While there are many issues that are universal in treating addiction, professional men often have specific challenges that must be understood and addressed. The men we treat most often still have their careers and their families. They have been extremely successful in those careers and have done well financially. They often are highly respected by others, especially outside their family. These successes often cloud the reality of their illness and contribute to their denial. Often there are enablers in their lives who do not know how to intervene. They come to us following some type of crisis, be it related to work or their families. Just the act of coming to a rehab and admitting to others that they have a serious problem is difficult for them. They see themselves as strong, stable, intelligent and proud. So, when they arrive here, their defenses are going to be up, and they continue to portray this persona of having it all together. Losing control is abhorrent to them. Control is important to their success in life. Unfortunately, with the disease of addiction, holding on to the notion that you can control it can have deadly consequences.
by Kay Miller Temple
“We see these elevated risks in suicide in all the caring professions, whether it be dentists, human medicine, or animal medicine,” Dr. Chris Bundy, psychiatrist and president-elect of the Federation of State Physician Health Programs (FSPHP) said, providing a perspective on physician suicide and burnout. “We can debate each study’s outcomes, odds ratios, methods, and time intervals. We can express our concerns about how suicide is a stigmatized cause of death that impacts death certificate accuracy. But no one can argue this: any number in any of these professions is just too high.”