losing touch with reality

The signs may be quite subtle at first. A friend or loved one may seem “off” of late. They may have stopped caring about their appearance, not their norm at all. Maybe you are plagued with a sense that someone is watching you.

These early signs of a mental health issue may not seem a problem at first. But as the symptoms begin to gather steam it may mean you are losing touch with reality.

Psychosis is the symptom of a mental health disorder, not an illness itself. An estimated 100,000 people in the U.S. have these symptoms each year. These center on having trouble knowing what is real versus a figment of their imagination. Their actions and thoughts are simply not the norm for the person.

When you notice that you or a loved one seems to be out of touch with reality it is time to seek help. It could be that the symptoms relate to a health or neural problem that needs treatment. If it is indeed the early signs of psychosis, getting timely care is key.

What are Psychotic Disorders?

Psychotic disorders are the types of mental illness that feature the loss of touch with what’s real. These feature odd actions, feelings, and thoughts. People will see or hear things that are not really there. When a mental health issue has psychosis as a primary symptom, it will be called a psychotic disorder.

According to an article in JAMA, about 3.5% of U.S. adults will have psychosis at some point. Its features can be caused by severe anxiety, depression, or bipolar. It can also be its own mental health disorder.

The cause of this type of mental health issue is still mainly unknown. There are, though, some theories. These include that neural problems, viral infections, extreme trauma or prolonged stress, certain drugs, and genes could factor in.

Different Types of Psychotic Disorders

Psychotic disorders emerge with differing features while sharing core traits. The types of these disorders include:

  • Schizophrenia. This is the most common type of psychotic disorder. Symptoms focus on losing touch with reality, with hallucinations, delusional thoughts, angry outbursts, and extreme mood swings.
  • Schizoaffective disorder. This combines features of schizophrenia with a mood disorder that includes depressive or manic episodes.
  • Brief psychotic disorder. Brief psychotic disorder is a short-lived disorder that is sometimes triggered by a traumatic event.
  • Schizophreniform disorder. This is similar to schizophrenia but tends to affect young adults and teens, and lasts 1-6 months in duration.

What Are the Symptoms of Psychosis?

The main feature of psychosis is losing contact with what’s real. The different types of these disorders will have unique features. There are, though, some general symptoms. Example of common symptoms include:

  • Insomnia.
  • Feelings of being watched.
  • Mental confusion.
  • Auditory and visual hallucinations.
  • Delusional thoughts.
  • Strange or confused speech or writing.
  • Inappropriate behavior.
  • Avoids social scenes.
  • Decline in academic or work performance.
  • Unusual body positioning or movement.
  • Paranoid behavior.
  • Unusual preoccupation.
  • Irrational or angry behaviors.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Loss of interest in appearance and hygiene.
  • Personality changes.

The earlier the disorder is addressed and treated, the better the clinical outcome.

Treatment for Psychotic Disorders

Treatment of psychotic disorders relies mostly on psychotherapy and drug therapy:

Psychotherapy: While in a treatment the individual will be involved in therapy. The focus involves helping the person regain healthy thought patterns. One-on-one, group, and family therapy are all offered in the program.

Support groups: Group sessions allow small groups to discuss and share their mental health issues based on the topics. These groups provide a safe space for sharing, and also foster peer support.

Coping skills: Part of treatment is helping the person to improve their social skills. This gives them the tools to get along with people better.

Meds: Drugs are prescribed to help reduce symptoms. This helps improve quality of life.

ECT: This is reserved for the most severe forms of psychosis in those who do not respond to the meds.

Holistic therapies: Activities such as yoga, mindfulness training, guided meditation, acupuncture, and massage help control stress. Patients learn how to initiate mindfulness at any time of day.

Transitional housing. It can be helpful for the patient to reside in housing that is geared toward the healing process. This type of housing provides a safe living space that allows the patient to slowly adjust to regular daily life.

When Does a Psychotic Break Require Hospitalization?

When someone has a psychotic break they are no longer are tracking with reality. In this case it may be proper to have the person admitted. This might be a psychiatric hospital or a wing within a hospital. This level of care is distinct, as a hospital is equipped to manage a severe mental health event. In the hospital setting the patient will likely be kept in a special ward away from other patients. They may need to be restrained to avoid the risk of self-harm or harm to others.

In the hospital settling, the individual will be watched closely. Medications will be reviewed and the focus will be on acute stabilization measures. This process may take a couple of days. Later the patient can step down to a residential mental health treatment center.

Elevation Behavioral Health Leading Residential Mental Health Center in Los Angeles

Elevation Behavioral Health is a private mental health program. It features a small, cozy, home-like space for healing. Elevation Behavioral treats all forms of mental health disorders, including psychotic disorders, using a proven approach. If you feel you’re losing touch with the real world, contact our team today at (888) 561-0868.

 

So Depressed Cant Function

Anyone who has ever suffered through a bout of prolonged depression can attest to how depleted it makes you feel. In what seems like an instant, you feel so down that you can’t function. Even the most mundane tasks are so hard to complete.

The effects of the depression touch all aspects of life. Coworkers will complain that you are not pulling your weight. Loved ones will feel they are being neglected. Even your health will begin to suffer. Depression is a serious mental illness that should not be ignored.

Crawling out of the dark hole of depression takes effort. When in the thick of it you might not feel you can muster up the strength to beat it. But with expert psychiatric help, and lots of patience, daily functioning and quality of life will be restored.

What Causes Depression?

Why do some people manage to cycle through setbacks while others get stuck in depression? Life events, such as loss of a loved one, divorce, job loss, or financial problems can be so hard. Why are some people better able to cope with these?

