What Are the Behaviors of Current Addicts?

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If anyone has ever known a person who has struggled with a substance abuse disorder, they may know just how disruptive an addiction can be in a person’s life. Normally, a person who suffers from an addiction is unable to maintain normal things in life that we often take for granted, like healthy relationships, stable jobs, regular access to food, water, and shelter, the list goes on and on. This is because their addiction to drugs or alcohol has literally taken over nearly every aspect of their life. So what are some common behaviors of current addicts?

Addiction is characterized as a brain disease that is manifested through a compulsive desire to seek out and use drugs or alcohol, even if they experience negative consequences because of their drug or alcohol abuse. One reason for that is an addiction to drugs or alcohol chemically alters the brain. This happens in several ways. One of them being that drugs and alcohol trick the brain into believing that it literally needs these substances in order to survive, ultimately leading to an inability to stop using drugs or alcohol. Most of the time, especially after repeated use of drugs or alcohol, an addict is unable to stop to stop on their own.

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If you have ever known an addict, it may have come as a surprise, at least initially. You may have only put the clues together after having found out the truth.  Some addicts have grown so accustomed to hiding it after years of abuse that it may have been difficult to otherwise, there was always an excuse for the unexplained or out of the ordinary behavior. For others, it may have been more obvious, as there are usually some tell-tale signs that someone may be abusing harmful substances. If you are wondering now whether or not someone you know may be hiding an addiction, then here are some common behaviors of current addicts.

Abrupt Changes in Mood

One of the most common behavioral traits seen in addicts is an abrupt change in mood. This is due to chemical imbalances that occur in the brain due to drug and alcohol abuse. Feelings of depression, anxiety, anger, and joy that seem to come out of nowhere may be a sign that your loved one has a substance abuse problem.

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People who are in active addiction can exhibit wild mood swings, from anger to depression, very rapidly.

They Lie

One thing that all addicts have in common is that they lie. They lie to support their addiction, they lie to hide their addiction, they lie to avoid feelings of shame and guilt. It is possible that a skilled addict has been able to pull the veil over someone’s eyes for years, but eventually the truth always comes out. They may always have an excuse about where all their money went or why they were gone for 5 hours when they just went to the grocery store for milk.

Sudden Lack of Interest in a Former Hobby

Another common sign that someone may be struggling with an addiction is a sudden loss of interest in an activity that was previously enjoyable for them. When a person becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, it consumes their lives and becomes the main focus. This leaves little to no time for things that they enjoyed before, like hobbies, sports or creating art. If someone you know suddenly lost interest in a hobby, sport, or activity that was previously very important to them, it may be a sign that they are struggling with an addiction.

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Suddenly losing interest in a hobby that once brought joy, is a tell-tale sign of an addict.

Emotional Blackmail

An addict may use emotional blackmail in order to get someone to do things they don’t want to do. They typically start by asking for small favors that allow the other party to feel like they are doing something good, eventually they will ask for something bigger and use emotional blackmail in order to get what they want. They may say things like, “You don’t love me enough” or “If you really loved me”. This is an attempt to use your love for them against you.

They Manipulate

All addicts are expert manipulators of one form or another. This is one of the ways that they are able to continue their behavior. The majority of addicts will say or do anything in order to continue using drugs or alcohol. They may make promises to change when caught in a bad situation, or deny the problem entirely, even trying to switch the blame on you. They use guilt in order to make you believe them, and oftentimes we so desperately want to. Drug addicts can manipulate sometimes for years without ever changing their behavior.

Criminal Behavior

While not all addicts get in trouble with the law, a large portion of them do. Many addicts will do things like steal, forge prescriptions, or even write fake checks all in an attempt to continue getting high. This may also include things like violence and driving under the influence. Many drugs, like heroin or cocaine, can change the personality of the person who is under its influence, causing them to do things they most likely wouldn’t do while sober. Job loss and other legal problems are common with people who become addicted to drugs or alcohol.

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Drug abuse and addiction typically lead one of 2 places: Being arrested, or dying from a drug overdose. There is a 3rd option: addiction treatment and a lifetime of sobriety!

Verbally, Mentally, or Physically Abusive

Many addicts will become verbally, mentally, or physically abusive, especially when confronted with their addiction. This can be an additional mechanism to shift the blame away from their substance abuse disorder. They may act aggressive or irrational when told no. They may threaten to hurt you, or even themselves in order to get what they want. This type of manipulation is likely just another attempt to continue their addictive lifestyle.

