The Connection Between an Opioid Addiction and Mental Illness

What is the connect between Opioid addiction and mental illness

Opioid drugs typically come in two different forms. On the one hand, they are found as prescription painkillers legally prescribed by members of the medical community to help alleviate issues of chronic pain. On the other hand, they are illegally manufactured illegal substances which provide similar sedative and euphoric effects to legal prescription medications. Whether legal or illegal, opioids are highly addictive and potentially dangerous when misused or abused. Without comprehensive treatment, opioid misuse often leads to addiction and overdose, and death in the most severe cases.  

Opioid Addiction Defined

When you develop a dependence on an opioid, it is known as an opioid use disorder. Addiction treatment professionals use several diagnostic criteria to diagnose opioid addiction properly. Some of the most notable criteria include developing a tolerance to the drug, cravings, drug-seeking behaviors, and withdrawal symptoms if you try to reduce or stop using. Opioids are highly addictive. Even when taken as prescribed, it does not take long to develop a physical addiction to opioids. In some cases, dependence and addiction can develop in as few as four weeks. Physical and psychological dependence on opioids can be extremely difficult to overcome without professional detox and addiction treatment services. 

Are Opioid Addiction and Mental Illness Related?

Opioid use among those struggling with a mental condition is very common. In fact, only about sixteen percent of Americans have mental health disorders yet receive more than half of all opioid prescriptions.  Those with mood and anxiety disorders are twice as likely to use opioid drugs to reduce the severity of symptoms than those without mental health problems. They are also three times as likely to misuse opioids when prescribed for symptom management. 

Opioid use can also contribute to new or worsening mental health symptoms. Some studies have shown that individuals who received prescription opioids for various conditions have gone on to develop mental health conditions within weeks or months after taking the drugs. The longer they continue to take opioids, the greater their risk for developing a mental health condition. Mental health and opioid use are highly connected. In 2018, as many as half of the adults who suffered from a substance use disorder also struggled with a mental health disorder. 

How to Get Help With an Opioid Addiction and Mental Illness

When used as prescribed, opioids are very beneficial in helping to reduce chronic pain. However, due to their powerful effects and the way in which they impact the structure and function of the brain, dependence, and addiction among those who use opioids is common. On its own, opioid addiction is difficult to overcome without professional assistance. If you struggle with opioid addiction and a mental illness (a dual diagnosis), it is essential to seek help at an addiction treatment facility specializing in medically assisted detox and dual diagnosis treatment. In a medically assisted detox environment, highly trained staff will help you navigate the challenges often experienced during detox and withdrawal from powerful opioid drugs. 

Your treatment team will provide support to help you manage, sometimes severe, withdrawal symptoms. They will monitor your vital signs to ensure your safety and, if necessary, provide medications to help reduce the intensity and severity of withdrawal symptoms. Once your body is cleansed of substances, it is possible to transition into a comprehensive, evidence-based addiction treatment program. During therapy, you will learn more about the root causes of your addiction and how addiction and mental health symptoms are related. 

If you struggle with opioid addiction, today is the day to seek help. Reach out to the addiction treatment staff at Cal Recovery Center to learn more about how our detox and dual-diagnosis treatment programs can help you begin your journey to recovery. 

What Is the Most Common Mood Disorder?

What Is the most common mood disorder?

At any given time, as many as one in five American adults struggle with a mental illness, mood disorders included. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately twenty-one million adults over the age of eighteen meet the diagnostic criteria for a mood disorder. Mood disorders can affect anyone at any point in their life, and many factors can contribute to developing a mood disorder. Because mood disorders do not discriminate based on age, race, gender, ethnicity, or any other demographic, it can be challenging to pinpoint a specific root cause. In many cases (even more so with males), those who experience symptoms related to a mood disorder are more likely to have a co-occurring substance abuse disorder

What Is a Mood Disorder?

It is normal for your mood to change now and then. Everyone experiences changes in mood or “mood swings” depending on experiences or situations. A mood disorder is more than a mere fluctuation in your emotions. Mood disorders are mental health problems that affect a person’s emotional state. When someone has a mood disorder, they experience long periods of extreme happiness, extreme sadness, or both. To be diagnosed with a mood disorder, your symptoms must be present for several weeks or longer. Mood disorders can cause alterations in behavior that affect your ability to manage routine obligations, including work, school, and other day-to-day activities. 

The Most Common Mood Disorder

There are many different categories of mood disorders. Within each category, there are several diagnoses. For example, bipolar disorder is a mood disorder category, and within the category, there are several types of disorders. Major depressive disorder or MDD is the most commonly diagnosed mood disorder in the United States. According to the National Alliance on Mental illness (NAMI), more than nineteen million people (almost eight percent of the population) struggle with major depressive disorder each year. Like bipolar disorder, there are several different types of depression, including major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder, postpartum depression, and depression related to a medical condition, medication, or substance use disorder

How to Treat Mood Disorders

Treatment for a mood disorder will depend on the specific diagnosis and the symptoms you experience. The most common treatments include a combination of medication and therapy, specifically, psychotherapy (talk therapy). 

