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!

Can Anxiety Cause Addiction?

Can Anxiety Cause Addiction?

Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the United States, impacting over 13% of the country’s population every year. While it’s highly treatable, less than 40% of those suffering from an anxiety disorder will receive the help they so desperately need. 

Among the behavioral concerns that stem from anxiety is addiction. Over 10 million people misuse opioids every year, and more than 750,000 people have died from drug overdose since 1999. Nearly 15 million people above the age of 12 suffer from alcohol use disorder

Drug addiction and anxiety are two of the most common issues people face in the world, so it’s no surprise to learn that the two are sometimes connected. Drug and alcohol abuse can result in anxiety-related symptoms, and many anxiety patients are prone to experience drug addiction. 

Whether you have anxiety and are worried you might one day turn to drugs and alcohol, or you have an addiction and are suffering from anxiety-related symptoms, it’s important to know that help is available. If you feel you or a loved one needs help, don’t hesitate to reach out today!

What are Common Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety is a normal, natural, and regular emotion everyone experiences daily. It’s used as a response to stress or high-pressure situations. It’s your body’s way of signaling that danger might lie ahead and to remain alert. In the right scenario, anxiety is necessary for survival.

Unfortunately, some people suffer from something called an anxiety disorder. This is when the body is exposed to high or prolonged levels of anxiety – especially in moments when anxiety isn’t needed. Let’s take a look at some of the most common anxiety disorders in the world today:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder – also known as GAD, generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive and prolonged worrying about everyday life. 
  • Social Anxiety Disorder – this type of anxiety disorder is characterized by a deep fear of social interaction and large groups of people. It becomes extremely hard to socialize. 
  • Panic Disorder – often mistaken for a heart attack, panic disorders are characterized by intense physical symptoms that resemble a panic attack. It usually happens suddenly.
  • Specific Phobias – we all have certain things we’re terrified of, but some people have intense fears that impede their day-to-day lifestyle and create intense levels of anxiety.

If left untreated, it can result in a wide range of physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral problems that have a negative impact on an individual’s ability to live a happy, healthy, and rewarding life. For those suffering from an anxiety disorder, don’t hesitate to seek help. 

Can Anxiety Cause Addiction?

Those that are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder are at an increased risk of turning to drugs or other substances to cope with their symptoms. When they find their substance of choice that provides a sense of relief, they begin to use the drug often to sustain that relief long-term. 

The more they use the drug to cope with anxiety symptoms – whether it was prescribed to them or not – the more they grow a tolerance against the drug and a dependency on it. This often results in using higher-than-necessary doses of the drug, frequent usage, or prolonged use. 

This is often where addiction starts. Their mind, body, and soul become dependent on the drug, and it often worsens the anxiety symptoms and introduces a world of new risks and dangers. For these people, drug addiction and anxiety could be avoided with proper treatment. 

Can Addiction Cause Anxiety?

While anxiety often leads to drug addiction, it also works the other way around – addiction sometimes leads to anxiety in people that didn’t suffer from it before. Even those that had anxiety before will likely see their symptoms worsen if they become addicted to drugs. 

A majority of the anxiety-related symptoms will start during the recovery process – more specifically during the detoxification process when the individual starts to experience withdrawal symptoms. Things like stress, anxiety, depression, agitation, and irritation are very common. 

In some cases, doctors and mental health professionals will utilize medication to treat anxiety symptoms in addicted individuals. This can help ease the symptoms and provide relief, making it easier for the individual to focus their time, energy, and effort on recovery. 

How to Find Anxiety and Addiction Treatment Programs

If you’re suffering from a combination of anxiety and addiction, immediate help is necessary. Without proper treatment, your anxiety symptoms and dependence on drugs will continue to worsen over time. This will make it extremely difficult to find meaning and purpose in life. 

At Thrive Treatment, we take pride in helping individuals overcome their struggles with anxiety and addiction. We use a combination of therapy, medication, and lifestyle, habitual, and behavioral changes to ensure each patient is met with a lasting and sustainable recovery. 
To learn more about our Santa Monica treatment services, our philosophy, and how we can help people like you turn a new chapter in their life, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We can’t wait to help you begin your road to recovery – we’ll be with you every step of the way, don’t worry!

What are the Signs of PTSD in Women?

What are the Signs of PTSD in Women?

Trauma touches the lives of millions of people every year. Being a victim of trauma or witnessing a traumatic event is a common event in the lives of thousands of Americans every year. Unfortunately, today’s news and social media content only further traumatic responses for many people.

PTSD is a common mental health struggle caused by trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder is frequently linked to specific professions such as soldiers, police officers, or firefighters. Although trauma is often part of the day-to-day work environment for these individuals, trauma is not restricted to specific individuals or professions.

What is PTSD?

