Common signs and symptoms associated with eating disorders

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Signs of Anorexia Nervosa

People with anorexia nervosa have an extreme fear of gaining weight, according to the National Eating Disorder Association. They often diet and exercise relentlessly, sometimes to the point of starvation. About one-third to one-half of anorexics also binge and purge by vomiting or misusing laxatives. People with anorexia have a distorted body image, thinking they are overweight when in fact they are underweight. They may count calories obsessively and only allow themselves tiny portions of certain specific foods. When confronted, someone with anorexia will often deny that there’s a problem.

The signs of anorexia can be subtle at first because it develops gradually. It may begin as an interest in dieting before an event like a school dance or a beach vacation. But as the disorder takes hold, preoccupation with weight intensifies. It creates a vicious cycle: The more weight the person loses, the more that person worries and obsesses about weight.

The following symptoms and behaviors are common in people with anorexia include:

  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Wearing loose, bulky clothes to hide weight loss
  • Preoccupation with food, dieting, counting calories, etc.
  • Refusal to eat certain foods, such as carbs or fats
  • Avoiding mealtimes or eating in front of others
  • Preparing elaborate meals for others but refusing to eat them
  • Exercising excessively
  • Making comments about being “fat”
  • Stopping menstruating
  • Complaining about constipation or stomach pain
  • Denying that extreme thinness is a problem

Because people with anorexia are so good at hiding it, the disease may become severe before anyone around them notices anything wrong. If you think someone you care about has anorexia, it’s important to have them evaluated by a doctor right away. If left untreated, anorexia can lead to serious complications such as malnutrition and organ failure. However, with treatment, most people with anorexia will gain back the weight they lost, and the physical problems they developed as a result of the anorexia will get better.

Signs of Bulimia Nervosa

According to the Alternative to Meds Center, people with bulimia nervosa have episodes of eating large amounts of food followed by purging, fasting, or exercising excessively to compensate for the overeating.

Unlike anorexia, people with bulimia are often a normal weight. But they have the same intense fear of gaining weight and distorted body image. They see themselves as “fat” and desperately want to lose weight. Because they often feel ashamed and disgusted with themselves, people with bulimia become very good at hiding the bulimic behaviors.

The following are common signs of bulimia:candy-chocolate-delicious-4644

  • Evidence of binge eating, including the disappearance of large amounts of food in a short time, or finding lots of empty food wrappers or containers
  • Evidence of purging, including trips to the bathroom after meals, sounds or smells of vomiting, or packages of laxatives or diuretics
  • Skipping meals or avoiding eating in front of others, or eating very small portions
  • Exercising excessively
  • Wearing baggy clothes to hide the body
  • Complaining about being “fat”
  • Using gum, mouthwash, or mints excessively
  • Constantly dieting
  • Scarred knuckles from repeatedly inducing vomiting

If left untreated, bulimia can result in long-term health problems such as abnormal heart rhythms, bleeding from the esophagus due to excessive reflux of stomach acid, dental problems, and kidney problems. However, bulimia can be treated successfully through cognitive-behavioral therapy, certain anticonvulsant medicines, antidepressants, or combinations of these therapies. It’s important to seek help if you think someone you care about has bulimia.

Signs of Binge Eating Disorder

candy-cereal-eating-1805405Rather than simply eating too much all the time, people with binge eating disorder have frequent episodes where they binge on large quantities of food. Like people with bulimia, they often feel out of control during these episodes and later feel guilt and shame about it. The behavior becomes a vicious cycle because the more distressed they feel about bingeing, the more they seem to do it. Because people with binge eating disorder do not purge, fast, or exercise after they binge, they are usually overweight or obese.

Unlike other eating disorders, binge eating disorder is almost as common in men as it is in women. According to statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health, the average age at onset for binge eating disorder is 25, and it is more common in people under age 60.

Common signs of binge eating disorder include:

  • Evidence of binge eating, including the disappearance of large amounts of food in a short time, or finding lots of empty food wrappers or containers
  • Hoarding food, or hiding large quantities of food in strange places
  • Wearing baggy clothes to hide the body
  • Skipping meals or avoiding eating in front of others
  • Constantly dieting, but rarely losing weight

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Eating disorder treatment

Behavioral weight reduction programs such as one offered at Alternative to Meds Center can be helpful both with weight loss and with controlling the urge to binge eat.  Recognizing the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder is the first step toward getting help for it. Eating disorders are treatable, and with the right treatment and support, most people with an eating disorder can learn healthy eating habits and get their lives back on track.

An Alternative to Meds Center uses the very best of the medical, psychotherapeutic and holistic worlds to provide you with the most complete integrative and transformative program offered in the country.

Eating disorders are commonly occurring and often debilitating. However, methods such as counseling and nutrition therapy can help overcome these conditions. Although Alternative to Meds Center does not specializes in eating disorders, doctors at that center have a broad understanding of the road back to health where eating disorders have disrupted a person’s wellness. Their goal is to help you achieve the wellness you strive for, and a healthy weight target that is optimum for the individual. Success often comes from impacting the complex neurochemical underpinnings associated with many eating disorders though holistic neurochemical repair and supplementation, which the center offers.

 

Eating Disorders

Thin line between supporting and enabling

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It is human nature to want to care for and help someone you love. There is a very fine line, however, between being supportive of someone you care about and enabling bad behaviors. Often it can be very difficult to see the line at all. Because of that people frequently end up on the wrong side of the line and don’t even know it.

Whether it is alcohol, other selfish behavior, or general irresponsibility, allowing someone to continue to choose damaging behaviors by being passive, or assisting in them through your own actions, only deepens the damage. When your intention is to help, acting as an enabler does just the opposite.

Here are 7 ways to tell them if you’re helping or enabling someone suffering from an addiction.

Making excuses for the addict

According to the Family First Intervention, making excuses for someone with an addiction denies the reality of the problem, and is a sure sign of enabling is denial or avoidance.

