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.

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.

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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.

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Gambling Addiction Quiz

Has Your Gambling Become a Problem? GAMBLING ADDICTION QUIZ

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.

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Addiction Recovery Diet

ADDICTION RECOVERY DIET: The Importance of Eating Right on the Road to Recovery

A healthy diet during addiction recovery restores the mind and body.

Long-term drug and alcohol abuse causes significant stress and damage to an addict’s mind and body.  Malnutrition, abscesses, gastrointestinal issues, heart problems, organ and tissue damage, depression, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts are just some of the many health issues addicts face.  Proper nutrition can help heal the effects of chronic substance abuse; restoring physical and mental health, and improving a patient’s odds of recovery.

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Eating Disorders

EATING DISORDERS

What are Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders are serious mental health illnesses defined by abnormal eating habits that can have a profoundly negative affect a person’s physical and psychological health.

People with eating disorders become obsessed with food and their body weight.  Whether the eating disorder manifests as eating too little, or too much, individuals with eating disorders use their preoccupation with food to create a sense of control over their lives, and to distract themselves from the painful emotions that are at the root of the condition.

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Is Sex Addiction Real?

IS SEX ADDICTION REAL?

The National Council on Sex Addiction and Compulsivity defines sexual addiction as “engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behaviour acted out despite increasingly negative consequences to self and others.”

However, there is considerable debate among health professionals whether sexual addiction is truly an addiction or rather a compulsive behaviour.  In fact, to date sexual addiction is not an official clinical diagnosis.

Part of the challenge in defining sexual addiction are the religious and cultural influences on the societal norms surrounding sexual behaviour.  How do we objectively distinguish sexual addiction from a high sex drive?

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Commonly Used Illegal Drugs - Methamphetamine

OPEN DIALOGUE SERIES: Commonly Used Illegal Drugs – Methamphetamine

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is a highly addictive, synthetic stimulant.

Developed in the early 1900s, methamphetamine gained popularity during World War II as a way to keep soldiers awake.  After the war, use became prevalent among college students, truck drivers, athletes, and homemakers who used the drug for its ability to create increased alertness, energy, and confidence; and suppress appetite.

Today, methamphetamine is one of the most commonly used illegal drugs in the world.

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Commonly Used Drugs - Cocaine

OPEN DIALOGUE SERIES: Commonly Used Illegal Drugs – Cocaine

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug extracted from the leaves of the South American coca bush.

When processed, cocaine is available in two forms, hydrochloride salt and freebase.  Hydrochloride salt is the powdered form of cocaine, it can be snorted, or dissolved in water and injected.  Freebase is the base form of cocaine, it’s sold as solid rock crystal and is “cooked” using heat and inhaled or “smoked”.

Crack cocaine is derivative of cocaine made by cooking hydrochloride salt with water and baking soda. It is also smoked, typically through a pipe. Continue reading “OPEN DIALOGUE SERIES: Commonly Used Illegal Drugs – Cocaine”

What is Mindfulness?

WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?

Do you remember what happened on your route to work this morning?  Do you remember driving to work this morning?

By dinnertime, can you remember what you had for lunch?  Did you eat lunch?

For most of us the answer is no. We can’t remember. We were running on autopilot.  Often our attention is so absorbed by our wandering mind that we’re not really present in our own lives. We get caught up in the act of doing, and the struggle to get things done, we fail to notice the beauty of life.  We forget to enjoy the journey.

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