SAD Treatments: Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

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Social anxiety disorder treatments are dependent upon the level of your physical and emotional symptoms and how capable you are of handling your daily activities. The period of treatment also differs. Some individuals may react well to the first stages of treatment and won’t need anything further, but others may require some support system throughout their lives.

Both therapy and medication have been proven successful in managing social anxiety disorder. Social anxiety that happens in all circumstances succeeds best by combining therapy and medication. Therapy alone is frequently enough for individuals with anxiety, particular to one form of performance or social event. So if you are diagnosed or believe you may have a social anxiety disorder, remember that it is possible to surpass it.

Several medications are recommended for treating SAD, and all these have their own pros and cons depending on your specific situation.

An organized review of medication efficacy in social anxiety disorder treatment revealed a minor to moderate-sized impact. This implies that several other forms of medication may help alleviate symptoms of SAD and that one of these medications may be useful in treating you.

MAOIs

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors were previously known to be most beneficial in treating social anxiety disorder. Still, these medications have a higher likelihood of producing severe side effects of medication, and dietary guidelines are not monitored.

Social Skills Training

Training for social skills entails different exercises such as role-playing, rehearsal, and modeling developed to help individuals learn proper behaviors and reduce social events anxiety. On the other hand, not everybody will need training as part of their treatment plan. These exercises are done particularly for individuals with real deficits in social interaction over and above social anxiety. Aspects that might be focused on for social skills training include conversation, telephone calls, eye contact, and assertiveness.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best treatment for social anxiety disorder?

The best way to manage social anxiety disorder is through psychotherapy, particularly cognitive-behavioral therapy. SSRIs and SNRIs are also known to be the best types of medication to help treat the disorder.

How can I relieve social anxiety?

Home and lifestyle remedies that help alleviate social anxiety include:

  • Eating well-balanced and healthy food.
  • Getting sufficient amounts of sleep.
  • Learning stress reduction techniques.
  • Avoiding alcohol and caffeine.
  • Participating in social events by communicating with others.

Is Social Anxiety Disorder curable?

Social anxiety is the most prevalent anxiety disorder today. However, the current treatments done for patients have not been proven to be very effective.

What is an example of social anxiety disorder?

When a person goes out on a date or gives a speech, he feels butterflies in his stomach. However, in social phobia, the person’s daily interactions cause him to be tremendously afraid, self-conscious, anxious and embarrassed because he is scared of being judged or ridiculed by others.

What is the root cause of social anxiety?

The precise cause of social anxiety is unclear. However, recent studies support the idea that it is a result of a range of environmental reasons. Negative past experiences and genetics may also play a role.

What is having social anxiety like?

When you need to give a presentation or speech in front of a big crowd, those with social anxiety tend to sweat, shake, blush, and feel like they’re going to be sick to their stomach. They do not make eye contact most of the time, and they talk with a very soft voice.

Do I have social anxiety, or am I just shy?

Overly shy individuals always go through social anxiety, but social anxiety doesn’t always need to act like they’re shy.

Is social anxiety caused by low self-esteem?

Self-confidence has been known to play a vital part in social anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. While low self-confidence may place you at risk for social anxiety, later on, having the disorder may also make you feel bad about yourself.

How bad can social anxiety get?

Social anxiety can be significantly unsettling. In fact, if this is left untreated, the outcome of this disorder could tremendously affect all areas of your life, which may make you think that your life is useless.

What happens if social anxiety is left untreated?

Social anxiety can develop from being scared of one social event to multiple events or even progress into a general fear of others. Severe social anxiety cases left untreated may result in depression, isolation, agoraphobia, or other forms of anxiety.

How did I develop social anxiety?

You are more inclined to developing social anxiety if you have parents who have the disorder. Kids who have experienced rejection, teasing, humiliation, or bullying may also be more prone to developing a social anxiety disorder.

Are you born with social anxiety?

