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Archive for the ‘Mental Health Disorders’ Category

Anger Management

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Anger is one of the hardest emotions to deal with in recovery and can often be a factor that leads to relapse if left unchecked. What most people don’t realize is that anger is often what is referred to as a “secondary emotion” – it’s simply a reaction to another primary emotion. Looking at the chain of events that occurs when a person becomes angry can help in identifying the primary emotion that is being felt.

People usually become angry in response to some sort of threat. This threat can be toward the physical body (as in a fist fight), a threat to personal property (like in a car accident), a threat to self-esteem (name calling), a threat to beliefs or values (a difference of opinion in terms of what is right or just), or a threat of not getting what one wants.

Once a person has perceived a situation as a threat, the next event that occurs in the chain reaction of anger is the body’s physical response to the feeling of anger. Typical physical responses to anger include increased heart rate and blood pressure, a clenched jaw and/or fists, shortness or quickening of breath, and the face turning red.

The way in which the threatening event is interpreted leads to further feelings of anger. This stage of the anger chain consists of cognitive distortions that lead a person to jump to conclusions about a situation that can be inaccurate. For example, if someone were to bump into you at the grocery store, and you thought to yourself “Oh, he didn’t mean to do that, he accidentally bumped in to me,” you would not likely become angry. If you instead thought “That guy meant to bump into me, he clearly saw me standing here, and he is trying to start trouble,” your perception of the situation would then further your feelings of anger.

If anger is left unchecked, it is at this point that a person usually decides to act on their feelings of anger. Acting out behaviors can include name calling, physical altercations, yelling, threatening the other person, etc. In order for a person to successfully manage issues with anger, the chain of events must be broken before this stage is reached.

Finally, after the anger episode is over, the person has the opportunity to reflect on how the situation could have been handled differently. This is a key part of anger management, as this allows a person to come up with healthier alternatives to anger the next time a threat is perceived. The earlier the chain of events that occurs when a person becomes angry is broken, the easier it will be for the person to react differently and make a better choice. This is very important in recovery, as anger is a very common relapse trigger. If not managed in a healthy way, anger can tempt a person in recovery to alleviate these feelings by using drugs and alcohol.

Managing anger is a lot like creating a relapse prevention plan. The first step is to identify the triggers to anger, and work to uncover the true emotion that is hiding behind the mask of anger. Once the true emotion is identified, feelings of anger can be alleviated by focusing on deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or even by doing something as simple as taking a walk or a hot shower. Managing anger in a healthy way can also help a person in recovery to communicate with others more effectively and develop patience and tolerance.

Jessica Parks is a certified alcohol and drug counselor in the state of Illinois and has her M.A. in art therapy counseling.Jessica Parks is a certified alcohol and drug counselor in the state of Illinois and has her M.A. in art therapy counseling.

Cannabis and Mental Disorders

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

There is a continuing debate in the United States about the use of Cannabis as a medicine and its status legally. A study recently published in the Archives of General Psychiatry may present evidence to help those wishing to keep Cannabis off the streets.

Analyzing the literature and studies from around the world, Matthew Large and others found that there was a statistical correlation between the use of Cannabis and an earlier onset of psychosis.

They found that on average, the onset of psychosis for those that used Cannabis happened 2.7 years earlier versus those that did not use Cannabis. They also found that those that could be categorized as broadly abusing substances experienced an onset of psychosis 2 years earlier than non-substance abusers.

Though they were clear to point out that Cannabis use does not necessarily cause psychosis, they did find that the aggregate studies showed that there was a causal relationship for some users.

The meta-study did not cover any of the medicinal uses of Cannabis but the conclusions could help anti-marijuana groups fighting to ensure that the substance continues to be banned.

Source: Cannabis Use and Earlier Onset of Psychosis, Archive of General Psychiatry, June 2011.

Depression Treatment Program

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Interested in a Depression Treatment Program?

A depression treatment program will help you through your depression.  A program can be as simple as a prescription drug regimen or it could be one on one therapy with a counselor or it could be group therapy.  It could also be a combination of all of them. As you seek treatment, you and you doctor will decide which programs are working best for you as each of us will respond differently to different types of treatment.

