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Getting Through My Miscarriage (Mostly) Sober

This year started off so well for me. I even wrote a blog on Wealthy Affiliate titled 2018 Is Going To Be Amazing because business was coming in and I was feeling so positive. 2018 was going to be the year it all came together for me. I could feel it!

Just two weeks later I found myself in hospital finding out that I was pregnant (huge shock here since I was sterilized), I was losing my baby and my life was in danger. I had an ectopic pregnancy, which is where the fetus embeds outside the womb. There is no chance the baby will be able to make it because it was in my tube and my tube had ruptured. I had internal bleeding and if they didn’t operate I would die.

Honestly I drove to hospital convinced that my appendix had burst and praying for anything else. Funny how you pray for something and then realize that the first option would have been so much easier.

Getting Through My Miscarriage (Mostly) Sober

If you have been following my blog or read my ebook then you will know that my addiction has taken me to some dark and ugly places. The thing is that this experience I went through less than 2 months ago was so intensely painful, it beats anything that I have ever been through hands down. I’ve been beaten, I’ve been abused and I’ve been raped. And I’m still standing… but this miscarriage brought me to my knees.

I didn’t want another baby, that is why I had my tubes cut when my son was born in 2013. But that doesn’t change how I felt when I found out I was pregnant. It was a shock, but it was my baby. Then I was losing it. Having that come at me out of the blue knocked me so flat I can’t even describe the feeling.

One of the big things for me being an addict is that I struggle to cope with intense feelings. My coping mechanism for so many years was drugs and alcohol that it can be very hard for me to sit with uncomfortable feelings and just feel them.

After my opI remember clearly lying on the operating table feeling the anesthetics stinging in my arm, about to knock me out. Tears rolling out of my eyes, wondering how on earth I got to this place. I was just feeling the shock and it felt like seconds later when I woke up vomiting and crying. It was done, my baby was gone.

A few hours after the operation a doctor came in to see me and he said he sees on my chart I am an addict and that I have been prescribed an anti-inflammatory and paracetamol, but he just wants me to know that if I do need it he has prescribed morphine. I was nauseas, emotional and in pain. I told him thank you, I will let him know.

I closed my eyes and I thought about the absolutely divine oblivion that morphine would bring me. All this pain would magically go away, I could block the events of the last few hours out.

It dawned on me suddenly that not once did I think about the physical pain while considering taking morphine, I didn’t care about the physical pain. I wanted my mind to be blotto. I wanted respite from the emotional and spiritual pain I was in.


When the doctor came back to check on me I asked him to please scratch out the morphine on my chart. I must not have it. It hurt just saying that to him. I was going to do this the hard way, the recovery way. Have I said yet how much I resent paracetamol? I’m not sure but really I do. When everyone else is getting all the good stuff I get paracetamol after an operation. That stuff doesn’t even work for a headache… but I will take them anyway and just hope that they do something.

A week after my operation I went to my GP for a checkup and he said I had a slight infection so I was put on antibiotics. He asked me how the pain was and I told him awful so he gave me some more meds. I barely looked at the meds, I was struggling to cope and I have had the same GP for nearly 7 years.

That was on a Monday afternoon. On the Wednesday afternoon at about 4pm I started feeling edgy, anxious and short tempered. I checked my watch to see if it was time for my meds… still a few hours till meds time. Then I started grinding my teeth…. and connected the dots. My husband was home early and I asked him to please check the medication. He came back to me and said it doesn’t look like there is anything addictive. But I knew. I could feel it. The hunger. I asked him to check everything in it online for me please.

I was too jittery and uncomfortable to do it myself. I was in the bedroom and I kept the door closed.

He came back and told me it has Tramadol in it. Geez I even published a blog post on my website about Tramadol. Forehead slap.

I couldn’t believe it had taken me 3 days to realize I was high. I felt so darn stupid. Then again I had been feeling dissociated a lot since the operation, so maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself.

I phoned my mother to let her know, just to be on the safe side. Who knows what might happen even though I have  years clean time behind me. It was a little scary. I looked up the withdrawal symptoms of Tramadol and it looked quite rotten but I had not been taking more than was prescribed and it was only 3 days of use.

I take Seroquel in small doses to help me with my insomnia and when I am struggling with my bipolar disorder or under a lot of stress I chat to my doctor and increase my Seroquel dosage for a while.

