Author Archives: Hank

Sober Living: Benefits and How to Choose

What is Sober Living?

 

 

Sometimes known as a halfway house, sober home living facilities act as a bridge between the in-patient care facility and going back to the real world. These facilities are designed to assist individuals to learn how to function again in society by participating in various responsible tasks, such as paying bills, household chores, meetings, and participating in events and activities that are drug-free. 

 

Before leaving the drug/alcohol rehab, physicians, mental health professionals, and the client will discuss the rehabilitation and recovery afttercare process. For many who suffers from drug/alcohol addiction, going straight from the in-patient care to the real world is not a good idea. Life issues may arise that may be too challenging to the recovering addict. And as a result, the newly, drug/alcohol-free person can easily return to his/her old ways. So, physicians and mental health experts will usually inform the patient about aftercare at a sober home especially since the recovering addict will stay in the drug/alcohol rehab for only a short period. And if the person has been on drugs/alcohol for a long time, it may be in his/her best interest to get involved in this type of facility to have a better chance in recovering. 

 

The Benefits of Sober Home Living

 

While these types of facilities can be very helpful, these organizations don’t have the same structure level as an in-patient facility. These facilities, however, have curfews, household chores, and other obligations. When living at these facilities, clients will adjust to normal life through accountability, therapy, and support. 

 

Having said this, the following includes the benefits of sober living: 

 

  1. They are a peaceful, warm, and stable living environment.
  2. They are completely free from harmful influences. 
  3. There is usually a house manager of staff who works and lives on-site to assist the residents and run operations. 
  4. There are usually other healthy activities, depending on the type of facility. These activities can include yoga, hiking, mindfulness, or meditation programs. 
  5. Group counseling and individual therapy are required. An example of group counseling is the 12-step sponsorship programs. 
  6. These homes have strict rules which are a good thing. Recovering addicts must get used to following strict guidelines. They typically have random drug testing. 
  7. No overnight guests are allowed. 
  8. There must be sobriety for the entire stay. 

 

How to Choose a Sober Facility?

 

One main thing to do is that the loved ones of recovering addicts must choose a sober home facility that is a safe residing place. When families are choosing a facility for their spouse, their child, or a relative, it must be a safe living environment that is favorable for their recovery. There must be supportive people going through and went through similar issues of substance abuse. There must also be professionals to guide them. The following includes more details in choosing a facility: 

 

  1. Structure

 

It’s imperative to investigate how structuralized these facilities are. Even if some of these programs have the loftiest amenities and perks, they don’t necessarily provide the top-notch structure needed to ensure the clients have the best tools and gain the most strength to be healed and recover holistically. 

 

Having said this, top-notch facilities enforce a zero-tolerance policy toward alcohol and drugs by them establishing random drug tests, regular house check-ins, and a curfew. Clients should always feel comfortable asking team members how they maintain schedules for residents. Every program has its own distinctive routine on an individual and collective scale. 

 

A collective routine for a community can range from assigning chores around the house to group activities. When it comes to an individual scale, many communities assist residents in working toward keeping a schedule that encourages recovery, like attending therapy and a twelve-step program regularly. With this schedule, the client can thrive at school, work- at life! 

 

  1. Safety

 

The neighborhood where the sober home living facility is located, may also have an effect on your decision. Along with your family member staying sober, you want to know that they’re safe at the facility. A house should ensure the safety of residents and have some form of security. Safety within the house is also important. Your family member may need medication management, or you may want to know about specific risk-reduction and plans in case of emergencies. You can always ask the people in charge of a sober living about any of the above and feel that your questions are fully answered.

 

  1. Team

 

Meeting the staff in charge of these facilities will also give a great impact in deciding whether this program is the right choice for the loved one. As previously stated, all places don’t have the same staff structure. Some may have inexperienced team members in handling clients who have a dual-diagnosis. Some communities have a clinical nurse. So, in choosing a high-quality program, clients/their loved ones should consider one with good clinical support, strong administration, and some experienced team members. These team members should be experienced in handling many situations, such as having different personalities under one roof, and remaining calm and diplomatic when handling conflicts and tough situations. Also, there should be some experienced team members with experience in the 12-steps program. These members will understand the addict’s mindset and are helpful in assisting clients with their struggles, and in sharing their own experiences that continually helped them on their successful sobriety path. 

