Depression Doesn’t Take a Holiday off. Special Guest Author, Alek Sabin With a New Article Share for Valintine’s.

Depression Doesn’t Take a Holiday off. Special Guest Author, Alek Sabin With a New Article Share for Valintine’s.

WISHING ALL MY RECOVERY FRIENDS A Very Happy Valentines Day! đŸŒč💕💕😾

 

Supporting a Loved One through Depression ~ by Alek Sabin

Watching someone you love and care about go through depression can be a hopeless feeling. Depression can impact many everyday interactions and can become a relationship obstacle to individuals who don’t know how to react or handle it. This happens all too often, as depression has become the number one form of illness or injury in the world, with around 10% of Americans battling it, every single day (those numbers are even higher for women). As such, it’s important to understand how depression works, so that you can truly support the people in your life who suffer from it.

Here are some tips to help you support a loved one through depression…

 

Be Informed

 

You’re already doing your part with one of these tips, simply by reading an article that talks about depression. That’s because depression is something that isn’t really that well understood by many people, who make the mistake of confusing depression with general sadness. As such, the first thing you should do to help a loved one with depression is educating yourself on what depression actually is and how it works.

 

This helps with the understanding that you shouldn’t take a person’s feelings personally, when they are depressed, but also that you shouldn’t disregard their emotions, either. Knowledge is the best tool when it comes to dealing with the effects of depression.

 

Leave Your Judgement at the Door

 

Relationships are all about communication, but depression can impact that communication in a way that you should be aware of. Don’t shrug off what your loved one says about a particular situation or how they are feeling, simply because they are dealing with the effects of depression. Just because their feelings are being impacted by depression, it doesn’t mean that their feelings aren’t still valid.

 

This step is especially important when trying to help a younger person process through emotions when they are feeling depressed. When you approach conversations about depression with a veil of judgment, then you are working to alienate your loved one from sharing their thoughts and feelings, which can worsen the effects of depression.

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Loved One Depression 2
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Don’t Enable Problematic Behavior

 

We need to strive to recognize actions and behaviors that make a person’s depression even worse. Oftentimes, a person with depression will forego healthy habits such as eating well or taking care of their personal hygiene. These actions cause that person to slip even further into depression and show more symptoms. One of the worst things you can do is encourage any of these habits that are worsening an individual’s depression, which can create destructive co-dependency.

 

Support Every Step Forward

 

Don’t think that you should coddle your loved one all of the time. That is just exhausting for both people. However, you should be encouraging when they show signs of real progress in working through the effects of depression. When they begin to develop healthy habits that enable them to work through a depressive episode, take note of it and tell them that you appreciate them taking those steps. They will definitely appreciate that you’ve taken the time to notice, and it builds a rapport between you and them that makes it easier to listen to feedback in the future.

 

Demanding Happiness Is Counterproductive

 

It is unreasonable to expect an individual to be happy all of the time, regardless of whether they have depression or not. However, when they have depression, then this is doubly true. Just because a person isn’t swelling with happiness at every moment, it doesn’t mean that you should take this personally. Oftentimes, dealing with depression means letting people sift through some negative emotions for a while. Don’t be frustrated by this, but instead be patient and give them the time they need to accomplish this.

 

Promote Professional Help

 

When someone is ever suffering from severe side effects of depression, it is always worth the time to actually go and talk to a professional who can help them work through these difficult emotions. As much as you might think you can tackle these issues all on your own, there are people who have studied long and hard to have accumulated years of experience in helping people deal with the effects of depression. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is convince your loved one that it is worth it to simply test out professional help.

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Special Article Share 4 Having a Happy Recovery Valentine’s Day By “Know The Odds” …Great Resource Site!

HAPPY VALENTINES FRIENDS! CAT

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CONTINUING RECOVERY ON VALENTINE’S DAY

Valentine’s Day is here! So how about using this holiday to bring the family together while continuing to recover from the effects of problem gambling.  In this article, you’ll find some ways to bring fresh ideas and rebuild relationships shared with a loved one in recovery from problem gambling.

Problem Gambling And Family

The effects of problem gambling can span to affect every significant relationship in the life of the gambler.  The people closest to the one struggling with problem gambling are affected the most.  The people closest tend to be parents, spouses, and children.  Although people struggling with problem gambling usually have the best intentions while gambling, the damage can feel overwhelming.

