There is no question that these are unprecedented times that have affected routines, stress-levels, and brought unforeseen challenges. It is logical that people may be turning to substances as a form of coping, seeking to dampen or heighten a certain emotion. There are some key questions to consider when determining if these practices have become unhealthy.
Watch the full video with MindPath Care Centers' own Dr. E. Elise Herman, MD and Dr. Shantel Sullivan, Ed.D, LCSW, MSW, who address factors to consider and when it may be time to get help.
Dr. Elise Herman loves people and their stories. She sees it as a privilege to hear the stories people share with her every day. She has always enjoyed helping people and ultimately went into medicine for this reason. As a psychiatrist, Dr. Herman looks holistically at how biological, psychological, and social aspects interact in a patient's life. She is passionate about using her medical and psychotherapy training to solve complex problems to help people become the best version of themselves. With a philosophy of patient empowerment, she often shares the adage that "action begets motivation," seeing it as her role to provide tools and medicines that can get individuals moving towards their goals. Described as dedicated and creative, Dr. Herman approaches her work with flexibility, empathy and compassion, actively seeking out new opportunities to learn. In her work, she finds inspiration from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's wisdom that, "Lives of great (people) all remind us, we can make our lives sublime, and, departing, leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time."
Originally from Minneapolis, Dr. Herman completed medical school at Loma Linda University and then her first three years of psychiatry residency at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles and her last year at Duke University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. While in her residency, she was nominated for the prestigious George Ginsberg Fellowship Award for demonstrating outstanding competence and dedication. Dr. Herman has a Master's in Public Health degree in Global Health, was promoted as a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and is Board Certified in General Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. At MindPath Care Centers, she is the Regional Medical Director of Western North Carolina.
Dr. Shantel Sullivan earned her Ed.D in Educational Leadership and her MSW in Advanced Generalist Social Work from the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. As a clinician, she has always considered how we can improve systems that impact the lives of the members of our communities. In 2015, she spearheaded a project to bring the first intensive outpatient program (IOP) to her home county of St. Lawrence in New York. She served as a faculty member for the State of New York Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) Bureau of Workforce Development. In her role with OASAS, she provided regional education on adolescent co-occurring disorders. She was also a member of the Western Carolina University Faculty Institute on Community Engagement (FICE). Dr. Sullivan has engaged in writing and research to address caregiver burnout, compassion fatigue, and occupational suicide. She co-authored and presented a paper, "Compassion Fatigue and Psychological Risk Factors of Healthcare Professionals and Occupational Suicide: A Literature Review and Recommendations for HRD." She continues to pursue opportunities to research, teach, and promote the self-care and well-being of healthcare providers. She strongly believes that each patient is their own expert. She listens intently and uses a strengths-based approach to find solutions that meet her clients' individual needs. Her core methodology involves positive psychology, CBT, narrative theory, and solution-focused brief therapy. Dr. Sullivan is now the lead therapist for the MindPath Addiction Recovery Center in Raleigh.