Bradley Cooper: Success in Sobriety
Bradley Cooper is known for his major roles in the film industry, such as:
Guardians of The Galaxy
A Star Is Born
However, during a podcast interview hosted by Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayer, Cooper explained that during his early 20s, before his career took off, he struggled with low self-esteem and some mental health issues, which led to substance abuse and addiction.
Today, we are going to explore his revelation of his substance use disorder (SUD) and his battle for sobriety. The pressures from his early career and his struggles with mental health could have related to his addiction to cocaine and alcohol during that time.
The Correlation Between Mental Health and Addiction
Unfortunately, it is common for someone struggling with SUD to have co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is known as a dual diagnosis. Somewhat common in addiction treatment, dual diagnoses often cause people to self-medicate to cope with the symptoms, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
Cooper's addiction seemed to have gotten worse as his mental health declined. He explained during multiple interviews that the pressures he faced while filming the television show Alias caused him to spiral down a dark path of substance abuse and poor mental health until he was ultimately fired.
For many years, he didn't even realize he had an addiction. It took constantly hearing it from close friends and co-workers to come to terms with it. He didn't fully understand it until he had a conversation with Arnett about his actions and just how bad his life was starting to become.
The Road to Success
Once Cooper started understanding and gaining control of his addiction at the age of 29, his life started to change. At this time, his career took off, and he landed some of his biggest roles, which included parts in The Hangover, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Sniper. This improvement also led him to be named People Magazine's “Sexiest Man Alive.”
He wouldn't have landed any of these roles without achieving sobriety. He openly credits both his daughter and Arnett for being the reasons he started working on becoming sober. Cooper explained that being a father is “just the absolute greatest thing,” since the birth of his daughter completely changed his life and influenced his journey to sobriety. He also said that he attended therapy to help him through.
Treatments for Co-occurring Disorders
As a therapy-goer himself, Cooper is a testament to how different kinds of treatments can be so beneficial for addiction recovery, especially if co-occurring disorders are involved. Some treatments that can be helpful in these cases include:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): This form of therapy is designed to alter the negative and harmful beliefs of individuals with SUD and certain disorders such as anxiety and mood disorders.
Therapeutic communities (TCs): This is a form of long-term residential treatment for SUD. The main focus of this therapy is preparing the individual to re-join society.
Integrated group therapy (IGT): IGT is a treatment specifically for clients with bipolar disorder and SUD. The main goal is to educate the clients on the two different disorders and how they play into recovery and relapse.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): This form of therapy is designed to reduce suicidal thoughts, drug use, and other self-harming behaviors. These thoughts are reduced by learning healthy coping strategies.
Motivational Interviewing (MI): The main goal of MI is to guide the client to play an active role in their journey by choosing their own goals and creating their own meaning.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), using these and other integrated treatments is superior in treating comorbid disorders, such as SUD and mental health conditions.
A (Recovery) Star Is Born
Bradley Cooper starred in and directed the remake of A Star is Born, co-starring Lady Gaga. This film portrays SUD and mental health very well, so much so that it almost feels real and hard to watch at some points. Bradley Cooper played Jackson Maine, who is struggling toward the end of his career. There is also a subplot of romance between Jackson and Ally, played by Lady Gaga. Cooper was able to channel his own demons from his past to really bring this movie and his character to life.
Without spoiling the main plot of the film, the audience, even from the beginning, can see the destructive path Maine is headed down. It incorporates social commentary as well as the pressures of fame and the blind eye that is often turned toward mental health and addiction. While the audience can see this destructive path, nothing is done about it in the film because he is still a performer.
Bradley Cooper is an Inspiration to Everyone in Recovery
Bradley Cooper's journey to sobriety and his success story is an inspiration to all, including his close friend Brad Pitt, who explained that he “got sober because of this guy (Cooper).” His success story shows people that if he can do it, anyone can do it.
Cooper is now celebrating 12 years of sobriety, and it seems as though his career and life keep getting better and better.
Find Your Sober Inspiration Today with The Edge Treatment Center
While it is always inspiring to hear a success story, The Edge Treatment Center understands it can also feel like that can never be you. You may be feeling helpless and lost in your journey, but it is important to remember that everyone starts in that same position.
If you are struggling with mental health, substance use disorder, or both, it is important to reach out for help. Our clinical staff is always here for you to educate and guide you in the right direction.
There is no reason to struggle alone any longer. Contact The Edge Treatment Center today.