Science is still unclear about the exact cause of major depression. Studies are ongoing, seeking answers through the study of the brain, gut health, and genetic markers. Still, depression is complex and hard to get a handle on.

There are some factors that can lead to depression. These include:

  • Genetics. Family members who also have struggled with depression.
  • Abuse. Past history of physical or sexual abuse.
  • Trauma. Seeing or experiencing a highly traumatic event.
  • Loss. Sudden loss of a loved one.
  • Health problems. Some health issues can cause symptoms of depression.
  • Medications. Certain drugs can cause depression.
  • Substance abuse. Depression can co-occur with substance abuse.

The Symptoms of Depression

When you are not being able to function at even the routine daily tasks, you may indeed have depression. According to the DSM-5, depression exists when the symptoms (a cluster of five or more) persist for more than two weeks. The symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling sadness or despair most of the time.
  • Extreme fatigue.
  • Slowed thought functions and movements.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Sudden weight change.
  • Loss of interest in things once enjoyed.
  • Feelings of guilt or shame.
  • Having trouble making decisions or staying focused.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.

How is Depression Treated?

The treatment plan for major depression includes both antidepressants and therapy. In recent years, holistic therapies have been also found to enhance the overall treatment outcomes.

Antidepressant Drug Therapy

Currently, there are about thirty antidepressant drugs on the market. These drugs are classified into four groups, including:

  •  SSRI
  •  SNRI
  •  MAOI
  • Tricyclics

These drugs remain the core treatment method for depression. The effects of the medication may take 4-6 weeks to be felt. Sometimes doses need to be tweaked or other drugs trialed to find the best fit.

Antidepressants come with an array of side effects that make these drugs hard to prescribe. A doctor will weigh the benefits against the side effects when he or she decides to prescribe them. Common side effects include weight gain, sexual issues, nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, dry mouth, and insomnia.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is part of the core treatment for depression. The type of therapy chosen is based on the type of issues that factor into the depression. Psychotherapy can be offered in one-on-one sessions as well as group sessions.

Some of the types of therapy include:

  • CBT. CBT is a short-term therapy that assists patients in changing thoughts that hurt their mental health. They are taught to reshape them towards more positive thoughts while also changing behaviors.
  • DBT. DBT helps patients manage emotions and better cope with stress. DBT also helps teach healthy interpersonal skills.
  • Psychodynamic Therapy. Focuses on feelings and pain caused by past events, trauma, or childhood issues.
  • Interpersonal Therapy. Focuses on relationships, social skills, and helps with problem areas that might be factors in depression.
  • MBCT. Combines cognitive therapy with mindfulness to manage thoughts.

Holistic Therapies for Depression

There are some actions that can help a patient better manage their emotions and stress levels. When stress is controlled it can help to improve mood. Knowing how mind and body connect, mental health workers now include these in treatment. Some of these actions include:

  • Keep a journal. Patients find relief when they unload their thoughts and feelings on to the written page. This helps reduce the power of the problem while also helping them to process their feelings.
  • Mindfulness. This can help patients focus on the present moment instead of being distracted by negative thoughts.
  • Acupuncture: This ancient practice has shown promise as a natural treatment for helping to reduce low mood. Tiny needles are placed at certain parts of the body to help balance energy flow.
  • Aromatherapy. Certain essential oils can help boost mood. The essence of the oil is diffused into the air to be inhaled, or is rubbed onto certain points on the body.
  • Yoga. The yoga postures combined with deep breathing can increase GABA and help patients find some relief from depression symptoms.
  • Exercise. Regular cardio exercise is also a mood booster. This is because it can produce hormones that impact our state of mind. It can also help improve sleep quality and regulate stress, both of which will contribute to wellbeing.
  • Diet. A diet rich in lean proteins, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and fresh veggies and fruits also helps our mood.

When you feel like you can’t function it is time to seek help. There are many ways to improve mood and thus improve your life. Seek the mental health help you need today.

Elevation Behavioral Health Provides Comprehensive Depression Treatment

Elevation Behavioral Health is a residential mental health program in L.A. If you are feeling so depressed that you can’t function, contact the team at Elevation. We are here to help you overcome depression and get your life back. Contact us today at (888) 561-0868.

i feel like i'm losing my mind

Anxiety Can Make Daily Life Quite a Challenge

Anxiety can be so hard to live with. Constant worry and stress keeps you in a state of constant fight-or-flight mode at the slightest little trigger. You may try to reason with yourself, that the stress triggers are no big deal. Your brain, though, is locked and loaded to take you through the spectrum of anxiety symptoms. You just can’t seem to break the stress cycle.

Many who approach a doctor with their complaints about their symptoms have truly suffered. They are seeking ways to manage the stress so they can live a normal, happy life. This goal is very possible to reach with the right treatment plan. Anxiety treatment can help reduce the daily struggle and greatly improve your life.

i'm losing my mindHelp! Anxiety Makes Me Feel Like I am Losing my Mind

Anxiety disorder is a broad grouping of mental health disorders, each with excess worry or fear driving it. Anxiety disorders are very common, with 40 million people struggling with one each year. This disorder is different from the common fear you might feel before having to make a public speech.

We all have felt afraid from time to time, like when we are pushed out of our comfort zone. Anxiety disorders, though, are very intrusive. Constant stress can be so difficult to manage that it impacts one’s lifestyle, career, health, and friendships.

On one hand, when someone suffers from this problem, something will trigger a cascade of symptoms. There are many types of anxiety and each has its own unique features. The basic anxiety symptoms include:

  • Feelings of dread and fear.
  • Always being on alert for danger.
  • Racing heart.
  • Shaking.
  • Sweating.
  • Fast breathing.
  • Shortness of breath, holding one’s breath.
  • Stomach upset, diarrhea.
  • Feeling jumpy or restless.
  • Insomnia.
  • Headaches.

