5 Methods Used in Mental Health Treatment

mental health treatment

5 Methods Used in Mental Health Treatment

Millions of people struggle with mental health issues. Some reasons why people may need mental health treatment are PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder and depression. Unfortunately, many people struggle with these issues in silence.

When the problems add up, people may turn to alcohol or drugs. These substances amplify mental health issues. Then, the person using drugs or drinking alcohol may do so even more. The cycle is vicious and can be challenging to overcome. However, there are 5 methods used in mental health treatment that can help a great deal.

Brainspotting in Mental Health Treatment

Brainspotting is a method that has to do with the eyes and brain. If you struggle with trauma issues, this is a mental health treatment that might work for you.

Research shows the way a person positions their eyes affects how they feel. In brainspotting therapy sessions, the trained therapist will guide you through the negative emotions that you are holding. Over time, you can release these emotions and let go of what is holding you back. You will also replace negative emotions with positive ones.

Have you been holding onto overwhelming, fearful, or painful events from your past? If so, these could be causing you a lot of stress and anxiety. They could even be causing depression. The good news is that you can enroll in brainspotting therapy to help overcome negative emotions and mental health issues.

Neurofeedback Therapy

A mental health treatment that is great for trauma-informed care is neurofeedback therapy. Therapists also use it for OCD, ADHD and bipolar disorder.

Neurofeedback therapy focuses on brain waves. If a person’s brain waves are causing inappropriate reactions, this type of therapy can be beneficial.

Many therapists use this method. During these sessions, you will be on a machine. The machine will read brainwaves through a computer software program. From there, the therapist can analyze the results. The software can send messages back to the brain when reactions need a reset, as well. The most common reason for this is when someone has severe anxiety in response to minimal stimuli.

If this sounds like a method for mental health treatment you might need, reach out today.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Transcranial magnetic stimulation or TMS is one of the 5 methods used in mental health treatment. It is a safe, non-invasive method for relieving mental health symptoms. Many therapists use it with their patients who have depression.

Many mental health programs offer this type of treatment. Professionals do this process in a machine that is similar to an MRI machine. There is a coil that will transmit magnetic pulses into your skull and brain. The areas that receive these pulses control your mood.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation sessions last an hour on average. Most patients that receive this treatment have noticeable improvements in their mental health.

Hypnotherapy Sessions

You may have heard of hypnotherapy. For years, hypnotherapy has helped people quit smoking, lose weight and change other damaging habits. Nowadays, people are using this method to relieve mental health symptoms, too.

Some people have fears regarding hypnotherapy. However, it is a very safe treatment. Getting hypnotherapy along with other mental health treatments can be highly effective.

When you receive hypnotherapy services, the therapist can put you in a heightened state. In this state, you will have better self-awareness and focus. If you struggle with depression, anxiety, obsessive behaviors or addictions, these sessions can help you become more aware of the problem.

After the sessions, most people change their negative habits and start getting the help they need.

Dialectal Behavior Therapy

Dialectal behavioral therapy is another mental health treatment you can receive. DBT is treatment therapists commonly use to help people change negative habits and behaviors.

During your DBT sessions, you will learn to identify your negative patterns and habits. The therapist will work with you to replace those patterns with positive ones. Many people who are self-destructive benefit greatly from dialectal behavior therapy.

If you have an addiction or have other self-destructive behaviors, this may be something you want to check out.

Getting the Mental Health Treatment You Need

There are different mental health treatments for everyone. Some people will receive one of these services and others might receive many of them.

Do you struggle with PTSD, anxiety, depression, self-destructive behaviors or other mental health issues? If so, it would be a good idea to reach out to enroll in one of the top 5 methods used in mental health treatment.

Trauma Informed Care and Addiction Treatment

trauma informed care

Trauma Informed Care and Addiction Treatment

Trauma informed care is a relatively new but increasingly popular practice in the mental health field. It develops from the knowledge that trauma and addiction are closely intertwined. It also recognizes that treatment should be focused on healing trauma rather than just eliminating addiction. Treatment needs to recognize, respect, and honor the life experience of those who have been impacted by trauma. The goal is to provide a safe treatment space for those who have experienced significant emotional wounding because of abuse, neglect, or violence. Here is what you need to know about trauma informed care and addiction treatment.

Types of Trauma

According to The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, there are various types of trauma, including:

  • Violence
  • Bullying
  • Natural disasters
  • Sexual assault
  • Neglect
  • Domestic violence
  • Physical abuse
  • Terrorist events
  • Grief

What is Trauma Informed Care?

Trauma informed care is a growing practice in the mental health field. It is an approach that recognizes, respects, and honors the experiences of those who have been through trauma. It acknowledges that survivors of trauma have often experienced significant emotional woundingand that they need different treatment than those who have not been through trauma. The goal is to help clients find healthy ways to process their trauma rather than forcing them to just eliminate their addiction.

When it comes to addiction treatment, trauma informed care acknowledges the issues which can arise for those suffering from substance use disorder. Addiction is often connected to trauma, but so are other issues like depression and anxiety. Therefore, it is important to process all of these areas in a safe and encouraging way.

Benefits of Trauma Informed Care

Exposure to trauma can affect a person’s ability to control impulsive and out-of-control behaviors. The experience of trauma often results in intense feelings of shame as well as hopelessness. Trauma informed care provides a safe place where clients can work through these feelings and learn to trust others and connect with them on an emotional level. Without this, clients may be unable to make healthy decisions about their lives, leading to substance use or falling into unhealthy relationships. Trauma informed care helps individuals recognize threatening situations so they can deal with them in healthy ways.

