Tag Archives: Healthy Activities

Addiction and Depression, and Apps and Podcasts

Ask someone why people take drugs, and they may say to try and escape or get relief from the emotional pain they’re feeling, or because they’re depressed. That may be two ways of saying the same thing. You may have also heard people question what comes first. Does someone turn to drinking or other drugs because they’re depressed, or does addiction make someone depressed?  The Mayo Clinic says that alcohol abuse or use of recreational drugs is one of the factors that seems to “increase the risk of developing or triggering depression.” CBS News has a Q&A on the subject with the Assistant Medical Director of a treatment center associated with McLean Hospital who says “there are a number of drugs that people use and abuse that can directly affect the brain and cause depression. For example, marijuana slows down brain functioning and diminishes cognitive abilities and can cause depression in a significant number of individuals. Alcohol can do the same thing. Cocaine tends to elevate people’s moods, but when they come off it, they often experience a crash into depression.”

Alcohol and Drug Treatment Programs 

In any event, Richard Tate, the co-author of “Ending Addiction for Good,” says in Psychology Today that depression is probably the most common co-occurring disorder among substance abusers.  The Mayo Clinic website also points out there are different types of depression, various causes, and several types of medications to treat it.Depression may require long-term treatment,” the organization notes, “but don’t get discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychotherapy or both.” Depression is a serious condition and one blog post is not sufficient for thoroughly delving into such an involved disease. However, some people find that besides therapy and medication, apps and podcasts can be helpful.  A few are below.

alcohol and drug treatment Programs

 Apps and Podcasts

 One woman wrote about her depression on Buzzfeed and mentioned that listening to podcasts on mental health work for her because they let her and others know they’re not alone in feeling sad. They also allow for listening in private, where there is no stigma about mental health conditions. One podcast she mentioned is The Mental Illness Happy Hour, which has interviews with comedians, doctors and others that explore mental illness, trauma, addiction, and negative thinking. Don’t let the slick title turn you off before you try it; the podcaster is a comedian. Another writer has compiled a list of apps designed to make people feel happier, such as Aura, which offers Mindfulness Meditations, short stories, music, sounds of nature, and a gratitude journal, for example.

 Regarding mindful meditation, the July issue of Health magazine offers three apps:

Headspace, which teaches the basics of meditating at no cost, followed by for pay meditations from one to 20 minutes. There’s also Meditation Studio, advertised as having meditations for everyone, no matter their situation. Finally, Stop, Breathe, and Think allows you to log your daily meditation to track your practice. A dual diagnosis treatment organization offersApps for Addiction Recovery and Mental Health.” Here’s one that looks interesting:

Pacifica

 

For many, addiction is as much a symptom as it is an illness in and of itself. This makes addressing the core issues that may be fueling the need to escape a central part of recovery. For those with depression and/or anxiety, relief and support can be found through Pacifica. In addition to offering a mood tracker and guided meditations, this app uses principles based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help smooth over distorted thinking patterns and overcome anxiety by breaking it down into bite-sized daily challenges.

 

For more information on Summit Estate’s alcohol and drug treatment Programs please call (866) 569-9391, help is only a phone call away.

Silicon Valley Burnout: When Stress Leads to Self-Medicating

 stressed out silicon valley worker

You’re a highly paid, successful professional working in Silicon Valley’s legendary tech industry. You regularly work 80 + hour weeks because:

  1. Everyone in your firm does it.
  2. Your bosses expect it.
  3. Elon Musk does it, Jeff Bezos does it, and Steve Jobs did it.

At this point, your mom would ask you this question:

If Elon Musk jumped off a cliff, would you do it, too?

To which you might answer:

Yes, because I’ll land in the electric flying car I designed during my marathon weekend work sessions. It’s synced with the altimeter app (the one I designed) on my smartphone, and will catch me at just the right moment.  

All jokes aside, have you thought much about your work habits?

Granted, when you signed on the dotted line or took the plunge and launched your own startup, you knew exactly what you were getting into. You knew full well the dominant cultural paradigm in the Silicon Valley tech world is like Max Weber’s Protestant Work Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism on super-sized doses of Adderall. You knew there’d be fierce competition to succeed, and once you achieved success, you knew you’d have to turn yourself inside out to stay on top. You knew you’d get emails after midnight and your manager would expect you to reply immediately. You knew half the employees in your company would compete to see who’d stay at their desk after 6:00 p.m. on Friday, and the other half would compete to see who’d arrive at the office before 5:00 a.m. every other day of the week.