Different Types of Anxiety Disorders

There are varied ways that anxiety is expressed. For this reason, there are six types of the mental health disorder. The anxiety spectrum includes:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder: GAD features constant worry for much of the day. This can result in headaches, muscle tension, nausea, and trouble thinking.
  • Panic disorder: Sudden and unexplained feelings of intense terror. This can cause racing heart, shortness of breath, nausea, chest pain, and feeling dizzy. May lead to social isolation to avoid having an attack.
  • Social anxiety: Intense fear of being judged or critiqued. Fear of being embarrassed in public. Causes social isolation.
  • Specific phobias: Irrational fear of a certain thing, place, or situation. To manage this fear, the person will go to great measures to avoid triggers.
  • Trauma disorder: PTSD is about never getting over a trauma, even months later, It can lead to avoidance of people, places, or situations that trigger thoughts of the event. Flashbacks, nightmares, or repeated thoughts of the trauma stoke the symptoms.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder: OCD involves worries about such things like germs, causing harm, or a need for order. This drives compulsive behaviors tin an attempt to manage the symptoms of anxiety caused by the fear.

How to Manage Anxiety

Do the symptoms of anxiety make you feel like you’re losing your mind? If so, it is time to meet with a mental health worker. At the first meeting, a therapist will assess what type of anxiety you are dealing with.

He or she will then design a treatment plan that will help you manage the symptoms. Treatment uses a combined approach with psychotherapy, drugs, and healthy actions that help to reduce stress.

Therapy for anxiety is based on the type you have. CBT is very helpful for people that struggle with excess worry and fear. It also helps you to notice how your thoughts are driving the panic type response to a trigger. CBT then guides you toward changing those fear-based thoughts into more positive ones. Once the thoughts are reframed, the actions that follow will also be positive.

Anti-anxiety drugs from the benzo group can be helpful for some people. These drugs work swiftly to help calm nerves and relax you. In some cases, antidepressants are used to treat anxiety as well.

i'm losing my mind

Holistic Therapies That Help Manage Stress

Holistic therapies actions are now often found in the treatment plan for anxiety. This is because these activities can help improve the treatment outcome. They do this by teaching patients ways to achieve a relaxed state of being. For instance, some of these include:

  • Yoga.
  • Mindfulness.
  • Deep breathing
  • Acupuncture.
  • Massage therapy.
  • Equine therapy.
  • Art therapy

Elevation Behavioral Health Provides Expert Treatment for Anxiety 

Elevation Behavioral Health is an upscale residential mental health treatment center in Los Angeles. If you feel like anxiety makes you feel like you’re losing your mind, our caring team of experts can help. It is time to seek the treatment you deserve to regain your quality of life.

When your outpatient treatment is not giving the results you desire, consider a residential program. Treatment is much more focused, and the home-like setting gives you a chance to heal. Take a break from the stressors or triggers in your daily life. Enjoy our upscale private home and gorgeous setting. Our team will help guide you back to health and wellbeing. For questions about our program, reach out to us today at (888) 561-0868.

Anxiety about going to work

The feelings of anxiety do not begin with the morning alarm bell. Nope, the anxiety about going to work is felt throughout the night with fitful, restless sleep. The mere idea of entering the workplace triggers waves of stress that threaten to undermine any effort to be productive and engaged at work, and often result in calling out sick.

Workplace phobia, according to a definition published in Psychology, Health & Medicine, is defined as “a phobic anxiety reaction with symptoms of panic occurring when thinking of or approaching the workplace.” Considering the serious consequences of having anxiety about going to work, this particular phobia can be particularly devastating to not only one’s professional life, but their personal life as well. Being unable to keep a job due to this type of phobia can have far-reaching and deleterious consequences.

This specific source of this type of anxiety has often been lumped in with various other disorders. These include obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobia, specific phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder. This fear work is due to the features of the workplace phobia disorder, which can be recognized in these other forms of anxiety disorder. Finding a remedy is critical, and will likely involve a combination of therapies to help the individual overcome the dread and fear of going to work.

About Workplace Phobia

Individuals who have anxiety about going to work may exhibit a higher level of psychosomatic symptoms. These are the physical symptoms that can accompany a mental health condition, including gastrointestinal distress, migraines, pain, headaches, and fatigue, and often result in excessive absenteeism due to sick days. In fact one 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine found that 10% of patients with chronic mental health conditions who sought sick leave authorizations for their physical symptoms suffered from workplace phobia.

Identifying workplace phobia is essential in turning the ship around and overcoming a disorder that is negatively impacting quality of life. Employers also benefit from gaining an understanding of this type of anxiety, as loss of productivity related to paid sick days, having to hire temporary workers, and the impact on fellow coworkers are added costs to the business.

Intense irrational fear emerges when the individual thinks about or attempts to go to work. The triggering stimuli, such as encountering the supervisor or colleague, can cause symptoms like those of a specific phobia, such as:

  • Sweating
  • Hot flashes, chills
  • Trembling
  • Choking sensation
  • Inability to face the trigger (enter the workplace)
  • Chest pain, tightness
  • Dry mouth
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Intensive fear when approaching or considering the workplace
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sensation of butterflies in the stomach
  • Mental confusion, disorientation
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Reduction of symptoms when leaving or avoiding the workplace

When exposed to the workplace trigger, the symptoms are so uncomfortable and frightening that the anxiety about going to work can result in avoidance behaviors, thus the high rates of sick leave.