Several medications have proven successful in treating mood disorders. Antidepressants work well in the treatment of depression and depressive episodes linked to bipolar disorder. Some of the most commonly prescribed antidepressant medications include Lexapro, Prozac, Zoloft, Cymbalta, and others. These medications are classified as either selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Again, the specific medication that will be the most successful for you will vary based on your symptoms as well as any underlying medical or co-occurring mental health conditions. Mood stabilizing and antipsychotic drugs may also be prescribed in addition to antidepressants in some cases, if the antidepressant medication is unable to adequately control symptoms. 

If you struggle with depression, various types of psychotherapy are also beneficial to your recovery. The most common types of psychotherapy include cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and problem-solving therapy. These therapies are also successful in treating co-occurring substance use disorders that commonly arise due to ongoing struggles with depression and other mood disorders. 

Occasional mood swings and difficulties managing emotions are common experiences for everyone. In most cases, this does not indicate the presence of a mood disorder. However, if your symptoms persist for more than two weeks and you find they interfere with your ability to focus and participate in day-to-day activities or you find you are looking to substances as a way to reduce the intensity of symptoms, it may be time to consider seeking treatment at Cal Recovery Center. 

What Is Al-Anon Sacramento?

Is Al-Anon Sacramento?

Most people are familiar with the services and benefits of support groups and organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). For decades, these vital programs have been providing peer support, guidance and a safe environment for those recovering from alcohol use (AA) and drug use (NA) disorders to openly discuss their fears, challenges and triumphs on their individual paths to recovery from addiction. Perhaps less well known are the groups that provide support to family and loved ones of those struggling with addiction. 

What Is Al-Anon?

Addiction is referred to as a family disease. This is because, although the direct physical health impacts of addiction affect the addict, those who love and care for them also struggle. Through the support of programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, those struggling directly with addiction find support, common ground, and solidarity with those who share similar struggles and focus on maintaining health and sobriety. Unfortunately, Alcoholics Anonymous and similar programs do not necessarily provide the same support for those watching their loved one struggle with addiction. Programs such as Al-Anon, provide a safe and open forum for family and loved ones of addicts to share their concerns, experiences, and struggles with watching someone they love experience addiction. 

The Importance of Helping Yourself While Your Loved One Struggles With Addiction

Family is a vital part of the recovery process both during and after treatment. When someone in recovery returns home, they often rely on family for support, guidance and direction as they navigate the day-to-day challenges of their lives now that alcohol is no longer a part of their lives. Unfortunately, addiction is often responsible for putting significant strain on relationships. 

Watching a loved one struggle with addiction or worse, denying their struggle and refusing to seek help or treatment can have a detrimental impact on essential factors of all relationships including patients, compassion and most of all trust. Support groups like Al-Anon can help you help yourself. It is impossible to be available to or supportive of your loved one when tension gets in the way. At Al-Anon meetings it is possible to talk about your experiences with a group of like-minded people who have shared or do share a common struggle allowing you to feel more connected and supported as you provide ongoing support to your loved one struggling with addiction.

How to Help Your Loved One With Their Addiction

If your loved one is struggling with addiction it may feel as though there is nothing you can do to help. You are not alone in feeling lost. Often, family and friends watch their loved one’s battle addiction and do not know where to turn for help. At Cal Recovery, we understand how challenging this can be. It is essential to find ways to seek support and care for yourself as you help your loved one begin their sobriety journey. At Cal Recovery, our admissions team and highly skilled therapy providers can work with your family to provide an individually designed addiction treatment plan for your loved one that addresses their unique treatment needs and goals. We will also work with your family to ensure everyone has access to vital supports such as family therapy and support groups like Al-Anon both during and after your oved one completes their treatment program at Cal Recovery. 

Helping your loved one acknowledge their struggle with addiction is often a difficult first step on their sobriety journey. As a family member, it can be daunting and emotionally draining to watch your loved one struggle and refuse help. The team at Cal Recovery is here to provide support and guidance through these difficult challenges. Don’t let addiction steal another day. Contact the team at Cal Recovery today to learn more about our Sacramento treatment program and family support opportunities. 

What Causes Personality Disorders?

what causes personality disorders?

There are several different types of personality disorders. Some, such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or Paranoid Personality Disorder, are familiar to many. However, there are several that are not as well known, yet those who live with their symptoms struggle each day to accomplish day-to-day tasks. It is estimated that as many as ten percent of the United States population meet the diagnostic criteria for at least one personality disorder. Considered the most common of all psychiatric diagnoses, personality disorders are diagnosed in as many as sixty percent of patients. Studies also estimate that between sixty-five and ninety percent of people seeking addiction treatment for a substance use disorder have at least one personality disorder. 

What Is a Personality Disorder?

Personality disorders are a group of mental health conditions characterized by unhealthy, often inflexible thinking, feeling, and behaving patterns. Someone with a personality disorder will usually struggle to have healthy relationships with others or to manage everyday problems in ways that are considered “acceptable” by others. They will generally believe their way of thinking and behaving, while often contrary to what is socially acceptable, is entirely and totally normal. The actions and feelings of someone with a personality disorder often lead to them placing the blame for their difficulties on others. This frequently leads to problems in social, personal, academic, and employment settings. 

