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Friday, February 16, 2018

Few Depression Patients Seek Treatment

Here’s some depressing news: Only one-third of those newly diagnosed with depression follow through on doctor’s orders, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine

Using electronic health records, insurance claims and demographic data, the researchers studied nearly 250,000 patients who received a new diagnosis of depression in primary care settings in five large health care systems between 2010 and 2013. Only 35.7 percent initiated antidepressant medication or psychotherapy within 90 days of their diagnosis. The numbers were slightly more promising among those diagnosed with more severe forms of depression, with roughly about half starting treatment. 

Depression is a highly treatable condition, and it’s estimated that 16 million Americans experience at least one depressive episode per year.

What’s behind this non-compliance? The reasons ranged from stigma to challenges accessing behavioral health services, said Beth Waitzfelder, PhD, lead author and investigator of the study, in a statement.

And this is despite a growing effort nationwide to detect and begin treating depression during primary care visits. “Over the last decade, there has been a growing effort to raise awareness about mental health and to integrate mental health care into primary care,” said Dr. Waitzfelder. “This is a positive development, since most people receive care from primary care providers. However, our study shows there is a lot more work to do to understand why many depressed patients do not begin treatment.”

Depression and Addiction: Getting Help
A depression diagnosis may exist prior to substance abuse, or develop as a side effect of drug and alcohol dependency. When you're struggling with a mental illness and a substance use disorder, rehabilitation may seem like an impossible journey. Using traditional and holistic therapies, Complete Harmony has a proven history of successfully addressing a dual diagnosis. To learn more, call 866-930-4673.




Friday, February 9, 2018

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders More Common Than Believed


More children than previously thought may have some type of disability caused by maternal drinking during pregnancy, according to a new study published in JAMA. Researchers suggest that 1.5 to 5 percent of U.S. children — up to five times previous estimates — have a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. To put things in perspective, that's as common as autism, which impacts roughly 1.5 percent.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (also called FASDs) can range from moderate to severe and include cognitive, behavioral and physical difficulties, according to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention: 
  • Abnormal facial features, such as a smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip 
  • Small head size
  • Shorter-than-average height
  • Low body weight
  • Poor coordination
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Difficulty with attention
  • Poor memory
  • Learning disabilities
  • Speech and language delays
  • Intellectual disability or low IQ
  • Poor reasoning and judgment skills
  • Sleep and sucking problems as a baby
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones
The study, funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, evaluated nearly 3,000 students as well as some of their mothers. More than a third of the children’s moms declined to answer questions about drinking during pregnancy.

“When you identify a kid with FASD, you’ve just identified a mom who drank during pregnancy and harmed her child,” Susan Astley, director of the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Diagnostic and Prevention Network at the University of Washington, who was not involved in the study, told The New York Times.

Health authorities in the United States have pretty clear warnings when it comes to drinking during pregnancy: don’t do it. A 2015 American Academy of Pediatrics report said “no amount of alcohol intake should be considered safe” during any trimester. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, advised sexually active women who are not using birth control to “not drink alcohol at all.”

Even a small amount of alcohol can seriously affect a baby, said Dr. Astley. “There’s probably no two women on the planet who drank the same amount on the same day of pregnancy. And alcohol doesn’t impact every fetus in the same way.”

The researchers hope that these findings will serve as a wake-up call for moms-to-be: “Alcohol can damage every system of the body,” Dr. Svetlana Popova, a senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s Institute for Mental Health Policy Research in Toronto and a co-author of an editorial about the new study, told NYT. “We have to scream about this problem to the world.”

Getting Help for Alcohol Abuse
If you have a drinking problem and are pregnant or considering pregnancy, we can work together to create a plan to help you live a happy and alcohol-free lifestyle. To learn more about our holistic addiction program, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Building a Healthy Heart After Substance Abuse

It’s Heart Health Month, held each year to remind Americans to learn about the impact the heart has on one’s overall health, as well as the lifestyle factors that can promote a healthy heart. 

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, so it’s never too soon to start caring for this vital organ. Certainly getting help for drug or alcohol abuse is a great step. Both drugs and alcohol can pose very serious risks to your cardiovascular health, increasing your risk for heart attack and stroke. 

