What Causes Addiction?

What Causes Addiction?

In many ways, addiction is hard to simply define. It is a progressive and complex disorder that can take years to develop. As one’s addiction grows deeper, it gradually destroys the life of the addict and creates havoc with family and loved ones. The dysfunction of substance abuse can tear apart families to the point where relationships cannot be repaired and made whole. Because of the severity of addiction, finding professional help becomes critical.

This article will provide a clear answer to the age-old question of what causes addiction. You will learn how addiction affects the brain, its common causes, and the risk factors that increase the risk of addiction. Most importantly, you will learn where you can find addiction treatment in Santa Monica.

What Does Addiction Do to the Brain?

Before we take a deeper dive into what causes addiction, we need to have a better understanding of what addiction does to the brain. When someone uses a substance, it crosses the blood/brain barrier and acts upon critical receptors in the brain. Substances fit into these receptors like a key into a lock. Once the receptor is “unlocked,” an enormous amount of dopamine is released into the brain. Dopamine is thought of as the brain’s natural “feel good” chemical.

Dopamine floods the brain and targets areas of reward and reinforcement. With the rush of euphoria people feel from dopamine, they want to take more of a substance to recreate those feelings. Over time, the substance will take over dopamine production, and the brain will no longer produce dopamine. With chronic substance abuse, the user’s brain chemistry and functioning become significantly altered, and they will need to take substances to function daily.

If a drug user attempts to curb their intake or stop using altogether, they will experience physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal can be extremely painful and uncomfortable to endure. These symptoms can be severe enough that users will return to active use in order to feel normal. Unfortunately, withdrawal symptoms can also be life-threatening if multiple substances are being abused or if there are underlying medical issues.

What Causes Addiction?

There isn’t one universal cause of addiction, and there isn’t a singular “addiction gene” that causes people to develop substance abuse issues. Addiction is caused by a number of factors that often act in concert with one another. One of the most common addiction causes is a family history of substance abuse. Another example of what leads to addiction is past physical, emotional, or sexual trauma that remains unresolved and has not been addressed through therapy or other professional intervention.

Peer pressure is also one of the most common addiction causes, especially during the teen years. Teens need to feel a sense of belonging, and if peers are using substances and offering them to others, they are more likely to use substances themselves. People with mental disorders such as depression and anxiety often use drugs and alcohol to cope with their feelings.

Additional Risk Factors

There are also other risk factors to take into consideration when discussing what causes addiction. Those who start using drugs earlier are more vulnerable to developing a substance use issue. A survey done by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism showed that those between the ages of 18 and 24 are more likely to have substance use disorders. Another factor that can lead to addiction is the drug being used. Drugs such as cocaine and meth tend to be more physically addictive than drugs such as marijuana. Additionally, smoking or injecting drugs tend to be more addictive since these administration methods go directly to the bloodstream.

How to Find Addiction Treatment Programs in Southern California

If you or a loved one are fighting a losing battle with drug addiction, finding addiction treatment is your best chance to overcome substance abuse for good. If you are in Southern California, Thrive Treatment should be your first choice. Our evidence-based Santa Monica outpatient programs are administered by experienced and compassionate staff. You will receive an individualized treatment plan that fits your specific needs and treatment goals.
Make today the day to break the grip of addiction; call Thrive Treatment today to learn more about our addiction treatment and aftercare programs in Santa Monica.

What is a 12 Step Program?

What is a 12 Step Program?

The biggest key to staying sober after treatment is support. With the help of family and friends who are supportive of your recovery, you are empowered and motivated to continue on the path to lasting sobriety. 12-step programs are a perfect example of how a strong support system goes a long way in helping newly recovering addicts stay on the road to recovery. This article will clearly define what a 12-step program is and how a 12-step group fits into an addict’s individualized recovery plan.

Do you or a loved one need help in overcoming addiction? Thrive Treatment offers Santa Monica drug treatment programs featuring evidence-based programs and the compassionate support you need to get and stay sober. 

Call us today to find out more!

What is a 12-Step Program?

If you are starting your recovery journey, you no doubt have heard about 12-Step groups.

In simple terms, 12-step programs serve as a roadmap of sorts to help people address and overcome their addiction to substances. These groups are comprised of peers who struggle with addiction, and within the group, people provide support, encouragement and share their stories of their struggles and how they are overcoming their substance use. The support people receive happens through group meetings as well as individual work with a sponsor who has considerable sobriety and is helping others achieve that goal.

