disconnection and loss within their marriage due to the negative impact of client’s drinking. Client talked about experiencing a deep bond with his wife, one that he was not able to experience over the last decade re-establishing the marital bond. Subsequent to treatment the client was able to return to the marital home.

Currently the client is maintaining his sobriety, actively working a 12-step program, gainfully employed, receiving support services from the Department of Veterans Affairs and a present father and husband. Through his course of treatment client was able to gain a positive view of himself, strengthen his marriage, manage his mental health and finally recognizing not only does he want to be sober, but he is deserving of the serenity and freedom that the life of recovery affords.

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