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How Deep Is The Connection Of Financial Health And Mental Health?




VERY DEEP!!!! Yes, without any second though both are interconnected. Nowadays in the UK, the bigger picture of the economy is talking about the biggest risk of recession due to Brexit. Besides, the natives are on toes on multiple financial fronts in their personal life. What you can expect to happen on the aspect of normalcy? Perhaps nothing. 

The think tank of Britain ‘The Resolution Foundation’ has released this prediction, which sounds quite realistic and close in future. For sure, if this is the situation of the bigger picture then it is obvious to show the impact on the lives of people. 

Already mental health issues due to increasing financial frustrations have become a global issue. For sure, things like this are the red alert signifying future destruction. 

Financial stress is about a prevalent issue that keeps coming with different excuses. 

DID YOU KNOW?? – One in three people worries about money up to an extent, which leaves a bad impact on their mental health. This situation explains the reason why the UK has a mental health awareness week. 

The major issues of stress in financial matters are usually related to debt. The vicious circle of it is the prime factor that adds fuel to the fire. 

Let us take a case here 

James McNicol, 44 who is self-employed has an intense experience in this. He was always in stress on the stability of his computer repair business due to the fluctuations in cash flow and workload. Over the past five years, James McNicol has gathered a significant number in debts. His wife Paula who is a pharmacy assistant has a deep grip on this matter and she was always worried about his mental health. She noticed a considerable change in the eating habits and behaviour of James and found it necessary to consult to have medical attention to this.  

This case tells how important it is to create a friendly atmosphere to help people get rid of their debts. The finance companies have the prime role to play in that concern. They have to think of the ways, which help people change their perception about words like debts, obligations and loans. 

Take one more story of George Davies 

An accountant in a renowned jewellery company. He says, a few months back his life was nothing but a burden on himself. Despite being good in handling numbers at the workplace, he was always a failure in personal finances. The ‘cost of living crisis’ that came last year had a long and bad impact on his finances. Housing, taxes, food, healthcare everything was becoming expenses due to pay squeeze and poor wage growth. 

He said…… 

‘My concern was not the big financial challenges as they come seldom. The breaking point for me was the small and short-term situations that used to pop up now and then. How can I manage to arrange funds for sudden medical attention when my monthly budget was always choking with sundry expenses? My company cancelled the increments last year and I had to terminate the financial goals I made in expectation of an increased salary. This is only one example. I was already paying many instalments and in fact, missed to pay some of them sometimes. The result was bad credit and also a rejection of new credit cards, loans etc. I was always in search of a supportive solution that can help me revive in finances.’

It was relieving to know about the friendly nature of online lending

Oliver a close friend of George told him that online lenders nowadays provide funds despite the bad credit. They have specialised loan products to help bad credit people. They provide funds to help fight the financial crisis and also offer a deal on customised rates. You pay the instalments on time and by the end of the loan tenure, the credit rating improves. 

George told – ‘I picked a lender and the decision was REALLY good’

After knowing the possibilities of online lending, George did deep research and comparison of the available lenders. AOneFinance, The Easy Loans,, unsecuredloans4u etc. were the names came in the notice of his ‘take a glance’ journey. Most of them had a high APR of around 49.9%. Nothing made him stop. Finally, a name that came out victorious to win his attention was ‘British Lenders’. The lender was providing funds on a much lower annual rate than the others. 

From the professional look of the website to the versatility of the loan products, everything looked perfect. He picked the option of unsecured loans for poor credit. Things started acting perfect from this point. He applied for the loan in just 3 steps – Apply, get approval decision and receive funds. 

In his own words – ‘Borrowing funds from British Lenders was so smooth and speedy that I felt like living in a fairy tale. My calculations matched well with the whole deal.’

George was happy to have a cheap deal enhanced with the FOLLOWING BORROWER-FRIENDLY FEATURES of the lender. 

  • Customised rates – This helped a lot in getting an affordable loan offer. This in fact helped handle the whole cost without any struggle and adjustments in monthly budget. From rate quote, to tenure and repayment everything was according to the financial capacity. 
  • More relaxation in rates due to inconsistent bad credit situation – George was not intentionally irresponsible in financial behaviour, it happened all because of circumstances. The lender provides more relaxation in rates if your bad credit history is not consistent. His past records were good and the lender noticed that. This is a great and unprecedented feature.