I got hold of my GP on whatsapp and let him know he gave me addictive medication and asked if I could double up my Seroquel for the night to get myself to sleep and he said that is fine, along with an apology.

Fortunately I fell asleep quite quickly and aside from feeling a little but ditsy for a couple of days I coped fine, thankfully.

Beautiful white and pink flowers

A number of people have told me that I should take this further with my GP but really this is as much my responsibility in my eyes. Every time I get prescribed medication I have always reminded my GP and when I ask the pharmacist for over the counter medication I always tell him too. When I get home with any new medication I always do a final check before taking anything.

This time I did none of those things, I was prescribed medication and I came home and took it. It is a lesson for me to never left my guard up. My recovery is my responsibility.

The funny thing is that when the physical pain starting easing up it was awful. When I was in physical pain it took my attention away from  my emotional pain. When the physical pain was gone then I started having to face what I was feeling emotionally. It reminded me of when I used to cut myself to get away from what I was feeling.

It’s been 7+ weeks since my miscarriage and things are a lot easier now. For the first few weeks it was such a roller-coaster of pain and tears. I did write about my miscarriage on my parenting blog 10 days after it happened, but I couldn’t quite get the courage or strength to share about it here too until now.


Here are some of the things that helped me to get through this awful experience sober (or mostly anyway):

  • Talking about my feelings with my husband, mom, sisters and close girlfriends.
  • Writing – both on my blog and in my journal.
  • Being kind to myself – avoiding negative self talk and being loving towards myself.
  • Resting and allowing myself to be sad. Letting myself cry when I felt overwhelmed.
  • Having a session with my counselor when I got out of hospital.
  • Remembering that this is a process and my healing won’t be in a straight line.
  • Allowing myself to grieve for my lost baby.

There are still so many moments of sadness and lots of tears. I can hardly think about what happened without shedding some tears.

Life is going to throw curve balls and even in long term recovery there will be tough moments. Being clean doesn’t mean that things are always going to be easy, in fact some of the hard moments are really intense, but I don’t need drugs or alcohol to blot them out. I can face them and I can get through it in one piece.

What hard things have you had to face in recovery?

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Top 5 Tech Products for Managing Mental Health

When it comes to managing your mental health, you usually don’t think of technology as the number one solution. Therapy and medication are much more common. But the truth is, there is some great technology out there that can help you manage your mental health in accordance with the medication and treatment plan that your provider has given you. Let’s take a look at five technologies

Apps Mental Health

Reveal

Reveal is targeted towards a very specific segment of people with mental health problems – those with autism. It monitors the mood and behavior of an autistic person, giving the caregiver a great deal more information about what is going on in their head. Reveal can help to prevent meltdowns which can sometimes happen with autism, as well as help parents and other caregivers to be able to respond when a child or autistic person want something but cannot communicate exactly what that is.




ELF Emmit

ELF Emmit is an all-around system for improving your mind and body. This tool helps you with learning how to focus better, sleep deeper, meditate and even improve your ability to learn. It might seem a little strange at first, but the technology works with the digital metronome that is very stylish. You wear this metronome around your head and it is able to affect your brain waves to adjust your mind and body to what sort of mood you want to be in. Although it is not necessarily considered a medical device, it does use an accepted scientific principle called PEMT, which stands for pulsed electromagnetic therapy – an FDA approved treatment technique

Feel/Spire

Both Feel and Spire are devices that help you determine what your mood currently is in change it if necessary. Some people wear their emotions openly, but others are more difficult to understand which makes social interaction difficult as well. It is also difficult sometimes to get into your own headspace and be able to make adjustments. But applications like Feel and Spire track your emotions throughout the day and give you personalized coaching that will make it easier to recognize your emotions and deal with them in a healthy way. These applications can detect sadness, happiness, anger, stress and much more. They use bio-signals in order to measure these things.

Mobile showing apps

Fisher-Wallace Stimulator

Another tool that is changing the mental health landscape is called the Fisher Wallace stimulator. This is an FDA approved device that helps to treat depression, anxiety and even more mental health issues. Experts are even hoping that illnesses such as bipolar disorder might benefit from devices like these. The Fisher-Wallace stimulator is not available to the public without the recommendation and supervision of your provider, but neural stimulation therapy is going to be one of the technologies that help to eradicate mental health problems in the coming future.




