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Pre-Existing Conditions

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Anxiety

Anxiety serves a purpose. Thestress hormones produced when confronted by danger - adrenaline and cortisol help our hearts pound faster and our blood pressure to increase as we get ready to fight the tiger — or run away from it. (Hence the term “fight or flight.) While we’re rarely confronted with saber-toothed tigers these days, the fight or flight impulse can still serve us well in moments of legitimate crisis or danger. 

However, many stressful situations  can elicit the same fight or flight response, even though there’s nothing to battle or flee. When this response takes over and persists, it can become an anxiety disorder.

Many individuals suffering from anxiety  rely on substances to help them deal with the challenges they face every day. By self-medicating with drugs or alcohol, it’s possible to achieve an artificial sense of calm and normality — at least for the short term. However, this strategy doesn’t work for long. 

Drugs and alcohol create anxiety as they wear off and withdrawal symptoms begin to set in. As your reliance on those substances progresses, so do the withdrawal symptoms — including a powerful sense of anxiety. In addition, the sense of shame and isolation that often accompanies active addiction can become its own source of anxiety. And so you require more substances to blunt those uncomfortable feelings. While your intentions may have been understandable, self-medication of anxiety almost always results in a vicious cycle. Fortunately, there are much more effective ways of treating anxiety that doesn’t involve drugs or alcohol.

Signs of Anxiety

 Some of the most noticeable physical signs and symptoms include:

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Trembling hands

  • Chest pain

  • Sleeplessness

  • Shortness of breath

The emotional signs are not so overt. For example, you may experience a consistent sense of fear for months at a time, and tried (but failed) to address it. You might also have difficulty socializing, managing relationships, and maintaining your work or school. And, like many, you may have come to rely on substances or unhealthy behaviors as a way of dealing with the symptoms of anxiety.

Everyday life does lead to an occasional shift in mood at times, however people with  Bipolar disorder experiences dramatic shifts in temperament, with happy, productive moods at one extreme and depressed, disengaged moods at the other. 

Bipolar episodes may last for days or even weeks at a time. Some people experience these episodes several times a week while others may only have them a few times a year. 

There are several causes of bipolar disorder, including brain structure, stress or trauma, or even genetics.

 

  • Brain structure and function: Studies have noted small differences in the average size or activation of some brain structures in people with bipolar disorder.

  • Stress or trauma: A serious illness, the death of a loved one, broken relationships or financial problems all cause a bipolar episode. 

  • Genetics: Anyone whose parents or siblings have bipolar disorder are more likely to have it themselves. But not always – in the case of identical twins, one may have the disorder while the other does not. 

Although there is no permanent cure for bipolar disorder, it is possible for someone to learn how to manage their mood swings through counseling and medications.

Types And Symptoms Of Bipolar Episodes

Manic episodes: During these episodes, a person may appear to be excessively upbeat and cheerful or hostile and irritable. They may exhibit erratic behavior such as going on shopping sprees, or they become very talkative and assertive. Other signs include:

  • Feelings of euphoria

  • Easily distracted

  • Unable to concentrate

  • Not sleeping 

  • Rapid speech

  • Impulsive, reckless behavior

Depressive episodes: In this situation, a person appears sad and uninterested in other people and everyday activities. They are likely to eat less that they normally would. They may have feelings of restlessness and guilt, and they may even contemplate suicide. Other signs include:

  • Feeling tired

  • Irritability

  • Unable to concentrate

  • Thoughts of self-harm 

  • Disrupted sleeping and eating habits

  • Mixed episodes: Some people with bipolar disorder have mixed episodes that include traits of manic and depressive episodes all at the same time.

People of any age can have bipolar disorder, although it is most commonly diagnosed among people in their mid 20s. In many of those cases, researchers have found that the first episodes occurred during adolescence or even childhood. Bipolar disorder affects approximately 2.8 percent of the American population, and it impacts males and females equally.

People who suffer from bipolar disorder often turn to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to escape the emotional upheaval the disorder causes in their life. One study found that 44 percent of people with bipolar abuse alcohol and 56 percent abuse drugs.