Safety for Clients

Many times, trauma informed care is set up to be as safe as possible for the client. This often means that there are safety plans in place to protect clients during periods of crisis, and boundaries are set up so the client knows what they can and cannot do while participating in treatment. The reasons for these rules will be discussed with a client so they know why the rules are in place.

When a person has experienced trauma, it is important that they feel safe at all times. This is especially true when they are participating in treatment. While many people fear treatment and feel uncomfortable, traumatic experiences can result in trust issues and a lack of emotional safety. Clients should feel safe to express themselves without being judged or shamed, and they should be able to disclose any trauma related information without it being used against them.

In the mental health field, there is often a lack of understanding about the trauma associated with addiction. Trauma informed care is an ongoing process of educating yourself and your team about addiction, trauma, and the connection between the two. When you work to understand these connections, your treatment will be more effective.

Avoid Risk of Re-Traumatization

In many cases, a person with addiction has experienced several traumatic events. For example, they may have been the victim of sexual abuse or domestic violence. They are then faced with the risk of being re-traumatized when seeking treatment for their addiction.

This is why it is important to provide trauma informed care in all treatment centers that treat people who are victims of trauma. When a client feels safe and comfortable in their environment, they will be able to process their feelings and work through issues associated with their trauma. This will result in a higher level of satisfaction with their treatment and, ultimately, a reduction in the likelihood of re-traumatization.

Peer Support

There are times in recovery when people feel alone. They may have been shamed or judged by others because of their addiction. They can feel like no one understands what they are going through. Peer support groups can be beneficial in helping these individuals develop a sense of belonging and acceptance.

Losing one’s identity may be a common experience among trauma survivors. Some of the symptoms that can accompany this experience include feeling isolated and alone, being unable to trust others, and having a reduced sense of self. Peer support groups can help people with their recovery by allowing them to feel connected to others who have also dealt with similar traumas or issues. Through these connections, survivors can feel less isolated and more empowered to continue their healing process.

Connection Between Trauma and Addiction

For many people, addiction is a way of coping with the aftereffects of trauma. In an effort to feel better, some people turn to alcohol or drugs. Others use different methods to numb themselves, including abusive relationships, gambling, and shopping. The way in which people seek out such coping mechanisms can vary greatly. The common denominator is that they are all ways that someone who has experienced trauma may be trying to feel better or escape their pain.

Types of Trauma Informed Therapy

According to TraumaInformed Care in Behavioral Health Services, there are many types of trauma informed therapy, such as:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Cognitive processing therapy

Evidence-Based Practice

Trauma informed care is an evidence-based practice. What this means is that the effectiveness of treatment has been proven by scientific research. Evidence-based practice reduces the chance that patients will relapse.

Trauma informed therapy can be very beneficial in recovery. Contact Harmony Stuart, a Florida drug treatment center, to speak to a member of our staff about trauma informed care and other treatment options. We’re here to help on the road to sobriety.

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder? 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Nearly everyone will face anxiety in their life, it’s a normal part of being human. But what happens when it takes over your days? For people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, their experience can include debilitating mental and emotional effects and even physical symptoms.

The Difference Between Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Feeling Anxious

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) goes beyond feeling anxious. Many describe it as not only feeling worried but worrying about everything all the time. GAD can cause people to become so fixated on different worries and concerns that they are unable to focus on anything else. These feelings are so severe and excessive that they can impact the person’s day-to-day life and interfere with regular activities that most people do without thinking. 

GAD will demonstrate various symptoms that a person can watch out for. 

Symptoms of GAD can include: 
  • Fixating or obsessing over small or large concerns that are likely out of proportion to the event itself 
  • Inability to let go of a worry or concern
  • Excessive worrying
  • Inability to relax, feeling restless or on edge
  • Feeling distress over basic decision making for fear of making the wrong choice
  • Difficulty coping with uncertainty or indecisiveness
  • Mentally carrying every possible outcome of a decision or situation to its possible negative conclusion

People with GAD also often can experience physical symptoms associated with their disorder.

Physical symptoms can include: 
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Being easily startled
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Trembling or feeling twitchy
  • Nausea, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Memory problems
  • Headaches

It’s important to note that Generalized Anxiety Disorder is not the same as Panic Disorder, in which people experience recurring, unexpected and severe panic attacks.


Only a doctor can properly address and diagnose Generalized Anxiety Disorder. If you feel you are experiencing anxiety symptoms, make an appointment with your General Practitioner. It is helpful to mention that your appointment is about mental health assessment so they are aware in advance. 

Your doctor will ask a variety of questions related to your anxiety. From here, he or she can gain a better understanding of the types of anxiety you are experiencing. Depending on your symptoms and situation, they may refer you to a psychiatrist in order to obtain a more accurate diagnosis. 


If you suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, know that there are great treatment options available to help mitigate your symptoms. There are a wide variety of medications available to help with GAD such as Zoloft, Prozac, Buspirone, and many others. If you prefer alternatives to medication, supportive therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help. This type of therapy can help a patient examine negative thought patterns and introduce coping skills to slow the anxiety spirals typically associated with GAD.