Here’s a look at how to best care for your ticker after years of abuse from addiction. Perhaps the best part, these tips from the American Heart Association (AHA) can work double-duty and benefit your overall recovery, too: 

Get active. If you get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day (like brisk walking), five times per week, you can almost guarantee yourself a healthier and more satisfying life while lowering your risks for heart disease, stroke and diabetes, according to AHA.

Watch your cholesterol. Too much bad cholesterol (LDL) can form plaque in your veins and arteries – and these blockages can lead to heart disease and stroke. Firstly, if you don’t know your numbers, schedule a visit with your doctor to get checked. If your numbers are high, engaging in moderate exercise, avoiding tobacco smoke and eating a heart-healthy diet can help.

Manage high blood pressure. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Again, get your numbers checked and make an effort to follow these steps from the AHA:
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet, including reducing sodium
  • Get regular physical activity
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Manage stress
  • Avoid tobacco smoke.
Pay attention to your diet. Healthy foods are the fuel our bodies use to create the energy we need to thrive and fight diseases, notes AHA. So do your best to load up on veggies, fruit, low-fat dairy, fiber-rich whole grains, and lean meats including fish.

Nutrition Planning at Complete Harmony
Helping clients plan healthful meals to enrich their body and mind is just one of the many features of our hybrid addiction treatment. By integrating conventional and holistic recovery approaches, we help restore balance to the whole person. To learn more, call: 866-930-4673.


Friday, January 26, 2018

5 Ways Yoga Helps Recovery

A regular yoga practice may not be for everyone – but everyone can give it a try. Here are five ways this ancient practice can help you on the road to recovery: 

1. You’ll feel calmer. Perhaps the most widely known benefit of yoga is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety, which can interfere with your recovery and even trigger relapse.

2. You’ll have greater self-awareness. Yoga can put you in a state of calm and focus so you can reflect on where you are and where you want to be in your recovery. It also teaches you to be more self-aware – but without judgment or reaction – and this can certainly help you better manage any negative feelings you’re having.

3. You’ll handle cravings better. Again, this greater self-awareness brought on by yoga can give you an edge when it comes to identifying and managing any drug or alcohol cravings. 

4. You’ll be in a better mood. The deep breathing exercises taught in yoga have been found to boost mood (lowering stress hormones) and lessen depressive symptoms. In fact, one study found that a specialized set of breathing exercises called Sudarshana Kriya Yoga (SKY) helped people during detox for alcohol dependence. SKY uses three types of seated breathing: victorious breath (a slow deep breathing), bellows breath (a forced inhalation and exhalation) for 12 to 15 minutes, and cyclical breathing of slow, medium and fast cycles for 30 minutes, according Psychology Today.

5. You’ll become more confident. Yoga challenges you mentally and physically and can help build confidence in your body and your ability to set and reach recovery goals. 

Making Yoga Part of Your Addiction Treatment
Stepping out of the confines of traditional rehab programs, Complete Harmony empowers clients to achieve and maintain sobriety through the use of holistic therapies and non-12-step alternative approaches. To learn more about our complementary therapy approaches, including yoga, call us today: 866-930-4673.




Thursday, January 18, 2018

Study Links Sleep Loss and Depression

Making sleep a priority is perhaps the best thing you can do to stop negative thinking and safeguard your mental health. In fact, a new study links chronic lack of sleep with an increased risk of depression. 

Researchers from Binghamton University says the connection is due to a phenomenon called repetitive negative thinking (RNT), which the study authors define as “abstract, perseverative, negative focus on one's problems and experiences that is difficult to control.” And an inability to suppress negative thoughts is a common symptom of both mood and anxiety disorders.

Study participants were asked to view negative images (guns, knives, threatening animals), positive images (nature, sports) or neutral ones (household items). It turned out that people who slept fewer hours looked at the negative images longer and had more trouble disengaging from them. 

While more research is needed, study authors say that a lack of sleep may deteriorate the neural processes that normally suppress or shed negative thoughts and negative incoming information.

“[The connection] may be explained by a reduction in available cognitive resources, particularly those needed to inhibit information and handle novel information,” the authors write in their paper. “It is possible that sleep disruption deals a ‘second hit’ to attention control in individuals who are already vulnerable in their subjective and/or physiological responses to negative information.”

