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The Straight Up Guide to Mental Health and Recovery

Posted on Sep 8, 2016 3:51:36 PM by healtheo360

The Straight Up Guide to Mental Health and Recovery

Comorbidity of Substance Abuse and Mental Disorders

the-straight-up-guide-to-mental-health-and-recovery

 In a recent article published by Medscape, Kathleen T Brady, MD, PhD explores the connection between substance abuse and four mental illnesses: depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social phobia. In this article, we will hear information presented by several medical health professionals as they discuss the comorbidity between substance abuse and these psychiatric disorders.

Depression and Substance Abuse

 Professor of Psychiatry from Columbia University School of Medicine, Dr. Edward Nunes, notes the strong connection between substance use and depressed mood, dysthymia, and major depressive episode. There is some overlap of the symptoms in these co-occurring disorders, as the symptoms of alcohol withdraw are similar to that of depression. This makes is hard to distinguish whether or not a patient is exhibiting signs of clinical depression or rather experiencing symptoms of substance withdraw.

The exact number of individuals suffering from substance abuse and depression simultaneously is unclear. An estimated 15% to 67% of individuals seeking treatment for alcohol dependency are believed to suffer from a depressive disorder.

Cocaine-dependent individuals range from 33% to 53% and people seeking treatment for opiate addiction range from 16% to 75%.

To connect with others and share your experiences with depression, consider creating a free online profile with Healtheo360. Visit our webpage today to read some inspiring stories of others dealing with depression.

 ADHD and Substance Abuse

 According to Dr. Tim Wilens of Harvard University, the comorbidity between substance abuse and ADHD is commonly through antisocial personality disorder and conduct disorder, which cause behavioral and emotional problems in children and adolescents.

Stimulant drugs, such as Ritalin (methylphenidate), are commonly used to treat ADHD in children and adults. However, these stimulant drugs are cause for concern as they have abuse potential. Children prescribed Ritalin and other stimulant drugs may be susceptible to substance abuse as adults. However, Dr. Wilens and his colleagues believe that using medication to treat ADHD in children has mostly positive effects. Wilens notes that when taken as prescribed, medication can help a child succeed in school and other areas of life, which ultimately lessens the chances of that child developing a substance use disorder.

 PTSD and Substance Abuse

 Dr. Kathleen Brady of the Medical University of South Carolina spoke about the comorbidity of PTSD and substance abuse. PTSD is one the most common anxiety disorders associated with substance abuse.

Patients living with PTSD often use illicit substances to lessen symptoms associated with PTSD, such as sleep disruption and intrusive thoughts. In recent years, medical health professionals have developed programs tailored to meet the needs of individuals with comorbid PTSD and substance abuse. Lisa Najavits, PhD of Harvard University developed Seeking Safety, a manualized psychotherapy treatment. Throughout this treatment, a patient will engage in 12-24 session groups or individual therapy.

Dr. Brady also discussed the potential positive impact Setraline (also known as Zoloft) may have in treating PTSD and substance use disorders.

Social Phobia and Substance Abuse

Dr. Hugh Myrick of the Medical University of South Carolina discussed the comorbidity of substance use disorders and social phobia, particularly social anxiety. Myrick described the characteristics of social anxiety, noting that patients often feel embarrassed or nervous their fellow peers are judging them. This can lead a person to isolate themselves from undesirable social situations, which may negatively impact their work and other important aspects of life.

Research shows that a high percentage of those receiving treatment for drug and alcohol abuse exhibit symptoms of social phobia (roughly 10% - 15%). It is important to make an early diagnosis in a person suffering from both social anxiety and substance use as their antisocial behavior may hinder their ability to engage throughout treatment.

Many alcohol-dependent individuals report using alcohol to alleviate the symptoms of social anxiety in certain social situations, but rarely in work settings where their actions may be evaluated by a superior.

To learn more information about the comorbidity of social phobia and substance use disorder, please visit Alcoholrehab.com’s webpage today. Share your experiences with anxiety or other social phobia disorders by visiting Healtheo360’s webpage today.