 

  1. Community and Culture

 

There are a different community and culture in every sober home that is based on its residents and staff. A facility with all-female or all-male is highly recommended. However, there are also co-ed facilities available in most cities. Nevertheless, the sober house should foster cooperation, friendship, and unity between residents. A program with regular group meetings provides residents the opportunity to discuss issues in the house and to constructively and openly speak about their feelings to promote a positive environment. The goal here is to assist residents to adjust to this new lifestyle and to let them know that they are not alone in their recovery process. 

 

Conclusion

 

Many times, it is best for people suffering from substance abuse to get afttercare once they complete drug/alcohol rehab. This fact is especially true for those who have been experiencing substance abuse for a long time. Getting involved in a safe and effective sober living community is the way to go. 

 

With these types of facilities, there are various benefits. The most costly ones don’t necessarily mean they are the best ones. And thus, it’s imperative that these facilities meet the qualifications mentioned above to ensure great success in recovery.

 

Understanding, Treating and Preventing Digital Addiction 

 

 

In recent years, the world has been consumed with technology. The digital age has exploded in the modern world, and reliance on technology increases every day. Most people know when to take a break from their laptops, tablets and smartphones to just relax and enjoy the world outside, but some people become too invested in their tech. The issue has become so bad that new mental health problems have developed as a result. 

 

What is Digital Addiction?

 

Addiction is characterized by a need to use digital devices to the point where people do it compulsively and ceasing to do so over a significant period of time causes great emotional and physical duress. When this issue reaches a point where it negatively impacts the person’s life, it becomes a mental health problem and treatment becomes necessary. 

 

Digital addiction is separated into three groups; phone, Internet and social media addiction. Phone addiction is hallmarked by a reliance on a smartphone specifically. People with phone addiction constantly have their phones in their hands, check their phones incessantly, use their phones frequently in social situations and even develop anxiety when they don’t have their phones on them. 

 

Internet addiction is a reliance on the Internet through the use of any device. They spend a bulk of their time online, and some cases get so severe that the sufferer might develop difficulties discerning reality from the virtual world. Internet addiction can also lead to gambling problems or a gaming addiction.

 

Finally, social media addiction is an impulsive need to constantly check, scroll through and update social media pages such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and more. Not being able to keep updated on these social media pages causes feelings of depression.

 

How is Digital Addiction Treated?

 

The first step to treating a tech addiction, as with any addiction, is realizing the problem. With tech use being so common in today’s world, it can be very difficult to determine when the line has been crossed into developing an addiction. Friends and family members can help draw the person’s attention to the issue, but, ultimately, the person needs to realize what’s happening for themselves and seek treatment.

 

Once the person is already on the road to seeking help, the next step is making sure this addiction isn’t a symptom of another problem. Tech addiction is commonly a problem branched off from other mental health problems including, but not limited to;

 

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Schizophrenia

 

If the addiction is the only issue, the next step is digital detox. Just as it sounds, a digital detox involves breaking away fully from the Internet, social media and all manner of Internet-ready devices like phones and tablets. However, it’s not purely about quitting technology altogether. It’s about socializing face to face, getting some fresh air outdoors, enjoying sports and other physical games, taking up a hobby, developing a skill and reestablishing life without the reliance on the digital world.

 

Additionally, going through a digital detox allows for the development of healthy tech use practices. Unlike many other addictions where the addictive behavior can be dropped entirely, like with drugs, alcohol or smoking, it’s difficult to drop Internet, social media and device usage since they’re so deeply ingrained in everyday life. 

 

Developing healthier patterns in tech use allows people to return to the digital realm without becoming leashed to it. 

