Now That The Election Hoop-La is Over! Americans and Those in Recovery Unite.

Clinton, In Concession Speech:U.S.
“More Deeply Divided Than We Thought”

 

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WELL, that clearly didn’t happen last night while I was asleep snug in my bed! I woke up this morning thinking I must had a very BAD DREAM as I woke to the new’s of Donald Trump as America’s new President!! OH SHIT was NOT a DREAM!

So I grab the nearest brown paper back and started a full on FEAR Attack!! No, really!! This isn’t a joke on my part. I am truly in fear of what is going to happen now that our next President-Elect is Donald Trump. And as a person with mental health issues, and reading of what Americans were saying, tweeting and posting all over social media? Didn’t see this coming at all. Ok, yes, maybe I am a “nut” but my fears are real. 

So as I woke up and seeing all the news and media stories, over on NetWorkedBlogs, I happen to see a fantastic post that helped a little to put my mind and nerves on OK Status for awhile on PsychCentral Website that I felt was worth a UGE SHARE to others who may be like me and have FEAR based mental health issues too. I do hope it helps others 🙂  *CAT*

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Healing After the Election

Healing after an election may not be easy for everyone, and it may be especially difficult this election year. But we must heal in order to move forward and continue to grow our great nation.

Historically, Americans have always been fairly good at letting bygones be bygones and moving on. Americans forgave British sympathizers (their neighbors) after the Revolutionary War, and we forgave again (our brothers) after the terrible devastation wrought by the Civil War. A presidential election, all things considered, should be much easier.

Ordinary Americans find the election process — and government in general — frustrating, opaque, and uncaring of their needs and challenges. Elections give us a time to vent about our frustration with the economy and government’s seeming inability to “get things done.” No matter who’s in power and who’s nominated, Americans pretty much complain about the same things in every election cycle: taxes, lack of jobs, the economy, government interference in my life, and perceived strength of our country.

Smart Americans know that government is there to perform the basic functions that help guarantee your access to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s not there to make sure you don’t do dumb things, make bad choices, or are actually happy.

These same neighbors and citizens also know that the ability to effect real change in America lies not with a President (who has specific, limited powers), but with the legislative body — Congress. If Americans really wanted the change they seem to clamor for every election cycle, they’d spend more time voting out the Congressional incumbents who failed to bring about the change desired.

Healing Begins at Home

If you’ve been on a different page than your spouse, partner, or kids with this election, it’s best to make amends and heal these personal wounds first. Sometimes we say things we don’t really mean in the heat of an argument. Such things may be said instead out of frustration or anger. Now is the time to apologize for such remarks and acknowledge that some elections can be more acrimonious and frustrating than others. But it is no excuse not to treat others with the same respect we all want and deserve.

Do you really want to sink a whole friendship — based upon years or even decades of shared experiences — over a single election? For most people, the answer is no. Reach out to friends who were on the other side and make amends there too.

Healing Continues at Work & with Neighbors

Maybe you’ve had one of those yard signs out on your front lawn that stood out among a sea of your opponent’s signs. Maybe you’re the one person in your office or on the job site who seemed to be for your candidate. It’s time to say, “Hey, that was some election, but I’m glad it’s over and can all get on with our lives,” and hope others hear your conciliatory tone.

Unless you went way over the top, there’s no need to apologize for your choice in candidates or your passion in arguing for your candidate (as long as you were respectful when doing so). If you did go over the top or cross a line, you should try to find a quiet, private place to make your apologies to those you may have offended. They’ll go a long way to healing any hurt feelings at your workplace.

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Healing Must Occur in Government, Too

Americans didn’t elect politicians to sit in their chairs and make speeches that nobody listens to. They elected them to do their job of running this nation’s business and getting the job done. Any politician who refuses to do their job — which includes rational discussion, negotiation, and compromise (as has always been the case) — needs to resign or face not being re-elected come next election. Citizens have said time and time again that they want a government that does their job — not one that just obstructs work from being accomplished.

Politicians must reach across the aisle and find the shared commonalities they have with one another — their pride in being American, their belief in the American work ethic, and the knowledge that together they can accomplish great things for our great country.

Here’s to the next four years of coming together again as one people, standing behind our President and elected officials, and moving forward. Because it is only together that we can make simple work of hard, complicated issues.

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“MOVING AMERICA FORWARD”

My Story In Heroes In Recovery Being ‘Dual Diagnosed’ Come Share Your Story Too!

“We Are Heroes In Recovery!”

 

YOU SHARE.  WE SHARE.

In honor of National Recovery Month,Heroes in Recovery is running a September storytelling campaign to help break the stigma of seeking treatment for addiction and mental health issues. When you share your story, we’ll post it to our social media channels as soon as the story appears on our site. All of our stories deserve to reach as many people as possible. When you share, we share!