 

The Straight Up Guide to Mental Health and Recovery

Comorbidity: Schizophrenia and Addiction

The presence of two diseases or disorders co-occurring in a patient is known as comorbidity. While one disorder can be a lot to handle, the presence of two can cause many complications and make treatment more difficult. In this article, we will examine the difficulties associated with schizophrenia and substance abuse.

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder that is characterized by a person’s altered perceptions. Today, roughly 1.2% of the American population has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and another 100,000 are diagnosed annually.

Schizophrenia can manifest itself at any age, however symptoms are most commonly first exhibited during early adulthood. Men are most vulnerable between the ages of 18 and 25 while women are most susceptible between 25 and 30 years old.

Medical professional commonly rely on the examination of a patient’s symptoms to make a proper diagnosis of schizophrenia. Behavioral changes are among the most common symptoms associated with the illness.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

 According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of schizophrenia can be categorized by “positive” or “negative” symptoms. “Positive” symptoms, which should not be considered good for one’s health, include:

 

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Thought disorder

“Negative” symptoms include:

 

  • Avolition (“a lack of desire or motivation to accomplish goals”)
  • A lack of interest or desire in forming social relationships
  • Blunted affect and/or emotion

Some of the early symptoms medical professionals may look out for include:

 

  • Intentional social isolation or withdrawal
  • Suspiciousness of or hostility toward others
  • An inability to express emotions – such as an inability to cry
  • Showing emotions inappropriate to the context – such as crying or laughing in unusual circumstances
  • Forgetfulness and lack of concentration
  • Using strange words or speaking in an unusual manner
  • Odd or irrational statements

Although schizophrenia is considered both severe and chronic, the symptoms are manageable if a patient is committed to treatment. For more information about the signs and symptoms associated with schizophrenia, please visit HelpGuide’s webpage today.

Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse: Overcoming Obstacles

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 While there is not much research to explain the connection between schizophrenia and addiction, most medical health professionals agree that patients self medicate with drugs and alcohol in an effort to alleviate symptoms. The most commonly used substances among those living with schizophrenia include:

 

  • Alcohol (43.1-65%)
  • Cannabis (50.8%)
  • Nicotine (28.5%)
  • Cocaine (23%)

According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is the most common co-occurring disorder in people with schizophrenia.” Additionally, patients who suffer from AUD and schizophrenia will face more “social, legal, and medical problems” than those who do not use alcohol. Treatment outcomes are poor and the quality of life is low among these patients.

Patients who suffer from both schizophrenia and substance abuse may experience the following:

 

  • An increase in positive symptoms
  • A relapse in psychosis
  • Increased risk of violence
  • Increased risk of suicide
  • More medical comorbidities
  • Legal complications such as an increased risk of incarceration
  • A greater likelihood of experiencing antipsychotic-related side effects

Treating Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse

 People living in low income communities may have a harder time getting their illness under control, as they have more difficulty obtaining mental health services. Schizophrenia is considered to be a highly dangerous disorder if a patient does not receive proper treatment, and is particularly dangerous when a patient is using cocaine.

“Integrated treatment” is considered to be one of the best available treatment options for those suffering from comorbidity. This form of treatment incorporates one-on-one therapy, medication, group counseling, and more.

For the first year, it is recommended that patients take medication in an effort to get their symptoms under control. Patients who suffer from substance abuse should be carefully monitored, as they are much less likely to comply with a strict medication schedule.

To date, integrated treatment is considered the best available options as it produces the best results.

 

If you or someone you know might be suffering from schizophrenia and substance abuse, it is important you seek professional help immediately. For advice on how to help a loved one get help, please visit WebMD’s article today.

 

The Straight Up Guide to Mental Health and Recovery

Dual Diagnosis: Bipolar and Addiction

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness in which a person experiences periods of depression offset by phases of elevated mood. These manic and depressive states can last weeks or months, and may be detrimental to a person’s mental and physical well-being.

