Facing My Addiction: Where To Now? (pt. 4)

October 31, 2012 Becky Oberg

As I write this, I feel a mixture of disappointment, anxiety, betrayal and anger. While I was admitted to the alcoholism treatment center last week for rehab, treatment did not go as planned. Short version: the staff decided my psych symptoms (anxiety and flashbacks) necessitated a trip to the psych ward. They transferred me by ambulance, held on to my medication and property, then decided I no longer met criteria for inpatient admission at their facility after I spent five days on the psych ward.

Sometimes treatment providers screw up. We have to know how to face it when that happens.

Why I'm Angry

The first step is to acknowledge your feelings. So here goes.


I'm angry because I feel like the treatment center failed me. They knew I had a psychiatric disability; they talked to my psychiatrist and my therapist. They asked me about my symptoms prior to admission. They even knew I was a cutter. If my diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) was going to be an issue, I shouldn't have been admitted in the first place.

I'm angry because I was counting on them to be there for me. When they transferred me to the psych ward at a different hospital, they kept my property (I still haven't gotten some of it back). That gave me reason to believe I could come back after stabilizing in the psych ward. However, they decided I no longer met criteria for inpatient admission, and continued to hold on to my property. I spent an extra day in the psych ward because the treatment center did not--and still has not--returned my medication.

I feel betrayed because they encouraged me to be honest about how I was feeling, and discontinued treatment when I was. Now I'm sitting in my apartment with no clue how I'm going to stay sober other than going to AA. I have no support system because the treatment center still has my cell phone, which means I can't contact my treatment team. I can't leave my apartment because the treatment center still has my keys; I can't lock up the apartment to deter thieves. The treatment center was supposed to make it easier to get and stay sober, not harder!

So now here I am. Where to now?

How to Deal with Anger

When treatment professionals make a mistake, anger is a natural emotion. What you do with that anger is just as important as admitting you're angry in the first place.

To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what to do from here. But I know the anger has to be expressed in a healthy way. So I'm writing about it. I plan to talk to my therapist and psychiatrist once I get my cell phone back. I'm considering filing a compliant against the treatment center. These are all healthy ways to express my anger.

The hardest part about something like this is not to take it personally. Perceived rejection by a mental health treatment provider can be devastating for a person with BPD. It's important to remind yourself that not every provider knows how to treat BPD, and there's a lot of stigma in the mental health profession toward the disorder. The provider is not rejecting you personally; they're just showing their ignorance. You're better off without that provider involved in your treatment.

You don't always get what you need the first time around. You have to keep fighting until you do get it. You're worth it.

Facing My Addiction: How Will BPD Impact My Treatment? (pt. 1)
Facing My Addiction: Overcoming the Past (pt. 2)
Facing My Addiction: Taking the Plunge (pt. 3)
Facing My Addiction: Where To Now? (pt. 4)

APA Reference
Oberg, B. (2012, October 31). Facing My Addiction: Where To Now? (pt. 4), HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 17 from

Author: Becky Oberg

November, 4 2012 at 1:19 am

well, crap! that sounds so crazy. sometimes the system defeats what good folks want to do to help. do you live in a large metropolitan area? i am still mad at a big facility in michigan that has been abandoned. so does no good but just thinking about it still makes me mad! you feel dehumanized for having trouble. which you did not ask for. hope you get your stuff back. keys and phones are very integral to our way of life! wish i could help.

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