Social anxiety typically starts during childhood or adolescence. However, it could also develop during adulthood. Biology may also contribute to its development.

Can you outgrow social anxiety?

No, you don’t. You don’t just snap out of social anxiety. You most probably need therapy like CBT, medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or both at the same time to reduce your anxiety symptoms.

Is social anxiety genetic?

Yes, social anxiety is extremely genetic. While the environment is one of the most common contributors to the disorder, genes do play a vital part over time. This implies that the effect of the environment, like unemployment or being abused, is limited.

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How To Find Treatment

Find someone to talk to, such as a close family member, a doctor, or a counselor, about the issues you face. If you don’t have a regular doctor, you can look for a mental health professional like a therapist or psychiatrist. If you need medication, a psychiatrist can prescribe the right medicine for you. For alternative treatments, on the other hand, find an experienced individual who practices alternative medicine.

Seeking help initially can feel awkward and anxiety-inducing. Remember that this initial step is the best you’ll ever take in managing your social anxiety.

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About EMDR Therapy

Have you experienced a disturbing life experience or trauma such as addiction in the family? Did it cause physical or emotional distress? If yes, it may be a manifestation of the negative effects of trauma. Fortunately, there are various psychotherapy treatments presently available. One such treatment is EMDR.

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EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a form of psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other related conditions. A well-trained EMDR clinician will guide you through the entire process. It helps patients to control their disturbing emotions better.

The process of EMDR involves eight phases, which will be discussed below. Although it may seem like a long and tedious process, repeated studies about EMDR show that it can show positive results within 6 to 12 EMDR sessions.

This means people who have PTSD can enjoy the benefits of EMDR without having to wait years. It proves that our mind can recover from traumatic experiences in the same way that our body heals.

People unfamiliar with the concept of EMDR may have many questions about this relatively new form of treatment. It is normal to want to know more about your available options.

After all, trauma is not to be taken lightly, and it is about your mental health and wellness. Here are some frequently asked questions about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or EMDR.

How does EMDR therapy work on a trauma?

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) helps patients process trauma-related thoughts, feelings, and memories. During the process, the patient will focus on a back-and-forth motion or sound while recalling their trauma. This procedure will produce a shift in the way they process their traumatic memories.

What do you do in EMDR therapy?

During EMDR therapy, the patient will undergo numerous phases of treatment sessions, typically lasting around an hour. It starts with reviewing the patient’s history, preparation, assessment, treatment, and then evaluation. This procedure involves rapid eye movement (REM) to keep the patient’s focus and reconnect with their trauma.

REM probes all the emotions and physical sensations associated with the patient to their traumatic memories. The bilateral movement stimulates both hemispheres of the brain, replacing the negative belief with something positive.

What therapy is best for trauma?

Various therapy methods are used for trauma, which aims to resolve traumatic events in a trauma patient’s life. Many therapists would combine these different therapy methods to come up with the best treatment plan.

Some of the best therapies for trauma include EMDR, CBT, exposure therapy, psychotherapy, and hypnotherapy.

How do I get the most out of EMDR therapy?

The goal of EMDR therapy is for trauma patients to process memories of traumatic experiences and address present disturbances completely. To make the most out of EMDR therapy, it is vital to commit to recovery during and outside sessions entirely. It’s best to take the initiative, be honest and open, and follow the structured tasks directed by your therapist.

Can EMDR make you worse?

EMDR is a generally effective and safe therapeutic approach to trauma and PTSD. However, note that since it involves probing trauma history, it is common to experience discomfort or distress in the process. But an EMDR-trained therapist would have the necessary training regarding safety measures to minimize risks of severe side effects.

What are the 8 phases of EMDR?

EMDR consists of eight phases to work on resolving traumatic experiences and other mental health conditions. It revolves around the past, present, and future periods concerning the disturbing memories. The eight phases of EMDR are:

  1. Review of trauma history
  2. Preparation
  3. Assessment
  4. Desensitization
  5. Installation
  6. Body Scan
  7. Closure
  8. Examination of treatment progress

After a successful EMDR therapy, the patient would transform the pain from a traumatic experience on an emotional level.

