Browsing Tag

depression

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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What to do When You Feel Depressed

By Jennifer McDougall

“You can be happy if you are willing to let go of your past and leave yourself unencumbered so you can fly freely.”

― Chris Prentiss, Zen and the Art of Happiness

One of the best ways to overcome the depressive state you’re currently in is to look at what it is that is the driving force of those emotions. Is it stressing from work or financial issues? Is it a relationship that is draining you or not giving you what you need to thrive? Is it a recent loss of someone you loved or cared for? To overcome anything, we must first look at what is causing what we are feeling.

Depression leads many people to do many self-destructive things in their lives that that later down the road regret. It can drag you down to the depths of despair and leave you feeling hallow and alone. There may be days you find yourself not sleeping or sleeping too much; not eating or eating to much. Depression also affects how much or little we have the drive to socialize with other people, even those we love. Sometimes there is no explanation to why you feel sad, you just do. We understand that, but we want to help you get out of this slump and start living life in a more inspiring and uplifting way so that you can be the remarkable person you were created to be.

Here are 10 simple tricks to help you get up, get motivated, and start embracing life again.

  1. Take a long hot bath before bed with lavender oils and Epson salt to help relax your mind and body and detoxify your organs.
  2. Wake up early no matter what day it is and go for a walk, swim, hike, or bike ride.
  3. Remind yourself you are a strong individual who is loved and has so much grace and talent to give to this world.
  4. Eat proper meals and drink plenty of water so your body gets all of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
  5. Give thanks to those who are good to you. Give thanks to yourself because you offer so much light to this world. Give thanks for a beautiful day no matter if there is rain or sunshine. Just give thanks.
  6. Listen to uplifting music at home or in the car
  7. Avoid any consumption of drugs and alcohol because these things on lead to making poor choices
  8. Distance yourself from anyone who makes you feel less than, who discourages you, who doubts you, who is jealous of you, and who tries to rain on your beautiful day. Just smile and walk away.
  9. Pick up an enchanting novel that will let your mind wander and expand your imagination
  10. Give yourself a break. Be kind to yourself and let yourself rest when you’re worn out, drained or just need a day off. It’s okay. You must be good to yourself. This must be a priority.

 

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™

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What is Self-Destruction?

Self-destruction comes in many forms. It can be mental, emotional or physical.

In human context, selfdestructive behavior is a widely used phrase that conceptualizes certain kinds of destructive acts as belonging to the self. It also has the property that it characterizes certain kinds of self-inflicted acts as destructive 

It is possible that you or someone you know is self-destructive. It can become a bad habit that can only be corrected when the person realizes what they are doing and wants to stop. Sometimes it takes a person to hit rock bottom to then ask, “How did this happen to me?”

What Does it Mean to be Self-Destructive?

Many of those who are self-destructive have low self-esteem or self-respect.  This can be brought on by a personal life event such as a change in job status, death of a loved one, or past trauma.  Self-destructive behavior can also be a result of previous neglect, abuse, bullying (classmates, co-workers, ex-lovers, etc.), or a lack of accomplishment. A person may react with carelessness, anger, uncontrollable emotions, and irrational actions.  Feelings of sadness, loneliness, and depression can be overwhelming, and cause the person to lose hope in life. In many cases, they will pretend to be happy and act like everything is fine; not admitting that they are struggling to cope.

You can help a loved one who suffers from self-destruction by being supportive, loving, kind, reassuring of their capabilities, and letting them know that they are special.  There are cases that require professional help.  To learn more, read “10 Signs of Self-Destruction” on our blog.

 

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™

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21 Ways to Manage Emotional, Mental and Physical Pain

By Jennifer McDougall

We know by now that drugs and alcohol are not the answers to our problems. In fact, they just complicate things and make us feel worse than we did before. So here are 21 alternative ways to help manage the pain you’re feeling:

  1. Acupuncture treatment by a professional
  2. Avoid the use of drugs and alcohol.
  3. Learn to take control of stress.
  4. Low impact exercises 30-60 minutes a day such as yoga, Tai Chi, walking, swimming or scenic hiking
  5. Write in a private journal every day.
  6. Avoid cigarettes and nicotine.
  7. Take a scenic drive.
  8. Eat healthy foods regularly (lots of omega-3, and whole grains)
  9. Drink plenty of water every day.
  10. Watch a funny movie and allow yourself to laugh
  11. Read an insightful and thought-provoking book or novel
  12. Listen to relaxing music.
  13. Talk to close friends and family members over a meal or cup of tea.
  14. Indulge in a 20-30 minute warm lavender infused bath with soft lights and music before bedtime.
  15. Hypnosis and guided imagery
  16. Guided Meditation or meditation of your choice twice a day
  17. 20 seconds deep breathing exercises
  18. Herbal remedies and supplements
  19. Massage therapy
  20. Hydrotherapy
  21. Rest and be sure you’re getting enough sleep (listen to your body).

