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Anxiety

ANXIETY:

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SYMPTOMS

  • Feeling nervous, restless or tense

  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom

  • Having an increased heart rate

  • Breathing rapidly hyperventilation)

  • Sweating

  • Trembling

  • Feeling weak or tired

  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry

  • Having trouble sleeping

  • Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems

  • Having difficulty controlling worry

  • Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety


RISK FACTORS
These factors may increase your risk of developing an anxiety disorder:

  • Trauma. Children who endured abuse or trauma or witnessed traumatic events are at higher risk of developing an anxiety disorder at some point in life. Adults who experience a traumatic event also can develop anxiety disorders.

  • Stress due to an illness. Having a health condition or serious illness can cause significant worry about issues such as your treatment and your future.

  • Stress buildup. A big event or a buildup of smaller stressful life situations may trigger excessive anxiety — for example, a death in the family, work stress or ongoing worry about finances.

  • Personality. People with certain personality types are more prone to anxiety disorders than others are.

  • Other mental health disorders. People with other mental health disorders, such as depression, often also have an anxiety disorder.

  • Having blood relatives with an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders can run in families.

  • Drugs or alcohol. Drug or alcohol use or misuse or withdrawal can cause or worsen anxiety.


COMPLICATIONS
Having an anxiety disorder does more than make you worry. It can also lead to, or worsen, other mental and physical conditions, such as:

 

  • Depression (which often occurs with an anxiety disorder) or other mental health disorders

  • Substance misuse

  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)

  • Digestive or bowel problems

  • Headaches and chronic pain

  • Social isolation

  • Problems functioning at school or work

  • Poor quality of life

  • Suicide


PREVENTION
There's no way to predict for certain what will cause someone to develop an anxiety
disorder, but you can take steps to reduce the impact of symptoms if you're anxious:

 

  • Get help early. Anxiety, like many other mental health conditions, can be harder to treat if you wait.

  • Stay active. Participate in activities that you enjoy and that make you feel good about yourself. Enjoy social interaction and caring relationships, which can lessen your worries

  • Avoid alcohol or drug use. Alcohol and drug use can cause or worsen anxiety. If you're addicted to any of these substances, quitting can make you anxious. If you can't quit on your own, see your doctor or find a support group to help you.


MAIN TYPES
 

Psychotherapy
 

Also known as talk therapy or psychological counseling, psychotherapy involves working with a therapist to reduce your anxiety symptoms. It can be an effective treatment for anxiety.
 

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective form of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders. Generally a short-term treatment, CBT focuses on teaching you specific skills to improve your symptoms and gradually return to the activities you've avoided because of anxiety.


Medications
 

Several types of medications are used to help relieve symptoms, depending on the type of anxiety disorder you have and whether you also have other mental or physical health issues.

LIFESTYLE & HOME REMEDIES
While most people with anxiety disorders need psychotherapy or medications to get anxiety under control, lifestyle changes also can make a difference. Here's what you can do:

 

  • Keep physically active. Develop a routine so that you're physically active most days of the week. Exercise is a powerful stress reducer. It may improve your mood and help you stay healthy. Start out slowly and gradually increase the amount and intensity of your activities.

  • Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. These substances can cause or worsen anxiety. If you can't quit on your own, see your doctor or find a support group to help you.

  • Quit smoking and cut back or quit drinking caffeinated beverages. Both nicotine and caffeine can worsen anxiety.

  • Use stress management and relaxation techniques. Visualization techniques, meditation and yoga are examples of relaxation techniques that can ease anxiety.

  • Make sleep a priority. Do what you can to make sure you're getting enough sleep to feel rested. If you aren't sleeping well, see your doctor.

  • Eat healthy. Healthy eating — such as focusing on vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fish — may be linked to reduced anxiety, but more research is needed.


COPING & SUPPORT

  • Learn about your disorder. Talk to your doctor or mental health provider. Find out what might be causing your specific condition and what treatments might be best for you. Involve your family and friends and ask for their support.

  • Stick to your treatment plan. Take medications as directed. Keep therapy appointments and complete any assignments your therapist may give you. Consistency can make a big difference, especially when it comes to taking your medication.