According to an article published in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, There are several subtypes of work phobic, including:

  • Work-related anxiety
  • Work-related panic
  • Work-related social phobia
  • Work-related phobia
  • Work-related generalized anxiety
  • Work-related PTSD

What Causes Workplace Phobia or Workplace-related Anxiety?

Workplace phobia, also referred to as ergophobia, can have various causal factors. Aside from the existence of a disorder such as social anxiety, which can feature work-place anxiety or phobia features, other risk factors might include:

  • Having had a prior work-related experience that was traumatic, such as sexual harassment or bullying
  • Performance-based fears
  • Fear of required oral presentations
  • Ongoing interpersonal issues and conflicts with a superior
  • Family history of social anxiety or phobia
  • Multiple traumas or significant negative life events lead to coping or stress-management issues at work

How to Treat Workplace Phobia

Treating work-related anxiety will revolve around changing the thought distortions that lead to the avoidant behaviors or panic symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps patients identify the dysfunctional thought-behavior patterns and guide them toward reframing thoughts to eventually be able to cope when confronting the work-related trigger. Combining CBT with exposure therapies that help desensitize the patient to the triggering event or situation can yield positive results.

Medication also plays a role in treatment for workplace phobia or anxiety. Drugs that reduce anxiety, such as benzodiazepines or beta blockers, may help improve the individual’s ability to function in the workplace once again.

Certain holistic strategies can assist in the reduction of stress or anxiety symptoms. These might include yoga, guided meditation, deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, getting regular exercise, and reducing caffeine intake.

Elevation Behavioral Health Treats Workplace Phobia and Workplace-related Anxiety

Elevation Behavioral Health is a luxury residential mental health program located in Los Angeles, California. The team at Elevation has crafted a highly effective treatment protocol for treating workplace phobia or anxiety, using an integrative approach. This includes the evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy, adjunctive therapies, such as EMDR, and holistic therapies that provide additional coping skills through mindfulness training and meditation. For more information about our program, please contact Elevation Behavioral Health today at (888) 561-0868.

benefits of art therapy

Art has the ability to inspire people and make them see things from a different perspective. Whether it’s painting a portrait, writing a story or playing a piece of music, art stimulates the brain and encourages positive actions in people’s lives.

For those recovering from substance abuse, a creative form of self-expression can be an important step in sobriety. Through artistic expression, people are able to communicate thoughts, ideas or fears in a way that verbal communication is sometimes incapable of.
They could even discover something about themselves they didn’t know.

The benefits of art therapy are numerous, and here are nine ways it can help on the path to sobriety:

1. Improve Self-Management.

Loss of control is a common side effect of addiction. People may prioritize getting high over personal and professional responsibilities and struggle to balance their addiction with life activities. Art therapy helps to learn skills to focus, build discipline and live a healthy life.

2. Alleviate Symptoms of Depression.

Research has demonstrated a link between addiction and depression. Art therapy can help foster positivity in people’s lives and provide something to look forward to every day. It is proven to help combat the chemical imbalances in the brain that may lead to depression.

3. Improve Communication Skills.

Individuals who struggle with expressing their thoughts and emotions may turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to escape. Art therapy fosters self-expression and can help develop communication skills and the ability to reach out to others.

4. Address Past Traumas.

Many people who suffer from addiction are attempting to block out painful memories of traumatic experiences. Through art, individuals can slowly begin to express their feelings about the event and take steps to move forward.

5. Reduce Stress.

De-stressing is one of the top reasons people abuse drugs or alcohol. Heavy daily demands can take a toll on mind and body. Art therapy helps to convert negative energy into positive habits that promote lasting health—free of harmful substances.

6. Improve Problem-Solving Skills.

By opening the mind, art therapy encourages people to seek smart solutions to problems rather than rely on drugs or alcohol. This is especially helpful in young adults who may struggle with fitting in or keeping up with the rapid changes in their lives.

7. Build Self-Esteem.

Studies show that individuals who have more confidence and social skills are more likely to develop healthy habits. Art therapy helps build the self-awareness and self-esteem necessary to tackle various social situations and life challenges.

8. Mitigate Symptoms.

Art therapy can help improve symptoms related to physical and mental disorders. Among other benefits, it can help reduce pain, stress and irritability levels during recovery.

9. Provide a Positive Distraction.

Distractions from an addiction can be very liberating and refreshing. Art therapy can help people to focus on the positive while keeping their minds off of cravings and negative thoughts.

Inability to Focus

Anxiety disorder can profoundly impact our lives, beyond the common symptoms of sensitivity to stress. One of the ways anxiety can disrupt our daily lives is through impaired cognitive functioning. Anxiety and inability to focus at work or school appear to be interconnected. As anxiety symptoms escalate, the mind struggles to stay on task.  Short-term memory functions are affected by anxiety as well, causing difficulty in remembering tasks or projects that are due, only adding to the work performance challenges.

Nearly one in five American adults are affected by anxiety disorder, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Learning techniques that can help manage the symptoms of anxiety and inability to focus is an essential strategy for individuals struggling with an anxiety disorder.

About Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The most common type of anxiety is called generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, with about 3.1% of the population, or nearly 7 million adults, struggling with this mental health disorder. GAD is characterized by pervasive worrying, so much so that it can impair daily functioning. The energy expended worrying about coulda, woulda, shouldas all day can be very taxing, impacting both energy levels and mental functioning. Individuals with GAD tend to ruminate over events that have already occurred, second-guessing themselves, or they may dwell on upcoming events and worry incessantly about anticipated outcomes. Fear and worry drive this disorder, with symptoms that include:

  • Excessive worry
  • Hyper-vigilance
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sweating
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Short-term memory problems

How Anxiety Can Affect Concentration

Individuals who struggle with anxiety often experience symptoms of mental confusion, foggy thinking, forgetfulness, and difficulty concentrating. While these symptoms may ebb and flow depending on the day and the stress load, they can be very frustrating for those with anxiety disorder.