 

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™

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Image via Pixabay

Learning to be With Your Pain Instead of Escaping It

By Jennifer McDougall

Pain is the most common reason behind addiction. It comes in many forms; physical, mental, and emotional pain. It stems from the brain and flows into your central nervous system. An extreme amount of pain and discomfort can potentially send you right over the edge, but if you listen closely, it can also be the most helpful thing that can happen for you. The majority of people who seek medical attention or temporarily relief through the use of drugs and alcohol do so, because they are experiencing some sort of pain. It is in fact, a survival mechanism to help protect your body. Those who are born without the ability to feel things due to issues within the central nervous system typically do not live long healthy lives. We must understand the importance of being able to feel everything our bodies are trying to communicate to us. When people use drugs and alcohol to numb their pain, their perceptions towards situations are altered, along with their consciousness and they increase the risk of making really lousy decisions.

Whether it’s from abuse (of any kind), trauma, fear, anxiety, or physical ailments; we have all felt pain one way or another. Throughout this journey in life, we must all learn to adjust to the changes that come and go. One thing that is guaranteed is change itself. Change is inevitable. What is causing your pain and sorrow one day could be gone the next.  By trying to escape pain there is an immense potential of making matters extremely worse for ourselves and those we love. It’s important to be fully conscious and aware of our surroundings so that we can make good decisions and know when something is not right. Because of perhaps the horrible things that have happened in your life your body reminds you when something feels off or dangerous. When our heart breaks for the first time we learn to be more cautious in future relationships. When we cut our finger slicing veggies, or burn our hand on a hot pan, we learn to be more careful in the kitchen. When we have our first car accident we learn to be more aware of others on the road and pay close attention to what’s going on around us at all times. Pain teaches us lessons in life and that’s something we shouldn’t ignore.

There are times in your life when you may be stressed, overwhelmed, broken, hurt beyond belief, and sad over a loss. Pain is a natural feeling that is meant to be felt. To be with your pain means to accept what is happening in your life and throughout your body. We have a natural right to feel everything that this sometimes cruel and unfair world throws at us. The best part about all of it is that you have a choice. You can either choose to accept what is, let go of what is not (anymore), and cope with an attitude of optimism that circumstances will improve.

Your mind and body must heal from the pain you have experienced over time. This can be done by using therapy methods such as the ones used at Passages Addiction Treatment Centers. For anyone who is or has suffered with emotional, mental, or physical pain, knows the discomfort that can be debilitating. When you experience pain there is an instant shock-wave like feeling that erupts and at times, it feels so uncontrollable. When this happens, you must first practice deep breathing and try to remain calm.

Reaching for the bottle or a substance to get high isn’t the solution. When you find yourself in a situation where you are sinking deep with a weight of pain; call a friend, go for a quiet walk, have a cup of tea, write in a private journal, or turn up your favorite song and sing it out loud. Life is better when you can learn to manage your pain instead of escaping it. Other means of pain relieve can also be helpful such as acupuncture, massage, meditation, and stretching exercises. A healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and 7-8 hours of nightly rest will also help.

 

 

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™

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Photo by: Jennifer McDougall

5 Signs you are Vitamin D Deficient

By Jennifer McDougall

There are many of us who have vitamin deficiencies that we are completely unaware of, but need to recognize. One of the most common vitamin deficiencies is Vitamin D. Have you ever noticed how much better you feel on vacation- when you are out in the sun for a while and soaking up the rays? That’s because your body is taking in vitamin D. This is something we don’t get when we are cooped up inside and feel increasingly bloated, tired, depressed, unmotivated, and uninspired.

There are so many benefits of vitamin D.  Research has shown that vitamin D has the power to improve your mood, strengthen your bones, assist with weight loss, regulate blood pressure, and increase your endurance. So in order to prevent you from being part of the 35% of Americans who are vitamin D deficient, here are 5 things you need to look out for as signs that it’s time to get out in the sun and take vitamin D supplements.