 

Now that it is ‘National Addiction and Recovery Month, I thought I would share a little place I love and have shared my Story of “Dual Diagnosis.”  Meaning I live life in recovery with mental health challenges. Sitting in the rooms of AA and GA I am hearing more people in recovery are also dual diagnosed. Is this becoming a new trend with addiction?

Well, I think so as I was also invited by Patricia Rosen of  ” The Sober World Magazine ” to write an article for her about this very topic for her November issue. Of, course I said YES!
But I thought I would share my own Article and Story the kind folks at Heroes In Recovery had asked me done last year. Hope you enjoy reading mine. Then go share your story with them. Our experiences, strength, and HOPE does inspire and help others!!

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.CatherineL

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My recovery journey started in 2006. I woke up in a hospital as the result of another failed suicide attempt and then went back to an addiction and mental health crisis center for a 14-day stay. The problem wasn’t that I gambled again and relapsed; the problem was not taking my psych medications for a few weeks. I thought I didn’t need them; that I could be normal like everyone else around me, but as you read my story, you’ll see that didn’t work out too well.

I had a few severe financial crises happen, and since I had not taken my medication and had worked through all of my savings, I panicked and chose to steal from someone. What a mess! Of course, they pressed charges. I was arrested, went through the courts and was sentenced to many hours of community service, two years of probation and paid restitution that I’m still paying today.

My point? You have to do the work in all areas of your recovery, including your finances. I chose to not do all the work necessary for a well-rounded recovery. Even though I was not gambling, my financial and legal troubles told me I still needed to work with a gambling addiction specialist. After my troubles occurred, I worked with a specialist for a year while I went through the legal mess I created. Why am I sharing this? Our recovery stories and words are powerful tools to help others.

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1 in 5 Problem Gamblers Attempts Suicide!Still Think Your Lucky_(2)

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After this second suicide attempt and crisis, I learned I did not have a well-balanced recovery and had a lot more work to do, and I also learned that God, my higher power, has bigger plans for me, a purpose for me that involves helping those reaching out for recovery from the cunning illness of compulsive gambling addiction. After I was released from the crisis center in 2006 and started working with a gambling specialist and got my mental health under control, I began to see the stigma surrounding those of us who live in recovery. Those of us who suffer from a mental illness have a huge hurdle in our path.

I am a dual-diagnosed person who lives in recovery and has mental health challenges. It can make obtaining recovery a wee bit more work, as I discovered. The nasty habits, behaviors, and diseased thinking needed more correcting. Working with the gambling specialist was eye opening. He helped me break down the cycle of the addiction, and we also worked with tools and skills for dealing with financial problems that may arise while in recovery. I was given a fantastic relapse prevention workbook as well. Although I didn’t relapse into gambling, this workbook has helped me develop a plan for any financial or life event that may arise during my recovery journey. You need a plan before life events come.

Another tool that helped was journaling every day. I have always done this, but my specialist showed me how to relieve stress and learn more from my journaling. Those journals were used for help in writing my current published book. Writing my story and experiences in memoir form was a very healing process for me. I shared my gambling addiction and alcohol abuse, my past childhood abuse and sexual trauma and what it is like living with mental illness. I never dreamed I would be a published author, recovery advocate, writer and blogger, but these are just a few of the recovery blessings I have received in my journey thus far.

By writing my book and sharing it with the world, I hope to shatter stigma around gambling addiction, recovery and mental and emotional health. I want to be a voice for those who are childhood sex abuse survivors. Through my book and my recovery blog, I have chosen to not be anonymous. I want others to know how devastating compulsive gambling addiction is and how easily one can become addicted. It truly is a real disease and illness. I want others to be informed and educated, and I raise awareness of the effects it has in our communities and in families’ lives.

The expansion of casinos and state lotteries is making gambling more and more accessible today and is now touching our youth. Currently, 1% of our population are problem gamblers. Through my own recovery and by writing my book, I have learned a lot. The best advice I can give? When starting recovery learn about this addiction. Work with a specialist or recovery coach to learn the cycle and then learn the tools and skills to interrupt it. Work a well-balanced recovery that encompasses mind, body, spirit and finances. There are many ways to recover including in or outpatient treatment and 12-step meetings. Anything and everything you can find? Do it. Only one option may not be enough for success in long-term recovery. I learned this the hard way.