Making excuses for someone with an addiction denies the reality of the problem, and is a sure sign of enabling is denial or avoidance. If you’re an enabler, you choose not to confront the addict because you fear conflict. Instead, you may find yourself making excuses for the addict’s behavior and convince yourself that the problem will just go away on its own.

You may say things like, “He’s just going through a phase.” This doesn’t help the person in question, it allows the problem to persist. To truly help, it’s important to confront them, in a respectful and loving way, about their behavior.

Giving Them Money

100-ziotych-addiction-capsules-47327As an enabler, you probably give your loved one money that they will ultimately end up using to buy drugs. You might even pay their bills, buy groceries, or otherwise enable them financially. While it can be hard to see a loved one’s electricity get shut off because he or she spent the money on drugs, paying the bill is enabling and diminishes the ramifications of the person’s actions.

Rather than pay an addict’s bills or give cash that ends up being traded for drugs, offer your money for rehab instead.

Taking Over Their Responsibilities

Taking over the responsibilities that your loved one has neglected due to addiction is a sign of enabling. Some examples include cleaning the house, picking children up from school, or otherwise handling their affairs

Telling Lies to Cover Up Their Behavior

Lying to cover up an addict’s behavior is another sign of enabling. They need to be held responsible for their actions. Covering up mistakes and wrong-doings enables them to continue to make the same poor choices. Accountability is far more helpful in the long run.

Bailing Them Out of Sticky Situations

board-game-chance-close-up-1422673Helping someone out of a predicament caused by drug use only enables them to continue making poor decisions. Whether it’s bailing them out of jail, buying personal items back from the pawn shop, or lying to employers and loved ones, bailing them out takes away the negative consequences of addiction.

While it can be difficult to see a loved one sit in jail or get fired from a job, letting them suffer the repercussions is more likely to prompt them to seek treatment.

Codependent Behavior

argument-bench-breakup-984949Codependent behavior is almost always present to some degree in an enabler. You may get personal gratification from helping the addict. For example, you may feel that you’re doing a good deed or feel a sense of pride from making a sacrifice, or you might feel a sense of control out of the situation or enjoy the feeling of being needed.

If you find yourself enabling your loved one, you can attend support groups such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon to address your codependency and learn how to provide support without enabling them.

Putting Their Needs Before Your Own

If you’re helping an addict appropriately, you will set clear boundaries and remain assertive. It’s possible to be supportive without neglecting your own needs. Helping someone should never be a threat to your own well-being, so make sure you’re taking care of yourself first.

Helping Helps, Enabling Hurts

It’s important to stop and ask yourself whether your actions are helping or harming. Helping empowers an addict to take responsibility rather than creating dependency. No one can force them to change. In the end, the desire to change must come from within.

When someone suffering from an addiction is enabled, he or she is less likely to want to change because the harsh reality of poor choices is softened. Allowing them to suffer the consequences of addiction can help show how life would improve without drugs. Consider contacting Family First Intervention and asking counselors to help your loved one to overcome addiction.

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Drug and Alcohol Intervention

How to use and fight Black Social Media techniques

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Fact: Earth revolves around the sun.

Another fact: your business needs a social media presence.

It does not matter whether you run a local bakery or a national company. Social media is an essential piece of your business marketing strategy. Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and other social platforms help you connect with your customers, increase awareness about your brand and boost your sales. With more than three billion people populating the earth, using social media is no passing trend.

Whether you are a new entrepreneur or experienced businessman, consider using Black Hat Engine Optimization.

What is Black Hat Social Media?

In the search marketing world, “black hat SEO” refers to techniques and tactics that increase search engine ranking in ways that fall outside of the search terms of service or engines’ guidelines. In other words, black hat social media is an attempt to utilize a social media site for some kind of gain, using methods that are outside the social media website’s guidelines.

Examples of Black Hat Social Media

To help you understand what black hat social media is, here as some examples.

  • Buying followers, Likes, YouTube Subscribers, +1, etc. from click farms
  • Using a program to automatically follow and unfollow new accounts
  • Creating fake social media profiles to like, share, comment or gather information
  • Writing fake negative reviews on competitors’ page or positive reviews on your own
  • Securing social profiles with competitors’ names, ranking them in Google, and posting negative comments

These are just a few examples of black hat social media. In reality, there are so many ways you can use social media to positively or negatively impact a business that is outside of the social site’s intended purpose.

Influence marketing is steadily on the rise, with Instagram as one of several leading platforms, according to Eminent SEO a design and digital marketing agency. If you have a certain number of followers in a niche, brands will pay or sponsor you – making social media an even more attractive source of revenue for aspiring ‘influencers.”

The Google effect

Black hat social media can really impact SEO

apple-cell-phone-cellphone-607812Buying fake followers, likes, and shares. According to Eminent SEO, social signals are emerging as ranking factors as search engines determine how to leverage social media interaction and behavior. most SEO professionals believe that social signals have some impact on SEO, even if they are not a direct ranking factor.

For example, if a person were to buy likes, tweets, and shares to fake an interaction with content, this could falsely inflate the content’s level of authority, especially if the profile listing this social interaction is public and crawlable by Google.

Optimizing fake accounts

According to Eminent SEO, when people create fake accounts, they have the ability to operate under a different name. for instance, if you create a fake account with a competitor’s name and optimize it, this fake account may rank for the competitor’s name. users will see that profile in Google search.

If the fake about you created outranks any of the competitor’s real web properties, that can hurt them by impinging on their click share. Or, if what is displayed in the search listings deters the user, that could hurt the overall brand reputation.

Fake reviews

communication-instagram-lg-35177For better or worse, the black hat social media also implies leaving fake negative comments, and they just stick. If negative reviews rant well, they can really hurt the business.

