Dual Diagnosis and Treating Problems at the Root

Dual Diagnosis

Dual Diagnosis

 

Mental health problems and addiction usually go hand in hand. With rising statistics of these two disorders being simultaneously diagnosed in people, the need for a new term arose. 

Read on; in this article, we will explain the term “dual diagnosis” – what it means, how it is diagnosed, what the statistics are pointing at, and the available treatments. 

 

What is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is a term that is used to name dual mental health conditions in which a person battles a mental disorder and addiction (or, as it is academically called, “ substance use disorder.”) 

The term “addiction” includes all kinds of addiction – drugs, alcohol, food, sex, video games, gambling, or even work. The other mental health condition or disorder can be general anxiety, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, or any other mental disorder diagnosed by psychiatrists. It’s important to note that two mental or emotional disorders happening simultaneously are NOT a dual diagnosis. The term is used for the combination of a mental illness and an addiction.  

The term itself is very broad, and it doesn’t matter if the addiction or the mental illness came first. The most common case is a dual diagnosis where addiction arises as means to lower or ease untreated symptoms from the mental illness. But, as we will elaborate in the next section, the connection between addiction and mental illness goes deeper.

Furthermore, the severity of the dial diagnosis might vary – a teenager with mild depression and a habit of compulsive eating can be diagnosed with a dual diagnosis. A bipolar person with a relapsing heroin habit can also be diagnosed with a dual diagnosis. 

 

Why Does Dual Diagnosis Happen?

To understand the basic principle of a dual diagnosis, we need to take a look at both the conditions separately, and the combination of the two. 

The NIDA (or the National Institute on Drug Abuse) segregates the reasons as follow: 

  • The two conditions have common risk factors – Early development trauma, genetics, and family history (as well as functionality) play a big role as risk factors for developing both substance abuse and mental disorder. It’s usually the environment (and learned behavior) that sparks the possible transferred genes into active addiction or mental illness. 
  • Mental illness can lead to a substance abuse disorder – Research has shown that mental disorders increase the chances of developing an addiction. Primarily used as a “medication” for the mental disorder, the addiction is seen as something that can soothe the person and the symptoms. Furthermore, some conditions such as Bipolar disorder (especially mania episodes) or Antisocial Personality disorder increase the possibility of the individual indulging in unlawful behaviors, including drug abuse. 
  • Substance addiction can cause a worsening of mental health disorders. With the uncalculated behavior that substance abuse brings, the individual is more likely to commit a crime, expose themselves to traumatic events, or cause life-altering situations. That can, in turn, spark or worsen mental illnesses, especially if there is a genetic predisposition for the illness. 

The dual diagnosis is most often a cycle, where both the addition and the mental illness contribute and perpetuate one another.

 

Signs of Dual Diagnosis

If you suspect that you or someone you know might be battling dual diagnosis, these are the signs you should look for: 

  • Unusual new behavior and change in sentences or word patterns;
  • Worse work or school performance; abandoning activities that the person previously enjoyed;
  • Closing up and not wanting to communicate with people;
  • Leaving behind friends and family and hanging out with new groups;
  • Unusual need of money, obtained by either asking for them or stealing; 

 

In people that only have a diagnosed mental illness:

  • Sudden wish to stop medications
  • Asking for money; possible stealing, and lying 
  • Change in the way the person speaks and behaves
  • Strange new behavior that wasn’t previously displayed as part of the diagnosis 

 

In people that already had an addiction, but not a mental illness:

  • Strange new behavior that they didn’t previously display 
  • Closing up and not wanting to communicate with people
  • Change in the way they talk, think, or speak; believing 
  • Taking an even bigger dosage of their substance of abuse


What the Numbers Show

A survey from 2013 done by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) came up with some numbers about people with dual diagnoses: 

  • In 2013 there were around 24 million illicit drug users in the United States
  • In the same year, 1 in 5 adults; and 1 in 10 adolescents; has suffered from a mental illness
  • Around 1.4% of adolescents had a major depressive episode and substance use disorder
  • 3.2% of adults had a mental disorder and substance use disorder

 

Some of the most often mental illnesses that have risks of addiction are: 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Personality disorders
  • Dissociative identity disorder

 

There are tens of thousands of people that battle dual diagnosis each year. No matter what the cause of simultaneous occurring of mental illness and addiction, there needs to be a special treatment that can help these individuals work on both conditions. 

 

 

Treating Problems at the Root 

In people with mental illness, the drug or addiction of choice helps with coping with the symptoms from the first diagnosis. Without proper treatment, the risk for addiction relapse is bigger. 

Existing addicts who develop a mental disorder will only increase their usage, which will rapidly worsen the symptoms and the progression of the illness. 

Only by working on both of the conditions with the help of specialized treatment centers a person with a dual diagnosis can get better. 

Following the advice given by the World Health Organization, there is a need for continued and detailed care for people battling a mental health issue and an addiction. Numerous treatment clinics work with broad spectrums of adductions and are equipped to treat patients with Dual Diagnoses. Those rehab facilities can provide the person with an individual treatment plan based on their set of mental and substance abuse disorders. 

 

What is the Dual Diagnosis Treatment Model?

For individuals with Dual Diagnosis to recover, they need to have help in attending and working on both the addiction and the mental illness in treatment centers. 

For the best chances of recovery, Dual Diagnosis the professional care of the rehab facility should include: 

  • Substance abuse specialists and mental health professionals working together 
  • Psychotherapy or any other kind of therapy that helps the individual in their coping and managing of the conditions 
  • Prescription medication and therapy based on the individuals’ needs
  • Inclusion of spouses, family, friends, and the whole community on the road towards recovery. 
  • Work in and with support groups 

 

There are addiction treatment specialists that have psychiatric backgrounds, and they can help with both definitive diagnosis and treatment of the dual diagnosis. 

A drug rehabilitation center has all kinds of professionals, treatments, therapies, and medicaments that can help the individual. 

They should also have intensive, residential treatment programs which can help individuals with severe mental or substance abuse problems. 

 

Seeking Help

Dual diagnosis is a term that is used to describe a combination of two disorders – a mental health one and a substance abuse one. There are more possibilities why are mental illnesses and addictions connected, including mutual risk factors or one condition feeding the appearance of the other. Nonetheless, a dual diagnosis treatment model is available and includes simultaneous work and special care to both the mental illness and the addiction. 

If your daughter is struggling with addiction and another mental health issue, call Anchored Tides Recovery at 866-600-7709 to discuss support in Southern California. 

Staying Sober: Alcohol Addiction in Women

alcohol addiction in women

alcohol addiction in women

 

Rates of alcohol use and abuse are on the rise among women, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol addiction in women is a growing public health concern, particularly since women who drink have a higher risk of certain health conditions and problems compared to men.

During the pandemic, it seems that the rates of alcohol use and abuse among women have gone up even more, based on information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. 

 

Alcohol Addiction in Women

Women might not feel like they have an issue with their use of alcohol because it’s so widely accepted to drink. There’s also the concept many of us have about what an alcoholic is, and if you don’t fit into that, you may think there’s not an issue.

For many women, it’s important to realize the signs of abuse and addiction. The longer these problems are swept under the rug or minimized, the more complications they create.