You knew you’d have to sacrifice to make it.

So, perhaps a better question for you is this: have you though much about your relaxation habits?

Stress Management and Self-Medication

Since you work in a high-stress environment in an industry characterized by obsession with profit and progress, it makes sense that at the end of the day – even if the end of your day is technically the middle of the night – you may have a hard time winding down. It makes sense that front and center in your mind is the project you’re working on. It makes sense that all you can think about is the product review meeting you have bright and early the next morning.

It makes sense you pour yourself a stiff drink when you get home.

You need something to help turn off your brain. Something quick and effective that doesn’t require more work on your part. You don’t have time for yoga or meditation. Your company has napping pods but you have no idea what the inside of them looks like. Your company has a gym but you’re not even sure if your key card works on the door. The only new-age extras you take advantage of at your cutting-edge company are the free lunches and the espresso machines, and you only use those because they help you maximize your productivity.

Besides, typical stress management techniques just sound like another thing to add to your to-do list, which – paradoxically – stresses you out.

The stiff drinks work much better, anyway. And the fact you need to take a sleeping pill every so often is no big deal, because it helps you get the rest you need so you can get your shoulder back to the wheel the next day.

The thing is, the drinks and the sleeping pills aren’t a big deal until they are. And when you finally realize what you’ve been doing all along is called self-medication, as opposed to stress management, it might be too late. You might be smack dab in the middle of a toxic Alcohol Use Disorder or an unexpected benzodiazepine addiction. You may have become a daily marijuana smoker without even realizing it. A functional drunk, a pill-popper, an accidental pothead: it’s hard to imagine any of those things were on your list of long-term life goals.

Get Help at Summit Estate

We understand why you work as hard as you do. We understand you’re driven to succeed. We get that there are million and one reasons you spend so many hours at the office. Maybe you’re striving to provide for a family. Maybe you want to retire early and travel the world. Maybe you have a sick relative you need to care for. Or maybe you want to make a name for yourself and leave your mark on the world.

All that makes sense – and all we’re asking is that examine your work habits and your relaxation habits sooner rather than later. We want to make sure you’re not slowly working yourself into a set of self-destructive patterns that have the potential to consume you, sabotage all your good work, and have negative effects on your health and well-being. We want you to understand that if your work has driven you to extremes, and those extremes include an unhealthy relationship with alcohol or other substances of abuse – we’re here for you.

We offer full service luxury addiction treatment services convenient to the Bay Area and San Francisco Peninsula. If you need help, you have options: you can choose the level of care that works for you and your specific situation. From our state-of-the-art Medical Drug and Alcohol Detox Center to Residential ProgramsDay Programs, and Outpatient Programs, we’ll work with you to create a custom treatment program that meets your needs. We’ll help you find your way back to a healthy, sustainable life, free from the cycles of addiction we’re sure were never on your to-do list in the first place.

Call Us Now. Our counselors and psychotherapists are standing by, ready to listen to your story.

25 Ways To Reward Yourself – Without Alcohol Or Drugs – For Recovery Milestones

It’s important to reward yourself for your accomplishments during your recovery, whether for behavioral changes and/or milestones in sobriety. The purpose of rewarding yourself is to strengthen your resolve to keep alcohol and drugs out of your life. Rewarding yourself increases your awareness of all that you have accomplished.

Here are 25 ideas of ways you can give yourself a pat on the back for reaching certain milestones in your recovery.

