Sleep and Addiction: Is Sleeping Too Much Okay?

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Anyone who has ever gone through an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or anyone who has ever watched a loved one struggle with one, knows firsthand just how difficult that journey to sobriety can be. An addiction, or substance use disorder, can wreak havoc on all areas of a person’s life. It can cause financial hardship, deterioration in health, loss of one’s job, homelessness, death, etc. Addiction can also have a devastating effect on a person’s sleep. Some people end up sleeping too much, which can result in other problems for your ultimate recovery from your addiction.

Addiction is often defined as “a brain disease brought on by chronic drug use that interferes with and makes changes to brain circuitry and chemistry, and these changes lead to compulsive drug using behaviors.” These changes in the brain are also what lead to both long-term and short-term sleep difficulties. The connection between drug use and sleep often goes both ways; substance abuse can hinder a person’s ability to sleep, and subsequently, difficulty with one’s sleep can also lead to an addiction or substance abuse problem as people turn to them in order to help them fall asleep.

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Sometimes, withdrawal symptoms from an addiction can cause problems with your sleep schedule, which can result in over-sleeping.

Unfortunately, once someone achieves sobriety, this problem doesn’t just go away. During the first week of sobriety, most people experience some level of withdrawal symptoms, some more severe than others. While the withdrawal symptoms that are experienced can differ depending on things like that type of drugs that were used, the amount of drugs that were used, and how long the person has been using those drugs or alcohol, problems with sleep remain the most common withdrawal symptom regardless of what substances were being used.

Tips for Getting Good Sleep in Sobriety

If you are like millions of other Americans who are new to recovery, then here are a few tips to help you get restful sleep while still maintaining your sobriety.

  • Stick to a Schedule- If you used drugs or alcohol shortly before bed, then it can be even more difficult to fall asleep once you get sober as your brain is no longer sure when it is time to go to bed. Creating a new, and healthy, sleep schedule is essential to getting good sleep while sober. Going to bed at the same time every night will help let your brain know when it is time to go to sleep.
  • Have a Nightly Routine- While this may be difficult for those who work odd hours or those who don’t have a set schedule, doing the same thing each and every night before you go to bed will help ensure you fall asleep faster. Try doing a light exercise 30 minutes before you go to sleep, or read your favorite book for an hour. This will also help train your brain when it is time to go to sleep.
  • Eliminate Screen Time- Research has shown that electronic devices, such as computers, phones, or TVs, can have a negative impact on the quality of one’s sleep. Cutting back on the amount of screen time you have, at least one hour before bed, can greatly reduce the chance of disrupting the quality of sleep.
  • Create a Space for Sleeping- Limit the amount of extracurricular activities you do while in bed, such as checking your phone, watching TV, or stressful conversations with your partner. This will help train your brain that the bed is where you sleep, not for everything else.

These are just a few tips you can implement to help increase the quality of your sleep, especially early on in recovery.

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Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to help you maintain sobriety, early in your recovery from an addiction.

Effects of Oversleeping

While sleep is essential early on recovery, there is still a chance that you could be sleeping too much. There is a difference between getting the right amount of sleep needed to recover and simply just getting too much sleep to begin with. It may sound absurd at first because whoever thought you could get too much sleep, but it is possible. The amount of sleep needed can vary depending on the individual, but most experts agree that anything above 10 hours for an adult is considered to be too much.

Oversleeping can be a sign of many underlying issues, such as depression and heart disease. The effects of oversleeping are much like the effects of not getting enough sleep to begin with. Getting enough sleep especially while undergoing withdrawal from drugs or alcohol is essential as the brain and body need this time to repair itself. However, a person can sleep too much. Here are a few side effects associated with getting too much sleep;

  • Higher risk of obesity
  • Higher risk of diabetes
  • Higher risk of heart disease
  • Depression
  • Increased pain
  • Impaired fertility
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Depression
  • Higher risk of overall mortality (death)
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Sleeping too much can become a problem in addiction recovery.

