Addiction specialist and survivor speaks on mental health

Local4 News at 5
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 7:49 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Mental health struggles are typically hard to spot, especially when someone is going through rehab. Furthermore, addiction and mental health often intertwine with each other. People who suffer from an addiction typically use a substances to cope with their mental health challenges.

One former rehab patient said dealing with mental health challenges is an everyday struggle, which means looks can be deceiving.

“Basically, lots of behaviors sometimes mimic people using and it’s not always that they’re using, sometimes it’s the mental health,” Danielle Cherecwick, former rehab patient said. “Like I can go from 150 to zero in the matter of minutes and it’s not because I’m getting high.”

Cherecwick said people should be aware there’s a lot of underlining issues with mental health. Those issues are frequently concealed beneath emotional struggles.

“A lot of them that I’ve seen have like anger issues,” said Margaret Pederson, Counselor at Revive. “Because they don’t know what’s going on with their mental health and a lot of times anger seems to be like the easiest emotion to show.”

Pederson said some people are on the oppose end of that spectrum, and their emotional response can be seen in tears. One of the most hurtful scenes is when they see people judge them for their past.

“Sometimes it’s tough for people not to understand,” Cherecwick said. “Like they don’t understand that getting sober is hard, and then on top of being sober you have your mental health. So when you get sober your mental health really suffers because you’ve been masking it with drugs all along.”

Cherecwick said for an addict dealing with their sober self for the first time is much harder with mental health issues.

“Dealing with your sober self for the first time is really rough because if you have mental health issues like I do you can’t always jump right into something,” Cherecwick said. “So like you have to get meds that are going to stabilize it, and not everybody wants to take meds because they just got off drugs; so they won’t want to add new drugs.”

Cherecwick suffers from bipolar disorder, which only gets worst as you get older. Most people battling addiction may not find out about their mental health challenges until they start rehab.