Pacifica

Finally, there is a mobile app called Pacifica that is an extremely valuable resource when it comes to mental health treatment. Apps like Pacifica can help people learn how to manage their anxiety better; get out of depressive episodes when they have them and in general, live healthier happier lives. Pacifica uses cognitive behavioral therapy as well as techniques for relaxation and cycle breaking in order to treat a variety of mental health symptoms.

One final tech product that has been very useful in managing mental health is the medical alert bracelet. The technology on medical alert bracelets has advanced so much now that they are being used for more than just emergencies. You should find the best one and make sure that you have it on you.

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Life Is Short, Stop Worrying About Needless Things

It’s often easy to get caught up in current events, unsurprisingly so. After all, we are living in the now, and as adults or even older teenagers, we start getting a bit more interested about what’s happening in the big wide world rather than just our house and our friend’s house down the street. Despite the wise words of Sir Francis Bacon, “Knowledge is power”, with knowledge nowadays usually comes great depression. The moment you look at the news you are simply bombarded with dozens of articles about recent tragedies, “Family of 5 found dead”, “House prices rising”, “Series of terrorist attacks” and god knows what other terrible headlines one might find in the average newspaper you find on the bus.




If those things are constantly being absorbed by your psyche on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that we find ourselves worrying about everything all the time, with stress is eating away at our physical and mental health. Let’s look at why you should stop worrying, and have a slightly more optimistic mindset in life, rather than worrying about every single little thing.


Image source: Pexels

Before you start worrying, think if it’s relevant to you

It might sound somewhat selfish to say, but no matter how much you find yourself being sad about the terrorist attack that happened halfway across the globe and no matter how of a humane gesture it might be, ultimately, you have no control over it. Or well, likely no control, unless you go and sign up for a rescue team or charity of some sorts, it’s probably out of your reach. Now think to yourself, if you know this, what can you do with this information? You can “know” it, for sure, and you can worry about it if you so desire, but can you actually act on it? Probably not, so before you go and read into the recent tragedy on the front page, think to yourself, “what benefit is there for this to be at the forefront of my thoughts for the next few weeks?”.


Image source: Pexels

What’s going to happen, will happen

Life likes to throw punches at us when we least expect it, that’s the nature of the beast. Once again, we can sit around and worry about how bad things might be, or you can try to live in the now and have a slightly more optimistic outlook on things. Worried about your credit rating? Worried about not being able to get a decent mortgage? Now you can even get a loan with a terrible rating through peer loans, as there is no credit check.




Worried about the state of the housing market and rising prices? The world is vast and you can always move somewhere where the housing prices are a bit more reasonable. Spending too much time thinking about your child’s success in school? Do your best to help them, but ultimately it’s up to them to make the right decisions. Going through an existential crisis? Try and think about things that fuel you and roll with the punches as life goes along rather than overthinking the bigger picture. These might all be minute things, but they add up, so if you find yourself worrying about all of them at all times, your health can seriously suffer as a result. Try being more optimistic, and distance yourself sometimes to be able to objectively look at the situation at hand.

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Helping Your Mental Health Survive The Holidays

When you’re already suffering from mental health issues, every day can be a fight. Add in the pressure of the festive season, and you could soon find yourself struggling to make it through the holidays. Whether you’re coping with addiction or you suffer from stress and anxiety, the holidays can be one of the toughest times of the year.

Image: Pexels

The good news is that there is help out there to get you through this tricky time. Use the following advice as a starting point for helping your mental health survive the holidays.

Keep up your regular routine

It can be tough to stay in control during the holidays, but having a set routine can help. Make sure you go to bed at the same time, eat healthily and try to exercise as well. Even when you’ve got time off work, try to keep things as normal as possible and avoid the temptation to stay in bed and hide under the covers. Keeping your schedule full will help take your mind off the season so that you can just focus on you and your mental health.