Can I do EMDR on myself?

While it is possible to incorporate EMDR techniques in your everyday life, you would still need a therapist’s guidance. Only an EMDR therapist can process traumatic memories that come up with these techniques and develop effective solutions. They can provide in-depth navigation of your past traumas and help you throughout your recovery process.

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When should you not use EMDR?

Note that stability is the most crucial requirement to be able to use EMDR. Hence, it is not advisable to conduct EMDR for trauma when the patient is under substance influence. It is also impossible to move past phase 3 to 8 if the patient cannot develop trust with their therapist. Hence, it is crucial to establish stabilization, safety, and emotional regulation before conducting EMDR.

How do I prepare for EMDR?

Since EMDR therapy involves the recollection of disturbing emotions from traumatic events, developing effective coping skills prior is highly crucial. It will help to have access to supportive resources to address symptoms that are likely to come up.

Your therapist will help you in this preparation during the early phases of EMDR therapy. It is also essential to have proper self-care, a reliable support system, and get into healthy habits.

What is the success rate of EMDR?

EMDR is a relatively new psychotherapy method for trauma. Despite this, studies have shown that EMDR, as an evidence-based therapy, has an 80% success rate in treating PTSD.

Emotional trauma, just like physical trauma, takes a long time to heal. With EMDR therapy, we aim to dig deep on these traumatic emotions buried just right beneath your eyes. Through a guided back-and-forth motion and sound, we will transform these thoughts, feelings, and memories into something more positive. 

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The EMDR therapy comprises a series of hour-long clinical sessions, including preparations, assessments, treatments, and re-examination. It follows an eight-phase protocol to make sure that you develop proper coping skills for the intervention. Without guided preparations, you will place yourself at risk for emotional discomfort and distress.

As a promising trend in the treatment of PTSD, EMDR therapy offers top-of-the-line results. There is strong evidence that supports its success in the clinical setting. However, since EMDR relies on emotional stability, substances can potentially compromise the entire process. Hence, your full commitment and openness throughout the therapy will yield the best results.

EMDR is just one of the many effective strategies therapists use to help victims of PTSD cope. Other forms of therapy, including group therapy, also convey promising outcomes. It is best to combine it with cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, hypnotherapy, and other psychotherapy types for optimal results. 

Do you think EMDR therapy can help you or a loved one cope with emotional trauma? If so, do not hesitate to visit your therapist or mental health practitioner. With their expertise in handling mental health concerns, they can help you plan the best treatment for you.

 

How Is Mental Health Related To Addiction

Most substance abuse problems stem from having pre-existing mental health issues that were not given much attention by either the individual or the community. Dealing with both is not as easy as it may sound and often requires professional help and treatment to overcome both.

In a report published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, 50% of individuals struggling with substance abuse or addiction have severe mental health problems, and 29% of those diagnosed with mental illness succumb to drug addiction.

This information is vital to know that there is hope, and there is a path for recovery if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction.

What Is Addiction?

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Addiction is not limited to substance abuse. According to the American Psychiatric Association, addiction is a complicated situation, which involves the habitual use of a substance despite the adverse effects.

People who struggle with addiction (severe substance use disorder) are deeply centered towards taking or using particular substances, such as alcohol or drugs, without noticing that it is already taking over their lives.

When a person is addicted to something, their brain encounters changes in its wirings, causing them to have intensified cravings for a particular substance or drug, thereby making it hard for them to stop using or taking it. Brain images showed that there were changes in the brain areas responsible for memory, behavior control, decision making, and so on.

Why Do People Suffer From Addiction?