In contrast to the general population, those living with bi-polar disorder are more likely to suffer from substance abuse. In fact, roughly 56 percent of people with

bipolar disorder have dealt with alcohol of drug abuse during their lifetime.

Dual Diagnosis is the formal name given to those suffering from both bipolar disorder and substance abuse. And while this can make recovery more challenging, there are many rehabilitation programs staffed with specially trained mental health professionals to help treat patients with dual diagnosis.

In this article, we will explain the connection between bipolar disorder and substance abuse, as well as the symptoms and treatment options available.

Bipolar and Addiction – Connecting the Dots

 While the connection between bipolar disorder and addiction is not fully understood, there are certain characteristics and traits that make individuals more likely to abuse drugs.

They symptoms associated with bipolar disorder, such as anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness, can be overwhelming. Often times, people will self-medicate with drugs and alcohol in an effort to reduce the severity of these symptoms. While this may provide temporary relief, over time, substance abuse will worsen the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Statistics show that young males with bipolar disorder are the most common population group to abuse drugs and alcohol, suggesting that age and gender are play an important role.

Bipolar Disorder – The Symptoms

The symptoms associated with bipolar disorder are categorized into four major types of mood episodes: mania, hypomania, depression, and mixed episodes.

 

                 Mania

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  • Moments of optimism and pessimism
  • Grandiose feelings
  • Rapid talking
  • Little sleep

 

Hypomania

The symptoms are similar to that of mania, however they are generally less intense and shorter in duration.

 

Depression

  • Loss of interest in things that used to make you happy
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in appetite
  • Self-loathing
  • Suicidal thoughts

 

Mixed Episodes

Mixed episodes include a combination of mania and depression symptoms.

 

Treating Bipolar and Addiction

 It is important that those who are suffering from bipolar and substance abuse receive proper treatment from a professional facility trained to treat dual diagnosis. This process is called “integrated treatment.”

Integrated treatment commonly consists of several treatment strategies, including, one-on-one psychotherapy, counseling sessions, Dual Diagnosis support groups, family counseling and holistic therapy.

The chance of relapse is relatively high unless you receive proper treatment for both bipolar disorder and substance abuse. It is important you learn to manage your psychological and emotional triggers to avoid relapse.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) are two common therapeutic options that can help a patient regulate and manage dramatic mood changes that are commonly brought on by bipolar disorder.

 

For more information about Bipolar Disorder and Substance abuse, please visit Foundations Recovery Network’s webpage today.

 

The Straight Up Guide to Mental Health and Recovery

Exercise: An Effective Treatment for Chronic Drug Use

the-straight-up-guide-to-mental-health-and-recovery

Drug addiction is a chronic disease that is characterized by a person’s compulsive need to seek out and/or use illicit substances, which includes alcohol and tobacco. Every year, roughly 100,000 people die from illicit drug and alcohol abuse, in addition to the 440,000 who succumb to tobacco use. While most people require professional help to overcome their addictions, studies have shown that exercise can be an effective treatment for drug addiction, as well as help prevent drug abuse altogether. Here are some of the ways exercise can help drug abuse and addiction:

Regain Brain Power

 Years of drug abuse can leave you feeling physically and emotionally drained. Long-term drug abuse is known to damage brain cells as well as serotonin and dopamine receptors, which can leave a person feeling depressed. However, exercise has shown to reverse some of these effects and reduce damage caused by drug abuse. Any amount of exercise can have a positive impact on a person’s physical and mental health; so don’t feel guilty if you’re having trouble making it to the gym every day. Small steps are important when making a big change in your life.

Curb Your Cravings

 One of the hardest parts of getting clean is resisting the urge to use again, which is a common symptom of drug withdraw. In an article published by Delray Recovery Center, studies showed that those who engaged in exercise experienced a decrease in drug cravings and use. So the next time you are feeling the urge to use your drug of choice, consider hopping on the treadmill or taking a run around the block. These small efforts can help you from falling back into your old habits and help you get into shape at the same time.