Furthermore, experts suggest lifestyle changes to support GAD symptom reduction. These include healthy eating, physical activity, meditation, reducing caffeine intake, as well as avoiding recreational drugs and alcohol. 

When Generalized Anxiety Disorder leads to Substance Abuse and Addiction

The debilitating symptoms associated with GAD often lead people to self-medicate in order to escape their constant feelings of worry and fear. As such, it is a common Co-occurring Disorder seen with substance abuse and addiction. However, it’s important to note that substances like alcohol and drugs do not address the root cause of the problem. Often people who self-medicate have not sought medical attention for their condition and self-medicating rarely achieves the effect sufferers desire. Not only that but it leads to a whole host of other problems in the form of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and addiction. 

Co-Occurring Disorders create a vicious cycle unless treated holistically. Treatment for only addiction means the underlying reason for using has not been addressed, and when the person still feels the perpetual anxiety after treatment, they are likely to relapse and go back to using. Similarly, if only the anxiety is treated, the person is still suffering from addiction. Addiction typically fuels mental health disorders and can exacerbate the underlying mental health issues. Thus, comprehensive mental health and addiction treatment, usually in an established treatment center, are necessary to address the root cause and ensure the best chance for long-term recovery. 

Getting Help 

If you are struggling with substance use or addiction of any kind and are in need of help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Harmony Recovery Group specialize in treating substance use disorder, addiction and co-occurring disorders to help you achieve the life you deserve to live. Contact us anytime, we are here to help. 

Am I Enabling? The Difference Between Helping and Hurting 

Am I Enabling? Learning the difference between helping and hurting

When our loved ones are in trouble, all we want to do is help. It is one of our most beautiful human instincts but unfortunately when a loved one is in the throes of addiction, our well-intentioned help can really hurt. So, it’s important to ask ourselves, “Am I enabling?”

There is a fine line between offering support and enabling, and it is a difficult line to walk. Unfortunately, despite our best intentions, our help can inadvertently harm the addict by making it easier for them to continue using. On our end, we often feel guilt, hurt and betrayal because our help was used to fuel their addiction. 

Understanding what enabling is will ultimately support both you and the addict, as you will only be taking actions that push them towards treatment. However, be aware that this road can be a painful one. We cannot force anyone to change who does not want to change themselves. 


What is Enabling? 

Enabling is any action that makes it easier, more comfortable, or financially possible to continue an irresponsible, inappropriate or dangerous behavior. This can be unrelated to substance abuse or addiction, such as letting your child stay home from school because he didn’t finish his project in time. In this instance, you are not helping them, you are allowing them to shirk the consequences of their choices. This ultimately enables them to continue being irresponsible. 

When drug or alcohol addiction is involved, the matter becomes much more serious and can play out in a highly co-dependent manner. For example, a parent gives an addict money for groceries so they won’t “go hungry” but the addict spends the money to get their drug fix instead. The parent has not helped the child, just enabled them to fall deeper into addiction. 


Am I Enabling? 

Enabling can constitute more than financial support and occur in a myriad of ways. Ask yourself the questions below.


Do I make excuses for the addict’s behavior? 

“He’s just tired,” and “she’s just drinking because she had a bad day,” are examples of excuses we can make to ignore the deeper problem. But pretending the problem doesn’t exist, does not make it go away. Excusing behavior will only hurt both you and the addict in the long run. 


Have I ever lied to others in order to cover up their using? 

If you’ve ever found yourself covering for your addicted loved one, you are enabling. Maybe they have gone on a bender and you call their employer saying they are sick, or make an excuse as to why they didn’t make it to the friend’s birthday party. These are all actions which allow the addict to avoid consequences of their using and thus allow them to continue to do so. 


Am I afraid to express my feelings or concerns for fear they will react negatively (i.e. they may leave you or be angry with you)? 

Acting out of fear is the opposite of rational behavior. When we act out of fear, we sacrifice our own comfort and wellbeing in exchange for momentary peace and safety. 

The truth is, your fears can and may come true. The addict may leave, they may get into trouble, they could wind up in jail, or they could get angry when you address their addiction. But not addressing what is going just means that the addiction continues in the dark, where it thrives. 


Do I constantly blame others for the addict’s problems or addiction to avoid placing responsibility on them? 

Blaming addictive behaviors on outside factors such as a stressful job or drinking buddies who are a bad influence is ignoring the root of the problem. Thinking that if those factors weren’t in the picture, your loved one wouldn’t abuse substances is likely to be inaccurate. It also denies that the person may be in a full-blown addiction which is a disease not a choice. 


Am I putting the needs of the addict above the needs of myself or my family? 

Because addicts are typically unable to care for their own basic needs, they often rely on an enabler to help them. This is textbook Codependent Behavior. The enabler feels a personal responsibility to “help” the addict and the addict relies on the enabler to fix their problems so their addiction can continue. Things like bailing the addict out of jail, buying them food, or skipping other responsibilities to go pick them up are all signs of enabling. It also means you are putting their needs first. Can you really afford to pay their rent or is it causing your hardship? Either way, you are helping them use. 


Stopping the Cycle



1. Face your Fears

You may be afraid that without your help they could wind up homeless, hungry, or in jail. Accept that these are possible outcomes of their addiction. Typically addicts must become uncomfortable in order to accept they have a problem and seek treatment. Sometimes they need to hit rock bottom, but not always. Unfortunately you have to be willing to find out. 