  • Take action. Learn what triggers your anxiety or causes you stress. Practice the strategies you developed with your mental health provider so you're ready to deal with anxious feelings in these situations.

  • Keep a journal. Keeping track of your personal life can help you and your mental health provider identify what's causing you stress and what seems to help you feel better.

  • Join an anxiety support group. Remember that you aren't alone. Support groups offer compassion, understanding and shared experiences. The National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America provide information on finding support.

  • Learn time management techniques. You can reduce anxiety by learning how to carefully manage your time and energy.

  • Socialize. Don't let worries isolate you from loved ones or activities.

  • Break the cycle. When you feel anxious, take a brisk walk or delve into a hobby to refocus your mind away from your worries.


Information from: Mayo Clinic

Image by Bartek Garbowicz
PTSD

PTSD:

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SYMPTOMS
Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms may start within one month of a traumatic event, but sometimes symptoms may not appear until years after the event PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Symptoms can vary over time or vary from person to person.

 

Intrusive memories

 

  • Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event

  • Reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again (flashbacks)

  • Upsetting dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event

  • Severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the traumatic event


Avoidance

 

  • Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event

  • Avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event


Negative changes in thinking and mood

 

  • Negative thoughts about yourself, other people or the world

  • Hopelessness about the future

  • Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event

  • Difficulty maintaining close relationships

  • Feeling detached from family and friends

  • Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed

  • Difficulty experiencing positive emotions

  • Feeling emotionally numb

Changes in physical and emotional reactions

 

  • Being easily startled or frightened

  • Always being on guard for danger

  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior

  • Overwhelming guilt or shame


RISK FACTORS
People of all ages can have post-traumatic stress disorder. However, some factors may make you more likely to develop PTSD after a traumatic event, such as:

  • Experiencing intense or long-lasting trauma

  • Having experienced other trauma earlier in life, such as childhood abuse

  • Having a job that increases your risk of being exposed to traumatic events, such as military personnel and first responders

  • Having other mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression

  • Having problems with substance misuse, such as excess drinking or drug use

  • Lacking a good support system of family and friends

  • Having blood relatives with mental health problems, including anxiety or depression

Kinds of traumatic events
The most common events leading to the development of PTSD include:

  • Combat exposure

  • Childhood physical abuse

  • Sexual violence

  • Physical assault

  • Being threatened with a weapon

  • An accident

  • Many other traumatic events also can lead to PTSD, such as fire, natural disaster, mugging, robbery, plane crash, torture, kidnapping, life-threatening medical diagnosis, terrorist attack, and other extreme or life-threatening events.


PREVENTION
After surviving a traumatic event, many people have PTSD-like symptoms at first, such as being unable to stop thinking about what's happened. Fear, anxiety, anger, depression, guilt — all are common reactions to trauma. However, the majority of people exposed to trauma do not develop long-term post-traumatic stress disorder.


Getting timely help and support may prevent normal stress reactions from getting worse and developing into PTSD. This may mean turning to family and friends who will listen and offer comfort. It may mean seeking out a mental health professional for a brief course of therapy. Some people may also find it helpful to turn to their faith community. Support from others also may help prevent you from turning to unhealthy coping methods, such as misuse of alcohol or drugs.


BENEFITS OF TREATMENT
Post-traumatic stress disorder treatment can help you regain a sense of control over your life. The primary treatment is psychotherapy, but can also include medication. Combining these treatments can help improve your symptoms by:

 

  • Teaching you skills to address your symptoms

  • Helping you think better about yourself, others and the world

  • Learning ways to cope if any symptoms arise again

  • Treating other problems often related to traumatic experiences, such as depression, anxiety, or misuse of alcohol or drugs

You don't have to try to handle the burden of PTSD on your own.

TYPES OF PSYCHOTHERAPY


Cognitive therapy. This type of talk therapy helps you recognize the ways of thinking (cognitive patterns) that are keeping you stuck — for example, negative beliefs about yourself and the risk of traumatic things happening again. For PTSD, cognitive therapy often is used along with exposure therapy.


Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR combines exposure therapy with a series of guided eye movements that help you process traumatic memories and change how you react to them.


Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART). ART is an evidence–based novel psychotherapy that fosters rapid recovery by reprogramming how the brain stores traumatic memories and imagery. ART has roots in and includes elements of existing evidenced-based modalities. The treatment program incorporates memory visualization techniques that are enhanced by the use of horizontal eye movements, as well as memory re-consolidation, a way in which new information is incorporated into existing memories.

COPING & SUPPORT

  • Follow your treatment plan. Although it may take a while to feel benefits from therapy or medications, treatment can be effective, and most people do recover. Remind yourself that it takes time. Following your treatment plan and routinely communicating with your mental health professional will help move you forward.

  • Learn about PTSD. This knowledge can help you understand what you're feeling, and then you can develop coping strategies to help you respond effectively.

  • Take care of yourself. Get enough rest, eat a healthy diet, exercise and take time to relax. Try to reduce or avoid caffeine and nicotine, which can worsen anxiety.

  • Don't self-medicate. Turning to alcohol or drugs to numb your feelings isn't healthy, even though it may be a tempting way to cope. It can lead to more problems down the road, interfere with effective treatments and prevent real healing.

  • Break the cycle. When you feel anxious, take a brisk walk or jump into a hobby to re-focus.

  • Stay connected. Spend time with supportive and caring people — family, friends, faith leaders or others. You don't have to talk about what happened if you don't want to. Just sharing time with loved ones can offer healing and comfort.

  • Consider a support group. Ask your mental health professional for help finding a support group, or contact veterans' organizations or your community's social services system. Or look for local support groups in an online directory.


Information from: Mayo Clinic

Image by Bartek Garbowicz
Depression

DEPRESSION:

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SYMPTOMS

  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness

  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports

  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much

  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort

  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain

  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness

  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements

  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame

  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things

  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide

  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches


RISK FACTORS
Depression often begins in the teens, 20s or 30s, but it can happen at any age. More women than men are diagnosed with depression, but this may be due in part because women are more likely to seek treatment. Factors that seem to increase the risk of developing or triggering depression include:

 

  • Certain personality traits, such as low self-esteem and being too dependent, self-critical or pessimistic

  • Traumatic or stressful events, such as physical or sexual abuse, the death or loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or financial problems

  • Blood relatives with a history of depression, bipolar disorder, alcoholism or suicide

  • Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, or having variations in the development of genital organs that aren't clearly male or female (intersex) in an unsupportive situation

  • History of other mental health disorders, such as anxiety disorder, eating disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Abuse of alcohol or recreational drugs

  • Serious or chronic illness, including cancer, stroke, chronic pain or heart disease

  • Certain medications, such as some high blood pressure medications or sleeping pills (talk to your doctor before stopping any medication)


COMPLICATIONS
Depression is a serious disorder that can take a terrible toll on you and your family.
Depression often gets worse if it isn't treated, resulting in emotional, behavioral and health
problems that affect every area of your life. Examples of complications associated with
depression include:

 

  • Excess weight or obesity, which can lead to heart disease and diabetes

  • Pain or physical illness

  • Alcohol or drug misuse

  • Anxiety, panic disorder or social phobia

  • Family conflicts, relationship difficulties, and work or school problems

  • Social isolation

  • Suicidal feelings, suicide attempts or suicide

  • Self-mutilation, such as cutting

  • Premature death from medical condition


SYMPTOMS IN CHILDREN/TEENS
Common signs and symptoms of depression in children and teenagers are similar to those of adults, but there can be some differences.

 

  • In younger children, symptoms of depression may include sadness, irritability, clinginess, worry, aches and pains, refusing to go to school, or being underweight.

  • In teens, symptoms may include sadness, irritability, feeling negative and worthless, anger, poor performance or poor attendance at school, feeling misunderstood and extremely sensitive, using recreational drugs or alcohol, eating or sleeping too much, self-harm, loss of interest in normal activities, and avoidance of social interaction.