 

Why Do Women Drink to Cope?

Women are more likely, statistically, to experience childhood abuse and sexual abuse and assault than men, according to the American Psychiatric Association. Among teenage and young adult women, depression, eating disorders, and suicide are going up.

Some of these factors could be driving an increase in heavy alcohol use. Stress and trauma from COVID-19 and isolation could be worsening already troubling trends and adverse effects. 

In a study of college students early during the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers found increases in alcohol use among people reporting higher anxiety and stress levels.

 

“Mommy Wine Culture”

There’s a term you’ll see some people talking about in the media right now, which is so-called mommy wine culture. 

You might have seen memes of women drinking alcohol to make it through their day and deal with their kids. There are often jokes on social media about needing or having a craving for alcohol, and it’s become an instilled part of not just motherhood but parenthood in general. 

Parents can feel high levels of stress, and they might also feel trapped, with a drinking habit becoming a crutch, but one seen as socially acceptable. 

Wine glasses and T-shirts with phrases like “Mom Juice” or “Mommy Needs a Drink” are popular.

These seemingly lighthearted jokes about caregivers who need to escape their daily lives with alcohol may not be a laughing matter.

For women, the idea of the wine mom lifestyle seems like a way to relieve stress and socialize, connecting with parents more easily. 

There can be very real effects of excessive alcohol use on women, their health, and their families.

  • Any type of self-medication is damaging. When parents use wine or other types of alcohol to deal with difficult emotions or as a coping mechanism, they’re not facing the situation head-on. They may be temporarily blunting whatever they’re feeling or going through at the moment, but that’s short-lived.
  • Children are also quick to pick up on what parents are talking about—it can feel like their parents need substances to spend time with them.
  • With childrens’ exposure to heavy drinking in the home, it becomes a risk factor for their own substance use later in life. Family history is very much linked to the development of addiction.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost half of adult women reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days. 

  • Nearly 13% of adult women report binge drinking, and on average, they do so four times a month. Binge drinking is having five drinks or more on one occasion.
  • For the past 100 years, the gap between alcohol abuse in men and women has been closing. There was a 3:1 ratio for risky drinking habits in men versus women in the past, and now, that’s much closer to 1:1.
  • In 2019, data found that women in their teens and early 20s would drink and get drunk at higher rates than male peers. It was the first time researchers saw these patterns since measuring related behaviors.

The trend seems to be rising simultaneously with other risk factors, including growing mental health conditions in young women. Researchers worry the ongoing effects of the pandemic could make both patterns worse as far as mental disorders and excessive drinking. 

Even as women drink more, they’re less likely to get help than men for addiction and alcohol dependence. 

 

 

How Alcohol Affects Women Differently Than Men

There are biological sex differences between men and women, including body chemistry and structure that means women absorb more alcohol. 

Another gender difference is that women also take longer to metabolize alcohol. A woman drinking the same amount as a man is likely to have higher blood alcohol concentrations. The immediate response to alcohol and effects of drinking occur faster and will usually last longer in women.

These biological differences make women more likely to experience negative, long-term health effects of alcohol.

For example, alcohol increases the risk of negative effects like:

  • Liver disease and similar medical conditions
  • Cognitive decline and brain shrinkage as well as neurotoxic effects and alcohol-induced brain damage
  • Worsening symptoms of co-occurring disorders like depression or bipolar disorder 
  • Women who drink a lot are at an increased risk for damage to the heart muscle and heart disease 
  • Even small amounts of alcohol consumption increase the risk of many types of cancers, including breast cancer. 
  • Heavy alcohol use can raise the risk of being a victim of sexual assault. 
  • Women who engage in heavy drinking behaviors are twice as likely to develop alcohol addiction and dependence on alcohol. 

 

Signs of Alcohol Addiction

There are many possible signs of alcohol addiction in both women and men. Some signs of alcohol addiction to be aware of include:

  • Drinking more or for longer periods than planned. When someone is experiencing an addiction to alcohol, they can’t limit excessive alcohol consumption. 
  • A woman with alcoholism might truly desire to stop, but they can’t. According to medical professionals, addiction creates changes in brain activity relating to judgment and impulse control. 
  • Anyone with a substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder will spend large amounts of time obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects. A woman addicted to alcohol may spend most of her time drinking and then recovering from hangovers.
  • Continuing to drink despite known problems stemming from alcohol use is a sign of addiction.
  • Drinking in dangerous situations, like drunk driving, is a red flag. 
  • Having symptoms of alcohol withdrawal when cutting back or stopping drinking. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include nausea, anxiety, sweating, insomnia, and shakiness. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome can also be severe, including delirium and seizures.
  • Alcohol withdrawal seizures or alcohol withdrawal delirium and other severe symptoms require immediate, emergency medical attention. 

 

Why Aren’t Women Getting Alcohol Treatment?

Despite historically high alcohol use and abuse rates among women, they aren’t receiving substance abuse treatment. Researchers are finding alcoholic women are significantly less likely than men with substance use disorders to get treatment.

There are likely a variety of factors that are contributing to these trends. Women have family pressure, making them reluctant to admit a problem or seek treatment. As a woman, you might have less financial freedom and more responsibilities as far as caring for a family, so it’s harder to get treatment.

Alcohol addiction in women is a growing problem raising alarms throughout the country. Alcohol intake rates are soaring, as is the risk for alcoholism and psychiatric disorders. 

If you’re a woman struggling with alcohol abuse or addiction, or you have a loved one who is, recognizing a problem and getting help are potentially lifesaving. Call 866-600-7709 and get in touch with Anchored Tides Recovery to learn more about help if you’re a woman who is alcohol dependent or are experiencing signs of alcohol abuse in Southern California. 

Parenting Someone with a Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine Addiction

 

Addiction in a child, tween, or adolescent can be devastating for parents and the family as a whole. Parents need to understand how fighting within the family unit is not conducive to effectively addressing their child’s addiction. Parents must treat addiction as a disease that affects the brain and understand how it affects the family as a whole. Luckily, with more knowledge and noticing the signs of drug addiction, namely the signs of cocaine addiction, parents can mitigate the child’s tendency to try drugs and risk factors by recognizing their own examples in parenting. 

One key element to examine is the role of the enabler. The family unit can sometimes contribute to the drug use of their youth by focusing on them and their addiction to the exclusion of developing healthier family dynamics. Sometimes, the parents are unaware that their attention to the drug and their child can actually conform that child to more maladaptive behavior patterns that perpetuate the drug use. Family intervention with a specialist may be the key help that restores the child and reorganizes the parental role as it affects addiction in their loved one.

Cocaine addiction in teens is a serious problem in many ways. Because this population is still young, cocaine and crack can have a serious effect on their developing brain and body. If cocaine and crack are used in the teen years, they have more likelihood to continue into the young adult years, 18-25 years of age. While it is known that people in this age group are prone to experimentation, there is a need to notice if this is not a severe drug addiction-forming.