Finally, the loan was paid off, all thanks to small instalments

He paid off the loan very easily due to little sized repayments. By the end of the loan tenure, there was a good boost in credit rating. Best thing that happened was George qualified to get a credit card and situation to apply for other financial products was also promising. Fingers crossed. ☺ 

His happy words after the escape from big turmoil are – ‘I was happy to find such an inexpensive deal. Suddenly I started feeling stress-free, as I knew this is perhaps the beginning of my happy days. I can never forget the way British Lenders and its humble professionals helped me. Without this, it was impossible for me to regain the lost normalcy of my life. It feels great to have my peace of mind back after such a long long time.’

You know what…

Both the two cases (James McNicol and George) are the mirror of how things can turn upside down. The second one gives a reason to believe on the fact that with right solution in your hand, you can solve any problem. 

Description – The bad and the good sometimes happen together. With your efforts, you can decide which side will win. Find the absolute solution and invest all your efforts to get back the control on life.

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Mahesh is leading digital marketing initiatives at RecentlyHeard, a NewsFeed platform that covers news from all sectors. He develops, manages, and executes digital strategies to increase online visibility, better reach target audiences, and create engaging experience across channels. With 7+ years of experience, He is skilled in search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and advertising, and analytics.

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A - Z Health Guides

Top Treatments for Skin Cancer




Skin cancer is defined as having abnormal growth of skin cells. Generally, this cancer usually develops on skin areas that are often exposed to the sun. However, some common cancer types may occur on your skin in areas not often exposed to sunlight.

Typically, there are three possible forms of cancer, including melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and carcinoma. You can prevent your skin from this cancer risk by avoiding or limiting the UV (ultraviolet) rays exposure. Be sure to be checking for suspicious changes on your skin as it may help you discover this cancer before it develops into its advanced stages. Successful treatment of skin usually depends on early detection.


To detect this cancer, the doctor may recommend for:

  • Skin examination. If you are experiencing some skin changes, the doctor will have to determine if they are cancer-related or not by examining your skin. Additionally, some tests might be necessary to confirm the finding.
  • Skin biopsy. This involves removing a sample of your suspicious skin, which the lab tech will use to determine whether you have cancer. With a skin biopsy, your doctor will evaluate possible cancer threats and the type of positive results.

Determining the Stage of Your Cancer

Once you are diagnosed with this cancer, the next thing would be determining the stage at which the cancer is. The doctor will recommend some additional tests to confirm this. Some this cancer types like basal cell carcinoma hardly spread, and hence to determine its extent, a test is needed. The only test to determine this would be through a biopsy that involves removing your entire growth.

Your doctor can recommend additional tests when the tests confirm large Merkel cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or melanoma which will help determine their stages. The additional test may take some imaging tests, where the surrounding lymph nodes are typically examined for cancer signs. Another test could involve removing the surrounding lymph node and have them tested for cancer signs.

Normally, your doctor will represent the stage results using the Roman numbers. Stage I cancer is usually small and limited to its area of origin. Stage IV results show that you are in an advanced cancer stage. This means that cancer has spread beyond its area of origin to other parts of your body. By determining the stage of this cancer, your doctor will be able to dentine the effective treatment for your condition.

The Top Treatment for this Cancer

Generally, various factors will determine the type of treatment that best suits your condition for best results. Some of the main factors include the location, size, depth, and size of the cancer. For instance, a skin biopsy might be a recommendable treatment for small skin cancers. This involves eliminating the entire skin growth. However, some cancer stages may require various approaches, including:

1. Freezing

The doctor may use cryosurgery (liquid nitrogen) to destroy some small and actinic keratosis cancer. The liquid nitrogen helps in freezing the cancer cells hence killing them. The dead tissues usually marshes off after warming up.

2. Mohs Surgery

Generally, this treatment is mostly used in treating recurring, larger, or hard-to-doctor skin cancers, including squamous cell carcinomas and basal. Additionally, it is a recommendable treatment for the area where it is significant to conserve the skin, like the nose.

The procedure involves removing layers of the skin growth until the abnormal cells are no more. Mohs surgery has the advantage because the cancer cell is usually released without destroying the nearby healthy skin.

