Mental and Behavioral Health
Lasting Recovery has been treating mental health issues alongside addictions since we opened in 2004. Upon admission only 23 % of our clients suffer from addictions only. A full 77% have been struggling with mood and anxiety disorders and 27% with other mental health problems. People experiencing co-occurring health problems such as chronic pain, diabetes, crones disease and cirrhosis suffer from depression as a side effect of their ongoing medical condition.
Treatment for addiction and these co-occurring disorders leads to improved physical health, increased enjoyment and an overall healthier lifestyle.
- Bipolar Disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Social Anxiety
ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADHD symptoms vary according to symptoms of prominent distractibility, hyperactivity or combinations that can lead to difficulty in school. Studies have shown that between 10-65% of children who have AD/HD as children, continue to have symptoms as adults. The neuropsychological weakness affects the prefrontal cortex portion of the brain that manages impulse control and other important functions, including planning, sequencing, and organizing activities. Some adults with AD/HD learn to channel their energy into sports-related activities or find other means of coping with the disorder. Many sales people, firefighters, police and entrepreneurs have histories of AD/HD and have used their strengths to their advantage.
Studies from adult substance abuse treatment populations have found AD/HD in about one in every six clients who may have this co-occurring problem and many have been on medications as children to reduce the symptoms in the classroom and home environment.
Anxiety or feeling anxious at times is normal for people. There are potential problems everywhere and people with generalized anxiety disorders worry about things that ‘might’ happen more than others. Anxiety fuels addictions to alcohol, drugs, both illegal and by prescription to temporarily quiet the symptoms. Acute anxiety is experienced during detoxification withdrawal symptoms from both anti-anxiety drugs and alcohol and can lead to a seizure if not treated properly.
People who suffer from an anxiety disorder develop physical symptoms that interfere with their normal lives. Problems may include restlessness, fatigue, irritability, muscle tension, difficulty concentrating or insomnia. In addition these individuals worry about a variety of events, such as health problems, performance or rejection.
While most people experience ups and down, alcohol and drugs use can mimic the mood disorder described as bipolar disorder. For those who suffer from bipolar disorder, they will have extreme emotions ranging from elation and euphoria, to extreme depression and hopelessness, over a period of time. The impact can be most detrimental on relationships and work. During alcohol and drug use it is difficult to determine whether someone has this disorder due to the effects of the substances on mood and behavior. A thorough psychiatric evaluation is recommended to receive the most effective medication to moderate moods.
For those people who are already diagnosed with bipolar disorder, illegal drug and alcohol use alters the effectiveness of the medications and the prescribed drugs become ineffective, leading people to continue in their addictions. Addiction treatment is essential to learn effective mood coping skills and support for recovery.
Depression is everywhere, and has been related to the ‘common cold’ of emotional problems, however disturbance of mood and anxiety are common symptoms for many people who struggle with substance use disorders. Symptoms of depression often occur as a result of excessive alcohol or drug use and the worries and sad feelings that accompany the progression of an addiction.
Mood and anxiety disorders can be caused by substances through the biochemical changes made to the brain. For some, the symptoms of these negative states are replaced with a sense of well being as people describe a sense of hopefulness and a renewal. Alcohol is a depressant drug as opposed to cocaine which is a stimulant. Both drugs however damage the brain pathways enough to contribute to a difficult addiction recovery without care for the separate symptoms of depression. Researchers have completed many studies regarding which came first, the use of drugs and alcohol or the depression. Regardless of which came first, it is effective to treat both.
Depression can occur at any time in a person’s life and it is accompanied by varied symptoms such as sadness, difficulty concentrating, loss of interest in activities and in life, self-criticism, physical complaints, feelings of hopelessness, difficulty making decisions, irritability, withdrawal from other people and sometimes they feel worried, nauseated, experience heart racing and sometimes sweating. There are many factors that contribute to depression and the most effective treatments for recovery are a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, group support, nutrition, exercise and psychopharmacology as needed. Untreated depression contributes to domestic violence and child abuse, divorce, job loss, poor health and suicide.
PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorders
PTSD is the reaction to the experience of a traumatic stressor, that becomes psychologically disruptive. When people experience events such as witnessing death, being threatened with death or injury, or being sexually abused, and are using alcohol or drugs, they are prone to increase their use to mask the intensity of the emotions. At the time of the extremely stressful event, the person experiences intense fear, helplessness, or horror. PTSD
According to research (he rate of PTSD among people with substance use disorders is 12 to 34 percent; for women who abuse substances, it is 30 to 59 percent. A review of the literature found that PTSD often goes undetected due to lack of screening.
There are many different physical, cognitive and emotional disruptions that can occur in response to an acute traumatic event and/or PTSD. When these symptoms co-occur with substance use disorders, both conditions need to be treated as the symptoms of the unresolved trauma contributes to relapses in alcohol or drug use.
Social anxiety or social phobias is the fear of social situations. Social phobia is a severe disabling form of shyness and can cause people to be unable to attend important functions, not speak up in class, at work or in relationships. These situations often include meeting new people, public speaking, being at parties, eating with other people, fear of people in authority positions and fearful of disagreeing with others. People feel extremely self conscious and often fear that others will think badly of them. When they cannot avoid these situations, they feel very anxious or embarrassed and experience panic attacks.
Alcohol and drug addiction and social phobia are often co-occurring due to the positive effect of alcohol which suppresses the fears, allowing for less anxiety in social situations. For those prone to chemical dependency, addiction to alcohol can occur, creating additional challenges for the person who has become isolated as a result of the chemical use combined with the social anxiety. Substance abuse treatment offers a safe place to address both disorders and begin healing.