Commonly, underage drinking is a prevalent concern amongst young people, and so is the rarer occurrence of cocaine addiction amongst teens. First, the prevalence of the problem of cocaine may be rare because cocaine may be harder to access and afford. Still, there are noticeable signs of cocaine addiction and symptoms that every parent should know if they suspect their child is engaged in drug abuse of any severity.

 

Signs of Cocaine Addiction

There are always noticeable behavioral changes and abnormalities that may be easy to see but hard to diagnose. Some symptoms of the drug use and cocaine effects to watch for are:

 

  • Dilated pupils
  • Erratic and hyper behavior
  • Runny nose
  • Weight loss
  • Risky activities
  • Nosebleeds
  • White powder residue
  • Talkative more than usual
  • Drug paraphernalia

These are just a few of the signs as well as: consequences to school performance, friendships, associations with the “wrong” crowd, truancy, hostile behavior, and illness.

Parents must accept that addiction is not the problem of the youngster alone. Cocaine addiction or any sort of drug abuse is primarily a sign of dysfunction in the family, or is even concurrent with another family members’ use and genetic predisposition. 

 

 

How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?

Cocaine can last in the system depending on how often you imbibe it. Snorting cocaine can leave a high effect between 5 and 30 minutes and compel the user to repeat use based on the severity of the crash period. Cocaine can last longer in the system and show up in drug tests a few days afterward.

Cocaine effects are dire and affect the developing physical body in several serious ways. Frequent and ongoing use of cocaine can lead to heart attack, stroke, seizures, liver failure, heart failure, and severe impairment in cognitive function. 

How Does Cocaine Affect a Young Person?

Cocaine is a stimulant for the central nervous system that increases energy and awakeness. Cocaine floods the brain with dopamine and leads to a boost in confidence and short-lived pleasure. About 14% of youth aged 12 or older have used cocaine in the United States at some point. Cocaine effects can significantly alter the brain’s chemical makeup and is extremely challenging to quit. 72% of cocaine use is in the form of smoking a rock, known as crack cocaine. 

 

Cocaine Abuse Symptoms

Cocaine symptoms look like a person has changed, perhaps becoming more talkative, excitable, with fewer inhibitions and increased confidence, lower appetite for food, decreased sleep. The high is followed by a crash that affects eating and sleeping patterns as well. The behavioral effects can be long lasting after initial use and can be noticed as:

  • Hostility
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Violent outbursts
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucination

 

Parenting Someone with a Drug Abuse Problem

Parents can improve the family environment and improve their parenting skills in some ways. Start by asking your teen about their opinions on drug use and find out if they are truly aware of the consequences of drug abuse like cocaine addiction. We can discuss cocaine addiction as leading to a loss of potential and joy related to achievement in school, milestones in life, and drastic sabotage into adulthood. 

Give your child a natural loving confidence as a way to buffer them from being affected by peer pressures. Know their activities, establish firm rules, avoid scare tactics, and know who their friends are. Increasing your support of them can be felt and truly encouraging in preventing them from becoming addicted to anything!

Try talking to your teens about the consequences of using drugs and teaching them how to make healthier choices by avoiding drugs altogether. Know that your child may be experiencing peer pressure issues amongst their social group, insecurities and a lack of confidence, and a desire for social acceptance. Many teenagers may not be paying attention to the risks and consequences and need more parental monitoring and close attention.

If you’re a parent looking to help prevent your child from falling back into drug addiction, let Anchored Tides Recovery help by calling 866-600-7709.

What are the Best Crystals for Anxiety and Stress?

crystals for anxiety

 

Crystal healing is a popular modality in alternative medicine that is said to interact with a person’s energy field and create a state of balance when they are held. Crystals are good for anxiety in many instances, as they are believed to promote a sense of support and well-being. Although there is no solid scientific proof that they work, there is a common recommendation of crystals because they place a combination of placebo effect with attention to mindfulness and can shift the mind into a more positive state. There are as many crystal types as there are ailments, each said to help with a specific issue. Whether completely true or not, there is no doubt that the electricity of a crystal exists even if it is infinitesimal.

 

Are Crystals Helpful for Mental Health Issues?

There are a variety of crystals that are said to be good for mental health, by promoting a state of “being grounded.” Grounding is a popular term used to describe a state of mental clarity, balance, alignment, and a place generally free from anxiety. People use crystals to manage stress, to increase mental focus, and to promote the health and well-being of the person’s overall energy state. A common belief is that crystals interact with the energy field and can raise the vibrational energy, thereby uplifting the lower, denser vibrations inherent in ailments. It is said that while crystals can evaporate or raise the energetic frequency of what it interacts with, there is no scientific proof that solidifies this claim. 

Crystals are said to be absorbent and have the ability to evaporate thicker negative energy states, allowing a person to become unstuck. While beset with states of stress and anxiety, crystals can act as a source of support, whether in the mind or in actuality, or both. They are plentiful in variety and unique to each type. They are even found in our electronics because of the way they emit frequencies. In some people’s belief, they can be effective for healing illnesses in the physical body because of their power. With no science backing this up, there is no doubt that the belief in crystals is still existent as it has been for thousands of years.

 

The Science Behind Crystals

While the popularity of crystals suggests they are good for anxiety, there is no known scientific evidence that they work. The frequencies they emit could possibly be so slight that it would be hard to prove an actual cure. However, crystals good for anxiety have stood the test of time in cultures, being so because of the power of people’s belief in them. There can be a minor effect on the body because they are said to hold different and specific properties unique to each type.

Crystals are called upon to support mental health issues like states of anxiety, stress, or depression. Crystals for anxiety can work just as much in the mind as much as medically. With a supposed electrical signal that sends waves of a certain benefit, the placebo effect in believing they work can shift mental states by shifting the mindset to a positive belief. Even with skepticism about crystals and the fact that they should not replace conventional medical treatment, some form of the benefit of crystals is said to exist because of the way the mind is affected by their charms. It is suggested to use specific crystals to create a sense of calm reassurance and grounding while also following a doctor’s advice.

Crystals can be considered a source of support for a number of purposes, including in the aid of meditation and mindfulness. Crystals for anxiety can be paired with meditation practice by focusing on the crystals’ properties, placing intent on their healing power, and combining the placebo effect with a shift into positive belief with mindfulness. 

 

 

Ways to Use Crystals for Anxiety

There are a number of ritualistic ways to work with crystals consciously for the purpose of healing states of stress and anxiety. Many people are suggested to employ the following techniques to enhance the crystal healing experience.

  1. Choose a stone that resonates with you. See what properties are said to be held within that particular crystal. Set an intention that this crystal can aid in your intention to meditate. The belief you can hold by suspending skepticism can have a placebo effect that is still effective. Know that there is a tiny electrical current that may be energized by your own body’s energetic frequency, interacting with that focus of mind and body.
  2. Cleanse the stones and use them in your meditation practice as a ritual to remind you of the importance of power and mindfulness. Spiritual practice can aid in the management of stress and anxiety and crystals can be a tactile and symbolic reminder that healing is possible. Place them in sunlight or burn incense to instill feelings of calm and safety. Make this a space for mindfulness and connecting to your own form of spirituality and positivity.