Now that I have reached nine and a half years in recovery from gambling addiction and alcohol abuse, I know it is my job, my duty, to be of recovery service to others. Life today is good! My husband and I learned that we can weather any storm together. I’m proud that my book has done so well and has opened doors for me to share what I have learned. I share as much as I can with others. I do this in many ways. My second book is almost finished, and I hope to release it early 2017. It will be more of “how-to” for reaching that elusive first year of recovery. And through my Recovery Blog below:

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With a high percentage of people relapsing after rehab or treatment, I wanted, and my readers asked me, to share how to attain the first year of recovery. I also share my recovery journal in blog form. All I can urge others to do is never give up. You are worth a better life in recovery. Sharing our experiences and our recovery story with others is just as important as the professional or clinical side of how to recover. Sharing one’s story is a powerful tool for others to listen to and learn from. My last tip is to do something for your recovery each day. It will help keep you in recovery, and you won’t ever become complacent in your recovery journey   . . . .

Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author

Can We Talk Stigma? Article Share From “The Fix”

What can be worse than addiction with undiagnosed mental health challenges?

STIGMA & SHAME …

 

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Stigma can be a beast. It has put fear in many addicts who want to reach out for help from addiction but are afraid. It has stopped many suffering from mental health issues but afraid to seek help because they don’t want to be labeled. 


“I know that I felt this way before I reached out for help as I am “Dual Diagnosed.”

I have lived with stigma from own side of the family. People seem to be afraid of what they don’t understand. So let’s education the public and help those who want help know there is nothing wrong with asking for help without being labeled or endure STIGMA  ….

“People, Stop Shaming, Labeling, and Making Us Feel Ashamed. No More Shaming Others!”      *Catherine Lyon*

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Better Off Alive—Is the Stigma More Dangerous Than the Condition?

By Regina Walker 05/26/16

 

“MANY still perceive someone with mental illness as evil, dangerous, and in some cases, better off dead.”

 


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Over the past decade, the rate of suicides in the U.S. has increased to 12.1 per 100,000 people. Every day, approximately 105 Americans die by suicide. Many studies believe that number is higher. There is one death by suicide in the U.S. every 12.3 minutes.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the USA.
Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year, and a large number of people are debilitated by their psychiatric illness and symptoms.

So those are some basic facts. And they are startling and concerning. We have what many may consider a mental health crisis in the U.S. And, we are doing very little about it.


WHY?

Another, more insidious, crisis proliferates around this one: the stigma associated with mental illness. Those living with a mental illness must fear how they will be perceived by a society that offers little, if any, empathy.


“I have worked in the mental health and addiction fields for many years, but this topic is far beyond professional for me. In fact, my career choice was probably formed when I was 16 years old and my 19-year-old sister committed suicide.”

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Recently, a popular website published an alarming essay by a blogger who determined that her once upon a time friend was better off dead (the friend had recently died by what could have been suicide) because she suffered from a mental illness (schizoaffective disorder).

The writer went on to say her friend (who was in her early 20s at the time of her death) had “nothing to live for” and had appeared to have been taken over by a “demon.” The piece went on to describe her former friend as “hopeless” and the writer expressed her relief at hearing of the death of this woman (though they had not been in actual touch in quite some time).

I am not writing this to bash that author (many have and will continue to). In some ways, she has inadvertently heightened awareness around the subject of mental illness and how we perceive it as a society. My greatest concern (and belief) is that the thoughts she verbalized in her article are shared by many—possibly most. The stigma associated with mental illness and those who suffer from it is deep, dangerous, and contributes to the pain of those who experience it. It also inhibits the possibility for healing.

Chicago-based actor/artist Elizabeth Hipwell knows this too well. “All I can think of is how alone I have felt in the journey of dealing with my bipolar depression,” she told me by email. “Mental illness is like no other illness. People disappeared from my life; family members judged and told me to ‘Buck up, and pull yourself out if it’ and ‘If you weren’t so fat you wouldn’t be so depressed.’“

She contrasted the experience of physical illness, and how those around her viewed it, with mental illness. “When I was physically ill I was visited in the hospital and driven home by loved ones; when I was in the mental hospital after having slit my wrists I didn’t have any visitors, I was berated on the phone for being selfish, and I had to get home by myself by bus. I felt abandoned. I ended up back in the hospital for the same reason a few more times after. I came to a point where I had to stop expecting support from those who just weren’t going to give it.”

Elizabeth concluded, “I decided to focus that energy on myself to heal. Maybe I did need to be ‘selfish’ as the naysayers put it and make myself a priority. I decided to reject the shame that they placed on me and be gentle with myself, forgive myself for being sick. I am by no means a victim and I hold no grudges. In hindsight, I understand that the reaction people had stemmed from fear and lack of knowledge.”

I was moved by Elizabeth’s comment: I decided to forgive myself for being sick. How many people with physical illnesses need to go through a process of self-forgiveness because of their condition?