Shed Some Stress

 Letting go of drugs and alcohol can be a difficult task, depending on the severity of a person’s addiction. Often times, people are scared to start a new life without drugs and alcohol. The stress and anxieties that surround the process of getting clean can be reduced through regular exercise. When you engage in physical activity, your body releases natural chemicals called endorphins, which are also known as your brain’s “feel-good” neurotransmitters. The release of these chemicals ultimately helps to reduce stress and anxiety and can elevate your overall mood.

Get Fit

 It’s no secret that chronic drug abuse can have a negative impact on a person’s physical and mental health. Adopting a healthy lifestyle and exercise routine can help a person bounce back from their addictions and get back into shape. Exercise can also have a positive impact on a person’s physical appearance, which in turn will increase their self-esteem.

 

If you or someone you know is suffering from drug abuse, it is important you seek professional help, as a professional can help you decide what the best treatment options are. However, whatever method of treatment you do choose, exercise can be beneficial to your overall mental and physical health. Give your body the love it deserves and adopt a workout routine that works well for you. For more general information about the drug abuse, please visit WebMD’s webpage today.

 

The Straight Up Guide to Mental Health and Recovery

Benefits of Aquatic Therapy

Substance abuse and drug addiction are a widespread problem throughout America. 10 percent of adults in the United States are recovering from addiction. And while there are many treatment options available, most professionals agree that exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on a person’s physical and mental recovery from addiction. Aquatic therapy, in particular, can help a person during their early stages of recovery as well as throughout their long-term recovery. Here are some of the benefits associated with aquatic therapy:

Swim the Pain Away

In many scenarios, people turn to drugs as a means of coping with chronic pain. While prescription painkillers can help to reduce pain, these medications are highly addictive and often only provide temporary pain relief. Swimming and aquatic therapy is proven to be an effective treatment for alleviating chronic pain. Certain exercises can help strengthen muscles and joints, which will provide long-term pain relief. Consider the benefits of aquatic exercise before reaching for the immediate relief of medication.

Dive Into a Good Nights Rest

 Recovering addicts who do not get enough rest are at a greater risk of relapsing than those who have a healthy sleep schedule. According to the Huffington Post, swimming and aquatic therapy can “improve quality of sleep two-fold.” For a list of aquatic exercise recommendations, please visit Mayo Clinic’s webpage today.

Be Your Own Lifeguard

the-straight-up-guide-to-mental-health-and-recovery

 The long-term effects of drug abuse can often leave a person feeling depressed and withdrawn from society. However, Katherine Borchard of Everyday Health notes that swimming’s combination of stroke mechanics, breathing, and repetitiveness make it a perfect exercise for producing serotonin and relieving depression. Furthermore, studies have shown that engaging in three sessions of aerobic exercise can be as effective as taking a daily dose of Zoloft, a medication used to treat depression.

 

For more information about the benefits of aquatic therapy, please read In The Swim’s eGuide today.

 

The Straight Up Guide to Mental Health and Recovery

Trauma and Addiction: A Problem Among Adolescents

the-straight-up-guide-to-mental-health-and-recovery

Trauma occurs when a person experiences a distressing or disturbing event. Exposure to these unsettling events may lead to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a serious mental health condition that affects roughly 24.4 million Americans.

Recent data presented by the National Survey of Adolescents suggest “one in four children and adolescents in the United States experience at least on potentially traumatic event before the age of 16.”

Children and teens are turning to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping with PTSD. In fact, up to “59% of young people with PTSD subsequently develop substance abuse problems.” However, the link between PTSD and substance abuse goes both ways: exposure to a traumatic even increases the chances of substance abuse, and experimentation with drugs and alcohol places adolescents at an increased risk of experiencing trauma. Below, we will explore these two connections.

Theory: Trauma increases risk of substance abuse

 The symptoms associated with PTSD can be debilitating and life-changing. While there is no known cure for PTSD, there are a number of treatment options available that are proven to alleviate symptoms in a patient. However, when PTSD goes undiagnosed or a person rejects formal treatment, they may use illicit substances as a means of self-medicating. Drugs or alcohol may provide temporary relief but are ultimately hurtful to a patient’s long-term recovery.

