Month: October 2021

How to Normalize Mental Health Through Education

lady in a hammock reading a book

Mental health, once a taboo subject, has only been talked about openly for the past few decades. Mental health advocates and educators are working together to normalize mental health by sharing the facts about the importance of treatment. Throughout this process, we have gained a lot of knowledge about how mental health education has fought stigmas, changed policy, and encouraged healing. Here’s how you can help normalize mental health in your community.  The Impact of Combating Ignorance Thankfully, education has lessened the cultural stigma against mental illness, although there is still more work to be done. Before mental health was discussed openly, many people feared getting help. They were afraid of what the world would think if they knew about the struggles they were facing. Ignorance and silence caused far too many people to go undiagnosed and face hardships that led to co-occurring disorders, such as substance use, and worsened…

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The Truth About Climate Grief and Mental Health

man with a hoodie sitting on the ground

The effects of climate change can be seen from coast to coast, but what is climate grief and how is it affecting your client’s mental health? Although climate grief is only in the early ages of studying, we can still learn from the information that’s available and what it says about the future of mental health. The Reality of a Dying Planet Climate change has been in the news since the early 2000s and on scientists’ radar since before the 18th century. By now, many are aware of the changing climate and its global effect on humanity. Sea levels are rising, glaciers are melting, and the animal kingdom is facing a mass extinction event, all escalated by human-made pollution.  Recent news has brought to the world’s attention that things might be a lot worse than we originally thought. According to NOAA, 2020 was the second warmest year on record…

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Dealing With Grief Anniversaries

Back shot of woman in front of the beach

Loss is a devastating experience that can take a long time to heal from. What many people forget is that even if they feel healed now, they might not have the coping strategies needed to deal with reminders of their loss. Let’s take a closer look at grief, its close relationship with addiction, and how to establish coping strategies so your client doesn’t derail their recovery.  What Are Grief Anniversaries? After a major loss, there will come a time when your client will be reminded of this painful memory of losing someone or something they cared about. This period of time can easily bring up old emotions and flashbacks of the event. It may even feel like an undoing of all the progress they have made since then. These feelings can resurface during the physical anniversary of a loss (such as the date it happened) or when they feel a…

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The Real Harm of Toxic Positivity

girl making a grin

Just look on the bright side, right? While some positivity can be good, too much positivity can ignore the healing that needs to be done. In recovery, your clients will not only need to understand the harms of ignoring negativity, but also how they can better support those who are in crisis (including themselves). Learning how to recognize toxic positivity can help your client know that it’s okay to admit and deal with negativity during hard times. Ignoring Negativity Isn’t Realistic Hardships happen every day around the world. If your client is in recovery, chances are they have faced some difficult circumstances. The people in their lives might not be as supportive as they need them to be, even if they are trying. Some people find it difficult to deal with negativity in their own lives because of what others have taught them. The truth is that life is filled…

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Relapse: Does It Happen To Everyone?

barefoot woman with jeans sitting on the grass

There is a lot of debate about whether or not relapse is bound to happen. Is it inevitable, or does it depend on circumstance? The idea of having a relapse may sound terrifying to you. It’s the last thing you want to happen when you’re in recovery. However, by understanding the causes of relapse, the warning signs, and how to prevent it,  there is hope that you can avoid it happening to you.  The Real Possibility of Relapse In recovery, relapse is very common. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 40-60% of people in recovery are likely to relapse. Addiction is a disease that takes hold and completely rewires your brain, affecting the reward centers. But thankfully, relapse isn’t something that just happens at random. It can be prevented, as long as you’re aware of the warning signs and what causes you to experience cravings.  What Causes Relapse…

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Dating in Recovery: But What If They Don’t Accept My Sobriety?

You match with someone on a dating app and they ask you out for drinks. Uh-oh! Dating in recovery comes with some social obstacles if people aren’t aware of your sober lifestyle. From miscommunication to outright rejection, navigating the dating world in recovery can be stressful or even downright dangerous. Here are some tips on how to date successfully without giving up your sobriety. Wait to Date Many recovery centers suggest waiting until after the first year of recovery to go on dates. This is because the first year is always the most vital part of the recovery process. In early recovery, you are at your most vulnerable. During this time, you’re still trying to get your life together. You’re developing routines and mastering healthy habits. You’re learning how to properly cope with stress and navigate the difficult parts of your life. While finding love can be extremely fulfilling, it…

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How Do I Avoid Burnout in Recovery?

lady smiling while sitting on the ground with a laptop

At the beginning of recovery, you might feel inspired and ready to start your new life. You’ve completed treatment. You’ve rebuilt your life. You’ve gone to plenty of meetings. You’ve got a routine. Now, it’s time to live the rest of your life. Things might start to feel a little too boring – a little too routine. After a while, you might lose sight of what got you started. This could be a sign that you are approaching recovery burnout. Just Going Through The Motions The honeymoon phase is over. You’ve finished treatment and your new life has begun. You’ve had emotional revelations, repaired relationships, and put the pieces of your life back together. For once, everything feels stable. Now what? The drama and excitement are over, and it’s time to live the rest of your life. But after a while, things can begin to feel so mundane. You know…

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How Do I Know Which Sponsor Is Right for Me?

You’ve probably heard of 12-Step programs before, and if you’re in early recovery, you’ve probably either attended a meeting already or might be considering attending one soon. The meetings can feel intense, considering you’re in a room full of strangers talking about something extremely personal and uncomfortably heavy. On top of all that, it can also be confusing. There’s so much to learn about the 12-Step philosophy. A lot of people have very different experiences. You’re not sure if you should share or just listen. You may simply feel lost in it all. This is exactly why 12-Step programs have sponsors for new members. What Is a Sponsor? In 12-Step programs across the country, new members of meetings can ask another established member to be their sponsor. A sponsor helps new members become acclimated and familiar with the 12-Steps. They work not only as a mentor but as someone who a…

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Why Mental Health Is a Top Priority in Recovery

Years of substance use affect your body in more ways than you can imagine. But the side effects are not just limited to your physical health – they extend to your mental health as well. Physically, addiction to alcohol or drugs can have a negative impact on your heart, liver, kidneys, mouth, liver, throat, and more. Sometimes it’s easier to recognize the physical symptoms of addiction. What often goes unnoticed for years is the negative impact that addiction has on our mind, including our emotional and psychological well-being. These changes in our mental health are gradually revealed in our behavior, tone, how we communicate, social anxieties, and more. The short-term euphoria or relaxation that one derives from alcohol or drug intake is eventually overpowered by the long-term mental health issues suffered later in life. Isolation, disconnection from family and friends, and performance issues at work are just some of the…

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Don’t Fight It, Face It!

We often find people trying hard to end the bad habits of addiction with great frustration, anger, and a sense of hopelessness. This is especially true after many years of habitual substance use and the negative mental health effects that come with it. A person can easily find themselves trapped in a mentally traumatic situation if they continuously try to fight their addiction with frustration, anger, and other harmful emotions. If you continue to fight your addiction daily like you’re in a war, chances are that you will lose. But if you start admitting your mistakes and face your addiction head-on, you’re much more likely to be victorious. Being strong-willed and determined to face your addiction by engaging in the right kind of recovery processes can lead to lasting recovery. Wondering how you can effectively face your addiction like a pro and beat it? Although there is no one-size-fits-all procedure…

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