Addiction comes from a variety of reasons. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, they take it because:

  • They want to feel good and feel the pleasure of taking or using these substances.
  • To relieve stress and to feel better.
  • To improve their performance.
  • Out of curiosity and pressure from their peers

While their reasons for taking or using these substances are harmless at first, the feeling gives them a specific “high” and makes them crave more. Studies show that most people who struggle with substance abuse are aware of their problems and have taken steps to stop but cannot do so even if they wanted to.

It may be caused by who they are surrounded by, the concern and support from family and friends. The more support and encouragement they get, the easier it will be for them to slowly walk away from the abuse and bridge the path to wellness and recovery.

How Is Mental Health Related To Addiction?

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Substance abuse and most mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, are closely linked together. However, it is essential to note that the connection does not necessarily mean that one causes the other.

Some people suffer from depression but do not engage in substance abuse, and some engage in substance abuse but do not suffer from a mental health condition. However, one may be the cause of the other if it goes unnoticed or is not addressed over time.

There are instances where people who struggle with mental health conditions use alcohol or drugs because they were undiagnosed. They self-medicate and use these substances as a temporary relief to ease the symptoms they are experiencing regarding their mental health condition.

Unfortunately, this causes significant side effects, and it is where addiction kicks in. They rely primarily on the substance’s impact, and once it no longer works, they opt for a more potent substance or a stronger dose.

The situation becomes worse overtime because a variety of factors causes mental disorders. They may be genetic, may come from the environment the person struggles with, and others.

Studies have shown that substance abuse triggers new symptoms, especially when medications are mixed with alcohol or drugs. The medicines prescribed would be ineffective overtime and would delay the road to recovery.

How Important Is Therapy?

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It is difficult to ascertain if a person is only struggling with a mental disorder, or only with substance abuse, or both. It is crucial to seek professional help for them to be able to determine what mental condition you have and what are the appropriate steps to do for them to be able to recover from it.

For an accurate diagnosis, it is best to consult with a professional. They have the right tools and training to assess the situation. At the same time, they can prescribe appropriate treatment for the condition. 

Often, those who are suffering from substance abuse undergo medication and counseling. With modern technology, there are also special devices utilized to treat any withdrawal symptoms. After the patient has recovered, it is vital to avoid relapse. Professionals recommend having regular follow-up consultations for better monitoring. 

In conclusion, while substance abuse and a mental health condition may not be present in a person struggling with addiction, it is still vital to help them out. It is a vulnerable situation, and they should have someone who supports them in their journey to recovery.

If you are struggling with addiction or other mental health conditions, know that you are not alone, and you can fully recover from the addiction.

 

Using Your Sobriety To Keep Family Members From Abusing Substances

 

A person’s memory is impressive because some people can remember incidents that had taken place when they were only two years old. The picture is not very clear in their head, but they recall fragments that the adults can confirm.

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In truth, my memory is as sharp as that. I can tell you the child I always sat with in daycare, what my favorite food was as a toddler, and which kiddie shows I loved back then. However, if you ask me about what happened during my mid to late 20s, I may not answer you. That dark phase of my life had come as a literal blur, considering that’s when I tried every drug that I could abuse.

From Valium to meth to coke—I had it all. I am not proud to admit that, but it’s the truth. Luckily, my parents and siblings decided to intervene and brought me to a rehabilitation facility, even if I didn’t want to at first. I refuse to think of what may have happened to me if they let my addiction go on because I’m sure that my future may have been bleak or, worse, gone.

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Now that I am sober for ten years (and counting), I try to come up with ways to give back to everyone who has helped me overcome my drug problem. Hence, once I got a stable job, I started sending donations to the rehab that I stayed at for six months. They never asked for payment from the patients, but I knew that they could use the financial help. I also devoted my free time to programs that required facilitators, and it made me happy to see troubled individuals get better.

While those efforts seem right, I have not forgotten my primary supporters: my family. I thought, “What intangible thing can I do to express my gratitude for everything they have done for me?” That’s when I remembered all my nieces and nephews who entered young adulthood recently. Some of them were about to graduate from college; others already entered the real world. I realized that the answer to my question is helping ensure that none of my loved ones will be abusing substances like I used to do. Not now, not ever.