Theory: Substance abuse increases risk of trauma

Drugs an alcohol often cause individuals to engage in risky behavior, such as driving under the influence or walking in unsafe neighborhoods. People who suffer from substance abuse and engage in risky behavior are much more likely to experience trauma than those who do not abuse illicit substances. Additionally, evidence shows that individual’s who abuse alcohol and drugs have a harder time coping with traumatic experiences due to the functional impairment caused by illicit substances.

Treatment Challenges

 As we discussed earlier, the effects of drugs and alcohol are appealing to teens and adolescents because they may provide immediate, temporary relief of PTSD symptoms. However, long-term use of these substances can make it more difficult to recover from a traumatic event, as “the negative effects and consequences of one disorder compound the problem of the other.”

Often times, teenagers and adolescents have trouble with treatment. Those under the age of eighteen may be ordered by the courts to attend a treatment facility, and therefor enter said facilities reluctantly.

While there are many treatment facilities designed to treat substance abuse or trauma on its own, few facilities offer integrated services that are designed to treat these co-occurring disorders. This is often due to the lack of professional training programs present in these treatment facilities. Without integrated treatment being offered universally and a willingness to receive treatment among adolescents, problems with trauma and substance abuse among young people will remain.

 

For more information on substance abuse and trauma among children, please read the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s article today.

 

The Straight Up Guide to Mental Health and Recovery

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Substance Abuse: Connecting the Dots

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Substance Abuse are not mutually exclusive, as studies suggest those suffering from PTSD often self medicate with drugs and alcohol. In an attempt to understand the connection between the two, we must first review the characteristics of PTSD.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

the-straight-up-guide-to-mental-health-and-recovery

 Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition triggered by a disturbing or terrifying event. While the traumatic event is often experienced first hand, others report experiencing symptoms associated with PTSD after witnessing a distressing event.

PTSD Symptoms

The symptoms associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may differ from person to person, based on the experience of that individual. These symptoms can be separated into four categories: Intrusion, avoidance, mood/thought, and reactive.

 

                  Intrusion

 

  • Psychological distress when exposed to cues that relate to the event.
  • Significant physical responses to cues that relate to the event.
  • Dissociative reactions or flashbacks in which the person relives the event.
  • Repeated dreams about the trauma.
  • Persistent and involuntary dreadful memories of the event.

 

Avoidance Symptoms

 

  • Avoidance of external factors (such as locations, conversation, people or activities) that remind the person of the traumatic event and cause terrifying thoughts, feeling or memories.
  • Avoidance of painful memories, thoughts or feelings associated with the trauma.

 

Negative Mood/Thought Changes

 

  • Amnesia surrounding components of the traumatic event.
  • Negative thoughts or beliefs about the world, others or oneself.
  • Distorted thinking that leads to blaming oneself for the event.
  • Chronic negative state of emotions (such as shame, anger, guilt or fear).
  • Lack of interest in hobbies or activities.
  • Feeling estranged or detached from other people.
  • Consistently unable to feel positive emotions.

 

Reactive

 

  • Irritability and anger, typically expressed as aggression.
  • Self-destructive behaviors.
  • Hypervigilance or hyperarousal (increased anxiety and detection of threats).
  • Exaggerated response to being startled.
  • Concentration difficulties.
  • Sleep problems.

 

In order for a proper diagnosis to be made by a medical health professional, a patient must exhibit at least one intrusion symptom, one avoidance symptom, two negative mood and though changes and two reactive symptoms. These symptoms must be persistent for more than one month.

 

Our Bodies Response to Stress & Trauma

 When we are faced with stressful situations, our body releases cortisol and norepinephrine, which heightens our awareness and helps us take action.

In most cases, our body is able to turn off the release of these chemicals after the stressful situation has subsided. However, in the event of a traumatic situation, the release of cortisol and norepinephrine may remain “on,” which can cause a number of symptoms associated with PTSD.

