Mental Health Awareness Month: Staying Mentally Healthy During COVID-19

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about mental health and self-care, eliminating the stigma surrounding mental health disorders, and educating the public on the importance of routine mental health care. Mental health goes beyond the scope of diagnosing and treating mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Mental health also includes being aware of our moods, our thought patterns, our social connections, our ability to solve problems, our ability to overcome tricky hurdles, and our ability to comprehend and navigate the world around us.

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Our mental health can positively or negatively affect many areas of our life including our professional life, our home life, our social life, our sleep and eating patterns, our energy levels, our ability to think clearly, and how we feel about ourselves.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can make a contribution to his or her community.”

Our mental health is a fluid state of equilibrium between our innermost workings and the outside environment. 

Taking care of our mental health during a pandemic

For many, COVID-19 has been a trying time. Many of us have struggled with staying home and keeping our distance from our friends and family. Many of us are struggling financially due to the economy shutdown or job loss, and many of us are struggling to find peace amongst this stressful time. We are struggling to find a healthy daily routine, we are struggling to find happiness, and we are struggling to find purpose. There are so many unknowns during this time of uncertainty, which can negatively affect our mental health by leading us to feelings of anxiety, anger, or depression.

We must take care of ourselves both mentally and physically, especially during this trying time.

Ways to practice kindness towards ourselves to take care of our minds, bodies, and souls:

  • Connect with others: Even though we are practicing social distancing and we may feel physically isolated from our friends, family, and neighbors, we can still connect virtually. Staying connected with our friends and family is essential for our well being as healthy social connections are known to improve our mood and boost our self-esteem. There are many great virtual platforms such as Skype, Zoom, and Face Time that can help us connect with our friends, family, and coworkers. Virtual game nights, virtual storytime, virtual birthdays parties, and celebrations are all great ways to stay connected with each other, while still respecting the social distancing orders.
  • Nourish your body: The body and mind are tightly connected, and therefore physical health is a huge component of mental health, especially during stressful times. Learning new recipes, cooking at home, eating nutritious whole foods, daily exercise, drinking plenty of water, and getting eight uninterrupted hours of sleep each night are all crucial ways to nourish our bodies so we can have a healthy mind.
  • Sharpen your mind: While many of us are at home during COVID-19, we may find that we have more free time. We can spend this free time learning a new hobby, reading a book, working on home improvement projects, and completing unfinished tasks. Learning new things, reading, completing puzzles, and working on arts and crafts are all great ways to exercise our brains. Mental stimulation is anything that activates or enriches the mind. Stimulation can be provided internally from thought or externally from the environment. Education, occupation, social and leisure activities are all essential contributors to mental stimulation. Enriching mental activity can help improve our memory and problem-solving skills, which are essential skills to have when we must focus on our mental health.
  •  Continue therapy: Mental health is more than a mental health disorder. It encompasses our thought patterns, our behaviors, our relationships, and our self-esteem. Even if we are not diagnosed with a mental health disorder, many of us can benefit from professional therapy.
  • Maybe we are experiencing a stressful time or a loss in the family. Perhaps we are more sad than usual or are struggling with finding a healthy way to cope. Therapy is an integral part of taking care of our mental health, especially during COVID-19.
  • Adopt a daily routine: Getting into a routine is essential. It helps us focus, helps us stay busy, and helps us be productive. When our habits are thrown off, we can often find ourselves in a rut or feeling bored or depressed. Our daily COVID-19 routine could be much different than before, but it is still important to adopt a regular daily schedule so we can continue to feel good about ourselves.

Seeking help

Our philosophy at Quest 2 Recovery is simple: heal the mind, body, and spirit in a family-like environment. We believe in a holistic approach to treatment, one that caters to each individual’s distinct needs. As a trauma-based treatment program, we believe in resolving the underlying issues that brought the onset of substance use. Our team of clinicians helps each client identify the faulty belief systems stemming from childhood, then psych-educate clients on the symptoms of PTSD to understand and alleviate the power of certain triggers”.

How Neurotherapy can help with PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder, which is often shortened to PTSD, is a significant problem that impacts countless people across the country. Individuals can develop PTSD following a car accident, a traumatic experience, childhood trauma, or even experiences related to combat. Those who suffer from PTSD are often subjected to flashbacks that might be triggered at any time. Symptoms of PTSD often include shakes, sleepless nights, emotional lability, depression, anxiety, and changes in appetite. The quality of life issues that are created by PTSD can make it hard for someone to go to school, hold down a job, or even carry out their daily routine. Therefore, it is important for everyone to understand the various treatment options available for PTSD. Individuals who suffer from this disorder are often asked to take prescription medications. Unfortunately, these medications can also have serious side effects. This is where Neurotherapy can be helpful.

An Overview of Neurotherapy and Neurofeedback for PTSD

Neurotherapy has become a popular treatment option for those who suffer from PTSD. In this treatment, an EEG machine is used to monitor brain function. Using this machine, medical professionals are able to track what is going on inside someone’s head. This machine will be used to track the improvement of the various functions of the brain three series of exercises. Even though this technology is incredibly advanced, the treatment of PTSD using this process is straightforward. Furthermore, it is also painless and noninvasive, which is a nice change of pace from other treatment options.

In essence, this treatment option should be viewed as a learning process. Individuals who go through the treatment process for PTSD will be able to learn how to control their brain activity in the same way that any other skill is learned. The same way people learn how to read, write, speak, and eat through practice, individuals will learn how to control the activity of their neurological processes through feedback, patience, practice, and continuous exercise.