Moreover, reviews that contain the appropriately structured data markup can display as a rich snippet in a search result – and users seeing a low start count for a business may decide to take their business elsewhere. But on the bright side, there is no proof that negative reviews impact SEO.

Poor quality social sites

If you get a link from the wrong website it can become a major issue. This raises a question: could a share from the wrong social media website hurt your SEO?

Links are generally gauged based on the domain authority, topical relevance, etc. So, if you have thousands of shares from spammy, off-topic social media profiles, that could potentially hurt your rankings.

What can you do about it?

Each social media sites is unique and each situation where black hat social media may hurt SEO is also unique. while it is to true, there are some tools you can use to fight black social media.

Mark things as Spam

adult-angry-communication-1587014Almost all social media sites have the ability to mark things as spam.

contact legal. most social media sites have an area to contact the company’s legal department; this can be effective if you have a legitimate claim.

Report Spam on Google

If something should get ranked in Google, you can also use the webspam reporting form on Google.

Blackhat social media is out there and it is hard to deny that there is no way it can hurt SEO. This piece is meant to open up the conversation, not necessarily by a comprehensive guide or study, especially in this realm with so many question makers.

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Recognizing opioid addiction 

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Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if a person is just very high, or experiencing an overdose. The following will present some information on how to tell the difference. If you’re having a hard time telling the difference, it is best to treat the situation like an overdose – it could save someone’s life.

What are opioids?

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, opioids, sometimes called narcotics, are a type of drug. They include strong prescription pain relievers, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and tramadol. The illegal drug heroin is also an opioid.

A health care provider may give you a prescription opioid to reduce pain after you have had a major injury or surgery. You may get them if you have severe pain from health conditions like cancer. Some health care providers prescribe them for chronic pain.

Prescription opioids used for pain relief are generally safe when taken for a short time and as prescribed by your health care provider. However, people who take opioids are at risk to have a pain pill addiction, as well as an overdose. These risks increase when opioids are misused. Misuse means you are not taking the medicines according to your provider’s instructions, you are using them to get high, or you are taking someone else’s opioids.

What is an opioid overdose?

Opioids affect the part of the brain that regulates breathing. When people take high doses of opioids, it can lead to an overdose, with the slowing or stopping of breathing and sometimes death.

What causes an opioid overdose?

An opioid overdose can happen for a variety of reasons, including if you

  • Take an opioid to get high
  • Take an extra dose of a prescription opioid or take it too often (either accidentally or on purpose)
  • Mix an opioid with other medicines, illegal drugs, or alcohol. An overdose can be fatal when mixing an opioid and certain anxiety treatment medicines, such as Xanax or Valium.
  • Take an opioid medicine that was prescribed for someone else. Children are especially at risk of an accidental overdose if they take medicine not intended for them.

Who is at risk for an opioid overdose?

Anyone who takes an opioid can be at risk of an overdose, but you are at higher risk if you

  • Take illegal opioids
  • Take more opioid medicine than you are prescribed
  • Combine opioids with other medicines and/or alcohol
  • Have certain medical conditions, such as sleep apnea, or reduced kidney or liver function
  • Are over 65 years old

What are the signs of an opioid overdose?

The signs of an opioid overdose includeaddiction-adult-capsule-271171

  • The person’s face is extremely pale and/or feels clammy to the touch
  • Their body goes limp
  • Their fingernails or lips have a purple or blue color
  • They start vomiting or making gurgling noises
  • They cannot be awakened or are unable to speak
  • Their breathing or heartbeat slows or stops

“Opioid antagonist”

addiction-chemistry-close-up-460566According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Naloxone (also known as Narcan) is a medication called an “opioid antagonist” used to counter the effects of opioid overdose, for example morphine and heroin overdose. Specifically, naloxone is used in opioid overdoses to counteract life-threatening depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system, allowing an overdose victim to breathe normally. Naloxone is a nonscheduled, prescription medication. Naloxone only works if a person has opioids in their system; the medication has no effect if opioids are absent. Although traditionally administered by emergency response personnel, naloxone can be administered by minimally trained laypeople, which makes it ideal for treating overdose in people who have been prescribed opioid pain medication and in people who use heroin and other opioids. Naloxone has no potential for abuse. Naloxone may be injected in the muscle, vein or under the skin or sprayed into the nose. It is a temporary drug that wears off in 20-90 minutes.

Opioid addiction treatment

Treatment for opioid addiction is different for each person. The main goal of treatment is to help you stop using the drug. Treatment also can help you avoid using it again in the future.

When you stop using opioids, your body will react. You will have a number of symptoms that may include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, and anxiety. This reaction is called withdrawal.

Your doctor can prescribe certain medicines to help relieve your withdrawal symptoms when you stop using opioids. They also will help control your cravings. These medicines include methadone (often used to treat heroin addiction), buprenorphine, and naltrexone.

Methadone and buprenorphine help reduce withdrawal symptoms by targeting the same centers in the brain that opioids target. Only they do not make you feel high. They help restore balance to your brain and allow it to heal. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), you may safely take the medicines long term, even for a lifetime. You should not quit them without first telling your doctor.

Naltrexone is another medicine your doctor may prescribe. This medicine doesn’t help you stop taking opioids. It is for helping prevent you from relapsing. Relapsing means to start taking opioids again.  This medicine is different from methadone and buprenorphine because it does not help with cravings or withdrawal. Instead, according to NIH, it prevents you from feeling the high you would normally feel when you take opioids.

Medicine can help with your physical addition to opioids. But you may also need help with your mental or emotional addition to opioids. Behavioral treatments can help you learn how to manage depression. These treatments also help you avoid opioids, deal with cravings, and heal damaged relationships. Some behavioral treatments include individual counseling, group or family counseling, and cognitive therapy. Ask your doctor for a recommendation.

If you are looking for a good recovery center, consider Continuum Recovery Center – a Phoenix-based recovery center that provides quality care through evidence-based, comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment and supports long term recovery, is the backdrop to every aspect of our service offerings. A safe yet strong environment that continues to reset ethical standards positioned in dedication, honesty, integrity, and reliability.