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental health struggle arising from trauma. PTSD is frequently associated with occupations that often witness or experience violence, but the disorder can affect anyone who is either the victim or witness to any traumatic event. Although PTSD is common among particular groups, it can affect anyone regardless of age, career choice, gender identity, or other demographic. PTSD affects up to 3.5% of the U.S population each year. Up to 11% of people will receive a PTSD diagnosis at some point in their lifetime.

What Causes PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD results from different types of trauma. Clearly understanding what causes PTSD requires understanding what trauma means. Unfortunately, the concept of trauma does not have a singular clear definition. Trauma or the experience of a traumatic event means different things to different people. Common examples of trauma that are commonly linked to developing PTSD include serious injury, natural disasters, abuse, assault, serious illness, loss of a loved one, or experiencing acts of terrorism or violence.

It is important to remember that PTSD can develop in different ways. Someone doesn’t need to experience (be the victim of) trauma themselves to have that event influence their emotions. Although directly witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event is the most common, it is also possible to experience PTSD symptoms by learning a traumatic experience has impacted a friend or loved one. It is also necessary to remember that what one person views as traumatic may not be traumatic for others. Regardless, each can lead to complex and potentially serious mental health challenges that require comprehensive therapy to address safely.

Does PTSD Affect Women Differently Than Men?

Like many other mental health challenges, PTSD affects women more often than men. It is believed that up to 50% of women will experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. PTSD can affect both men and women; however, there are differences in how PTSD symptoms impact women. Reporting provided by the National Center for PTSD suggests more than 10% of women will receive a PTSD diagnosis in their lifetime. Similar research studies show women are more than twice as likely as men to experience PTSD.

What are the Signs of PTSD in Women?

The signs and symptoms of PTSD are often similar across the genders. When someone struggles with PTSD, they often experience a broad range of symptoms all connected to their trauma. These thoughts and feelings are powerful and can often be overwhelming. In most cases, PTSD symptoms will persist for weeks, months, or even years after the specific situation that caused the initial trauma has resolved.

The thoughts and emotions linked to trauma are painful, disturbing, and generally difficult to manage. For some, nightmares and flashbacks lead to fear and dread of reliving the event every day. Others experience hypervigilance (heightened awareness) and increased reactivity to ordinary stimuli such as balloons popping, hands clapping, a door slamming. Women who have experienced specific trauma such as sexual trauma or abuse may experience symptoms at the touch or embrace of someone else. People who struggle with PTSD actively avoid specific circumstances (events, people, places, etc.) that remind them of their particular trauma.

Finding Women’s PTSD Treatment in Santa Monica, CA

The symptoms and struggles you experience when you struggle with PTSD are overwhelming and pervasive. In time you may feel as though it is impossible to overcome or manage your symptoms without help and support. Seeking early intervention is vital to achieving the most favorable treatment outcomes possible. Remember, your symptoms may look different than PTSD symptoms in someone else. For this reason, it is important to seek help at an outpatient facility like Thrive Treatment, where our treatment team members understand the unique needs of women seeking help to overcome PTSD. Our PTSD treatment programs will help you develop a treatment program unique to your needs. If you are ready to get your life back and start your recovery from PTSD, contact us today to learn more about PTSD treatment in Santa Monica, CA.

Is Depression Passed Down Through Family?

Is Depression Passed Down Through Family?

Major depressive disorder is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental illnesses in the United States. According to data from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 7.8%, or 19.4 million adults in the United States, have had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. About 5.3% of adults, or 13.1 million people, have had at least one major depressive episode that has caused severe impairment in the last year. Major depression can make daily life tasks and getting along with other people difficult. 

What Does Depression Look Like?

Common signs of depression include the following: 

  • Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless most days 
  • Feeling a loss of pleasure or interest in doing things that you once enjoyed
  • Fatigue and loss of overall energy
  • Changes in sleep, such as insomnia (not being able to sleep) or hypersomnia (sleeping too much)
  • Changes in appetite, such as eating too much or eating too little 
  • Difficulty concentrating or indecisiveness 
  • Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate and excessive guilt  
  • Recurrent thoughts of death

Depression is more than just an intense feeling of sadness. Depression is classified as having multiple symptoms for 2 weeks or longer. Typically, symptoms last many months and, for some people, years. Each person will experience depression differently, as well. For example, one individual may not have the feelings of being down, depressed, or hopeless, but they may notice a loss of pleasure or interest in doing things as well as other symptoms. This is still classified as depression, but notably experienced differently. 

The symptoms together can affect day-to-day tasks and activities. For example, some people experiencing depression may neglect their hygiene or household chores more often. They may also notice decreased performance at work or school, likely because they have a lack of drive or feel fatigued due to the depressive symptoms. Individuals also often notice their interpersonal relationships being impacted either because they are isolating themselves because they’re not interested in activities, or because they are irritable and having difficulty getting along with others. People with depression may also frequently seem “out of it” or “spacey” because of lack of sleep, low energy, and having difficulty concentrating. 

What are the Causes of Depression?

