Peering through the window of her tiny apartment, which overlooks a large park in Sacramento’s Willow Creek neighborhood, 68-year-old Marjorie McDowell (name changed) looks back on her life, and all that it had entailed. As she watches young couples taking a walk in the park or friends playing together or families having a picnic she reflects on the multiple hardships and pitfalls of life, which often left her miserable. With her mellifluous voice, calm and composed demeanor, and lustrous grayish-white locks, she never seemed like someone battling an addiction to alcohol. Widowed in her forties, followed by several financial breakdowns, life threw her in the throes of mental agony. However, during her darkest days, her best friends always stood by her and were a strong source of support.
However, now, some of them are gone. With the death of some of her close friends due to illness, the pangs of loneliness, separation and inconsolable grief, became too much for her to handle. Soon, attempts to douse her depressive thoughts and feelings, drove her to alcohol. In no time, sleep also failed to relax her agitated mind, and she began to crave for wake-up boosters, to get going. But, Marjorie never thought it to be strange. Although alcohol gave her temporary respite from deep despair, in the long-run, it simply failed to work and, in fact, turned into a problem itself. All she wanted was someone to listen to her, speak to her and offer her a few words of comfort. Studies suggest that with advancing years, the friendships one values, have a significant impact on an individual’s well-being and sense of happiness. In fact, experts believe that good friends may even outrun family members in terms of the hold they wield over someone.
Recently, William Chopik, a Michigan State University (MSU) scholar, conducted a study involving 280,000 American adults to establish that friendships grow stronger with age leaving a positive impact on one’s health and lifespan, especially in older adults, where cherished friendships are stronger indicators of overall well-being as compared to relationships with family members. “Friendships become even more important as we age. Keeping a few really good friends around can make a world of difference to our health and well-being. So it’s smart to invest in friendships that make you the happiest,” said Chopik. Additionally, research also indicates that having a friend, rather than a family member, as a confidant, during traumatic moments, has a higher protective and reassuring effect.
Sadly, those battling mental health ailments also grapple with psychological and social problems that make them vulnerable to addiction. Besides, those indulging in alcohol never see the addiction coming, succumbing to it as the years roll by. However, the impact of such an addiction, in individuals over the age of 65, can be far more serious than in the case of younger adults. Depending on an individual’s tolerance level, it sneaks up on them after a while. In reality, addiction is a stealthy ambush predator which catches the indulger totally unawares.
Addiction can be treated
Emotional health is as important as physical health. Since time immemorial, the American society has valued the importance of friends and the significance of cherished friendships in shaping an individual’s mental health. Nevertheless, way back in 1935, the U.S. Congress declared the first Sunday of August as a National Friendship Day, dedicating it to one of the most beautiful bonds that life has to offer. This year, the Day is being observed on Sunday, August 6, 2017, to highlight the fact that human beings are social creatures with a need to forge meaningful ties, based on love, confidence and camaraderie.
Unfortunately, in this stress-ridden world, innumerable individuals grapple with myriads of mental health disorders, which they silently suffer with without being able to express the turmoil within. Loneliness and depression resulting from the absence of a trusted friend, in whom they can confide, often compels them to self-medicate their agonies with alcohol, drugs or a combination of both. Subsequently, more and more individuals fall prey to addiction more quickly than they might ever realize. The only way to break free from the clutches of deadly substances is to undergo a specialized alcohol detox program at a professional alcohol recovery center to combat the life-wrecking effects of the same.
Sovereign Health understands the plight of someone who is unable to discontinue the use of alcohol despite the negative impact on his or her life. Our customized alcohol addiction treatment programs at Sovereign Health of San Clemente are designed to treat the person holistically. If you or your loved one is battling addiction to alcohol or drugs, call our 24/7 helpline number or chat online with one of our representatives to know about the most effective alcohol detox program at our state-of-the-art rehabs, located across the U.S.