The importance of a healthy sleeping schedule in addiction recovery

Just like with anything in life, having a proper sleep schedule requires a good amount of balance. While it is important to get enough sleep to ensure a successful sobriety, it is also important to remember that there is such a thing as too much. We know that this can be a struggle for many Americans, as nearly 70 million people in the United States all suffer from a sleep disorder of some kind. There has long been a connection between sleep problems and substance abuse disorders, that is because many drugs and alcohol disrupt that natural circuit in the brain. Not only that, but there is also a link between poor sleep and the rate of relapse. For those in recovery, and anyone else who might be curious, we hope that this information was useful to you!

If you, or a loved one, are new to recovery and are having a difficult time with getting the right amount of sleep, then please reach out to an addiction specialist today. There is no shame in asking for help, especially when you need it! We know what a huge struggle trying to get enough sleep can be, especially early in the road to recovery, that is why we are here and we are always ready to help! We wish you the best!

 

(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

Can Brain Imaging Help Beat Drug Addiction?

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The word addiction itself comes from the latin phrase meaning “enslaved to” or “bound by”. Addiction is a disease of the brain that is characterized by the inability to stop using drugs or alcohol despite the user having experienced severe negative consequences throughout their everyday lives, such as job loss, relationship problems, or extreme poverty. People who suffer from this disease experience compulsive behavior related to using drugs and alcohol, they are unable to stop doing them even though they know it will cause further problems in life or keep them from bettering their situation entirely.

People with substance abuse problems have distorted thinking, behavior, and bodily functions. However, not everyone who uses drugs or alcohol will become addicted, there are many factors that can lead to someone developing an addiction, such as genetic predisposition, environmental factors like peer pressure, and dynamics in the family and home. When someone begins using drugs or alcohol, a surge of chemicals, mainly dopamine, are released inside the brain. Dopamine is often referred to as the brain’s reward and pleasure centers, this chemical is released naturally in the brain when we experience pleasurable moments like eating a delicious meal or participating in your favorite activity. When a person continuously uses drugs or alcohol, our brains begin to rely on this surge of chemicals and it needs them in order to function properly.

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Disease is any condition that changes the way an organ functions, much like how heart disease permanently damages the heart. With prolonged and repeated use of drugs and alcohol, the brain begins to change over time, creating new pathways for these chemicals to go back and forth between neurons. This ultimately causes changes to the brain’s structure and the way the brain functions, some of these changes are even permanent. Drugs and alcohol change the brain in many ways but there are 3 areas that are most heavily affected.

Areas of the Brain Affected by Drugs and Alcohol

  • Basal Ganglia- This area of the brain plays an important role in positive forms of motivation and our habit forming principles. This area of the brain allows us to feel pleasure and when it becomes inundated by drugs and alcohol it becomes less sensitive to the natural reward system, making it difficult to feel pleasure without the use of drugs and alcohol.
  • Extended Amygdala- The extended amygdala plays an important role in producing feelings such as anxiety, irritability, and overall uneasiness, which are typically synonymous with feelings of withdrawal. With repeated use of drugs and alcohol, this area of the brain becomes more sensitive, causing the user to seek drugs and alcohol again to avoid these negative feelings.
  • Prefrontal Cortex- Perhaps the most crucial of all, this area of the brain plays an important role in the ability to think, plan, solve problems, make decisions, and exert self control over impulses. This is also the last part of the brain to mature, making teens more susceptible to becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol. When drugs and alcohol are repeatedly used, it shifts the circuits from stress, to reward, to lack of impulse control, ultimately creating a situation where drugs and alcohol have taken over.

How Brain Imaging Can Help Fight Addiction

With the evolution of science, this has changed the model of addiction. What was once seen as lacking moral fortitude or the ability to control one’s actions, scientists and doctors now understand that it requires more than good intentions to fight this disease. Now widely recognized as a brain disease and cataloged as a mental health disorder, doctors and scientists have been conducting brain imaging studies in order to better understand how to effectively treat and manage this chronic disease.

