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depression treatment

Moving On After a Traumatic Event

Moving On After a Traumatic Event

By Jennifer McDougall

“When a problem or a difficult situation arises, say to yourself, as if you already believe it: “This is for my benefit.”
― Chris PrentissBe Who You Want, Have What You Want: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

Moving on after something traumatic has happened can feel like an impossible task, but it’s not. It’s not impossible to move forward after something traumatic has happened. The event that has left you feeling confused, broken, hurt, abandoned, abused, silenced, or sickened, happened for a reason. It happened to teach you something. It happened so that you could be given the tools you need to help other people. It happened so that you could be given the strength you needed to move forward in your life with more courage than ever before. This traumatic event was not a downfall or a setback. It was something that needed to happen to teach you something good and valuable. This event was something that was meant for you and part of your destiny.

The concept that something good can come from a traumatic event may sound new to you. The idea that something like a job loss, a cancer diagnosis, death in the family, a breakup, witnessing or experiencing any type of violence or abuse, car accident, a miscarriage, or even rape could be turned around and looked at something you can benefit from might sound ridiculous, but after stepping back for a minute and finding something positive you can take away from that experience or situation you may see that your perspective of the traumatic event changes.

Looking for a lesson and a blessing in every situation will help keep your outlook on life and all the events that happen within it a more positive experience. Sure something like being raped, or diagnosed with cancer is not something anyone wants or is anywhere close to pleasant, but there is something to positive to take away from everything that happens in our life.

How you move forward after a traumatic event is how you begin to heal. Taking the opportunity to speak with a therapist and talk about what you are feeling will help you process the events leading up to, during, and after the event that occurred. It’s important to let out the emotions your feeling so your therapist can help you work through the trauma and sort out the thoughts tangled up in your mind so you can release the pain built up and move forward in a healthy way.

What happens to many people is they hold on to the pain. They cope with the use of drugs and alcohol to numb that pain, and they wait a while before telling anyone what has happened to them. Some people wait many years to open up and finally talk to a therapist or a trusted confidant. The problem with waiting is that you prolonged the healing process. The longer you hold on to the pain caused by the traumatic event, destruction tends to seep out into your daily life causing you to make poor decisions, get caught up in your head and be distracted.

Substance abuse issues frequently stem from a person’s inability or unwillingness to get the help they need after a traumatic event. It’s important to talk to a close friend or family member immediately after something traumatic has happened to you. It’s even more critical to seek professional help to learn healthy coping mechanisms and not let this thing that has occurred become a weight in your life that holds you back from being the best possible version of yourself.


Moving On After a Traumatic Event

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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How to Heal from Emotional Pain

By Jennifer McDougall

Even emotional pain makes a person feel paralyzed with hopelessness and fear. The impulses driven by anxiety and depression can make someone feel like they’re in the middle of a hurricane. Being still and staring off into thin air happens too often than this person is probably willing to admit. It’s a troubling and painful phase. Yes, it is a phase, because (with our help) you will overcome this all very soon. Sometimes, it feels like there is no end in sight. What this person needs is encouraging support, love, and genuine care. A simple phone call or text to help cheer them up to let them know you’re thinking of them is a great idea. They may have a lack of motivation, physical pain, and trouble sleeping or not wanting to get out of bed or leave the house.

When someone goes through emotional pain or trauma one of the first things they usually want to do is isolate which in many cases leads to substance abuse. Healing emotional pain is possible although many people struggle to find a healthy relief. At Passages, we want you to know there is hope.

“One thing you can’t hide – is when you’re crippled inside.”
― John Lennon

Here are 10 helpful tips to healing emotional pain:

  1. Acknowledge what is causing your pain
  2. Mindful meditate and breathe while being present with yourself
  3. Avoid drugs, alcohol, and nicotine as these substances alter the consciousness which dilutes your ability to think clearly, make good choices, and live a healthy and stable lifestyle
  4. Talk to a professional therapist who can help guide you through a holistic healing process to overcome your pain and fears
  5. Resolve and unsettled issues causing disruption in your life
  6. Prioritize self-care
  7. Accept where you are in at life and remind yourself that everything is temporary– our current condition is not permanent
  8. Forgive yourself rather than beating yourself up or blaming yourself
  9. Practice being open and honest with your friends and family (ones you can trust) about your current emotions and what it is bringing on the pain you’re feeling
  10. Find a healthy workout routine to release stress and tension