Get Involved in a Depression Treatment Program

To be successful in depression treatment program, you must take the program seriously and use the program to its full advantage to get through treatment while yielding the best results for you.  If you do not take the program seriously, you will draw out the process making your recovery much longer than it needs to be. has several links for depression.  Follow these links to begin the path of recovery from depression.  A faster recovery means you will be healthier and your friends and family will be happier as well. Depression can be so severe, it can tear families apart and make friends become distant.

For a successful recovery from depression, find the depression treatment program that is right for you.  The quicker you recover, the better you will be.  You will also be less likely to fall further into depression which may lead to drug and alcohol addiction and temptation to harm yourself or those around you.

Depression Treatment

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Depression Treatment Assistance

Depression affects many Americans each year.  Depression can be caused by events such as losinga loved one or losing a job.   Depression can also be a result of a chemical imbalance with no other outside sources bringing it on.  Proper depression treatment will help find the root cause or causes of the issue.  This will help you begin the healing process, which can include therapy or a prescribed drug regimen.  Sometimes it can include a combination of both.

Find Depression Treatment

Depression treatment is important to both you and to those around you.  Your depression can take a toll on your health by causing stress.  Long term depression can eventually lead to worse things like drug addiction and harming yourself, sometimes just to get attention or cry out for help.  Depression may also cause you to act out on those you care for. Examples may be lashing out on a loved one or withdrawing yourself from social functions with your family and friends.

For assistance on treating your depression, check out to help guide to through treatment options and even help locate professionals who can help you through your recovery.

Depression treatment will not only increase your quality of life by making you a healthier, happier person, but it will also boost your relationship with those around you as well.  The sooner you seek help, the better you will feel and your loved ones will thank you for it.  Depression affects everyone around you.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Dual diagnosis aka Co-Occurring mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders affect nearly 14 million Americans each year. Of those only 19% receive the appropriate treatment for both conditions, with the vast majority bounced among different treatment systems and facilities that treat one of the conditions but not the other. Few treatment programs specialize in treating complex co- occurring or dual diagnosis disorders. Nationally, research continues to reveal that people with co-occurring or dual diagnosis disorders need a specialized form of treatment, referred to as integrated services.

Treatment systems for mental health and addiction have historically been and will continue to be separated systems of care. While many research studies have been performed on mental health issues and addictions separately, it has only been within recent years that a few studies have emerged on people who struggle with both conditions in unison. This emerging research identifies that traditional separated systems of care not only alienate the patient from the treatment, but they also result in much poorer outcomes than those experienced by patients with single disorders.

According to researchers and ever more surprising, we are just now learning from these studies that treatment programs designed to treat a specific disorder only are actually only capable of treating the minority of those in need where, in fact, up to 65.5% of patients with a substance abuse disorder had at least one mental disorder as well and 51% of patients with a mental disorder had at least one substance abuse disorder. We are also learning that these poorer outcomes result as much from these separate and contradictory systems of care as from the diagnoses themselves with people who have co-occurring conditions comprising the majority of the 10 percent of people using over 70 percent of the country’s healthcare resources

Depression Rehab

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

We know when we’re sad. We don’t need the dictionary definition of depression, “a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity” to explain the condition. But when it is truly an illness, not just a passing emotion, doctors do a complete physiological evaluation to determine the extent of the problem, whether it is a mild case of depression or an extreme condition that would require depression rehabilitation.

We are fortunate in this century, that getting help for depression no longer means getting shock treatments or a frontal lobotomy. The father of the lobotomy “Walter Freeman believed lobotomies worked because the procedure severed connections between the frontal lobes of the brain and the thalamus, thought to be the seat of human emotion, which the mentally ill apparently had in overabundance. ”

Success with Depression Rehab

Luckily, that treatment is now recognized to be the barbaric procedure it is, and doctors have turned to actual science for answers.