Since addiction causes changes to the brain, there are differences when comparing brain image scans of a non addict to an addict. Areas like the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for decision making, show major differences that can be attributed to the lack of self control in addicts and their inability to stop using drugs and alcohol. Using brain scans to help treat addiction has shown significant promise to recovering addicts and their families. Aside from the medical standpoint, brain scans help in many ways when it comes to recovery.

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How Brain Scans Help Recovering Addicts

  • Brain Scans Don’t Lie- Brain scans clearly show toxic damage and exposure that is caused by drugs or alcohol. These illegal substances negatively impact areas of the brain that play an important role in being able to control one’s emotions and critical thinking abilities, brain scans show the damage left by drugs and alcohol.
  • Brain Scans Reveal Effects of Drugs- Seeing as how brain scans don’t lie, it is much easier to understand the correlation between drug and alcohol use and the visible damage caused by them. Substances like marijuana and nicotine cause significant changes in brain function and even everyday things like sugar can impact the way our brains operate on a daily basis.
  • Brain Imaging Shows That There is More Than One Addiction- Through brain imaging, we have been able to gain a deeper understanding into addiction. Now, addiction can be broken down into different categories.
    • Compulsive Addicts
    • Impulsive Addicts
    • Impulsive-Compulsive Addicts
    • Sad or Emotional Addicts
    • Anxious Addicts
    • Temporal Lobe Addicts

Researchers have gained valuable insight into how to effectively treat and manage multiple types of addiction, instead of grouping them all together.

  • Brain Imaging Helps to Break the Stigma and Shame- For years, decades even, addiction was treated as a lack of will power and moral discipline. With the advancement of technology, brain scans prove that drugs and alcohol alter the structure of the brain. An addict who is suffering may also feel as though it is all their fault, brain imaging helps show that addiction is a disorder of the brain.
  • Brain Scans Help Remove Denial- Many people with addictions are in denial that they even have a problem. When an addict is confronted with a brain scan image that shows visible damage from drugs and alcohol, it is difficult to deny that there is an underlying issue.
  • Brain Images Help Families Understand- Much like when an addict is shown their brain on drugs, when a family member is shown the scans of loved one it can help remove any blame they place on each other knowing that addiction is a result of chemical and structural changes to the brain, not something they did personally.
  • Brain Scans Can Reveal Co-occurring Disorders- Another benefit when using brain imaging as an additional tool to combat addiction is that it can also reveal co-occurring disorders, such as traumatic brain injuries, depression, or ADHD. In order to heal from addiction, these issues also need to be addressed.
  • Brain Scans Give Hope- Being able to see that your brain is toxic can be a great motivator. Brain scans also make it easy to track the progress of an individual throughout their treatment plan and their sobriety. Using before and after pictures can help someone stay motivated by being able to actually see the healing of their brain.

With a deeper understanding of addiction, we hope to remove the stigma surrounding it. There is no shame in asking for help, if you or someone you know are addicted to drugs, reach out to us for help today! We have many treatment programs available designed to fit your needs.

 

(877) 228-4679

Join The Voices of Addiction Recovery

Addiction and Recovery Blog

If you are working a program of addiction recovery, you have a lot to be proud about. You have, even those of you new to the program, have come a long way from where you were. In the grips of a progressive illness with generally dismal outcomes. Some of you may have even surpassed most people’s idea of rock bottom. You might even say you were looking up at the bottom. Addiction is a take no prisoners mental illness, people with a disorder, if left untreated, will likely die as a result. It is for that reason that anyone working a program of recovery has so much for which to be grateful.

If you have undergone addiction treatment, then you know that your disease is nobody’s business but your own. You know the program that is saving your life is an anonymous program. You also know that there are many things that prevented you from seeking treatment for as long as you did. Usually, at the top of that list of reasons is the social stigma that has long been a black cloud over addiction. The belief that addiction is not a disease, but rather a moral failing among individuals with weak will. The power of such societal beliefs should not be underestimated.

