The First Four Steps to Get Control of your Mental Illness and/or Addiction


It is often very hard for someone who is struggling with addiction or mental illness to reach out for help. Sometimes there is significant denial. In other cases, shame, guilt, a feeling of low self-worth or even depression can make it seem impossible to get help.

When you have severe symptoms like depression, it can feel like things will never get better and it can be hard to remember when you last felt "normal". This can lead to hopelessness, despair and the tendency to give up. Those are a dangerous combination of symptoms. Therefore, it is important for those who after suffering to understand there is hope. There are steps you can take to reclaim your life. These are things anyone can do to turn their life around. 

When a new patient comes to my office, it may feel like the beginning of a journey to mental wellness. However, they actually had to take several steps just to get in the door. There are a lot of barriers to getting treatment. However, your fears, misconceptions and self-doubt should not be one of them. The first step is recognizing you have a problem and that you need help to overcome it. That can be humbling, but it is a necessary step to overcome on the path to healing.

The next step is reaching out for help. As a Psychiatrist, with an Addiction Specialty, I work with patients who have a mental health condition (such as depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder) or an addiction (such as a drug, alcohol or gambling problem) or some combination of the two. I help my patients with the third step, which is to get a proper diagnosis. This is essential, as you cannot get help for something you do not understand. Just like cancer, diabetes or high blood pressure, you first need to get diagnosed so that you can have a treatment plan tailored to your specific goals and needs. That is the final step, getting a treatment plan individualized to your needs.

I recently wrote an article for The Huffington Post. In this article I describe, these four essential steps you can take to get your life back on track. This article serves as both a path you can take to get the help that you need and also a measure of hope that a better quality of life is possible.

Here is a review of the steps:

Step 1: Recognize You Are Powerless to Overcome Mental Illness and/or Addiction on Your own

Step 2: Reach Out for help

Step 3: Find The Help That You Need by Getting a Proper Diagnosis

Step 4: Get a Treatment Plan Specifically Tailored to You

To read the specifics of how to put these steps in to action for you or a loved one, read the full story here. In the article, I describe each step in detail and provide specifics on who and where you can get the help that you need.


Stay Tuned!


Dr. Goldenberg
On the Web:
Twitter: @docgoldenberg
The Huffington Post Articles:

Matthew Goldenberg, D.O. Matthew Goldenberg D.O. is double Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry and is a certified Medical Review Officer (MRO). He is an expert in the evaluation and treatment of mental health disorders and is an addiction specialist for adults in his private practice in Santa Monica, California. Dr. Goldenberg also provides addiction psychiatry consultations to some of the nation’s top residential and outpatient treatment programs in the Los Angeles area and is experienced in the evaluation and treatment of professionals working in safety-sensitive positions. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Goldenberg is an active author, researcher and invited speaker at local and national conferences. He also volunteers his time as a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA and is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

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