How to Contact Passages Malibu

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Overcoming Loneliness in Addiction Recovery

By Jennifer McDougall


Loneliness is often times what causes people to run to drugs and alcohol for relief away from their misery. They might not admit it right away, but eventually they truth seeps out. They are hurt for one reason or another and have chosen to distance themselves from society as best they can. This can be quite dangerous because extreme loneliness can also lead to major depression, overdose, and even suicide. It might not happen overnight, but as the days and weeks go by bad habits grow and have potential to become a full-blown addiction. This is why it’s important to evaluate your behavior pattern and keep your thoughts in check. It’s okay to feel lonely from time to time; in fact, it means you’re longing for something greater– something beyond just the company of yourself.

“Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it’s not because they enjoy solitude. It’s because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.”

― Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

Instead of seeking out the human connection when a person is feeling lonely, often times they choose to isolate themselves because they would rather be alone where no one can hurt them than to be around people and feel vulnerable. This type of behavior attracts others who are experiencing similar situations, which can lead to destructive bonds and toxic relationships. When someone is lonely or feeling depressed instead of linking up with another who’s feeling the same, it would be best to seek out a friend or companion who can offer you strength and guidance rather than drag you down a road of darkness and destruction. It takes a great deal of awareness to notice the difference between helping you out with true integrity and a walk down the wrong path.  It might even feel hopeless at times that there’s no one to relate to, but that feeling will soon pass.

Someone who is lonely and sinking into deep depression will begin to do just about anything to numb the pain racing through their bodies. It’s important to understand the simple act of kindness can do wonders for someone who’s feeling so awful. A simple phone call, text, funny Facebook post, or tagging them in a cute or inspirational meme can help more than you know.

To help prevent addiction from happening to someone you love, pay attention to the jokes (there’s a little truth behind every joke), listen when they speak (people suffering from loneliness and depression have to muster up more energy than you think just to speak), hug them as often as possible (human touch is very powerful), and don’t be afraid to check in on them once, twice, maybe three times a day. Even though someone says they want to be left alone, that’s not always true. What they truly want is just someone to sit quietly with them and be there.

If you are someone who has found yourself in the rabbit hole, drowning is poor choices, and a dependency on drugs and alcohol, make Passages Addiction Treatment Centers your next phone call. We offer the best drug and alcohol treatment in the world and rated “The Number 1 Rehab in The World” by Healthcare Global. Our team of licensed nurses are on site 24/7 and our holistic approach to healing is covered by most insurance policies. To learn more and get out of this hole you’ve crawled into call (888) 397-0112 today. Your future is waiting!

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10 Ways to Cope with the Loss of a Loved One

By Jennifer McDougall

Accepting the loss of someone you loved and cared for, no matter the time or relationship, can be challenging. Leaning on loved ones and avoiding the urge to isolate into your shell is essential. When someone you love passes on, there is a numbing pain usually felt within our core. We want to run from pain too often when it arrives. When challenges or circumstances present themselves, it is best not to run or try and hide from the emotion or event that is or has recently taken place. By running, I am also talking about resorting to substances for temporary relief. You must know that drugs and alcohol won’t bring your loved one back, and attempting to drown your pain with addictive substances can not only be fatal but can also make matters much worse.

Recently, a friend of mine passed away from an on-going battle with addiction. Heroin was his coping mechanism. Heroin is also what took him from this world. He was looking for an escape. For years, he was in discomfort with himself; in pain for many of the pieces in his life never added up to a fulfilling measure (his own belief). The truth is, he was a bright young man with a great sense of humor. Many people loved him, but sometimes (for reasons we don’t always understand) that was not enough.

There are underlying reasons for why a person does what they do. Behind every person’s addiction, behind every reason to escape the consciousness we know and feel complete when sober, is an underlying reason driving every thought and action.

When someone feels pain, they typically want to run away from it. The trouble is that pain is meant to be felt. It is a natural sensation that can benefit us in many ways. Suppose you avoid the feelings of sadness and loss. In that case, you prologue the grieving process in which delays the natural cycle of healing. It is crucial that you feel everything during this process. If you don’t, it can lead to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, anger, insomnia, job loss, relationship trouble, financial difficulties, unresolved guilt, and many other things you are much better off without.