 

Behavioral therapies have been effective for treating addictions to technology. These therapies introduce healthier alternatives to Internet or device usage to help alleviate feelings of anxiety, depression, stress and more that comes from the deprivation.

 

Group therapies have also been successful in both providing a support network to people with an addiction to technology and giving them the resources to recover on their own time. Some drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities may also provide care for people with non-drug related addictions. 

 

In addition to therapy, several programs have been developed to help cut down on Internet, social media and device usage. For example, there is a software that limits Internet use over the course of a day. Once the limit has been met, the connection shuts off until the following day. Similar software limits the usage of select social media websites, and there are even blocks to prevent access to the Internet and certain websites entirely for however long the user needs.

 

If there are other underlying mental health issues behind the addiction, like anxiety or depression, a therapist may prescribe medication to help deal with the effects. 

 

How to Prevent Tech Addiction

With the prominence of technology in modern day society, anyone could be susceptible to a technology addiction. Avoiding this issue is very possible, and it doesn’t require massive changes to a person’s everyday life.

 

Make it a rule to go out and do something every day. Even if it’s simply a nice walk, playing a game outdoors or relaxing with a book on the porch, substituting one hour a day for some fresh air outside can stave off the urge. If the weather isn’t accommodating, try cleaning a room in the house, spending quality time with a friend or family member or getting some other household chores done.

 

Don’t look to devices as a cure for boredom. Instead, take up a hobby, listen to some music or go to a movie.

 

Part of addiction is a rewards system. Just like drugs and alcohol trigger feelings such as euphoria, using the Internet and social media provide rewards through entertainment, a feeling of achievement through games or enjoying attention through likes on social media. Avoiding addiction through a similar rewards system is very beneficial. For example, for every hour not spent on social media during the day, put a dollar in a savings fund for something fun like a vacation or a new outfit.

 

It’s also a good idea to do everything to stop the rewards system of the addiction. For instance, turn off phone or desktop notifications for social media websites to reduce the constant feeling of rewards when the notification sounds.

 

The same limiting software that help with technology addiction recovery is also a great tool for preventing addiction in the first place. It’s not necessary to utilize software that automatically turns off devices, Internet connections or access to social media pages, but being cognizant of the usage and tracking it through these programs helps people understand when they might be developing a dependency. 

If there is a significant concern over developing a dependency on the Internet or social media, have a friend or family member help with monitoring usage. Not only does having a partner help prevent overusing technology, but they can be a great emotional support to help make it through the rough times and make the successes that much more gratifying. 

 

Ayahuasca Addiction

 

 

For those who may not be familiar with ayahuasca, it is a tea that contains DMT (N, N-Dimethyltryptamine), a hallucinogenic compound. Ayahuasca is derived from the Quechua language and loosely translated means either vine of the soul or vine with a soul. When an individual consumes this tea, it can trigger either a mild sedating effect or lead to extreme hallucinations.

 

HOW DOES AYAHUASCA-BASED TEA AFFECT THE BRAIN?

 

One of the most important things to note when it comes to ayahuasca is that DMT, which is the primary active ingredient in the tea, is very similar to serotonin in terms of chemical structure. To further put this into context, we should first get a better understanding of how serotonin works in the body. Serotonin, which is found primarily in the brain, bowels, and blood platelets, is a chemical and neurotransmitter that is responsible for regulating sleep, mood, appetite, memory, and even sexual function.

 

Low serotonin levels can lead to depression and a host of other mental health disorders. That said, many physicians and psychiatrists will prescribe serotonin-boosting medications like SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), for example, to help patients who are struggling with these symptoms. However, many people will also consume ayahuasca-based tea to achieve the same serotonin-boosting benefits.

 

According to some studies, the mind-altering effects of ayahuasca-based tea can be felt in as little as 30 minutes after an individual consumes it. The hallucinations, which can vary in intensity, can last anywhere from 1 to 6 hours and can be very similar to that of LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide). In many cases, those who have consumed the tea will perceive certain sounds as being more intense than usual or may hear sounds that do not exist. 