 

Crystals that are good for anxiety:

  1. Amethyst – a popular stone known for its soothing powers and effect on mental clarity.
  2. Black Tourmaline – sends up a tiny shield from electromagnetic frequencies or EMFs. It is said to combat and subdue panic attacks and ease our energy contact with electronic devices and fields.
  3. Rose Quartz – this stone is said to increase the energy of affection and love and can elevate a person’s mind to a state of more self-love.
  4. Lava Stone – a grounding crystal for anxiety.
  5. Hematite – a stone said to be dense enough to ground your body by its heavy frequencies and its interaction with slower energy vibrations.
  6. Smoky Quartz – said to manage and vanquish the state of fear.
  7. Moonstone – a soothing stone associated with feminine energy and the ability to clear static and stress.
  8. Lepidolite – is said to be one of the antidepressants of the crystal world.
  9. Tiger Eye – a popular stone that is said to clear clouded emotions and empower a person to move forward past emotions.
  10. Citrine – cuts through anxiety with its brilliant luminescence and bright energy.

 

Since the state of grounding or “being grounded” is a popular statement nowadays, crystals are proposed by some to aid in a state free of anxiety and of mental clarity. Crystals can still have a tactile and placebo effect while still emitting an electrical charge. Although science has not proven its effectiveness, in the realm of alternative medicine many places their faith in them and benefits in their own unique way.

Crystals are not a scientifically proven way to cope with any mental health issues, like anxiety or addiction, but seeking treatment is. If you’re looking for a support group of women in Southern California, call 866-600-7709 and talk to a member of the Anchored Tides Recovery team today. 

5 Steps to Leave an Abusive Relationship

Leave an Abusive Relationship

Leave an Abusive Relationship

 

We all need love and affection, so romantic relationships are one of the most important relationships we form in life. But, the romanticized dream of spending your life with someone, can have a twisted turn and become a nightmare. 

In this article, we will explain abusive relationships – what they are and their signs, how to spot abusers, and most importantly, how to leave them behind and never turn back. 

 

What is an Abusive Relationship?

An abusive relationship is a relationship where one is doing psychological, social, sexual, financial, or physical torture to the other to show and maintain power and control. 

In heterosexual abusive relationships, the abusers are predominantly males, but that is by no means a rule. One of the biggest problems in today’s domestic or relationship violence is that men are less likely to confess that they are being abused, mainly because people won’t believe them or they’re afraid of being ridiculed. That leads to a lot of unrecorded female to male abuses, thus misleading statistics. 

By modern social psychology theories, it is believed that men are more likely to abuse by causing physical and emotional pain. On the other hand, women abusers use means of psychological and social torture. Most of the time, an abusive relationship will have all of the previously mentioned contexts and not just one. 

 

Am I in an Abusive Relationship? 

The signs of an abusive relationship are: 

 

  • Psychological abuse 

Consists of the abuser calling the victim names, belittling them, making fun, giving their secrets, gaslighting, manipulating, threatening, etc.

 

  • Social torture 

Social abuse is the act of trying to turn other people against the victim, controlling the victim’s social circle, restricting their movement or freedom of choice, controlling their social media or phone/internet usage, and so on. Often, the abuser is trying to alienate the victim from their family and friends since those are the most likely to spot the abuse and stand up for the victim.

 

  • Sexual abuse

In a sexual context, the abuser can force or manipulate the victim into sexual acts that the victim doesn’t want to do. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) gives statistical data of “around 14% to 25% of women being sexually assaulted by their partners during a relationship. In abusive relationships, that number goes up to 45% of women being sexually assaulted, aside from other kinds of abuse.” 

 

  • Financial abuse

Financial abuse is consisted of taking money out of the victim; or, if they don’t work, restricting and controlling the money they use and what they use it for. It might also include restrictions about working and working hours or controlling how the victim spends their own money. 

 

  • Physical abuse

Physical abuse is the most common (and most easily noticed) type of violence. In physical abuse, the abuser is hitting, dragging, pulling, scratching, pushing, or using a weapon/tool to cause pain to the victim. 

 

How do you Spot an Abuser?

There isn’t a simple way to spot an abuser, but there are some characteristics that abusers are more likely to have. They include: 

  • Always wanting to be right
  • Having a high opinion of themselves
  • Being easily triggered 
  • Needing to control people and situations
  • Are prone to jealousy (this is not limited only to jealousy towards possible love rivals)
  • Want to belittle people

 

 

5 Steps to Leave an Abusive Relationship

 

Have a Support System

If you want to leave an abusive relationship, you first need to acknowledge the fact that you are actually in an abusive relationship. Since there is also psychological abuse, the victims are led to believe that the abuse is not real, that it’s their fault, that it won’t happen again, etc. 

Once you are aware that you need to leave that relationship for your good, you need a good support system. That can be friends, family, co-workers, therapists, hotlines, violence victim shelters – where ever you know you will be comfortable, but safe too. 

The Office of Women’s Health (OWH) explains that women’s shelters are free, safe, and warm places for violence survivors (and their kids) to stay. In this stage, you also might need a secret phone if you live with an abuser that is controlling and goes through your phone.

 

Make an Escape Plan

If you live together with the abuser, it’s very important to have an escape plan. The escape plan includes a date and means of leaving, a bag with necessities and clothes, important documents, cash on the side, and whatever else you think that you need. If you want to leave as soon as possible, a shelter (or a safe place with relatives) might be the best option. If you have kids, you might want to take them with you. This complicates things, so be sure that you start packing your and your kids’ bags once you are sure that you will have time to leave unhurt.

For some victims, leaving an abusive relationship includes a lot more planning. They might rent an apartment; gather evidence from the abuse to use in the future; get bus/plane tickets; make copies of important documents; and everything else they might need, depending on the situation. 

 

Stick to the plan and leave. Once and for all

This is the step of actually leaving. And leave the abusive relationship for good. The psychological abuse often goes to the extent that the victim is manipulated into trusting or pitying their abuser. This is usually accompanied by excuses like “he/she still loves me”, “he/she didn’t mean it”, ”It won’t happen again”, “I can change him/her”, “he/she will kill me or himself/herself”…

 

Stay safe with close and reliable people

Once you leave, it’s important not to tell a lot of people where you stay. This is a safety measure since a lot of abusers won’t easily let their victims go. They want to control and feel in power, and once the victim doesn’t comply, their rage increases. With that, chances of even bigger abuse increase too. 

If you are scared for your safety or think that your abuser might find you, make sure that you get a restraining order against them. If they appear, do call the police and don’t hesitate. Making a firm stance against your abuser is the first step towards them giving up.

 

Get Therapy or Counseling 

Abusive relationships are very damaging for the individual. They leave long-lasting stress, anxiousness, fear, uncertainty, low self-esteem, bad picture of the self, among other things. Sometimes, they might even leave physical scars. If you want to take the control back and remember that relationship as the event that turned you into a strong warrior, you can use the help of a therapist. 

 

Getting Professional Help

An abusive relationship is one where one person is trying to maintain control and power over the other, usually through physical, psychological, social, sexual, or financial abuse. For the victim to leave, they should have a support system of friends and institutions, have an escape plan and stick to it, go to a safe place, take any legal measures (if needed) and visit a therapist who can help with the long-lasting psychological effects.

