Because they’re expected to be on top of their game, executives and professionals often struggle in silence with mental and physical health issues. They often hesitate to reach out and seek help for fear of the stigma attached to mental health issues. The last thing they want is to be seen as “weak” or incompetent.
Executives and professionals should feel safe and supported to seek mental health and/or substance abuse treatment. At Roots Recovery, this community is acknowledged, accounted for, and respectfully cared for.
Substance Use Disorders and Mental Health Disorders in the Professional World
In the professional world, executives, professionals, and business leaders are expected to be respectable and successful role models in the workplace. However, this perception can lead to dangerous mental health concerns. The pressure of the workforce can lead to a lack of self-care, mental health problems or disorders, substance use disorders (SUDs), and self-destructive behavior. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that roughly 72% of entrepreneurs are impacted by mental health disorders, either directly or indirectly.
Some executives and professionals affected by burnout in the workforce may experience depression, anxiety, alcohol or substance abuse, drug use, insomnia, or suicidal tendencies or ideations. Burnout can have the following symptoms:
- Low energy or fatigue
- Appetite changes
- Oversleeping, insomnia, restlessness, or unsatisfying sleep
- Muscle tension, racing heart, or teeth grinding
- Cramps or other gastrointestinal problems
- Panic attacks
- Difficulty with decision-making
- Anger or irritability
- Low self-esteem
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Constant worrying
- Suicide attempts
Aside from burnout, many professionals experience chronic stress which leads to intense fight or flight responses. This can lead further to negative effects on physical health as well. Intense stress can result in disrupted sleep, increased muscle tension, and impaired metabolic functioning. Stress may also impact one’s vulnerability to diabetes, infection, and other chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure.
In recent years, especially with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, more executives and professionals have experienced more stress and burnout. Work, in fact, is one of the leading causes of stress in America, contributing to poor mental and physical health.
Many professionals do not seek help, however, out of fear that they will not be understood and that others around them will perceive them differently. Untreated mental health conditions, though, can be damaging to one’s life, relationships, family, work productivity, and employment status.
Executives and Professionals Matter at Roots Recovery
At Roots Recovery, executives and professionals are understood. The staff works to provide a safe and comfortable environment for this group to work on their mental and physical health concerns. A majority of clients at Roots Recovery are working professionals who experience mental health or SUDs. Roots offers new clients a safe, non-judgmental, and confidential environment in which to recover and heal.
Staff members at Roots Recovery specialize in treating working professionals and executives experiencing burnout. Using a variety of group therapies, clients are facilitated in developing skills and coping mechanisms to incorporate into their daily lives. This includes mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), stress management, anger management, boundary and relationship building, and communication skills. In individual therapy, clients focus on themselves specifically in order to tend to the individual needs of each client. Roots also offers a chronic pain program to address physical pain concerns that often lead to medication abuse.
The Roots Recovery team encourages clients experiencing chronic pain to understand that all pain is real and that their pain is valid and acknowledged fully. Work-related stress can lead to chronic pain, and when left unaddressed, can lead to alcohol or substance abuse.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy at Roots Recovery
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a therapy offered at Roots that focuses on exploring the relationship between one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Understanding and exploring this relationship helps the therapist and client uncover unhealthy patterns of thought that lead to self-destructive behaviors, beliefs, and feelings. For executives and professionals, these factors often go unnoticed or not acknowledged, pushing their unhealthy habits on the back burner.
With CBT, though, professionals can work to heal these unhealthy patterns and prevent their self-destruction from worsening. The client and therapist work together to develop more constructive ways of thinking to produce healthier behaviors, beliefs, and feelings.
In the workplace, professionals and executives do not always have the opportunity to discuss their feelings or thoughts. CBT, which is considered talk therapy, helps this community verbally express their struggles and work past them in a safe environment.
Prioritizing Mental Health in the Workplace
Executives and professionals experience mental health distress and SUDs in great numbers because of the pressures of the working world. Prioritizing mental health in the workplace can be beneficial for everyone, from employees to leaders. Not only is it important for executives to prioritize their own mental health needs, but it’s also important for executives to help all members of their workplace prioritize their mental health. Instead of only serving as a detriment to health, the workplace can become a supportive community where people are encouraged to thrive.
Here at Roots Recovery, we help executives and professionals struggling with mental health or substance use disorders (SUDs). A majority of our clients are a part of this community. This allows new clients to start therapy and/or treatment in a safe, comfortable, and confidential environment. We acknowledge and support all executives and professionals, understanding their mental health concerns and unique experiences as leaders of their workplace. Chronic stress in the workplace can lead to severe mental health disorders or substance abuse due to the high-pressure environment. It is important to seek help to discover that a healthier and happier life is possible. To learn more about our services offered to executives and professionals, please call us at (562) 473-0827.