3. Excisional Surgery

The procedure involves cutting out of the cancerous tissue together with the nearby area of your healthy skin. In some cases, your doctor may find it appropriate for a wide excision, eliminating extra normal skin surrounding the tumor. This procedure is usually appropriate for most forms of cancer.

4. Cryotherapy or Curettage and Electrodessication

Once your doctor removes most skin growth, they may use a cure, a circular blade device, to burn off cancer layer cells. By so doing, your doctor will help you destroy any remaining cancer cells.

Additionally, liquid nitrogen may be applied to freeze the edges and base of your treated area. It is a simple, quick treatment applied in managing squamous cell cancers or basal cell cancers.

5. Chemotherapy

This treatment option involves the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells. Lotions or creams having anti-cancer agents are recommended for treating top layer, limited cancer. In addition, systemic chemotherapy is used to manage advanced cancer spread to other body areas.

6. Radiation Therapy

If it is impossible to eliminate cancer is surgery, your doctor may recommend radiation therapy. It uses energy beams like X-rays to destroy skin and other cancer cells.

7. Biological Therapy

This type of therapy uses the body’s defense system to destroy cancer cells.

8. Photodynamic Therapy

This procedure involves combining some drugs with laser light to destroy cancer cells.

Preventing Cancer

The most effective way of minimizing cancer risk is by keeping off direct sun rays and other possible UV radiation sources. Additionally, it is recommendable to observe the following tips in reducing cancer risks.

  • Avoid sun lamps and tanning beds.
  • Wear sunglasses with 100 percent UVA and UVB protection.
  • Avoid direct sunlight exposure, especially around10 a.m. – 4 p.m., by remaining indoors or staying in the shade on a sunny day.
  • Wear clothes that will help you cover most of your body during daylight hours.
  • Apply lip balm and sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 and above before going out on a sunny day. And be sure to keep reapplying during the day.

In addition, it would be best if you keep examining your skin for new changes, including spots and growths. Be sure to see your specialist if you notice suspicious changes. Also, early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in improving your skin outlook.


Be sure to schedule regular appointments with the doctor for a skin examination. This will help you to determine the causes of your skin changes, if any.

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Why Do Breast Implants Leak?




Breast implants are prosthetics used to change the size, shape, and contour of the breasts. These implants are designed with an outer silicone shell that can rupture over time, thus causing a leak. In some implants, the valve could also fail to function, which could also result in leaking.

Causes of Breast Implants Leak

  • Aging of the implant
  • Excessive pressure
  • Physical trauma such as a car accident
  • Damage by surgical instruments during the implant surgery
  • A failed valve in saline implants
  • Degraded shell casing

Signs and Symptoms of Ruptured Breast Implant

Saline and silicone implants have different leaking rates. For saline implants, the leaking is fast, and it can be realized by checking the size and shape of the breast. Generally, you may notice the leaking breast to appear somewhat deflated compared to the normal one. Although saline is not harmful to the body, it may carry bacteria, which could cause an infection.

For silicone breast implants, ruptures are not quickly identified. To prevent leakage, modern silicone implants contain gummy bear gel inside the shell casing. While this has reduced leaking, it has eliminated the possibility of leakage. Signs and symptoms of ruptured silicone breast implants include:

  • Burning sensation
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Numbness
  • Soreness
  • Swelling
  • Tingling sensations
  • Lumps forming in the breast tissue

Types of Breast Implants

Saline Breast Implants

These implants contain sterile saltwater. They provide uniform-shaped breasts that are also firm. In the event that this implant ruptures, the saline liquid will be absorbed and expelled by the body. The age limit for breast implants in this category is 18 years old.

Structured Saline Breast Implants

These implants are also packed with sterile saltwater. However, this type of implant contains an inner structure that makes it feel more natural.

Silicone Breast Implants

These implants are filled with silicone gel. Unlike the saline solution, silicone gel feels like natural breast tissue. If this implant leaks, the gel is not released into the body, but instead remains within the implant shell or may drain into the breast implant pocket.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, if you have silicone implants, you will have to visit your plastic surgeon regularly to confirm whether the implants are operating properly. These implants are approved for women who are 22 years of age or older.

Gummy Bear Breast Implants

These implants are also known as form-stable implants. Even when the shell collapses, these implants maintain their shape. The silicone gel found in these implants is thicker than the gel found in the silicone gel implants.