Out of sight, out of mind

The holidays can be a tough time for a recovering addict. With social invitations landing in your inbox regularly, the temptation to relapse can be especially great at this time of year. The saying goes ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ which is something you can use to help you stay on track during the party season. If you know that a social occasion is going to revolve around drinking, you might want to stay away this time. Instead, plan other activities with friends and colleagues that don’t involve drinking, like movie nights and dinners that will help you enjoy the holiday season in a healthier way. Try not to turn your attention to eating instead – there are ways you avoid the temptation of holiday treats at Christmas to help keep your health and waistline on track.

Don’t be alone

When you’re feeling down around the holidays, or indeed any other time of year, it can be tempting to just cut yourself off from everyone. Even if you are spending the holidays alone – find ways to be around people. Volunteer at shelters or hospitals or speak to others about spending the holidays with them – there are places you can go where you’ll benefit from some company rather than cutting yourself off completely.

If you do find the holidays difficult, you should speak to someone about the things that you’re feeling. Get advice from friends or family or talk to professional counselling services like BlueskyPsychology – it’s much easier to deal with a problem if you talk to someone. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and reach out to someone over the holidays, the person on the other end will want to help.

Keeping busy and active during the holidays can help you to embrace it, and perhaps even enjoy yourself. Stay on track with your goals and meditate daily for the best way to keep your focus and not fall behind. Think about how you can make the best of the holidays; they’ll be over before you know it!

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Understanding Anxiety Disorders in Canada

The term “anxiety” is becoming more commonly used, but is often misunderstood. Individuals will use the term when referring to feelings of nervousness, stress, or anxiousness, but anxiety is much more than that.

Anxiety is an intense worry about future events that can even result in physical symptoms. There are various anxiety disorders, each characterized by different causes and resulting symptoms.

Even though you may not neatly fit into one of these ‘boxes’, Some types of anxiety disorders include: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Separation Anxiety Disorder, and Panic Disorder.

Anxiety

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Causes

GAD is believed to have a few risk factors that increase one’s chances of having the disorder. These risk factors are: genetics (it runs in the family), being female (substantially more common amongst women) and having a timid or negative personality.

 Symptoms

General symptoms include:

  • Obsession over small concerns
  • Inability to relax
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty handling uncertainty

Physical symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle tension and tension headaches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nausea and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Treatments

The first type of treatment available is psychotherapy (psychological counseling). Aside from this, the other treatment options are various medications, typically anti-depressants.

Lifestyle changes can also make a difference. Try eating healthier, exercising, making sleep a priority, and quitting smoking and drinking.




Social Anxiety Disorder

Causes

Some factors that may play a role in causing social anxiety are: inherited traits (if it runs in the family), one’s brain structure (the portion responsible for fear may be overactive), and one’s environment (it may arise after an embarrassing or unpleasant social situation).

Symptoms

Emotional symptoms include:

  • Fear of being judged
  • Fear of interacting with strangers
  • Fear of physical symptoms that may be noticeable or embarrassing
  • Expecting the worst possible outcomes during a social situation
  • Avoiding common social situations all together (work, school, gatherings, outings)

Physical Symptoms include:

  • Blushing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Trembling
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

Treatments

Similarly to GAD, psychotherapy is a popular treatment option. Medication-wise, Paxil and Zoloft are the most common prescriptions.

The same lifestyle changes listed for GAD can also aid in reducing the symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder.

Social anxiety disorder

Separation Anxiety Disorder

Causes

Separation Anxiety Disorder is most common amongst children. The causes can include: a new child-care situation (day-care, preschool, etc.), a new sibling, a new home, or family stress/tension.

Symptoms

Your child may display these symptoms:

  • Recurrent excessive distress about being away from home or from their parents.
  • Constant worry that something bad will happen
  • Refusing to be away from home
  • Repeated nightmares about separation
  • Excessive worry about losing a parent (IE: to illness)

Treatments

Some practices you can implement in your home to reduce the symptoms of separation anxiety in your child include:

  • Practicing saying good-byes
  • Refraining from prolonging good-byes
  • Timing good-byes appropriately (IE: not when your child is hungry, tired, or upset already).
  • Give your child something to look forward to while you’re gone.

Summing up

Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Separation Anxiety Disorder each embody unique causes, triggers, emotions, and symptoms.

Regardless whether it’s one time occurrence or a lifelong disorder, 1 in 4 Canadians will have an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. With those statistics, it is important that society has an understanding of what anxiety disorders are, what they encompass, and how to deal with them.

