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Friday, May 14, 2021

What Drugs Make You Paranoid?

what drugs make you paranoid

Many drugs, including those that are prescribed legally, can have side effects. Usually, the benefits of the medication outweigh any symptoms you might experience, which are typically minor. However, some drugs can have more serious implications for your physical and mental health. If you are concerned about potential negative outcomes, you might wonder what drugs make you paranoid.

The State of Paranoia

When you are experiencing the mental state of paranoia, you have a perception or a suspicion that other people with whom you are interacting have aggressive or hostile motives. You might think “they are out to get me.” When you are paranoid, you believe that other people are persecuting you. In fact, there is usually no reason for your suspicions.

In addition, you will have delusional ideas about being a central figure in a scenario that probably has absolutely nothing to do with you. Have you ever seen two or three people having a conversation and were certain they were plotting against you? That is a sense of paranoia. Your mistrust of other people and your anxiety about what they are doing or saying can make relationships difficult for you, and that may cause problems personally or on the job. You may become hostile or detached, which could lead to isolation.

When you experience feelings of paranoia, there can be many causes. You might have a psychological disorder such as schizophrenia. Or you might have a medical disease that can impact your brain function such as multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer’s disease. Drug or alcohol abuse can also be a direct cause of your paranoia.

Co-Occurring Conditions

Drug addiction and mental health disorders are sometimes diagnosed together as a co-occurring condition. People who are addicted to drugs are twice as likely to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders, including paranoia. Likewise, individuals who experience mental health issues can be twice as likely to be addicted to drugs.

It is often difficult to tell which condition caused the other. Mental health issues affected almost 18% of the adult population in the US in 2015. Out of those, 8.1 million people were diagnosed with both a mental illness and a substance use disorder.

Drugs That Make You Paranoid

Recreational drugs that can cause a sense of paranoia in individuals include:

  • Cannabis
  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • Ecstasy
  • LSD
  • PCP
  • Amphetamines

These drugs may make you paranoid because of their effect on you or if you’re already feeling anxious or are experiencing other mental health issues. In addition, steroids taken by athletes as well as inhalants such as paint, insecticides, and fuels, have been found to cause paranoia.

Long-Term Methamphetamine Use

The use of methamphetamine, in particular, can cause paranoid behavior and delusions. Long-term use of this drug can have a number of negative consequences, including addiction. When you are addicted, you experience compulsive drug seeking and use of the drug. Your addiction is usually accompanied by molecular and functional changes in your brain.

As you become addicted to a drug such as methamphetamine, you will need to take more and more to get the same effect. You may take higher doses or take it more frequently. You may even develop difficulty feeling any kind of pleasure that is not provided by the drug and that can create further abuse of the substance.

In addition to being addicted, you may exhibit symptoms that can include confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, violent behavior, and anxiety. Mental health issues that can be caused by methamphetamines can include visual hallucinations, auditory hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. You may also become violent as a result of the paranoia caused by methamphetamines.

These symptoms can last for months or years, even after you’ve quit using the drug. Withdrawal from the drug should be medically supervised as you may experience serious symptoms such as depression and anxiety.

Help for Drug Abuse Issues

At Hope by the Sea, a southern California addiction treatment center, we work with you to begin the journey of recovery from drug abuse as well as mental health issues, including paranoia caused by drugs. We specialize in treating you as a whole individual, as well as your family members who are affected, so everyone can embrace recovery with as much support and momentum as possible.

Our team continues to follow federal, state, and local public health guidelines regarding COVID-19 to ensure our clients' safety. Please contact us today to learn more about our programs and services. Hope Starts Here!

Friday, May 7, 2021

Major Depressive Disorder Treatments

major depressive disorder treatments

During Mental Health Awareness Month, and throughout the year, know that you are not alone if you are struggling with depression or other mental health issues. There is help available. Major depressive disorder treatments are effective in helping you control your symptoms so you can live a healthier life, mentally and physically.

Clinical Depression

Major depressive disorder is also known as clinical depression. A common but serious mood disorder, depression can affect how you think and feel as well as how you handle everyday activities such as eating, sleeping, and working. Depressive disorder is more than just feeling sad. If you recognize the symptoms, it’s critical that you seek out major depressive disorder treatments. Untreated, the condition can be devastating for you and your loved ones.

Symptoms can be different for each person but if you have had these symptoms for more than two weeks, it’s time to seek help:

  • Changes in your ability to sleep or your sleep patterns
  • Changes in your appetite
  • A loss of energy
  • Not being able to concentrate
  • Thoughts of hopelessness or guilt
  • A lack of interest in activities you usually enjoy
  • Agitation
  • Changes in your activity level (physical movement)
  • Aches and pains
  • Suicidal thoughts.

Early Detection and Diagnosis

Major depressive disorder treatments are especially effective when you are diagnosed early. You may only experience one depressive episode in your lifetime, but most people have recurring episodes. These episodes can last for a few months or several years. Over 19 million adults in the US have had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.