Fear of those with mental illnesses can be traced very far back. Even to this day, many cultures and religions still believe that behavior symptomatic of mental health problems is caused by demonic or spiritual possession.

If one perceives someone with a mental illness as “evil,” “dangerous,” or “frightening,” how can compassion and support possibly arise?

Madeline Sharples is the author of Leaving the Hall Light On, which chronicles her son Paul’s mental illness and subsequent suicide.

She shared with me, “When my cousin came to our house to review and discuss the family history my husband had written, he made one request—leave out the part about his father’s bipolar disorder. In fact, he didn’t want to see a discussion of any of the mental illness that permeates my side of our family.” Sharples continued, “That was proof enough for me that the stigma of mental illness still exists.”

In Leaving the Hall Light On, Ms. Sharples spoke of the many ways in which she attempted to help her son Paul accept help and treatment for his bipolar disorder. She is more than aware of the deadly nature of shame and silence. “I know what a problem it (admitting a mental illness) was for my son. He worked for almost two years for an internet service provider, and when they heard of the reason for his death his co-workers were shocked to know he had any illness whatsoever. He was a master at hiding his bipolar symptoms. He didn’t want to take his medication, he didn’t accept needed hospitalizations, he just tried to act as ‘normal’ as he could.”

She concluded: “And that is probably what killed him. If he had taken the Mayo Clinic’s advice geared to erasing stigma—admit something is wrong, don’t feel ashamed, seek and follow treatment and support, accept help from family and friends—he might still be alive today.”

I have worked in the mental health and addiction fields for many years, but this topic is far beyond professional for me. In fact, my career choice was probably formed when I was 16 years old and my 19-year-old sister committed suicide.

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Dolores suffered many years with a brutal pain that will forever elude identification. Her attempts, at the time, to self-medicate left her branded as a “bad” kid. I was raised in a very conservative, Roman Catholic family where seeking help for my sister’s suffering was frowned upon. Acknowledging that she had any issues at all would have been shameful. So, at 19 years old, my sister ended her suffering the only way she knew how.

And, for a moment, I was relieved. I was relieved because my sister scared me. Her pain and attempts to soothe it were ugly.

Back during the time of my sister’s death, people did not come over with casseroles and shoulders to cry on. In fact, no one came over at all. Had my sister died of cancer, a car crash, or a freak accident, I imagine support would have flowed. But, instead, no one said anything. No one came over. I remember vividly going with my mom to see a nun she sought solace from soon after my sister’s death.

“Suicide is a mortal sin,” she told my crying, grieving mother. “She can’t escape hell. She killed someone. She killed herself.”

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So my mother was left to grieve the death of her child in solitude with the knowledge that, because she ended her own suffering, she would burn in hell. And, sadly, we haven’t come that far since that day.

But she wasn’t hopeless. And she wasn’t truly scary. But she was definitely scared.

For many years, I either lied or never spoke of my sister to new people I met. I felt covered in that darkness—a shared, silent shame. And I learned (because of the reactions of those around me at the time of my sister’s death) that others would see me as tainted by her illness—her weakness—her sins. The stigma spread to me as well.

My sister has been gone for longer than she lived and too little has changed in the public perception of mental health issues since then, but hope emerges.

Organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness and Stigma Fighters work to empower individuals living with mental illness by removing the veil of shame and giving a public voice to an issue once too deeply hidden. The highly regarded Mayo Clinic has acknowledged the danger of stigma and has committed to providing education. Support for those who suffer and education for us all is vital if meaningful change is to occur.

On June 4th, I, amongst thousands of others, will be participating in the Out of the Darkness Walk in New York City. The walk is sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to raise funds for suicide prevention and awareness.

This 16-mile walk offers a visual representation both of bringing suicide and mental illness out of the darkness and the belief that each suffering individual can make it through to the light. Though my sister did not emerge from her dark night of the soul, it is imperative that the added burden of shame be lifted so that more of those who suffer can get through their darkest moments to a more hopeful dawn.


Regina Walker has been a regular contributor to The Fix since 2014 ….
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Regina Walker, LCSW-R, BCD, CASAC

 

 


Welcome Featured Guest~Marc Azoulay MA, LPCC, LAC

Hello Recovery Friends and New Ones,

 

“I am happy and honored to welcome Marc Azoulay to my recovery blog. He has written an article about recovery and healing. We happened to meet over on Twitter and seemed we both have a lot in common as helping others. He was nice enough to offer this blog share article for me to share with all you! I will share a wee bit more about Marc, but first let’s read this fantastic post.”