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Personality traits that could increase the likelihood of someone developing an addiction

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It’s not a surprise then that people who are worried about developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol often try to find out what the traits of an addictive personality might be. They want to know what to watch for, either to absolve themselves of the “addict” label or to give themselves a reason never to start using drugs or alcohol to begin with. However, the simple fact is that this whole idea is based on a mix of truth and fiction.

The Myth of the Generic Addictive Personality

The fiction is the concept of a specific addictive personality. In fact, most researchers in addiction today would caution against the idea of a single, generic personality that is prone to addiction. An article in Scientific American verifies and offers evidence for the fact that there is no one personality type that leads to addiction. In fact, some seemingly disparate traits can lead different people to become addicted to drugs or alcohol, depending on other factors.

While there are several different types of traits that can be recognized in individuals who develop substance use disorders, they are not all present in every person who becomes addicted. Therefore, the image that some people see of the socially outcast criminal is an inaccurate vision of the individual who becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Traits of People with High Risk of Developing Addiction

Nevertheless, there are traits that can be recognized in people who have a higher risk of becoming addicted to psychoactive substances rather than just being able to moderate behavior around these types of substances. According to American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), people with this higher addiction risk include those who are:

  • Related to others who have developed addiction
  • Experiencing other mental health disorders
  • Adventurous and risk-taking
  • Disconnected and cautious
  • Obsessive and compulsive
  • Apathetic
  • Unable to self-regulate

Related to Others with Addiction

alcohol-beer-beverage-8859There is no question that genetic makeup has at least some effect on a person’s risk of developing addiction. As described by many studies, including one from the journal Psychiatry, having a close family member who is struggling with an addiction can make it more likely that an individual will develop an addiction as well.

In fact, certain portions of the human genome have even been identified as having a direct connection to specific addictions. With this knowledge, it may be possible in the future to more accurately identify just how likely a person is to develop addiction. Still, genetic potential is no guarantee that an individual will develop addiction. Other complex, environmental factors also contribute to the potential that a genetic predisposition will become a true substance use disorder.

Experiencing Other Mental Health Disorders

Along with the genetic connection, another individual health trait that can correspond with a higher risk of addiction is the presence of pre-existing mental health disorders. People who struggle with various mental health conditions can be more likely to abuse and become dependent on substances. These conditions include but are not limited to:

  • Depression, bipolar disorder, or other mood disorders
  • Anxiety or panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
  • Antisocial personality disorder

For example, as explained by the Foundation Wellness Center, multiple studies over the last decades have demonstrated a strong link between schizophrenia and addiction to nicotine. In fact, it has been shown that nicotine can even temporarily lessen some of the symptoms of schizophrenia. The use of cigarettes to manage these symptoms is a phenomenon known as self-medication, which is a common source of substance abuse that later becomes addiction.

The Adventurous, Risk-Taking Trait

bait-capture-catch-633881Some personality traits have higher risk of addiction than others. Individuals who like to take risks and who have little impulse control around experimenting and playing with new experiences and dangerous activities are more likely to try drugs. A study reported by Reuters indicates that this may have to do with the individual’s levels of dopamine and the brain’s sensitivity to it.

People with high levels of dopamine in the brain may have a lower sensitivity to its effects, meaning that they need to have more intense experiences in order to feel the pleasure that this brain chemical causes. This, in turn, can be bound into the person’s experience using drugs and alcohol, which directly affect the dopamine system. In this way, the adventure-seeking, risk-taking personality can have a higher likelihood of experimenting with and, later, becoming addicted to these substances.

The Disconnected, Cautious Trait

Considering the self-medication idea mentioned above, people with these personality traits may be more likely to try to manage symptoms of anxiety or painful feelings of loneliness, disconnection, and depression by using alcohol or drugs that dull those feelings. This may then lead to the person becoming dependent on the substance to feel good in general, which in turn can lead to tolerance and addiction.

The Obsessive, Compulsive Trait

Addiction sometimes has to do with a lack of impulse control, but this is not exclusively the inability to resist impulses. In fact, people who are too rigid with managing their impulses may also end up using substances as a manifestation of an obsessive-compulsive behavior pattern. In fact, addiction often becomes a compulsion to use the substance based on a habit that has formed over time rather than a single impulse to try something new.

In this way, people with intense focus and habitual behaviors may be as likely to develop addiction as those who are unable to control impulses. The obsession with using psychoactive drugs is a main symptom of the disorder, and it can exist both separate from and in concert with a lack of impulse control that can also be a hallmark of addiction.

Being Unable to Self-regulate

baked-goods-bakery-baking-1418361What all of these traits have in common is an inability for the individual to regulate behaviors, thoughts, and feelings that might otherwise enable an ability to moderate use of alcohol or other substances. As explained in an article from the University of Rochester Medical Center, studies are beginning to show that an inability to regulate behavior around the anticipation of receiving a reward is strongly linked to the development of addiction.

Do You Have an Addictive Personality?

Have your friends and family ever commented on your obsessive personality? Have you ever wondered if there is more to your pattern of impulsive behavior than meets the eye? If you suspect that you may have an addictive personality – or are just plain curious – take this quiz and get better insight in your mental health.

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Co-dependent relationships: signs, reasons, treatment

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According to Mental Health of America, codependency is characterized by a person belonging to a dysfunctional, one-sided relationship where one person relies on the other for meeting nearly all of their emotional and self-esteem needs. It also describes a relationship that enables another person to maintain their irresponsible, addictive, or underachieving behavior.

Think of the most unhappy couple you’ve ever met. You may wonder why these people are still together. Adults are willing participants in partnerships. And as unhealthy as relationships may be, there can be gains for both parties. Common reasons for sticking together include children, finances, time invested, and fear of the shame that may come with splitting up. But the bigger issue is the belief that one or both people believe they deserve to be mistreated.