Research Studies have Shown Its Effectiveness

This technology has been studied extensively by research professionals. Multiple studies have been completed looking at this treatment option for PTSD and adults. One study even indicated that multiple sessions of Neurotherapy or affective at reducing the symptoms of PTSD in adults. One study was even completed in children. All of the studies have shown that this treatment option takes a promising approach to PTSD. These studies are important because they demonstrate that, even though existing treatments can be quite difficult to tolerate and individuals suffering from PTSD, this treatment option is not invasive, produces minimal side effects, and can still be effective. Sessions of Neurotherapy lasting ten weeks have led to improvements in PTSD symptoms in children and adults on a consistent basis. These treatment sessions have even been performed and individuals on an inpatient basis as well. The versatility of this treatment option only adds to its effectiveness.

The Importance of Controlling Brain Activity

The goal of Neurotherapy is to help someone better control the activity inside their brain. It is this brain activity that often leads to the symptoms of PTSD. Research performed in this field has consistently shown that there are signals that are triggered in the brain that lead to the symptoms of PTSD. EEG studies have been performed that have shown that activity in the cortical regions of the brain is closely related to PTSD; however, not everyone who has PTSD has the same symptoms. Therefore, the brain activity that can lead to PTSD is different from person to person.

This is why neurofeedback must be measured in every patient before any Neurotherapy is started. This will produce a map of someone’s brain so that the individual difficulties can be identified. Then, the treatment program can be tailored to meet the individual needs of that person. This allows the treatment program to be as effective as possible at helping someone control the symptoms of PTSD. By identifying the root of the problem, individuals are provided with a maximized chance of recovering. This is the goal of Neurotherapy and it has the potential to help numerous people.

Rely on Neurotherapy for PTSD

Clearly, Neurotherapy can be helpful for people who suffer from PTSD. Those who suffer from this disorder need to take a well-rounded treatment approach to PTSD. This will provide people with an appropriate chance at reversing the quality-of-life issues that have been created by this worker. Anyone who lives in the Lancaster, California area should rely on Quest 2 Recovery. Quest 2 Recovery offers a wide range of treatment services including inpatient programs and detoxification programs to countless people in the region. Those who would like to learn more about overcoming mental health issues, including PTSD, should check out the latest treatment options from Quest 2 Recovery. Contact us today!

PTSD And Addiction In First Responders

First responders have a grueling job. They see things that most people may not ever even have nightmares about and many first responders do not have access to the therapy and the help that they need to be able to effectively deal with these horrible circumstances and the stresses they deal with each day.

First Responders and PTSD

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is far more common in first responders than you might imagine. These brave men and women go headfirst into circumstances that most people would run from. They see people hurt, they see people dying, they see people that have lost their fight and they deal with the carnage that is left behind. As a result, PTSD is terribly common among first responders and is more likely to develop the longer a first responder is on the job and the more that they deal with.

On top of all the things they see, they also have a job that is high in stress which can have adverse effects on the overall health and mental state of our first responders. For some, drugs and alcohol are a welcome reprieve from the pain, suffering, and mental anguish that they deal with on a daily basis. To add insult to injury, many first responders also deal with depression and have no real means of being treated and of seeking therapy or other means of help for these disorders.

Treatment Options

The first step to treating addiction in anyone is to determine what the addiction is and to take the time to address it on a person by person basis. What might work for one person may not work for a first responder and vice versa making an individualistic approach important. Once you have established that there is a problem with substance abuse and that treatment is needed, it is important to find an approach that is right for each addict.

Depending on what type of first responder you are working with, you may need to talk to supervisors and other higher officials to determine just what type of treatment is needed so that the first responder can return to work should the want to. With PTSD, it is going to be necessary not only to treat the addiction to any substances that might be being used, but also to treat the PTSD, depression or any other mental diseases that the individual might be dealing with at the same time.

These first responders may want a private treatment that is not going to put them in the public eye, they may need special care that allows them to continue work when they are not in treatment, and they are going to need special handling. Being a first responder is difficult, being a first responder that is also dealing with drug and alcohol addiction is even harder.

Unique Approach

A treatment facility like Quest 2 Recovery offers unique treatment options that are tailored to the individual rather than to the masses. They create treatment plans that are both inpatient residential and those programs that allow the patients to go about their daily lives while still getting the treatment that they need.

They use therapy, detox, group support, exercise and more all in an effort to create a program that is going to work for each particular patient to provide the most success and the best rates of healing. It is the goal of recovery to allow patients to have the treatment that is going to work best for them and that is going to promote life long healing and recovery.

PTSD is not something that can be healed in one fail swoop. It is an ongoing battle and if the patient is continually exposed to the conditions and events that encourage and foster the PTSD it will only get worse. There are plenty of first responders that have gone down the path of substance abuse and many that have not been given an adequate chance to recover. Exclusive rehab options that take into account the type of work these people do each day, rehab that takes personality and disposition and more is going to be far more effective than a one size fits all rehab that does not really make a difference.

Specialized care is something that can help first responders to deal with their addiction and to actually get better. Addiction is not something that we have to deal with, if you or someone you love is addicted to alcohol, drugs or other substances and they are also dealing with PTSD, a specialized approach is going to make a big difference. With the right treatment, anyone can deal with addiction and become happy, healthy, and free of the burden of addiction and the pain it causes.