Anchored Tides Recovery Is In-Net with Cigna

Anchored Tides Recovery Is In-Net with Cigna

PAYING FOR REHAB

Cigna Insurance

Cigna is a global health organization that offers an extensive network of in-network doctors in all 50 states. Last year, more than 86 million customers explored the ways in which the company’s proprietary technology, robust provider network, and multi-channel approach can help them benefit from affordable healthcare for basic needs. Cigna also provides comprehensive treatment and rehabilitative services, including addiction counseling, to those suffering from substance abuse issues.

Does Cigna Cover Addiction Treatment?

Cigna’s Addiction Rehabilitation Program (ARP) is designed to provide patients with access to comprehensive, timely and effective addiction rehabilitation services. ARP offers patients the flexibility of receiving medically necessary treatment during the same visit to the hospital where care is first sought. ARP also provides coverage for medically necessary care associated with polysubstance use disorders.

Cigna Addiction Treatment

If you have Cigna health insurance, you may qualify for the following Aetna alcohol treatment and drug addiction programs:

  • Detox Services
  • Inpatient and Residential Care
  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
  • Outpatient Treatment

Get help at Anchored Tides Recovery

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, we can help. Our advisors help those struggling with alcohol misuse, drug abuse, or those with an eating disorder to find the best treatment options for their needs. We’ll work with you to find programs that will give you the help you need without breaking the bank. Call today and begin your journey toward a healthier life.

Anchored Tides Recovery Is In-Net with Cigna

The Importance of Self-Forgiveness In Recovery

Forgiveness in Recovery

Forgiveness in Recovery

 

Self-forgiveness in the recovery process is essential.  

If you can’t forgive yourself in the recovery process from drug or alcohol abuse, you aren’t going to be able to move forward in a healthy, positive way. 

When you can’t forgive yourself, you’re going to get stuck in a cycle of shame and guilt. Shame and guilt fuel addiction and addictive thinking.

Forgiving yourself is easier said than done, however.

 

The Role of Shame and Guilt In Addiction

Shame and guilt are powerful emotions. They can slowly erode you mentally and spiritually if you don’t find healthy ways to cope with them.

  • Shame is a complex feeling that can occur when you’re the perpetrator of wrongdoing, but it can also be something you experience as a victim.
  • For example, your cycle of shame could have started when you experienced abuse, leading to PTSD. Untreated PTSD could then fuel your substance use. Guilt would then become part of the cycle if you felt that you were letting your children or family down, which could bring you deeper into the cycle of addiction.
  • According to empirical evidence, feelings of guilt and shame both create and feed an addiction whether it’s an alcohol addiction or drug addiction. 
  • When you feel these two emotions, you experience distress about your actions. They can cause you to hate yourself. Both feelings also relate to other mental health conditions, including depression.

The terms may be used interchangeably in many situations, but there is a subtle difference between guilt and shame. Guilt relates more to particular actions, while shame can define who you are as a person, or at least you feel like it does.

  • When you have deep-rooted feelings of shame, they become part of your story, and you begin to believe you’re a bad person and can’t do good.
  • Both shame and guilt increase the risks of unhealthy substance use, which can lead to angry outbursts and unhealthy relationships.
  • There are links between these feelings and substance use and other addictive behaviors such as binge-eating and sexually risky behaviors.

Along with fueling addiction, guilt and shame can be an obstacle to recovery, and studies show higher rates of these feelings lead to worse recovery outcomes. Having unresolved and distressing feelings can shorten periods where you go without using, increase relapse rates, or be a reason why you don’t seek treatment.

 

What Is Self-Forgiveness in the Recovery Process?

When you’re in treatment for addiction, you may hear a lot of talk about letting go of resentment. We tend to first associate this with resentment toward other people without realizing we may have persistent grievances against ourselves.

It can be much harder to forgive yourself than someone else.