Relationships can be repaired.  Recovery is possible.  Therefore, change is possible, and, with the right help, the partnership can come out stronger on the other side.

Focusing On Family

Holidays and anniversaries are important to keep the family’s connection strong.  These special days give reason to stop the regularities of routine and the hustle and bustle of life.  They offer devoted time to stop and connect with those who are important.  Valentine’s Day is one of those days.

Many people laugh at holidays like Valentine’s Day, but, as silly as it may be, it is a day to devote time to loved ones.  What can be more important than that?

For families recovering from the consequences of a loved one’s struggle with problem gambling, Valentine’s Day can be seen as a great day to focus on the love of family.  Therefore, it’s a day to remember why rebuilding relationships are so important, and a way to regain strength to continue on the family’s path to recovery from problem gambling.

Family Focused Fun

Many people try to go and buy things to bring joy to loved ones.  Flowers, stuffed animals, and colorful cards are great ways to put a smile on a person’s face, but there are other ways. Here are a few ways to spend time focusing on family.

Board game night can be a great way to bring some fun to the family.  Choosing games that are relaxing, but fun for the whole family can be an exciting way to reconnect with everyone.  Some games can include Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Sorry or Scategories. All these are examples of fun games to play together with the family.  Make sure to choose games that won’t act as triggers for the loved one in recovery for problem gambling and focus on having fun together.

Family outing together can be a great way to have fun.  There are many family outings that don’t need to cost much or any money.  Simple ideas like going for a hike or bike ride together, visiting a local museum or library together, or participating in a night of bowling are all ways to enjoy low-cost or free activities together.  Not only are family outings are great ways to step out of the home, but also great ways to create new memories together.

Volunteering is a great way to get the family together.
There are so many ways to give back to the community or volunteer.  You could help a neighbor with their yard, volunteer at a soup kitchen, or spend time at a senior center.  Whatever you choose, giving back will bring up the spirits of the family.  Volunteering together is a great way to rebuild the family while improving the well-being of the community.

Helpful Resources

Finally, wherever you and your family are on the path to recovery from problem gambling, support is always available.  Please reach out to your local Problem Gambling Resource Center by visiting New York Problem Gambling-Help or The National Council on Problem Gambling… 

It Is OK and Nothing Is Wrong With YOU If a 12-Step Program Does Not Work For You. It’s Why We Have “Choices Of What Works For Us.”

It Is OK and Nothing Is Wrong With YOU If a 12-Step Program Does Not Work For You. It’s Why We Have “Choices Of What Works For Us.”

“Now, we all know there is nothing wrong with you if for some reason a 12-Step program or meetings are just not enough to help you recover from any ADDICTION of say, Gambling, Alcohol, Drugs, Porn, any addictions. And there has been a lot of “Debate” about this for a long time by many groups and die-hard 12-steppers in my 12-years of maintaining recovery and I been to many AA and GA, Gamblers Anonymous meetings.

Especially when I had a negative experience a few times in a GA meeting where a few long-timers got in an actual “Shouting Match” in front of attendees, as some just happen to be newcomers! Very wrong to DO and THAT was not following the by-laws of how a 12-step meeting should be … So when I came across this new article in one of my favorite Recovery Magazines called The Fix and this  article about “There is nothing wrong with YOU if AA, and I’ll include NA and GA, 12-step program doesn’t WORK for you.”

Look, it’s OK to choose the recovery path YOU WANT and WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. And even though I had a BAD experience with my Gamblers Anonymous meeting? I still went back and used it as a form of SUPPORT and to be like-minded recovering gamblers, BUT? Knew it wasn’t going to BE the only help and treatment option I needed for my addictions to gambling and alcohol abuse. Here is what The Fix Article says about a 12-step program and if it works or not works for you …  ~Catherine Lyon

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There is hope

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There’s Nothing Wrong With You If AA Doesn’t Work

By Olivia Pennelle 02/03/19

“It isn’t that you’re incapable of being honest with yourself, or that you’re not working a “program” well enough. You are not too broken, or too far gone.”