Ways To Reward Yourself Without Alcohol Or Drugs

Ways To Reward Yourself Without Alcohol Or Drugs

  1. Begin a “Success Savings.” Put $1 away for every day you have stayed sober or put $2 for each recovery meeting attended. You decide the amount of money you give yourself for the desired action. At the end of a year, take the money and use it towards a mini-vacation.
  1. Buy or make a special piece of jewelry. A bracelet, necklace, earrings or rings will do. Every time you wear the new item, you’ll be reminded of how far you have come since you have gotten sober.
  1. Begin a collection. It can be stamps, thimbles, spoons, dolls, action figures, sports memorabilia, etc. Each time you achieve a sobriety milestone (30, 60 or 90 days, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year, etc.), go ahead and buy another item for your collection.
  1. Get a massage. It’s relaxing and will reenergize you from the inside out. A little pampering can go a long way.
  1. Get your hair styled, dyed, or cut. Try something daring. Have fun and experiment with your new look.
  1. Get a makeover with a professional. When you look good on the outside, you feel good on the inside.
  1. Pamper yourself with a manicure and pedicure. If you need to watch what you spend, do it yourself at home.
  1. Have a night out at the movies with a friend you haven’t seen for a while. Self-explanatory. Who doesn’t enjoy a good night out at the movie theater, especially with someone you need to catch up with.
  1. Enjoy a leisurely morning at the park. Breathe and take in the fresh air. Feed the ducks. Watch the children play. Get in tune with the simpler things in life.
  1. Attend an art show, a gallery or your local museum. Check your local paper or news website for the exhibitions in your area.
  1. Be a kid again! Go to your local amusement park and recapture the “awe” that you felt as a child.
  1. Buy yourself a new outfit. If you are low on funds, go thrift store shopping.
  1. Redecorate a room in your house. Let your creativity flow. Let the room capture the real you. Don’t be afraid to go a little wild. If you don’t have money to redecorate, you can just rearrange the space.
  1. See your favorite sports team play live. Reward yourself with the best seats you can afford.
  1. Do something daring. Make it something you’ve always wanted to try. Go bungee jumping, hang gliding, parachuting, whitewater rafting, etc.
  1. Get a new tattoo (or piercing). Get something that’s uniquely you.
  1. Have a long, relaxing bubble bath. Light some candles around the tub and make it serene and memorable.
  1. Buy a new book. Schedule some uninterrupted time to read it.
  1. Sign up for a team sport such as softball, basketball or hockey. You’ll have fun and maybe meet some new friends!
  1. Rent a boat or Jet Ski. Spend the day soaking up some sunshine and riding the waves with family and friends.
  1. Go to a concert or theatrical event. Do this especially if it’s something you’ve wanted to see, and if it falls around a certain recovery milestone.
  1. Take a cooking class. If you can’t afford a cooking class, then look up a fun recipe online or YouTube a recipe and try it at home.
  1. Try an architecture tour or some other “tourist” activity in your own city. You’ll get a new appreciation for your hometown.
  1. Start a new routine when you get home from work. Instead of rewarding yourself with a drink when you get home from work, have some hot herbal tea, light a scented candle and read some recovery literature.
  1. Announce your accomplishments and sobriety milestones to others. Allow yourself to hear and soak in the congratulations! It is a big deal that you are in recovery and have changed your life. You deserve the praise.

Written by: Sarah F. Scott, CADC-CAS – Outpatient Counselor

3 Activities Of Self-Expression In Recovery

Make Time For Yourself-Self-Expression In Recovery-Summit EstateFor those who are in addiction recovery, one of the primary goals is to develop strategies that can help overcome negative emotions and behaviors. Before starting on the road to recovery, the substance was used to numb feelings like anger, sadness, guilt, and shame. Without the substance as a crutch, feelings are often more pronounced and require an outlet.

Fortunately, there are many beneficial activities that can facilitate self-expression in a positive way as part of a holistic healing treatment program. The following are three activities that can help manage feelings and support positive behaviors.

Activities Of Self-Expression In Recovery

The Mindful Walk

Without a doubt, walking is a great exercise that you can do almost anytime and anywhere. Yet, most people do not practice mindfulness while on a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood or a power walk on a park trail.

Being mindful on a walk requires one to be aware of surroundings and to make note of feelings and sensations that they are experiencing. Extra attention should be placed on breathing. A 15 minute mindful walk followed by journaling about the experience can help encourage feelings of centeredness and stress-relief.

The Visual Journal

Writing in a journal can be a very therapeutic activity. This can be made even more beneficial with the addition of visuals such as signs, marks, sketches, and symbols. There are no rules when it comes to putting your feelings down on paper. The key is to do this on a regular basis. This visual journal can be discussed with a therapist to delve deeper into feelings and strategies for sustaining long-term recovery.

The Process Of Creating, Building, Or Refurbishing

A metamorphosis occurs in recovery. Over time, there is positive change and growth. To help express this process, it can be useful for some individuals to work on a project that requires extended effort. The process of creating, building, or refurbishing is very similar to the journey of recovery. The item that is worked on literally becomes a symbol of the renewal and the forward movement towards a new, more positive life.

Find Out More About Holistic Addiction Treatment

To learn more about self-expression in recovery and how it fits into a larger customized treatment program, call Summit Estate today.

We Will Be With You Every Step Of The Way – Call Now!