What Are the Types of Personality Disorders? 

Personality disorders are grouped into three clusters based on characteristics and symptoms. Some people may experience signs and symptoms of multiple personality disorders from one or multiple clusters. 

Custer A: Suspicious

Cluster A disorders are characterized by symptoms related to the individual’s thoughts or views of others. It includes three personality disorders including paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, and schizotypal personality disorder. 

Cluster B: Emotional and Impulsive

Cluster B disorders are characterized by symptoms related to how the individual acts towards or treats others and their view of how they relate to (compare to) others. It includes four disorders, including antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder.

Cluster C: Anxious

Cluster C disorders are those that decide how people feel in their relationship with others or their environment. Cluster C includes three disorders, including avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

What Causes Personality Disorders?

Personality disorders remain among the least understood and least recognized mental health conditions. The precise cause of personality disorders is not known. However, research suggests factors such as genetics, abuse, and substance use and abuse may contribute to new or worsening symptoms. Although there is limited research into personality disorders, no studies to date have been able to show that someone is “born” with a personality disorder. 

Some personality disorders are thought to develop as a way of coping with stress or difficult events or situations such as abuse or neglect. When left untreated, personality disorder symptoms can evolve into significant psychological and social struggles. Also, someone with an untreated personality disorder is at greater risk for drug or alcohol abuse. 

Reach Out to California Recovery Center for More Information Today

If you or a loved one struggles with a personality disorder, it is vital to seek treatment in a setting where dual diagnosis treatment is available. Comprehensive (and simultaneous) treatment for addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions is essential for positive and successful treatment outcomes. Treating one condition while failing to address the symptoms and struggles of the other often leads to worsening symptoms and potential relapse as many people who struggle with a personality disorder turn to substances to self-medicate. With treatment, it is possible to reduce the intensity of personality disorder symptoms while learning safe and healthy ways to cope with triggering events or situations. 

At Cal Recovery Center, our skilled dual-diagnosis treatment staff is waiting to help you begin your recovery journey. Reach out to our admissions team today to learn more about how our programs can help. 

The Effects of Social Media on Mental Health

How does social medial effect your mental health?

Gone are the days where it took hours or even days for information to travel. In today’s society, news, whether good or bad, travels fast. This means positivity and negativity travel with equal speed and has the potential to levy significant impact. Today, the social media-heavy climate links people globally in ways never before possible. There are indeed positive elements of social media; however, there are negative and challenging aspects as well.  Unfortunately, the harmful components can have a highly toxic effect on people of all ages, in some cases leading to detrimental struggles with mental health and addiction

What Are the Common Forms of Social Media?

Social media is loosely considered a collection of apps on our smartphones, computers, and tablets that are used to communicate and share photos or videos with family and friends. Social media includes networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a host of others. The broad definition of social media consists of all of the internet-based technology that helps facilitate the sharing and exchange of ideas, thoughts, and information across virtual networks and communities. Regardless of platform, social media sites and apps give their users access to instant electronic communication both with those who are nearby and those on opposite sides of the world. 

According to the Pew Research Center, over three billion people use social media in some form, and more than ninety percent of people between the ages of eighteen and twenty-nine use at least one type of social media daily. Unfortunately, there are many questions surrounding excessive social media use and how consistent exposure to both its positive and negative aspects may ultimately harm the mental health of frequent users. In some cases, the detrimental effects of social media can lead to new or worsening mental health and addiction-related struggles. 

What Are the Effects of Social Media on Mental Health?

Social media platforms are intentionally designed in such a way as to hold the user’s attention for as long as possible. For some, excessive screen time, even if only browsing on Facebook or swiping on Instagram posts, can lead to unhealthy emotions, including envy, inadequacy, fear, anger, hate, and dissatisfaction with ones on course in life.  Some studies also suggest that excessive internet use and screen time associated with social media can lead to mental health symptoms related to depression, anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and insomnia. 

Social Media can also trigger feelings of isolation and loneliness. Many social media apps run on reinforcement mechanisms such as “swipes,” “likes,” and “comments.” The emotions that can be triggered by someone not liking your post or, worse, posting negative or hurtful comments can trigger powerful negative emotions. 

It is also important to note that addiction and social media are often related. Research has shown that excessive social media use can create a stimulation pattern in the brain similar to that of other addictive behaviors. As a result, the brain will begin to react to social media in the same way it reacts to other “reward” systems associated with addictive behaviors such as drinking, using drugs, or gambling. When someone experiences a positive interaction in social media, the brain releases dopamine. This rush of dopamine increases feelings of joy and pleasure. Some studies have noted that social media addictions are often the result of (or worsened by) co-occurring disorders such as chronic stress, depression, trauma, or anxiety. 

Get Help Today With Addiction and Mental Health at California Recovery Center

If you are concerned about your or a loved one’s social media use and how it may be affecting mental health, it is ok to seek support and guidance. Reach out to our caring and compassionate team at Cal Recovery today to learn more about how therapy programs may help you learn more about the underlying concerns that may lead to social media addictions and new or worsening mental health symptoms.