2. Create Boundaries (and stick to them)

Learn to detach with love. Stop protecting them from the consequences of their actions, do not offer financial support, and do not bail them out of trouble. Keep a schedule and stick to it, for example, they are welcome to 6pm family dinner but only if they come on time. 


3. Seek Education and Support

Learn all you can about addiction. Go to Al-Anon meetings. Find a counsellor and take care of your mental health. This is a difficult journey. Understanding the roots of addiction and speaking to others who understand can help with feeling powerless, lonely, or scared. 


4. Talk to Your Loved One About Treatment

Wait until they are sober to have a conversation with them about their using. Be honest with them: talk what you see when they are high, tell them how their addiction has affected you and others. Then suggest they get treatment. Be prepared for them to respond negatively or decline, we cannot make someone change until they are ready. 


Lastly, contact a professional if you need help or advice. At Harmony Recovery Group, we are here for you.

Reach out to us anytime. 

Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse Disorder: What You Should Know

Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse Disorder

Schizophrenia is a very serious mental disorder which can be devastating to those affected and their families. It is thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and is estimated to affect between 0.5% and 1% of the population. Because of its debilitating effects, Schizophrenia often goes hand-in-hand with Substance Abuse Disorder. 

Movies and TV shows have created a lot of misconceptions when it comes to Schizophrenia which we’d like to clear up. People with Schizophrenia do not all live in mental hospitals. Not all of them are homeless and they do not have multiple personalities. 

Treatment is possible and typically includes medication and psychiatric support on a long-term and often lifelong basis. However, it is important to note that because Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse Disorder are very closely linked, addiction treatment is often needed to improve outcomes.  


Signs and Symptoms of Schizophrenia

  • Seeing, smelling, or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinations)
  • Paranoia and delusions
  • The “flat effect” wherein the patient loses the ability to feel emotions
  • Trouble with logical thinking
  • Disordered thoughts and speech
  • Problems with attention, concentration and/or memory
  • Self isolation and social withdrawal 
  • Loss of personal hygiene 
  • Unexplained fears of basic things like eating or drinking


Four Subtypes of Schizophrenia

There are four types of Schizophrenia which bear the name of their dominant symptom. They are follows:  


Paranoid Schizophrenia

People with Paranoid Schizophrenia are consumed by the idea that they are being persecuted, threatened, or controlled by people or even inhuman forces. As a result of this paranoia, Paranoid Schizophrenics are usually socially isolated and can act with hostility, irritability and be perpetually afraid of others. They may often hear voices telling them to harm themselves or others. Hallucinations and delusions are very prominent in this type of Schizophrenia. 


Disorganized Schizophrenia

Disorganized Schizophrenics often exhibit bizarre behaviors, incoherent speech, chaotic thought patterns, and unusual emotional reactions. As a result, they tend to have trouble holding a job, taking care of themselves, and interacting with others. 


Residual Schizophrenia

Residual Schizophrenia is when someone has been affected by the disorder in the past but is no longer exhibiting obvious symptoms. For example, a patient may not experience the more debilitating aspects of the disorder such as hallucinations or paranoia, but are still affected by some of the less severe symptoms.


Undifferentiated Schizophrenia 

This form of Schizophrenia typically defies categorization, as symptoms don’t fit specifically into one of the other subtypes. They might have a milder experience than is clear for diagnosis, or only show some of the symptoms for diagnosis.


Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse

Therapists often consider substance abuse to be a side effect of Schizophrenia. Studies have shown substance abuse rates among people with Schizophrenia is 50% higher than that of the general population. 

For example, the use of alcohol is common among people with Schizophrenia. Because alcohol dampens neurotransmitter activity in the brain, it slows things down. For people with Schizophrenia, this slowing can temporarily quiet the noise of a brain that runs on high speed all day long. 

Unfortunately, abusing a substance like alcohol doesn’t actually help treat the problem. Instead, it can actually exacerbate some symptoms. For example, alcohol can make hallucinations more pronounced. Furthermore, the lowering of inhibition from alcohol use also makes the erratic behaviors associated with Schizophrenia much harder to control. 

Proper treatment of both Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse Disorder together can help patients have the best chance at long term recovery and a normal life. 


Treatment for Addiction and Schizophrenia 

Medication in combination with Psychological therapy is an important aspect of Schizophrenia treatment. While it cannot cure the disorder, medication can help mitigate symptoms so that patients can lead normal lives. Furthermore, therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Family Systems Therapy, and Trauma Therapies can be very helpful in working through the emotional and psychological trauma caused Schizophrenia. 

If you or a loved one are suffering with Co-occurring Disorders like Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse Disorder, contact us today. We are here to help. 




Rebuilding Foster Care Families in the Aftermath of Addiction

Foster Care and Addiction

It’s no secret that addiction tears families apart, this is especially true in the case of foster care. Studies have shown one in three children in the program were admitted due to parental substance abuse. But what happens when parents are in recovery and their children are able to come home. How do you heal the trauma that tore the family apart? 



Talk about what has happened, apologize, listen to their feelings. Depending on their age, this may be the time to have an open discussion with them and communicate honestly. Make sure they know that their feelings are valid, that you hear them, and of course, that you love them. 


Create a “New Normal” 

Children and families thrive on consistency. Try to create routines in your everyday life, maybe every night you have dinner at 6pm together. Or every morning you listen to the radio. Small things can make a difference in creating a feeling of consistency. Consider creating new traditions. Maybe every Saturday morning you take a walk together as a family or every Sunday you make pancakes. Making traditions make ordinary days feel special and make memories that last. 