Symptoms of Grief:

  • Shock and Disbelief– There’s a feeling of numbness that usually hits when the news has broken to loved ones of a sudden passing. The disbelief and denial of the truth are common. Only by accepting the truth and handling the information most consciously and collectively will we be better off.
  • Sadness – Despair, loneliness, a sense of emptiness, and absence are common symptoms to feel during the grieving process. Crying is not a sin, so if you feel sad to let it out. Feel what you feel.
  • Guilt – You may feel guilty for things you said or did to this person who has passed away. Even if the death was out of your control, you still might blame yourself for reasons you should only stop and learn to forgive now that the person has passed on.
  • Anger – You may be mad at yourself, God, the situation itself, the drug that caused the death, the driver behind the wheel, or the medical team who couldn’t save them. You could be mad due to feeling abandoned. That’s okay, but don’t stay angry for too long. Forgiveness goes a long way.
  • Fear – Loss can trigger feelings of worry, a loss of hope, and create insecurities.
  • Physical Symptoms (Nausea, fatigue, weight loss or weight gain, insomnia, body aches)

How to Cope with Loss:

  1. Seek support in others rather than grieving alone (join a support group, talk to a therapist, turn to family and friends). Talk to someone who will listen openly to what you’re going through.
  2. Be real with how YOU feel. Express your emotions, workout, shower daily, stay hydrated, and eat nutritious meals.
  3. Look for what you can learn from the person’s life.
  4. Write it out or create a painting to help you release any emotions you are experiencing. It’s important not to suppress any emotion because that can impact your physical and mental health down the road. 
  5. Avoid drugs and alcohol – treat yourself to a sweet dessert or a sweaty workout instead (total opposites, I know).
  6. Daily meditation for healing benefits and mental stability
  7. Make plans for the near future to give you and others suffering something to look forward to.
  8. Get out of the house at least once a day and be around other people.
  9. Accept that the feelings of guilt, regret, pain, and suffering will soon pass.
  10. Be patient through the grieving and healing process – take your time and allow yourself to go through every motion as you best feel fitting for yourself.

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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10 Ways to Overcome Symptoms of Depression

By Jennifer McDougall

Depression affects millions of people across the world; of all ages. In many cases, those who suffer from depression also suffer from anxiety disorders, as well as, drug and alcohol addictions. It is not uncommon for those suffering from depression symptoms to turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to temporarily numb the pain and regain a pinch of satisfaction. The problem with this type of outlet is that it tends to lead to an array of health problems, emotional stress, loss of clarity and mental focus, as well as financial and relationship trouble.

When someone is feeling depressed they may not reach out immediately for help or want to talk about what is causing them to feel alone and hopeless. There are many situations and circumstances that can cause a person to feel this way. It could be due to loosing a job, breakup, financial struggle, loss of a loved one, poor diet, lack of exercise and outdoor activity, or major change at home or work. They may not feel like they add up to the expectations drawn out for them. Without supportive friends and family members, many of the difficulties we face in life tend to be much more challenging.

Many of us go through certain phases in life; we experience changes in our relationships, finances, and careers. Through those changes it is important to remain focused on our goals so that we don’t get overwhelmed with the “what if’s”, “why not’s”, “how come’s” and “what now.”

It is not uncommon for someone to experience symptoms of depression a few times throughout their lives. What matters most is what to look out for and know how to treat these symptoms before things take a downward spiral towards physical harm, addiction, or suicide.

Here are a several signs that you or someone you care about is suffering with depression.

  • An overwhelming sense of sadness
  • Loss of concentration and interest
  • On-going negative thoughts and comments
  • Excessive drinking or use of drugs
  • Aggression or reckless behavior
  • Too little or too much sleep
  • Little to no motivation or enthusiasm
  • Extreme changes in appetite
  • Suicidal thoughts or remarks

Depression is not something to ever feel ashamed of. It affects millions of people who have managed to overcome the symptoms and go on to live a happy and healthy life. Here are 10 ways to overcome the dark dreary symptoms of depression.

  1. Connect with friends and family who help motivate and support you in a positive way.
  2. Get 8 hours of sleep.
  3. Drink plenty of water.
  4. Meditate
  5. Eat healthy.
  6. Avoid drugs and alcohol.
  7. Add lighting and spruce up your living space.
  8. Journal your thoughts, ideas, and day-to-day experiences.
  9. Watch feel-good or funny movies.
  10. Change up your worn out routine.

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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