 

While there are a variety of ways to consume ayahuasca-based herbs, many people prefer to consume it in tea form, which introduces small amounts of the mind-altering substance to the brain over a longer timeframe, resulting in a longer and more pleasurable high.

 

AYAHUASCA-BASED TEA AND ADDICTION

 

While ayahuasca-based tea is not physically addictive, it can trigger psychological cravings, which can be just as difficult for some people to overcome. That said, there is very little research available when it comes to the long-term psychological effects of consuming ayahuasca-based tea, and there is even less information available concerning the full extent that the tea has on one’s physical health when consumed long-term. The one thing that most addiction experts will agree on, however, is that the mild to moderate hallucinations associated with these teas in and of itself can lead to psychological dependence for some individuals.

 

AYAHUASCA-BASED TEA AS AN HERBAL OPIATE

 

Although the practice is not recommended or endorsed by the addiction treatment and recovery community, many individuals have turned to ayahuasca-based teas to help them overcome their addiction to prescription-based or street-level opioids. That said, those who choose to consume ayahuasca-based tea to overcome an opioid addiction are urged to proceed with caution. According to Dr. Gerald Thomas, director of alcohol and gambling policy with British Columbia’s Health Ministry, consuming ayahuasca-based tea may be beneficial for those seeking to end their addiction to opioids due to how it temporarily alters brain function.

 

In essence, the changes that take place in the brain once an individual consumes ayahuasca-based tea is similar to that of consuming methadone and suboxone, two of the most commonly prescribed opiate alternative medications, which are used to help individuals overcome severe withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid detox. Nonetheless, Dr. Thomas cautions that more research will be needed to determine the substance’s long-term effects as well as the overall efficacy before it can ever be recommended as an opiate alternative for those needing help ending their addiction to opioids.

 

SIDE EFFECTS OF AYAHUASCA-BASED TEA

Despite being extolled for its calming effects and other therapeutic benefits, there are some side effects associated with consuming ayahuasca-based tea. After all, the psychedelic tea is comprised of DMT, Banisteriopsis caapi (flowering vines), and Psychotria viridis (shrub leaves of the chacruna plant), all of which can trigger a mind-altering experience. Some of the more common physical side effects include

 

  • Agitation

 

  • Chest pain

 

  • Dehydration

 

  • Diarrhea

 

  • Dilated pupils

 

  • Dizziness

 

  • Heart palpitations

 

  • Seizures

 

  • Vomiting

 

Of course, the side effects do not end there as ayahuasca-based tea is also known to trigger a variety of psychological side effects as well, including hallucinations, anxiety, and extreme paranoia. Ironically, some individuals consume ayahuasca-based tea solely to achieve these psychological effects. These same individuals have equated these effects, which may be off-putting to most people, as a way of cleansing their mind and body. Whether these beliefs are misguided or based on tangible evidence is still up for debate, but many people believe they are simply par for the course when consuming these psychedelic teas.

 

WHY IS AYAHUASCA-BASED TEA GROWING IN POPULARITY?

 

Although ayahuasca-based tea has recently started making headlines in North America, it has been a mainstay in South American countries for decades and is often consumed during religious ceremonies among those seeking to benefit from its hallucinogenic properties, which they believe will trigger a spiritual awakening of some sort. In the United States, there are two churches that are known to use ayahuasca-based tea during religious ceremonies. These churches include the UDV church in Santa Fe, New Mexico and also the Santo Daime church in Oregon. Also, more people are turning to this psychedelic tea to help them overcome opioid addiction and as a way to cope with mental health disorders like depression and PTSD, for example.

 

HOW IS AYAHUASCA-BASED TEA MADE?

 

This new trend in ayahuasca-based tea has led to more people brewing the concoction in the privacy of their own homes, and the reasons for doing so can vary greatly from one person to the next. Some people are using it as an herbal opiate alternative to help ease opioid withdrawal symptoms while others are using it as a form of self-care to address a mental health disorder. Most people will take a traditional approach when it comes to brewing their own batch of this psychedelic tea, which entails the use of Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria Viridis. 