So, I used my journey to sobriety to make that happen. I taught my family members the following:

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The Problem With Feeling Overconfident

When I swallowed a prescription drug for the first time, I assured everyone that it was merely for calming my anxiety. I insisted that I would never get addicted to it and that I had everything under control. However, the reality is that I was barely hanging on for dear life at that time, and I depended on the pills to help me get me through my daily schedule.

My previous problem is that I acted overconfident about taking drugs. Although I knew what was happening, I said nothing because I did not want to hear, “I told you so” from friends and family. If only I lowered my confidence level by a smidge, I might have been saved early.

The Importance Of Facing Issues Head-On

Like a typical young adult back then, I wanted to do everything at once. I was working, socializing, building my career, and dating. But not all my decisions put in a favorable situation, and that caused me to worry too much. After experiencing a few issues, I turned to drugs to escape the real world.

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As I look back, I can’t help but wonder if my life has become different if I faced my problems head-on. While it was scary, I might not have needed to depend on drugs to “survive.”

The Value Of Asking For Help From Loved Ones

The reason why drugs became my best friend in the past was that I was too proud to let my loved ones know about my struggles. I painted an independent picture of myself in their head—someone you could turn to, not the other way around. Hence, this image prevented me from admitting that I was not okay anymore.

I thought I was doing everyone a favor by doing so, but I understood in rehab that it was the opposite. My family had been reaching out to me; I merely refused to ask for help. Again, if I used my voice instead of swallowing all those pills, things would not have aggravated too much.

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Final Thoughts

When I shared my addiction experience with my nieces and nephews, my parents and siblings cried with me. After all, the incidents might be blurry for me, but they were as clear as day for them. Thankfully, I am healed now, and we are only shedding tears for the dark path that almost took my life back then.

I hope that you have gotten a lesson or two from my story today.

 

 

 

Avoiding Relapse In The Midst Of COVID-19

 

 

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Drug or substance addiction is not a rare disease in America. Two years ago, there were over 20 million individuals who had a substance abuse disease. Of the 20 million, almost 4 million of these were receiving medical care, and more than 2 million were being treated in a drug addiction facility. While these 4 million started their journey towards healing and recovery in 2018, it did not end after rehabilitation was done. Instead, substance abuse treatment is only the initial step on the long-term path to sobriety. As they walk that path, there will be rough roads and pitfalls, particularly the threat of relapse. In truth, of those individuals who have undergone treatment, at least 40% of them relapse.

In these stressful and challenging times, when depression, fear, and boredom are the main variables influencing our lives as the coronavirus spreads worldwide, it is even more crucial to practice new habits that will help you effectively avoid relapse.

Tips To Avoid Relapse

There are different strategies for being mindful of yourself and achieving success in terms of healing and recovery. These strategies may be even more imperative as we face anxieties, seclusion, and social distancing as the weeks and months go by. With the global crisis affecting our way of living, those who have finished rehab and continuing to recover must be mindful of following these tips.