These are just a few of the common behavioral signs that someone may be struggling with an addiction. While these are good indicators that someone is suffering from substance abuse, there could always be another underlying reason like other mental health issues. If you are unsure whether or not a loved one may be struggling with an addiction, please call us today! We have many trained addiction specialists who will be able to help address some of your concerns and figure out a treatment plan if that is what your loved one needs in order to begin living a happy, healthy life once again.

Call Us 24/7 (877)-228-4679

10 Ways to Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder & Drug Addiction

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This time of year can be very difficult, especially for those who suffer from addiction, as holidays and moments of celebration are often considered to be triggers for those in recovery because of the social aspects of casual drinking or drug use during the winter months. What can make it even more difficult to remain sober during this time is when a recovering addict also suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD or seasonal depression.

Addiction is characterized as a brain disorder and can often be coupled with other mental health diagnoses or mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). For people who live with both a mental health disorder and struggle with addiction, just know that you are not alone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 20 percent of people who are diagnosed with a mood disorder, such as SAD, also suffer from a substance abuse problem.

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People who suffer from mental health issues, are more likely to use substances, like drugs or alcohol to self-medicate.

Symptoms of SAD

If you are unsure whether or not you may be suffering from seasonal depression you can always speak with a mental health professional. Common symptoms of SAD include those of major depression along with several others. People who are suffering from seasonal depression may experience all or some of the following;

  • Depressed mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in appetite and sleep patterns
  • Loss of pleasure in certain activities
  • Social withdrawal
  • Cravings for carbohydrates (unique to SAD)
  • Excessive daytime sleeping (unique to SAD)
  • Heaviness in arms and legs (unique to SAD)

Causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder

Researchers and doctors are still unsure about the exact cause for seasonal affective disorder but some factors that attribute to this condition include;

  • Biological Clock (Circadian rhythm)- As the days grow shorter around the fall or autumn season, we begin to lose sunlight, which can disrupt your body’s internal clock, causing feelings of depression.
  • Serotonin Levels- The reduced sunlight can lead to a drop in the brain’s chemical that affects mood, the neurotransmitter serotonin.
  • Melatonin Levels- The seasonal change can disrupt the body’s natural production of melatonin, which plays a role in sleep patterns and moods.
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Changes in the weather can affect your mental health in very prominent ways.

10 Ways to Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

            If you are one of many suffering from the symptoms of seasonal depression and are wondering how to treat SAD, then do not worry, there are many treatment options available that can help alleviate some of the symptoms.

  1. Know the signs and symptoms- Knowing what is happening with you and your body can help greatly in managing the symptoms. If you begin feeling sad during the autumn months, being aware of your seasonal depression can help keep you from spiraling down a hole that seems impossible to get out of, simply just by understanding what is going on.
  2. Try light from a box- Light therapy is reported to be one of the most effective treatments for the “winter blues”. There are specialty light boxes or lamps designed to produce effects similar to natural light, helping to restore your body’s natural circadian rhythm and production of melatonin. Research suggests that sitting in front of a light box first thing in the morning, everyday, during the fall and winter months for at least 30 minutes can greatly reduce the symptoms of SAD.
  3. Get outside as much as you can- Nature is a form of therapy for almost any mental health disorder. So, try to make it a point to go on a at least a 10 minute nature walk every day, or as often as possible, regardless of the weather. Studies have shown that even short walks increase mood, along with other mental and physical health benefits. Not to mention, the sunlight you get from being outside is much more beneficial than that from a window, helping to promote natural production of serotonin and melatonin. Going outside around noon when the sun is brightest can help reap the most benefits in a short amount of time.
  4. Exercise regularly- Aside from talking a daily break in nature , trying to exercise regularly is especially important for people suffering from SAD. Exercise is a proven treatment for many forms of depression. Try combining your daily exercise with going outside to help decrease the symptoms of seasonal depression.
  5. Take vitamin D- Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to SAD in at least one study, so doctors have begun urging patients to up their vitamin D intake, especially during the winter months.
  6. Caring for plants- Research has shown that gardening can help reduce feelings of depression. By caring for something small during the winter months, it can help alleviate some of the symptoms of seasonal depression.
  7. Stay Connected- Avoid the sometimes overwhelming feeling to remain reclusive during the cold months. Stay connected with your family and remain active in your support groups, such as AA, even when you feel like hibernating. Staying connected with your support group can help combat feelings of depression by getting you out of the house and by allowing you the opportunity to express out loud how you are feeling.
  8. Paint walls in lighter colors- Studies suggest that people who suffer from seasonal depression feel better when they are surrounded by lighter colors. Aside from the mood lifting ambiance, sometimes just doing the activity of painting alone can be a soothing process for someone with a depressive disorder.
  9. Keep a journal- Sometimes we have thoughts or feelings we are uncomfortable sharing with others, by writing them down we can begin to understand our emotions better. Writing down our negative thoughts or emotions gives us the opportunity to cope with them and feel as though we have gotten them off our chest, allowing ourselves the chance to fully process them. Plan on writing for at least 20 minutes a day, and try doing it before bed so that you can express the last 24 hours in as much detail as possible.
  10. Try aromatherapy- Essential oils can activate the same part of the brain that is responsible for controlling moods and our internal clock. Purchase an oil diffuser for your home or workspace, or try adding a couple drops in your bath.
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Understanding yourself and your mental health can greatly help you overcome the “winter blues”. Seek help before you become overwhelmed!