Because the symptoms of a substance abuse disorder and bipolar disorder often overlap, it’s important to get help from specialists who are trained to distinguish between the two. A deal diagnosis and a treatment plan for co-occurring disorders – one that addresses both disorders simultaneously – is often necessary for a full recovery.

At ClearView we specialize in treating co-occurring disorders. Our doctors, clinicians, counselors, and therapists work together to help you learn how to manage your bipolar disorder and provide the best alternative opportunities to maintain your recovery.,

 

With over 5 million diagnosed cases in just the US and many more being undiagnosed - Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is the most common – and one of the most serious – of all personality disorders.

People with borderline personality disorder frequently suffer from substance abuse, eating disorders and other impulsive behaviors. Research has shown that two-thirds of people with BPD abuse drugs and alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate as they struggle to cope with their emotional pain.

 

The symptoms of BPD and substance abuse are very similar: self-destructive actions, extreme mood swings, low self esteem, troubled personal relationships and risky, dangerous behavior. This can make it difficult to diagnose the two conditions separately. The misuse of drugs and alcohol can make the erratic behavior of people with BPD even more extreme, and it is often a challenge to get them to enter rehab and complete treatment.

People with BPD often have feelings of isolation, depression, and loneliness, have trouble feeling empathy for others, have a persistent, ongoing fear of being abandoned, and are often hostile toward those around them.

How Is Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosed?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has determined that if five of these criteria are met, a person is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder:

  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

  • A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation

  • Markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self

  • Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)

  • Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats

  • Self-mutilating behavior

  • Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)

  • Chronic feelings of emptiness

  • Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (frequent displays of temper, constant anger, or recurrent physical fights

  • Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms

What Causes Borderline Personality Disorder?

The Mayo Clinic recently issued a report that cites several factors that may contribute to BPD:

  • Brain chemistry: BPD may be caused by imbalances in naturally produced chemicals in the brain that affect the way you behave and think.

  • Hereditary factors: Some people have a genetic predisposition for BDP. Close family members, such as parents and children, often share a risk of the disorder.

  • Dysfunctional family environment: Physical or sexual abuse may trigger BPD. Children who feel abandoned or neglected are at high risk of developing the disorder as they get older. 

How We Treat Borderline Personality Disorder And Substance Abuse

Dialectical Behavior Therapy was designed specifically for helping people with borderline personality disorder and is the cornerstone of treatment for BPD. This therapy helps people learn how to recognize toxicity within interpersonal relationships (from themselves and others) and maintain healthy relationships. It stresses the importance of remaining mindful of self-regulating your emotions without resorting to self-harming or using drugs or alcohol.

 

It’s common for people who enter rehab for substance abuse also suffer from depression. Studies have shown that almost one-third of people who are clinically depressed have abused drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication to help them deal with their depression. This creates a dangerous cycle of co-occurring disorders – the substance use grows into addiction and the depression is never really cured.

If you have depression, this unhealthy pattern may have persisted without you even realizing it. Perhaps you never thought you needed treatment for depression or recognized that your drug and alcohol abuse was triggered by a mood disorder. But once you see the connection, it’s easy to understand the need to treat both issues together.

Depression can be caused by a variety of circumstances, such as the death of a close loved one or another traumatic life event like an injury, illness, or the breakup of a long-term personal relationship. It may also be caused by deep-rooted issues such as a family history of depression or childhood trauma. And it can even be caused by biochemical issues such as a neurochemical imbalance.

Recognizing The Signs Of Clinical Depression

Everyone experiences sadness or grief at various stages of life. But in most cases, those feelings lessen over time and until no longer consume you. With depression, however, those feelings may persist for weeks and months, disrupting every aspect of your life.

If you experience five or more of these symptoms almost every day for at least two weeks, you meet the criteria established for clinical depression.

 

  • Suicidal thoughts, or frequent thoughts of death

  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt

  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness

  • Lack of interest in normal activities, such as hobbies or sports

  • Outbursts of anger or frustration

  • Trouble concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things

  • Tiredness and lack of energy

  • Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain

  • Sleep disturbances, including sleeping too much or too little

  • Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness

  • Slowed thinking, speaking, or body movements

  • Physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

All of these signs and symptoms should be taken seriously. In addition to contributing to your substance abuse, depression can cause problems in your relationships and home life, and at work or school. Loved ones are also impacted by the effects of your depression.