Be Patient and Don’t Play the Guilt Game

Just because you’re in a different place now doesn’t mean you can expect things to change overnight. You may feel closed out or be frustrated by how your relationship building is going, but remember to be patient. This process takes time, particularly with older children. Don’t guilt them for holding a grudge or not responding the way you want them to. With time and consistency you can rebuild, but don’t put your expectations onto them. 


Keep Showing Up

It might be hard to face the circumstances, and new requirements such as supervised visitation however no matter what, continue to be there for them. It might take weeks, months, or even years for them to recover, feel safe, and accept the “new normal.” Regardless of how distant they may be, even when they act out or misbehave, stay with them. They need you and are likely testing your limits to see if you are here to stay. Be truly there for them. Show up, every day, in whatever way you can. 


Every scenario looks different. The ultimate goal is to heal, and let go of resentments and the shame. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and their children have been placed in foster care our case managers might be able to help. Contact us below or click here.

Telehealth: Addiction and Mental Health Conditions

Telehealth visit for addiction and mental health conditions therapy

What is Telehealth? 

Telehealth is a healthcare service available through a virtual platform. Visits occur on a device such as a phone, tablet or computer.

Telehealth also referred to as Telemedicine or Teletherapy,  has reduced the barriers to receiving care. Often used for those who are unable to travel for treatment. Patients can receive quick, on-demand counseling for medical conditions that do not require an in-person assessment or in mental health support like therapy. 

Is Telehealth Right For Me? 

Telehealth offers quick, on-demand support when you need it most. Telemedicine is for a patient that would benefit from care that does not require travel or time off. However, for some, it can feel impersonal compared to an in-person mental health experience. It is always down to the individual.

Privacy and Telehealth:

The concerns with privacy risks involve a lack of control over the collection, use, and sharing of data. According to Hall and McGraw, “The primary security risk is that of unauthorized access to data during collection, transmission, or storage.”  This is why the software used to conduct telehealth visits is HIPPA compliant and has special end-to-end encryption.

“Currently, the Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act (HIPAA) contains the primary set of regulations that guide the privacy and security of health information. HIPAA requires that identifiable health information be encrypted so that only those authorized to read it can do so.”

Thinking about telehealth for yourself or a loved one facing addiction and mental health conditions? Give us a call with any questions.

What Is Drug-Induced Schizophrenia?

Drug-Induced Schizophrenia | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Technically, there is no such thing as drug-induced schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a chronic mental health condition, and although the use of certain drugs is associated with triggering symptoms, substance abuse does not directly cause schizophrenia. In fact, research suggests that a combination of physical, biological, psychological, and environmental factors all come into play and can make an individual more likely to develop the disorder.

However, psychotic symptoms that resemble schizophrenia, such as hallucinations and delusions, can be caused by drug use. These are usually temporary, however, and abstinence from substances is often enough to ensure these effects subside and are less likely to reoccur.

What Is Schizophrenia?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness that is characterized by the following:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Bizarre or dysfunctional thoughts
  • Agitation
  • Impaired focus and decision-making
  • Reduced feelings of pleasure
  • Difficulty understanding information
  • Impaired working memory

Symptoms of schizophrenia usually manifest between the age of 16 to 30, but uncommonly, children may also exhibit some signs of the disorder. Several risk factors make some people more vulnerable to developing the condition than others. These include genetic and environmental factors as well as brain chemistry. The Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America (SARDAA) asserts that schizophrenia affects an estimated 1.1% of people worldwide, and 3.5 million individuals in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the disorder.

What Is Drug-Induced Psychosis?

Drug-Induced Schizophrenia | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Although different psychoactive drugs affect the brain in various ways, they all affect it in some way, and using too much of a drug or combining substances can lead to a psychotic reaction. Drugs that can contribute to or induce psychosis include alcohol, amphetamines, cocaine, hallucinogens, marijuana, opioids, and sedative-hypnotics.

Psychosis is a state of mind hallmarked by the inability to separate thoughts, perceptions, and reality. Drug-induced psychosis is characterized by mostly visual hallucinations and delusions that cause a shift in the person’s consciousness. This makes it challenging for him or her to differentiate between what is real and what is a manifestation of their own mind.

Some people use certain substances specifically for their hallucinogenic properties, while others encounter hallucinations or delusions as an adverse side effect of a drug they used for another purpose. For instance, psychedelics are a class of drugs that people use for their ability to cause hallucinations and alter perceptions, and includes LSD, magic mushrooms, and mescaline, among others. Cocaine, on the other hand, can also cause hallucinations, but people seldom use it for this reason.

It’s important to note that although psychosis typically includes hallucinations and delusions, the presence of these in and of themselves does not equal psychosis. Many people who use LSD or other psychedelic drugs experience these effects but not full-blown psychosis, which is also characterized by an inability to differentiate reality from imagination. In other words, people who are using these drugs most often understand that what they are seeing or hearing is not real but just an unusual effect.

The Duration of Schizophrenia Symptoms

Schizophrenia is a condition that usually requires ongoing treatment. For many, the intensity of symptoms will wax and wane throughout their entire lives. The four stages of schizophrenia include the following:

Prodromal Phase – In this early stage, symptoms are easy to overlook. Individuals will typically encounter symptoms common to other mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, mood swings, sleep disturbances, irritability, and anger. Also, young people going through puberty can experience many of these same symptoms, and the condition may go unnoticed. This phase can sometimes persist for years, and because symptoms aren’t obviously related to schizophrenia, the person may go undiagnosed while they continue to experience mood disturbances, fear, and hostility without knowing why.