The origins of the 12-step group can be traced back to 1935 with the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous. Since its formation, the template created by Bill Wilson has been adopted by other 12-Step groups such as Narcotics Anonymous (CA), Heroin Anonymous (HA), and Crystal Meth Anonymous (MA), among other groups. 12-step support groups aren’t just for substance abuse; they are also used for people with behavioral addictions such as gambling, sex, and overeating.

What are the Benefits of a 12-Step Program?

12-step programs provide tremendous benefits that help people stay on the path to recovery. The most obvious benefit is a strong sense of belonging. We are social creatures by nature and need to feel a connection with others. 12-step groups are comprised of others who are on similar paths to sobriety. By sharing stories and encouraging others, those new in recovery feel a strong sense of community and fellowship. Within this community, there is also a strong sense of accountability. Within groups, people are expected to work with sponsors and on their individual recovery programs.

Another benefit of 12-step groups is the availability of meetings. In most towns and cities, there are multiple meetings that are available and offered at different times of the day. This availability removes the excuse that people “don’t have time” to attend a 12-step group. Most importantly, a 12-step group gives people the opportunity to help others in need. When people help others, it boosts self-esteem and bolsters their sense of gratitude.

Are 12-Step Programs for Everyone?

12-Step programs are very effective and have helped countless numbers of addicts find sobriety. However, these programs are not for everyone. 12-step groups have strong religious and spiritual foundations, especially with the concept of a “higher power” prevalent in 12-step programs. The emphasis on the spiritual may turn some people away and make them extremely reluctant to join this type of group. Also, this model emphasizes one’s powerlessness against the disease of addiction. This may deter women from joining 12-step groups since women tend to use substances to numb themselves from past trauma and abuse.

Additionally, 12-step groups focus on group participation—and this may not sit well with those who are more introverted and withdrawn. Also, those with co-occurring mental disorders may not benefit from -step groups because talking about their substance use in a group setting may worsen their condition.

How to Find a 12-Step Program in Santa Monica

A 12-step program may provide the guidance and support you need to make sobriety a reality if you are ready to take your first steps on the road to recovery. Many drug rehab programs offer 12-step programs, providing a strong foundation to build your recovery upon. 

Call Thrive Treatment today if you are looking for 12-Step programs and outpatient treatment in Santa Monica. Our Southern California treatment facility prides itself on offering individualized treatment programs drawing from a variety of evidence-based services.
Our experienced staff will work with you every step of your recovery journey and give you the tools and support you need to find lasting recovery. Call us today and begin the healing process.

What are the Benefits of Family Therapy for Addiction?

What are the Benefits of Family Therapy for Addiction?

When we think about the impacts of addiction, we focus on the user and their behaviors and the consequences of those behaviors. However, the user is only part of the picture. Addiction doesn’t just impact the user; it impacts the entire family. Each family member is affected by a loved one’s substance abuse, and each member also plays a role in the development of their addiction. In order to help the addict get and stay sober, the whole family needs to be involved in the process.

This article will focus on the importance of family therapy in addiction treatment. You will learn more about the benefits of family therapy for addiction and where you can find family therapy programs that best fit your needs. Do you want to learn more about how substance abuse treatment and family therapy go hand-in-hand? Call Thrive Treatment toll-free today.

Why is Addiction a Family Disease?

As already stated, most people tend to focus on the addict and think that addiction focuses on a single person. This line of thought is entirely understandable. People watch the addict sink deeper and deeper into substance abuse and lose everything important in their lives. While the negative impacts of addiction are clearly seen in the user, what about the user’s family? The impacts of addiction on the family are significant and can tear the family unit apart.

Addiction is a family disease because a loved one’s substance use undermines the stability of the family. The entire family slowly becomes consumed by the addict and their drug use. Each family member takes on a role when dealing with an addicted loved one. One family member may become an enabler, while another family member becomes obsessed with “fixing” their loved one. Additionally, some family members may feel shut out as all attention focuses on the addict.

To heal an addict, it is important that the family heals. Family therapy in addiction treatment allows all family members to come together, understand what part they played in a loved one’s addiction, and learn healthy coping and communication skills. Substance abuse treatment and family therapy helps create a positive and stable environment for the addict to recover and become more confident in working in a recovery program.

Is Addiction Genetic?

Perhaps the most asked question regarding substance abuse as a whole is whether addiction is genetic. The short and simple answer is that addiction isn’t strictly due to genetics but may play a role. Substance use tends to run in families, and those with a history of addiction may have certain genetic traits that make them more vulnerable to developing a drug and alcohol addiction. 