 

The Psychotria Viridis contains DMT, the most active ingredient, and Banisteriopsis caapi contains MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), which protects against stomach upset while the Psychotria Viridis is being absorbed and ultimately broken down in the stomach. The brewing process is not too dissimilar from brewing any other kind of tea. In essence, you will need to combine all of the ingredients into a saucepan, fill the pan with water, and allow the water to come to a boil. From there, carefully pour the combination into a cup using a tea strainer to catch the leaves and stems.

 

BOTTOM LINE

There are also many reports of people becoming psychologically addicted to these teas as well. If you’re thinking about trying ayahuasca-based tea as an herbal opiate to help with opioid cessation, to cope with a mental illness, or for any other reason, you’re strongly encouraged to speak with a physician before making your decision.

“Cannabidiol, (CBD) What You Need To Know”

CBD, otherwise known as Cannabidiol is all the rage these days! Recent studies and research evidence have revealed the potential applications of CBD to the field of healthcare. However, this is not the first time that CBD has been used; Cannabidiol has been used as early as the 1940s. 

 

History of Cannabidiol

 

CBD was an accidental discovery made by Roger Adams in the 1940s. His aim was to extract a substance from the Cannabis sativa plant; however, a name was given to his discovery several years later. Lab testing soon began on animals to determine the extent of the benefits associated with the consumption of CBD. In the late 1960s, the British Pharmacopoeia released the first CBD Oil for medical use. A few decades later, a breakthrough was made when a connection between treating epilepsy and the consumption of CBD was found through a study.

 

What is Cannabidiol?

 

CBD is one of the two major active ingredients in marijuana; however, while marijuana-derived CBD is illegal, hemp-derived CBD is not. Because both marijuana and hemp contain levels of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient, we may also find this in trace amounts in CBD products. Thus, the legality of CBD is very controversial. 

 

Scientific studies have allowed us to believe that we may use CBD as a treatment option for certain ailments such as chronic pain, acne, anxiety, sleep disorders, arthritis, and a variety of similar conditions. CBD works by interactions with our body’s endocannabinoid system, the system responsible for regulating bodily functions such as appetite, pain, sleep, mood, and our immune system’s response to disease and infection. These interactions allow for a reduction in the symptoms felt by the mentioned conditions.

 

Cannabidiol also has anti-inflammatory characteristics that make it a viable treatment option for inflammatory skin conditions such as acne and dermatitis. In addition, CBD gives off an overall calming effect that makes it efficient in treating anxiety and mood disorders.

 

Difference Between Full Spectrum and CBD Isolate

These substances are different in the sense that CBD Isolate refers only to the crystalline powder that contains CBD. This product is often mixed with additives and synthetic chemicals which makes the effectiveness less great. Research shows that the effectiveness of this substance falls in a bell curve which creates limitations to its effectiveness when taken in different dosages.

 

Full Spectrum CBD refers to the plant oil containing CBD and other natural substances such as phytonutrient, chlorophylls, and terpenes. The natural substances make this form of CBD a more viable option when choosing an effective treatment. Some compare this consuming this CBD to taking vitamin supplements.

 

When making a purchase of CBD products, be sure to ask about the extraction method and the type of CBD. This can make a huge difference between whether the product will be effective in treating your ailment or not. It is an excellent idea to purchase your products from companies that perform third-party testing. Some companies may provide low-quality CBD products that have been derived from industrialized hemp that has been subject to large amounts of pesticides or synthetic chemicals. These products more often than not also include a larger than allowed concentration of THC that may have undesired effects.

 

The Legality of CBD in America

 

CBD products and supplements are currently legal in the entire nation with a few exceptions. While these exceptions are determined by the governing body of each state, the one common exception is where the CBD is originally derived from. In the year 2014, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missippi, Utah, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Missouri legalized CBD for medical use. Despite this recent legalization, CBD is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug under federal law. This regulation does not only pertain CBD but to the cannabis plant in general.