Due to the prevalence of social stigma, many addicts and alcoholics go without treatment. Even if they can easily access or afford addiction treatment services, many will put it off. It is a decision that is often fatal. Many addicts die of an overdose before they ever have an opportunity to give recovery a chance.

Ending The Stigma of Addiction Requires Everyone

The program you are working is anonymous for good reasons. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a role in ending stigma by speaking out. There is no time like the present to let the world know that recovery from this mental illness is possible. September is National Recovery Month, a time to raise awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders. And a time to recognize the millions of people actively working programs of recovery.

The theme this year is Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) asks that both individuals in recovery and their family members share their personal stories and successes. By doing so, it could encourage a significant number of people to give recovery a chance. If you are interested in sharing your story, please click here. Below is an example of a courageous individual in recovery:


If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

You may not be at a point in your recovery that you are willing to share your story with society. That is OK. Some people might not ever be comfortable to do so, which is also just fine. You can still have a role in spreading the message that addiction is a mental health disorder. And that recovery is possible by continuing to live by the principles of addiction recovery. Paying forward what was given to you gratis.

Recovery is Possible

If you are a male who is still caught in the vicious cycle of addiction, please contact 10 Acre Ranch. We know it is a hard decision. We know that your disease will always try to convince you that there isn’t a problem. Even when you know there is. Maybe National Recovery Month, and the inspiring stories of brave individuals, can be the catalyst for your own recovery.

Addiction, Mental Illness and Cigarettes

Addiction, Mental Illness and Cigarettes photo of a man smoking in a dark room

Back in May you might remember an article we wrote about the dangers of smoking cigarettes in addiction recovery. Specifically having to do with the increased risk of relapse among smokers in recovery. In case you didn’t get a chance to read the post, we will give you a brief synopsis.

There is evidence suggesting that cigarette smokers in recovery are more likely to relapse on their “substance of choice.” Given that the goal of people in recovery is long-term abstinence, the findings are problematic, to say the least. If you regularly attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), you know that smoking is quite common. The last vestige of many people’s addictive past.

Those of you not in recovery, without a history of substance use disorder (SUD), may find that revelation odd. You might be thinking, ‘people are able to give up the heroin, but can’t kick the nicotine?’ Said people fought tooth and nail to be free of deadly substances, but are still holding on to cigarettes. Both addictive and deadly. Well, yes… It’s a common occurrence among people in recovery. Even with those who have undergone residential addiction treatment and are working a program of recovery day-in and day-out.

The Nature of Addiction

Regardless of which mind-altering substance, they are all addictive and extremely difficult stop using. Every case is different, but while every substance is hard to kick, some are more socially acceptable. Cigarettes are legal to use, and the toll they take on the human body is usually slower than “hard drugs.” People tend to have less of a sense of urgency when it comes to abstaining from tobacco. Even though it is killing you.

With that in mind, we would be remiss if we did not point out that smoking cessation is possible. Are you in recovery and still smoke, or started while in recovery (it happens more than you’d think)? If so, quitting can be extremely beneficial to both your physical and mental health. Finding healthier ways to cope with stress is always ideal. Considering that people in recovery are committed to living a healthy life and avoiding things that could lead to relapse.

Perhaps you would like another reason to prime your desire to quit. It turns out that the tobacco industry has long been targeting people with mental health disorders. If you are in recovery from addiction, that means you, too. They have also been targeting people in high stress environments, such as the military.

Praying Upon Addiction and Mental illness

MTV’s Music Awards are being held this coming Sunday. At which time viewers will see a series of advertisements about the tobacco industry’s nefarious ways of turning a profit. As smoking rates have continued to decline in recent decades, research suggests that “Big Tobacco” has targeted the vulnerable, The Washington Post reports. The ads point out that around 40 percent of cigarettes sold in the U.S. are to people with mental health issues. Such as depression, anxiety or substance-abuse problems. What’s more, 38 percent of people who smoke in the armed services started after enlisting. Please take a moment to watch the both informative and disturbing ads below.

