Wednesday, October 24, 2018

What to Say (And Not Say) to a Loved One with a Substance Use Disorder

It’s not easy talking to a loved one with a substance use disorder. It’s a sensitive subject and you can easily say the wrong things, even if you have the best intentions. Yet it’s important to learn to communicate effectively. This way, you can truly help someone you love journey toward lifelong sobriety. Here are a few things to say (and not to say) when talking with your loved one:
  • Say: Things will get better. Taking the time to remind your loved one to have hope is helpful and motivating. Communicate that a life of addiction is not the only way and that there is in fact a better way to live.
  • Don’t say: You will never change. This type of pessimistic talk can discourage your loved one from changing in the right direction. With proper guidance and support, it is possible for someone to recover from addiction.
  • Say: It’s not your fault. Addiction is a disease and reminding your loved one of this can help convince her to get help or stay the course. Along these lines, it’s also helpful to talk your loved one about how recovery is her responsibility.
  • Don’t say: Why can’t you just stop doing drugs or drinking? If it were that easy, no one would be struggling with a substance use disorder nor need help to break their addiction.
  • Say: I love you and you’re not alone. Letting your loved one know that you love them and won’t give up on them can provide the motivation and confidence needed to stick with recovery.
  • Don’t say: I am so ashamed of you. Your loved one is likely struggling with self-worth, low self-esteem, shame and guilt without you dropping a shame bomb. A comment like this can cause your loved one to use to numb these negative emotions.
Getting Help for Addiction
Our gender-specific addiction treatment creates an optimal environment for the lady in your life to facilitate change and continue growth. To learn about our addiction treatment for women, call us today: 866-746-1558.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Mental Health: Coping With the News

Whether via social media, television or radio, we’re often bombarded by all of the tragic, violent and disturbing things happening in our world today. This can certainly take a toll on our emotional health, and this is especially true if you have a history of trauma and/or are also struggling with a co-occurring mental illness. In fact, according to Stephanie Dowd, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in the Anxiety and Mood Disorders Center of the Child Mind Institute, there’s a higher risk factor for anxiety [and related issues] for “someone with a traumatic experience in their background.”

If this sounds like you, experts, say that your first step is to just accept your reactions. This means that if you find yourself reacting strongly or getting very upset over the news, remind yourself that it’s ok. These are your emotions and you deserve self-compassion.

While we can’t simply shut out what’s going on in the world, we can learn ways to safeguard our mental health when the news creates extra stress and anxiety. For example, you may want to avoid any visual images and just stick with written word. Here are a few more ways to cope:
  • Find the good. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me ‘Look for the helpers; you will always find people who are helping,” said Mr. Roger’s. In 2012, after the Newtown tragedy, this quote went viral – and for good reason. Focusing on the helpers allows you to find hope, faith and humanity amid the disturbing headlines. And it may even become the inspiration you need to offer your services or time to your local community.
  • Reach out for help. Calling a trusted family member or friend is always wise when your emotions are fragile. Arrange a time to meet for coffee or to go for a walk and talk about how the news is making you feel.  If the event is bringing up a painful memory or you’re experiencing triggers, make sure to seek support from your counselor or health care professional.
  • Engage your senses. Whether you meditate, soak in a bath or listen to relaxing music, engaging your senses can help provide some quiet time away from the stress and sadness.
Minding Your Mental Health During Recovery
At Rising Roads, we focus on the unique needs of women in recovery. We help our female clients discover new coping strategies to manage (not run from) their emotions, so they can continue to heal and reclaim healthy, sober lives. To learn more about our programs, call today: 866-746-1558.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Why Women Have Higher Rates of PTSD

PTSD and women

Did you know that women have double the rate of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as men? The lifetime prevalence of PTSD is 10-12% in women and 5-6% in men. What’s more, PTSD tends to last longer in women – 4 years versus one. 

Interestingly, women have been found to experience fewer traumas than men (by a third) and yet their risk of PTSD is higher. This may have to do with the type of trauma, note experts. For example, men who experience combat trauma, accidents, natural disasters and disasters caused by humans are more likely to experience PTSD. For women, sexual abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault are most often to blame. Roughly one out of every 6 women has experienced attempted or completed sexual assault or rape in her lifetime and these victims are more likely to be diagnosed with PTSD than nonsexual trauma survivors.

“Sexual traumas are prevalent and particularly toxic to mental health,” Melanie Greenberg PhD, wrote in an article on Psychology Today. “Sexual abuse typically begins at a young age, when the brain is still growing, leading to a lasting impact on emotion regulation and fear response.”

Do You Know the Signs of PTSD?
Dr. Greenberg said that among survivors of sexual trauma, she often sees high levels of fear and vigilance, shame, and self-blame. Other symptoms, which most often interfere with daily living, can include: 
  • Nightmares, flashbacks an frightening thoughts.
  • Avoiding and shutting out thoughts and feelings related to the trauma.
  • Angry outbursts, feeling “on edge,” being hyper-vigilant for threat or trouble sleeping.
  • Feeling excessive guilt, blaming yourself unreasonably, having difficulty remembering aspects of the event, seeing yourself or the world negatively.
PTSD and Addiction
About 80 percent of women seeking addiction treatment also have a trauma history, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. And this number doesn’t include women who can’t or refuse to seek help for substance use disorders. Since trauma and addiction often coexist, we offer a dual-focused program to help women begin to restore their well-being and look ahead to lasting recovery. To learn more about our trauma treatment program, call today: 866-746-1558.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Learning to Be Teachable in Recovery

A big part of recovery and relapse prevention is being teachable. Your willingness to learn from past mistakes, take direction from counselors and peers and open your mind to learning new things will help you grow in sobriety. It will also help you to build a fulfilling, sober life and be your best self. A big part of being teachable is being humble – some experts even say the words teachability and humility can be interchanged.

Here’s why. When you’re teachable you will…
  • Be more aware of your limitations, knowledge and abilities.
  • You’re not afraid to regularly ask for help, instruction, guidance and advice.
  • You learn from anyone and everyone you can.
  • You listen to others carefully and patiently with a desire to learn their experiences.
  • You’re ready to move out of your comfort zone, try something different and make mistakes. 
  • You don’t give up when you fail but seek help and try again.
The good news is that you can learn to be teachable – and these steps will benefit your recovery, too:  
  • Try something new. Whether you learn to cook, knit or speak a different language, do your best to step out of your comfort zone and seek new experiences. The more you learn, the more you’ll get in touch with yourself and the better you’ll relate to others. 
  • Make time for reflection. Take a few minutes each night to reflect on and journal about your day. What stayed the same? What was different or better or worse? Answering these questions honestly will help you become aware of any areas that need improvement. 
  • Surround yourself with positive people. The right supports will help you grow and learn in daily life. How can you tell if someone is helpful or harmful? Ask yourself how the person makes you feel? For example, energized and inspired or tired and negative?
  • Pick up a book. Reading is a great recovery activity that can help you learn new things and gain a fresh perspective – while taking time to relax and decompress.
A Place for Personal Growth 
At Rising Roads Recovery, we provide a safe, support environment that allows our female clients to learn life skills and flourish in their new sober lives. Let us help you or someone you love find the path to your happy destiny. To learn about our programs and services, call today: 866-746-1558.