 

The one exception to this federal regulation is the approval of Epidiolex, a form of pediatric epilepsy treatment containing a concentration of CBD. Because this treatment was approved by the Federal Drug Administration, CBD became later classified as a Schedule 5 drug meaning that it has the lowest potential for abuse or drug addiction. Schedule 1 drugs are normally prone to drug addiction which may require an individual to enter drug rehab at a drug treatment center. Using CBD does not run the risk of having to enter drug rehab at a drug treatment center and therefore, it is a popular choice for patients across the nation.

 

The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill changed the situation regarding the legality of CBD. This federal regulation allowed for the legality of hemp-derived CBD in all fifty states. This allowed for businesses selling CBD products to prosper and boom into the CBD industry we know today.

 

Restrictions of Using CBD Products

 

CBD products are sold in a variety of places including local grocery stores, pharmacies, drug stores, and even retail. These products include vapes, gummies, tinctures, oils, topical lotion, and more. While there is no specific law regarding the sale of CBD products to minors, most stores will not sell any products to anyone under the age of eighteen. 

 

This is due to one main reason: certain CBD products may include a small concentration of THC. Because THC is psychoactive, it is best to not allow minors to purchase these products. However, it is a completely different story online. Anyone with access to an account of an adult aged twenty-one or over can purchase CBD products on any online retailer.

 

Flying with CBD Products

 

With the controversial nature of CBD products, it can be difficult to determine whether or not you may bring these products with you on your vacations or ventures out of the country. The simple answer to this is: yes. The Transportation Security Administration has recently updated its policy concerning traveling with medical marijuana. Consequently, it is now completely legal to travel aboard a plane with hemp-derived CBD products. This is great news for frequent flyers with anxiety!

 

The Future of CBD

CBD products have become one of the most sought out treatments and supplements in the nation and as a result, major companies are now looking to add this substance into their products. Coca-Cola has recently released a statement pertaining to the future addition of a minor concentration of CBD to their drinks and even Oreos has discussed doing this! The current generation demands safe-to-use products that are all-natural and organic. CBD meets both of these requirements and is one of the most talked-about substances among the Millenials. 

 

With this in mind, citizens are demanding that states legalize cannabis for both recreational and medical use. Three states have already done this and more are considering doing the same. Experts estimate that cannabis may be fully legal within the next decade to meet high consumer demands within the United States. 

What We Know About Depression

Awareness of mental health conditions are on the rise, which is important for helping everyone to feel emotionally strong. While people have been dealing with depression since the beginning of time, we now know so much more about how to help people overcome symptoms such as severe exhaustion and apathy. 

 

Sadly, the symptoms of depression affect more than just the person with the condition. More than half of all families with a loved one living with depression in their home report having trouble maintaining healthy functioning. Untreated depression can also lead to a person losing their job, ending relationships and making unhealthy choices that limit their future. Fortunately, no one has to sit idly by and let depression take over. Instead, understanding this important information about depression helps a person to make the best choices for their mental health.

 

Know That Depression is Different From Sadness

People who are unfamiliar with depression tend to wonder why it is such a big deal when everyone is sad sometimes. The difference with depression and sadness is that the symptoms of major depressive disorder tend to last far longer than a couple of weeks. With regular sadness, a person is usually just responding to a recent disappointment such as a breakup. They may also be able to snap out of their bad mood by doing something fun. Depression can often have no obvious cause since it involves chemical changes within the brain that require treatment before a person can feel better. 

 

Watch Out for These Risk Factors

There is not a single factor that causes depression to develop. Instead, genetics and brain chemistry play a heavy role in a person’s risk for developing the condition. Certain types of life events are also associated with the development of depression. For instance, a person is at higher risk for developing the condition after losing a loved one or experiencing a trauma. For people that have experienced depression in the past, going through a major life change such as having a baby or losing a job are signs that it may be best to seek mental health counseling to prevent the symptoms of depression from getting worse.