Nowadays the cause of depression is thought to be due to chemical imbalances in the brain. Contemporary scientists have come up with a variety of medications to correct those imbalances. Doctors select antidepressants based on their patient’s symptoms but there’s no one magic pill or one magic protocol. The drug side effects differ, as do their effectiveness. Dosages and prescriptions are adjusted over time as doctors use their best judgment on which specific medications the symptoms respond to–or don’t respond to.

Depression rehab is not limited to drugs, however; it is combined with a variety of supportive practices, such as psychotherapy, cognitive and even physical therapy. The point of depression rehab is to treat not just the body, not just the mind, not just the symptoms, but instead to treat the whole person.

Families and Drug Addiction

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Alcoholism and drug addiction is a family disease. It’s estimated that for every person suffering from alcoholism or drug addiction, another seven people are affected.

Trying to help a loved one get sober can be emotionally draining and lead to issues of co-dependency and control. Attempting to regulate drinking or drug usage can end up consuming large amounts of time and money with little result. Negative consequences that pull the family into continuing chaos can include tremendous emotional stress, economic strain, poor health and run-ins with the law that result in legal fees and complications. It can be a confusing and extremely disruptive environment if you live with an alcoholic or drug addict.

Family dynamics can be a major contributing factor in both addiction and recovery. For the individual to be successful in transitioning from addiction to recovery, it’s necessary for family dynamics to change as well. Drug addiction treatment centers helps to educate and assist families in making this transition. Some of the questions to consider include:

1.    What is the family history? Is there a history of alcohol or drug abuse? Is there emotional trauma or issues of abuse that may have occurred? Choose a treatment center who work with clients that have underlying issues associated with alcohol or drug abuse. Uncovering these issues and addressing them with family members will help repair issues that may be contributing to alcohol or drug abuse as well as unhealthy patterns.

2.    Denial is a major symptom of alcohol and drug abuse not only for the individual, but also family members. Sweeping it under the rug or downplaying the amount of alcohol or drugs consumed and the consequences involved can be a result of fear, an inability to want to face reality. But denial only postpones the inevitable – things can and will get worse.

3.    Denial is also a form of enabling. Enabling a family member to continue using alcohol or drugs in spite of negative consequences can sometimes look like love. Calling in sick to work for a loved one, making excuses for his or her behavior or going to the store for more alcohol to minimize withdrawal symptoms are all forms of enabling. This is a trait of co-dependent behavior and a very normal coping mechanism that family members engage. The fear that your child or loved one will die if you don’t cover for them or keep them at home where you can watch them is a valid one but nonetheless can assist in helping the alcoholic or addict continue to engage in destructive behavior. Your loved one may be safe momentarily, but until alcoholism or drug addiction has been arrested it’s only a matter of time before the bottom falls out.

Social Model Recovery

Friday, November 21st, 2008

The social model of alcohol and drug recovery in California has evolved through several generations to what we know as today’s model. Social model programs emphasize the process of learning through ‘‘doing’’ and ‘‘experiencing’’ and providing positive role models. Social model programs are cost effective and outcome effective because of their ability to build strong and lasting social support systems.

The roots of modern social model are in the mutual self-help concepts of Alcoholics Anonymous. Individuals
struggling with early sobriety often were temporarily homeless and in need of social support systems. members of Alcoholics Anonymous would often house newer members and act as guides by sharing their own experiences. Since Alcoholics Anonymous, according to its “Traditions,” could not be involved in support systems, it became a movement of its own. When public support began to flow into these recovery homes, they became more formalized with program standards and facility licensing.

An example of social model includes Recovery Homes, which are community-based, peer-group oriented, residential facilities that provide food, shelter, and recovery services in a supportive, non-drinking, drug-free environment. Services provided include individual and group recovery planning, alcohol and  drug recovery education, group support, recreational activities, assistance in obtaining health, social, vocational and other community services.

Typically, the home is cheerful, warm and accepting, and provides an environment in which the recovering alcoholic or addict has the opportunity to make a positive change in lifestyle with an alcohol- and drug-free environment and positive role models.

The major goal of a recovery home is to provide an environment in which men and women recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction will experience a sober, functioning lifestyle, and return to the community as a responsible drug-free individual.

