Gooden Center
A residential drug treatment center for men located in Pasadena, CA. The Gooden Center is a proud member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP).

(626) 356-0078
191 North El Molino Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101 US

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Posts Tagged ‘high functioning alcoholic’

Bradley Cooper Talks Alcoholism, Depression and Recovery

Posted on: May 7th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper is a famous and esteemed actor and producer.  He first achieved prominence with his work on the television shows Alias and Jack and Bobby. Since then, he has become highly esteemed for his roles in The Hangover trilogy, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle.  He has received two Academy Award nominations, and was named the “Sexist Man Alive” by People magazine in 2011.

However, like many people who seem to outwardly enjoy a great deal of fame and success, his personal life has been marked by struggles.   He has abstained from alcohol since he was 29, out of fears that “If I continued [drinking], I was going to sabotage my whole life.”  In a January 2014 interview with GQ magazine, Bradley spoke about his life’s struggles with alcoholism and depression, and told a story of hope and recovery that can serve as a great encouragement to anyone seeking freedom from the pain of addiction.  

There was a Problem

Many so-called “high functioning” addicts can use their outward success as an excuse to sink further into denial, telling themselves their addiction isn’t really out of control or something they need help for, because they are continuing to be able to do their jobs.  Fortunately, Bradley Cooper possessed enough truthful self-awareness to not fall into that trap.  His GQ interviewer, Zach Baron asked about the impact of his alcoholism, expecting stories of not showing up on set or of “work getting [expletive] up.”  

His response was that things didn’t have to get to that point for him to realize there was a problem. “The best thing I can do is embrace who I am and then do that to the fullest extent, and then whatever happens, happens.”  His alcohol abuse was taking him away from that and putting him’” farther away from fulfilling any potential I would have.” Emma Stone, an actress he has worked with on several films, noticed this transformation herself, saying “He’s gotten more and more present in his life as he got older.”

Personal Transformation

Because alcohol was interfering with his passions and his work, he threw himself into the process of recovery, and grew in a life-saving level of self-awareness and commitment to his career.  His low point occurred after an Achilles injury and accompanying depression that left him homebound and considering quitting acting altogether.  When he saw that the effects of his addiction was leading him to have less and less screen time, that was enough to motivate him to seek change.

After he got his own life in order, his film and television career enjoyed more success then ever, and he discovered that he could live a free and full life being “actually myself…I don’t have to put on all this air to be somebody.”   This outlook is showing a lot of wisdom, that the basis of recovery starts with learning to love and care for yourself. He learned how to get over his anxieties of how he came across to other people, and that led him into a career-inhibiting haze of alcohol.  Once he realized that he could be accepted as himself, he found this freeing truth enough to change his life.

It all starts with a moment of clarity, in which an addict realizes the harm he or she is doing to the well being of his or her self and others, and so seeks out help.  Because Bradley Cooper achieved a moment of clarity, we reap the benefits of his talent and creativity of a man deeply aware of and in tune with himself. 

Alcoholism in the Family

Posted on: April 4th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Alcoholism in the Family

There are many different aspects of alcoholism that can be damaging but one of its strongest impacts is on family life. When someone in a family is addicted to alcohol it can break down family dynamics in a way that harms everyone involved. It can cause marital issues and create complicated problems with a child’s upbringing and development.

Alcoholism within families is devastating because it can negatively affect the way each relationship functions. It is well known among researchers that not only does alcoholism hurt family dynamics, it also creates more vulnerability for addiction in family members. Children of alcoholics are not only psychologically damaged from the experience but they are also more likely to become addicted to alcohol themselves.

There can be complex issues that develop when a person in the family is addicted to alcohol. Everyone in the family may react differently and have their own problems that develop as a result of the alcoholic’s behavior. It is important for each person in the family to be aware of how the addiction is affecting them and what they can do about it.

Family Dynamics and Alcoholism

There are many ways that addiction can disrupt family life and cause dysfunction in every relationship. There is no longer a normal, healthy family dynamic when someone is an alcoholic. Everyone will find a way to cope with the person’s behavior that may either cause more problems or enable the alcoholic.

Sometimes spouses or children become enablers without realizing that they are helping the alcoholic continue to abuse. When someone is an enabler they usually mean well and are trying to create harmony in the family but they are really allowing the alcoholic to keep drinking. Enabling means that the person is removing the natural consequences of the addict’s behavior.

An enabler might lie for the addict, make excuses for them, clean up after them or find other ways to prevent them from fully experiencing the consequences of their actions. An enabler may start out with the intention to help out but they may build up resentment and start to dislike the situation that they always find themselves in. The addict may come to rely on the enabler and are no longer solving their own problems or facing up to responsibilities.

While some family members fall into the role of the enabler, others may become more rebellious, angry and defiant of the alcoholic. Some children can turn into the troubled family scapegoat while others might become sensitive and withdrawn. Each child will begin to react in their own way to their parent’s behavior as they try to cope with a difficult and often traumatic childhood.

Mental Health and Family Addiction

Mental Health and Family AddictionWhen someone in the family has an addiction, the mental health of everyone living with them is likely to suffer. For children of alcoholics, this can mean developing issues with depression, anxiety or having behavioral problems. Kids who grow up with an addict tend to struggle more with relationships and normal functioning as they become an adult.

Children of alcoholics are more likely to struggle in school and tend to score lower on academic tests. They might also have trouble with finding a steady job and career later on in life because of the effects on their development. Children of addicts tend to feel more instability and uncertainty as they grow up which can affect their self-esteem.

Some kids can internalize an alcoholic’s behavior and blame themselves for things that have gone wrong at home. They might think that their parent drinks because of their own mistakes or bad grades in school. It is important for children of alcoholics to get professional help from a counselor so that they can make sense of the situation and not internalize the experience.

Alcoholism can also destroy marriages and cause a rift between spouses that is difficult to repair. The spouse of an alcoholic will usually see their own mental health suffer as they try to cope with their partner’s actions. They might become an enabler or be in denial themselves about the situation yet they will still feel the abuse take its toll on them.

The spouse of an alcoholic might feel their anger and resentment build to the point where they can no longer remain in the marriage. Communication can break down and lead to issues that the alcoholic is not equipped to fix in their addicted state. Unfortunately many marriages end when one partner is dealing with an addiction.

Family dynamics can be very complex when a family member abuses alcohol. However, with treatment and family therapy it is possible to repair those relationships as long as the alcoholic is quitting their abuse. A treatment center for addiction can help the alcoholic as well as their family to become healthier and more connected.