Sleeping for Sobriety
Maintaining a proper sleep schedule can certainly go a long way toward helping your recovery. Here are a few reasons why:
  • You’ll have better emotional control.
  • You'll have increased energy and optimism. 
  • You’ll have more focus and better memory. 
  • You’ll have a stronger immune system. 
Are You Struggling With Depression and Addiction?
Co-occurring conditions like depression may exist prior to substance abuse, or develop as a side effect of drug and alcohol dependency. Using traditional and holistic therapies, Complete Harmony has a proven history of successfully addressing the secondary health challenges that complicate substance abuse. To learn more, call 866-930-4673.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Practicing Anti-Drug/Drink Activities

A big part of staying sober and avoiding relapse is gaining a sense of control over your cravings. To help switch your focus away from drugs or alcohol, addiction experts advise creating a list of “anti-drug” and/or “anti-drink” activities. These simple actions are meant to serve as healthy distractions and to fill your time by giving you positive things to do.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the people who are most successful at staying sober do two anti-drugs/ drinks in particular: go to counseling and join a self-help group. 

Here are a few more suggestions from SAMHSA that might work for you:
  • Chew gum when you crave a drug or drink.
  • Call your self-help group sponsor or a friend instead of going to places where you might use. 
  • Watch movies.
  • Shoot some baskets with friends.
  • Read an inspirational book.
  • Keep pictures of your children in your pocket as motivation to stay away from alcohol and drugs. 
  • Join a faith organization that supports recovery. 
  • Find a volunteer position that keeps you busy and away from others who use. 
  • Pray or meditate.
  • Practice mindfulness.

Take this list of ideas and add a few of your own. The more anti-drugs/anti-drinks you have the better, notes SAMHSA. Consider brainstorming with your addiction counselor or peers to come up with activities that align with your personal interests and individual recovery goals. 

Relapse Prevention at Complete Harmony
To prevent relapse and ensure long-term sobriety, it’s crucial to have long-term strategies for dealing with physical and psychological cravings, negative patterns, emotional duress, poor self-esteem and more. Our holistic approach to recovery helps clients change behaviors from the inside out; rather than just putting a bandage on addictive tendencies. To learn more about our alternative relapse prevention program, call today: 866-930-4673.



Friday, January 5, 2018

How to Set New Year’s Intentions

Have you made resolutions in the past – or even this year – that have quickly fizzled, or worse, made you feel like a failure? If so, you may want to consider setting intentions; it’s not too late.

This is because intentions don’t tie you to a specific outcome – and there’s no timeline or deadline to meet – so you’ll eliminate any feelings of failure. In short, intentions simply require that you’re mindful and present as you go through your day, hour-to-hour. Intentions invite you to be your personal best and can serve as a map for your goals and visions.

“Intention is the starting point of every dream,” Deepak Chopra, MD, best-selling author, physician, and founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, CA, told MindBodyGreen.com. “It is the creative power that fulfills all of our needs, whether for money, relationships, spiritual awakening, or love.” 

Here are a few tips, adapted from the experts at MindBodyGreen.com, for setting an intention in the New Year: 

Tap into your inner voice. Take some quite time or even mediate and ask yourself: What gives you passion and fills you with a sense of purpose? 

Some examples: 
  • I intend to manifest happiness naturally.
  • I intend to respond first, and then react.
  • I intend to be open to success and abundance.
  • I intend to stop taking things personally.
  • I intend to forgive others, and myself.
  • I intend to love unconditionally.
  • I intend to make meditation a more important part of my lifestyle.
  • I intend to make someone smile every day.
Keep it positive. An intention should not be negative, nor should it be in the past or future tense. So, for example, if your intention is to de-stress, say something like: “My intention is to invite peace and calm within myself during today's meditation," note experts at MindBodyGreen.com. 

Hold yourself accountable. Many people, like blogger Jessica Hagy, say that it’s helpful to check in with yourself daily. “Every morning before I wake up, I place my hand on my heart for just a few seconds or a few moments, and I breathe, connect to myself, send love to myself, and send love to the day. Then I set an intention for my day,” she writes. 

Be grateful. Take a few moments to be grateful for the intention you have set. And don’t be afraid to adjust your intention after a few days. For example: If your intentions is "to invite peace and calm in,” you can change it "to enjoy the peace I create in myself.”

Finding Holistic Treatment for You
At Complete Harmony, we encourage the use of many different cutting-edge techniques to help clients heal the mind, body and spirit. To learn more about our treatment center and our approach to addiction recovery, call today: 866-930-4673.




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