Early detection and diagnosis can lead to a treatment plan that can help you overcome the symptoms you’ve experienced. Treatment can include medication, psychotherapy, and healthy lifestyle choice so you can get better, mentally and physically.

It is especially important that you get help immediately if you have had suicidal thoughts.

Patient-Centered Treatment Plans

Major components of effective major depressive disorder treatments are psychotherapy and appropriate medications. Prescribed medication treatments can include mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotic medications. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are fairly easy to take and are relatively safe, are usually prescribed to treat clinical depression.

Medications must be professionally supervised. These drugs are designed to help improve the way your brain uses certain chemicals that control your mood and help you with your stress. It may take a few weeks for you to see improvement when taking an antidepressant. Do not stop taking the medication or change your dosage without a healthcare provider’s oversight.

Therapy combined with medication has been shown to be most effective as a major depressive disorder treatment. Evidence-based therapies include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy. CBT is designed to help you recognize negative thinking and teaches you techniques for controlling your depressive symptoms. Other types of psychotherapy can help you sort out conflicts in your important relationships or explore the history behind your symptoms.

Therapeutic Treatments

The basic premise of CBT is that individuals with depression have thought processes characterized by dysfunctional negative views of themselves, their life experiences, their future, and perhaps even the world in general. When you are clinically depressed, you are likely to believe that you are incapable and helpless. You may view other people in your life as being judgmental and critical of you. You probably also see your future as bleak and unrewarding.

CBT is a type of structured therapy that focuses on helping you identify and modify this way of thinking as well as your behavior patterns. CBT has been found to be effective in addressing clinical depression in individuals of all ages and is helpful in preventing relapse.

Other evidence-based therapies, such as Gestalt-style therapy and psychodrama, can help you gain insight into your situation as you gain a deeper understanding of yourself, practice life skills, and improve the quality of your relationships with other people in your life as well as the quality of your social functioning.

Hope for Your Major Depressive Disorder

You are not alone. Help is available at Hope by the Sea, a southern California addiction treatment center. We offer personalized treatment for mood disorders and addiction, focusing on helping you begin your journey of recovery from substance use and mental health issues. We specialize in treating you as a whole individual, so you can embrace your recovery with as much support and momentum as possible.

Our team continues to follow federal, state, and local public health guidelines regarding COVID-19 to ensure our clients' safety. Please contact us today to learn more about our programs and services. Hope Starts Here!

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Reasoning with an Alcoholic

reasoning with an alcoholic

Spoiler alert: disappointment awaits if you’re expecting a manual on “how to reason with an alcoholic.” Indeed, “reasoning with an alcoholic” is effectively a contradiction in terms, as people with alcohol use disorder become all but incapable of listening to reason even when sober. 

Alcoholism and Mental Health

Everyone knows what’s meant by “under the influence of alcohol,” but there’s considerably less publicity regarding “under the influence of alcoholism.” And the latter is the greater danger, since it doesn’t wear off when the latest drink does.

Anyone afflicted by alcohol use disorder is already suffering the “insanity” of chronic brain dysfunction: 
  • Repeated drinking becomes a habit, training the brain to see alcohol intake as “normal”—and to trigger discomfort if that intake ceases.
  • Alcohol is physically addictive when regularly consumed to excess: not drinking for longer-than-normal periods means withdrawal symptoms, which make it even more difficult to think reasonably.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption is directly damaging to the brain, further impairing reasoning abilities.

How an Alcoholic Thinks and Reasons

Combine all the above with the frustration of other problems caused or abetted by drunkenness, and it’s not surprising that symptoms of alcohol use disorder include short-tempered defensiveness and stubborn “reasoning away” of any advice to quit. Alcoholic thinking always has an explanation for why the problem doesn’t really exist or isn’t the drinker’s fault:
  • “I wouldn’t do it if you didn’t stress me out with your nagging. You’re the one who’s driving me to drink.” 
  • “I work hard all day. I’ve got a right to unwind and enjoy myself.” (Even if the “enjoyment” routinely culminates in screaming and smashing things.)
  • “I’m not addicted. I can quit any time I want to.” (Even if they’re already “quitting” every morning and drinking again by suppertime.)
  • And the classic “poor me” excuse: “No one appreciates or understands me, so I don’t owe anyone anything and I’ll do whatever I want.”

Trying to reason with someone who’s under the influence of alcoholic thinking can almost drive you to drink. Spouses and partners of alcoholics typically do develop irrational-thinking problems of their own. Often, they start believing the “alcoholic reasoning” excuses themselves, and taking personal blame for everything. In nearly every case, they practice the insanity of doing the same thing over and over—nagging, pleading, cleaning up, covering up—while expecting different results this time.