This can refer to handling your own anxiety, or providing support for someone in your life who is suffering from anxiety in one form or another.

References

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Clear Your Mind: Why You Should Meditate Every Day

“The goal of meditation isn’t to control your thoughts, it’s to stop letting them control you”

Most of you will have heard of meditation. When people say ‘meditation’ they probably think about men in a monastery somewhere in China. But mediating isn’t only for the religious, and it certainly isn’t about sitting in the same spot for hours on end. It actually has many benefits and is something which many successful people do each morning to prepare for the day ahead.

Why you should meditate every day

Image Source

Meditation Relieves Stress

Stress is one of those things that we all experience in our daily lives. It could be from work, personal things or even addiction. Stress can cause us to become anxious, ill and even depressed. Of course, the usual methods of dealing with anxiety and depression involve going to the doctors and receiving medication or enrolling in Christian depression counselling. However, meditating for just five minutes each morning can be massively beneficial to your mental health as it allows you to focus on your body, the flow of blood in your veins and your breathing. You can lock the world out for a few moments and connect to yourself.

Self-Awareness

Meditation involves you sitting in a quiet area, closing your eyes and usually listening to a tape of some kind. The tape will usually consist of the narrator telling you to relax your muscles, calm your breathing and listen to your body functioning. Spending the time each day to sit and meditate helps you connect to your body and gives you a sense of self-awareness. It is relaxing and energising all at once.




It Encourages You To Be Healthy

Meditation can also have an unexpected benefit; it can make you want to eat more healthy and practice a healthier lifestyle. The reason for this is your self-awareness allows you to connect to your body in a more integral way, which in turn makes you want to look after your body even more. Eating healthy, unprocessed foods and practicing gentle exercise such as yoga can really make you feel alive and invigorated.

It Makes You Happy

Spending that essential ‘me time’ each day can make you feel happier in the long run. Reducing your stress levels and taking care of your body can result in you feeling happy, relaxed and full of energy.

The Practice Benefits Cardiovascular and Immune Health

It’s not just your mental health that will benefit from practicing meditation each day. It’s also your body. Meditation actually releases certain chemicals into your bloodstream which open up your blood vessels and allow your blood pressure to drop. It can be a huge help to those who suffer from high blood pressure due to stress or medication, and could even negate the use of blood pressure medication. It is certainly a great way to keep your body flowing and oxygen reaching your essential organs. Relaxation can also make your immune system stronger, meaning that the next time a bug goes round the office, you might be able to avoid it.

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Lifestyle Choices to Promote Peace of Mind

Yoga is more than a form of exercise. It’s a lifestyle! Any yogi will be familiar with the way that yoga as a practice can come to influence all sorts of areas of your life beyond your exercise regime alone. Here are a few different ways to promote peace of mind in your life.

Lifestyle choices to promote peace of mind

Practicing Mindfulness

You’ve probably seen the term “mindfulness” flung about lately. But what does it actually entail? Mindfulness is an extremely simple form of meditation. Traditional meditation encourages you to focus all of your body and mind on breathing. As air enters and leaves your body you are supposedly more capable of observing your own thoughts as they arise in your mind. You can then gain the knowledge that everything is transient, as even the most significant thoughts can float in and out of your being in just minutes. Mindfulness, on the other hand consists of observation devoid of criticism. You are encouraged to observe negativity with curiosity and detachment, not taking things personally and allowing things to pass. Practice this regularly. As you practice, you will grow more used to the routine and it will eventually become an intrinsic part of your personality.

Eliminating Worry

There are various ways that you can actively eliminate worry from your life. First you must identify your key sources of stress. For most people, the biggest cause of anxiety in their day to day existence is fear for the future. Questions of “what if something bad happens” fill bedtime thoughts and shower contemplations. Luckily, there’s a simple way to resolve this: insurance. The whole point of insurance is to guarantee your safety and wellbeing in difficult times. This can cover physical goods, for example your mobile phone, property and household possessions. However, health and life insurance can also be covered. This means that you no longer have to stress about how you will cope in times of illness or injury and how your loved ones will cope if you’re no longer able to be there for them anymore. For a quick quote, check out healthinsurancequotes.co.