 

What is Recovery: Healing an Invisible Wound ~

Marc Azoulay  

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Free Happy Woman Enjoying Nature. Beauty Girl Outdoor.
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One of the questions I ask during my intakes with new clients is “when will you know that therapy is complete? When will you have been healed?” I do this to get a sense of their goals and the changes that they’d like to make; I ask them to imagine a future where they don’t need me and can support themselves. Most clients answer with something along the lines of “when I’m no longer using drugs,” or “when I can be happy again.” Noble goals for sure, and usually much more complicated than they sound.

I find myself asking the question now: What does it mean to heal?


And, you know, I’m not so sure I know the answer to that. Personally, I’ve been in therapy for eight years, I’ve gotten sober, worked out many of my harmful behaviors, delved deeply into my past, and build a stronger relationship with the ones that I love. But I don’t know if I’ve “recovered,” I still have hard days, and I still act out and hurt others.

I wonder if recovery is an attainable goal. Perhaps recovery is just a model for an ideal way of living, a goal to work towards. But, as they say in Eastern Philosophy, it’s not the goal that’s important, it’s the journey. The journey towards recovery illuminates every part of oneself. It burns us in the places that we guarded the most; it roots out the insecurities and shame that we hold and presents them to the world unabashedly. Recovery challenges us to confront our fears and to have difficult conversations; it inspires us to dive into uncomfortable feelings and memories.

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One of the most challenging parts of this process is that it is mostly invisible. Others rarely see the struggle that we go through. They are unaware of the daily battle that goes on in our heads. They don’t see the long nights and lonely moments when we dip a toe into hopelessness. This is a deeply personal quest. It behooves us to surround ourselves with allies and healers, but we have to take every single step ourselves. This can get so exhausting.

We want to heal, but it can be challenging to recognize when we’ve gotten there. Those in the recovery community know the term dry drunk, a person who is so committed to sobriety that their life, in a way, is still about alcohol. These people cling onto their sobriety like a badge of honor and build their whole reality around it. Of course, for many this has been life saving, but I wonder: have they truly recovered? Have they moved on from their past? It’s hard for me to believe.

Many of use create our identities out of our pain. We use our wounds as shields that separate us from others. We push others away,  but we feel as though they can never understand us. This is an illusion. We are just not that special. Perhaps the last step in recovery is letting go of the idea that we have a problem.

Perhaps recovery means embracing our humility. Realizing perhaps we are just like everyone else. That’s a hard one to swallow: being ordinary. Learning to enjoy the little moments in life: a sunset, a cup of tea, or sitting in traffic.


Maybe, recovery lays in the mundane?

 

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About Marc Azoulay MA, LPCC, LAC

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Marc Azoulay

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I believe that substance abuse is not a problem, but a symptom. In treatment, I aim to work with my clients to discover the underlying root of their patterns of use. I’ve noticed that once the core need gets addressed problematic use just falls away. I provide a mindfulness-based approach to psychotherapy. With my clients, I focus on developing emotional literacy and body-mind awareness. I encourage my clients to tap into their moment-to-moment experience as we cannot begin to work with ourselves if we do not know what we have to work with.I specialize in working with addictions, grief, and social anxiety.

Prior to entering private practice, I worked at Rangeview Counseling Center, a substance abuse treatment center that focuses on clients with legal troubles. I was blown away by the dedication and passion that my clients had for the work. I witnessed countless acts of compassion and healing. Prior to that, I worked at Halcyon Hospice and the Wild Plum Center, a therapeutic preschool. Spending time with the children and the dying opened my eyes to the breadth of human experience.

My goal is to help clients recognize how to care for themselves in mind, body, and spirit and to develop a playful curiosity towards their internal experience.

You deserve It.

Please visit Marc’s website and Follow him on Twitter  @MokshaMarc
Website: www.marc-azoulay.com

 

 

Do You Know OCD? Guest Article Share From Healthline.com . . .

Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome New Visitors,

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“It seems that I share this quite often, many of us in recovery also suffer from many forms of mental or emotional health issues and disorders these days. So, I have received many emails from professionals and websites thanking me for sharing some of my own mental and emotional health challenges. It seems the only way we can face “stigma” head on is to share and talk about mental health. And that is the major reason I do. There is no shame having these challenges, and in the world we have to live in these days, I can understand why many of us suffer.”

It also can make recovery from addiction a little harder to grasp as well. Facts say that people who suffer from mental illness along with addictions have a 1.5 times higher that people with mental illness and addictions are more likely to die prematurely than the general population. Mental illness can cut 10 to 20 years from a person’s life expectancy. Center for Addiction and Mental Health ~ CAMH

I do have first-hand experience with OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This is very prevalent in problem gamblers and addicted gamblers. So here is a little more about OCD from Healthline.com and hope it helps many have a little more understanding ….