 

While all of these tips are useful, knowing when to get contact a professional for help is the most important. If you are having extreme thoughts of suicide or are having a difficult time with coping during the winter months, or in general, then there is nothing wrong with getting help. Speak with your doctor, who can potentially prescribe medications, or contact a counselor or therapist who can help you cope with the emotions of depression. If you are a recovering addict and find that you are struggling to stay sober, we are always here to help! Reach out to us today to begin specialized treatment.

 

(877) 228-4679

Why Is Stopping Drugs So Hard?

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Addiction is a disease of the brain. Your brain is the control center of your body, affecting your thoughts, feelings, decisions and actions. Addiction to drugs or alcohol is hard because it changes the signals in your brain, which makes it difficult to feel okay without using the drugs. When you first take drugs you feel a high or a rush from the substance. But over time, the high is not as strong and you must take more and more of the drug to keep from feeling bad. This is what happens when you become addicted. Many people who are addicted want to quit and they think they can do it on their own.

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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.

Mental Illness In Young Adults

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If you are a young adult, there is a good chance you are getting ready to start or have just started the fall semester. You may even be a freshman, heading away from home for the first time in your life. Unchaperoned! This is an important time in a person’s life, one that should be cherished — in between studying and class. For most people who pursue higher education, the time literally flies by. Before you know it, graduation has come and gone and off you go to the workforce.

College days are also a time when you will come to find out who you are, in good ways and bad. Your strengths and weaknesses will come to the surface quickly without the aid of mom and dad nearby. Hopefully, you are heading off to school having a relatively healthy relationship with alcohol. It’s a substance that can hardly be avoided during this time in one’s life. Certainly, you saw some partying in high school, but there was always some parental oversight. And, the risk of getting caught, as well as the fear of punishment, keeps most teens in line.

Without fail, some heading off to college for the first time have already developed unhealthy ties to substances. Whether it be alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or all three. It could mean that you had a healthy appetite for socialization. Or, it could mean that the seeds of addiction were planted at a young age. Just that the problems of addiction have not borne fruit yet. Hopefully, it’s the former scenario. Being away from home can give one’s addiction room to grow exponentially, creating a host of problems. Issues that will need to be addressed sooner, or later. What’s more, addiction is not the only mental illness that can appear up during the college years.

Mental Illness Away From Home

A significant number of college students struggle with untreated mental illness, in one form or another. In some cases, students battle addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder. Such a reality presents many obstacles to one’s chance of success in college. More times than not, mental illness is cited as the cause for dropping out. Fortunately, mental illness does not need to spell the end of one’s education. There are resources available on campus that can help students, with mental health disorders, keep their symptoms in check. In turn, avoiding tragedy and strengthening the chances of making it to graduation.

While the stigma of mental illness is still a very real thing, there are many more options for students today. College campuses have resources available and people students can talk to, mitigating the risks of self-harm and self-medication. It is quite common for students to develop addiction due to untreated mental health disorders.

In fact, right here in Southern California UCLA is taking mental illness seriously. The university is offering free mental health screening to all incoming freshman and transfer students, CNN reports. Such services can make all the difference in increasing a student’s chance for success. Potentially keeping them from turning to an unhealthy means of coping with the stress of college.

“To our knowledge, no other university has ever attempted screening of this nature and scale,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “Students who choose to participate will be screened for depression and related traits — anxiety, mania and suicidal tendencies. And we will offer help to those who need it.”