In addition to symptoms, those living with PTSD may face problems with immune system function, relationships, psychological wellbeing, learning and memory.

PTSD and Substance Abuse – Connecting the Dots

 Those suffering from PTSD often turn to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping with their traumatic event. While this may provide immediate relief, drugs and alcohol can exacerbate these problems, which ultimately causes more problems. Below are several reasons why people living with PTSD often abuse substances:

 

  • To fall asleep due to sleep dysfunction caused by PTSD.
  • To avoid traumatic memories or dreams.
  • To forget about their problems.
  • To deal with mood disturbances associated with PTSD.
  • To numb themselves from extreme emotions.

Treatment Options for PTSD and Substance Abuse

 When seeking professional help for treatment of PTSD and substance abuse, it is important you specify you have a dual diagnosis. There are treatment plans specially designed to address PTSD and addiction together.

Here is a list of treatment options to consider:

Inpatient Treatment

 Inpatient treatment can be highly successful, as you must live within the recovery center for the duration of your treatment. This way you are not tempted by any environmental factors, as facilities are committed to seeing you make a fully recovery.

Outpatient Treatment

 Outpatient treatment can be highly effective as well. However, it requires you be fully committed to your recovery. This option may appeal to people who are unable to take an extended break from work, school or any other engagements.

Group Counseling

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 If you are comfortable sharing your experience with others, group counseling may be an effective form of treatment for you. Attending group meeting regularly can help in your recovery because it allows you to speak with others who have faced similar obstacles in overcoming their PTSD and substance abuse.

Individual Therapy

 Some may benefit more from one-on-one therapy with a mental health professional. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or prolonged exposure therapy are just a couple options that may be used to treat victims of trauma and those suffering from substance abuse.

Holistic and Complementary Treatments

 Exercise has proven to be beneficial to those suffering from a mental illness. Incorporating yoga, meditation or other alternative remedies into your treatment plan may have a positive influence on your recovery.

 

If you are someone you know may be suffering from PTSD and substance abuse, it is important you contact a medical professional. Remember, it is also important to specify you need treatment for a dual diagnosis. Know that you are not alone in your recovery, as roughly 50 percent of people seeking treatment for substance abuse are living with PTSD. To learn more about PTSD and substance abuse, please visit Recovery.org’s webpage today.

 

The Straight Up Guide to Mental Health and Recovery

How Man’s Best Friend Can Help Ease Symptoms of PTSD

 Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition brought on by the experience of a distressing event. While the symptoms associated with PTSD may not appear for weeks or years later, they can be both severe and long lasting.

Men, women, and children of any age are susceptible to PTSD. While there is no known cure for this condition, there are a number of treatment options available to help alleviate symptoms.

Therapy and prescription medication are commonly prescribed to patients diagnosed with PTSD. However, recent studies suggest that service and therapy dogs can help victims cope with their disorder. Here are some of the benefits of owning a PTSD service dog:

Unconditional Love

the-straight-up-guide-to-mental-health-and-recovery

Panic attacks are common in those suffering from PTSD. These short bouts of intense anxiety can be very uncomfortable and often times the sufferer will be overcome with a sense of fear. Service dogs are specially trained to respond to signs of an imminent attack, such as crying and shortness of breath. In an effort to provide comfort, they will nestle or hug their owner, and may even use their head or paws to prevent their owner from inflicting pain upon him or herself.

A Friendly Reminder

Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication may be prescribed to prevent and/or alleviate symptoms of PTSD. While it is important to take your medication as directed, it is not uncommon for a person to miss a dose every now and then. Service dogs can help their owners remember to take their medication. Specially designed bite-proof containers allow dogs to carry their owner’s medication and ensure it is taken at the same time every day.

A Fair Warning

Service dogs can be helpful at reminding their owners of their surroundings. During a panic attack, a person may be unaware of any potentially life threatening factors, such as a fire. These dogs are trained to notify their owner by either barking or tugging on a piece of their clothing, in an effort to guide them to safety.