A family history of stress may also be a contributing factor. Unresolved stress can cause epigenetic changes that can trigger the development of substance abuse as well as mental illness. While genetics may play a role, it is important to remember that there is no single “addiction” gene. Additionally, people may have a genetic predisposition that may lead to substance abuse, but it doesn’t mean that addiction will develop.

What are the Benefits of Family Therapy for Addiction?

There are many benefits of family therapy for addiction:

  • Family therapy helps keep the addict motivated while in treatment.
  • The family learns more about addiction, and they have a better understanding of the treatment process. 
  • Family members learn skills and strategies that support the newly recovering addict.
  • Family therapy enables people to voice their feelings, concerns, and emotions in a safe and non-judgmental environment.

How to Find Family Therapy for Addiction Treatment in Southern California

Family therapy for addiction treatment is crucial in an addict’s individualized recovery plan. Family therapy promotes healing and helps create a nurturing and supportive environment for the addict and all family members to become emotionally, physically, and psychologically healthy. Call Thrive Treatment today if you are looking for substance abuse treatment and family therapy in Southern California.

We offer evidence-based family therapy programs and addiction treatment in Santa Monica that help the addict and those they love to understand the impacts of addiction and give them the tools and support to recover together. 

Call us right now and begin the journey towards healing and hope at our Santa Monica rehab center

How to Find Group Therapy Programs in Southern California

How to Find Group Therapy Programs in Southern California

Group therapy is a staple of many drug treatment programs. This powerful form of therapy provides immense support and motivation for people to address and overcome substance abuse issues. While effective, you may be reluctant to take part in a group therapy program when you enter drug treatment. The thought of sharing your innermost thoughts, fears, insecurities, and failures with complete strangers may make you feel anxious and even fearful. While your apprehension is understandable, this fear is primarily due to a lack of information or misinformation about addiction group therapy.

This article will define what group therapy is and whom it benefits. You will also know where to look for group therapy programs in Southern California. If you have questions on group therapy or need to know more information on the benefits of this powerful treatment tool, call Thrive Treatment toll-free today.

What is Group Therapy?

Group therapy is the treatment of multiple patients at once by one or more experienced therapists. When group therapy is mentioned, people will often think the group size will be significant and intimidating. However, the average group size is 10-14 people, but the size can vary depending on the therapy type and type of group. Group therapy operates under the philosophy that we are social creatures. Social beings need to be around others to feel a strong sense of belonging, safety, and security.

Group addiction therapy brings people together with similar issues to provide encouragement as well as support. With the assistance of the therapist or other healthcare professional, clients within the group can share their feelings and hope in an environment that is safe, supportive, and, most importantly, non-judgmental. The most significant advantage of group therapy programs in Southern California is it allows people to develop healthy social and coping skills that help reduce the risk of relapse once they complete treatment.

Who is Group Therapy Best For?

In general, group therapy is of great benefit to anyone. Having the support of people who share similar experiences to yours is very empowering and can help you have the courage and determination to face your addiction head-on. Group therapy is advantageous because it is designed to help people with specific issues. In addition to drug and alcohol addiction, group therapy can also help those suffering from mental illnesses such as depression as well as those with conditions like obesity. In fact, 12-step and similar groups can be seen as group therapy.

Group therapy may also be beneficial for those people who may lack self-esteem. Group therapy programs in Southern California provide a welcoming and safe atmosphere for those people to gain confidence in their small victories and to find their voice. Also, addiction group therapy is great for those who may be uninsured or underinsured because addiction therapy costs less than individual therapy.

Overall, group therapy for addiction will help you discover more about yourself, and that you have strengths, you may never have seen in yourself. In a group therapy program in Southern California, your therapists and recovering peers act as a mirror. Through their suggestions and other feedback, you can see yourself for who you truly are and can work towards what you want to become in recovery.

How to Find Group Therapy Programs in Southern California

Group therapy is absolutely essential in helping you achieve lasting sobriety. When looking for a drug rehab program, you need to ensure that evidence-based group therapy programs are offered as part of your individualized treatment plan. 

Call Thrive Treatment toll-free today if you are looking for drug treatment in Southern California that features quality group therapy programs. Thrive Treatment is a top-tier treatment provider with decades of cumulative experience in dealing with a wide spectrum of substance abuse and mental illness.
We offer personalized services and multiple levels of care so you can get the tools and support you need to break free from addiction for good. Are you ready to take the first confident step on the road to recovery? Call Thrive Treatment toll-free today and learn how we can completely transform your life at our Santa Monica rehab center.

