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Is Drinking Make Me More Depressed?

In reality, alcohol is a depressant that affects the brain chemistry and can ultimately alter the way you perceive your problems, generally exacerbating them and making one feel more depressed than they already were before the drink.

The Relationship Between Alcohol Abuse & Depression

Alcohol abusers are among those with the highest rates of depression. Studies performed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism have found that somewhere between 30-50% of those with alcohol issues also suffer from major depressive symptoms. Additionally, another study by the same institute found that those with alcohol dependency are about four times more likely to have dealt with depressive symptoms in the year before than their non-drinking counterparts.

Alcohol consumption can increase the severity and duration of several depressive symptoms, including:

  • Decreased energy and fatigue
  • Insomnia and excessive sleep
  • Feelings of guilt, helplessness, and worthlessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and increased thoughts of suicide
  • Difficulty with memory, concentration, and decision making
  • Irritability, restlessness, and pessimism
  • Appetite loss or overeating
  • Chronic pain, headaches, cramps, and digestive issues

Effects of Alcohol in the Body

Alcohol effects on body functions include:

  • Lower serotonin and norepinephrine levels, which can make a person suffering from depression even more depressed.
  • Temporarily minimizes the effects of stress hormones, exacerbating depressive episodes
  • Possibly activates a gene that’s linked to mental health problems such as depression, manic-depressive episodes, and seizures
  • Can induce folic acid deficiency, which is linked to processes that age the brain and puts one at risk of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia
  • Causes hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, which can lead to symptoms such as confusion, irritability, poor concentration, and headaches
  • Disrupts the sleep cycle, preventing you from entering the deeper state of sleep that is necessary for your mind and body to heal

To learn more, call our staff at (509) 863-9779 for a consultation with one of our experienced professionals.

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Mothers Day During COVID 19

MOTHER’S DAY IN THE TIME OF COVID – 19

Mother’s Day can be sensitive or downright painful for many people even under the best of circumstances. For some, the day is a reminder of loss, absence, or pain in a mother-child relationship. If Mother’s Day is a difficult day for you, you may find this article from Harvard Health to  be helpful.

And even if Mother’s Day has been a relatively uncomplicated celebration for you in the past, this year is certain to present unique challenges.

If you’re a mother whose children are home more, the challenge might be figuring out how to nurture your own needs in quarantine. Here are a couple of tips:

Focus on self-compassion

Increased time with your children may have led to increased pressure to be “on” all the time and feeling burned out. Take some time to reflect on the things that you are doing well.

Your best is more than good enough.

Take Time for Something that Brings You Joy While meeting your basic needs for sleep or downtime may be at the top of your list, make sure to also schedule some time for a favorite hobby or a fun activity. Even 15-20 minutes will help!

Connect with Those Who “Mother” You Whether it’s your own mother or a mentor or a peer, schedule a time to connect with someone or (“someones”) who nurtures you.

Mothers need nurturing too!

SOME MOTHER’S DAY IDEAS FOR QUARANTINE

For those who are trying to figure out how to celebrate mothers, grandmothers, and mother-figures, while in quarantine: we’ve included some suggestions.

Organize a parade by her house. Bring homemade signs with words of appreciation, scatter flowers, and dress up if you’re brave.

Put together a playlist of songs you know she loves or songs that make you think about her.

Schedule a Zoom date with her and use that time to talk about meaningful things. Ask her questions about herself, but also consider sharing something meaningful about your own life and development.

TRY THIS:

NPR SPECIAL SERIES | MOTHER’S DAY

NPR has compiled a series of articles, short videos, tips, and stories to reflect on and celebrate mothers and those who “mother”.

Features include 6-Word tributes to mothers, Latin American music for Mother’s Day, tips on a DIY Mother’s Day, a tribute to “cool aunts”, and so much more.

Check it out! Click here

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Mental Health Myths

There are many misconceptions about mental health. These misconceptions can lead to the one in five Americans who experience a mental health issue to feel unnecessary shame and isolation. Let’s review and debunk three common myths about mental health.

3 Mental Health Misconceptions?

  1. Depression, Anxiety, and Other Mental Health Conditions are a Sign of Weakness

Experiencing anxiety, depression, or any other mental health condition does not mean you are weak. Just as a person may need medical assistance to treat a severe physical injury, you may need some help to get better from a mental health concern. People who suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions are often resilient people who have faced many adversities.

  1. Mental Health Concerns Can Be Prevented

Mental health concerns are often a result of a complex mixture of trauma, stress, genetics, and circumstance. Do not blame yourself for your anxiety or depression.

  1. All People Who are Mentally Ill Are Violent

There is a lot of fear and stigma surrounding mental health conditions, particularly those with a component of psychosis. Stigma from film characters and sensationalized news stories have contributed to the misconception that people who experience anxiety, depression, and psychosis are dangerous. According to the American Psychological Association, only 7.5% of crimes were committed by those who showed symptoms of mental illness.

Spokane Behavioral Health Services

Here’s hoping that debunking these myths gives you more empathy for yourself or a loved one. If you have any questions about mental health conditions and treatments, don’t hesitate to contact us. We know that depression, addiction, anxiety, and other mental health conditions can affect everyone differently and behavioral care is not a one-size-fits-all solution. We’re here to help.

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GROUNDING TECHNIQUES FOR MANAGING ANXIETY

In these days of the COVID-19 outbreak, some waves of anxiety are easier to ride than others.

Grounding techniques are a way to pull yourself out of fears about the future or worries about the past and back into your body in the present moment.

Here are some grounding techniques to try when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Physical Grounding Techniques Use your senses & tangible objects around you to move through distress.

Box Breathing

Slowly inhale, counting to 4; hold breath for 4 seconds; slowly exhale, counting to 4; repeat.

(Learn more from Healthline.com)

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Counting down from 5, use your senses to list things you notice around you. For example, 5 things you hear, then 4 things you see, then 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste.

Cognitive Grounding Techniques

Redirect your overwhelmed brain by distraction.

Coloring / drawing

You can color images online for free, such as this beautiful image of a Mandalafrom

ColoringBook.pics

Memory Game

Look at a photo or picture and focus on identifying 5 or 10 details, then turn it over and try to remember those details, recreating the picture in your imagination.

MINDFUL PAUSE FOR DIFFICULT TIMES

This meditation, published on Psychology

Today by clinical psychologist Dr. Beth Kurland, is a practice intended to cultivate resilience during this difficult time.

Based in the ancient Buddhist tradition of the loving kindness meditation, Dr. Kurland’s mindful pause is for people of any background or religious practice. She encourages adapting the words of the meditation for your personal preference.

During inhalation, the words of the meditation are focused inward, directing your attention and compassion toward your own emotions. While exhaling, the meditation extends that compassion and goodwill outward toward loved ones and community.

TRY THIS:

“THE HAPPINESS LAB” PODCAST

You might think more money, a better job, or Instagram-worthy vacations would make you happy. You’re dead wrong.

Yale professor Dr Laurie Santos will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will forever alter the way you think about happiness.

Available for free on iiTunes, Stitcher, & web streaming at