How Concurrent Disorders Affect Family Life

1. PERSONAL IMPACT LOG
An example of a personal impact log:
Physical Health
•      Chest pain has returned – too worries about my son
•      No time to go to my own doctor anymore
•      No longer exercising
•      Always tired
•      Can’t sleep without talking sleeping medication (never used to need anything to sleep)
•      Joint stiffness and neck pain
•      Eat high-sugar foods‚ don’t care about my diet anymore
Emotional Health
•      Constant worrying about my son
•      Worrying about everything now
•      Bad anxiety and sadness
•      I’m always angry or frustrated or depressed these days
•      I snap at my other children and then feel guilty
•      I’m angry with my husband – he gets to leave for work all day and leaves me to deal with all of our problems
Social Life
•      Never go out with husband or close friends anymore
•      Never have guests over for dinner
•      Can’t concentrate on reading
•      Spend all of our time in emergency rooms or visiting our son on psychiatric wards
Spiritual Life
•      Don’t know what this is anymore!
•      Don’t go to church
•      No time for my daily meditation readings
•      Don’t feel like doing my yoga sessions anymore
•      Bitter and resentful about my son’s illness – why my family?
2. The Preoccupation and Impact Scale
How strongly do you agree or disagree with these statements?
Strongly Agree‚ Agree‚ Disagree‚ Strongly Disagree‚ Don’t Know
·         I can’t stop worrying about my family member’s illness.
·         I am able to maintain a healthy balance in my life.
·         I have trouble thinking about anything other than my family member’s mental illness and substance use problems.
·         I feel that I’m completely preoccupied with my family member’s mental illness and substance use problems.
·         My daily routine completely centres on my family member’s illness.
·         I find myself a lot more anxious these days.
·         I make sure I find time to do things for myself and to have fun.
·         I never feel that I am doing enough for my ill family member.
·         Sometimes I feel that I am drowning in my family member’s illness.
·         I focus so my on my ill relative’s problems that I have difficulty finding time to spend on other members of my family.
·         I have very little time and energy to socialise with my friends.
·         My physical health (eg. nutrition‚ sleep and rest) has been negatively affected since I’ve been dealing with my family member’s mental health and substance use problems.
·         I have had a hard time gaining a sense of emotional well-being since my family member developed mental illness and substance use problems.
·         I am able to cope with my loved one’s mental illness and substance use problems.
·         I think it is OK for family members to feel angry with‚ or resentful of‚ their ill loved one.
3. The Family Concurrent Disorders Index of Concerns Quiz
Not Concerned 0__________________ 10 Very Concerned
How concerned am I about…
·         The immediate overall health and wellbeing of my ill family member?
·         The immediate overall health and wellbeing of the other members of my family?
·         My own immediate overall health and wellbeing?
·         The long term overall health and wellbeing of my ill family member?
·         The long term overall health and wellbeing of other members of my family?
·         My own long term overall health and wellbeing?
·         How much my ill family member is suffering?
·         How much the other members of my family are suffering?
·         How much I am suffering?
·         My ill family member’s ability to get through this?
·         The ability of my other family members to get through this?
·         My own ability to get through this?
·         The emotional health of my ill family member?
·         The emotional health of other members of my family?
·         My own emotional health?
·         Whether my ill family member is getting enough social support?
·         Whether the other members of my family are getting enough social support?
·         Whether I am getting enough social support?
·         My ill family member’s physical health?
·         The physical health of the other members of my family?
·         My own physical health?
·         The spiritual health of my ill family member?
·         The spiritual health of the other members of my family?
·         My own spiritual health?
·         My ill family member’s financial situation?
·         The financial situation of the other members of my family?
·         My own financial situation?
·         My ill family member’s journey of recovery?
·         The recovery journey of the other members of my family?
·         My own journey of recovery?
The family concurrent disorders: Readiness to change ruler
Completing this tool may help you to think about how ready you are to change certain beliefs and actions associated with ha‎ving a loved one with concurrent disorders.
Using the ruler shown below‚ indicate how ready you are to make a change in each of the following areas. If you are not at all ready to make a change‚ you would circle the 1. If you are already trying hard to make a change‚ you would circle the 11. If you are unsure whether you want to make a change‚ your would circle 3‚ 4 or 5. If a particular item does not apply to you‚ circle “Does Not Apply” in the box to the right.
How ready am I to … ?
. . . admit that my family member has both a mental health and a substance use problem?
. . . accept that my family member has both a mental health and a substance use problem?
. . . accept that I am not to blame for my family member’s concurrent disorders?
. . . think about ways I can best help my family member?
. . . seek help for my family member from mental health and/or addiction professionals?
. . . seek help for myself from mental health and/or addiction professionals?
. . . seek help for my family member from a self-help group (e.g.‚ AA‚ Dual Recovery)?
. . . seek help for myself from a family peer support group (e.g. Al-Anon‚ Mood Disorders Association of Ontario)?
. . . seek help for my family member or for myself in spite of the stigma associated with concurrent disorders?
. . . work on overcoming any other barriers preventing me from attending a professional or self-help family intervention?
. . . commit to taking care of myself as a top priority?
. . . admit to and accept my own personal strengths and limitations?
. . . accept that relapses are common in recovery from concurrent disorders?
 
 

O’Grady‚ C.P. & Skinner‚ W.J.‚ (2007)‚ A Family Guide to Concurrent Disorders‚ Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Kashner‚ T.M.‚ Rader‚ L.E.‚ Rodell‚ D.E.‚ et al‚ (1991). Family ch‎aracteristics‚ substance abuse‚ and hospitalization patterns of patients with schizophrenia‚ Hospital and Community Psychiatry 42‚195-196.

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