How does a codependent relationship develop?

Substance addiction

According to dual diagnosis rehab facility, Acceptance Recovery Center, codeepdence and substance addiction go hand in hand. Codependency was first noticed in the 1950s by psychotherapists treating clients with alcoholism. They found that often a spouse or partner helped to maintain the addictive behaviour.

As far as individual causes, therapists now consider a range factors which contribute to codependent behaviour. These include chemical imbalances in the brain, childhood experiences, current life situation, addiction history and past relationships.

Damaging parental relationships

People who are codependent as adults often had problems with their parental relationship as a child or teenager.They may have been taught that their own needs were less important than their parents’ needs, or not important at all.

In these types of families, the child may be taught to focus on the parent’s needs and to never think of themselves. Needy parents may teach their children that children are selfish or greedy if they want anything for themselves. As a result, the child learns to ignore their own needs and thinks only of what they can do for others at all times.

Living with a mentally or physically ill family member

Codependency may also result from caring for a person who is chronically ill. Being in the role of caregiver, especially at a young age, may result in the young person neglecting their own needs and developing a habit of only helping others.

A person’s self-worth may form around being needed by another person and receiving nothing in return. Many people who live with an ill family member do not develop codependency. But, it can happen in these types of family environments, particularly if the parent or primary caretaker in the family displays the dysfunctional behaviors listed above.

Abusive families

adult-baby-child-1776135Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse can cause psychological problems that last years or even an entire lifetime. One of the many issues that can arise from past abuse is codependency.

A child or teenager who is abused will learn to repress their feelings as a defense mechanism against the pain of abuse. As an adult, this learned behavior results in caring only about another’s feelings and not acknowledging their own needs. Sometimes a person who is abused will seek out abusive relationships later because they are only familiar with this type of relationship. This often manifests in codependent relationships.

Symptoms of codependency

According to the Mental Health America,  a person who is codependent will usually:

  • Find no satisfaction or happiness in life outside of doing things for the other person.
  • Stay in the relationship even if they are aware that their partner does hurtful things.
  • Do anything to please and satisfy their enabler no matter what the expense to themselves.
  • Feel constant anxiety about their relationship due to their desire to always be making the other person happy.
  • Use all their time and energy to give their partner everything they ask for.
  • Feel guilty about thinking of themselves in the relationship and will not express any personal needs or desires.
  • Ignore their own morals or conscience to do what the other person wants.

adult-black-and-white-body-271418Other people may try to talk to the codependent about their concerns. But even if others suggest that the person is too dependent, a person in a codependent relationship will find it difficult to leave the relationship.

The codependent person will feel extreme conflict about separating themselves from the enabler because their own identity is centered upon sacrificing themselves for the other person.

Co-dependents have low self-esteem and look for anything outside of themselves to make them feel better. They find it hard to “be themselves.” Some try to feel better through alcohol, drugs or nicotine – and become addicted. Others may develop compulsive behaviors like workaholism, gambling, or indiscriminate sexual activity.

Treatment

beautiful-beauty-carefree-1990446According to Acceptance Recovery Center few things can help toward forming a positive, balanced relationship:

  • People in codependent relationships may need to take small steps toward some separation in the relationship. They may need to find a hobby or activity they enjoy outside of the relationship.
  • A codependent person should try to spend time with supportive family members or friends.
  • The enabler must decide that they are not helping their codependent partner by allowing them to make extreme sacrifices.

Individual or group therapy is very helpful for people who are in codependent relationships. An expert can help them find ways to acknowledge and express their feelings that may have been buried since childhood. People who were abused will need to recognize past abuse and start to feel their own needs and emotions again.

Finally, both parties in a codependent relationship must learn to acknowledge specific patterns of behavior, such as “needing to be needed” and expecting the other person to center their life around them. These steps are not easy to do but are well worth the effort to help both parties discover how to be in a balanced, two-sided relationship.

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Coping and Fighting Against Mental Health Stigma

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Many people with serious mental illness are challenged doubly. On one hand, they struggle with the symptoms and disabilities that result from the disease. On the other, they are challenged by the stereotypes and prejudice that result from misconceptions about mental illness. As a result of both, people with mental illness are robbed of the opportunities that define a quality life: good jobs, safe housing, satisfactory health care, and affiliation with a diverse group of people.

According to the Intervention Helpline, people who struggle with mental issues may even lose job opportunities or face wrongful termination after an employer discovers a mental health issue. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), stigma harms the 1 in 5 Americans affected by mental health conditions. It shames them into silence and prevents them from seeking help. Here are some of the ways one can cope with stigma:

Coping with stigma

Get treatment

You may be reluctant to admit you need treatment. Don’t let the fear of being labeled with a mental illness prevent you from seeking help. Treatment can provide relief by identifying what’s wrong and reducing symptoms that interfere with your work and personal life.

Don’t let stigma create self-doubt and shame

alone-golden-horizon-horizon-2263341Stigma doesn’t just come from others. You may mistakenly believe that your condition is a sign of personal weakness or that you should be able to control it without help. Seeking counseling, educating yourself about your condition and connecting with others who have mental illness can help you gain self-esteem and overcome destructive self-judgment.

Don’t isolate yourself

If you have a mental illness, you may be reluctant to tell anyone about it. Your family, friends, clergy or members of your community can offer you support if they know about your mental illness. Reach out to people you trust for the compassion, support and understanding you need.

Don’t equate yourself with your illness

You are not an illness. So instead of saying “I’m bipolar,” say “I have bipolar disorder.” Instead of calling yourself “a schizophrenic,” say “I have schizophrenia.”

Join a support group

adult-beautiful-beauty-1028736Some local and national groups offer local programs and internet resources that help reduce stigma by educating people who have mental illness, their families and the general public. Some state and federal agencies and programs, such as those that focus on vocational rehabilitation offer support for people with mental illness.

