Mental Health And Concurrent Disorders

Introduction To Addictions, Mental Health And Concurrent Disorders



Exploring Online Mental Health Resources

 You will use this case study to answer the question

Case Study A: Marcello

Marcello is a 35 year-old man who has been struggling with alcohol problems and concurrent social anxiety and depression. He has a history of political affiliations in his native Guatemala that resulted in being tortured, and then having to flee to Canada as a political refugee. Marcello is not able to call or write to family back home for fear that he will be discovered, so his move represents considerable loss.

Marcello has found assimilation into Canadian culture to be a challenge. This combined with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms related to his torture, has led to drinking 20-40 ounces of tequila daily. Drinking helps numb Marcello’s symptoms and helps him cope with social isolation and missing his country and family. Marcello also drinks to help him function in social settings, since he finds group settings and relating with women extremely anxiety-evoking. His greatest fear is that women think he is “weak as a man.” While drinking helps him cope with depression and anxiety, it has resulted in hangovers, work-related problems such as absenteeism and decreased performance and financial strain from spending considerable money on alcohol.

Marcello explained that in his culture, there is an expectation that he “should have been married with children by now.” He describes feeling profound shame and stigma when he meets anyone from the Spanish-speaking community because he has not achieved these goals, so he often avoids people. In Marcello’s culture, men must never appear to be weak, so it is a significant challenge for him to seek therapy and disclose his problems. Discussing personal vulnerabilities reflects a lack of machismo and carries a very negative judgment.


Pretend that the person featured in the case study is someone you know. The person explains that s/he either doesn’t want to seek professional help or s/he is unable to find help (you choose). You decide to help the person by looking on the Internet for resources and interactive tools that can help the person understand more about their mental health problem and begin to build resilience. The website might also be an opportunity to help the person access professional help or peer support.


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