If you or someone you know is struggling with abuse, or want to leave an abusive relationship or addiction, or looking for a supportive group of women in Orange County, California, call 866-600-7709 and talk to a member of the Anchored Tides Recovery team. 

Can You Have an Exercise Addiction?

Exercise addiction

Exercise addiction

 

Exercise is one of the most beneficial activities to humans. And it also applies to men and women in a recovery phase from addiction. However, a common question that most people ask is can we suffer from exercise addiction?

Well, addressing this issue is impossible without understanding what exactly exercise addiction is. Exercise addiction is an unhealthy fixation with physical fitness and exercise. Eating disorders and body image issues are frequently to blame. Addiction to exercise has many characteristics with other addictions, including:

  • fixation on a particular action or set of actions
  • despite your desire to cease indulging in the activity, you continue to do so secretly.

Chemicals in the neurological system are released as a result of physical activity. This group of neurotransmitters is responsible for inducing feelings of pleasure and reward. Part of what causes exercise addiction may be a reliance on the pleasure response.

Excessive weight loss and accompanying health issues may be caused by exercise addiction. Hence, it’s possible to have an exercise addiction. Knowing the causes, symptoms, and treatments are important things to know. Let’s dive in for more details:

 

What Causes Exercise Addiction?

Endorphins and dopamine are released when you exercise. These are the same neurotransmitters that are produced when people take drugs. Exercising provides an addict with a sense of satisfaction and pleasure. They lose their neurotransmitters when they stop exercising. Addicts need to work out more to get their fix.

A drive for physical health is often the first step toward an exercise addiction. An unhealthy fixation with exercise may develop due to an eating illness such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia. For some people, exercise addiction may be caused by a condition known as body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).

 

Signs of Exercise Addiction

There are a couple of things you notice when you’re having an Exercise Addiction, and these include:

 

Exercising to compensate for food or body parts you dislike

If you’re working out too much and too frequently to make up for what you eat or what you believe about your body, it’s a sure indicator that your exercise routine is harmful.

 

You never miss a workout.

If the receptionists know more about you than your coworkers and recovery partners, you may be spending too much time at your gym.

People obsessed with working out may spend three or four hours a day at the gym, or even go there several times a day, while others who are regular gym rats may just spend an hour or two there each week.

 

You alter your activities to suit your training timetables.

Do you have to reschedule or cancel plans at the last minute to fit your exercises into your schedule?

It’s not uncommon for gym-obsessed people to change their plans or scheduled activities and social events around the time they would normally spend at the gym,” Seti says.

Someone addicted to exercise may decline dinner with friends because it conflicts with their time at the gym.

 

Most of the time, you’re exhausted!

Spending excessive time exercising and not enough time caring for your body might result in fatigue and tiredness in the fitness center.

Following Seti’s advice, excessive exercise may place an unnecessary demand on your body and its systems, resulting in illness or injury due to the tension.

 

You have a poor perception of your body.

Countless hours spent at the gym will not improve your body image. There’s a significant risk that it will exacerbate the situation.

As Seti points out, “a lot of individuals who are fascinated with the gym realize that they have a negative body image.” You envision an unrealistic version of yourself and aspire to achieve that perfection, even if it is not healthy for them to continue indulging in that behavior.

An unrealistic body image may lead to eating disorders, overexercising, and other health problems.

 

Your outcomes are deteriorating.

Excessive time spent in the gym might lead to less progress. In other words, if you find yourself working out seven days a week while needing a day off, you may be in danger of overtraining, according to certified fitness trainer Jeff Bell.

You may get irritated, tired, and hungry,” he says. In this scenario, too much of a good thing may rapidly become bad.

 

 

Steps To Take If You Have An Exercise Addiction

We already know that you can have an exercise addiction. Hence, you should be aware of effective solutions also. These include:

 

Keep a log of your workouts.

Keeping a log of your workouts can help you better understand how you feel and what you’re doing. Include the following in your diary:

  • Day of the week and time spent working out 
  • how you feel physically and mentally when you’re not exercising or resting 
  • how much time is allotted to fitness on a given day

After examining these sensations, it is possible to develop methods of shifting the perspective surrounding movement to one of liberation, rather than one of retribution. This is critical to a long-term wellness plan, according to her.

Make some changes. If you recognize any of these red flags, it’s probably time for a change. The ideal is to give your body time to relax and recuperate, but we all know how tough it may be to do so.

For those who are anxious at the notion of taking a day off from working out, try substituting active rest days for some of your exercises. Yoga, strolling, tai chi, and swimming are excellent ways to take a break from the stresses of daily life.

 

Seek the Advice of a Counselor

It might be tough to strike a balance between exercise that is good for you and exercise that becomes an obsession on your own. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, whether it’s addictive behaviors or substance abuse, call 866-600-7709 and speak with someone from the Anchored Tides Recovery team. 

Law Enforcement and Addiction Recovery

law enforcement and addiction recovery

law enforcement and addiction recovery

 

For better or worse, the chances are you have strong opinions about police reform. 

Even just the term “police reform” triggers many intense emotions, from both sides of the political spectrum, and doesn’t do any justice towards the actual meaning behind the idea. 

Today, we answer the question – what does police reform mean?
We’ll cover the cause, effect, and specifics.

 

The Stigma Around Police Reform

Most people hear the term “defunding the police” and take it literally. To many, the term means “take away police funding, cut their salaries, remove police presence.” This is very far from the actual meaning of the term.

Police reform revolves around reallocating police funds and retraining officers, including their responses to drug offenses. While there are outliers with more radical views regarding police reform, they are just that – outliers. Financially, police reform calls for reducing the budget for weapons, non-community orientated programs, and changes in fines and fees associated with a drug arrest. However, the primary focus of funding has less to do with budget allocations and more to do with law enforcement’s response to drug use and mental health-related issues.

Currently, many emergency calls involving drugs or mental illness result in police taking aggressive action. Police officers are currently trained as soldiers, and as a result, they act like soldiers when they are called in. This type of mentality results in a lot of unnecessary violence and a negative stigma of the police in the public eye; For example, recently, a police officer who was responding to a disturbance call broke the arm of a 73-year-old woman with dementia while using force because she was not responsive to his commands. The police are supposed to make us feel safe, but many people are just afraid of them. 

Under police reform laws, many drug-related and mental health emergencies would be handled by trained social workers, mental health professionals or simply allocate funds to train police officers in therapeutic counseling strategies of de-escalation. In all scenarios, officers would still be present in some capacity.

  

 

The Real-Life Results of Police Reform

Reallocating the police budget affects the entire community. It also narrows the scope of police work. Police are required to respond to virtually every emergency incident. This results in police being tasked with jobs that are outside of their expertise. For example, mental health calls require nuanced psychological training to have a positive outcome. The wide range of police work also contributes to elevated stress levels in officers due to the nature of their job and the effects of poor sleep and long working hours.