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I spoke to a friend, Damien, last week. He was devastated at losing someone close to him to alcohol use disorder. What is particularly harrowing about this person’s passing is that it might have been prevented. Damien’s friend was repeatedly pushed toward Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), even though it clearly wasn’t the right fit for him. Just like many others, instead of being supported by peers and professionals and given alternative options, this friend was left feeling that the problem was him.

“It’s really frustrating to see friends die because the default treatment option doesn’t work for them,” Damien says. “We are losing far too many people with substance use disorder who find 12-step incompatible with their life experiences and belief systems.”

He goes on to say, “It’s not because they aren’t willing. It’s not because they can’t ‘get it.’ It’s because, for many people, treating addiction requires more than hope, spirituality, and fellowship. And yet, the only option most are presented with is founded on those three pillars. If the recommended treatment for bacterial infections had the same success rate as the 12 steps, then antibiotics would not be our go-to treatment plan for staph infections.”

My overarching message is: There is nothing wrong with you if AA doesn’t work. It isn’t that you’re incapable of being honest with yourself, or that you’re not working a “program” well enough. You are not too broken, or too far gone. You simply haven’t found the right pathway for you.

These kinds of beliefs stem from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, which states: “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves.” [emphasis added]

During my five years of attending countless AA and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings, I have heard many members criticize those who come in and out of the rooms but return to using in between, categorizing them as unwilling, or incapable of being honest.“They just need to surrender to the program and work it like their life depends on it,” was the kind of statement I heard over and over again.

I threw myself into the program because there were no other options for me in the northwest of England. I was so desperate to find something that would help me that I believed anything members said, even if there was no evidence to back it up.

I did a fair amount of perpetuating these myths too. I was instructed to ignore my instincts and critical mind (because that was my “disease talking”), and do what I was told. Giving away my free will to a person in the sky or a church basement seemed weird, but I went with it for several years. After all, it had worked for many other members.

With a period of sobriety under my belt, I couldn’t ignore my inner doubts any longer. They became louder. It was as though, even after years in recovery, I suddenly woke up. And I started to slowly unpack all the myths I’d been told.

REVIVE DETOX  – Shares: 

“I think you’ll agree with us when we say:

Times have changed and not all addiction cases should be treated the same way.

Traditional 12 Step Programs are based on a relationship with a higher power, an external higher power.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), “Medications should be combined with behavioral counseling for a “whole patient” approach, known as Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT).” and is an effective treatment for addiction.

Personality, personal values, history, underlying conditions, and other factors dictate what type of recovery program works best for an individual.

We empower clients to invest in their own recovery which aids each individual in taking responsibility for their behaviors and breeds self-reliance.”

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In particular, I tried to unpack “it works if you work it.” There is substantial evidence that shows there’s no one-size-fits-all method when it comes to recovery. If this program were suitable for everyone with substance use disorders, its success rate would be much higher. The fact is that success rates of 12-step programs vary wildly, from as low as 5 to 8 percent, with dropout rates from 69 to 86 percent … to as high as 42 percent after four years.

I should point out that these dropout rates are a reflection of the attrition rates of addiction treatment generally. This underscores the point that the way we treat addiction isn’t appropriate for everyone and we need to get better at personalizing care based on individual circumstances.

When I moved to the U.S., it was like my world opened up. I saw that despite what I’d been told in AA — that it was the only method for successful recovery — there was actually an open landscape of diverse recovery pathways.

A leading study shows that tens of millions of Americans have successfully resolved an alcohol or drug problem through a variety of traditional and nontraditional methods. That means:

  • 9 percent recovered with “assisted pathway use” that consisted of mutual-aid groups (45.1 percent), treatment (27.6 percent), and emerging recovery support services (21.8 percent). 95.8 percent of those who used mutual-aid groups attended 12-step mutual aid meetings.
  • Just under half of those who did not report using an assisted pathway recovered without the use of formal treatment and recovery supports.
    .

I’m aware that an ideal model of treatment, individualized based on the person’s particular medical and psychological needs, is not always available to most people. Not all of us have the luxury of therapeutic treatment from a psychologist or psychiatrist. This is another reason mutual-aid groups are the most accessible form of recovery pathway — they’re free!