 

OCD: Symptoms, Signs & Risk Factors

 

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We all double or triple check something on occasion. We forget if we’ve locked the door or wonder if we’ve left the water running, and we want to be certain. Some of us are perfectionists, so we go over our work several times to make sure it’s right. That’s not abnormal behavior. But if you have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), you feel compelled to act out certain rituals repeatedly, even if you don’t want to — and even if it complicates your life unnecessarily.

Obsessions are the worrisome thoughts that cause anxiety. Compulsions are the behaviors you use to relieve that anxiety.

Signs and Symptoms of OCD

Signs of OCD usually become apparent in childhood or early adulthood. It tends to begin slowly and become more intense as you mature. For many people, symptoms come and go, but it’s usually a lifelong problem. In severe cases, it has a profound impact on quality of life. Without treatment, it can become quite disabling.

Some common obsessions associated with OCD include:

  • anxiety about germs and dirt, or fear of contamination
  • need for symmetry and order
  • concern that your thoughts or compulsions will harm others, feeling you can keep other people safe by performing certain rituals
  • worry about discarding things of little or no value
  • disturbing thoughts or images about yourself or others

Some of the behaviors that stem from these obsessive thoughts include:

  • excessive hand washing, repetitive showering, unnecessary household cleaning
  • continually arranging and reordering things to get them just right
  • checking the same things over and over even though you know you’ve already checked them
  • hoarding unnecessary material possessions like old newspapers and used wrapping paper rather than throwing them away
  • counting or repeating a particular word or phrase. Performing a ritual like having to touch something an amount of times or take a particular number of steps
  • focusing on positive thoughts to combat the bad thoughts,

Social Signs: What to Look For

Some people with OCD manage to mask their behaviors so they’re less obvious. For others, social situations trigger compulsions. Some things you might notice in a person with OCD:

  • raw hands from too much hand washing
  • fear of shaking hands or touching things in public
  • avoidance of certain situations that trigger obsessive thoughts
  • intense anxiety when things are not orderly or symmetrical
  • need to check the same things over and over
  • constant need for reassurance
  • inability to break routine
  • counting for no reason or repeating the same word, phrase, or action
  • at least an hour each day is spent on unwanted thoughts or rituals
  • having trouble getting to work on time or keeping to a schedule due to rituals

Since OCD often begins in childhood, teachers may be the first to notice signs in school. A child who is compelled to count, for instance, may not be able to complete the ritual. The stress can cause angry outbursts and other misbehaviors. One who is afraid of germs may be fearful of playing with other children. A child with OCD may fear they are crazy. Obsessions and compulsions can interfere with schoolwork and lead to poor academic performance.

Children with OCD may have trouble expressing themselves. They may be inflexible and upset when plans change. Their discomfort in social situations can make it difficult to make friends and maintain friendships. In an attempt to mask their compulsions, children with OCD may withdraw socially. Isolation increases the risk for depression.

Risk Factors and Complications

The cause of OCD is not known. It seems to run in families, but there may be environmental factors involved. Most of the time, symptoms of OCD occur before age 25.

If you have OCD, you’re also at increased risk of other anxiety disorders, including major depression and social phobia’s.

Just because you like things a certain way or arrange your spice rack in alphabetical order, it doesn’t mean you have OCD. However, if obsessive thoughts or ritualistic behavior feels out of your control or are interfering with your life, it’s time to seek treatment.

Treatment usually involves psychotherapy, behavioral modification therapy, or psychiatric medications, alone or in combination. According to Harvard Medical School, with treatment, approximately 10 percent of patients fully recover and about half of patients show some improvement.

UNITE To Face Addiction Advocacy Day Is Today!

Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome All,

Well, I have to tell you, what a fantastic evening of speakers and music last night in Washington, DC!!
It was a “Historic Rally for Awareness of Addiction.” Joe Walsh, Sheryl Crow and Steven Tyler were AWESOME on stage last night. Everyone of my recovery friends and the fine folks who put this rally together were sharing so much on Twitter and Facebook, I had a hard time keeping up with posts and sharing all the action throughout social media!
Here is are a few shots of the performances that took place for “UNITE to Face Addiction” and our voices were LOUD! .. .. ..

” place out to the Universe to help us get these two gents out to the Fest next year, if possible 😎 Recovery Rockfest would love to have these two GUYS who played last night next year!! XO” Nyla Cione of http://www.recoveryrockfest.com

RECOVERY ROCK FEST's photo.
(Steven Tyler and Joe Walsh at UNITE to Face Addiction)

Michael King added 7 new photos
'Yes. Darryl Strawberry. My childhood baseball hero. Yes.'
'I gotta tell ya, Steven Tyler is BRINGING IT at UNITE To Face Addiction' 'Jason Isbell helping us UNITE'
Michael King's photo.