  • When you’re in active addiction, many of your behaviors hurt people or cause regret.
  • You then internalize these active addiction behaviors and start to think you’re a bad person. 
  • In recovery, it’s important to work toward the realization that addiction isn’t who you are, and everyone makes mistakes.
  • When you’re stuck on feelings of shame or guilt, then you’re keeping yourself in the past.
  • When you work through the process to forgive yourself, you’re able to move forward and become “unstuck.”

Self-forgiveness in recovery doesn’t mean you aren’t taking responsibility for the harm you’ve inflicted on others. Personal responsibility can be part of self-forgiveness. The best way to move forward is to acknowledge your actions and impact and then move forward with mindfulness.

 

Women and Shame

There’s a particularly complex relationship women tend to have with shame. Shame in women affects how you view yourself and your self-esteem. 

  • According to organizations like the American Psychiatric Association, it’s also more common in women than men, largely because of cultural and societal expectations and standards. 
  • Women have higher levels of shame than men in many cases, and they tend to have a harder time with different aspects of forgiveness for themselves, according to empirical studies. 
  • Outside of addiction, when women seek treatment for mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, or eating disorders, they often have to work through complex and crippling feelings of shame.
  • Having these feelings prevents many women from seeking a mental health disorder or substance abuse treatment.
  • Women often experience shame as they’re forced to meet society’s standards as partners, mothers, and more.
  • When women are victims of sexual or physical abuse, they may internalize their shame and feel like they deserved what happened to them.
  • Women from different cultural backgrounds may also experience more shame than others. 

These are all things that have to be part of treating mental health disorders and addiction.

 

 

How to Practice Self-Forgiveness In Recovery

While every situation is unique, some general ways that people and women, in particular, can begin to practice self-forgiveness in recovery from drug or alcohol use disorders include:

Acceptance

Acceptance is essential to recovery. We have to come to terms with who we are and what happened throughout our lives and addictions.

  • With the acceptance of responsibility, you admit mistakes and acknowledge and recognize your feelings of guilt and shame.
  • There’s no value in continuing to dwell on your mistakes, but there is in acceptance and moving forward.
  • Acceptance is a key part of 12-step programs. The serenity prayer that’s recited at the end of each 12-step meeting highlights the importance of acceptance.
  • You can’t change the past, but you can learn from it, reflect on it and use it to make progress.
  • You can also start recognizing through acceptance that you aren’t the same person as you were in active addiction.
  • Mindfulness can be helpful in acceptance because it encourages you to move your thoughts back to the present rather than the past or the future.
  • When you go to rehab, a personalized treatment plan will often start with acceptance as part of the ongoing process to forgive yourself. 

 

Stop Putting Yourself Down

Don’t speak to yourself like your own worst enemy. Our self-talk can be incredibly damaging. You need to remember that you wouldn’t speak to another person in some of the ways you might talk to yourself.

  • Treat yourself like you would others—with patience, kindness, and understanding.
  • You can come to a place where you develop the fundamental belief that you are good, but it takes practicing how you speak to yourself.
  • Know that you’re doing your best.
  • You also need to speak to yourself with compassion. You aren’t making excuses, but you recognize the trauma you’ve gone through.

The more you can practice developing positive attitudes toward yourself, the stronger you’ll feel in your recovery and the higher your levels of forgiveness toward yourself. 

 

Take Care Of Yourself Physically

Practicing self-care and doing positive things for your physical health can help reinforce that you are worthy and valuable, leading to increases in forgiveness for yourself. 

Self-care is integral to recovery from addiction as well.

Find healthy habits and ways that you can show yourself you care. This might mean doing yoga, taking a walk, or practicing meditation instead of relying on the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

 

Creating a Physical Ritual of Self-Forgiveness

When you have a physical element of self-forgiveness that’s tangible, it can help you. One example is writing a letter to yourself on a piece of paper, expressing your forgiveness. This lets you process what you’re feeling, develop a sense of closure, and move forward.

Addiction treatment is when you can focus on forgiving yourself and creating a new path forward past difficult times. Please reach out to our team to learn more about treatment programs for women beginning a journey of recovery and self-forgiveness.

