Mental Health: Anxiety and Depression’s Toll

Photo of a Pretty Depressed Young Woman, Looking Down by a Window, Worried or Sad.

Taking time off from work to address your mental health is of the utmost importance. If people typically don’t go to work with the flu, then should they go to work when experiencing a depressive episode? They shouldn’t, but more times than not they do because they fear repercussions from their employer. A trend that affects both individuals and society; hopefully, employers will start encouraging their staff to put their own needs first.

Society looks at mental illness as being something that the afflicted can control. If people changed their perspective, they would feel better. As if people choose to be depressed, anxious, and manic; why would anyone want that type of existence? The truth is, they wouldn’t.

Mental health disorders are real, treatable, and recovery is possible. More people would recover with encouragement from society via empathy. Everyone benefits when people who need help are empowered to seek it, but far too often such people are not. Individuals with mental health conditions feel as though they must hide their symptoms. They fear what might happen if their peers found out, or worse, their boss. In many cases, people forgo treatment because of that fear.

Mental health in the Workplace

On this blog, our primary focus is use disorders, a mental illness that affects millions of Americans. Without treatment, people with substance use disorder typically have three outcomes: jails, institutions, and death. The same can be said for other forms of mental health conditions, as well. It’s also worth reminding readers that mental illness often comes in pairs, a dual-diagnosis. When a person meets the criteria for substance use disorder and another condition like depression, they have a co-occurring disorder.

People around the world who have been touched by mental illness (first or second-hand) observed World Mental Health Day on Tuesday. The World Health Organization (WHO) chose the theme of mental health in the workplace in an attempt to encourage employers to show more significant compassion. WHO provided data to show how prevalent mental illness is around the world, allowing people to understand the gravity of the situation.

More than 300 million people battle depression each year, and more than 260 million have anxiety disorders. Employers might be wondering why these figures matter. The answer: Depression and anxiety disorders together cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion/per year in lost productivity. If people with these conditions were empowered to get the help they need, then everyone wins. WHO writes:

“Employers and managers who put in place workplace initiatives to promote mental health and to support employees who have mental disorders see gains not only in the health of their employees but also in their productivity at work. A negative working environment, on the other hand, may lead to physical and mental health problems, harmful use of substances or alcohol, absenteeism and lost productivity.”

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

At 10 Acre Ranch, we hope that employers around the world will pay heed to the stark statistics provided by WHO. Doing so could lead to millions of people finding recovery. If you are struggling with a co-occurring disorder, please contact us to discuss your treatment options. We can help you get on the road to long-term addiction and mental health recovery.

Prioritizing Your Mental Health in the New Year

photo of a smiling man

In the New Year, a lot of people are investing in resolutions to lose weight, exercise more often, quit smoking and go to the gym on a regular basis. While it’s always a good idea to pay more attention to your physical health to prevent chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease, why not take the same approach to take care of your mental health, too?

All too often, individuals with behavioral health issues like anxiety and depression wait until they start to experience the physical symptoms of those conditions before seeking help. But, with the right self-care, you can reduce your risk of developing some conditions. And for those starting a new sober lifestyle, taking a holistic approach to total body wellness can also protect your sobriety since you’ll be less tempted to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.

While there are a lot of factors that contribute to behavioral health issues and some are out of your control (like genetics), you can make a few lifestyle adjustments that can help you feel better and more in control of your emotions.

3 Strategies to Actively Support Your Mental Health

(1) Spend time with nature.

Have you ever had a rough day and spent some time outdoors and wondered why it made you feel so much better? How the great outdoors boosts our mood isn’t entirely clear, though it is well documented. In a study conducted by Stanford researchers, people who walked for 90 minutes in a quiet area outside showed decreased activity in a region of the brain associated with a key factor in depression.

(2) Be aware of how you are dealing with stress.

Chronic exposure to stress can actually change your brain chemistry making you more susceptible to common behavioral health issues like anxiety and depression. While you can’t completely avoid stressful situations, you do have a choice in how you react. Talk to your addiction recovery team about developing a list of stress-relieving activities that might work best for you including mindful meditation, yoga and talk therapy.

(3) Surround yourself with positive people!

There are specific things you can do to protect your mental health and you might be surprised to learn that simply being around those with a positive and grateful outlook can also do wonders for your mental health too.

If you’re starting the New Year with a few resolutions, consider adding a few that are designed to help support your overall health – mentally, physically and spiritually.

Get Help at 10 Acre Ranch

At 10 Acre Ranch, we know that behavioral health and substance use disorders often create a vicious cycle, as the symptoms of one disorder can exacerbate the symptoms of the other. Fortunately, there are ways to treat both disorders, regardless of which came first. At 10 Acre Ranch, our highly-trained staff works with male clients to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses mental health and substance use disorders to reduce symptoms and to increase the likelihood of long-term recovery. To learn more, call today: (877) 228-4679.

Anxiety and Panic Attacks: Managing the Symptoms

photo of a sad woman worring about a lot of things

Anxiety disorders represent the most common form of mental illness – impacting over 40 million Americans. While the root cause is different for everyone, doctors believe that it’s triggered by a combination of things including stress, personality traits and some people are simply genetically predisposed to the condition. And, it is worth mentioning that repeated abuse of drugs and alcohol can trigger the onset of anxiety disorders too as the result of a brain chemistry imbalance.

Anxiety can manifest itself in a variety of ways including irritability, racing thoughts, fatigue, insomnia and panic attacks – which can be the most debilitating symptom.

If you do periodically experience panic attacks, it’s important to talk to your addiction recovery team. They may recommend tweaking your plan of care or refer you to a specialist. You can also empower yourself! By learning how to mitigate the symptoms, you can reduce your risk of self-medicating with drugs or alcohol to cope.

Strategies for Managing Panic

(1) Educate yourself on the science behind anxiety.

Ask your physician or therapist to help you better understand the biological and neurological underpinnings of anxiety. By understanding the triggers of anxiety and how your mind and body are reacting during episodes of panic, you can feel more empowered and in control.

(2) Learn relaxation techniques and breathing exercises.

The next time you start to experience a panic attack, try to focus on the rhythm of your breath. Take a deep breath through your nose while counting to five, pause, and slowly exhale at the same rate. Repeat this pattern for a few minutes. (And, one huge benefit of this technique is that it’s portable.)

(3) Give your mind something else to do.

Forcing your brain to work (on something other than worrying) can dilute the episode of panic. Try counting backward from 100, work a crossword puzzle or read a book for a few minutes until the feelings subside.

Dual-Diagnosis Specialists

Our addiction specialists have helped many men find sobriety while also getting help for a co-occurring behavioral health issue like anxiety or depression. At 10 Acre Ranch, our highly-trained staff works with male clients to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses mental health along with substance use disorders to reduce symptoms and to increase the likelihood of long-term recovery. To learn more, call today: (877) 228-4679.