Persistently elevated stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, are the cause of the brain fog that plagues individuals with anxiety disorder. This stress response has an adverse effect on cognitive functions, such as anxiety and inability to focus and short-term memory functioning. Poor concentration and lack of focus are common symptoms of anxiety disorder.

5 Steps to Help Manage Anxiety Symptoms

Understanding how anxiety can affect cognitive functioning is the first step in creating a strategy for managing the anxiety and inability to focus. By accepting that you will have to make some adjustments to work or study habits, you can begin to put into practice these new methods and begin to improve your mental focus, leading to more productivity and a boost in self-confidence. Some tips for improving cognitive functioning at work include:

  1. Take short breaks often. Instead of attempting to plow through a large block of focused work time, which will lead to wandering attention and loss of interest in the task, break up the work into smaller segments with short breaks in between.
  2. Make a to-do list. Start each day with a list of items that must be accomplished during the day. Allow for free time during the day as well, to intersperse enjoyable activities that will help keep you from burning out.
  3. Practice mindfulness. Training yourself to stay in the moment can help improve focus and concentration on the project at hand. When the mind begins to wander, rein it back in and refocus on the present moment.
  4. Switch tasks. When you begin to find yourself spacing out and losing focus, switch to a different task. Alternating your attention between the two tasks can help relieve boredom and stimulate better concentration.
  5. Mind your own business. Anxiety can lead to excessive worrying about things outside your control. Too often the mind wanders to unproductive worrying that stokes anxiety and inability to focus. Keep your mind on the task at hand.

Residential Anxiety Treatment for Intensive Therapy

For many people with anxiety disorder, outpatient psychiatric services may provide the means to manage the disorder effectively. Some, however, may find their anxiety disorder worsening over time. When reaching the point where relentless worry causes impaired daily functioning due to anxiety and inability to focus at all, a residential anxiety treatment program may be the best treatment option.

The residential anxiety treatment program can take a deeper look into the issues that may be impacting the anxiety using a more focused approach. Upon intake, a thorough evaluation of the anxiety disorder will provide information, such as a detailed medical and psychiatric history and a review of medications, which can allow the psychiatrist to diagnose the specific features of the anxiety disorder. Using this as a template, an individualized treatment plan can be crafted.

The comprehensive treatment approach will involve several therapeutic sessions during the day, such as individual psychotherapy, group therapy, life skills, family therapy, mindfulness training, deep breathing exercises, yoga, and other relevant therapies. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help individuals who struggle with anxiety and inability to focus by identifying disordered thoughts that may fuel the anxiety.

Anxiety Aftercare Services

It is important to continue to receive aftercare services following a residential program in order to reinforce the new strategies learned in treatment. Outpatient therapy is recommended on a weekly basis, which provides the ongoing support needed as the individual transitions back to their regular daily life. These sessions provide the necessary “tune-ups” when new stressors emerge that can trigger anxiety and psychological setbacks.

Finding a support group is also a beneficial aftercare activity. Being able to discuss daily challenges with others who struggle with anxiety disorder provides valuable peer support and creates a sense that one is not alone with these challenges. Group participants can also learn new techniques from each other for managing daily stressors and improving the quality of life.

Elevation Behavioral Health is a Leading Residential Mental Health Center in Los Angeles

Elevation Behavioral Health provides a proven, evidence-based treatment for the full spectrum of anxiety disorders in a residential setting. Elevation offers a warm, intimate escape from the stressors of daily life that keep your mental health reeling. At Elevation Behavioral Health you can focus your energy and attention on learning new ways to manage anxiety and improve focus. For more information about our program, please contact Elevation today at (888) 561-0868.

yoga and mental health

Those who have ever taken a yoga class know firsthand the sense of calmness and well-being that follows, and they’ve probably experienced the sensation of lightness in the muscles brought on by long, gentle stretches. The health benefits are well-documented, but its benefits for those in addiction recovery go far beyond improving physical health.

Any high-quality treatment program will take a holistic approach to treatment that addresses issues of body, mind and spirit. At Elevation Behavioral Health, yoga is an integral part of our program because it strengthens and soothes body, mind and spirit, promotes mindfulness, reduces stress and fosters good physical and mental health.

Yoga and Mindfulness

Yoga brings the mind and body into the present, where focus is on what’s happening in the here and now. How does the body feel? What is the state of mind? What emotions are present? Being in tune with one’s physical and mental state is the cornerstone of mindfulness, and practices in mindfulness, including yoga, are fast becoming proven therapies for preventing relapse, according to an article published in the journal Substance Abuse.

Mindful recovery is all about being aware of thoughts and attitudes, accepting them as they arise, observing them non-judgmentally, and learning to reshape them. Practicing mindfulness through yoga can help people in recovery navigate cravings, make healthy lifestyle choices and—perhaps most importantly—recognize the early signs of relapse.

Stress Relief

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, stress is a major trigger for relapse. Stress and the body’s response to it can be mitigated through yoga practice, according to Harvard Medical School, which cites a study that shows it helps to reduce the body’s stress responses like muscle tension and increased heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. Yoga can even help the body learn to respond to stress in healthier ways.

Mental and Physical Health

Regular yoga practice bolsters the immune system and improves overall health, according to a study published in the International Journal of Yoga. It strengthens the muscles, and it improves flexibility and promotes balance of mind and spirit. A healthy body is central to long-term recovery, as is a healthy mind. Yoga can help improve mental health by relieving anxiety and depression, enhancing a sense of self and helping to heal emotional wounds, according to the American Psychological Association. This can be particularly helpful for those whose addiction is rooted in trauma.

