Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Mindfulness and Trauma



mindfulness and traumaFor those who have experienced trauma, practicing mindfulness can help increase self-compassion, allow you to get back in touch with the present moment and reduce the extent with which you feel controlled by unpleasant thoughts or memories. It’s also been study-proven to reduce symptoms of PTSD.

Yet, for some, it can also bring up painful and overwhelming emotions and even intensify symptoms of traumatic stress. This is why it’s crucial to speak with your therapist or addiction counselor before trying any mindfulness activities on your own.

Beyond meditation, there are some everyday ways to bring mindfulness to your life. For example, you can practice mindfulness while you’re taking a walk, showering, cooking, eating, knitting, doing chores or even writing in a journal. Doing so will help you to stay focused on the task at hand and distract your mind from any negative thoughts, triggers or anxiety. 

In addition, many experts use somatic mindfulness with those who have experienced trauma. Good therapy.org defines somatic mindfulness as the “ability to step back from what your nervous system is telling you. You step back, observe it, feel every bit of it. Then you consciously decide what you want to do instead of automatically falling into long-standing patterns and the behavior they dictate.”

Here is an example of a somatic mindfulness exercise called “grab and let go,” adopted from PsychCentral.com:
  • Stand still and let your eyes defocus.
  • Slowly step one leg forward, planting first your heel and then your whole foot on the ground. Shift your weight forward onto the front foot, without your back foot leaving the ground.
  • As you step forward, reach your arm forward, fingers outstretched.
  • As your foot lands, close your hand into a fist like you’re grabbing something.
  • As you’re doing this motion, breathe in.
  • Step back and bring your foot back next to the other one. Release and open your hand and bring your arm back to your side.
  • As you release, breathe out.
  • Stand still for a minute. Pay attention to your body sensations. Where do you feel a sense of flow, aliveness or tingling?
Trauma Treatment for Women
At Rising Roads, we understand that trauma resolution means more than just talking about your traumatic experience. We utilize proven techniques, including Somatic Therapy, to help you stop running from the emotions and feelings of trauma and begin to heal. To learn more about our trauma treatment for women, call today: 866-746-1558.




Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Female Veterans and Mental Health

female veteran
With Veterans Day coming up this weekend, we thought it would be a good time to take a look at some of the mental health challenges facing female veterans. In fact, the peer-reviewed journal Women's Health Issues (WHI) recently released a new "Special Collection" on women veterans' health, with a focus on mental health.

Here are some of their findings along with some additional facts about female veterans and substance abuse from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs:

  • Women are now the fastest growing subgroup of U.S. veterans, with numbers expected to rise dramatically in the next 10 years.
  • Compared to male veterans, female veterans had similar rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), higher rates of anxiety disorders and depression, and significant mental health and medical co-morbidities.
  • For both genders, multiple deployments and post-deployment relationship disruption were associated with increased risk for PTSD.
  • Approximately one out of five women veterans reports military sexual trauma.
  • Barriers to women's utilization of the VA healthcare system included economic, organizational, and patient factors such as poor health.
  • Though more men than women veterans are treated for substance abuse, the number of women veterans admitted to treatment programs has been on the rise.
  • More than half of women veterans are treated for alcohol abuse and more than one-fifth for cocaine use, followed by opiates, marijuana and other drugs.
Trauma Resolution at Rising Roads
If you’re a female veteran looking for a safe, non-judgmental place to address your addiction in relation to your trauma, look no further. Our Orange County recovery facility treats PTSD and substance misuse concurrently since one drives the other. As women break the trauma-addiction cycle, they experience personal, spiritual and relational growth. To learn more about our Trauma Treatment for women, call today: 866-746-1558.