Getting Organised

If you leave everything until the last minute, you expose yourself to high levels of stress as you try to rectify situations or pull things together in a short timespan. Organisation can make all the difference when it comes to peacefulness. So, instead of ignoring your work or agreements until it’s absolutely essential that you rush to complete them, start trying to get things together well before deadlines. This will allow you to enjoy more experiences, actually experiencing the results of your hard work rather than recovering from the high pressure process. You will also be able to get your head down more easily at night rather than mulling over how to get everything done on time.

These simple steps won’t take much time or effort out of your everyday life, but can put your mind at ease. Not only will this improve your yoga practice, allowing you to focus more clearly on your core and stance, but it will also improve your general happiness and wellbeing.

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5 Ways Nutrition Plays A Vital Role In Recovery From Addiction

Everything that you put into your body has an effect on your physical and your mental well-being. Taking drugs and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol not only cause damage to your body, but they also often prevent your body from absorbing the vitamins and minerals your body so desperately needs from the food that you eat.

A very common consequence of addiction is that addicts and alcoholics eat very little while using. It is also very common for addicts to vomit during binges so the little food that they have managed to consume is lost.

Depending on the drug the addict may also binge on food, such as marijuana addicts.




Whatever the addicts habits their relationship with food is bound to be unhealthy, causing even more havoc to their body in addition to the physical damages from the alcohol and drugs.

Getting clean from drugs and alcohol is not an easy process and the role that good nutrition plays is often overlooked. When looking for treatment for addiction it is a good idea to ask what emphasis they put on nutrition before choosing a treatment center.

Nutrition Recovery Addiction

Here are some vital ways that nutrition impacts your recovery from addiction:

1 Detoxing from alcohol and drugs

Coming off your drug of choice and going through a withdrawal period is inevitable if you want to get clean. You will need to detox from drugs.

Depending on the drug you are coming off this process can be relatively simple with a small amount of discomfort, or it can be a traumatic and painful process if you are coming off a drug like heroin which has serious withdrawal symptoms and very often has to be medically supervised.

The foods that you eat during this time won’t magically cure you from withdrawal symptoms but you can lessen symptoms significantly by ensuring that you are eating properly.

One of the most important things to do during this time is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Stay away from high caffeine drinks such as coffee and avoid drinking sugary carbonated drinks. If you struggle to drink a lot of plain waster a great option is to drink sugarless iced tea which you can make yourself using an iced tea maker. It is a much healthier option than Coke or Coffee which is what so many addicts drink in recovery!

2 Repairing Body Damage

Drugs and alcohol cause significant damage to your body. While there are some things that won’t be able to be undone such as cocaine damage to your nose, a lot of your body’s internal organs will start healing to some degree once you stop using.

Getting in vitamins and minerals to your body will now be vital to helping your body to recover from drug abuse.

Eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and natural foods will give your body the boost it needs. Focus on getting in foods high in protein, fiber and natural fats.

Stay away from processed foods and foods high in sugar.




3 Healthy Living Habits

While in active addiction addicts often don’t look after themselves in any way. They are often dirty and malnourished. Part of being in recovery is changing your lifestyle and habits. You need to learn to look after yourself properly.

Eating regular, healthy meals is a huge part of this process along with good personal hygiene habits, good sleep habits and exercise.

Recovery from addiction is about change, it is about moving from an unhealthy mindset and lifestyle to the a healthy mind and life.

4 Mental Well-being

While many may think that addiction is just a physical problem this is incorrect. While there definitely is a physical craving for drugs this is not the deeper problem. The mental state of an addict is what needs the most work.

Getting over the physical cravings very often is they easy part, getting over the physical withdrawal and cravings happens in a short space of time.

Staying clean and being mentally well is much harder and has to be maintained. Good nutrition plays another essential role here. By eating properly you can control your blood sugar levels which will help to keep your moods stable.

Eating correctly can help to combat depression and anxiety which can greatly impact your chances of being successful in your recovery from addiction.




Many addicts have a dual diagnosis, meaning that they often get diagnosed with a mood disorder along with addiction. This makes paying attention to your mental health so important since your mood disorder can affect your recovery from addiction and in turn your addiction can affect your mood disorder.

It is important to stay focused on both of these issues and treat them both simultaneously. Good nutrition and healthy eating habits aids you in your recovery from addiction and is highly beneficial to your mental health.

