woman sitting on dock looking out over the water

Anxiety and Addiction

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. 

Most commonly, when experiencing anxiety someone may experience an elevated heart rate, irritability, restlessness, difficulty sleeping, lack of focus and/ or increased worry.  

For many, anxiety is a short-lived issue that can be dealt with through calming breathing exercises, yoga, talk therapy and making life changes to fix the problem being faced with. Though, for some, especially those struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, anxiety is a deep-rooted issue that needs to be dealt with before it takes over more of your life than it already has.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) reports that people with a mental illness such as anxiety are twice as likely to have a substance use problem compared to the general population. More often than not, addiction is a result of someone suffering silently from anxiety, and not created by the addiction itself, as some would like to believe. 

Social Stigma

Unfortunately, even in 2020 there still is a social stigma around seeking help for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. CAMH also states that 40 per cent of respondents to a 2016 survey agreed to have had experienced feelings of anxiety or depression, but never sought medical help for it. 

Self-medicating your anxiety

These misconceptions can lead to self-medicating in an attempt to mask their problem. Though initially this may alleviate some of the pain caused by the anxiety, it does not solve the initial problem, and only creates a larger one over time – a dependance to the substance used. This vicious circle results in the body building a tolerance to the drug of choice, be it prescription pills, illicit drugs or alcohol, and many times adding different types of stronger substances to avoid the feelings of anxiety. 

Self-medicating is all about avoidance. Avoiding the feeling of doubt and pain caused by whatever set off the feelings of anxiety in the first place. 

This ‘coping mechanism’ is neither beneficial short or long-term. It creates both an overwhelming addiction as well as for many, a financial crisis because of the high costs of illicit drugs and prescription medication. On top of this, as people continue down this path, overdose, hospitalization, jail or even death can occur if something doesn’t change. 

If you feel a friend or loved one is experiencing any of these anxiety and addiction related issues, your first step should be to contact a rehabilitation centre such as The Farm. We employ experts in the field that can help you address these concerns and create a plan to help your loved one with both their addiction as well as coping with anxiety issues.

In-Patient vs Out-Patient

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 inpatient vs outpatient programs. Both approaches are extremely beneficial but require a significant commitment in order to STAY clean.

Inpatient

On the inpatient side of inpatient vs outpatient, 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”

Barriers to Mental Health Counseling

WHAT’S STOPPING YOU? Common Barriers to Counseling

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 “WHAT’S STOPPING YOU? Common Barriers to Counseling”

The Healing Power of Art Therapy

THE HEALING POWER OF ART THERAPY

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.

Continue reading “THE HEALING POWER OF ART THERAPY”

Are you addicted to drama?

CHAOS THEORY: Are You Addicted to Drama?

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.

Continue reading “CHAOS THEORY: Are You Addicted to Drama?”

Work-Life Balance Quiz

Are you working too much? WORK-LIFE BALANCE QUIZ

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.

Continue reading “Are you working too much? WORK-LIFE BALANCE QUIZ”

30-Day Social Media Detox

30-DAY SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX

Take a moment and ask yourself: When was the last time I went a full day without checking social media?

Has your use of social media sites:

  • caused you to seek validation based on other people’s interest or approval?Number of Canadian Social Media Users
  • 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.

Continue reading “30-DAY SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX”

Impulsive Behaviour vs Compulsive Behaviour

IMPULSIVE BEHAVIOUR vs COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOUR

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.

Continue reading “IMPULSIVE BEHAVIOUR vs COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOUR”

Understanding Self-Harm

Are you a victim of Self Assault? UNDERSTANDING SELF-HARM

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.

Continue reading “Are you a victim of Self Assault? UNDERSTANDING SELF-HARM”

Understanding Common Mental Health Terms

UNDERSTANDING COMMON MENTAL HEALTH TERMS

The following are definitions for some of the most common mental health disorders.

Addiction

Addiction is a brain disorder characterized by a compulsive desire to do or to have something despite harmful consequences.

Anxiety

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.

Continue reading “UNDERSTANDING COMMON MENTAL HEALTH TERMS”