Get help at school

If you or your child has a mental illness that affects learning, find out what plans and programs might help. Discrimination against students because of a mental illness is against the law, and educators at primary, secondary and college levels are required to accommodate students as best they can. Talk to teachers, professors or administrators about the best approach and resources. If a teacher doesn’t know about a student’s disability, it can lead to discrimination, barriers to learning and poor grades.

Speak out against stigma

Consider expressing your opinions at events, in letters to the editor or on the internet. It can help instill courage in others facing similar challenges and educate the public about mental illness.

Others’ judgments almost always stem from a lack of understanding rather than information based on facts. Learning to accept your condition and recognize what you need to do to treat it, seeking support, and helping educate others can make a big difference.

Fighting against stigma

Stay educated

Not everyone experiences mental illness equally. In addition to individual symptoms varying, access to care and ability to manage mental health creates a disparity in how people experience everything from depression to anxiety to bipolar disorder. This fact sheet from NAMI provides some basics on mental health in the United States, showing both the prevalence of mental illness and the consequences of lack of treatment.

Be aware of your attitudes and behavior

cute-grass-stuffed-animal-89774We’ve all grown up with prejudices and judgmental thinking. But we can change the way we think! See people as unique human beings, not as labels or stereotypes. See the person beyond their mental illness; they have many other personal attributes that do not disappear just because they also have a mental illness.

Choose your words carefully

Words matter, especially when it comes to how we think about other people. The way we speak can affect the way other people think and speak. Don’t use hurtful or derogatory language.

Educate others

Find opportunities to pass on facts and positive attitudes about people with mental health problems. If your friends, family, co-workers or even the media present information that is not true, challenge their myths and stereotypes. Let them know how their negative words and incorrect descriptions affect people with mental health problems by keeping alive the false ideas.

Focus on the positive

People with mental health and substance use problems make valuable contributions to society. Their health problems are just one part of who they are. We’ve all heard the negative stories. Let’s recognize and applaud the positive ones.

Support people

Include everyone

In the United States, it is against the law for employers and people who provide services to discriminate against people with mental health and substance use problems. Denying people access to things such as jobs, housing and health care, which the rest of us take for granted, violates human rights.

People with mental health and substance use problems have a right to take an equal part in society. Let’s make sure that happens.

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Synthetic drugs – a risky experiment

Synthetic drugs, also referred to as designer or club drugs, are chemically-created in a lab to mimic another drug such as marijuana, cocaine or morphine.

The resulting designer drugs typically have a new different effect on the brain or behavior. Because these drugs are created in illegal labs, their ingredients and strength are almost impossible to know.

There are more than 200 identified synthetic drug compounds and more than 90 different synthetic drug marijuana compounds. Many of these synthetic drugs are made in foreign countries and then smuggled into the United States. These drugs have no manufacturing safety standards that are normally required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The effects of synthetic drug use can include: anxiety, aggressive behavior, paranoia, seizures, loss of consciousness, nausea, vomiting and even coma or death.

A risky experiment

addiction-antibiotic-capsules-159211To understand what synthetic drug, and how they came to exist, you have to know what a “designer drug” is. A designer drug is a synthetic version of an illegal drug that was slightly altered to avoid having it classified as illegal. It is essentially an experiment by a chemist done to create a new drug that can be sold legally (on the Internet or in stores), allowing dealers to make money without breaking the law. As law enforcement catches up with new chemicals that are so created and makes them illegal, manufacturers devise altered versions to steer clear of the law. So the cycle repeats.

Some of these drugs are sold over the Internet or in certain stores (as “herbal smoking blends”), while others are disguised as products labeled “not for human consumption” (such as “herbal incense,” “plant food,” “bath salts” or “jewelry cleaner”) to mask their intended purpose and avoid health and safety rules.

Due to the constantly growing number of chemicals that are developed, designer drug users have no way of knowing what the drugs they take might contain. Further, as a small modification made to a known drug may result—and often does—in a new drug with greatly different effects, users cannot predict the impact on health from the substances they experiment with.

In the United States, some 200 to 300 new designer drugs were identified between 2009 and 2014, most of them manufactured in China. More than 650 new designer drugs have flooded into Europe in the past ten years. Some contain chemicals that have still not been completely identified, and whose effects on the human body and mind are unknown.

Types of synthetic drug

Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine. Pharmaceutical fentanyl was developed for pain management treatment of cancer patients, applied in a patch on the skin. Because of its powerful opioid properties, fentanyl is also misused. Fentanyl is added heroing to increase its potency, or be disguised as highly potent heroin. Many users believe that they are purchasing heroin and actually don’t know that they are purchasing fentanyl.

Synthetic marijuana

blur-cannabis-close-up-606506K2 and Spice are synthetic marijuana compounds, also known as cannabinoids. But there are more. In fact, there are approximately 90 different synthetic marijuana chemical compounds. Spice has recently made headlines due to hundreds of people having negative reactions to the product across the country.

Synthetic LSD

Synthetic LSD, better known as “N-Bomb” or “Smiles,” is a phenethylamine. This type of synthetic drug mimics the effects of LSD causing hallucinations and paranoia.

Synthetic stimulants

Synthetic drug stimulants, also known as cathinones, mimic the effects of ecstasy or MDMA. Bath salts and Molly are examples of synthetic cathinones.

Synthetic PCP

black-and-white-blur-cigar-165934MXE, or Methoxamine, is a synthetic compound that mimics the effects of PCP (phencyclidine) causing delusions, psychoses and a detached effect.