Acute Phase – During the acute/active phase of schizophrenia, individuals will begin to encounter hallucinations, delusions, and confusing thoughts. These symptoms are comparable to those related to drug-induced psychosis. The acute phase can onset gradually or abruptly and may require hospitalization if symptoms cause an intense psychotic episode. The acute phase typically lasts for one to two months.

Remission – With treatment, symptoms can improve, and individuals will enter the remission phase. Treatment often involves a combination of therapy and medications designed to reduce psychotic symptoms.

Relapse – Relapse is common among people with schizophrenia. If they go off their medication or begin to require a stronger dose or different approach, they start the cycle all over again. Still, symptoms often get less intense over time. Some people experience fewer relapses as they get older until symptoms disappear altogether, while others need long-term treatment and maintenance for the rest of their lives.

Drug-Induced Psychosis Duration
The duration of a drug-induced psychotic episode will vary between individuals and will be influenced by several factors. In most cases, symptoms will not persist for longer than a few days, and for many, the duration is much shorter than that. For example, the effects do not usually last longer than 6-14 hours.

Is There a Cure for Schizophrenia?

Drug-Induced Schizophrenia | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Though some people with schizophrenia may eventually stop relapsing after going into remission, schizophrenia is usually a lifelong disorder for most who experience it, and there is no single cure. As noted, antipsychotic medication is the go-to treatment because it can very effectively mitigate symptoms and enable people to function normally. In fact, not taking medication as directed is by far the most common reason why people with schizophrenia relapse.

Curing Drug-Induced Psychosis

Technically, there is no cure for drug-induced psychosis because it is not a disease in the conventional sense. Instead, it is an acute problem that really needs no other approach than to wait for the drug to leave a person’s system and to avoid drug use from that point forward. With heavy use, however, cocaine, amphetamines, and sometimes alcohol can cause psychotic symptoms that persist long after a person has gotten sober.

Getting Treatment for Drug Abuse

While some people use drugs such as LSD for their hallucinogenic properties, the experience of a full break from reality is not normal and, if encountered, should be addressed immediately. Some drugs, including stimulants like methamphetamine, might cause psychosis if used excessively or for a prolonged period. Still, in general, drug-induced psychosis is relatively rare when placed in the context of the many people who use drugs on a regular basis.

Fortunately, drug-induced psychosis is very treatable, and abuse and/or addition to substances can be addressed simultaneously using a medical detox and a comprehensive, long-term treatment plan. Programs intended to treat these problems should include evidence-based services, such as psychotherapy, counseling, group support, medication-assisted treatment, and aftercare planning.

What’s more, using an integrated approach to treatment, co-occurring mental health disorders should be addressed as well, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, schizophrenia, etc.

Harmony Treatment and Wellness offers these treatment modalities and more in partial hospitalization and outpatient formats. We employ highly-trained, caring staff to facilitate services to the patient with compassion and expertise. We aim to provide our patients with all the tools they need to achieve a full recovery and go on to sustain long-lasting sobriety, happiness, and wellness.

If you suspect that you or someone you know has had drug-induced psychosis or substance abuse or addiction, we urge you to contact us today! We can help you get started on the road to recovery, one step at a time!

Rehab for Depression and Addiction

Rehab for Depression and Addiction | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Clinical depression is a severe mental disorder that can lead to adverse consequences for the person who suffers as well as his or her loved ones. Unfortunately, this type of depression is common and affects millions of people and prevents them from living healthy, happy lives. 

Substance abuse is common among those who are struggling with a depressive disorder. Many depressed people turn to drugs or alcohol as a means to self-medicate and or escape painful thoughts and feelings. As a result, substance abuse and depression feed into one other, with each condition often making the other even worse.

By some estimates, approximately 25% of adults with a mental health condition also have a substance use disorder. When a person suffers from both mental illness and addiction, this is known as a dual diagnosis. Also referred to as co-occurring conditions, the combination of depressive disorders and substance abuse is among the most common. An estimated one in three adults who suffer from depression also struggles with issues related to substance abuse or addiction. 

Both clinical depression and addiction pose a high risk of accidental injury, self-harm, and suicide. Also, both have adverse effects on the body, increasing the risk of other physical and emotional health problems.

Is It Depression or Just Being Sad?

It’s important to note that brief periods of sadness or grief is not the same thing as clinical depression. Clinical depressions typically last for weeks, months, or years and interfere with a person’s ability to work or go to school, maintain healthy relationships, and function socially or engage in enjoyable hobbies and activities.

People with depression may experience several of the following symptoms daily:

  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of hopelessness and despair
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Increased appetite and weight gain
  • Sleeping too much
  • Insomnia
  • Tearfulness
  • Aches and pains
  • Lack of energy
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Irritability
  • Difficulties with concentrating
  • A loss of interest in activities or hobbies
  • Feelings of apathy
  • Nihilism/believing life is meaningless
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

Most frequently, depression manifests as feelings of sadness, low energy, and hopelessness. However, some people, especially men, experience depression as hostility or anger. Regardless of how depression expresses itself, it should be evident that this mental state is quite different from the person’s norm.

