-048- Vulnerabilities

 
 
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Vulnerabilities
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes
Executive Director, AllCEUs.com

Continuing Education (CE) credits for addiction and mental health counselors, social workers and marriage and family therapists can be earned for this presentation at
https://www.allceus.com/member/cart/index/product/id/616/c/

Objectives
– Define vulnerabilities
– Identify some of the most common vulnerabilities
– Their effects
– Ways to prevent them

– Note: Each of the vulnerabilities has its own presentation. This section is designed to give you an overview and get you thinking about possible small changes that might have a big impact.
Why I Care/How It Impacts Recovery
– Vulnerabilities are situations or things that
– Make it more difficult to deal with life on life-s terms leading to depression, anxiety or -stress-
– Make it easier for you to over-react or get stuck
– Depression occurs if you feel helpless or hopeless
– Anxiety occurs if you feel powerless or out of control
– Addictive behaviors increase when you feel a need to escape because of stress, anxiety, depression or pain
Individual Vulnerabilities: Physical
– Pain
– Effects
– Sleep problems
– Difficulty concentrating
– Irritable mood
– Medications are depressants and can worsen all of the above
– Interventions
– Talk with your doctor
– Explore nonpharmacological interventions
Individual Vulnerabilities: Physical
– Poor nutrition
– Your body needs the building blocks to
– Recover from injury
– Keep you from getting sick
– Make happy chemicals
– Interventions
– Water-. 60 ounces per day
– Have three colors on your plate at each meal (condiments don-t count)
– Try to eat smaller meals every few hours
Individual Vulnerabilities: Physical
– Lack of sufficient, quality sleep
– Drug/alcohol induced sleep is rarely good quality
– Lack of Sleep Effects
– Fogginess
– Difficulty concentrating
– Irritability
– Over eating
– Interventions
– Develop a sleep routine
– Cut back on caffeine 6-12 hours before bed.
Individual Vulnerabilities: Physical
– Illness
– Effects
– Sleep disruption
– Exhaustion
– Foggy head/difficulty concentrating
– Irritability
– Interventions
– Compassion
– Good nutrition

Individual Vulnerabilities: Physical
– Brain changes
– Brain changes can be
– Hereditary
– From an accident
– As a result of addictive behaviors
– Effects
– Changes in the structure of the brain have all kinds of effects including memory, concentration, and mood.
– Intervention
– Eat a good diet to give the body the necessary building blocks
– Get adequate quality rest
– Medication

Individual Vunerabilities: Emotional
– Anger
– Anxiety
– Depression
– Grief
– Guilt
– Jealousy
– Resentment
– Inability to self-soothe

Individual Vunerabilities: Emotional
– When you are feeling negative emotions
– Effects
– It causes the brain to keep the fight-or-flight reaction going (which takes energy)
– It lacks or prevents the happy, calming neurotransmitters from being excreted
– Interventions
– Develop coping skills to deal with them
– Insert positive/rewarding experiences
– Get plenty of rest
– Eat a healthy diet
– Exercise

Individual Vulnerabilities: Mental/Cognitive
– Global, internal, stable attributional style
– Effects
– When everything is always it adds extra stress
– When anything that happens reflects on you as a person, it adds extra stress
– Interventions
– Focus on things being specific and alterable
– Identify what is good about you as a person
– Explore the difference between what makes you a good person vs your skills
Individual Vulnerabilities: Mental/Cognitive
– Extremely external or internal locus of control
– Both situations add stress
– Effects
– External locus of control means you feel you have no control over anything
– Internal locus of control means you feel like you should be able to control everything.
– Interventions
– Identify what things you can control and use your energy for them
– Figure out how you are going to cope with things you cannot control
Individual Vulnerabilities: Mental/Cognitive
– Low Self-esteem
– Self esteem is how you feel about who you are compared with who you think you should be
– Effects
– Low self-esteem can cause people to feel helpless or not deserving of love or success
– Interventions
– Explore what characteristics you think you should have but do not
– Decide if they are important.
– Decide what to do about it.

Individual Vulnerabilities: Mental/Cognitive
– Negative perceptions/cognitive style
– Effects
– Seeing the world as negative, depressing, out of control or scary makes life more stressful
– If you see everything as negative (not rewarding) you will not want to do anything
– Interventions
– Look for the silver lining: When you start to think about something as negative, find the positive
– Look for exceptions
Individual Vulnerabilities: Mental/Cognitive
– Poor organization/time management
– Poor time management effects
– It can lead to being over committed
– It cause people to feel rushed/harried
– It can cause people to forget to do things leading to conflict
– Interventions
– Make a list of must-dos at the beginning of every week
– Stop saying yes right away
– Identify and address time sucks

Individual Vulnerabilities: Social
– Poor communication skills
– Effects
– Impedes you from stating your needs
– May cause misunderstandings
– Can hurt your relationships
– Interventions
– Learn about effective verbal and nonverbal communication
– Don-t assume you understand what the other person is talking about

Individual Vulnerabilities: Social
– Weak emotional boundaries
– Effects
– You may have difficulty feeling happy unless those around you are happy
– You may take everyone else-s bad mood personally
– Interventions
– Examine why it is not safe to feel how you feel
– Start paying attention to your wants, needs and feelings

Individual Vulnerabilities: Social
– Need for external validation
– Effects
– Not feeling okay unless you are constantly surrounded by people who tell you you are okay
– Interventions
– Identify why you are okay
– Look at why you need other people to validate you and work on that.
Apply It
– Identify 3 ways you could have used this information in the past week.
– What vulnerabilities did you have in the last week-
– What impact did it have on you-
– If you would have had this new information, what could you have done differently-
– How would that have changed the outcome-
– How can you start integrating this knowledge into your routine
Summary
– Addressing vulnerabilities frees up energy so you can deal with other -stuff- that comes your way
– Eliminating vulnerabilities can help you feel less stressed, exhausted and overwhelmed all the time
– Persistent vulnerabilities are the first relapse warning sign (HALT)
– Being mindful of when you are vulnerable and taking positive steps to address it are crucial to recovery success.

You can earn CEUs for watching this presentation and many others at AllCEUs.com