A Holistic Approach to Treatment is Best

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration points out that everyone’s pathway to recovery is different, and a holistic approach to treatment should include a variety of research-based alternative and complementary therapies. As one of a number of holistic therapies offered through our program, yoga can help individuals in recovery develop a higher level of self-awareness, improve self-esteem and foster other healthy lifestyle choices that can improve the chances of successful long-term recovery.

is burnout a mental illness

Anyone who has experienced job burnout knows it is awful, but is burnout a mental illness? According to the newest revisions to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Classification of Diseases, or ICD-11, burnout is new recognized officially as a “syndrome.” This has the condition falling into the realm of mental health concerns without officially labeling it as a mental illness. As a syndrome, burnout could result in a mental illness.

This new designation is a welcome one, as it now offers individuals suffering from workplace burnout something they can’t point to in order to explain their symptoms. As workplace pressures continue to escalate, employers need to address the conditions that might contribute to burnout and find workable solutions. This might mean integrating wellness breaks into the workday, such as providing yoga classes or guided meditation. Other solutions might address better time management, prioritizing of projects, and ways to streamline emails and other time zappers.

Employees are at their peak performance when a healthy life-work balance exists. The fast-paced, ever changing workplace cultures of today can make achieving that balance very challenging. But companies that make their employee’s mental health a top priority will benefit with a more productive, positive work environment.

What is Burnout?

It is understood that most every job description involves a certain amount of drudgery or an occasional sense of being overwhelmed by demands. Tasks that revolve around mind-numbing, rote, and often boring functions that sap energy and decrease job satisfaction. When the weight of these mundane tasks begins to prevent someone from completing their core job functions in a given workday, long hours, weekends, and disruption of private time can ensue. Not only are these functions providing no personal growth or financial gain, but they are demanding so much time that pressure just continues to build when attempting to keep up with the workload.

The opposite situation can also lead to workplace burnout. Some bosses pile on so much demanding work that performing to expectations feels impossible. Maybe the skills required to successfully complete projects have not been adequately taught, leaving the employee feeling completely stressed and incompetent.

Burnout is the physical and mental exhaustion that results from keeping up with relentless routines for an extended period of time. Work-related projects then bleed into personal family time, which then prevent the employee from engaging in the activities and hobbies they enjoy in their time off. This is where work-life balance becomes skewed, as the demands of the job exceed the rewards and little time is available for pleasure.

Signs of Burnout

When chronic workplace stress causes frayed nerves, anxiety, and intense fatigue, is it any wonder that one might wonder is burnout a mental illness. In a way, yes, burnout is a mental illness, although not yet defined as a mental health disorder in the DSM-5. As a syndrome, burnout has the ingredients that can evolve into an anxiety disorder or major depressive disorder. The symptoms of burnout include:

  • Depletion of energy, fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of detachment toward job
  • Somatic symptoms, such as chronic digestive issues, headache, or physical weakness
  • Reduced work performance
  • Negative emotions such as cynicism or hostility towards job, management, fellow coworkers
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Stress on relationships
  • Substance abuse

Feeling overworked and stressed out is a normal part of being a working adult. But when there is no relief and one’s personal health and mental wellness begins to suffer, burnout then becomes a very real possibility. When burnout occurs, the individual may no longer have any energy left to give. They may feel indifferent and detached and basically stop caring.

How Burnout Can Lead to Serious Mental Health Conditions

Back in the day, when someone had reached maximum burnout and completely melted down it was termed a “nervous breakdown.” Is burnout a mental illness? No, but left unchecked burnout can have dangerous consequences, both psychological and physical. This is due to the perpetually elevated levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, keeping the person in a constant state of fight or flight and reducing immunity to illness. Over time, it may reach a critical peak that can result in the following conditions:

  • Depression. Someone who is burned out can become listless, sad, hopeless, and detached. Other depression symptoms include changes in sleeping and eating habits, fatigue, irritability, difficulty making decisions, and suicidal thinking.
  • Anxiety. Generalized anxiety disorder features feelings of being out of control while experiencing excess fear, worry, or dread. Anxiety also features insomnia, palpitations, sweating, shallow breathing, restlessness, and racing thoughts.
  • Sleep disorders. Hypersomnia, or excessive sleeping and insomnia, or an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, can have significant adverse mental health effects, as well as negatively impact physical health and wellbeing.
  • Coronary heart disease. A large study out of Israel followed 8,800 employees for over 3 years. They found that among those who scored in the top 20% of the, 79% had an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

What Causes Burnout?

Anyone can go through difficult stretches in their career when expectations and demands were so high that the workload and stress burden seems unsurmountable. However, some people have particular personality traits that may make them more susceptible to workplace burnout. They are, in a way, prewired for burnout. These traits include:

  • Perfectionism. Some individuals set such a high standard for excellence that they can place an inordinate amount of undue stress upon themselves. The added stress of constantly striving for perfection throughout the workday can result in burnout.
  • Unwilling to delegate. A desire to control the outcome of every task and assignment can result in an unwillingness to let go and trust the team’s abilities to help manage various aspects of the projects. This means the individual is perpetually engaged in every step of an assignment which can lead to burnout.
  • Being a martyr. Some employees may sacrifice their health or mental wellness for the sake of being a high performer who delivers results. This means that their lives revolve around the adulation and positive strokes of work, and that they will throw themselves on the sword to make sure everything is successfully completed on time. These individuals also ignore self-care and work-life balance
  • Poor time management skills. Undeveloped organizational skills can lead to wasted time in completing tasks. Not prioritizing can allow mundane activities to swallow up vast amounts of time leaving insufficient time for getting the higher-level tasks completed on time.