These are the most significant benefits of police reform:

  • Improved Social Programs: Social programs encompass housing, education, and rehabilitation. Many social programs have extremely limited resources. This is especially true in impoverished neighborhoods. Youth that gets drawn into gang activity, drug experimenting, and other nefarious behavior often do so for lack of options. Community centers, sports, and stable housing reduce first-time offenses and provide long-lasting changes in any environment.
  • Better Support for Mental Health: Individuals with mental health issues such as addiction, depression, PTSD, etc., often need help that most cops and jail environments cannot provide. Trained mental health professionals can only provide proper treatment. Commanding presences, like that exhibited by most law enforcement, only serve to intensify the harmful effects of mental instability.
  • Reduced Violent Crime: As mentioned, cops often respond to non-violent, non-emergency situations. In police reform, officers would have more time and resources to focus on dangerous offenders and serious crimes.

 

Addiction as a Disease

Drug use is not a violent crime, but often authorities approach it as such. Addiction is a disorder of the brain, and drug use is a symptom of the disorder. Once you understand this, the idea of approaching the situation the same way you would a violent offender seems off base. 

Historically, people viewed substance dependency as being caused by a lack of willpower or character. However, modern health professionals view addiction as a disease. Science shows genetics, environment, culture, and mental illness all play pivotal roles in developing an addiction. Children of substance-dependent parents are more likely to become addicted and/or suffer from behavioral issues.

Viewing addiction as a disease also allows for a more well-rounded treatment plan. This is due to the increasing focus on functional medicine. Functional medicine involves treating the patient’s entire body as a system- when one part fails, it affects the entire body. For example, depression and anxiety dampen the mood and disrupt logical thinking. A person suffering from these conditions may be unable to weigh the consequences of their addiction clearly. Additionally,  people with the illnesses mentioned above may rely on substances to combat their depression, anxiety, and suicidal thinking.

Overcoming substance dependency requires time, therapy, and medical treatment. Without proper training, many officers may treat someone suffering from dependency the same as a violent offender. This can cause additional trauma and worsen the effects of mental illness and dependence on those affected.

It’s worth noting that police officers are not the only career that requires additional training regarding drug use. A societal change in thinking is necessary for long-lasting help and prevention to occur regarding drug dependency.

Many cities, such as Philadelphia, have taken to providing clean needles to people suffering from heroin dependency. Intravenous drug use is accountable for disease spread, severe infection, and other occurrences that put additional strain on city funds. Providing safe places and sanitized needles curb the risk of infection and violent crime. This is just one example of how changing societal views of addiction benefit both the community and the city budget.

 

Where Do We Go From Here?

The conversation surrounding police reform is still in its early stages. There have been several incarnations of police reform in the past that have worked to varying degrees. 

An era of police reform occurred with the advent of digital cameras, phones, and internet crime. Police reform is a natural part of the institution; as society changes, so should the goal and practice of policing. The expectation of law enforcement moving forward is that officers will be limited in what calls they respond to en mass.

 

 

Police reform also limits their roles in mental health cases, non-violent disputes, and drug use. There is also a call for a higher level of accountability of police from their peers. To be clear, policing is as much a lifestyle as it is a career. It’s well known that officers, much like any life-defining career, form tight-knit groups that aren’t overly friendly to outsiders. This power level allows many police officers who commit crimes to receive reduced sentences, even when found guilty. The double standard afforded to officers during criminal proceedings only drives a wedge further between officers and the community they’ve chosen to protect.

While unit camaraderie and cohesion are essential to law enforcement, the cause and effect of these relationships can feel unfair. An officer can be loyal to their sworn code and still hold their fellow officers accountable.

Lastly, the combined factors of reduced violent activity, decriminalization of substances, and budget reallocation can increase the economic value of a neighborhood. This not only improves the economy and quality of life of its residents but also of communities nearby. As it stands, many non-violent offenders lose out on lifetime earnings, resources and gain social stigma for their drug use and arrests. A more lenient, support-based system allows persons with substance use issues to receive the treatment they need and reclaim their lives. To learn more about addiction recovery call the team at Anchored Tides Recovery at 866-600-7709.

What is Addiction?

what is addiction

what is addiction

 

Addiction is widely misunderstood, even though it touches so many of us, whether it be directly or indirectly. When you have an addiction, your brain experiences a chronic dysfunction in reward, motivation, and memory systems. 

Your body begins to crave a specific substance or even a behavior because of these brain changes. Despite the harmful consequences, you continue to use addictive drugs. 

As much as understanding what addiction is can be helpful, it’s also important to know what it’s not. For example, addiction isn’t a choice, nor is it a moral failure.

 

An Overview of Addiction

Addiction is a chronic disorder that affects someone’s brain and behavior. When you have an addiction, you can’t stop using a substance such as drugs or alcohol or engaging in behavior like gambling, even though it’s causing harm in your life.

According to The American Society of Addiction Medicine, it’s a chronic medical disease involving complex interactions between your brain, genetics, your environment, and your life experiences. While addictive disorders are a chronic condition that doesn’t necessarily have a “cure,” it is treatable. You can manage the symptoms.

If you have a chronic disease like diabetes, the concept is similar. You may not be able to cure the underlying condition, but it’s manageable with different therapies, medications, and lifestyle changes. When your symptoms are under control from a chronic illness, it’s known as being in remission.

When you have a substance use disorder that’s well-managed and not active, you’re in recovery.  

Some of the most addictive substances and illicit drugs include:

  • Cocaine
  • Alcohol
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine
  • Nicotine

 

Symptoms of Addiction

Addiction tends to create symptoms that fall into one of three broader categories. There are cravings, loss of control, and continuing to use the substance despite adverse consequences.

Physical signs of addiction can vary depending on the substance used but may include:

  • Being under- or overactive
  • Repetitive or unusual speech patterns
  • Dilated pupils
  • Red eyes
  • Pale skin
  • Sniffly or runny nose
  • Clothes aren’t fitting the same
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Lack of personal hygiene

Behavioral addiction signs can include:

  • Irritability or defensiveness
  • Problems coping with stress
  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Changes in social groups or social withdrawal
  • Confused easily
  • Justification for behavior
  • Minimization
  • Blaming other people or events for substance use or effects
  • Diversion, meaning often changing the subject to avoid talking about substance use
  • Missing school or work
  • Declining performance at school or work
  • Isolation or being secretive
  • Legal or financial problems
  • Relationship problems

 

What Causes Addiction?

We’ve learned so much since the 1930s when researchers first started looking at the causes of addictive behavior. Before this research, the old way of thinking was that if you had an addiction, you didn’t have the willpower, or you were morally flawed. That incorrect thinking led to ineffective treatment approaches to dealing with addiction.

For example, punishment or trying to force someone to break their habits were common strategies.

Now, scientific advancements help us understand again, addiction is a chronic disease altering the brain, one of our most important organs. Like cardiovascular disease affects your heart, addiction takes over your brain.

Research guides addiction treatment programs and mental health treatment for co-occurring disorders in practical ways. 