Treating Depression At ClearView

We understand the importance of treating your depression as part of your overall drug rehab program . A recovery plan that addresses both your addiction and your depression has a much greater chance of helping you achieve long-term sobriety.

Our team is experienced in treating depression and other co-occurring mental health disorders discovered through dual diagnosis along with your substance abuse disorder. Through cognitive behavior therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and other evidence-based treatment methods, we help you uncover the roots of your depression and learn ways to overcome it without resorting to drugs and alcohol. Our evidence-based psychotherapies combine counseling, education, and peer support to help you beat your addiction and avoid relapse.

 With depression, however, those feelings may persist for weeks and months, disrupting every aspect of your life.

If you experience five or more of these symptoms almost every day for at least two weeks, you meet the criteria established for clinical depression.

MAJOR SIGNS OF DEPRESSION

 

  • Suicidal thoughts, or frequent thoughts of death

  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt

  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness

  • Lack of interest in normal activities, such as hobbies or sports

  • Outbursts of anger or frustration

  • Trouble concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things

  • Tiredness and lack of energy

  • Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain

  • Sleep disturbances, including sleeping too much or too little

  • Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness

  • Slowed thinking, speaking, or body movements

  • Physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

All of these signs and symptoms should be taken seriously. In addition to contributing to your substance abuse, depression can cause problems in your relationships and home life, and at work or school. Loved ones are also impacted by the effects of your depression.

What Is OCD?

When you encounter difficult or stressful situations, it’s normal to worry. It’s also normal to have occasional thoughts about topics that are distressing or disturbing. However, with obsessive-compulsive disorder, those thoughts and behaviors won’t go away and are extremely difficult to control.

OCD is relatively common, with approximately 2.3% of adults meeting diagnostic criteria. Symptoms tend to appear during adolescence or early adulthood.

Many people with OCD attempt to hide their compulsions from loved ones. Many causes contribute to obsessive-compulsive disorder, including family history, genetics, stress, and serotonin abnormalities.

Signs And Symptoms Of OCD

Some examples of obsessive thoughts include

  • An overpowering need for order

  • Fear of germs or infection

  • Persistent thoughts about harming others or oneself

  • Unwanted thoughts about taboo topics

Sometimes those obsessive thoughts become compulsive actions; people with OCD may find it necessary to repeat actions in order to relieve tension or anxiety. Common compulsions include:

  • Counting items (such as steps) repeatedly

  • Repeatedly placing items in a particular order

  • Washing, cleaning, or excessive attention to hygiene

  • Repeated checking (i.e, to make sure the stove is off)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Treatment

At ClearView, we use a combined approach to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, along with any other co-occurring mental health conditions. A number of medications, especially antidepressants, have demonstrated success in treating OCD and minimizing its effects. 

Therapy is especially effective — particularly cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy. Wellness programs, including meditation and yoga, teach relaxation and mindfulness techniques that can limit symptoms of OCD.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be exhausting, both for the person experiencing it and their loved ones. The good news is that treatment is available. ClearView has the resources an the staff able to make your OCD not become such a set back.

 

 

Research has established a direct connection between low self-esteem and substance abuse. People who don’t feel good about themselves look for outlets and experiences that make them feel better, and alcohol and drugs give them an escape from their negative thoughts and feelings. This relief is only temporary, however, and over time the negative impact of their substance abuse can drive their self-esteem even lower as they continue to struggle with feelings of failure and a loss of control.

Self-esteem can be simply defined as your opinion of yourself – how you feel about yourself as a person, your confidence in your abilities and the value you place on yourself. When someone has high self-esteem, they are fully aware of their strengths and they acknowledge their weaknesses but don’t feel badly because of them. When someone has low self-esteem, however, they lack confidence and they don’t recognize the strengths they have. Instead they dwell on their weaknesses and they don’t believe anyone sees any value in them, either.