Improve Quality of Life

The companionship a service dog provides can help boost the confidence of those suffering from PTSD. Often times, even the simplest of tasks can seem overwhelming. However, the assistance and loyalty of a service dog can help ease these anxieties and contribute to long, healthy life.

While medication and therapy certainly do have their benefits of treating PTSD, the relationship and bond with a service dog may help you cope with the symptoms long-term. To learn more about service dogs and how they may help, visit Rover’s blog post today.

 

The Straight Up Guide to Mental Health and Recovery

 

Working with Your Mental Illness

Recovering from a mental illness can be a long, difficult process. You will likely face setbacks and obstacles in your life during this time, however your strength and perseverance will ensure you make a quick recovery. Engaging in meaningful activity such as volunteer work, school, part-time and full-time employment can expand your sense of self-worth and ultimately boost your confidence. In the past, people living with a mental illness were often discouraged from working altogether. However, we now know that work can be extremely helpful during a time of recovery. Here are some work options to consider when you begin looking for work:

Volunteer Work

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Businesses and organizations are almost always in need of some extra help. While most volunteer work is unpaid, this meaningful activity can help bridge the gap from unemployment to paid employment. Volunteering at a local soup kitchen or shelter will not only give you a sense of pride for helping your community, but will also give you a chance to work toward a shared goal with other people. For some guidance on where to volunteer, please visit VolunteerMatch today.

Internships

 While internships are most common amongst college students or recent graduates, not all are student specific. Internships are a unique opportunity for a person to work closely with a company and learn the ins and outs of that company’s function. The blend of education and work allows you to learn the skills necessary to work in a given field, which can be helpful when you are looking for part-time or full-time paid employment. While some internships are unpaid, there are plenty that offer an hourly wage or stipend. Online sites such as Indeed and LinkedIn are free and feature thousands of internship postings daily.

Part-Time Employment

 Part-time employment is a job that requires less than 35-40 hours of work a week. While some may prefer part-time employment, others can use it as a stepping-stone to full-time employment. Some of the downfalls of part-time employment include a reduced pay and little or no benefits. Health benefits are especially helpful for those living with a mental illness, however not everyone considers these benefits a necessity.

Full- Time Employment

 Some mental health conditions can be more debilitating than others, and may require more time away from work. However, plenty of people living with a mental illness are able to work full-time. Full-time employment often offers many benefits, such as paid-time off, sick leave, and health benefits, which can be especially helpful for those who make frequent visits to their doctor. While the process of applying for a job can be daunting, support from friends, family, or a support group can help you remain optimistic throughout your search.

Self-Employment

 In some cases, time away from work allows a person to discover their true passion. Instead of returning to their full-time job, a person may choose to start their own business. While this allows you to set your own schedule and be your own boss, it does not always provide immediate financial security, as it often takes several years for a business to turn a profit. For more information and assistance with starting your business, please visit The Abilities Fund today.

 

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) requires that reasonable accommodations be made within the workplace for employees with disabilities. This includes all employees who have a physical or mental impairment that limits their ability to carry out one or more major life tasks. If a reasonable accommodation can be made, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee with a disability. For more information about your rights protected by the ADA, please visit the Job Accommodation Network today.

 

 

Sources

www.alcoholrehab.com
www.drugs.com
www.healtheo360.com
www.medscape.com
http://www.treatment-innovations.org
http://www.helpguide.org
https://www.nig.gov/
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml
http://www.webmd.com/
https://www.addictioncenter.com/
http://www.dualdiagnosis.org
http://www.delrayrecoverycenter.com
http://www.webmd.com
http://www.everydayhealth.com/testpage/ab/hp4/
http://www.intheswim.com
http://www.mayoclinic.org/
http://www.nctsn.org
http://www.ptsdunited.org/
http://recovery.org
https://www.adaa.org/
https://www.rover.com/
http://abilitiesfund.org/
http://askjan.org/
http://indeed.com
http://linkedin.com
http://www.volunteermatch.org

 

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