Symptoms

If you are trying to determine if a person has abused a synthetic, you might be looking for signs and symptoms like these:

  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal tendencies and attempts
  • Homicidal tendencies
  • Delusions
  • Overstimulation
  • Aggression
  • Paranoia
  • Chest pain
  • Heart attack
  • Death
  • Overheating that causes a person to tear off his clothes
  • Other self-destructive behavior like bashing one’s body or head against walls

Less severe symptoms of synthetic drugs can include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Inability to speak
  • Restlessness
  • Euphoria

Symptoms can last for hours or even days. Since these drugs are addictive, one of the signs of synthetics abuse is compulsive use despite the harm that is being experienced.

Treatment

carrying-casual-celebration-1282169Substance-related disorders are chronic, complex diseases that require prolonged, intensive treatment. The type of substance involved and the severity of the addiction will dictate the course of treatment

Treatment often begins with detoxification, using medicine to reduce withdrawal symptoms while a substance leaves the system.Different types of behavioral therapy and counseling can also support treatment, helping to deprogram certain behaviors and circumstances related to drug use.

An individual will sometimes embark on a 6-to-12-month rehabilitation program in a dedicated facility. Following this, they may live in supervised housing while they readjust to managing finances and finding employment.Certain medications can also serve to manage prolonged withdrawal symptoms and support sobriety in some people.

Continuum Recovery Center is a privately owned facility that offers state-of-the-art, evidence-based substance abuse treatment programs. They offer an array of services which include a Primary, Extended, Outpatient and Aftercare programs to the addicted and co-occurring populations.

Continuum Recovery is dedicated to transforming lives. Thier elite and passionate staff strive to enable our clients to live free from the bondage of addiction, while enhancing their quality of life. Through comprehensive, empowered, quality care, their seasoned clinicians provide a unique approach to substance abuse treatment by addressing its core elements of Mind, Body, and Spirit. With a clinically sound, spiritual approach, their programs are designed to alleviate this debilitating three-fold disease through individual, group, and family therapy. Continuum Recovery Center  ffers each individual, and their families, the maximum opportunity to recover and live impactful, sustainable, substance-free lives.

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Xanax: History, Side Effects, Addiction

After opiates, Xanax is one of the most popular drugs of abuse, according to the an American Addiction Centers Resource. Because one’s body builds up a tolerance to this drug, those who are addicted can reach extraordinary levels of Xanax consumption. For example, a CNN report on Michael Jackson’s death stated that before he died, he was taking ten Xanax a night, which was a reduction from his earlier consumption of 30 – 40 Xanax a night.

A person who is accustomed to taking Xanax may not exhibit signs of being “high” but they may not be able to conceal the other symptoms of Xanax abuse.

History of Xanax

Xanaxis most commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorder.

Dr. Leo Sternbach created the first xanax pill in 1956 in an attempt to create safer, less addictive alternatives to traditional tranquilizer drugs such as alcohol, barbiturates, and meprobamate.

addiction-antibiotic-capsules-159211Xanax became widely used in anxiety disorders because it provides rapid symptom relief for these disorders and shows no decrease in its effectiveness over time, even when used for several years.

However ,while Xanax reduces feelings of anxiety and panic in patients, but it can also produce euphoria when taken in larger doses, leading some people to abuse this medication.

These signs of Xanax abuse include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Sedation
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Headache
  • Memory problems
  • Lack of focus
  • Insomnia
  • Swollen hands or feet
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Dry mouth or throat
  • Tremors
  • Confusion
  • Loss of interest in sex

These symptoms become more likely when a person has reached high levels of consumption. If you see these signs, then you might want to look further to see if you can find pills or pill bottles. Xanax comes in a bar-shaped pill that is scored so it can be broken into smaller doses. Xanax pills are white but the generic form of the drug (alprazolam) may be green or yellow.

More Serious Symptoms of Xanax Abuse

According to Acceptance Recovery Center, a luxury drug rehab that treats various addiction, including xanax addiction, when a person is taking a high dosage of Xanax, the more serious side effects of Xanax may start showing up.

You might see a person manifest these symptoms of Xanax abuse:

  • Suicidality
  • Thoughts of harming oneself
  • Depression
  • Hostility
  • Hallucinations
  • Chest pain
  • Uncontrolled muscle movements
  • Seizures
  • Hyperactivity

 

How Xanax affects the mind

bright-caution-color-1469196Often, people who are abusing Xanax have anxiety disorders they were trying to treat with the drug. Some 20 percent of Americans suffer from anxiety, Everyday Health reports.

Even when used in a medicinal fashion, dependency will generally still occur. The first sign of this is tolerance. With tolerance, Xanax stops working as well, even as a treatment medication. Those with anxiety will see a return of symptoms and may feel inclined to up their dose in order to keep symptoms at bay. Throughout this process, the brain is becoming more reliant upon the drug to feel normal.

When people are mentally addicted to Xanax, they won’t be able to keep their minds off thoughts of the drug. In addition to the health risks associated with detoxing alone, quitting without professional intervention is extremely hard to do since users’ minds are compulsively driving them to use again.

The mental impact of withdrawing from Xanax can be turbulent. The mind becomes accustomed to the drug and can go through periods of insomnia, depression, paranoia, and irritability while trying to come off it. The majority of withdrawal symptoms can be treated during medical detox to make the process as comfortable as possible for those in detox.

As many as 44 percent of chronic benzodiazepine users ultimately become dependent on their drug of choice, the Journal of Addictive Behaviors notes. Addiction is often due to psychological factors that influence individuals to keep using.

How Xanax affects the body

adult-alone-anxiety-1161268Physical addiction is apparent when a person’s body can no longer function in a healthy way without the substance it’s become accustomed to abusing.

In the case of Xanax, physical addiction is marked by physical withdrawal symptoms that ensue when the substance is discontinued. Some common side effects include headaches, nausea, vomiting, profuse sweating, blurred vision, and convulsions.

Physical dependency develops over time as the individual’s body becomes used to the substance. Without it, the person may feel achy all over as the body starts processing the substance out. This discomfort can be treated with mild over-the-counter pain relievers. These side effects, among others, are common occurrences that land many in emergency rooms when they try to detox without professional help. Last year, 44,796 people were treated in American emergency rooms for issues stemming from the use and abuse of benzos like Xanax.