What is Panic Disorder?

What is Panic Disorder?

If you or a loved one are experiencing intense bouts of fear and anxiety, you may be suffering from a panic disorder. If you are asking the question what is panic disorder, this article will discuss what panic disorder is, its symptoms, and where you can get help.

We all experience feelings of anxiety and panic. These feelings are a normal response to stressful and even dangerous situations. Whether it is interviewing for a job, having a big presentation, or trying to drive in an ice storm, we feel intense unease, fear, and stress. In most cases, these feelings of fear and panic subside once the event resolves and we can return to normal functioning. For some people, the panic and anxiety they feel do not resolve, and it can appear “out of the blue.” The seemingly never-ending sense or fear of panic can overwhelm their lives.

What is Panic Disorder?

As defined by the National Institute of Mental Health, panic disorder is a form of anxiety disorder that is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear. These feelings of fear are often accompanied by shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chest pain, and abdominal stress, among other symptoms. Those with panic disorder will experience these intense symptoms often without warning and without any known fear or stressors in their environment.

It is estimated that nearly 5% of people in the United States will experience anxiety and panic disorder in their lifetime. While panic disorder affects young people and adults equally, it is more common in females than males. Like all mental illnesses, panic disorder has no clear-cut cause. People are more likely to develop this mental illness if there is family history, constantly have high levels of stress, and have co-occurring disorders such as depression as well as substance abuse.

What Are the Symptoms of Panic Disorder?

As stated, the symptoms of an anxiety panic disorder often come without warning. These attacks can happen anytime and anywhere. The symptoms associated with a panic attack reach full intensity after a few minutes. Often, people feel worn out after their panic subsides. The following are common symptoms associated with panic disorder:

  • Sense of impending doom or danger
  • Fear of loss of control or death
  • Rapid, pounding heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breath or tightness in your throat
  • Chills
  • Hot flashes
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or faintness
  • Numbness or tingling sensation
  • Feeling of unreality or detachment

For people with panic disorder, the biggest anxiety is not knowing what the next attack will occur. For some people, they experience a panic attack on occasion while others may experience several per day.

Is Panic Disorder an Anxiety Disorder?

Panic Disorder is considered an anxiety disorder and part of the anxiety disorder family. Other disorders within this family include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Social phobias
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

If you or a loved one suffer from this mental illness, it is crucial that you seek panic disorder treatment as soon as possible. If left untreated, you may experience complications such as avoidance of social situations, development of phobias, substance abuse, and the increased risk of suicidal thoughts and suicide itself. To seek panic disorder treatment in Santa Monica, you must be officially diagnosed by psychiatric professionals.

The basis of panic disorder treatment are therapies such as psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). 

These effective forms of therapy help you to understand panic disorder, the thoughts that lead to panic attacks, and how you can develop healthy coping skills to effectively manage symptoms. Medications such as Paxil, Prozac, and Xanax may also be used to help reduce symptoms. If drug and alcohol abuse is present along with panic disorder, treatment programs must include dual diagnosis treatment options.

How to Find Treatment for Panic Disorder

Panic disorder can be a debilitating and crippling illness. Fortunately, it is a treatable condition with professional help. Thrive Treatment is an outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment facility in Santa Monica, offering a wide range of evidence-based programs and services to help you reclaim your life. We offer different levels of care and an individualized treatment approach that fits your specific needs.
Want to start anew? Call Thrive Treatment today and begin your journey to health and wellness.

What is Antisocial Personality Disorder?

What is Antisocial Personality Disorder?

There are people who think and act with no regard for others. Worse yet, their actions can cause significant harm to others—and they don’t feel any sense of guilt or remorse. If these people show any concern, it is done in a manipulative fashion only to get what they want or need. Those who display this kind of cruel behavior have a mental disorder called antisocial personality disorder. The deception and indifference those with his disorder show causes tremendous harm to family, friends, and others in their community. This article will further explain the question of what is antisocial personality disorder

What is Antisocial Personality Disorder?

So what is antisocial personality disorder?

Sometimes referred to as sociopathy, antisocial personality disorder is a mental disorder where people show no regard for what is right and wrong. Those with this disorder ignore the rights of others and disrespect them as human beings. Those with antisocial personality disorder seem cold, callous, and indifferent to others. Disturbingly, people with this disorder engage in behaviors that are often criminal and often abuse drugs and alcohol.