Some other signs of low self-esteem include:

  • Believing you’re not important

  • Believing others will humiliate you

  • Not trusting others

  • Loneliness

  • Letting negative thoughts drive your behavior

There are several factors that can contribute to low self-esteem, including mental illness and past trauma, such as neglect or child abuse. There are many other reasons why people may develop poor self-esteem. For example, children with unsupportive parents, teachers, and other authority figures may struggle with low self-esteem and those issues can carry over into adulthood. People who struggle with their physical appearance, weight, and body image very often develop negative feelings about their self-worth.

Improving Self-Esteem In Substance Abuse Recovery

A ClearView your self-esteem is one of the many factors we consider in our comprehensive assessment that determines your addiction recovery plan. We know improving your self-esteem can have a positive impact on your substance abuse treatment and addiction recovery efforts by helping you overcome co-occurring disorders such as anxiety or depression, which are often underlying causes of alcohol and drug addiction. 

Our clinicians, therapists and counselors are experienced in evidence-based therapy modalities such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, and we take a holistic approach to helping you improve your self-esteem. Our treatment plans include activities and sessions that help you meet new people, discover new interests and develop new life skills that encourage you to feel better about yourself and your abilities.

This is an important step in your recovery because feelings of guilt, shame, and low self-esteem can hinder your efforts in drug addiction treatment or alcohol rehab. These negative feelings are counterproductive to recovery and increase your chance of relapse. We help you establish a more positive outlook and self-image that gives you the confidence you need to overcome setbacks on your road to recovery and achieve lasting success.

Addressing Trauma And Substance Abuse

The relationship between trauma and substance abuse is profound. Alcohol and drugs can initially blunt the negative feelings and unpleasant sensations that come from  trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Those with trauma-related depression may find themselves medicating with stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamine, while others might try to soothe their anxiety with alcohol or benzodiazepines.

People with unresolved trauma and PTSD aren’t “crazy.” In fact, by turning to substances, they’re simply attempting to cope. But using substances can lead to a number of problems, including addiction — which, over time, makes the original symptoms (such as anxiety or depression) even worse. The risk-prone behavior that comes with addiction can also lead to new traumas.

Signs And Symptoms Of Trauma And PTSD

Whether the incidents come from childhood or are more recent, unresolved trauma can register both in the body and in behavior. Some signs of include:

  • Fatigue

  • Depression

  • Panic attacks

  • Anxiety

  • Guilt

  • Detachment

  • Dissociation

  • Low self-esteem

  • Flashbacks 

  • Sleep disturbances, including nightmares

  • Self-harm

  • Avoidance of triggers

  • Physical pain and/or chronic illness

  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors

  • Substance use or abuse

Treatment 

We believe that while treatment for trauma and PTSD are vital, it’s necessary to make sure you’re stable first. Most of the time, our clients begin with detox, so they can eliminate the substances from their systems. 

As part of your individual treatment plan at  ClearView, you can take advantage of trauma therapy, as well as other therapeutic options like cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and rational emotive behavior therapy. Together, these therapies can help you achieve healing and balance — so your trauma no longer controls your emotions and behavior. 

How Does Trauma Therapy Help?

In a traumatic event or situation, your body responds by releasing stress hormones, which prevent your brain from processing the event. When we are triggered by something that reminds us of the trauma, the body reacts with a “fight or flight” response. While we are asleep and dreaming, meanwhile, our eyes dart back and forth quickly, which triggers the part of the brain that reprocesses the day’s memories. Trauma therapy uses EMDR (or eye movement desensitization reprocessing), which simulates those dreaming eye movements, stimulating the brain in order to reprocess the trauma. In combination with talk therapy, trauma therapy can help you heal and move forward.

You can come to ClearView and heal from your personal and mental issues and problems associated with you r signs and symptoms. 

Trauma therapy can be very intense and emotional, but it can provide a powerful sense of relief — both psychologically and physically.

Please Reach Out Today. We’re Here For You.

Bipolar Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder

Depression

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Low Self Esteem

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Bipolar Disorder
Anxiety
Personality Disorders
Depression
OCD
Low Self Esteem
PTSD

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