Liz Holt Audette's photo.

(photo’s courtesy of Michael King)

SO your most likely wondering what is going on today? Today is “Advocacy Day”  . . .
Here is more about what UNITE to Face Addiction is doing on Capitol Hill .. .. ..

Advocacy Day ~ 10-05-2015

On Monday, October 5th, the day after the UNITE to Face Addiction Rally, citizen advocates will meet with policymakers on Capitol Hill to engage in conversations about the need for addiction solutions and the growing constituency of consequence that is demanding solutions.

Advocacy Day has two overarching goals:

  1. Achieve a health response to addiction
  2. Improve public safety and protect civil liberties to enhance health outcomes of those in or seeking recovery from addiction involved with the criminal justice system

To achieve these goals, citizen advocates will:

  1. Thank Members of Congress who have co-sponsored 524/HR 953, The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), and ask other Members to add their names as co-sponsors to this bipartisan piece of legislation.
  2. Ask their Members of Congress to sign a letter to federal agencies indicating that they are in support of full implementation and enforcement of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.
  3. Ask Members of Congress to support the REDEEM Act (S 675/HR 1672).

To download the Advocacy Day training presentation, click here. To see the full training webinar, click here. For best viewing, please be sure to download the webinar by clicking the download button located in the top right-hand corner.

Registration for Advocacy Day is now closed. Please direct all questions, including online sign-up questions, to advocacy@facingaddiction.org.

Now even though the Big Rally is over, that doesn’t mean we are done. WE ARE just beginning this fight and you can help! UNITE to Face Addiction is building HOPE, HEALING, and HELP! With all donations taken in, they are building a foundation to help those in need of treatment and other services to RECLAIM their lives back from addiction. So please, you can help by Donating or Texting your financial support here!

By Text: TEXT to  “facing” 41444  or by donating through the website here: http://www.facingaddiction.org

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! Let us all “UNITE To Face Addiction!!” XOXOXO

Together We Can Face Addiction

Addiction impacts one out of three families in America. Sadly, today more than 90% of people in need of treatment or recovery do not receive it – this discrimination must end now.

No one should ever have to overcome addiction alone. No longer can we sit on the sidelines and let others worry about changing the system. Facing Addiction is OUR movement.

Your support will help build a national campaign that will forever change how we UNITE to Face Addiction.

Together, we can save lives – starting right now.  But we need your help.  Please donate today.

Click here to make a monthly recurring donation.

Thank you!
UNITE to Face Addiction

Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon & Gambling Addiction Recovery Advocate

Facing Addiction.

Scott Magnuson's photo.
Scott Magnuson's photo.

 

“My After Thoughts – Honoring Bobby H. & His Sister Ronda Hatefi, This Past Weekends National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling – My Story”

Hello and Welcome All Recovery Friends & New Visitors,

 




“It was a big weekend for Raising Awareness of Predatory Gambling! I blogged from morning until night with several posts I hope helped some or all who came to visit my recovery blog this past weekend”…

There were many events that took place all over the United States and around the world to ‘Honor The Memory’ of Ronda’s brother Bobby Hafemann who in 1995 to his life by suicide related to his problems with gambling. Bobby was only 28 years old.
Ronda commemorates Bobby’s birthday every year on September 29 through Problem Gamblers Awareness Day. She also chairs the Lane County Problem Gambling Advisory Committee.

But this year, my good friends and the fine folks of  Stop Predatory Gambling  helped to honor Bobby and his sister with the very First National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling this past weekend! Sept 26th & 27th 2015. Now since I suffer Agoraphobia, I took to my blog and social media and blogged about “All Things Gambling Addiction & Recovery!” I also wanted to thank Ronda, as I put my last post up late last night, and shared throughout social media, she had some nice words and re-shared my post links on her Facebook page.

So, I thought I would do one more post as an after event wrap up by sharing some of my book with all that shares when I learned, shown and became addicted to The Oregon Lottery Video Poker & Slot Machines. I stopped going to the Indian casinos. All I had to do was walk up the street to gamble on the machines that were through the Oregon Lottery. Access is a BIG factor with problem and addicted gamblers. And these machines are everywhere throughout the state. So is the part from my current book/memoir of how I learned about the Oregon Lottery .. .. .
– – – – – –

Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.