LIFESTYLES & HOME REMEDIES
Depression generally isn't a disorder that you can treat on your own. But in addition to professional treatment, these self-care steps can help:

 

  • Stick to your treatment plan. Don't skip psychotherapy sessions or appointments. Even if you're feeling well, don't skip your medications. If you stop, depression symptoms may come back, and you could also experience withdrawal-like symptoms. Recognize that it will take time to feel better.

  • Learn about depression. Education about your condition can empower you and motivate you to stick to your treatment plan. Encourage your family to learn about depression to help them understand and support you.

  • Pay attention to warning signs. Work with your doctor or therapist to learn what might trigger your depression symptoms. Make a plan so that you know what to do if your symptoms get worse. Contact your doctor or therapist if you notice any changes in symptoms or how you feel. Ask relatives or friends to help watch for warning signs.

  • Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. It may seem like alcohol or drugs lessen depression symptoms, but in the long run they generally worsen symptoms and make depression harder to treat. Talk with your doctor or therapist if you need help with alcohol or substance use.

  • Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, be physically active and get plenty of sleep. Consider walking, jogging, swimming, gardening or another activity that you enjoy. Sleeping well is important for both your physical and mental well-being. If you're having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about what you can do.


BENEFITS OF PSYCHOTHERAPY
Different types of psychotherapy can be effective for depression, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy. Your mental health professional may also recommend other types of therapies. Psychotherapy can help you:

 

  • Adjust to a crisis or other current difficulty

  • Identify negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones

  • Explore relationships and experiences, and develop positive interactions with others

  • Find better ways to cope and solve problems

  • Identify issues that contribute to your depression and change behaviors that make it worse

  • Regain a sense of satisfaction and control in your life and help ease depression symptoms, such as hopelessness and anger

  • Learn to set realistic goals for your life

  • Develop the ability to tolerate and accept distress using healthier behaviors


COPING & SUPPORT

 

  • Simplify your life. Cut back on obligations when possible, and set reasonable goals for yourself. Give yourself permission to do less when you feel down.

  • Write in a journal. Journaling, as part of your treatment, may improve mood by allowing you to express pain, anger, fear or other emotions.

  • Read reputable self-help books and websites. Your doctor or therapist may be able to recommend books or websites to read.

  • Locate helpful groups. Many organizations, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, offer education, support groups, counseling and other resources to help with depression. Employee assistance programs and religious groups also may offer help for mental health concerns.

  • Don't become isolated. Try to participate in social activities, and get together with family or friends regularly. Support groups for people with depression can help you connect to others facing similar challenges and share experiences.

  • Learn ways to relax and manage your stress. Examples include meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, yoga and tai chi.

  • Structure your time. Plan your day. You may find it helps to make a list of daily tasks, use sticky notes as reminders or use a planner to stay organized.

  • Don't make important decisions when you're down. Avoid decision-making when you're feeling depressed, since you may not be thinking clearly.


Information from: Mayo Clinic

Image by Bartek Garbowicz
Alcohol

ALCOHOL ADDICTION:

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SYMPTOMS

  • Being unable to limit the amount of alcohol you drink

  • Wanting to cut down on how much you drink or making unsuccessful attempts to do so

  • Spending a lot of time drinking, or recovering from alcohol use

  • Feeling a strong craving or urge to drink alcohol

  • Failing to fulfill major obligations at work, school, or home due to repeated alcohol use

  • Continuing to drink even though you know it's causing physical, social, or interpersonal problems

  • Giving up or reducing social and work activities and hobbies

  • Using alcohol in situations where it's not safe

  • Developing a tolerance to alcohol so you need more to feel its effect or you have a reduced effect from the same amount

  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you don't drink, or drink to avoid these symptoms


RISK FACTORS
Alcohol use may begin in the teens, but alcohol use disorder occurs more frequently in the 20s and 30s, though it can start at any age:

 

  • Steady drinking over time. Drinking too much on a regular basis for an extended period or binge drinking on a regular basis.

  • Starting at an early age. People who begin drinking - especially binge drinking - at an early age are at a higher risk.

  • Family history. The risk of alcohol use disorder is higher for people who have a parent or close relative who has problems with alcohol.