We’re fortunate in the U.S. to have plenty of other support groups that are not all based on religion, and some have a solid evidence-based program. They include Refuge Recovery, LifeRing Secular Recovery, SMART Recovery, Moderation Management, Wellbriety — among many others listed here — and they have been shown to be equally as successful as 12-step groups.

A study comparing 12-step groups to alternative mutual aid groups found that LifeRing, SMART, and Women for Sobriety were just as effective as 12-step groups. Study author Dr. Sarah Zemore and her team reported that “findings for high levels of participation, satisfaction, and cohesion among members of the mutual help alternatives suggest promise for these groups in addressing addiction problems.”

Despite my reporting about AA’s success rate and some of the myths perpetuated by the fellowship, I’m not here to bash AA. I’m here to shine a light on the false statement that it is the only successful way. There are many others.

For those AA does work for, I respect your path. We just need to have a clearer picture of what recovery looks like so when someone is suffering, instead of saying they are the problem, we can be better informed to direct them to what may be a more suitable pathway.

After all, we all have the same goal: recovery.

 

 

ENDURE …By My Dear Friend, Brittany as She Describes 12 Years Maintaining Recovery Eloquently For The Both of Us.

AND? If you have not visited Brittany’s amazing recovery site at “Discovering Beautiful: Life After Childhood Trauma“?

Then please give her a visit …

I am proud to have her my guest article post share today!

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ENDURE

“Twelve years into my recovery from addiction, I am comfortable describing myself as a chronic over-indulger who has had to spend a lot of time reevaluating my relationship with consumption.”

 

Coffee?

Yes, love it. Often, I have one too many cups but not as many as I used to.

Doublemint Gum?

Enjoy chewing it, but not just one stick. I must barrel through the ENTIRE pack in one day.

Oh’, those cupcakes my kids made last night?

Soon they’ll be history. Gone.

But in early recovery, none of those things mattered.

The problem that I had with over-indulging got lost in the excitement that I wasn’t dead, and it didn’t really make a difference whether I had three or thirty-three cups of coffee.

Priorities.

As I accumulated sober days my recovery shifted from fixating on lengths of sober time to a more direct focus on personal growth; digging deeper into my habits and coping mechanisms, and gaining insight into how I function and why.

Nothing about this journey has been easy or instantaneous.

The only whimsy involved in this whole process has been the Grace that carried me from death to life when I was exhausted and hopeless.

The way I view my shortcomings has changed. This over indulgent glitch I seem to carry is quite possibly a DNA marker, (sarcasm not science) but I no longer feel trapped by it.

And THAT is the beauty of recovery.

I can accept that this might be woven into my fabric, but fabric can be manipulated and changed into something different.

My limitations can’t stand against choosing to learn or being open to evolving and certainly can’t win against applying God’s truth to my life.

The power that I have within me is found in God who strengthens me to overcome temptation, who has shown me how to look at self-control as a gift that can be developed and strengthened.

Here is a Bible verse I want to share with you guys.

When it comes to the topic of temptation, it is a classic, widely known piece of scripture often referenced to help people who are struggling, and one that I have recently researched and read, re-read and torn apart.

Stay with me:

1 Corinthians 10:13.

(Good News Translation)
Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out.

(Holman Christian Standard Bible)
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation, he will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.

(New Living Translation)
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

(Translations are taken from BibleHub.com)

YOU GUYS.

Listen look at this: 

en·dure//verb

  1. suffer (something painful or difficult) patiently. synonyms: undergo, go through, live through, experience, meet, encounter; More
  2. remain in existence; last. synonyms: last, live, live on, go on, hold on, abide, continue, persist, remain, stay, survive;

I only shared a few translations of this verse, but every one of them ends the same way.

When we are tempted we will be able to GET THROUGH it.
It doesn’t say escape, avoid, magically skip over, or be saved from.

We will be able to make it through. We can endure. 
Using the synonyms listed for endure-
We will be able to persist.
We will be able to survive.
To live through.
To go on, continue.
To suffer patiently.

So you see, sometimes to endure is to simply go on, and other times it will be to suffer patiently, but we endure nonetheless.

None of those things promise us easy.
But the one thing they offer is hope that we will be able to make it.

If we believe what God tells us, we can be certain that we will be given what we need to succumb to temptation.

We might make it through looking like a mess. be holding on tight, disheveled, tired, sweaty, and terrified, but WE WILL MAKE IT THROUGH.

