Gardening + Mental Health

There is something healing about being outdoors surrounded by nature. The smell of fresh air, the feeling of the beaming sun or cool breeze, the touch and smell of the flowers, plants, and leaves. The sound of chirping birds and the sight of passing butterflies. All of which allows a person to feel grounded, connected, and aware with all of their senses. These little moments create big impacts.   Whether one is planting vegetables, flowers, or plants it all is good for one’s mental health. The process of gardening produces endorphins, and this is one reason people feel good when they are gardening. There is research that shows gardening can help to improve one’s mood, decreasing depressed symptoms and easing anxiety for several reasons. Being outside in the sun offers exposure to Vitamin D, which is a synthesizer of serotonin also known as “the happy chemical.” There is also a natural antidepressant in soil known as Mycobacterium Vaccae, which has been found to stimulate areas of t

Effect of Alcohol on Aging and Cognitive Decline

  What is the effect of Alcohol on Aging and Cognitive Decline?   Alcohol has a direct impact on the aging process for many reasons as it impacts certain parts of the body and can cause not only a physical deterioration but also a mental and emotional one, which we know also impacts the condition and aging process of the body. Alcohol consumption leads to dehydration, dry skin, and makes vital organs weaker, all of which causes the aging process to happen faster than one who is not consuming alcohol. Alcohol consumption goes straight to the brain, and can kills brain cells, which is another reason it impacts aging.   There is also a significant amount of data that shows that brain damage is a common and severe consequence of long-term alcohol consumption. There is data that supports this and shows middle aged and older adults who have a history or ongoing use of alcohol consumption leads to a lower density of gray matter in the frontal and parietal brain regions. Because of this, a per

Impacts of Distractions

  Impacts of Distractions   Now more than ever, people are highly distracted.  Here are 7 signs that indicate reaching peak distraction:  1) Struggling to follow through or complete a task, deadline, or reach a goal.  2) Drifting to social media in the middle of attempting to work on a task. 3) Starring at the screen and having no idea where to start. 4) Difficulty completing sentences. 5) Short memory isn’t as good as it normally is.  6) Becoming easily agitated, flustered, or overwhelmed. 7) Interrupting others in conversation.   Distractions are so seductive because the brain craves constant stimulation and immediate gratification. This can be a killer to it all as it keeps people from being able to stay focused on one task at a time and unable to complete the work at hand. Not to mention, we live in a world where it is nearly impossible not to become distracted. There is constant noise in the background, social media at our fingertips, new emails that never stop flooding

How to detect Gaslighting

  Stephanie Robilio, LCSW Agape Behavioral Healthcare What does gaslighting mean?  Gaslighting is a form of manipulation in which the person gaslighting attempts to create self-doubt and confusion in the other person. It’s a way to try and control and gain power over the other person by making them question their own intentions and motives. What are some common examples of gaslighting in romantic relationships?  There are several ways people use gaslighting in relationships. Some of the most common forms show up as minimizing or making fun of feelings, discounting the positives or achievements, withholding important information, insisting a person said or did something that they in fact didn’t do, calling a person “too sensitive,” or if they say, “you’re overreacting,” or “you can’t take a joke,” twisting information in a way to shift the blame, and denying abusive behavior. What are some common examples of gaslighting with family members?  Gaslighting takes place often within

Transform Your Trauma

F or many of us, we've lived years of trauma and that trauma is what led to addiction and/or poor mental health. It’s what took us out of alignment, disrupted our internal world, shattered our ability to feel safe and connected, kept us stuck in the same cycles and patterns, and blocked our authentic selves. If we don't address our trauma, our internal world feels like a "jumbled mess" which is reflected in our external world (relationship issues, financial hardship, difficulty trusting others, unable to maintain employment, struggling to keep up with life, scared to leave the house, people-pleasing, striving for perfection, fear, anxiety, depression, insecurities, poor sleep and appetite, unable to maintain sobriety, etc). Ignoring trauma blocks our potential to heal and recover. When we make the brave decision to heal and recover and when we have the willingness to do the work it takes, we begin to make sense of the "jumbled mess" and because the brain and

Addiction + Mental Health

What is the Difference Between Addiction Medicine and Addiction Psychiatry? Addiction Medicine is primarily focused on a medical approach to the diagnosis and treatment of the substance use disorder whereas Addiction Psychiatry is a psychological approach with the focus being more so on treating the mental health response and/or struggle that coexist with the substance use disorder.   What Psychiatric Techniques are Used to Treat Addiction ? Addiction Psychiatrists primarily aim to identify underlying core issues that have been a contributing factor to the development of the individuals substance use disorder. Once identified, the course of care and treatment is developed to include but not limited to medication, psychotherapy that promotes behavioral and cognitive change, as well as, psychosocial interventions.   What's the Role of an Addiction Psychiatrist Within a Recovery Plan? The Addiction Psychiatrist assesses the individual to determine appropriate medications an

Alcohol Treatment

 1. What is the most effective treatment for alcohol addiction? I don't think there is one box that fits all. The course of care and treatment has to be individualized in order to achieve long-term results and positive outcomes. For someone struggling with alcohol addiction, I believe it's best to start with detoxification to aid in keeping the individual medically safe and stable then continuing at a lower level of care to begin identifying underlying core issues that have perpetuated the alcohol use and begin treating such. It is proven that when an individual addresses the "core issue" and makes a daily commitment to do the work it takes to maintain sobriety, individuals are able to achieve  long-term sobriety. It is also proven that group therapy is a highly effective intervention, specifically because it allows for  peer-to-peer feedback, relatable connections, support, and accountability.   The recovery rate from alcohol use has been documented in the Unit