One of the lesser known or discussed dangers to chronic alcohol use and addiction is what the medical community has coined, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, or for simplicity sake, WKS. This neurodegenerative brain disease is caused by a lack of vitamin B-1, also known as thiamine in the body. When the body is not receiving the proper nutrients it requires, parts of the brain begin to shut down and not function as it once did.
Addiction is a disease. It causes an overwhelming urge to do something that feels almost impossible to control or stop. Regardless of what the addiction is to, be it illicit drugs, prescription pills, alcohol, smoking or gambling, everyone who has an addiction struggles with the same four factors: craving, compulsion, control and consequences, also referred to as the 4Cs of addiction. These four factors differentiate an addiction from other neurological disorders as the driving force.
When you or somebody you love is struggling with addiction, it is often referred to as a family disease because of the impact the addiction has on the individual struggling and those around them. Being a family member of someone who is struggling can be extremely difficult because of the emotional turmoil that occurs while watching a loved one grapple with their battle with addiction.
Some of the emotions that may arise from being a bystander to a loved one’s addiction include fear, anger, sadness, shame, guilt, anxiety and/ or depression. The emotions of helplessness and hopelessness are commonly experienced as you are forced to watch your loved one self-destruct. These feelings can evoke a belief that your loved one’s struggle with addiction is your responsibility: “Their pain is your pain; their struggle is your struggle.”
For all of those who are newly sober or have been in recovery for some time, choosing to remain sober isn’t easy. It is a decision made daily and everyday can have its challenges. Recovery from addiction is a lifelong process; add a global health pandemic into the mix and maintaining sobriety becomes an entirely different and difficult challenge, no matter how many days, weeks, months or years an individual has been sober. Continue reading “Staying sober during the pandemic”
If you have a friend or family member that struggles with addiction, it is likely that you have heard the phrase, “you to need to stop enabling the addict.” We always want the best for our loved ones, especially those struggling with addiction. We believe that we are doing the right thing when helping them. At the end of the day, we may not realize that our helping could be enabling the habits and behaviours of someone struggling with addiction. When we enable an addict, we are preventing them from seeing the total consequences to their actions and/or behaviours.
To say that life has been stressful this year is an understatement. Life as we know it has changed completely. We have been faced with social, financial, professional and spiritual restrictions. This has created a lot of additional stress for many of us and there really isn’t an end in sight. When life gets hectic and overwhelming, we can burn out from pushing ourselves too much without a break.
Throughout life, the majority of us will be affected by anxiety in one way or another. For some of us it is just a minor blip to our normal, everyday life. However, for others it can be all encompassing and quite literally take control of our lives, sometimes without us even knowing it.
What’s A Better Fit For You?
Deciding to put drug and alcohol use behind you can be a challenging and overwhelming experience. The process usually begins with a detox program. Now remember… staying clean is the hard part! After detox, you must choose between in-patient vs out-patient programs. Both approaches are extremely beneficial but require a significant commitment in order to STAY clean.
On the in-patient side, treatment typically takes place in our 5-star ranch-style residential facility. The individual stays in the facility for the duration of their treatment. While there, they participate in a range of therapies, such as… Continue reading “In-Patient vs Out-Patient”
Less than one third of individuals who experience psychological distress seek help from a mental health professional.
What are the roadblocks individuals face when contemplating counseling?
Access to mental health care can improve lives and communities. It can dramatically improve mental and physical health problems, and reduce the risk of family conflict, employment issues, substance abuse, and suicide.
To increase the use of mental health counseling and treatment services, we must first understand the avoidance factors that prevent people from seeking professional help. Continue reading “Common Barriers to Counselling”
For thousands of years, people have used art as a form of self-expression, a way to process and communicate their emotional truths to the world. Creative expression is a fundamental part of the human experience, and increasingly it’s being recognized for its therapeutic benefit.
WHAT IS ART THERAPY?
Art therapy is a therapeutic technique that encourages individuals to express their thoughts and feelings through creativity rather than speech, to improve their physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Do you know someone whose life is in a constant state of chaos? For whom everything is a crisis.
Perhaps this is you?
Chaos addicts are more common than you think.
Signs You’re Addicted to Drama
- You love to gossip.
- You hate when you’re not the centre of attention.
- You’re always late.
- You’re always fighting with someone.
