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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.

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”

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”

Coping with Stress in the Workplace

COPING WITH STRESS IN THE WORKPLACE

47% of working Canadians consider their work 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.

Continue reading “COPING WITH STRESS IN THE WORKPLACE”

How to Nurture Your Child's Mental Health

How to Nurture Your Child’s Mental Health

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.

Continue reading “How to Nurture Your Child’s Mental Health”

Anger Management

ANGER MANAGEMENT: An Audio Lecture by Yonah Budd

Do you get angry when stuck in traffic, or when a friend is late for a date?  Do you often lose your patience when your child misbehaves?

We all get angry sometimes. Anger is a normal and even healthy emotion, but it must be dealt with in an appropriate, safe, and healthy way.  Anger expressed positively, will increase your serenity, your energy, and your intimacy with the people you care about.

To learn more about Anger Management and how you can best express your anger, listen to Yonah Budd’s audio lecture: Road to Recovery -The Truth About Anger.

Road to Recovery with Yonah Budd

Natural Depression Treatments

7 NATURAL WAYS TO TREAT DEPRESSION

Depression is one of the most common mental health illnesses in Canada.  According to the Ministry for Health and Long-Term Care, an estimated 1 in 4 Canadians will experience a degree of depression serious enough to require treatment at some time in their life.

Depression can take many forms, and it’s important to make the distinction between clinical depression and situational depression.  Clinical depression is a medical diagnosis of acute depression often caused by a chemical imbalance. Treatment requires regular therapy with a certified professional and in most cases prescription intervention.  Situational depression is caused by our reaction to external stress factors.  Symptoms are mild or moderate compared to clinical depression and can usually be managed with talk therapy and natural treatment methods.

Continue reading “7 NATURAL WAYS TO TREAT DEPRESSION”