Our team can help you learn more about alcohol abuse treatment program options and treatment for drug addiction to help facilitate a lifelong recovery, promoting decreases in shame and an increase in forgiveness for yourself and others. 

The Anchored Tides Recovery abstinence-based outpatient program is specifically for women in Southern California. We offer evidence-based treatment and outpatient group psychotherapy, and individual treatment plans; to learn more call 866-600-7709

Breaking the Habit of Justification

Breaking the Habit

The number of addicts in the United States increases with each passing year. Nearly 25 million Americans age 12 and over suffer from some form of addiction, which represents about 10 percent of the population. Although one reason for the growing number of addicts is the addition of new addicts, another reason we see an increase in the number of addicts is the difficulty many addicts have in breaking the habit.

The physical craving combined with the serious health consequences of withdrawal makes stopping cold turkey nearly impossible to do. For example, the withdrawal symptoms of an opiate addict breaking the habit can place the addict in a seriously harmful medical condition. However, physical addiction alone does not explain the rapidly rising number of addicts aged 12 and over in the United States.

Drug counselors and therapists also deal with a phenomenon called justification. The habit of justification represents a long list of reasons addicts justify using their drugs of choice. Whether it is an alcoholic or someone who cannot kick a heroin habit, justification remains a powerful reason why many addicts remain addicted to a harmful substance.

Talking with an addict is not enough for breaking the habit of justification. Addicts need a combination of group and individual therapy sessions and close monitoring that includes making the slow transition between using and staying drug-free.

What Are the Most Common Types of Justifications?

The likelihood of breaking the habit of justification depends on the type of justification.

I Cannot Live Without It

This type of justification deals directly with the harsh withdrawal symptoms associated with minimizing the intake of an unlawful substance. For example, many opiate addicts justify their use by claiming that they will experience debilitating side effects if they stop using. The most effective strategy to defeat this type of justification is to explain an addict can ease into a life of sobriety by implementing one or more intervention strategies.

For example, an opiate addict can take a drug called Subutex or Suboxone to mimic the euphoric high of a drug such as heroin. Taking either drug can help an addict slowly stop consuming an opiate pill or injecting an opiate substance. Drugs that mirror the feeling of harmful substances such as opiates defeat the justification argument of “I need to continue taking this drug because withdrawal might kill me.”

I’m Not Taking a Lot

Some addicts justify using an unlawful drug based on the amount of the drug they consume. “I’m not taking as much of the drug as other people” is a common statement made by addicts that live in denial. The key to defeating this justification is to educate the addict about the harmful effects of a drug, even if it is taken in small doses. This requires an honest discussion between an addict and the addict’s primary healthcare provider.  An addict who uses this justification also might benefit from individual therapy sessions.

Although resorting to scare tactics should not be the primary strategy to help an addict get clean, simply educating an addict about the possible damage resulting from the continued use of a controlled substance might be enough to break the habit of justification. Another term for this type of justification is called minimizing.

Minimizing is associated with several types of justifications like “It’s not that bad” or “I can stop anytime that I want to.”

I’m in Control… I Can Stop Whenever I Want

An addict who uses this justification has no idea how much not in control the addict is when it comes to using an illegal substance. One of the trademark characteristics of an addict is not having any control when it comes to using a controlled substance. If an addict has demonstrated a record of getting clean in the past, then maybe the addict has some control over getting clean now.

However, refraining from using an addictive drug requires a multi-step approach based on the understanding an addict is not in control. An addict that admits a lack of control has taken the first positive step on the road to shaking a highly harmful drug addiction. The intense craving for using a controlled substance is reason enough to admit an addict cannot control an addiction.

I Just Use it Once in Awhile

Addiction does have to happen daily. In fact, some addicts use it a few times a week or maybe go binging over the weekend. Overdoing the use of a drug is a common element of turning into an alcoholic. Binge drinking represents one of the most prominent signs of an addiction. For example, an alcoholic can binge drink over 48 hours and then not consume a drop of alcohol for another ten days.