- You overshare on social media.
- You yell and scream to make your point.
- You’re always sticking your nose in other people’s business.
- You end or threaten to end relationships often.
- You like to stir the pot.
Are you struggling to find the balance between career and family? You’re not alone. 58% of Canadians report feeling overloaded with the responsibilities of managing work life with home, family, friends, community, and their own physical and mental well-being.
We’ve all faced the challenge of time management at one point or another, but as the length of the average workday increases, commute times rise, and new technologies make it easier to stay connected, the balance between work and the rest of our lives has become even more difficult to maintain.
Take a moment and ask yourself: Could I handle doing a 30-day social media detox?
Has your use of social media sites:
- caused you to seek validation based on other people’s interest or approval?
- produced feelings of insecurity?
- distracted you from what’s happening in the moment?
- reduced your in-person interaction with friends and family?
- distorted your version of reality?
- prevented you from participating in relationships or activities?
- revealed too much of your private life?
- triggered you to behave in a mean or hurtful way?
- kept you from living up to your full potential?
Do any of these apply to you? If so, it may be time to consider taking a break from social media.
Impulsivity and compulsivity are natural behaviours that are essential for human survival. Being impulsive is acting on instinct. Being compulsive is acting upon an irresistible urge. While similar sounding, these two behaviours differ in intent. Impulsive behaviour is action without thought, compulsive behaviour is premeditated.
For some, impulsive or compulsive behaviour becomes an addiction, leading to serious mental health disorders that take control of their lives. Learning to recognize these behaviours, their causes, and the disorders associated, can better educate us about the mental health challenges facing our community, and help end the stigma surrounding mental health disorders.
What is Self-Harm?
Self-harm, also known as self-injury, or self-mutilation occurs when someone intentionally harms themselves as a way of expressing or dealing with emotional distress and pain.
Examples of self-harm include:
- Cutting yourself with a razor blade, knife, or other sharp object;
- Hitting yourself or banging your head;
- Punching or throwing yourself against walls or other hard objects;
- Burning yourself with cigarettes, matches, candles, or hot water;
- Pulling out your hair;
- Poking objects into body openings;
- Swallowing poisonous substances or inedible objects;
- Intentionally preventing wounds from healing.
Self-harm can also include less obvious ways of hurting yourself like binge drinking, taking drugs, having unsafe sex, or committing illegal acts.
Everyday we hear people talking about different mental health disorders, but how many of us know what they truly mean? To help clarify, the following are definitions of some of the most common mental health conditions.
Addiction is a brain disorder characterized by a compulsive desire to do or to have something despite harmful consequences.
Anxiety is an intense feeling of fear, worry, nervousness, or unease caused by the anticipation of an imminent event or situation with an uncertain outcome.
47% of working Canadians consider stress in the workplace to be the most stressful part of daily life. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
Not all stress is bad. A little stress can help you stay focused, energetic, and able to meet new challenges in the workplace. But when stress becomes persistent and exceeds your ability to cope, it can interfere with your productivity and performance, and be harmful to your physical and emotional health.
While many people gamble recreationally without developing a problem, for some gambling can become an unhealthy obsession with serious consequences.
Gambling addiction is an impulse control disorder. A highly addictive activity that’s promise of easy money can quickly lead to financial ruin.
Unless you or a loved one has a history of substance abuse, it’s hard to understand the true nature of addiction. Without personal experience, people often fill their knowledge gap with presumptions, speculation, rumour, and conjecture, creating myths about addiction, and the recovery process that overshadow facts. So, let’s clear the air. The following are some of the most common myths about substance abuse, addiction, and recovery, and the real facts everyone should know.
Watching your child grow, and helping them to develop, is one of the great joys of parenthood. But while providing for your child’s physical needs is fairly straightforward, providing for their emotional growth, can be less clear.
Evidence shows that fostering a child’s emotional growth through strong family relationships and open and honest communication, has a positive effect on their mental health. Good mental health allows children to understand and manage their emotions, make smart decisions, develop socially, and learn new skills. Nurturing your child’s mental health from infancy will also prepare them for the many challenges that lie ahead: school tests; peer pressure; bullying; dating; and the other trials of growing up.
To provide a solid foundation your child’s emotional growth, practice these eight proven tips for nurturing a child’s mental health.