When a person has clinical depression, the basic tasks of daily life may seem impossible, and the mood seems unending and permanent. Drinking excessively or using drugs might seem like an effective way to relieve the overwhelming pain and emptiness that a person with depression experiences. 

Rehab for Depression and Addiction | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Depression as a Gateway to Addiction

Depression frequently serves as a gateway to substance abuse. Those who experience negative emotional states often use alcohol or drugs in an effort to escape or numb these emotions. Unfortunately, however, people who are severely depressed are likely to stay that way if they continue this method of self-medication rather than seeking professional treatment. And those who use drugs or alcohol regularly are at a high risk of developing a dependence or full-blown addiction.

Warning signs of a burgeoning addiction include the following:

Tolerance – When tolerance occurs, the body has been accustomed to the presence of the substance and requires increasing amounts to achieve the desired effects.

Dependence and withdrawal Dependence occurs when the body has fully adapted to a substance’s presence and can no longer function “normally” without it. Dependence can be both chemical and psychological in nature, and when it occurs, attempts to quit the use of a substance will be met with unpleasant mental or emotional symptoms that, at worst, can be life-threatening.

Feelings of guilt and shame – Although a person is using a substance to feel better, they ultimately feel worse. They may be ashamed of doing this and experience intense feelings of remorse as a result.

Relapse – Cravings and withdrawal symptoms drive a person to return to substance abuse after attempting to quit.

For some people who experience depression and addiction, giving up drugs or alcohol “cold turkey” can also make depression worse. If a person has used substances for years to bury depressive symptoms, these may rise to the surface early in sobriety. For this reason, it’s vital to receive integrated treatment for both depression and substance abuse simultaneously.

Moreover, if the underlying causes that drive addiction, such as depression, are not addressed, the likelihood of relapse will be much higher in the future. In some cases, people who have depression and addiction problems drop out of subpar rehab programs because sobriety feels life more than the person can handle without the appropriate level of therapeutic support for depression.

Recovery From Depression and Substance Abuse

Rehab for Depression and Addiction | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

One of the main reasons why a dual diagnosis notoriously difficult treat is that each disorder can exacerbate the symptoms of the other. Substance abuse causes emotional dysregulation, which can lead to a worsening of depression. When this occurs, the person may use more substances in a misguided effort to counteract this effect.

Indeed, there is a great deal of complexity involved in effectively treating a dual diagnosis patient. It has been well established among medical professions that those who have co-occurring conditions will not receive the care they need in a conventional, one-dimensional treatment program.

Only substance abuse rehab programs also equipped to address psychiatric problems will be able to effectively assist with detox, therapy, counseling, and aftercare planning. Such an integrated program will need to incorporate counseling, group support, behavioral therapy, education, and relapse prevention for both depression and addiction.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an integrated treatment plan should include the following goals:

  • Helping the client to understand the nature of depression and addiction
  • Teaching the client that recovery from addiction and depression is possible
  • Motivating the client to make significant changes in his or her life
  • Providing the client with practical skills for handling negative thoughts and feelings
  • Helping the client identify and change addictive patterns of behavior

Medication therapy is typically a core component of treatment for patients who suffer from addiction and depression. Antidepressant drugs have helped many people who struggle with this depression cope with their symptoms and lead more stable, satisfying lives. Also, addiction can be treated with other types of medications designed to curb cravings and reduce the symptoms of withdrawal.

A well-rounded approach to treatment that involves support, encouragement, and motivation is vital in the struggle against depression and addiction. Clinical depression can drain a person’s energy and make them feel that rehabilitation is a hopeless cause. But, through individual counseling, peer group support, and family counseling, individuals can get the strength they need to continue their recovery despite the challenges they will face.

Getting Rehab for Depression and Addiction

Harmony Treatment and Wellness offers customized, comprehensive programs intended to address the root causes of addiction as well as a person’s overall mental and physical well-being. Our programs feature therapies and activities shown to be vital for the recovery process, including the following:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Peer support groups
  • Substance abuse education
  • Health and wellness education
  • Holistic techniques, such as yoga
  • Art, music, and adventure therapy
  • Aftercare planning

If you or someone you love is suffering from active addiction to drugs or alcohol, contact us today! We give people the tools and support they need to free themselves from the shackles of addiction and begin to enjoy the healthy lives they deserve!

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What Is BPD?

What Is BPD? | Borderline Personality | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a potentially debilitating condition in which a person’s self-perception is distorted, and this significantly impedes their ability to maintain healthy, stable relationships. Those who suffer from BPD are often perceived as dramatic, two-faced, and manipulative and engage in behavior that experts believe serve as dysfunctional means to cope with emotional instability and pain and fear.

Substance abuse and BPD often occur together, and the interaction between them can be volatile and unpredictable. People with BPD, as with other mental illnesses, are more likely to use substances than others as a means of self-medication to escape feelings of fear and abandonment.

In fact, studies have revealed that about two-thirds of those who experience BPD have abused substances at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, substance abuse tends to exacerbate some of the more concerning symptoms of BPD, such as anger and severe depression.

In an effort to surmount their overall sense of emotional emptiness, people with BPD may also engage in self-harm, such as cutting. They are also more vulnerable to suicidal thoughts and attempts, especially if substance abuse is present.