5 The Dangers of Cross Addiction

The importance of healthy eating is not just to help the addict to get physically and mentally well. It is also essentially important to educate the addict against the dangers of cross addiction.

When an addict is withdrawing from a substance, even from cigarettes, it is common to crave unhealthy foods such as foods with high sugar or caffeine. While this may help the addict in the short term to pull through withdrawals there is the possibility that the addict can then form a cross addiction into food.

People can become addicted to anything, from the more obvious things like drugs and addiction, to things like gambling, sex, food, online dating, online games, work and exercise.

With food often being the only thing left that an addict has access to when in treatment for recovery from addiction this needs to be looked at.

Teaching an addict to have a healthy relationship with food is therefore essential on so many levels and can have a direct impact on the addict’s recovery from addiction, both short term and long term.


About The Author

My name is Eva Swain, I am the founder of Women’s Guide. I have a passion for keeping up with the latest information and providing the audience with the facts they need to make better choices in their lives. I started Women’s Guide for women who want to advance both for themselves and the greater good. Follow Eva @EvaCSwain


 

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5 Reasons Why Therapy is Important for Recovery from Addiction

Getting clean from alcohol and drugs is not an easy process, and very often getting off the actual substance is the easiest part. Thereafter the addict or alcoholics behavior and thought processes need to be addressed otherwise the chance of relapse is incredibly high.

There are many ways for an addict or alcoholic to get clean, including attending 12 step meetings (such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Gambling Anonymous, Eating Disorders Anonymous), SMART Recovery meetings, church addiction support groups or booking into a rehab.

Receiving addiction therapy in addition to your chosen plan of recovery from addiction is always a good idea. If you have chosen being booked into an addiction treatment facility you will receive therapy while you are there, and very often also attend addiction support groups too.

However when you leave rehab it is a good idea to continue with an addiction therapist.

If you choose to get clean through support groups very often you will have a sponsor that will guide you and help you with your recovery, however it is important to note that while a sponsor is great support, your sponsor is not a professionally trained addiction therapist.

Why Therapy is Important for Recovery from Addiction

Here are 5 reasons why therapy is important for recovery from addiction:

1 Recognize Behavior Patterns and Triggers

Once an addict is clean from mood and mind altering substances there is still a lot of work to do. A trained addiction therapist can help the addict to not only recognize their destructive behavior patterns but also determine what triggers those behaviors in the first place.

Addicts are well known for what is called Stinking Thinking and it is important for an addict to change these thought patterns, which if left will ultimately lead to using.

These thoughts and behaviors are what prevents the addict from leading a healthy and fulfilling life.

2 Healthy Coping Skills

Everyone goes through stress at some stage in their life and an addict will naturally want to cope by using their drug of choice. It is vital for the addict to learn and practice new and healthy coping skills in preparation for when things get tough.

An addiction therapist can help the addict to be more mentally healthy and cope with stressful situations in a healthy way that is not damaging to the addict or anyone else.

3 Dealing With Past Issues

Addicts usually have a lot of past issues that they need to deal with. Very often an addict has grown up with addiction in the family and very often the addict has been a victim of some form of abuse.

There are also lots of addicts that have grown up with a perfectly stable and loving home environment, however while in active addiction may have gone through many traumatic events.

Dealing with past hurt, pain, anger, resentment and humiliation is not easy for anyone to deal with and addicts usually have a lot of these unresolved feelings.

Having a safe space to work through these past issues with a trained specialist will be the most beneficial for the addict.

It is also vitally important that these past issues are dealt with properly, very often the triggers and destructive behavior patterns can be traced back to past issues. If these things are not addressed chances of relapse are much higher.

4 Dual Diagnosis

Addiction is not simple and a dual diagnosis is very common. A dual diagnosis is when someone has a mood disorder such as depression, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, as well as a problem with alcohol or drugs.

It is important to firstly recognize that there is a mood disorder, but also to have an additional treatment plan for the additional illness.

If a mood disorder is not diagnozed and treated it will keep the addict mentally unhealthy and the chances of the addict staying clean will diminish significantly.

5 Relapse Prevention and Long Term Support

Having regular sessions with an addiction therapist will help an addict to stay mentally healthy and decrease chances of relapse. Going into rehab is a short term solution that very often will get the addict clean, but what will keep the addict clean after leaving treatment?