We can endure each wave that comes our way and each time, it will get easier to have faith and to see that we are capable, with God, to get through the things that could have killed us. Or for me, the cupcake cravings that haunt me at night. Whichever.

So today, please remember:

It will come. The urges. The mind wandering. The Temptations.

But WE CAN get through it.

__________  Posted on 

I am a sober person of 12 years, in long-term recovery from shame and perpetual escape. I kicked my inner-victim out on its ass and have been healing from the damaging effects of childhood trauma and self-destruction ever since. I’m a believer in the kind of Truth that can set a person free, but only because I have experienced it for myself.

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Pick up a copy of her amazing book too!  Cat

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Now available on Amazon.

 


This book is for all of the adult children who feel misunderstood and unseen. I wanted to give a voice to the marginalized; to the adult children who grew up drowning in severe dysfunction. Generational cycles and patterns can be broken. We can heal from our wounds. We can move forward from the damage caused by mentally ill parents, drug addicted parents, and from neglect and abuse. My hope is to encourage others to not feel ashamed of their experiences and to step away from thinking that they are inherently damaged or too far gone. It’s never too late for God to change your life.

 

 

If You Gamble The Super Bowl? Think Twice Before You Do. Gamble Responsibly!

If You Gamble The Super Bowl? Think Twice Before You Do. Gamble Responsibly!

PlayUSA analysts say that $325 million of legal wagers will be laid on this weekend’s Super Bowl in the United States.

 

SUPER BOWL 2019 BETTING ESTIMATE: MORE THAN $300 MILLION IN LEGAL US WAGERS …AS

Eight states now have legal sports betting. Most remains in state casinos, but online wagering is growing fast. 

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NEVADA REMAINS THE BIGGEST GAMBLING STATE FOR SUPER BOWL BETTING

“Over a million Americans are expected to place legal wagers”

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One of the Biggest Past Week and TODAY many who #BET or have a #WAGER on Todays #SuperBowlGame???

THIS Could BE THE DAY You cross that line from being a #ProblemGambler to an #AddictedOne …

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Catherine Townsend-Lyon ~ #Advocate and #RecoveringGamblingAddict

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This #Addiction “Touches” All Walks of #LIFE …

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“The Sports SuperBook at the Westgate Las Vegas, on Super Bowl Sunday in 2016. A staggering amount of money is tossed around on Super Bowl bets each year. Nearly 23 million Americans will bet on Super Bowl 2019, for a total estimated at $6 billion in Super Bowl bets according to the American Gaming Association.”

Printed 1 day ago

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News Around The Recovery and Advocate World …Jason Running4Recovery In “The Boston Marathon” & We Need To Support Him ~ Recovery Strong Friends.

News Around The Recovery and Advocate World …Jason Running4Recovery In “The Boston Marathon” & We Need To Support Him ~ Recovery Strong Friends.

Announcement & Let’s Support Jason Hyland of This Recovery Event!

So, I had been wondering lately what my good buddy and recovery advocate, Jason Hyland has been up to since I last had him spotlighted on my recovery blog sharing his amazing book release! Well, he is getting ready to Run4Recovery in the Boston Marathon this April 2019!!

Now, just like my other amazing friend and buddy, Big Jim Downs who is having a Year-Long Recovery event right now “Biking Around America” for Addiction Awareness, Sharing Hope, Healing, and is sharing Vital Resources to those looking to recover from addictions …And he has now gotten 7 people into treatment and he has only just begun on Jan. 1st, 2019 and biked about 1,000 miles so far and visited his third State Capitol too!

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But that will be another post for another day! Let’s get back to Jason Hyland and here is what I got from my New Email Newsletter from Jason recently and it’s all about what he is doing for the marathon and HOW ALL MY Recovery Strong Blog Friends can help Jason be Successful at Running4Recovery this April! I hope you will “Be That One” to donate and HELP him out! …  *** CAT ***

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A MESSAGE FROM Jason Hyland:

Hello, all you amazing souls! Trust me READ IN ENTIRETY!😇

We have some FANTASTIC NEWS to announce that I am very excited to be finally sharing with you. For those of you who follow me on social media (if you don’t that’s okay, I forgive you, just click the links below!) you are already aware, but to let the cat officially out of the hat…drum roll, please …

I am running the 2019 Boston Marathon on April 15th! How in the hell did this

happen? Well, the non-profit company I am so blessed to call my employer, Bay

Cove Human Services, asked me in late December if I would like to accept 1 of the

6 bibs we receive from John Hancock.