Just because someone only occasionally uses does not mean the person is not considered an addict. This type of justification can be dealt with by educating an addict about the definition of addiction.

Breaking the Habit

How to Break the Habit of Justification

Breaking the habit of justification, such as the act of minimizing the impact of addiction, starts with trusted friends and family members of the addict. Written instructions provided by a licensed and certified therapist written instructions can help an addict come to grips with the reality of making excuses for an addiction. Trusted friends and family members should always use the first person “I” when discussing addiction issues with an addict. An example is “I think what you just said sounds like you are justifying using drugs and alcohol.

Justification is one element of the disease called addiction. It blends in seamlessly with other elements, such as deceit and the inability to hold down a job. After trusted friends and family members intervene, the time has come to enroll in an outpatient therapy program that provides an addict with support from a licensed and certified therapist. An addict also has the option to enroll in an in-patient program to ensure the provision of emotional support 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

Finally, respond consistently to every justification made by an addiction. The more an addict hears about how a justification represents a sign of addiction, the more likely an addict might take the disease seriously and seek help.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about maintaining long-term sobriety with a group of women peers in Southern California, contact Anchored Tides Recovery at 866-600-7709.

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. 

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. 

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. 

Physical and Mental Long-Term Side Effects of COVID-19

long term side effects of covid 19

long term side effects of covid 19

 

In March 2020, life and the world as we know it changed, leading to many long-term side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These side effects are physical, including the potential for long-haul COVID to develop. Perhaps for some people, even more, damaging are the long-term effects on mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

 

Long-Term Effects of COVID Infection

Most people who have COVID get better in a few weeks. Some people, however, will experience long-term conditions related to the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes this as post-COVID conditions.

Post-COVID conditions are a range of new, ongoing, or returning health problems you experience four or more weeks after initial COVID-19 infections. Even if you didn’t have symptoms or had very mild symptoms during an infection, you could still develop a post-COVID condition.

Long-term coronavirus disease symptoms can present differently and for varying lengths of time. 

According to the CDC, some people experience different new symptoms lasting weeks or months after being infected, causing COVID-19. These possible long-term symptoms aren’t exclusive to people who were severely sick. 

These symptoms can include:

  • Problems breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Heart palpitations
  • Pins-and-needles sensation
  • Diarrhea
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Lightheadedness
  • Changes in mood
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • General chest pain
  • Changes in periods
  • Alterations in smell or taste

While certain risk factors can make you more likely to have serious COVID-19, such as obesity or high blood pressure, there aren’t the same links to developing long-term problems. Doctors don’t know why some people deal with long-term effects while others don’t follow infection.

 

Multiorgan Effects

The CDC also has a category describing multiorgan effects of COVID and the development of autoimmune conditions. Autoimmune conditions occur when your immune system mistakenly attacks your healthy cells, leading to inflammation.

 

Symptoms in Teens and Children

Long-haul COVID is even less understood in teens and children than in adults, but complications are possible. Lingering COVID symptoms in younger people tend to include depression, fatigue, and shortness of breath.

Heart inflammation is another potential concern, especially in younger people.

 

Effects Following Severe Illness or Hospitalization

If you have COVID-19 and you’re hospitalized, you can experience severe fatigue and weakness as you recover. This is common for hospitalizations following any lung-related illness.

There’s also post-intensive care syndrome (PIICS). PICS is a health effect that starts in an intensive care unit (ICU). The symptoms remain even after you return home.

PICS can include problems with judgment and thinking, post-traumatic stress disorder, and severe weakness.

 

Neurological Complications

A fairly large portion of people who recover from COVID-19 disease goes on to report experiencing neurological complications like brain fog or confusion.

According to doctors, there are different possible treatments for these symptoms but not necessarily cures because we don’t yet fully understand the underlying causes.

For example, for neurological symptoms, available treatments may include medication, physical therapy, and psychotherapy for patients struggling with depression or anxiety or similar mental health concerns.

 

Cardiovascular Problems

There are currently several trials to understand more about the long-term effects of COVID on the heart. Around one-third of patients hospitalized with the virus have evidence in blood tests of heart injury.