“As the number of smokers drops, the industry is finding it harder and harder to find those replacement smokers,” said Robin Koval, chief executive of Truth Initiative. “So the industry is targeting people based on their challenges in life, on who they are. It’s shocking and appalling.”

Free Cigarettes to Psychiatric Facilities: Click Here

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“The real truth is quitting actually helps their mental condition,” said Koval. “Those who are addicted and quit smoking when in recovery are less likely to relapse. Depression, anxiety, all those issues are helped when people try to quit.”

Addiction Treatment

At 10 Acre Ranch, we encourage all our clients to give up cigarettes while in treatment. We know how difficult it can be. Quitting all mind-altering substances at once can be a lot to handle. But, in the long run, it will be worth it for both health and recovery reasons. If you are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, including nicotine, please contact us today. We can provide a number of tools to help you be free of tobacco, while learning how to live a life in recovery.

Self-Medicating Toward Addiction

beautiful lady self-medicating toward addiction

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.

Depression Advocate Michael Phelps

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At the end of last month and at the beginning of June, we focused heavily on post-traumatic stress disorder. Which makes sense. Considering the passing of Memorial Day and that many people suffering from the symptoms of PTSD also have a co-occurring mental health disorder, such as addiction. What’s more, June is National PTSD Awareness Month, a time for everyone to have an active role in encouraging people to talk about and seek help for the debilitating mental illness; which, left untreated, is a sure path to both substance use and suicide.

PTSD, without a doubt, is a serious problem in America and abroad. But, it cannot be stressed enough how pervasive other forms of mental health disorders that often accompany addiction are, such as depression. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that more than 300 million people worldwide are living with depression. Calling the condition the number one cause of poor health on the planet.

With that in mind, our hope at 10 Acre Ranch is that more Americans will realize the importance of destigmatizing mental health conditions. Only by doing so can we encourage people who need help to get help. It is a fact, the majority of people living with a mental illness of any form have never been diagnosed. Without screening and treatment, people cope with their symptoms by any means necessary, often with drugs and alcohol. When those substances stop having the desired effect (as they always do at some point), suicide often follows.

Screening for Depression

Helping people get screened for mental illness has become the mission of Michael Phelps, who hopes to make waves outside the pool. Phelps was named the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) honorary chairperson of National Mental Health Awareness Day 2017, The Baltimore Sun reports. And now the Olympian, with more gold medals than anyone else in history, is on the board of directors of Medibio, an Australian-based medical technology company that’s developed a comprehensive test to help accurately diagnose depression and other forms of mental illness.

“I have personally experienced Medibio’s technology and believe it can help make a profound impact in diagnosing mental health and empowering people to seek the help and support they may need,” Phelps said in the company’s news release. “In sports, there is so much focus on the physical aspects of performance, and athletes are analyzed from head to toe. But for many athletes, mental health has not been a topic of focus, and the data analysis aspect of it has been missing up until now.”

The Digital Mental Health Platform is the world’s first FDA approved diagnostic test for mental illnesses like depression. The technology is non-intrusive, quick, objective, decisive and will (according to the Medibio) revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of mental health. The company believes that Phelps will be an important asset to the company, and the mental health community.

“His lifelong dedication to excellence in the pool, his advocacy for mental health, and his understanding of data-driven solutions will provide a great addition to our board,” Cosentino said in the release. “Michael’s significant public profile will raise substantial awareness of mental health challenges and the real, tangible solutions that Medibio’s diagnostics can provide.”

Depression and Addiction Treatment

It is quite common for people living with the debilitating symptoms of depression to also have an alcohol or substance use disorder. If you, or a loved one, are struggling with co-occurring mental health disorders, please contact 10 Acre Ranch today.