How to Prevent Burnout and Manage Stress

Being cognizant of the dangers of slipping into burnout means having a healthy respect for maintaining balance in life. This means being proactive about how your time is spent and protecting wellness by establishing healthy boundaries. Many well-meaning supervisors are simply not aware of the pressures they are placing on staff members or that the tools for them to succeed have not been provided. Employees need to understand that it it falls on them to communicate openly with supervisors regarding the nees for support or tools that will allow them to succeed.

Burnout prevention can involve the following actions:

  • A change of perspective. Instead of seeing work demands as impossible to complete, view them as challenges to embrace and conquer. Ask yourself how you can shift a negative attitude toward one of positive productivity.
  • Prioritize self-care. In the whirlwind of life, no one will carve out opportunities for self-care for a person. It falls directly on each individual to incorporate wellness activities and balance into the workweek.
  • Have outlets for stress. It is essential to have a network of support in one’s life, whether that is a spouse, a best friend, a support group, or a therapist. These individuals can provide a safe place to vent and share frustrations, while acquiring helpful tips for better managing stress.
  • Identify time-wasters. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies when it comes to feeling overwhelmed. Over use of social media during the workday, spending too much time socializing at work, or refusing to delegate routine tasks all sap time that could better be used towards productive endeavors.

Treatment for Burnout

When stress levels remain perpetually high and daily functioning becomes impaired, it is important to seek out the professional help needed to reclaim wellness and balance in life. Depending on the degree of burnout or whether there is a mental health disorder involved, the individual has the option of receiving treatment in an outpatient setting or a residential setting. Generally, the longer the mental health disorder has endured, and the more it has impaired functioning, a residential program offers the best venue for treatment. An outpatient approach is fine when the problem is less entrenched.

Treatment for burnout can involve the following elements:

  • Psychotherapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) provides a short-term evidence-based approach that helps the individual examine dysfunctional thought and behavior patterns that lead to burnout.
  • Medication. In some cases, antidepressants or sedatives may be warranted for helping to managing the symptoms of burnout or accompanying depression or anxiety.
  • Addiction treatment. When excessive stress and burnout has resulted in a substance use disorder the individual will benefit from progressing through a dual diagnosis addiction recovery program.
  • Holistic therapy. Learning how to regulate stress is integral to treatment for burnout. These activities include deep breathing, yoga, meditation, massage, and other relaxation inducing activities.

Elevation Behavioral Health Treats Burnout and Related Mental Health Disorders

Elevation Behavioral Health is a Los Angeles-based residential wellness center that offers a diverse array of customized therapies for individuals suffering from burnout. The intimate, private residential program offers luxury accommodations and amenities in a highly desirable setting. The expert psychiatric staff provides the best blend of evidence-based therapies and holistic therapies to guide the individual back to a balanced state of wellness. For questions, such as is burnout a mental illness or more information about the program, please contact our team at (888) 643-7135.

 

 

losing job due to depression

Imagine being stricken with an unexpected medical condition that ended up sabotaging your ability to perform your usual job duties. Maybe it is an autoimmune disease or cancer—any life-impairing health condition—that you notice is thwarting your efforts to continue with your usual standard of performance on the job. Does the boss fire you? No, in most cases the boss is sympathetic and accommodating, allowing you to reduce your responsibilities or hours, or even take a leave, while you seek treatment.

Now replace that medical condition with a mental health disorder such as depression. Depression can be at least as debilitating as a physical health problem, but some employers may still attach a stigma to it. They may not recognize that the symptoms that are negatively impacting productivity or attendance are truly valid, and may not be as willing to accommodate you during the depressive episode.

Thankfully, laws are in place to protect us from being discriminated against or losing a job due to depression, or any other mental health disorder under most conditions. By having a clear understanding of employee rights you will be armed with the information that can help prevent losing a job due to depression.

Is Depression Considered a Disability?

When the depression is considered to be a long-term condition, an employer cannot discriminate against the employee who is struggling on the job. An employer is not permitted to fire an employee due to a mental health disorder, nor is the employer allowed to reject someone for a promotion or a job, or to force someone to take a leave. Employees struggling with depression have a right to ask for reasonable accommodations that will allow them to keep their job while they are dealing with the disorder.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a person can qualify for disability under these criteria:

  • They have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities and/or bodily functions. Major life activities include caring for yourself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.
  • They have a history of such an impairment
  • They are regarded as having such an impairment

In most cases, the condition must be present for several months before it is considered a long-term problem, however the condition dose not need to be permanent or severe to be considered “substantially limiting.”

Do You Have to Disclose the Depression?

Some may be very concerned about losing a job due to depression, and are very resistant to revealing the nature of their condition. Although legally it is not required that an employee disclose the nature of their condition, in some cases it will be unavoidable. For example, if the employee requests reasonable accommodations, if they pose a safety risk, or if there is evidence that they are unable to perform their job duties it may be required to discuss the nature of the mental health situation. An employee that chooses to share with coworkers or management about their depression is free to do so.

Is the Employer Required to Provide Accommodations?

Employees have a legal right to request reasonable accommodations to help them perform their duties. This is so for a mental health condition that would, if left untreated, could substantially limit one’s ability to concentrate, communicate, eat, sleep, interact with others, care for oneself, regulate thoughts or emotions. It is not necessary to stop receiving treatment for the depression in order to get the accommodation.