It is estimated that 3% of the U.S. population has antisocial personality disorder, and that men are six times more likely to develop this disorder when compared to women. It is thought that genetics plays a role in the disorder’s development, as well as having a family history. Children diagnosed with conduct disorder or ADHD are also at an increased risk. Additionally, children who experience physical and emotional neglect have an increased probability of developing sociopathy.

What are the Symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder?

As stated in the previous section, teenagers diagnosed with conduct disorder are more likely to develop antisocial personality disorder when they age. For those with conduct disorder, the common symptoms include the following and provide the baseline symptoms if they become sociopathic:

  • Aggression toward people and animals
  • Destruction of property
  • Deceitfulness
  • Theft

When people cross over into antisocial personality disorder, the hallmark symptoms are a lack of regard for other people’s rights and feelings and constantly violating those boundaries. The common symptoms of sociopathy include:

  • Repeated criminal acts
  • Manipulating or conning others for profit or pleasure
  • Impulsive actions and behavior
  • Repeated physical fights or assaults
  • Disregard for the safety of oneself or others
  • Irresponsibility at work or in financial obligations
  • Lack of remorse

For someone to be officially diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, they must display at least three of the above symptoms. The best way to address and manage these behaviors for those affected by this mental disorder is through antisocial personality behavior treatment.

Treatment for Antisocial Personality Disorder

For those with antisocial personality disorder, treatment can be complicated. While there are cases where symptoms improve as one ages, this typically won’t occur until someone reaches their 40s.

Treatment for antisocial personality disorder focuses heavily on therapy. The primary therapy used in this type of treatment is psychotherapy. This type of talk therapy helps patients identify negative behaviors and help build healthy interpersonal skills. Psychotherapy can help those with sociopathy curb the impulsive behaviors that lead to harm towards others.

Medications such as mood stabilizers or antidepressants may also be helpful in antisocial personality behavior treatment, but there are no FDA-approved medications for the disorder itself. Since people with this disorder tend to abuse substances, treatment for antisocial personality disorder must have a dual diagnosis component.

Finding Treatment for Antisocial Personality Disorder in Santa Monica, CA

If a loved one is needing treatment for antisocial personality disorder, you may not know where to look or know whom to ask which treatment options are best. While your loved one needs specialized help, they may not be able to commit significant time away from family, work, or school. Are there antisocial personality disorder treatment programs that are effective and proven to work but allow people to live at home?

Thrive Treatment is an outpatient treatment facility in Santa Monica specializing in mental health and substance abuse. Our evidence-based approach will give your loved ones the tools and support they need to effectively manage their antisocial personality disorder. 
Our Southern California treatment programs are dynamic and individualized to meet your loved one’s specific needs. Contact us today to learn more about our mental health and intervention services in Santa Monica, CA.

What are the Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder?

What are the Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder?

There are times in our lives when our emotions get out of control. In most cases, we are able to rein in those intense emotions, slow our thinking down, and calm ourselves to let things settle down. However, some people have great difficulty regulating their emotions. In fact, their emotions can be so intense and uncontrollable that they have problems in their relationships and their daily functioning. It can get to the point where they develop a poor self-image and even start harming themselves or others.

This isn’t simply a lack of emotional control; it points to a serious mental illness known as borderline personality disorder (BPD). If you or a loved one are struggling with BPD, don’t be discouraged. This article will give you essential information on BPD and the signs of borderline personality disorder. You will also learn where you can find treatment to address and overcome this debilitating mental illness.

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is characterized by the inability of an individual to control their emotions. The volatility and unpredictable nature of mood swings often cause high-risk and impulsive behavior. People with this mental illness can go from extreme happiness to anger and despair within a few minutes and without warning. BPD also causes people to develop a negative self-image about themselves, and their relationships with family, friends, co-workers, and others are severely dysfunctional.

It is estimated that BPD affects about 14 million Americans in their lifetime. Of all who are admitted to psychiatric hospitals, 20% of those patients have borderline personality disorder. BPD is often diagnosed in teenagers and young adults, and up to 40% of teens admitted to mental health institutions are diagnosed with BPD.

What Causes BPD?

Like other mental illnesses, there isn’t one main underlying cause for the development of BPD. However, there are several factors that make people more vulnerable to developing this mental disorder. One underlying factor is abnormal brain functioning in those areas which regulate emotion and self-control. Another factor is the abnormal levels of serotonin flowing within these brain structures.