  • Depression and other mental health problems. Alcohol can help the user feel a reduction in their mental health symptoms.

  • History of trauma. People with a history of emotional or other trauma are at increased risk.

  • Social and cultural factors. Having friends or a close partner who drinks regularly could increase your risk. The glamorous way that drinking is sometimes portrayed in the media may also send the message that it's OK to drink too much. For young people, the influence of parents, peers, and other role models can impact risk.


RECOGNIZING USE IN OTHERS
Possible indications someone you know has a problem with alcohol may include:

 

  • Loss of interest in activities and hobbies and in personal appearance

  • Red eyes, slurred speech, problems with coordination and memory lapses

  • Difficulties or changes in relationships with friends, such as joining a new crowd

  • Declining grades and problems in school or continued problems with job performance

  • Frequent mood changes and defensive behavior


PREVENTION
With children / teenagers:

 

  • Communicate.

  • Listen.

  • Set a good example.

  • Strengthen the bond.


A relapse:

  • Stick with your treatment plan.

  • Avoid high-risk situations.

  • Get help immediately if you drink again.


TREATMENT OPTIONS
Treatment for alcohol use disorder can vary, depending on your needs. Treatment may involve a brief intervention, individual or group counseling, an outpatient program, or a residential inpatient stay. Working to stop the use of alcohol to improve quality of life is the main treatment goal.


Treatment may include:

  • Detox and Withdrawal. Treatment may begin with a program of detoxification or detox - withdrawal that's medically managed - which generally takes two to seven days. Detox is usually done at an inpatient treatment center or hospital.

  • Learning skills and establishing a treatment plan. This usually involves alcohol treatment specialists. It may include goal setting, behavior change techniques, use of self-help manuals, counseling and follow-up care at a treatment center.

  • Psychological counseling. Counseling and therapy for groups and individuals help you better understand your problem with alcohol and support recovery from the psychological aspects of alcohol use.

  • Oral medications. Various drugs may help prevent you from drinking as it produces a physical reaction that may include nausea, vomiting, and headaches when alcohol is consumed.

  • Continuing support. Aftercare programs and support groups help people to stop drinking, manage relapses, and cope with necessary lifestyle changes.

  • Spiritual practice. People who are involved with some type of regular spiritual practice may find it easier to maintain recovery. For many people, gaining greater insight into their spiritual side is a key element in recovery.

Residential Treatment Programs

For serious alcohol use disorder, you may need a stay at a residential treatment facility. Most residential treatment programs include individual and group therapy, support groups, educational lectures, family involvement, and activity therapy.


Self-help Groups


This includes support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

 

LIFESTYLE & HOME REMEDIES
As part of your recovery, you'll need to focus on changing your habits and making different lifestyle choices. These strategies may help:

 

  • Consider your social situation. Make it clear to your friends and family that you're not drinking alcohol.

  • Develop a support system of friends and family who can support your recovery. You may need to distance yourself from friends and social situations that impair your recovery.

  • Develop healthy habits. For example, good sleep, regular physical activity, managing stress more effectively and eating well all can make it easier for you to recover.

  • Do things that don't involve alcohol. You may find that many of your activities involve drinking. Replace them with hobbies or activities that are not centered around alcohol.


RESOURCES
Alcoholics Anonymous
https://www.aa.org


Women For Sobriety
https://womenforsobriety.org


Al-Anon Family Groups
https://al-anon.org

Information from: Mayo Clinic

Image by Bartek Garbowicz
Drug

DRUG ADDICTION:

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SYMPTOMS

  • Feeling that you have to use regularly - daily or even several times a day

  • Having intense urges that block out other thoughts

  • Over time, needing more to get the same effect

  • Using larger amounts than intended

  • Making certain to always have some available

  • Spending money, even if you can't afford it

  • Not meeting obligations & work responsibilities

  • Continuing to use, even though you know it's causing problems in your life

  • Doing things to get the drug that you normally wouldn't do

  • Driving or doing other risky activities while under the influence

  • Failing in your attempts to stop using

  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to stop using


RISK FACTORS
People of any age, sex, or economic status can become addicted to a drug. Certain factors
can affect the likelihood and speed of developing an addiction:

 

  • Family history of addiction. Drug addiction is more common in some families and likely involves a genetic predisposition.