There are many different things that can contribute to someone developing depression. Factors that can contribute to depression can be biological, psychological, and/or environmental. Some factors that have been associated with increased risk of depression include the following: 

  • A chemical imbalance in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that is associated with depression. When the brain is not using enough serotonin, it can cause increased levels of depression. This is why SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) are used to treat depression. They cause the brain to use more serotonin, which can relieve depressive symptoms for many people. 
  • Genetics. Depression can have a genetic factor. If a family member has depression, it does not mean that you will automatically develop it late in life too. Rather, it means that you may be more vulnerable to developing depression at some point in your life because you are genetically predisposed to it. 
  • Stressful life events. Stressful events such as the loss of a loved one, family discord, heartbreak, loss of friendships, health issues, and more can also cause depression. 
  • Maladaptive thought patterns. People who have negative thought patterns, are self-critical, and have low self-esteem are more likely to develop depression. 
  • Using alcohol and drugs. While people sometimes claim that using certain drugs or alcohol helps them relax and calm down, it actually, over time, can increase levels of depression in many people who abuse drugs. 
  • Loneliness. Feelings of loneliness can increase the risk of developing depression. 

How to Find Depression Treatment Centers

Thrive Treatment offers comprehensive services to clients experiencing mental health or substance use concerns. We have expert clinicians available that provide case management services, individual therapy, group therapy, and incorporation of family support. Each client has an individualized treatment plan unique to their recovery. We offer different levels of care, including partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, sober living houses, and aftercare. Contact us today to find out how we can help you through your recovery!

The Warning Signs of Bulimia and Anorexia

The Warning Signs of Bulimia and Anorexia

Eating disorders, such as bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa, are commonly researched in females. Portrayals of eating disorders in media and television are also overwhelmingly female. However, eating disorders, much like other mental health issues, do not discriminate gender or nationality. Bulimia and anorexia are found to occur in both males and females and in different countries worldwide. Bulimia affects 3% of females and more than 1% of males. anorexia affects up to 4% of females and 0.3% of males. Recognizing the signs of bulimia and anorexia is imperative because the risk of death in individuals is five times higher for those with eating disorders than those without. 

What is bulimia? 

According to the DSM-5, bulimia nervosa is characterized by the following five diagnostic criteria:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating that includes consuming larger amounts of food than the average person within a two-hour window and feeling like one cannot stop eating. 
  • Recurrent compensatory behaviors that one does to prevent weight gain. Examples include self-induced vomiting, fasting or excessive exercise, and misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or other medications. 
  • The pattern of binge eating and compensatory behavior occurs about once a week for at least three months. 
  • The individual evaluates themselves solely based on their body shape and weight. 
  • These symptoms do not occur exclusively during episodes of anorexia nervosa. 

A common myth of eating disorders is that they do not occur in individuals who are at a “normal body weight.” However, as indicated above, the criteria do not specify body weight. The disorder is a psychological disturbance that manifests in behavioral changes to compensate, resulting in adverse health effects. 

What is anorexia? 

According to the DSM-5, anorexia nervosa is characterized by the following three diagnostic criteria:

  • Restriction of food intake is lower than the recommended daily intake for the individual, which ultimately leads to significantly low body weight compared to what is considered healthy for their age, sex, and development. 
  • A feeling of persistent, intense fear of gaining weight and behavior to avoid weight gain. 
  • One’s self-worth is almost entirely influenced by body weight or shape, feeling disturbed by one’s own body weight or shape, or lacking recognition of low body weight.

The presence of anorexia nervosa can occur as either restricting type or binge-eating/purging type. The restricting type occurs without the presence of binge eating or purging. The binge-eating/purging type occurs with the presence of binge eating episodes or purging behavior within the anorexia nervosa episode. 

What are the signs of bulimia and anorexia? 

There are many medical complications of both bulimia and anorexia that can often be observed by visual symptoms. The following include behavioral clues and signs of medical complications related to bulimia and anorexia: 

  • Dry Skin 
  • Feeling cold all the time and thus wearing extra layers of clothing
  • Wearing baggy clothes to hide the weight loss 
  • Constipation and bloating
  • Irregular period or loss of period
  • Hair loss and brittle nails
  • Presence of soft, fine hairs on the body, known as lanugo hair
  • Obsession with food, including calorie counting and categorizing foods as good or bad
  • Obsession with one’s weight or body shape, which can manifest as constantly checking oneself in the mirror or weighing oneself
  • Excessive exercise 
  • Excessive fasting periods or extreme dieting
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Increased irritability 
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Hiding food to make it look like they ate or avoiding mealtimes

How Thrive Treatment Can Help

The best treatment for bulimia and anorexia is a combination of medication, such as antidepressants and psychotherapy. Thrive Treatment can help you or your loved one create a personalized treatment plan to address bulimia and anorexia. This can include individual therapy, group therapy, mindfulness, meditation techniques, and medication. We believe in treating each client as an individual, so our expert clinicians will ensure that they utilize an approach that best fits your needs. Reach out today to find out how Thrive Treatment can help you achieve recovery.