Old behavior patterns can creep easily creep back and stinking thinking can return which can lead to relapse. In addition to that, if an addict goes through a stressful time it can be risky.

Having an addiction therapist can help an addict through any future rocky periods and help to keep the addict in check if they start to slip.

Addiction doesn’t go away, it can’t be cured, but it can be managed long term. If you had any other life long illness, like diabetes for example, you would have regular check ups at the doctor. Addiction is just the same, it needs to be managed and having a check up every now and then would give you the best chance of staying healthy.


Christy Forrester LMFT LPCC is an addiction therapist in Laguna Hills CA. Christy is also in recovery and endorses a 12- step model. She offers individual, group, and intensive outpatient services


 

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The Importance of Medically Supervised Addiction Treatment for Young Adults

The teenage years are really tough enough as it is with raging hormones, so when you add in a substance abuse problem it can become a complicated problem.

Many teens experiment with drugs or alcohol with little or no consequences at all, however there are a lot of teenagers that very quickly get stuck in the cycle of addiction. If you find out your teenager has been using drugs or alcohol you must take steps to find out the depth of the problem.

Because teenagers are not yet fully developed their views can be very limited. Very often teenagers simply cannot fully comprehend the severity of the consequences of their using and of their own behavior due to using.




For this reason if your teenager has a substance abuse problem it really is best to ensure you find an addiction treatment center that offers specialized addiction treatment for young adults.

When choosing a rehab for your teenager it is also important to choose a medically supervised addiction treatment program that will help to ensure the best possible outcome for your child.

Medically Supervised Addiction Treatment for Young Adults

Here are the reasons why a medically supervised addiction treatment program is so important for young adults:

A Medically Supervised Detox

Just to put it simply, withdrawal from certain drugs can be dangerous, even deadly which means a medical detox can mean the difference between life and death for your teenager.

There are many drugs that require detoxification, including alcohol, heroin and opiate related drugs, and certain prescription drugs such as Xanas, Oxycontin, Vicodin, and Hydrocodone. Withdrawal symptoms can have severe side effects which can be fatal if not properly treated.

Detoxing from these drugs may cause vomiting, trembling, nausea, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, seizures, and comas.




Trained medical professionals can help to manage these life threatening symptoms by administering medication to wean the addict off of the drug, decrease physical withdrawal symptoms and prevent seizures.

Medical staff are on hand to check vital signs, evaluate mental and physical progress and provide support to the patient throughout the withdrawal process.

There are also other drugs that do not usually require a medical detox, these include marijuana, cocaine, and crystal methamphetamine. Withdrawal symptoms are not so severe ranging from a feeling of tiredness to extreme irritability and agitation.

Very often medical detox is given for these drugs for other reasons such as the patient feels they cannot stop without medical intervention, they have become psychotic from drug use and need a medical intervention, they feel they are a danger to themselves (suicidal) or perhaps they just don’t have anywhere else to go.

It is much safer for an addict to go through a medical detox than to try and attempt it from home, not just from the viewpoint of the physical and mental dangers associated with detox, but also because relapse is a lot more likely when attempting to detox without medical help.

When a drug addict goes back to using drugs during or just after withdrawal their tolerance is usually much lower making an overdose more likely.

Addiction and Dual Diagnosis

When a patient is diagnosed with a substance abuse problem and a mental health issue it is referred to as a dual diagnosis.

Common mental health disorders that occur in conjunction with addiction and substance abuse problems are:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality Disorders
  • Mood Disorders (such as Bipolar Disorder)

It may be that a drug addict starts to develop mental health issues when, after chronic drug use, the brain function alters.

Alternatively someone with mental health issues may attempt to treat the symptoms of their mental disorder by taking drugs. For example someone suffering from anxiety may smoke marijuana in an attempt to calm themselves and through prolonged use becomes addicted.




Regardless of which disorder occurs first it is essential that the addiction and the mental health disorder be treated at the same time. The symptoms and effects of the mental disorder can trigger and drive the addiction and vice versa.

At least 30% of people that are suffering with a substance abuse problem have mental health issues.

For these reasons it really is important for teenagers (and any other addict) to be treated at a medically supervised, dual diagnosis addiction center.

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