Mental Illness Treatment

If you are a young man reading this, there is a good chance you are not attending UCLA. However, colleges across the country are placing greater emphasis on mental illness. If you are not feeling stable or are struggling with substances to cope with how you are feeling, talk to someone. Letting it go unchecked can eventually have grave consequences.

Perhaps you are getting ready to head off to school and you know that you have a condition that needs treatment. Drinking and drugging on regular basis, in conjunction with the symptoms of depression can be dangerous. Please contact 10 Acre Ranch to discuss your treatment options. We are fully equipped to help you recover from co-occurring mental health disorders.

Addiction and Mental Illness Help for the Homeless

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There is no telling where substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders will take you. In most cases, nowhere that would be considered ideal. People who seek help for addiction are, in many cases, destitute and are perhaps living on the streets. Homelessness and addiction can often go hand-in-hand. And with limited resources, getting off the streets and into recovery can be a real challenge.

It is not uncommon for people living on the streets to walk into the rooms of recovery. Usually at 12 Step meetings like Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous. Those who stick around can access resources that will help them change their lot. Members may be able to assist such individuals with finding temporary housing and employment. Thus, allowing them to get back on their feet while they are learning to live a life in recovery.

There are others, though, whose co-occurring mental health disorder may make it more difficult to accomplish such goals. Requiring state assistance, such as social security benefits. A number of people who have battled addiction find a way to keep their home and job. Whereas some people’s addiction and other forms of mental illness made it next to impossible. There are millions of Americans living on the streets, today. With a little support, they can find a way to live a fulfilling life.

SOAR With SAMHSA

As was mentioned earlier, one’s untreated mental disabilities can make it hard to hold down a job. Making it impossible to pay bills. It can be a real challenge to recover without a roof over one’s head, and food in the stomach. A vast number of homeless people have mental health disorders, helping them access social welfare benefits is vital.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration launched the SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) program in 2005. The goal was to assist homeless individuals navigate the arduous process of applying benefit programs Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance. Since the program was created, more than 27,000 Americans have gained access to SSI and SSDI benefits through SOAR.

“SAMHSA’s SOAR Technical Assistance Center helps states and communities increase access to these benefits for people with behavioral health disorders who are also experiencing homelessness, as well as for those returning to their communities from jails and hospitals.”

Those who have access to financial assistance are in better position to succeed at working a program of recovery. Managing both substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Getting Addiction Help for A Loved One

Do you have a loved one whose addiction has brought them to the depths of despair? Living without hearth or home? Perhaps your loved one has resigned him or herself to a life of addiction. Thinking that recovery is not possible. They are not alone, many a recovering addict and alcoholic once thought that way, too. However, recovery is possible and it works. It is a difficult process to be sure, and requires (often) the full support of one’s family.

Please contact 10 Acre today to discuss options for helping your loved one find the miracles of recovery. The longer their condition persists as is, the greater the danger of tragedy.

Self-Medicating Toward Addiction

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Regarding mental illness, when it rains it pours. At least that is often the reality in the field of addiction medicine. To be clear, addiction is a form of mental illness with many symptoms, one of which is the misuse of drugs and/or alcohol. It’s a disease of the mind that has no known cure to date, but there are effective methods of treatment. Upon completing treatment, those who redouble their recovery efforts via a program like the 12-Steps often have positive outcomes.

Again, drug and alcohol use is but a symptom. There is a lot of work that needs to be done. Work which will mitigate the risk of relapse and spiraling back into active use. But, for a significant number of addicts and alcoholics, addiction is not the only mental health disorder on the table. It is extremely common for people meeting the criteria for addiction to have co-occurring mental health disorders. Often referred to as having a dual diagnosis.

Anyone working in the field knows firsthand the consequences of not treating both addiction and the dual diagnosis, together. This makes sense. Addiction is often precipitated by another form of mental illness, such as depression. The symptoms of untreated depression lead to the dangerous practice of self-medication. Which does the opposite of help, in any respect.

Self-Medicating Toward Dependence and Addiction

People whose anxiety, bipolar disorder or depression is left untreated, are essentially left to their own devices. Functioning under the cloud of depressive or manic symptoms is rarely tenable. In an attempt to quiet one’s troubled mind, drugs and alcohol often become the preferred method of treatment (escape, actually). The continued practice of using mind-altering substances to cope is a slippery slope to dependence, and ultimately addiction. People who engage in this practice actually convince themselves that the substances are helping. When, in fact, they are not.