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  • Confide in others about how you feel. Sharing your feelings with a trusted friend, family, or significant other gives you a chance to release the negativity, fear, shame, or loneliness that you’re dealing with. Remember to be as honest as you can, or else it will be useless.
  • Learn new coping skills. Managing your stress, worry, or fear positively is very vital if you want to achieve sobriety for the long-term. Acquiring relaxation and stress management techniques may help you resist the temptation of thinking about drugs or alcohol during challenging times like the COVID-19 outbreak. Yoga, meditation, and breathing are all effective techniques that will definitely help.
  • Take Care Of Yourself. Despite the problems that you or your family may be facing because of the pandemic, you should always find time to practice self-care for your physical and mental health. This will place you in a better mindset. Self-care includes exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, eating healthily, taking time to meditation or self-reflect, going outside and feeling the sun and wind from your balcony, or simply changing the position of your furniture to feel brand new.
  • Don’t allow yourself to be bored. Schedule your day and fill it with activities that will strengthen your body and mind. Work on a puzzle or play a word game with your family. Sweat it out while watching television. Or read an exciting book just to load your day with something to do.
  • Be aware of the HALT – hunger, angry, lonely, or tired. These are all emotions that can heighten your stress and anxiety and may cause you to make unwise decisions.
  • Formulate a relapse avoidance plan. This plan may involve making a daily checklist of reminders, chores, reflections, or anything important to you. This list contains cues and reasons why you need to be sober.
  • Always be grateful. Despite the period that we are going through right now, which may be one of our darkest days, there is always something to be thankful for, and we must not forget that. Every day, be grateful for whatever you have received and for what you are blessed with.

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  • Seek help when you need it. Staying sober is truly daunting, and you constantly are at risk of making it more difficult if you try to go through it alone. If you feel like you can’t get through today, seek help from family or friends. Reach out to them by calling them, as it won’t be as easy as before to let them come over and keep you company. It depends on the gifts of digital technology to keep yourself connected to them and your community. You need a support system – do not deny yourself that.

During this time of the pandemic, therapies are still possible with online platforms like BetterHelp. Through teletherapy, licensed counselors have helped and serviced a lot of people, despite limitations on face-to-face interactions. Those who reap benefits from it have been leaving helpful reviews online.

The road to recovery is indeed a journey filled with bumps and falls, and you must acknowledge the fact that our current worldwide crisis may contribute to the risk of having a relapse. Be ready for this risk so that you will remain sober amid COVID-19.

 

 

 

 

Recovery From Addiction While Quarantined At Home

 

 

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These are shocking times, don’t you agree? Just a month ago, we went through life normally, visiting the neighbors, shopping in the malls, and hugging our loved ones. Now, like a snap of a finger, almost everything has changed because of the virus that we are fighting against. The outbreak throughout the country and the whole world has required us to keep our distance even from our family members that don’t live with us, to cover our faces with masks when we are out and about, and if possible to stay at home where it is safest and most comfortable. We could complain, but we dare not because we know it is only for our good. The self-isolation is not easy for us – but what more the people who are undergoing addiction recovery?

Sobering Up While Quarantined

The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control, among other organizations, have strictly recommended everyone to stay at home and isolate themselves to contain the coronavirus and stop its spread. Keeping that in mind, it is important for our loved ones who are in recovery to be provided with a structured plan of action to fight against the urge to relapse and the simple thought of nothing else to do at home. Let us discuss the vital measures to take for them to pursue and sustain their recovery.

Avoiding Relapse

The urge to use drugs or alcohol again is not only difficult during early recovery, but it can be a burden to them years after they have recovered. Addiction is serious, and it has many ways of influencing an individual’s brain and body. Cravings aren’t something that they can brush off just like that. They need to have established some kind of coping mechanism that they can use when the cravings come. One of the best ways for them to overcome these cravings is through support groups and therapy sessions. But during this time, when we are all prohibited from going outside and seeing our neighbors or therapists, where do they find the help and support that they need?

Recovering At Home While Quarantined

For rehabilitation staff and counselors, recovering from home is not recommended. However, now that we have no choice but to stay where we are, they must do the same too. There are many ways that our loved ones that pursue their recovery. The tips here have been collected so that addicts in recovery can help themselves and avoid the devastation that can be brought about by relapse.

 

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Make A Daily Or Weekly Plan

When you create a schedule of the things that you can and need to do for the day, you feel a sense of organization in your life, and this is important for the addict whose former situation had no structure and no meaning. His previous life was influenced only by his desire to get a hold of drugs or alcohol and to feel high. Once he manages to make a regular schedule for himself, he will be on track and will want to stay that way.