( Click to purchase from Amazon )

“After a visit to Oregon with my parents, my best friend, Debbie, who had lived next door to me in California for many years, decided to move to Oregon. She stayed with us until she got settled at her new job. About the same time, the state of Oregon passed a bill to allow video poker machines in places that served food, such as bars, taverns and delis. The lottery already had Keno games online. For my addiction, that was a downfall for me when I started compulsively gambling later on. It was so accessible.”

If you live in Oregon, you know what I mean. If you think about it, gambling is socially accepted. It’s pretty much everywhere you go – even in our children’s schools, with raffles, casino fundraisers, in our churches with bingo, and at our gas stations, markets and grocery stores with Megabucks, Powerball, Mega-millions drawings and scratch-off tickets. So, for an addicted gambler, it seems action really is everywhere, and when you’re addicted, you have no self-control. You feel as though you’re constantly teetering on a high wire.

When the video poker machines were approved by the state, the machines also popped up everywhere. Why drive to Las Vegas, Reno or Lake Tahoe, or go to an Indian casino, when you can go up the street to gamble? In the town where I live, there were little sandwich delis opening up around town and, as long as they served food and soft drinks, they could have up to six poker machines in their stores. They also sold beer, wine coolers and the cheapest cigarettes in town. They offered all types of lottery services and games.

As my husband continued working out-of-town for the next several months, and with my friend Debbie staying with me, she and I would often go have lunch at one of these deli’s. Around the same time, she and I would take weekend trips to the Indian casino, or go to the deli for lunch a lot more often. As that year went by, I also noticed I’d spend a little more money than I should have. I believe it was because of the easy access to gambling, and too much time on my hands. Was I addicted at this point? Hardly. That would soon change, though. As I look back now, I was experiencing a few “red flags” of addiction, but not recognizing them.

I remember having built-up feelings of excitement before I went, knowing I’d get to gamble if we went to lunch, or if we were going to the casino. The only thing I did was play Keno if we went to lunch at our local deli. I had never played the new video poker machines there, which were operated by the state lottery. One day, in early 1998, Deb and I went to have our usual lunch at the deli on a Saturday. We started talking three retired gentlemen, who were also having lunch and playing Keno while they ate. One of them finished his lunch and was on the other side of the deli playing one of the video poker machines, so I walked over to watch him play. He was winning. He had about $ 140 worth of credits on his machine. I asked him how much of that money did he start with. He said only $ 10. Well, you don’t have to tell a person who works in a bank how much profit he’d made so far.

Flush Fever

He was playing a game called “Flush Fever,” and explained how the game worked. I think that’s the day my life changed. The machine next to him was open, so I sat next to him and put in only $ 5 and won $ 45. I thought, ‘Wow, that sure was easy money.’ So I cashed out my ticket, sat back down next to him and played again. I started with $ 10 – it was a quarter game, so I increased my bet to 75 cents a hand. The machine started paying again. See, it’s the allure of the game and thinking you’re winning every time you play. That’s why winning, for an addicted gambler, is bad. It will keep a person’s ass on that chair gambling.

As I was playing, the guy next to me got up and was getting ready to leave. For as long as I’m alive, I will always remember what happened next: He leaned over my shoulder and said to me, “When you’re ahead, always cash out, and know when to leave with THEIR money, because I’d really hate myself if you got hooked on these machines.” Oh, if only I had listened to his sage wisdom.

“I still look back, all these years later, and remember what that man said to me. He never knew how that day changed my life, because I never saw him there again.” .. .. ..
–  –  –  –  – –

“Before I write about the woman I am, you need to know the little girl I was.”

“The cruelest lies are often told in silence.”  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

“This book is dedicated to my loving husband of 22 years. (Now 26 years this Sept 29th!) Tom, without you, your unconditional love for me and support throughout the years of my gambling addiction and recovery, I never would have made it back to reality. You have made me a better person for not just giving up on me, and for always knowing the true woman you married all those years ago. We both know now that no matter what life throws at us, we can weather any storm that comes our way. We deserve to have peace and serenity for the rest of our days together.”

“I also dedicate this book to all those who suffer from this illness, or those who may be afflicted with this insidious, insane addiction. Know that there is help out there, and hope, if you choose recovery. This illness is treatable, and there is life after gambling addiction. Our path to recovery may be rocky or difficult at times, but know you’re not alone.”

“There are others out there suffering from this destructive addiction.”

055

Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Gambling Recovery Advocate 🙂 XO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conversation Questions & Activites TEFL China

80% Student talk time from Smart English

CommonSenseTom

Welcome to my portion of the www. I spend most of my free time seated at two keyboards (computer and piano). My dual passions for the written word and the musical notes printed on the treble & bass clefs inspire my blogs and blogcasts. Join me as we eyewitness the events that span our vast world… earwitness the diverse world of music. Feel free to post any comments you may have.

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