First thing I did was check to make sure I had enough time to train since it was 4.5 months away. I may have been an athlete my entire life, but I NEVER was a runner. I repeat, NEVER! With only 4 months need to train, I told them emphatically in my best Tom Brady imitation, LET’S GO!!!


At Bay Cove, there are over 2,200 employees, and to be 1 of 2 (the other 4 runners

are friends/contributors to the company) is such an honor! To think, 18 months

ago TODAY I walked into detox as broken as an individual can be. Don’t you dare

ever listen to anyone that tells you, YOU CAN’T! I am all the evidence you need;

YES, YOU CAN, NO MATTER WHAT!

Part of running the prestigious Boston Marathon, of course, is the fundraiser, and last year Bay Cove raised $90,000 between the 6 runners. Talk about setting the bar high! My individual goal is $7,500, but we are pushing for $10k. And here is the BEST part; ALL of the money donated is going right back to the recovery and mental health communities my Peer Team serves in inner Boston.

We have 43 homes and over 850 individuals that receive services through Bay Cove and the Department of Mental Health. Someday soon I will send an email about the groundbreaking things we are doing with the Peer Movement, setting the example for all of Massachusetts human services companies moving forward. 

If you are receiving this email it is because you are affected by substance abuse

and or mental health challenges,  maybe not personally, but close to home. Please

do your part in helping the individuals who deserve more in my beloved

hometown of Boston and  CLICK HERE or the red button above to donate!

Check out how far as little as $25 can go…

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$250 – provides an extra day of detox treatment for someone entering recovery from a substance use disorder at Bay Cove’s Andrew House.

$100 – provide breakfast for 80 of our Persons served at the Medeiros Center for Change program, a day program for older adults who are homeless.

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$50 – could pay for yoga or other wellness activities for a Person with mental health challenges.

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$25 – could pay for formula for infants in our New Day program for expecting and new mothers in recovery for opioid addiction.

Thank you for your continued support, helping me in extending our reach to greater platforms, taking the Mission of  Motivational Recovery worldwide. We really are doing it! Thank you!

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~ Jason Hyland

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â–șAlcoholic â–ș Addict â–ș Bestselling Author â–ș Soon-to-be Marathon Runner â–șLife Changer

FOLLOW⬇

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✔ INSTAGRAM â–ș https://goo.gl/7pRH9V


✔ FACEBOOK â–ș 
https://goo.gl/VfsS2K


✔ BUY THE BOOK â–ș 
https://goo.gl/fwTesr

USE HASH TAGS#

#runjasonrun #running4recovery

 

Gambling Recovery and Dual Diagnosis, Co-occur, or Dual Addictions With Other Disorders. What’s The Difference? I am and Many Are and Growing …

Gambling Recovery and Dual Diagnosis, Co-occur, or Dual Addictions With Other Disorders. What’s The Difference? I am and Many Are and Growing …

When I was gambling addictively and to the point of my first failed suicide attempt in 2002, I was transferred from the hospital to a mental health and addiction crisis center for a 20-day stay and where my gambling treatment began. While I was there my primary doctor and their psychiatrist found after a series of tests that I was also suffering from several mental health disorders.

I wasn’t until my gambling addiction that brought to the surface these symptoms and could be properly diagnosed. They both came to the conclusion as well that I may have been suffering from some of the mental and emotional disorders since birth. Now, the catch was to be properly diagnosed and reassessed after you begin the path of recovery. It took some months to get it right.

See, I was using gambling to escape, and numb out many haunting memories and feelings from my abuse and traumatic past that began to came back and had happened to me as a little girl including being sexually abused. So needless to say, I was suffering from PTSD, severe manic depression, mania, OCD and bipolar one with insomnia at the time I entered the crisis center.

They ordered a brain scan at the time and found I had depleted the “pleasure and reward” chemical and system of my brain from the many years of addictive gambling and had no feelings or sense of pleasure, but thinking I was getting it when I gambled. I was a Hot Mess!