Rehabilitation

alone-clouds-golden-hour-670720A person who has become dependent on this drug – which means they have come to rely on this drug psychologically as well as being physically addicted – will probably need rehabilitation before they can embark on a new, sober life. When a person is addicted, they have found an escape from life’s problems and now they must learn how to have a productive, enjoyable life while also not needing this kind of escape. This normally takes some time and also takes learning sober living skills.

A person who is addicted to a drug will very often feel that life will be unbearable without that drug. This is one of the reasons that an addicted person will fight the idea of rehab. Very often, they are just taking the drug they are addicted to so they will feel “normal,” so they can function in daily life. You take the drug away that they think makes them feel “normal” and they may not believe they can cope with life.

But they can. It takes a thorough, effective drug rehab program.

When choosing a drug rehab, it is important to choose the one that recognizes that specific causes of addiction vary from person to person and there is no one, single, perfect solution. For example, at Acceptance Recovery Center, individual wellness plans are created by taking into account initial patient assessments and ongoing reporting, counselor observations, and medical examinations. Each treatment plan is meant to be a product of, and owned by, the individual in care.

 

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Why and Where – Psychiatric Assisted Living

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Bringing up the topic of senior care with a loved one can difficult, but the situation is even more fraught when that person suffers from a mental illness. Many family caregivers are left wondering how to approach the subject, worried about upsetting their elderly parent, or even fearful of an irrational or violent reaction.

Unfortunately, this is by no means an unusual situation. According to a report by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, between 14-20% of the nation’s senior population have one or more mental health issues, including bipolar disorders, depressive issues, dementia-related symptoms and substance abuse problems.

In combination with the natural physical and cognitive impairments that occur with aging, psychological issues can endanger a senior’s health and place stress on family members.

The Benefits of Community Living – why is it important for people with severe mental illness?

Research indicates that, for people who are adequately supported and have the functional capacity, transitioning to living in a community setting is an important step in attaining recovery. The standards for treatment of severe mental illness are undergoing a sea-change; rather than settling for a remission of visible symptoms, health-care providers and consumers are now looking at returning to the previous ability to do the things that one was able to do before becoming ill as the ultimate goal of treatment. For many people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other psychiatric disabilities, living in the community can be a part of returning to a healthy level of functioning.

Causes of Mental Problems

  • Life involvements such as mistreatment or shock
  • Family history of psychological health problems
  • Natural factors like the brain chemistry and the genes

Early Caution Signs in Seniors

arm-blood-pressure-bp-948889If you are not sure if your loved one is living with a mental health problem, the following behaviors can be a first sign of an issue:

  • Shouting or fighting with friends and families
  • Feeling desperate or helpless
  • Having mysterious pains
  • Feeling emotionless or nothing matters
  • Feeling strangely confused, angry, upset, worried or scared
  • Thinking of hurting yourself or others
  • Prolonged depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Changes in sleeping and eating patterns

Home Care and Assisted Living for Seniors

Home care is for older adults who want to lead an independent lifestyle but need assistance with their personal needs. Seniors may feel more relaxed at home. Supported living facilities are homes that are also suitable for elderly patients who want to preserve some level of independence and need assistance with their day to day living.

How do quality community housing facilities help recovery? Consider the following findings from research:

Community living reduces stigma. According to the report in US National Library of Medicine, people with severe mental illness living in apartments or community housing are more accepted, less lonely, and have a greater quality of life (as compared to those in specialized treatment facilities).close-up-elder-elderly-2050994

  • There is a relationship between quality of housing options for people with severe mental illness, overall global functioning, and quality of life. A comparison of psychiatrically disabled residents of boarding homes vs. private homes with family or alone found that residents of boarding homes had greater measures of cognitive problems, social problems, overall disability, and reduced levels of self-care. However, their overall psychiatric symptoms were no more severe than those living in private homes; this implies that the causal factor is the difference in housing situation, not a fundamental difference in disease severity between the two groups.
  • A key determinant for readmission rates in schizophrenia patients is the type of situation to which they are discharged. The report said people discharged to lower-quality housing situations had higher rates of readmission to the hospital. Lack of quality housing options can contribute to the “revolving door” phenomenon experienced by so many people with mental illness.
  • The quality of housing has a critical effect on relapse rates: The researches from Community Psychol conducted a study in which the followed the outcome of patients discharged from in-patient care, concluded that when patients are in need of both residential and psychiatric services, “housing interventions are more important than psychiatric services for patients’ ability to stay in the community” (measured by the rate of rehospitalization during a six-month period).

Finding Housing for the Mentally Ill

elderly-enjoyment-facial-expression-2050991It’s frustrating that supportive housing is difficult to find. Programs are competitive, often with long waiting lists. The housing system is difficult for anyone to navigate; add mental illness to the equation and finding housing can be daunting, overwhelming, and seemingly impossible.

Thankfully, finding homes for the mentally ill is not impossible. Resources for finding supportive housing are very similar to resources for finding types of group housing.

  • Consider behavioral assisted living – behavioral assisted living can provide a wide range of services to meet the medical and behavioral needs of each resident. Services that may include toileting, bathing, dressing, eating, mobility, social interactions, behavior modification, medication management, etc.
  • Talk to mental health providers and/or primary care physicians as they often know their community resources.
  • Many communities have mental health organizations. The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) are two examples. A visit to their offices can point you in the right direction for finding housing.
  • Connect with a social worker or case worker (the above people and groups can help you find one). These professionals do many things to help people, including help with finding housing.
  • State mental health boards (online, search “mental health board” and add your state), can be a source of information about agencies and programs.

Finding housing for the mentally ill is crucial in helping people manage mental illness and decreasing the amount of disability and impairment they’re experiencing. Stable housing is an important step toward mental wellness.

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