Some of the steps that can occur in the development of addiction include:

  • Your brain registers pleasure as something it wants to seek out and continue to experience. Pleasure can come from natural sources, such as sex or having a great meal. Pleasure can also stem from the effects of psychoactive drugs and alcohol.
  • When you experience something pleasurable, your brain releases a neurotransmitter—dopamine. Dopamine floods into your brain’s pleasure and reward center—the nucleus accumbens.
  • Since the use of drugs or alcohol can be a dopamine-triggering event, there’s a compulsion for your brain to want to continue it.
  • It’s not only the pleasure element that can lead to addiction. Dopamine is one part of the process, but so are learning and memory. Learning and memory play pivotal roles in moving from thinking something is appealing to developing an addiction.
  • Repeated exposure to an addictive substance causes nerve cells in not only your nucleus accumbens but also the prefrontal cortex to communicate in a way that makes you want to continue it. You have a sense of motivation to keep seeking out pleasurable stimuli.
  • Eventually, compulsion will take over. The pleasure you associate with an addictive substance goes away, but you still have the memory of the desired effect. You keep wanting to recreate it. Compulsion leads to out control cravings but is drug addiction a moral failing?

Certain factors such as a family history of addiction can make you more likely to develop a substance use disorder. Mental health issues can also raise the risk of drug misuse and substance abuse issues. 

 

 

Are There Treatments for Addiction?

Substance abuse treatment is available, although it’s not always straightforward. The goals of any treatment for drug or alcohol addiction are to help you stop using drugs, remain drug-free, and be productive in your family, at your job, and in society.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, evidence-based addiction treatment should include the following:

  • Addiction is managed as a complex although treatable disease affecting behavior and brain function
  • There’s no single treatment that’s right for everyone
  • You need easy and timely access to treatment 
  • Effective treatment addresses all of your needs as a whole person, and not just your drug or alcohol use
  • You must stay in treatment for long enough
  • Behavioral therapy and counseling are the most commonly used types of treatment
  • Medications can be an essential part of treatment, particularly combined with behavioral therapy
  • A counselor should regularly review your kind of treatment plan and, if necessary, change to fit your evolving needs
  • Effective addiction treatment should address other co-occurring mental disorders you may have
  • Medically-assisted detoxification isn’t treatment in and of itself—it’s the first stage of treatment
  • Your drug addiction treatment doesn’t have to be voluntary for it to be effective
  • Effective alcohol rehab or drug treatment should address criminal behavior, infectious disease, or other related situations. 

Treatment can take place in different formats and settings for a substance use disorder. For example, there are inpatient and outpatient programs available at treatment facilities. An inpatient program is more intensive and requires a residential stay. Outpatient treatment can be a lower level of care after inpatient rehab. You might also begin your treatment there. 

 

Does Health Insurance Cover Addiction Treatment?

Since a substance use disorder is a medical condition, in many cases, your health insurance company will cover some or all of the costs of addiction treatment, including medication-assisted treatment. In 2010 with the passing of the Affordable Care Act (2010), a mandate required that insurance companies and insurance plans cover the same level of coverage for addiction treatment and mental health disorders as they do for other medical conditions.

If you aren’t sure what your insurance will cover as far as addiction treatment providers and essential health benefits, the best thing you can do is contact them directly. They can let you know your health coverage and the treatment options available to you. The team at our treatment center can also help you with insurance-related questions as they specifically apply to our center.

The big takeaway that you should remember is that addiction is a chronic and also progressive disease. Untreated, it will get worse and cause more severe side effects. Effective treatments are available, however, and are accessible to you. Insurance policies will often cover the cost of treatment, including inpatient rehab. To learn more about the women-only outpatient treatment program at Anchored Tides Recovery, call 866-600-7709 today!

How to Talk to My Partner About Being in Recovery

Being in Recovery

Being in Recovery

 

It’s a huge accomplishment when you’re in recovery from addiction, also known as a substance use disorder. However, being in recovery can also mean talking to other people about what this means for you. 

As far as being a woman who’s recovering, you may have to speak to current or future partners about it, and someday you may have to explain it to your children, perhaps in more detail than you have so far.

If you’re thinking about treatment or you’re in the very early days of your healing, talking about it can seem overwhelming. Still, the recovery process is something to be proud of.

 

What Does Being In Recovery Mean?

What does it mean to be in recovery from addiction?

Recovery can mean different things to different people. In technical terms, being in recovery is a process where you aren’t just sober from drugs and alcohol, although this is important.

Long-term recovery is also an ongoing, evolving process. You are improving yourself physically, spiritually, emotionally, and socially. You are recovering from the many complex ways addiction and substance use affect you.

  • According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the definition of recovery is a process of change through which you improve your health and wellness. 
  • The organization says that you’re working to achieve your full potential and live a self-directed life when you’re in recovery.
  • Even people with severe, long-term substance use disorders can overcome the illness and regain social function and health.
  • Sometimes, we call addiction recovery being in remission. The idea is similar to other chronic disorders such as diabetes. While there may not be a cure for diabetes, the symptoms can be under control, and you can be in remission. The same is true of addiction.

Another way to look at recovery is that you’re able to deal with stress and negative or uncomfortable feelings without the use of substances, contribute to society, your family, and the world around you and maintain a positive quality of life. 

There are many different ways you can achieve recovery. For example, there are care systems such as rehab, outpatient care, coaching, and housing.

There are also support services to stay connected with resources that help you maintain and strengthen your recovery over time.

  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Commission (SAMHSA) describes recovery similarly to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. 
  • SAMHSA also goes further and outlines four elements that support recovery.
  • These include health, meaning that when you’re in recovery, you manage your disease or symptoms and make informed decisions to support physical and emotional health.
  • According to SAMHSA, having a stable home is a dimension of recovery, and so is having a purpose. By purpose, you have meaningful activities in your daily life that foster independence and income.
  • In this model, the fourth component of recovery is the community, meaning you have a social support network that provides you with love and hope. Your community can come in different forms. It could be your family or perhaps the people you meet in a 12-step program during your recovery from alcohol or drugs. Your community could be social networks you connect with online or through your treatment program. 

While we have some general frameworks for defining what it means to be recovering, it’s still very personal to you and an ongoing process following active addiction. 

Not everyone who struggles with addiction experiences problems with the law, but the idea of criminal rehabilitation can often share similarities to drug rehabilitation. For example, criminal rehabilitation aims to help people re-enter society in a meaningful way, according to the Mental Health Services Administration. 

 

How To Talk About Being in Recovery

Being in recovery from an alcohol use disorder or drug addiction means that there will be times when you have to explain to someone your situation. 

The following are tips that can help you as you approach the conversation about your recovery program from a drug or alcohol use disorder:

  • Be yourself when you’re telling anyone about being in recovery. Being a woman in recovery or anyone in recovery for that matter is about honesty and authenticity—these are things that are the exact opposite of what you likely conveyed while you were in active addiction to alcohol or drugs. 
  • You should be proud of where you are and don’t hold back being truthful because you’re worried someone can’t handle it. If you think someone can’t take the honesty of your situation and recovery, then perhaps they aren’t someone to have a relationship with. Remember that authenticity is a big part of how you heal.
  • While you should be honest when you’re ready to talk to someone about your recovery, that doesn’t mean everyone has the right to hear your story. If you don’t want to tell someone, you’re under no obligation to. You are in control of who you tell and what you tell them about your life. When you’re in recovery, you learn how important protecting your energy and boundaries are.
  • Make sure that you’re ready to share. It’s okay if you’re not, and you’ll get there eventually.
  • Prepare to get some questions. You might feel a little overwhelmed by questions, but it is normal to learn more about the situation if someone cares about you.