Additionally, people with a history of mental illness in the family are more vulnerable to developing BPD. Adults who had experienced abuse and neglect as children also have a greater risk of developing borderline personality disorder. It is important to note that these risk factors do not necessarily mean a person will develop BPD.

What are the Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder?

One of the most obvious signs of borderline personality disorder is the intensity of the mood swings people experience. Moods can swing wildly and quickly from extreme happiness to extreme dislike of oneself or others. Another one of the most significant signs of borderline personality disorder is that people view things in extremes, whether good or bad. Other symptoms of borderline personality disorder include the following:

  • Fear of abandonment
  • Rapid changes in self-image and self-worth
  • Impulsive and risky behavior
  • Suicidal thoughts or self-harm
  • Feelings of emptiness that linger for long periods
  • Periods of stress-related paranoia that can last for minutes or hours at a time

Other borderline personality disorder symptoms include:

  • Periods of disassociation or feeling detached from oneself
  • Problems controlling anger
  • Unstable relationships with family and friends
  • Distorted sense of self

How Do You Treat Borderline Personality Disorder?

When you or a loved one displays signs of borderline personality disorder, you must seek professional mental health treatment as soon as possible. Since BPD is associated with risky, dangerous, and self-harming behaviors, therapy is the foundation of treatment. Psychotherapy such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is often effective in treating borderline personality disorder.

If needed, medications can also be an effective tool in dealing with BPD. Antidepressants such as Effexor and Prozac are commonly utilized as well as antipsychotics such as Abilify and Risperdal. While effective, many medications carry side effects and can even cause addiction. If medications are used to treat the symptoms of borderline personality, patients must be closely monitored by treatment staff.

Finding Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment in Southern California

BPD can be a very devastating mental illness. For those who experience BPD, it can rob them of their esteem and self-worth. If you need treatment in Southern California, call Thrive Treatment Center toll-free today. We are an outpatient treatment facility that offers evidence-based mental health programs as well as addiction treatment and dual diagnosis. We employ an individualized treatment approach that fits your unique and specific treatment needs.
Thrive Treatment is an outpatient rehab center in Santa Monica, CA. Are you ready to change your life and become the person you were meant to be? Call Thrive Treatment Center today!

What is the Best Treatment for OCD?

What is the Best Treatment for OCD?

We all have our own, personal little quirks that make us who we are, and we all have our own, individual thoughts that shape our behavior. For the most part, these are things that should be celebrated as it’s what separates us from our peers – it’s what makes us unique and distinct.

With that said, these ‘quirks,’ ‘thoughts,’ and ‘behaviors’ are supposed to act in a positive way. They’re supposed to shape who we are as individuals – not damage or destroy it. Unfortunately, too many people in the world today see their own thoughts and behaviors get in their way of life. 

These people are likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness called obsessive-compulsive disorder, more commonly known as OCD. According to estimates by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), OCD affects over 1% of the US population – over three million people. 

What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder that’s characterized by unwanted, uncontrollable, reoccurring, or excessive thoughts, ideas, sensations, or behaviors. It affects people of all ages and genders, but is a treatable condition under the right circumstances. 

People with OCD are known to get stuck in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions, which are:

  • Obsessions – unwanted or persistent thoughts, images, or impulses that the patient has no control over, often resulting in great levels of distress or anxiety. 
  • Compulsions – repeated behaviors that are often done in response to the obsessions a patient has, usually in hopes of relieving distress or anxiety. 

If not treated properly, OCD can truly take a toll on someone’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, and social well-being. It’ll not only make it difficult to concentrate, but it’ll start to take away any and all quality you once had in your life – that’s what makes treatment so important. 

What are the signs of OCD?

Understanding the signs of OCD and when it’s time to seek medical help is extremely important when diagnosing and eventually treating the condition. The earlier it’s detected, the sooner mental health professionals can start putting together a proven and effective treatment plan. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most common signs of OCD:

  • Fear of germs, bacteria, and contamination in general (obsession)
  • Excessively washing your hands or cleaning household objects (compulsion)
  • Taboo thoughts about sex, religion, or harm (obsession)
  • Needing things to be in order or symmetrical (obsession)
  • Ordering or arranging things in a particular way, even when not necessary (compulsion)
  • Fear of losing, misplacing, or forgetting something, no matter how important or valuable it is (obsession)
  • Repeatedly checking on things or making sure they’re not missing (compulsion)

Of course, those are just some of the signs that someone has OCD. Much like everyone has their own little quirks, those with OCD have their own unique obsessions and compulsions that make up their condition. For this reason, personalized and tailored treatment is necessary. 