Doctors think the heart damage comes from inflammation the viral infection triggers. That can lead to long-term heart problems, including heart attacks and abnormal heart rhythms.

 

Lung-Related Complications

We talked about this above, but various long-term lung complications can occur. Some people have problems breathing that don’t seem to get better. This problem may be due to blood clots causing scarring in the lungs. The scarring can then impact blood flow and reduce lung capacity.

 

Sense of Smell

One of the most commonly seen short- and long-term effects of the viral illness is loss of smell.

For this, often health care providers recommend olfactory training. Olfactory training requires you to smell different things in the morning and evening for several months. The goal is to stimulate your olfactory or smell nerves so they can regenerate.

 

 

Mental Health During COVID-19

The effects of the virus itself and infection aren’t the only long-term side effects of COVID-19. The mental health effects are proving to be pervasive and damaging. Even if you haven’t been directly affected by the virus itself or haven’t known anyone who’s gotten sick or died, you may still be struggling with mental health symptoms.

The pandemic has created stress and anxiety for many people, leading to emotional health issues and mental health disorders long-lasting without treatment. 

Lockdowns led to isolation and financial worries. There are general health-related worries, so many people are experiencing. There are also fears that many people have specific to the virus, like the worry they or their loved ones will become seriously sick.

Based on history, health care providers say we know public health crises have a lasting impact on mental health.

Traumatic experiences like a pandemic are associated with higher post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and substance use rates.

National surveys are starting to show the reality of how serious the mental health effects are. There is also a reduction in how many people seek treatment for substance use disorders and co-occurring mental illnesses. Those increased rates of substance use paired with less treatment initiation contribute to record high levels of overdose deaths.

 

Loss of Coping Mechanisms

Due to the pandemic, many people have lost a connection to their support networks and coping mechanisms. For example, maybe socializing was at one point a coping mechanism for many people, but now they’re worried about doing that.

Many people are still working from home, which reduces in-office social interaction, furthering the risks of isolation and mental health problems.

Maintaining a schedule can also be challenging if you are working from home or spending more time at home. Having a schedule is one form of a coping mechanism or protective factor against mental health symptoms and substance use disorders.

People continue to feel uncertain and out of control, worsening mental health symptoms.

 

What Can You Do?

Knowing that you aren’t alone if you’re personally experiencing long-term physical or mental symptoms stemming from COVID-19.

For physical symptoms, you should speak to your doctor. They may have recommendations to help you since so many people are going through them right now.

If you’re having symptoms of a new or worsening mental health or substance use disorder, call 866-600-7709 and talk to a team member of Anchored Tides Recovery. Again, many people are in the same situation as you, but you can take steps to get treatment.

The Importance of Exercise and Self-Care

Importance of Exercise

Importance of Exercise

 

Unfortunately, we often get wrapped up in the concept of exercise as something to do to lose weight or for vanity purposes. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to shed pounds or look your best, we also have to see that the importance of Exercise is truly the ultimate form of self-care.

Exercise is so much more than weight loss or calories. When we commit to regularly moving our bodies, we’re giving ourselves a gift that extends far beyond looking fit in whatever way we enjoy and that works for us.

Moving and getting regular physical activity means you’re prioritizing and valuing yourself and your well-being. It’s excellent for your physical and mental health, and we encourage you to find a routine that feels right to you.

The way you exercise doesn’t have to be what anyone tells you is right. Listen to your mind and your body, and find things that you genuinely enjoy, even if they push you outside your comfort zone or are challenging.