For the shaped gummy bear breast implants, the bottom features more projection while the top is tapered. If this implant rotates, the shape of the breast will become unusual and will require a procedure of its own to correct it.

Smooth Breast Implants

These implants have the softest feel and can move along with the implant pocket to provide a more natural movement. In some implants, visible rippling can be seen under the skin.

Round Breast Implants

These breast implants appear fuller compared to the form-stable implants. Since these implants have a definite shape and are equal all over, there is no risk if the breast shifts out of place.

Textured Breast Implants

These breast implants usually form scar tissues that work to fit the implant in place and restricting movement inside the breast.

Which Is Better, Silicone vs Saline Breast Implants?

Silicone and saline breast implants are the two types of breast implants. Saline implants are simply silicone shells that have been pre-filled with saltwater. On the other hand, silicone implants are filled with silicone gel.

When these two are compared regarding their feel, most users claim that silicone gel feels more natural like real breasts. However, silicone-gel implants pose more risk if they leak. Both implants are available in various sizes and in smooth or textured shells.

How Are Breast Implant Procedures Done?

First things first, breast implant procedures require a candidate to be at least 18 years for saline implants and 22 years if intending to get a silicone implant. Once you pick out your plastic surgeon, you will be scheduled for a medical evaluation process. Afterward, you will be recommended to cut down on some medications in preparation for the surgery.

The breast augmentation can be done at an outpatient or in-patient, depending on your preference. This procedure will last for about one or two hours. You will be placed under general anesthesia to protect you from feeling pain.

The surgeon will then create an incision under your breasts, depending on the type of breast plants that depends on the type of implant being conducted. The breast implant will then be placed into a pocket located either above or below the chest muscle. Once in place, the surgeon will go-ahead to seal the cuts with sutures or surgical tape.


What Are the Possible Complications of Breast Plants Leak?

Although ruptured breast plants leak could cause breast pain and changes of the contours and shape of the breast, they do not cause chronic ailments such as breast cancer, reproductive health issues, or diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

How Can I Tell My Silicone Breast Plants Have Ruptured?

Silicone implant rupture may go unnoticed as the silicone does not drain, but remain trapped by the surrounding shell tissue. Symptoms of ruptured silicone breast implants include pain, soreness and swelling, hardening lumps, and change in size or shape of the breast. Imaging tests such as MRI scans and ultrasounds are the surest tests to confirm that the implants have ruptured, according to WebMD.

How Are Ruptured Breast Implants Corrected?

According to BreastCancer.Org, breast cancer rupture can be remedied through corrective surgery. During this procedure, the surgeon will remove the implants surgically. Apart from the ruptured implant, the surgeon will also remove the surrounding scar tissue around the implant. In most cases, the two implants will be removed even if only one has ruptured. New implants can then be placed.

What Is Autologous Reconstruction?

Autologous reconstruction involves the use of living tissue from your body to create a breast instead of using implants. Autologous tissues have a lower risk of infection and rupture, which makes them better solutions compared to implants.

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What Are Some Helpful Tips to Undo Sun Damage?




While it feels good to spend some time out in the sun, it may damage your skin. Generally, the UV (ultraviolet) light from the sun usually damages your skin by causing sunburns. Additionally, these rays may result in dark spots, wrinkles, and other skin issues. As a result of the effect of the rays, you may look older than you are, as exposure to the UV rays causes aging of your skin.

Sunburn is the common skin damage caused by the sun, and it happens when your skin cells’ DNA is damaged. If you experience pain with your skin and turn pink, it could be a sign that most damage is already done. The damages may lead to skin cancer or other skin problems if not treated.

Fortunately, there is various way to help you reverse some of the skin damages caused by the sun. Although it might be a challenge for some people to undo the damage completely, the following tips might help reverse the common skin sun damage.

1. Hydration is Crucial

Generally, hydration is a key skincare element that will help you in attaining healthy skin. You can achieve this by drinking plenty of water during the day or by using a facial moisturizer. Additionally, with proper hydration, your wrinkles will be invisible, your complexion will improve, and more importantly, less appearance of your sunspots.

If you are to apply some moisturizer, ensure that it contains SPF 30, even though most will have 35 and above. With these two approaches, you will be allowing your skin all-time protection, irrespective of the time you need to get outside your home or workplace.