A nonresidential Social Model Program is a community-based program that provides a sober supportive environment, offers services to persons with alcohol- or drug-related problems, and educates the surrounding
community concerning such problems in order to reduce alcohol- or drug-related problems including alcoholism or drug addiction.

Addiction – Strictly A Social Problem?

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

Many people view drug abuse and addiction as strictly a social problem. Parents, teens, older adults, and other members of the community tend to characterize people who take drugs as morally weak or as having criminal tendencies. They believe that drug abusers and addicts should be able to stop taking drugs if they are willing to change their behavior.

These myths have not only stereotyped those with drug-related problems, but also their families, their communities, and the health care professionals who work with them. Drug abuse and addiction comprise a public health problem that affects many people and has wide-ranging social consequences. It is NIDA’s goal to help the public replace its myths and long-held mistaken beliefs about drug abuse and addiction with scientific evidence that addiction is a chronic, relapsing, and treatable disease.

Addiction does begin with drug abuse when an individual makes a conscious choice to use drugs, but addiction is not just “a lot of drug use.” Recent scientific research provides overwhelming evidence that not only do drugs interfere with normal brain functioning creating powerful feelings of pleasure, but they also have long-term effects on brain metabolism and activity. At some point, changes occur in the brain that can turn drug abuse into addiction, a chronic, relapsing illness. Those addicted to drugs suffer from a compulsive drug craving and usage and cannot quit by themselves. Treatment is necessary to end this compulsive behavior.

A variety of approaches are used in treatment programs to help patients deal with these cravings and possibly avoid drug relapse. NIDA research shows that addiction is clearly treatable. Through treatment that is tailored to individual needs, patients can learn to control their condition and live relatively normal lives.

drug rehab treatment can have a profound effect not only on drug abusers, but on society as a whole by significantly improving social and psychological functioning, decreasing related criminality and violence, and reducing the spread of AIDS. It can also dramatically reduce the costs to society of drug abuse.

Understanding drug abuse also helps in understanding how to prevent use in the first place. Results from NIDA-funded prevention research have shown that comprehensive prevention programs that involve the family, schools, communities, and the media are effective in reducing drug abuse. It is necessary to keep sending the message that it is better to not start at all than to enter rehabilitation if addiction occurs.

A tremendous opportunity exists to effectively change the ways in which the public understands drug abuse and addiction because of the wealth of scientific data. Overcoming misconceptions and replacing ideology with scientific knowledge is the best hope for bridging the “great disconnect” – the gap between the public perception of drug abuse and addiction and the scientific facts.

Everyone should know about depression treatments

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

All of us go through the sadness for short time but suffering from prolonged depression that stays weeks, months and even years is different. Vicki was not unusual from anyone else; she had a family, a job and a circle of friends who she saw regularly. However, Vicki suffered from an unexplained prolonged sadness that remained years, a disorder called depression. And after years of anti-depressants, therapy, counseling and even natural treatment; she was finally cured! And Vicki understood a few things along the way…

Traditional Depression Treatments: What I wish I would have known

1.) The Utterly Ineffective: Many depression experts focus on “positive thinking,” energy work or fads that, while entertaining in their way, sap away hope from their victims and leave unfortunate sufferers in their wake no closer to true happiness at all.

2.) The Prohibitively Expensive: While psychotherapy and counseling have been proven again and again to have a positive effect in the ongoing fight against depression, the sheer cost of this one-on-one depression treatments puts it out of the reach for many sufferers and can cause a huge amount of stress and even sadness (more factors to heighten depression) for people. Sessions with a professional therapist can cost $80, $100, $200 or more per hour, hour after hour, week after week for years with only the smallest, barely noticeable changes in attitude, persona and happiness. Therapy can easily add up to thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars per year.

3.) The Dangerous, Side-Effect-Laden “Magic Pills”: Listen, we’d all like to be able to swallow a pill that would destroy our bad moods and rocket us to a state of positive, powerful happiness. Though, the truth is ‘magic pills’ is that many are simply cover-ups or band-aids to what the true problem is. And the terrible side-effects to these medicines can be completely harsh to your body, personality and soul.