 

The Physical Benefits of Exercise

There are, of course, physical benefits of regular exercise, including:

  • You can maintain a healthy weight. When you exercise, you burn calories, which can help you maintain your current weight or lose weight. Any amount of activity is better than none, and that’s one of the biggest things to remember.
  • Regular exercise combats or reduces the risk of developing the most common chronic conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. When you exercise regularly, it can help manage or prevent stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, many types of cancer, and arthritis.
  • Exercise helps improve your cognitive function.
  • When you get exercise, it helps lower your risk of death from all causes.
  • If you’re low on energy, try moving your body a bit and see how you feel. Movement helps boost your physical strength and endurance. It also brings nutrients and oxygen to your tissues and promotes the more efficient functioning of your cardiovascular system.
  • Are you struggling to sleep at night? Physical activity can help you fall asleep faster, get better quality sleep and enjoy a deeper sleep.
  • There are sexual benefits of exercise. When you work out or move your body, it can improve your confidence and energy levels, benefiting your sex life.
  • You can make it a social activity to exercise by taking a group class or finding someone to walk with.

Your ideal goal should be to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. If you can’t do this right away and you’re new to exercising, that’s okay. Again, do what you can, and something is always better than nothing.

Strength training can also be an important part of staying mentally and physically strong and healthy when you’re ready.

 

 

The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

We encourage you to exercise for your mental health as much if not more than your physical health, although the two do work together. Exercise can help you if you’re in substance abuse recovery, and it can also help you deal with the symptoms of anxiety, stress, depression, and more.

When you exercise regularly, you’ll feel more positive about yourself in general and improve your well-being.

 

Exercise and Depression

Studies indicate exercising can help with mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication. For example, a study conducted at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found running five minutes a day or walking for an hour lowers the risk of major depression by 26%.

If you receive treatment for depression, adding an exercise schedule to your routine can help you prevent a relapse.

When you’re exercising, it’s creating powerful effects in your brain. Exercise promotes neural growth, reduces inflammation, and develops activity patterns promoting a sense of well-being and calm. 

Endorphins release into your brain, making you feel generally good. You can also break negative thought patterns by distracting yourself with exercise.

 

Anxiety

A natural, effective anti-anxiety treatment exercise helps relieve the effects of stress and tension. Again, since your body is releasing endorphins, it makes you feel good. You can also get out of your head when you exercise, which can be vital for dealing with anxiety.

When you exercise, try and integrate elements of mindfulness into it too. For example, if you walk outside, notice the things you hear and see around you.

 

Trauma and PTSD

As you exercise, it helps alleviate the being “stuck” feeling you may have, common with a history of trauma or PTSD. You can get unstuck so that you can then begin to move forward and have reduced PTSD symptoms.

 

Addiction Recovery

As you exercise during your early days of addiction recovery, it can activate your reward pathway in a natural, healthy way. That reward pathway changes with substance abuse, but exercising can help it re-learn how to function without drugs or alcohol. Since exercise triggers the release of dopamine and serotonin, you’ll feel better. 

Some of the specific ways exercise can help in addiction recovery include:

  • Physical activity may help with symptoms of withdrawal like depression, anxiety, and stress. These are withdrawal symptoms that can otherwise contribute to relapse.
  • Exercise can help distract you from cravings.
  • You can replace your triggers with an exercise routine.
  • It’s prevalent, especially in the early days of detox and recovery, to have sleep problems. Exercise can help you get more high-quality rest.
  • Shame or self-doubt can be part of the aftermath of addiction, but exercising can help raise your self-esteem and also help you have more belief in yourself and your abilities.

 

Other Benefits of Exercise For Your Mental Health

Other benefits you can experience when you exercise include:

  • Your memory and thinking will be sharper and clearer since it stimulates new brain cells.
  • You’re investing in yourself when you’re exercising, which can help you feel powerful.
  • Resilience is something we talk about a lot in addiction treatment. Exercise is a great way to build on your resilience skills and prepare you to face mental challenges in your life in a healthy, productive way.

 

Commit to Self-Care

We encourage you to commit to caring for yourself. Let go of what might hold you back from exercising, such as guilt that you’re not dedicating that time to other things or intimidation. The first step is the hardest, but you’re already showing yourself that you are worth the time and the commitment to get more active once you do that. For help living a healthy life after drugs and alcohol, call 866-600-7709 and let the team at Anchored Tides Recovery be part of your support squad!