2. Specialized Skin Health Services

If you are looking to undo the sun damages on your skin, be sure to create a skincare routine that you will be following daily. This way, you should be able to experience some skin improvement. You can protect your skin from more sun damages, making sure you use hats or sunscreen whenever you are outdoors or indoors on sunny days.

Additionally, although there are available ways to reverse sun damage on your skin, professional skincare may offer you more benefits. Be sure to visit a medical center with specialized skincare and access quality medical products that you might not get from a local beauty shop. Laser therapy is one of the specialized treatments you may receive with a professional skincare provider to help you eliminate sunspots and even wrinkles. Additionally, your doctor may recommend light treatment, especially if the scarring results from sun exposure.

Your specialist will also help you discover the best treatment to undo the sun damage through professional care or at-home care. Be sure to schedule a consultation with your provider today.

3. Exfoliate Your Skin

Exfoliating your skin will help you reduce the appearance of sun damages on your skin, including sunspots. This helps you eliminate the dead skin’s surface layers, reducing the soft color tones and wrinkles appearance. Additionally, exfoliating your skin allows deeper penetration of skincare products.

There are various techniques that you may use in exfoliating your skin. To start with, ensure you have skin scrub, either mild or foreo scrub. The gentle skin scrub allows you to keep your skin clean and healthy. This will also work in helping you undo the sun damages on your skin.

Beyond exfoliating your skin through skin scrub, you can also consider available skin peels. You may use the skin peels while at home, although they contain minimal acid intensity. However, the peels may not help you completely get rid of the dead skin surface layer. For best results, be sure to schedule a visit to your doctor, as professional skin peel usually yields better, lasting results.

Using the peels for a week should provide you with skin improvements. However, it is recommendable that you stop using them if you experience irritation or skin break out.

4. Use of Retinol Products

Retinol is a natural product taken from Vitamin A. Make sure to include this ingredient if you wish to eliminate the appearance of wrinkles caused by sun exposure. Additionally, retinol will help you in boosting collagen production as well as smoothening your skin tone.

Retinol products are available in various intensity percentages. It is recommendable to start with the lowest options if you use this product for the first time. Using this product without enough information may lead to skin burn or breakouts instead of helping you undo the sun damage.

For best results, begin using a product containing less retinol percentage and increasing the percentage with time. Furthermore, seek advice from a skin care specialist who will help you anticipate possible reactions to avoid a negative outcome.

5. Customized Approach

Having a personalized approach for reversing the sun damages on your skin might be your best solution. Typically, different people are affected differently by the sun, and hence reversing other sun damages takes different approaches. You may be having sun spots, patchy skin, discolored skin, or other skin damages. Despite the damage you may be experiencing, be sure to take a customized approach. This will help you have the best results in treating your sun damage.

Additionally, by personalizing your treatment, you will be avoiding wasting time by skipping non-beneficial approaches and taking advantage of the right approach for your situation. You may need to schedule a meeting with a skincare specialist to help you review the possible techniques of reversing the skin damage. Be sure to work with your specialist in developing a personalized treatment approach to help you undo sun damage.


If you are experiencing changing or new marks resulting from sun damage, be sure to visit your dermatologist. They may be a sign of developing skin cancer. Additionally, ensure that you protect your skin from harmful UV rays by practicing safe skincare habits. Wear protective clothing, and avoid being out on a sunny day, especially around 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. when going out on a sunny day, make sure you apply sunscreen to all your exposed skin.

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Is Eczema a Lifetime Disease




Does Eczema Last For Life?

Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is one of the many skin conditions a lot of people deal with. It is an inflammatory skin disease that affects around 10% of the worldwide population.

Eczema can affect people of all ages, but it mainly starts in childhood. One of the major concerns many patients have is whether it will go away.

Eczema cause rashes on the skin that may be:

  • Itchy
  • Red
  • Dry
  • Scaly
  • Cracked
  • Painful or sore

What Causes Eczema?

The main cause of Eczema is underlying inflammation. That inflammation occurs as a result of substances that cause a negative immune reaction to the skin. Those could include allergens or environmental factors.

One of the common causes of this skin condition is allergies. The most common allergens include pet dander, pollen, and certain foods.

You might also get eczema by coming into contact with some fabrics, chemicals, and dyes. Some of the substances include perfumes, nickel, bleach, wool, detergents, and soaps with dyes and preservatives, rubbing alcohol, pesticides, and plants like poison ivy.