I know, it all sounds confusing and was for me at the time. But, I listened to my doctors and began medication and therapy process that would take a long while and a few changes to my meds to get my mental health under control and begin the recovery work needed to regain my life back and to begin feeling better.

So, what are Dual Diagnosis, Co-occurring, and Co-addictions?  I came across a good article by way of the fine folks of  “Recovery Ranch Center” that really explains the differences when you are treated for gambling addiction. Co-addiction however, just means you are suffering from more than one addiction at a time.

The most recent research I could find about dual-addictions, meaning being treated for more than one addiction at the same time was from an article from 2003: …”About 1.1 million Americans received treatment for addiction to drugs, alcohol, or both on a typical day last year, according to findings from the 2003 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS). Half of those receiving treatment were addicted to both drugs and alcohol.”

I am sure this total has risen in the past 15-years now with the opioid crisis and epidemic happening. Here is the article I found and more about Gambling Addiction and having Mental Health and Disorders as being Dually-Diagnosed …

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Gambling Addiction Often Co-Occurs With Other Disorders
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Oftentimes, when a person shows symptoms of an addiction to something, there are other problems at play in their mind. For the addiction to be treated, the other disorders also need to be addressed, like mental illness.

A webinar that focused on how to counsel the pathological gambler revealed other disorders that often co-exist with a gambling addiction. Dr. Jon Grant, Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago and supervisor of an outpatient clinic for those with an addictive-impulsive disorder, discussed other mental health disorders and other addictions that are associated with gambling addictions and offered ideas on how to treat those individuals.

WHEN A FULL HOUSE CAN WRECK THE HOME

People start gambling for multiple reasons. Some enjoy the thrill, the risk-taking, and the power. Some, who feel isolated, use it as a way to feel social. Others use it as a way to relieve stress and anxiety or even to try to cure their depression. Yet, one addiction cannot properly heal another.

Gambling addictions are associated with multiple problems that weaken personal and family life:

  • Poor physical health
  • Poor mental health
  • Losing a job
  • Bankruptcy
  • Criminal behavior
  • Divorce

Sometimes those problems come before the gambling problem, driving the person to look for satisfaction in a dangerous venue if not controlled. Those who already suffer from a mental health disorder are more at risk for addiction when gambling. For others, gambling addiction is the cause of the other family and personal problems that come later.

ADDICTIVE BEHAVIORS ASSOCIATED WITH GAMBLING

Those with gambling addictions also often suffer from substance abuse. Dr. Grant states that substance abuse is seven times greater in those who gamble. Nicotine and alcohol are the most commonly used substances.

Grant also mentioned that disorders with symptoms of being impulsive and risky were also frequently seen in those with gambling addictions. There were associations between individuals with gambling addiction and those who also had problems with impulsive shopping, stealing, eating, and sexual behavior.

MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH GAMBLING

Pathological gambling has been associated with serious mental illnesses, sometimes as the cause and other times as the result of untreated mental illness. Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental illnesses associated with gambling addiction. Some hope that a roll of the dice or the spin of the slot machines can help them have some fun in life and help them relax. In reality, over time it often makes the depression and anxiety worse.

Dr. Grant revealed that 76 percent of a gambling addiction treatment group suffered from depression. Astoundingly, 16 to 40 percent of pathological gamblers suffered from lifetime anxiety. For some, the pressure becomes too great. The risk of suicide is higher in gamblers than non-gamblers.

Other mental illnesses associated with gambling are bipolar disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Of a study group, 24 percent of pathological gamblers had a lifetime prevalence of bipolar disorder. Twenty percent had symptoms for a life-time prevalence of ADHD or OCD and most likely born with them.

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Dr. Grant stresses that when treating those with a gambling addiction, all of their disorders should be identified and prioritized for treatment. Through methods such as medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, and support those with a gambling addiction can find healing and become a winner for life.

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I Hope you find this article and my sharing of my recovery from gambling addiction having still today, managed mental and emotional disorders. I make sure now I make all my doctor visits and get a physical each year to remain healthy and managed. If you don’t have your health? You can’t be of help to others. And maintaining recovery means having to put YOU! First including your Health!

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~Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Advocate/Author