  1. You feel sad, lost, confused, or lonely when you are generally happy and stable.
  2. Your muscles seem smaller than usual, but you work out on a regular basis.
  3. Your body is incredibly sensitive to pain and you feel aching in your bones.
  4. You have little energy throughout the day and often times reach for the 2pm cup of coffee.
  5. You have lost color in your face and your skin is anything but glowing at the moment.

Here are several suggestions for supplements and ways to get the vitamin D that you need in order to feel your best.

  • Supplements: NatureWise Vitamin D3
  • Spend 20-30 minutes outside every day, unless weather conditions do not permit.
  • Eat more salmon, tuna, trout, and eel.
  • Eat egg yolks regularly.
  • Use ultraviolet lamps occasionally, but in moderation.

 

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™

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Photo by: Jennifer McDougall

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™

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happiness, beating depression

Beating Depression with Meaningful Activity, Helping Others

There may not be one single secret to happiness, but it appears that science has closed in on one of its key contributing factors.

A recently published study that appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has shed new light on the true causes of lasting well-being.

The research examined a group of 39 teenagers over the course of a single year in order to gauge how their brains responded selfless acts and how those acts impacted long term contentment.

An article published yesterday in The Atlantic placed the study into a unique perspective, drawing upon the philosopher Aristotle to frame two basic types of happiness.  Hedonia, basic pleasure seeking (think watching the entire season of a show on Netflix), versus eudaimonia, pleasure that comes from meaningful engagement with life pursuits or helping others.

While short terms bursts of happiness feel imeediately good, new psychological research shows that helping others leads to more sustaining, eudaimonic happiness.

In recent research, scientists measure happiness by looking at the reward center of the brain, called the ventral striata, under an MRI.

The group of 39 teenagers was assembled because the teenage brain is so responsive to both positive and negative emotions.  Both depression and happiness tend to peak in late adolescence, in many individuals.

The teens had their brains scanned using an fMRI while choosing between keeping money to themselves (hedonic) or giving money to their family (eudaimonic).  One additional experiment included a game that allowed them to take risks in order to earn more money for themselves (hedonic).

A self-reporting questionnaire was administered following the initial scan.  Another follow-up questionnaire was then administered one year later.

The results revealed that teens who decided to make the family-donation decision demonstrated the most substantial declines in depressive symptoms.  Overall, their sense of wellbeing increased.  Teens who played and received the greatest boost from the risk-taking game demonstrated the greatest risk in depression.

The authors noted that their findings show that well-being may depend upon contributing to more selfless, higher nature, rather than immediate, base pleasure.

Although being young doesn’t always translate smoothly to acting selflessly, there may be an important take-away in this study which allows for greater insight into what we really need to be happy.

Said better in another study from a year ago: “Happiness without meaning characterizes a relatively shallow, self-absorbed or even selfish life, in which things go well, needs and desire are easily satisfied, and difficult or taxing entanglements are avoided.”

By going a bit deeper and extending ourselves beyond our own world, into that of others, there appears to be not just a secret to happiness, but an entire world where it freely exists.

Depression Treatment

Depression is one of the most frequent co-occurring issues seen with individuals suffering from drug or alcohol dependency.  It is very common for people who are struggling with depression to turn to drugs and alcohol for relief.  Depressed individuals are often suffering from so much pain, hopelessness, and low self-esteem that drugs and alcohol serve as a temporary escape and a way to self-medicate.  However, this repeated self-medicating causes a chemical dependency in the mind and body, eventually leading to a full blown addiction.  Although the use of drugs and alcohol starts as a way to numb the pain, it actually ends up magnifying and aggravating the effects of depression, having the opposite intended outcome.

Typically, depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the body or brain that can be corrected with proper treatment. Many times depression is caused by low dopamine or serotonin levels, which are the “feel good” chemicals in the body.  Unfortunately, many of the most commonly prescribed medications for depression/anxiety have addictive potential.  At Passages Malibu, we believe in treating patients with depression using natural supplements rather than addictive prescription medications.  Natural supplements for depression can actually rebuild the chemicals in your body that are lacking, as well as result in improved moods, energy levels and sleep patterns.  At Passages Malibu, our program not only works for people who have depression, but anxiety, insomnia, and ADD as well.

 

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