BPD Symptoms

Symptoms of BPD may include the following:

  • Intense mood swings
  • Hypersensitivity to emotions
  • Profound depression or anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • Impulsivity
  • Irrational perceptions of others
  • Paranoia and delusions
  • Intense anger or aggression
  • Lack of or unstable sense of self
  • A deep fear of abandonment
  • Feelings of desolation
  • Manipulative impulses

The effects of BPD often leave sufferers with a profoundly poor sense of self-worth. Their impulsive behavior and moodiness often push others, causing them to be isolated and withdrawn. 

This isolation can result in extreme depression or anxiety, as people with BPD tend to have an intense fear of being alone or abandoned. Ironically, individuals with BPD often push others away and prevent themselves from experiencing close, meaningful relationships due to the fear of being abandoned by that loved one in the future.

What Is BPD? | Borderline Personality | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

What Causes BPD?

Although the exact origins of BPD are unknown, there are a few credible theories regarding how this complex personality disorder can develop. Factors believed to contribute to the development of BPD include the following:

Childhood Trauma and Family Dysfunction

Children who are brought up in families where they feel neglected, abandoned, or are emotionally, physically, or sexually abused are more likely to develop BPD as teenagers or young adults. This unhealthy environment can contribute to rampant substance abuse and severe mental illness later in life.

More to the point, BPD is believed to result from neglect or abuse during the stage of childhood development in which a child learns how to trust and rely on others. As a result, people with BPD grow up to lack this vital aspect of interpersonal relationships.


BPD and other personality disorders are often found among close family members, such as parents and their children. This fact suggests that some individuals may have a genetic propensity for developing BPD. Experts believe that certain inherited inclinations or personality attributes, such as aggression, may increase the risk of BPD when coupled with environmental factors. 

Brain Chemistry and Neurobiology

Anomalies in the areas of the brain responsible for mood, emotional, and behavioral regulation are thought to be at least partially responsible for the emotional instability and unpredictable, impulsive behavior displayed by those with BPD. Research has found that some regions of the brain, such as the amygdala, hippocampus, and orbitofrontal cortex, maybe be different in those with BPD.

BPD may also be caused by imbalances in certain neurotransmitters, which are naturally-occurring brain chemicals that directly impact how people feel and behave. These include dopamine, serotonin, and adrenaline, which are chemicals responsible for the regulation of many emotions and urges.

How BPD and Addiction Overlap

Many of the neurological and environmental factors that are thought to contribute to BPD are also strongly correlated with substance abuse. Many who suffer from addiction were raised in environments in which heavy drinking or drug use was present, and this experience in and of itself may inflict trauma on children.

Compounding matters, a history of childhood abuse or other trauma also raises the risk of substance abuse later in life. Events such as these often compel the individual to seek a means to escape adverse feelings, such as anger, resentment, fear, and pain. 

When it comes to addressing BPD and addiction concurrently, the similarities between the symptoms of the two can make both conditions challenging to identify and diagnose appropriately. Treatment can be especially difficult when the person’s antisocial and manipulative propensities make them frustrating and unpleasant to work with.

For example, both BPD and addiction may be characterized by the following:

  • Impulsive, self-destructive actions
  • Manipulative and deceitful behaviors
  • Unstable and tense relationships
  • Legal, financial, or employment issues
  • Mood instability that ranges from profound depression to manic states of high energy
  • A lack of concern for one’s own safety and wellbeing
  • An insistence on engaging in risky behavior despite incurring adverse effects

What Is BPD? | Borderline Personality | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder

BPD and addiction can and should be addressed simultaneously in treatment centers that offer dual diagnosis programs. These programs generally offer therapy, counseling, and pharmacological interventions for both mental illness and substance use disorders.

The most common and effective approach used to treat both these conditions is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is featured in rehab facilities to help people identify the thought patterns that contribute to their impulsive, unhealthy, and addictive behavior. Likewise, CBT teaches patients how to manage their moods and emotions better, so they are less likely to resort to the use of substances as a means of coping.

Treating borderline personality disorder is especially challenging because people with BPD often make demands of their therapists that are unreasonable, and insist on having constant contact with those who are treating them. They are often perceived as dependent and needy due to an inclination to seek out caregivers who can meet and enable their profound emotional needs.

Making treatment even more challenging, people with BPD may turn against their treatment provider, and become hostile and paranoid without any apparent reason. Understanding the emotional underpinnings of borderline personality disorder is vital for professionals who attempt to treat this severe psychiatric disorder.

In addition to psychotherapy, people who receive comprehensive treatment can attend classes and counseling sessions that concentrate on relapse prevention. This training is critical for those with co-occurring disorders such as these, as rates of relapse tend to be high. Relapse prevention can be fostered through peer group support meetings, where people who have been diagnosed with both BPD and addiction can share coping strategies and address the difficulties of living with these two conditions.

Psychiatric drugs and medication to treat addiction can also be powerful tools when used as part of a broader treatment plan. Many BPD patients discover that medications intended to restore balance to levels of neurotransmitters (e.g., antidepressants) can be beneficial. Moreover, addiction treatment medications such as naltrexone and Suboxone can also help by minimizing withdrawal symptoms and reducing cravings for alcohol or opioid drugs.

Getting Help for BPD and Addiction

If you or a loved one is suffering from BPD and addiction, contact Harmony Treatment and Wellness as soon as possible to discuss treatment options and learn how we help people recover from both disorders and reclaim their lives.

You can experience the fulfilling life you deserve! Contact us today!