Research has shown that illicit substance use makes the symptoms of one’s mental health disorder worse. Having the unintended effect of exacerbating the symptoms one is trying to keep at bay. The longer the act of using drugs to cope with mental illness continues, the more severe and often episodes occur. People living with a co-occurring mental health disorder are at great risk of harm. Every year, a significant number of people who meet the criteria for a co-occurring disorder take their own life. Therefore, it is so vital that people living with a mental health disorder are encouraged to talk about their condition. And by doing so, they become empowered to seek treatment.

So, just how common is mental illness in America? A new government report showed almost 1 in 5 American adults struggles with mental illness or addiction each year. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s (SAMHSA) report indicates nearly 44 million American adults living with mental illness, HealthDay reports.

“The presence of [any mental illness] in every state reinforces that mental illness is a major public health concern in the United States,” the report noted. “Overall treatment levels remain low, and addressing the mental health of U.S. adults remains a concern for state and national public health officials.”

Treatment Is The Answer, It Works

While treatment rates are low, they are effective for most people who seek assistance. At 10 Acre Ranch, we have helped many men, from young adults to seniors, recover from co-occurring mental health disorders. If you are battling regular episodes of depression, et al., and are dependent on substances, please contact us today. We can help you break the cycle of addiction, while simultaneously addressing the co-occurring mental illness.

PTSD Awareness Month: Encouraging Treatment

photo of psychologist and despair soldier with PTSD

In the last weeks of May, we covered what we believe to be some very important topics. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), co-occurring mental health disorders and keeping your recovery intact during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Regarding PTSD, we discussed what is at stake for individuals whose condition is left untreated, specifically substance abuse and suicidal ideations. Many veterans who have such thoughts make attempts on their own lives and many of those individuals succeed. With that in mind, it is of absolute importance that everyone showing signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress be encouraged to seek assistance—without fear of social stigma or professional consequence. If you are looking for veteran disability benefits, you should find a recommended increase va disability attorney Kentucky to help you in your pursuit.

At this point, if you are regular reader of this blog, you may be wondering, ‘why all the talk about post-traumatic stress?’ Other than the fact that the disorder is quite common among addicts and alcoholics from all walks of life—military background or not. And given that without a concerted effort to treat both the addiction and the co-occurring mental illness concurrently, recovery is next to impossible; June is PTSD Awareness Month and the 27th is PTSD Awareness Day.

Throughout the course of the following month there will be events held across the country to promote wellness among those affected by this most serious mental health disorder. Even though the Veterans Affairs Department having resources available for the afflicted to access treatment, the majority do not utilize it. A relatively recent study from the RAND Corporation found that 50 percent of veterans who have PTSD do not seek help, of those that do accept treatment, only half of them get “minimally adequate” treatment.

Encouraging Treatment

It should go without saying that the statistics cited above are wholly unacceptable. People who put life and limb at risk for a cause should be afforded the best treatment possible. And everything that can be done, should be done to encourage those who are reluctant to seek help. No easy task, to be sure, yet it is still a goal worth working towards.

“Greater understanding and awareness of PTSD will help Veterans and others recognize symptoms, and seek and obtain needed care.” – Dr. Paula P. Schnurr, Executive Director of the National Center for PTSD.

During the month of June, please join 10 Acre Ranch in the effort to break down the stigma that has surrounded mental illness for too long. Treatment works, it is available, but those who are suffering from any form of mental health disorder need reassurances that they have the support of their community when they make the brave step to recover. There are number of things you can do to propagate the value of seeking treatment, and continued maintenance.

If you click here, you will find a number of materials that can be shared on the various social media platforms in your digital quiver. Once there, you can find information on hosting your own event to further the cause. Below is a short PSA titled, “I have PTSD,” that can be shared on Facebook, Twitter et. al:

If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

“Raising PTSD awareness is essential to overcoming the myth, misinformation and stigma surrounding this mental health problem” said the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert A. McDonald. “We encourage everyone to join us in this important effort.”

PTSD Treatment

If you are male, or have a loved one who is struggling with untreated PTSD along with an alcohol or substance use disorder, please contact 10 Acre Ranch. Drugs and alcohol may, for a time, calm some of your post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, but in the long run mind-altering chemicals only make the symptoms worse. And they can actually make the afflicted more reluctant to seek help. Which is why we implore you to seek assistance before the condition worsens and the symptoms lead to irreversible decisions.

Recovery is not an easy task. The road will be trying, but it will be worth it. You can reach out to our treatment center 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We are here to help.

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.