There’s Hope 

None of which is to say that an alcoholic’s loved ones are powerless to influence him or her—only that “reasoning” is the wrong approach to take. There are ways to make the “alcoholic comfort zone” less comfortable without being drawn into fruitless arguments. 
  • First, understand this isn’t just a matter of the other party’s being too “stubborn” to quit drinking: they really aren’t capable of understanding the extent of their problem, or of resisting temptation by sheer willpower. Plus, to “just stop” alcoholic drinking is not only difficult at best: without a doctor’s supervision, it’s also unwise and dangerous.
  • Make up your mind to stop “enabling” the drinking by protecting your loved one from its consequences. Rather than nagging about “the mess you made last night” (which you’ve already cleaned up), leave the mess to speak for itself. 
  • Find professional counseling and peer support for yourself. 
  • If domestic abuse is a factor, find another place to stay (with any children in your household) until the problem is resolved (and not just to the point of “it won’t happen again” promises).
  • If you really want to confront the drinker, consult a professional intervention specialist for advice on doing it the right way: in a group, without undue emotion, and armed with evidence that even the alcoholic version of reasoning will find difficult to counter.
  • Once your loved one does agree to get help, be prepared to put in your share of work for the long haul. No reputable treatment center will limit its recommendations to “fixing” the party with the addiction: expect whole-family counseling and some major changes for everyone. Tackling the problem as a team is the only reasonable route to long-term sobriety.

Help and Hope for Alcohol Addiction

Situated in sunny southern California, Hope by the Sea treats alcoholism as well as other addiction and mental health issues. If you or a loved one need help, we provide medically supervised detoxification, plus individual-focused counseling to help clients get started on long-term recovery and a healthy future.

Please contact us today to learn more about our programs and services. Hope Starts Here!

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Is My Husband Using Drugs?

is my husband using drugs

It can be difficult living with someone who is abusing a substance such as drugs or alcohol. When you are suspicious of their substance use, you may also wonder how it will affect you and your family. There are some signs you can watch for when wondering if your husband is using drugs. You can also get help for your loved one and for yourself.

Drug Use Behaviors

When someone uses drugs, they exhibit behavior that may make them seem like a different person than they used to be. Your husband may have changed the way he acts as he deals with his drug issues. He may spend more time alone, choosing not to spend time with family members or friends anymore. He may have developed some new friendships, ones that appear to be negative influences on him.

Your husband’s hygiene habits may have declined as he is not taking good care of himself now. He may not take showers, brush his teeth, or change clothes as often as he used to or as often as he should. He probably has lost interest in doing other things, such as a favorite hobby.

Watch for changes in your husband’s mood as well, including:

  • Being really sad and tired
  • Being very energetic, saying things that don’t make sense, or talking fast
  • Being in a bad mood or quickly changing from feeling good to feeling bad
  • Sleeping at strange hours or not at all.

Signs that your husband is using drugs may also include problems at work, such as missing appointments or issues with relationships with a boss or co-workers.

Common Danger Signs

If your husband is using drugs, you may notice some tell-tale signs. These can be behavior on his part or issues that are causing damage to your relationship. Watch for these signs of a substance use problem in your marriage:

  • You notice his drug use or drinking habits and the two of you argue about his behavior frequently.
  • You also have arguments about issues related to his behavior, such as money problems, his shirking of responsibilities, and his staying out late on numerous occasions.
  • You’ve had to cover for him more than once because you know he has been using drugs or drinking. You make excuses for him, to his boss, co-workers, friends, or family members and may even need to call in “sick” for him at work.
  • It seems your husband has to use drugs or alcohol in order to feel or show any signs of affection toward you.
  • Your husband defends his use of drugs or alcohol, saying he needs them to reduce the stress or tension of your arguments, which are probably mostly about his drug or alcohol use.
  • As a family, you have become more isolated from friends and family.
  • You experience episodes of domestic violence that may be fueled by your husband’s drug or alcohol use.

Substance Use and Domestic Violence

For your own safety, it is important to know the signs of drug use and to reach out for your help when you see that your husband is using drugs. Substance use has been found in a number of studies to contribute to domestic violence incidents.

Substance use co-occurs in 40-60% of violence between intimate partners, according to the research. The drug use can be the cause of violence or can make it worse. Many incidents of domestic violence involve the use of drugs, particularly illegal drugs, or alcohol. On days of heavy drug use, physical violence is 11 times more likely to occur in cases of domestic violence.

It is critical that you seek help if you are the victim of domestic abuse as well. Being the victim of abuse is a predictor of developing a substance use issue, as substance abuse is more prevalent among women who have experienced violence by an intimate partner. If your husband is using drugs, he may try to coerce you into using with him.

Help for Drug Abuse Issues

Your husband’s drug use can be hard on you in many ways. At Hope by the Sea, a southern California addiction treatment center, we work with you and your loved one to begin the journey of recovery from drug abuse as well as mental health issues. We specialize in treating the whole individual, and the affected family, so everyone can embrace recovery with as much support and momentum as possible.

Our team continues to follow federal, state, and local public health guidelines regarding COVID-19 to ensure our clients' safety. Please contact us today to learn more about our programs and services. Hope Starts Here!

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