 

 

Talking About Recovery in Dating

While the above are tips that can help you talk about recovery in any situation, what about dating?

If you’re in recovery and venturing into the dating world, it can be tricky to know what to share and when to do it.

Again, like so much of your recovery, that’s a personal decision.

  • Some people like to disclose it upfront. There are benefits to that. 
  • For example, if you’re connecting with people online, you might want to clarify that you’re only interested in dating sober people or people who are comfortable with your recovery. 
  • If you meet someone out and about, it can be a little different because you’re not going to know their views on drinking or substance use immediately. They’re not going to instantly realize you’re in the process of recovery or perhaps have mental health disorders. 
  • In these instances, you may prefer to be upfront or keep your recovery to yourself until you feel comfortable sharing it.

Again, when you decide to share, you need to be honest. Don’t feel shame about anything that happened before. 

  • You don’t have to share everything right away, but when you do have conversations, they should come from a place of truthfulness.
  • If you want to change your plans to avoid being around drugs or alcohol, don’t feel like you have to make excuses, and don’t apologize for being in recovery.
  • Be yourself, follow your instincts and remember that safeguarding yourself and your recovery are your biggest priorities, particularly early on.

If you have co-occurring disorders that were part of your addiction, such as mental disorders like depression, you’ll also have to decide how you want to share more details about those. There isn’t a correct answer or timeline that works for everyone. We’re all individuals in the process of recovery. 

 

Addiction Treatment and Recovery Options 

You may look forward to a time when you can say you’re recovering, but perhaps you aren’t there yet. If that’s the case, we encourage you to contact Anchored Tides Recovery by calling 866-600-7709 to learn more about addiction treatment. 

We can share more information about treatment for alcohol addiction or illicit drug addiction, a recovery plan, and the stages of recovery. Our goal for everyone we work with is to help them create productive lives they’re proud of and fulfilled with evidence-based substance use disorder treatment.  

The Impact of Oppression on Women’s Mental Health

impact of oppression against women

impact of oppression against women

 

It’s been over 100 years since women in the United States of America won the right to vote, and physical abuse against women became illegal. 

However, oppression against women is still felt strongly today. From household conversations to government decisions, the impact on mental health runs deep. 

According to national statistics, more than a century later, a third of US women have been victims of physical abuse at the hand of their partners. Meanwhile, a growing number of women are falling victim to disorders such as anxiety, depression, and addiction. 

A growing body of research suggests gender inequality and the systemized oppression of women contribute to disorders such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress syndrome. It begs the question – are we any closer to dismantling oppression against women and its devastating effects?  

 

What Does Oppression Against Women Look Like Today? 

Societal sexism is woven into the fabric of our daily lives. We hear it in subtle ways; the way supervisors might speak to women in meetings, how filmmakers portray heroines in movies, and the expectation of mothers versus fathers.  

It also manifests in more obvious ways– pay discrepancies, psychological, sexual, and physical abuse. 

Decades of research show women as the more oppressed, victimized, and marginalized gender in every corner of the world. 

Sadly, mental disorder and addiction statistics increasingly reflect this. 

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), women are:

  • About twice as likely to experience a depressive episode
  • Twice as likely to suffer from generalized anxiety disorder
  • Up to 10 times more likely to have an eating disorder
  • Twice as likely to suffer from a panic disorder 
  • More than twice as likely to develop PTSD.

The facts are stark and confronting. So, how does marginalization lead to these outcomes? 

 

Five ways oppression against women impacts mental health 

Societal expectations 

The daily pressures placed on women have continued mounting for decades. 

These pressures span workforce, household, and family structures, all upheld and reinforced by patriarchal systems and institutions. This can cause untold stress, which studies have linked to mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. High levels of stress over a prolonged period can contribute to poorer mental health outcomes and increase the risk of a severe mental illness. 

 

Psychological and physical abuse

While anyone can fall victim to psychological and physical abuse, it is widely considered gendered. According to the World Health Organisation, about 30% of women suffer abuse in their lifetime. From manipulation to severe physical and sexual abuse, its psychological implications can be tragic and long-lasting. Self-medication can become an escape for women who don’t feel safe or empowered to seek support elsewhere. 

 

Everyday discrimination 

The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale found that women who feel discriminated against because of their gender have higher depression scores. This supports the idea that perceived discrimination and systemized oppression against women have a powerful impact on mental health. 

 

Barriers to mental health 

Between the expense of treatment and its stigma, support isn’t always easy to access. In addition, past trauma means some may not be comfortable sharing their experiences around men at support groups. 

 

Workplace discrimination 

Gender pay inequality has plagued workplaces worldwide, with female-dominated professions more likely to pay less(teaching, nursing, etc.). 

As more women juggle the demands of being the primary caregiver while navigating full-time jobs, the stress can be profound. 

 

 

The Addiction Cycle

The numbers paint a clear picture – psychological distress and addiction often overlap. And it can be deadly. Each year, approximately 200,000 women lose their lives due to misusing substances, according to Psychology Today. Over 4.5 million women are recorded as having a substance abuse disorder. It’s another tragic symptom of oppression against women that goes overlooked. The stigma has led millions of women to suffer in silence.

Here’s how oppression against women leads to addiction:

 

The brain craves relief from stressful thought patterns 

Women live in a world where they are generally less represented, safe, paid, and, ultimately, valued. From conversations to media – oppression against women is reinforced daily, impacting wellbeing. Self-medication and substance use – whether alcohol or other drugs – offer a dangerous, short-term escape from this reality. 

 

A lack of trust in the system 

When there is a lack of treatment available, women sometimes opt for self-medication. For example, if someone visits the doctor with declining mental health and her concerns are dismissed, she may not return if her circumstances worsen. A sense of helplessness and a lack of support can begin a pattern of self-medication that can evolve into addiction. 

 

Accessibility to treatment 

In 2010, a study found that women are far more likely than men to face multiple barriers when seeking treatment. From doctor’s appointments and prescription medication to therapy – it’s something not everyone can afford. Too often, self-medication poses a short-term escape for women struggling with mental health. 

 

Shame and stigma 

A deep-rooted sense of shame can compel women to be secretive about their substance use and become less likely to seek help. A study found that women feel a more significant stigma about substance abuse, impacting their recovery. While it differs for each person, patriarchal attitudes towards women and their household roles can exacerbate this shame and stigma. For example, a mother may not seek support if she fears being called a bad or careless mother. 

 

Harming to Healing – What’s the Answer? 

There’s no doubt that support and treatment are vital to those struggling with poor mental health and addiction. With more options now available to meet the growing demand, treatment is becoming more accessible. As the shame surrounding addiction reduces, more people feel comfortable reaching out for support, even if it’s through a friend or family member. 

Our facility provides state-of-the-art care to women struggling with addiction. Our experts use a detailed treatment plan that targets the needs of each individual. If you are a woman that has been abusing drugs or medication, you do not need to suffer any longer. 

Call our Anchored Tides Recovery at 866-600-7709 today to schedule a consultation and start improving the quality of your life.