Recognize the Symptoms of Depression

The most well-known symptom of depression is persistent sadness that typically lasts for longer than two weeks and does not respond to self-care. It is also important to be alert for the other symptoms of depression that can include some or all of the following:

  • withdrawal from one’s previous favorite activities
  • changes in eating habits-some people eat more while others eat less
  • feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • sleep difficulties such as insomnia or oversleeping
  • difficulty concentrating on tasks
  • making poor decisions
  • increased reliance on substances such as alcohol
  • thoughts or statements about suicide or just giving up
  • feeling exhausted or weighed down by life
  • physical complaints such as headaches, muscle pain and nausea

 

Understand That Depression is Different for Everyone

Although there are certain symptoms that are common among people with depression, it is important to note that not everyone feels or expresses them the same. In fact, there are some notable differences in how men and women experience depression. A person’s age may also affect how they deal with their symptoms.

 

  • Women-Women make up the largest group of people who suffer from depression, and approximately seven percent of women will experience some form of the condition in their lifetime. The current understanding regarding the reason this occurs is that women have more risk factors such as hormonal fluctuations that make them more likely to experience mood changes. 

 

Women who are depressed tend to feel more of the emotional symptoms such as feelings of worthlessness. They may even feel guilty about their inability to just snap out of it or that they are not managing all of their responsibilities well. On the upside, women are more likely to reach out to their loved ones for help, and they are usually the first to seek treatment for depression when they notice the symptoms.

 

  • Men-When a man is depressed, they tend to feel more anger than guilt. They may also be irritable and lash out at their loved ones. Some men also withdraw or begin to use drugs or alcohol in an effort to mask their symptoms. Although things are changing, man men still feel stigmatized about being depressed, and they may need additional encouragement from their support network to seek treatment.

 

  • Teens-Depression often first appears during the teen years, and it may be due to changes in their risk factors such as going through puberty and dealing with new types of stress such as social pressure. Since teenagers are often unaware that their feelings are not normal, they rely upon their parents, teachers and other trusted adults to call attention to the need for treatment.

 

Parents often miss the early warning signs of depression in teens by simply thinking that it is just part of them growing up. However, a simple way to determine if a teen needs mental health counseling is to check to see if their symptoms are affecting their life. For instance, a teen who is oversleeping and skipping school needs help treating their symptoms so that they can manage their responsibilities.

 

  • Children-Younger children can also develop depression. This often occurs after a major life event such as moving to a new home or losing a loved one. Children this age may become clingy, whiny or experience developmental regressions such as wetting their bed.

Learn About the Different Types of Depression

These are the main types of depression that a person may be diagnosed with, and knowing which type they have makes it easier to create a personalized treatment plan that helps them feel better.

  • postpartum depression
  • major depression
  • persistent depressive disorder
  • psychotic depression
  • bipolar disorder
  • seasonal affective disorder

 

Be Willing to Reach Out for Help

One of the most important things to know about depression is that every type is treatable. While some types, such as major depressive disorder, may require more intensive counseling to treat, it is possible to feel better. Anyone who recognizes the symptoms of depression in themselves or a loved one can start by talking to their doctor. When doing so, it is important to be open about all of the symptoms that one is dealing with in their life. A doctor may also ask patients about their current life situation to find out if there are any changes that could be contributing to the symptoms. After checking for physical causes of the symptoms, a doctor may then refer the person to a mental health professional such as a counselor

 

For those who do not currently have a primary care doctor, it is still possible to seek help by reaching out for mental health counseling on their own. Many counselors and therapists are open to new patients who simply call and explain how they are feeling.

 

Explore Treatment Options 

Professional treatment for depression is the best way to find relief from the symptoms. A person’s treatment plan may include one or all of the following types of care.

  • medication
  • psychotherapy, or talk therapy
  • cognitive behavioral therapy
  • interpersonal therapy

 

Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions that is known today, and it is important to know that there is hope when a person feels hopeless. In fact, no one with depression is ever alone since professional counselors are available to help them ease their symptoms and learn how to move forward with a greater sense of mental wellbeing.