There are many reasons you may be using drugs and/or alcohol, such as to find relief from other mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, to numb certain feelings, to better socialize, or to cope with day-to-day stress. While drugs and alcohol may work in the short term, they have lasting and debilitating consequences to your life and relationships. You often have to start using more and more to find the effect you are looking for.
Addiction is treatable. If you are struggling with an addiction, lets work on understanding and addressing the root causes of why you seek and gain relief from drugs and/or alcohol. Additionally, addiction and addictive behaviors extends to video gaming, gambling, food, social media/cellphone usage, and more. If you or your loved one notices that you are having difficulty with excessive and uncontrollable behaviors, find out if you are struggling with an addiction and ways in which therapy can be a part of helping you gain balance in your life.
Anxiety is felt both within the body and mind. Often, troubling and distressing thoughts may repeat themselves over and over again, feelings of worry and dread can be constant, and you worry about the fact that you worry so much. Anxiety is often an imbalanced reaction to the stress of life or anticipated stress. There are targeted skills to address both the anxiety felt in the body and reduce the thoughts that fuel dread and worry. Let’s get you relief from anxiety so it doesn't take over how you function in life.
Bipolar Disorder reflects having mood states on opposite ends of a spectrum: elevated mood and low or depressed mood. Have you ever noticed a pattern in yourself of feeling extremely elevated and on top of the world or agitated and buzzing with energy, not needing much sleep, making impulsive decisions or feeling like your thoughts are going a mile a minute? Have you also ever experienced depression? If so, it’s important to reach out to get an accurate diagnosis and find the ways in which therapy can help you manage and thrive beyond the extremes of the mood states.
While stress is a normal occurrence, when it is prolonged (over many months to years), it starts to have damaging effects on the body and mind. If you have been experiencing stress for an extended period and are seeing changes such as difficulty with sleep, “spacing out” (dissociation), irritability, fatigue, sense of helplessness, headaches, and digestive problems, then reach out. Let’s get your stress load down to manageable levels.
Depression is more than feeling sad. In addition to sadness, you may experience loss of interest in things you once found enjoyable, feelings of emptiness or hopelessness, extremely low energy, sleeping too little or too much, changes in your eating pattern, guilt or regret, difficulty with concentration, and in some cases, recurrent thoughts of suicide. Depression can be episodic or constant, but there is always help. Therapy can help break the cycle of depression so you can find enjoyment in your life again.
Do you ever look up at the stars and wonder about your place in this universe? Have you previously made sense of your life through the lens of faith or another set of core beliefs and values, and now you aren’t sure anymore? Have your values or belief system been tested recently or failed, and you are unsure of what this means moving forward? Do you ever think about whether your life has meaning and purpose, only to begin having negative thoughts and experiencing a sense of being overwhelmed or stuck? Does thinking about death and its inevitability make you uncomfortable, distressed or confused? If you find that these kinds of existential thoughts have become overwhelming for you and are impacting your life and relationships, therapy can provide you the space and tools to understand the complexity of your emotions, evaluate your values and regain a sense of purpose and meaning in your life.
Grief and Loss
When we experience the death of someone we love, our whole world may feel like it has turned upside down. We experience despair, devastation, and anger. We feel that life will never be the same again. There is no right way to grieve. Grief, like waves in the ocean, rises and falls throughout our lifetime. In the initial stages right after losing someone, those waves can crash with greater intensity. We may be okay one day, then be racked with disbelief or despair the next. If you have lost a loved one, whether recent or long ago, and are struggling to cope with that loss, you are not alone. Therapy can help you navigate the change in the connection you shared with your loved one. Grief doesn't have to consume your whole world.
Adjusting to change can be both rewarding and difficult. Over the course a lifetime, we can expect to experience a lot of changes. All changes, whether we perceive them positive (getting a new job, marriage) or negative (health problems, accidents), come with the need to adapt to a new circumstance. There are some changes/transitions in life that can sometimes cause stress, feelings of being overwhelmed, anxiousness, feelings of depression, or changes in eating, sleeping or socialization habits. If you are currently struggling to cope with a life transition, therapy can provide a space for support and guidance on mindfully navigating the change and your experience through it.
Integrative Mental Health
Integrative mental health care approaches address lifestyle and environmental variables that impact one’s mental well-being such as sleep, environmental stressors, nutrition intake, movement, and behavioral habits. Our mental health struggles don't occur in a vacuum and how we feel is connected to the workings of the body and our individual biochemistry as well as the social and physical environment around us. Healthy nutrition and lifestyle strategies can facilitate improved cognitive function and improved mood. More and more studies are showing the connection between the gut's microbiome, referred to as "the second brain," inflammation, and the impact of nutrient intake on neurotransmitters involved in regulating mood in the brain.
We all have different brain and body chemistry. You will find the nutrition and lifestyle choices that help one person’s mental health may not be as effective for another. It's not a one-size-fits-all method. It is important to find out for yourself the connection between the foods you eat, lifestyle factors and the impact on your mood, your thoughts and your overall mental well being. Evaluating how your nutrition intake and lifestyle factors may be impacting your mental health can help you make informed decisions everyday in your life and take more control of how you feel.
Trauma, Adversity, and PTSD
There are traumatic events that are life threatening, such as being directly exposed to natural disasters, war, violence and abuse. These traumatic events can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There are also highly distressing experiences that may not be life threatening but still impact us, such as being a child of divorce/separation, poverty, living in communities with high exposure to violence, all the forms of oppression (racism, xenophobia, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, classism etc), emotional abuse, the loss of a relationship, experience of emotional or physical neglect during childhood and bullying to name a few. Each individual reacts to and copes differently to complex or single incident trauma and adversity.
You may find that you have been exposed to one or more traumatic events or experiences of adversity that continues to cause you distress or is impacting your relationship with others. Some common but not exhaustive list of reactions from trauma and adversity are anger or irritability, mood swings, withdrawing from others, feeling disconnected or numb, anxiety or fear, sadness, hopelessness, guilt, shame, always feeling on edge, nightmares, muscle tension, and negative feelings about yourself, your future, or the world.
Therapy for trauma and adversity at CreateWellness is focused on being non re-traumatizing and healing using neuroscience and memory reconsolidation based evidence on how the brain navigates, processes, and stores complex and troubling experiences from trauma and clearing those painful memories through Rapid Resolution Therapy®. Trauma and adversity does not need to continue to harmfully impact your life and keep you stuck. The goal is to achieve lasting healing so you can live a more resilient and fulfilling life.