Look For A New Hobby

This is a recommendation from the rehab facility counselors, as finding new things to do keeps recovering addicts occupied and focused on something that is not about drugs. Boredom is one of the worst threats of former addicts because when they feel empty, they begin to crave for what they used to be addicted to. When they are stuck at home, they should learn something new to perk their interest. They might try making a garden in the backyard (with your help), cooking dinners, or cleaning the car. They could also check out some yoga classes online that they can follow. This will help them relax and attain peace of mind.

Join Online Meetings

The internet is one of the essential parts of modern society today. As much as it has its downsides, it does have a ton of positive sides. And for the recovering addicts, online forums and meetings with a counselor or therapist are among the positive aspects of the Internet. They can hook up with the rehab facility site and schedule an online meeting with a group or individually. Here, they talk to a therapist to catch up on how they are doing at home, what they’re thinking, and how they’re coping. This is beneficial for them because they can express what is truly bothering them, or if they have fears and anxieties, this is the time to let them out.

Always Communicate With Family

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Recovering addicts are urged to keep in touch with their family and significant others continually. This time is lonely, so it is even more vital for us to communicate with them and let them know that we care. Most of them feel insecure, distant, and guilty of their past. Encourage them to talk to you about anything and everything, even the smallest things. Let them feel that they are not fighting their cravings on their own, that we are here for them. You can use Skype, Zoom, or Facetime to catch up with each other.

Those are only some of the most critical measures that can help addicts in recovery while they are quarantined. It’s going to be tough not only for them but for us as well. Nevertheless, let us be optimistic because we are all in this together.

 

 

 

 

Why Community Is Important When Dealing With Addiction

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When the media portrays someone suffering from addiction, the focus is always on the individual and his “road to recovery.” Unknown to many, this type of portrayal sends a wrong (if not harmful) idea to the public.

Recovery from addiction is not only a single person’s problem; instead, addiction is a problem that affects and must be dealt with by the community as a whole. But why is the community crucial when dealing with addiction?

People who struggle with addiction deal with this instant judgment and perceived wrongdoing every day of their lives, often for decades. — Adi Jaffe Ph.D.

Substance Abuse Impacts The Community

Often, when we think about addiction, what pops into mind are the difficulties that recovering addicts face. Rarely do we think about the external effects of drug addiction outside of the individual. Addiction affects not only the victim but also families and entire communities.

Numerous studies have proven that community factors strictly when it comes to addiction. Issues at the community-level, such as poverty and crime, contribute to drug addiction statistics.

Conversely, cases of substance abuse within a neighborhood affect the community as well. There is always the issue of security and safety since drug addicts often exhibit unpredictable behavior. Economically, drug addicts do not contribute to the community. Depending on the area, they could also turn into dependents of the community.

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…while families should understand that approaching their loved one should be a gentle and supportive process, they also need to understand that most patients seek substance abuse treatment because of positive family involvement and intervention. — Steven Gifford, LICDC, LPC

Solving Addiction Problems Should Be Addressed As A Community

The community is a vital factor when it comes to making long-term recovery from addiction possible.

First and foremost, the stigma against addiction, which hinders a lot of addiction recovery efforts, should be fought at the community level. It is crucial for addicts who are hoping for recovery to see and feel that their community is ready to accept them back into the fold. The idea of another chance gives them the motivation to heal and become a productive member of society again.

If a person’s addiction impacts the people around him or her, it goes without saying that a recovering addict also needs the support of those people.

Recovering from addiction is a long and painful process filled with many possibilities of relapse. Not only does addiction cause psychological conditions, but it also causes biological responses. Recovering addicts need all the support that they can get from the people around them, not just from their families but from the community altogether.

Support through solidarity is essential, but the community also holds another vital resource when it comes to drug addiction recovery: funding.

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A person who seeks novelty, stimulation, and intense sensations and is willing to take big risks to achieve these states is also more prone to experiment with drugs and alcohol and to become addicted to the “highs,” seeking ever-greater and more novel experiences. — Melanie Greenberg Ph.D.