Treatment for Depression

The most important message, over and above being able to keep one’s job, is the need to get treatment for the depression. Depression rarely just resolves on its own. In fact, untreated depression can continue to worsen, further disrupting the ability to perform job duties, and risking serious outcomes, such as suicide. Treatment for depression is available in both outpatient and residential settings, providing many options for getting the appropriate level of care.

In most instances, depression is treated with a combination of antidepressant drug therapy and psychotherapy. Antidepressants take 4-6 weeks before being effective, and it may be necessary to try more than one drug before finding the one that offers relief. Therapy helps individuals to process emotional pain or past trauma that might be factors in the depressive disorder. In addition, cognitive behavioral therapy is helpful in shifting negative thought patterns towards more positive self-messaging.

Elevation Behavioral Health Provides Residential Depression Treatment

Elevation Behavioral Health is a Los Angeles-based residential program that offers intensive mental health treatment. When outpatient interventions have not adequately helped your major depressive disorder, you may benefit from a more targeted treatment plan. Providing deluxe accommodations and a highly attentive clinical staff, Elevation Behavioral Health strives to make the client’s stay a comfortable and healing experience. Elevation Behavioral Health offers a full daily schedule of therapies and adjunctive activities to help individuals struggling with depression reclaim their joy and return to fully functioning at their chosen career. For more information about the program, or to get information about losing a job due to depression, please contact us today at (888) 561-0868.

severe emotional trauma symptoms

Each of us has a unique and personal emotional history, a story unlike anyone else’s. Not only is our life experience our very own, but so is our temperament or personality, which influences in a significant way how we will respond to the presenting stressors in our lives. When we encounter a traumatizing event, how we as individuals process that experience will draw from our own psychological backdrop.

This means, for example, that if we have a childhood history of sexual abuse, we will respond differently to a sexual assault in adulthood, with deep roots of emotional memory attached to the experience. This compounded trauma may result in a sustained trauma disorder, referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Someone without an emotional scar from childhood may also experience trauma disorder, however they may not suffer the severe emotional trauma symptoms, and they may be able to process through the traumatic experience at a faster pace.

Because of the individualized response to witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event, it is important to know that seeking psychological support is always helpful. When a trauma has the effect of paralyzing the individual, seriously disrupting daily life and impairing functioning, a residential mental health program would be an appropriate level of care.

Understanding Psychological Trauma

A traumatic event is something that is witnessed or experienced firsthand that creates a sense of deep fear and lack of control over the situation. Examples of traumas might include:

  • Physical assault
  • Sexual assault
  • Atrocities related to military combat
  • Serious auto accident
  • Sudden death of a loved one
  • Serious health event or diagnosis
  • Natural disaster
  • Terrorism

The traumatic event is often something that was unexpected, sudden, unpredicted. The individual experiencing the event may feel powerless, which adds to the severe emotional trauma symptoms. But even life events that evoke a sense of fear of the unknown or a feeling of having no control over the outcome can also be considered traumatic. These might include a divorce, having to relocate suddenly, a parent’s health issues, or loss of a job and other major financial setbacks.

Severe Emotional Trauma Symptoms

Individuals struggling with the aftermath of experiencing a trauma may exhibit a range of symptoms, including psychological and physical. These symptoms may include:

Psychological symptoms of trauma

  • Detachment
  • Emotional numbness
  • Depression
  • Feelings of guilt or shame
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Mood swings
  • Confusion
  • Nightmares, flashbacks
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Withdraw from friends and family
  • Obsessive/compulsive symptoms
  • Anxiety

Physical symptoms of trauma

  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Change in eating and sleeping habits
  • Vague symptoms of aches and pains
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Muscle tension
  • Hyper-arousal, easily startled
  • Fatigue

The symptoms that follow a trauma may emerge immediately after the event or may be delayed, even by weeks or months. In some individuals the symptoms continue to worsen over time, culminating in a PTSD diagnosis.

Types of Treatment for Trauma Disorder

Treatment for trauma disorder relies on a blend of therapies and activities as well as medication when indicated.

  • Individual psychotherapy is very beneficial, especially behavior therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, prolonged exposure therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy.
  • Group therapy, including family therapy, is also helpful as it allows trauma victims to share about their experience and express their emotions in a safe, supportive setting.
  • Exposure therapy helps reduce the impact of the traumatic memories by incrementally desensitizing the individual to the event by exposing them to triggers.
  • Psychodynamic therapy helps for deep-seated childhood traumas, as this type of therapy explores early experiences to see how they are impacting present life.

Other Therapies for Treating Psychological Trauma

Holistic therapies, such as yoga, mindfulness meditation, massage therapy, hypnotherapy, and guided imagery can be useful in helping the individual overcome the fear-based stress that follows a trauma. These activities all promote relaxation while providing relief from stress.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, or EMDR, is useful for helping to desensitize the individual from the impact of the traumatic memories. In an 8-part program the therapist asks the individual to use their eyes to follow an object or finger back and forth while they discuss the trauma with the person. By focusing their attention on the stimulus it helps to reduce the impact of what they are discussing.

Keeping a journal is also helpful in resolving the pain of a trauma. Just writing down the thoughts, fears, memories, and emotions regarding the traumatic event can help sort out the issues around the trauma while diffusing some of the potency of the memories.

Elevation Behavioral Health Provides Residential Treatment for Trauma Disorder

Elevation Behavioral Health is a residential mental health treatment center in Los Angeles. Elevation treats severe emotional trauma symptoms using an integrated approach that includes conventional evidence-based therapies, medication, EMDR, and holistic therapies. Each individual patient’s unique trauma history will dictate the customized therapy he or she will receive. For more details about our residential program, please contact Elevation Behavioral Health today at (888) 561-0868.