  • Mental health disorder. Using drugs can become a way of coping with painful feelings, such as anxiety and depression and can make these problem even worse.

  • Peer pressure. Peer pressure is a strong factor in starting to use and misuse drugs, particularly for young people.

  • Lack of family involvement. Difficult family situations or lack of a bond with your parents or siblings may increase the risk of addiction, as can lack of parental supervision.

  • Early use. Using drugs at an early age can cause changes in the developing brain and increase the likelihood of progressing to drug addiction.

  • Taking a highly addictive drug. Some drugs, such as stimulants or opioid painkillers, may result in faster development of addiction than other drugs.


RECOGNIZING USE IN OTHERS
Possible indications someone you know is using drugs include:

 

  • Problems at school or work. Frequently missing school/work, sudden disinterest in activities, or drop in grades/work performance

  • Physical health issues. Lack of energy & motivation, weight loss/gain, or red eyes

  • Neglected appearance. Lack of interest in clothing, grooming, or looks

  • Changes in behavior. Exaggerated efforts to bar others from entering their room, being secretive about whereabouts, drastic changes in relationships and behavior

  • Money issues. Sudden requests for money without a reasonable explanation, missing money and/or items


PREVENTION
With children / teenagers:

 

  • Communicate.

  • Listen.

  • Set a good example.

  • Strengthen the bond.


A relapse:

 

  • Stick with your treatment plan.

  • Avoid high-risk situations.

  • Get help immediately if you use the drug again.


TREATMENT OPTIONS
Although there's no cure for drug addiction, treatment options explained below can help you overcome an addiction and stay drug-free. Your treatment depends on the drug used and any related medical or mental health disorders you may have. Long-term follow-up is important to prevent relapse.


Chemical Dependence Treatment Programs


Treatment programs usually offer:

  • Individual, group, or family therapy sessions

  • A focus on understanding the nature of addiction, becoming drug-free and preventing relapse

  • Levels of care and settings that vary depending on your needs, such as outpatient, residential, and inpatient programs.


Detoxification


The goal of detoxification, also called "detox" or withdrawal therapy, is to enable you to stop taking the addicting drug as quickly and safely as possible. For some people, it may be safe to undergo withdrawal therapy on an outpatient basis. Others may need admission to a hospital or a residential treatment center.


Withdrawal from different categories of drugs produces different side effects and requires different approaches. Detox may involve gradually reducing the dose of the drug or temporarily substituting it with other substances, such as methadone.


Behavior Therapy


Therapy and counseling may be done with an individual, family or group. The therapist or counselor can:

  • Help you develop ways to cope with your drug cravings.

  • Suggest strategies to avoid drugs and prevent relapse.

  • Offer suggestions on how to deal with a relapse if it occurs.

  • Talk about issues regarding your job, legal problems, and relationships.

  • Including family members to help them develop better communication skills and be supportive.

  • Address other mental health conditions.


Self-help Groups


This includes support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

COPING & SUPPORT
Overcoming an addiction and staying drug-free require a persistent effort. Learning new coping skills and knowing where to find help are essential. Taking these actions can help:

 

  • See a licensed therapist or licensed drug and alcohol counselor. Drug addiction is linked to a number of problems that may be helped with therapy or counseling, including other underlying mental health concerns or marriage or family problems. Seeing a psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed counselor may help you regain your peace of mind and mend your relationships.

  • Seek treatment for other mental health disorders. People with other mental health problems, such as depression, are more likely to become addicted to drugs.

  • Join a support group. Support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous can be very effective in coping with addiction. Compassion, understanding, and shared experiences can help you break your addiction and stay drug-free.


RESOURCES
Narcotics Anonymous World Services
https://www.na.org/meetingsearch/
Use this website to find a local meeting anywhere in the world.


National Institute on Drug Abuse
https://nida.nih.gov


Narcotics Anonymous
https://www.addictiongroup.org/resources/groups/na

Information from: Mayo Clinic

Image by Bartek Garbowicz
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