Treatment for addiction can be quite expensive and excruciating. It is another factor that pushes people away from the idea of seeking help to recover. However, the community can address this particular problem. Treatment anchored to and funded by the community is the answer to addiction problems. This type of therapy is an easier burden to the budget and, at the same time, more impactful to recovering addicts.

It is difficult to fight off the effects and consequences of addiction. Thus, it should never be confined to the individual because it is a huge struggle to overcome. Displaying support through community effort eases the burden of drug addiction recovery. It also offers hope to a recovering addict that the community is open and ready to welcome him or her back.

 

 

 

How Parents Can Help In Preventing Their Child’s Addiction Relapse

Drugs have a significant detrimental impact on ability to learn and retain information. With the adolescent brain still in development repeated drug use may have long term serious effects. — Raychelle Cassada Lohmann Ph.D., LPCS

If there is anyone who can help a teen recovering from drug addiction, it is undoubtedly his or her family. A recovering teen needs guidance and, at the same time, a fresh start in life. Relapses in drug addiction are normal at the earlier stages of recovery, but this does not mean that a full recovery is far from happening.

Below are the most important ways of keeping your child’s chances of relapsing at the minimum.

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Make Your Home Safe And Friendly

Your child is recovering and still at his most vulnerable stage. Remove anything in the house that would remind him of such a low phase of his life. If you have any displays or ornaments of wine bottles, take these out from his sight. Better yet, take them all out of the house.

Create Family Moments

The purest and most natural form of bonding is eating a meal together with the whole family. Planning a family bonding does not have to be expensive. You can have a picnic or a mini-vacation somewhere to forget the stressful parts of your life. Your child will feel better knowing that everything, including his relationship with you, will eventually get back to normal.

Do Not Exclude Your Child From Social Events

The most difficult challenge that your child will experience after recovering is finding a new set of peers again. More often than not, peers or friends of people suffering from drug addiction are also drug addicts themselves.

Do not leave your child behind. Keep involving him on every family plan. Treat your kid like a normal member of the family. Do not make him feel like he is a burden or someone who needs delicate treatment because of his addiction.

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Help Your Child Find A New Hobby

Usually, what triggers relapse is boredom. If your kid does not find any new stuff to dwell on, then the chances are that he will go back to substance abuse. As a parent, you may suggest new things that he can try as a hobby to distract his relapse thoughts. Do this without any hint of compulsion.

Depending on the substance being abused, you may begin to notice marked hyperactivity or extreme happiness followed by a “crash” where the mood becomes just the opposite. The individual may appear very lethargic or more irritable than usual. Thinking and behaviors may become irrational and unpredictable. — Donna M. White, LMHC, CACP

Be Knowledgeable About Your Child’s Condition

Continue finding support from professionals. Your constant communication with your kid’s doctor will help in mitigating all the chances of relapse. Parents must know the warning signs of addiction relapse and all the possible ways to avoid this from happening.

You can learn more about their condition by seeking help from reputable counseling platforms like BetterHelp. The professionals can help you in understanding your child’s condition. Also, it is beneficial to know how to handle the situation in case of a relapse.

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Get Help From Peers

Ask the help of parents who are also dealing with recovering teenagers; don’t be shy. Let them offer pieces of advice to you. Parents need help not only in making their children better but also in keeping themselves healthy amidst the situation of their family.

If parents succeed in maintaining an affectionate relationship with their teen – which can certainly be challenging at times – then they probably do not need to worry so much that their kid will develop troubling drug habits. — Nigel Barber Ph.D.

While events of relapse are normal, especially in the early stage of recovery, these episodes shouldn’t be that frequent. Aside from the above tips, parents are encouraged to maintain strong family relations with the rest of the family. The most important thing to note when it comes to recovery is that family is the most reliable foundation that anyone can have. So, you must be there for your child no matter what.