What is the Best Treatment for OCD?

While there is no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all solution to obsessive-compulsive disorder, the best OCD treatment generally consists of a combination of therapy, medication, changes to one’s lifestyle, and other alternative treatments – the exact combination will vary by patient. 

The most common therapy for OCD is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), more specifically exposure and response prevention (ERP) – a component of CBT. It involves exposing the patient to their obsessions, while fighting the urges and compulsions (preventing a response).

The most common type of medication prescribed for OCD are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Patients might also be asked to make certain lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthier diet, exercising regularly, following a healthy sleeping pattern, and more. 

How to Find the Best OCD Treatment Programs in California

Did you know there are more than 200 classified mental illnesses in the world today? Even more surprising is that nearly one billion people live with a mental illness, and only about 75% of those in low-income areas will receive proper treatment, care, and attention.

Thrive Treatment is an outpatient rehab in Santa Monica, CA. If you’re interested in receiving the best treatment for OCD, then you’ll be pleased by what our experienced and passionate team at Thrive Treatment has to offer. Thrive Treatment provides mental health treatment in Santa Monica, CA.
Contact us today to learn more about our treatment and therapy for OCD – we can’t wait to help you succeed in your journey toward recovery.

What is the Impact of Depression on Physical Health?

What is the Impact of Depression on Physical Health?

Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the world and is a leading cause of disability, affecting over 280 million people around the world – a number that represents 3.8% of the world population. In fact, 5% of adults and 5.7% of those over 60 years old have depression.

Once diagnosed with depression, time is of the essence, and treatment may be a necessity. Any case of undetected, undiagnosed, or untreated depression can further harm and damage a patient’s ability to live a quality life – not just mentally but emotionally, spiritually, socially, and physically. 

Not only that, but there are a variety of different types of depression, and each individual will have a unique experience – meaning treatment must be customized, personalized, tailored, and human-based. At Thrive Treatment, that’s what we strive for with each and every patient. 

What are the Signs of Depression?

We all have moments when we feel a little down on ourselves, and we all go through periods of sadness in our life. While there’s nothing out of the ordinary about that, some people experience much more severe, persistent, and chronic episodes of intense sadness or loss of interest. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most common signs and symptoms of depression:

  • Depressed mood all day, everyday
  • Complete loss of interest and pleasure in everyday activities, even those the patient once enjoyed
  • Unexplained weight changes or changes in eating habits
  • Slowing down of thought and slower physical movements
  • Excessive fatigue or extreme lack of energy
  • Feeling extremely guilty or worthlessness throughout the day
  • Inability to think or concentrate, and loss of decisiveness
  • Recurrent thoughts of suicide, death, and/or self-harm

In order to be diagnosed with depression, patients must be experiencing at least five of those symptoms, and the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. The symptoms must also have a negative impact on the patient’s ability to live a normal, healthy, and happy life. 

How Does Depression Impact the Brain?

Depression symptoms impact the way an individual thinks, acts, and behaves, but is there a physical impact of depression on the brain? The answer is yes, and it largely boils down to the production (or lack of production) of neurotransmitters – the chemical messengers of the brain. 

The three major neurotransmitters often associated with depression symptoms include dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine – through glutamate and GABA are also considered. Any increase or decrease in the production of these neurotransmitters can cause symptoms. 

During a depressive episode, nerve cell communication is broken, and the brain isn’t receiving proper signals from the body. While a depressed brain looks much different from a healthy brain, a depressed brain can revert back to a healthy brain if properly diagnosed and treated. 

What is the Impact of Depression on Physical Health?

Many people are well-aware of the mental and emotional depression effects has on the body, but most people don’t consider the physical impact of depression and the physical effects that depressed patients experience on a daily basis. Treating these symptoms can be life-changing for some.

Let’s take a look at the impact of depression on physical health:

  • Headaches, insomnia, fatigue
  • Chronic pain, sometimes unexplained
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Nausea, diarrhea, and constipation
  • Inflammation throughout the body
  • Self-harm and increased risk of suicide

When depressed moods and a lack of interest start to have a negative impact on your ability to live a quality life, it’s time to start seeking treatment immediately. Your symptoms will likely grow worse if not treated and monitored by a mental health professional – so don’t wait to seek help!

