Thursday, September 28, 2017

What You Need to Know About Orthorexia

Gluten free, vegan, clean eating – we’re living in a society where it’s almost trendy to fixate on the foods that we eat. And while proper nutrition is a crucial part of your recovery and overall wellness, it’s also important to understand the dangers of making eating healthy a new and unhealthy obsession.  

Perhaps the biggest danger is putting yourself at risk of orthorexia, defined as a “pathological obsession with proper nutrition,” including strict avoidance of food believed to be unhealthy or impure. While not currently recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, orthorexia can lead to severely restrictive food choices – both in variety and calories – that can result in physical and mental health consequences, explain experts from the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). 

Recognizing the Signs of Orthorexia
People with orthorexia typically have underlying motivations for eating healthy, including safety from poor health, compulsion for complete control, escape from fears, wanting to be thin, improving self-esteem, searching for spirituality through food, and using food to create an identity, notes the NEDA. Answering "yes" to the following questions can signal the need to get help: 
  • Do you wish that occasionally you could just eat and not worry about food quality?
  • Do you ever wish you could spend less time on food and more time living and loving?
  • Does it seem beyond your ability to eat a meal prepared with love by someone else – one single meal – and not try to control what is served?
  • Are you constantly looking for ways foods are unhealthy for you?
  • Do love, joy, play and creativity take a back seat to following the perfect diet?
  • Do you feel guilt or self-loathing when you stray from your diet?
  • Do you feel in control when you stick to the “correct” diet?
  • Have you put yourself on a nutritional pedestal and wonder how others can possibly eat the foods they eat? 
Nutritional Guidance at Rising Roads
As part of our holistic approach to addiction rehab, we offer weekly nutrition courses, in addition to shopping preparation and cooking classes. At Rising Roads Recovery, we aim to fix old patterns and replace them with a healthy relationship with food. If the client feels she needs additional help from our Registered Dietician, additional support will be arranged. To learn more, call today: 866-746-1558.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Yoga and Your Mental Health

Yoga is a great addition to recovery treatment. It teaches meditation, calmness and inner strength and it’s also been linked to improved sleep, stronger immune systems and increased energy. Mounting research is also showing the healing power of yoga when it comes to your mental health. 

In fact, Newsweek recently ran an article discussing the growing body of evidence that suggests how this ancient practice can play a role in anxiety and depression, eating disorders and PTSD – all mental health conditions that impact many women suffering from substance use disorder. 

Here’s a summary of some of the findings highlighted in the article: 
  • Eating disorders: Yoga can help show you how your body can work for (rather against) you. One study found that those who participated in a yoga class designed to target eating disorder symptoms experienced “a significantly lower negative effect before meals compared to the group that did not practice yoga,” noted Newsweek. The participants also felt calmer and in more control of their bodies. 
  • Anxiety and depression: A 2016 University of Pennsylvania study found a decrease in depression and anxiety among those with major depressive disorder who practiced Sudarshan Kriya yoga (a cyclical controlled breathing practice). "It teaches clients that they have control of their stress reaction, gives them a coping skill for when they are overwhelmed, gives them experience in practicing calming down which is helpful for times of distress," Erin Wiley, a clinical psychotherapist in Ohio, told Newsweek.
  • PTSD: A study in the Journal of Traumatic Stress found a 12-week session of yoga improved the lives of women with PTSD, helping them to calm themselves down when distressed. "This leads to lower incidence of drug and alcohol abuse, or other self-medicating behaviors," Wiley told Newsweek.
Yoga in Addiction Recovery 
The majority of the women who come to us have a diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety, in addition to their addiction diagnosis. Our yoga program can help manage these or other co-occurring mental health conditions. To learn more about our programs, call today: 866-746-1558. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Lessons From a Mom Who Was Addicted to Pills

A year ago, stay-at-home mom to two young boys Jen Simon revealed to her friends, family and the world that she was addicted to pills, including opioids (like Percocet) and benzodiazepines (like Xanax). In fact, for five years she says she “didn’t know how to function without pills; worse, I didn’t know how to parent without them.” 

Her essay, entitled “I’m a stay-at-home mom. I’m an addict,” was first published in the Washington Post before it went viral and was picked up by numerous media outlets. 

For Simon, who began taking Percocet’s to dull the insurmountable pain of her periods after giving birth, the past year was filled with many lessons. 

Here’s a look at a few that might help you or someone you love, too: 
  • You’re not alone. Simon says that not a week goes by without a new message from a woman struggling with addiction. She even began a secret Facebook group comprised of moms who are struggling with or overcoming addiction. “Being a woman or a mother doesn’t preclude someone from becoming an addict,” she writes. “Addiction crosses socio-economic, race, age, sexuality and gender lines; there is no immunity from the disease.”
  • Getting help is brave. Simon feared negative reactions – especially in today’s age of “mommy wars” when we are judged for nearly every way we parent, she writes – but the opposite happened. “People applauded my ability to get help and my courage in stepping forward.” 
  • You’re stronger than you think. Recovery isn’t easy and there will be plenty of times where life without drugs or alcohol seems impossible – but it isn't. “I am strong. I am brave. I am a mom. And I am no longer addicted to pills,” she writes. 
Women and Addiction Recovery
At Rising Roads Recovery, we know that every woman who comes to us is incredibly unique and needs to be treated that way. One size does not fit all – and one future does not work for everyone. To learn more about our addiction treatment programs, call 866-746-1558. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Study: American Women Drinking More Alcohol

High-risk drinking – defined as having four or more drinks per day at least once a week, every week, for a year, and five or more for men – is on the rise in America. And ladies as well as adults over age 65 are most at risk, according to a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry. 

Researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism compared the self-reported drinking habits of two groups: more than 43,000 adults from 2001-2002, and more than 36,000 adults from 2012-2013. 

Here is a summary of the findings:
  • The number of Americans who said they drank alcohol in the last year increased 11%. 
  • Alcohol use disorders increased nearly 50%.
  • High-risk drinking increased almost 30%.
  • For women, high-risk drinking increased close to 60%, and alcohol use disorder increased nearly 84%.
  • For men, high-risk drinking increased 15% and alcohol use disorder increased close to 35%.
  • For adults 65 and older, high-risk drinking increased 65% and alcohol use disorders increased close to 107%.
Researchers are calling the drinking levels in the U.S. a "public health crisis," yet exactly what's causing these high levels remains unclear. Some theories include rising numbers of women in the workforce, stress and the fact that it has become more acceptable for women to drink in similar ways as men, the researchers note. 

Spotting the Signs of Alcoholism
According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), alcohol use disorder includes the following four symptoms:  
  • Craving: a strong need or urge to drink.
  • Loss of control: not being able to stop drinking once drinking has begun.
  • Physical dependence: withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness and anxiety, after stopping drinking.
  • Tolerance: the need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to get “high.”
Alcohol Abuse Treatment for Women 
Rising Roads Recovery is dedicated to helping women who are struggling with alcohol use disorder and/or a co-occurring mental disorder. Our treatment center was created to inspire women to thrive in recovery. To learn more, call today: 866-746-1558.