How to Find Depression Treatment Center

Millions of people in the United States are diagnosed with depression, and there are millions more living with depression (though they might not know it or haven’t been diagnosed yet). It’s one of the most common mental disorders in the world and deserves our full medical attention.

At Thrive Treatment, we understand how important treatment is when overcoming depression. Whether you’re having a hard time coping with the mental, emotional, social, or physical impact of depression, or your depression is accompanied by an addiction, Thrive Treatment can help in Southern California mental health treatment
Feel free to contact us today to learn more about our Santa Barbara treatment facility and what it can do for those struggling with depression. We can’t wait to bring out the best in both you and your family.

What are the Different Types of Anxiety Disorders?

What are the Different Types of Anxiety Disorders?

We all experience anxiety from time to time. It might come before a job interview, a big speech, on your way to the principal’s office, or during your college graduation ceremony. For the most part, this type of anxiety is temporary, and you’ll learn to cope with it as you mature in life. 

Anxiety is nothing more than the body’s response to stress. When faced with a stressful or high-pressure situation, the body and brain coordinate to make us feel anxious – alert, focused, etc. While that’s helpful in some situations, excessive anxiety levels can grow troublesome. 

Over 40 million Americans above the age of 18 suffer from an anxiety disorder, accounting for over 18% of that population. Despite being the most common mental illness and being highly treatable in most cases, only about 37% of those with an anxiety disorder receive treatment. 

What is an Anxiety Disorder?

An anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive, extreme, prolonged, and abnormal levels of anxiety – especially in situations that don’t call for it. Some people experience this anxiety with normal, everyday tasks, while other people experience this anxiety in specific situations. 

Unlike normal anxiety, an anxiety disorder has a negative impact on an individual’s ability to live a peaceful life. Their anxiety levels impact them physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. It starts to change the way an individual thinks, acts, behaves, and goes about their life. 

For example, some people with an anxiety disorder will avoid social interactions with others for fear of being embarrassed or judged. This might grow out of control – to the point they start missing work and/or isolating themselves from friends and family. This is where things go south.

How is an Anxiety Disorder Different Than Standard Feelings of Anxiety?

Like we mentioned above, we all experience standard feelings of anxiety from time to time – it’s a natural, normal, and healthy response to stress. Of course, there comes the point when that anxiety might overstay its welcome or impede your ability to complete everyday tasks. 

That’s the major difference between a standard type of anxiety and an anxiety disorder – the latter impacts your ability to live a quality life. With normal anxiety, we eventually learn to cope with and overcome the symptoms. With an anxiety disorder, there’s no overcoming the symptoms. 

An excellent example of this is people that have a fear of flying. On one side (standard anxiety), you have people that fear flying, but can do it when necessary. On the other side (anxiety disorder), you have people that fear flying, but won’t do it – even if necessary or mandatory.

What are the Different Types of Anxiety Disorders?

The term anxiety disorder is an umbrella term that refers to a group of disorders that cause excessive or persistent worry or fear. There are a number of different anxiety disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). 

Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of anxiety disorders in the world today:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder – also known as GAD, this type of anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive anxiety most days, for most of the day. 
  • Social Anxiety Disorder – also known as social phobia, this type of anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive anxiety in most social situations. 
  • Phobia-Related Disorders – also known as specific phobia, this type of anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive fear or worry about certain objects or events.
  • Panic Disorder – this type of anxiety disorder is characterized by frequent and persistent panic attacks throughout the day. 
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – also known as PTSD, this type of anxiety disorder is characterized by extreme fear, anxiety, or worry after a traumatic experience or event.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – also known as OCD, this type of anxiety disorder is characterized by intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and uncontrollable behaviors (compulsions). 

Although they all fall under the ‘anxiety disorder’ umbrella, ensuring each patient receives the correct diagnosis is essential to their success in treatment. This often requires an open and honest discussion about the patient’s symptoms, current health, and how they live their lives. 

How to Find Anxiety Treatment Programs

Anxiety is the most common mental illness, and while it can have a negative impact on an individual’s life, there are a variety of ways to treat it. Without excessive or persistent anxiety, life is a real possibility for most people, but one must first find the right anxiety treatment program. 

Your anxiety treatment professionals must have experience treating all the many different anxiety disorders in existence today. In fact, that’s what makes Thrive Treatment one of the best anxiety treatment programs in Los Angeles – together, we can find much-needed relief. 
If you’d like to learn more about our Santa Monica anxiety treatment program and how we can help you learn to manage your anxiety disorder, contact us today – we’re excited to welcome you with open arms!