While it is not contagious, you can inherit eczema if someone from your family has had it before.

Eczema Stages

There are different stages at which you can develop eczema:

Chronic- This a very common stage, and it mainly develops in kids before they are one year old. You might have chronic eczema over a lifetime and have occasional flare-ups. However, childhood eczema gets better as you age.

Acute- This is short-term eczema that happens because of skin sensitivity triggered after you encounter an irritating substance or things you are allergic to. This stage lasts only a few weeks.

Subacute- This stage is a healing phase of eczema, but you can still have flare-ups that develop into full rashes if you leave them untreated.

Does Eczema Go Away?

You can get eczema at any point in your life, and it might range from mild to severe. There are different types of eczema with different triggers. One of the main ones is contact dermatitis, which happens when you contact an allergen or substance that irritates your skin.

You can also have seborrheic dermatitis, which comes in the form of dandruff. The other is atopic dermatitis, which many doctors consider chronic. That means that the symptoms could last over six months or could be lifelong.

There is no established cure for eczema, and most times, especially with atopic dermatitis, the symptoms and rashes do not go away if you leave them untreated. However, if you get it as a child, the rashes and symptoms get better as you age.

With contact dermatitis, however, the rashes and symptoms disappear if you stop coming into contact with the triggers.

Therefore, it is important to identify your triggers and talk with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that will help you manage the rashes and flare-ups in the long term.

How Long Do Eczema Flare-Ups Last?

How long your flare-ups last depend on the type of eczema you have and the severity of the flare-up. Contact flare-ups happen when you come into contact with something that affects your skin. If you get the right treatment, flare-ups could last for only 1-3 weeks.

On the other hand, allergic flare-ups happen when you are exposed to an allergen, and they last longer than contact flare-ups.

By using a good preventive medication plan, the symptoms and rashes of chronic eczema such as atopic dermatitis might go into remission. That means that the eczema is inactivated, and you go without any symptoms. Remission periods can last for weeks and even years.

How You Can Prevent Eczema Flare-Ups

You can reduce the occurrence and severity of flare-ups using some of the following methods:

Avoiding your triggers

This is the most effective way to go without flare-ups for a long time. First, ensure to identify all your triggers and stay as far away from them as possible.

Protect your skin

Add a layer of protection to your skin to keep it from environmental triggers. You can do that by using a moisturizer after showering. Also, do not use soaps and lotions that have dyes and preservatives in them, as that could trigger a flare-up or make it worse.

If you have any open wounds on your skin, ensure you protect them with bandages. Also, avoid scratching any rashes that occur on your skin to avoid scratches and wounds that could cause an infection.

Control humidity and heat

While your eczema can sometimes cause dry patches on the skin, that condition worsens when you expose your skin to heat and humidity. Ensure that your home is a bit cooler and drier.

Some people say that their flare-ups worsen during winter because of the dry air. If yours are the same, use a humidifier to help ease the symptoms.

Your body heat could also trigger or worsen eczema. Therefore, you should wear breathable fabrics like cotton to help the heat from your body escape. You should also take cool showers after exercising or after tedious activities.

Eczema Treatment

While there is no definite cure for eczema, your allergist in Princeton might recommend one or a combination of some of these treatments, depending on your eczema triggers.

Prescription medication

Depending on what causes your flare-ups, you might need to use topical corticosteroid creams, take oral allergy medicines, or both. While you can use steroid creams for short-term results, you might need to take oral allergy medications year-round to prevent symptoms.

Alternatively, you can take immunosuppressant drugs that work by slowing down your immune responses if you have severe eczema.


These help reduce the incidences of eczema and minimize the urge to scratch, especially in kids.

Allergy shots

If you have severe allergies that do not respond well to oral medication, your doctor might recommend allergy shots or immunotherapy. They contain a small amount of the substance causing the allergies.

Your doctor starts with small doses, which gradually increase over time. The idea is to help your body develop immunity to your allergy triggers to help reduce the occurrence and severity of your flare-ups.

Natural treatments

Oatmeal baths are a common natural way to help your eczema. They help soothe discomfort and itchiness caused by the rashes and reduces your urge to scratch. Ensure to use lukewarm water instead of hot, and moisturize right after.

You can also use probiotics and prebiotics, as some research shows that they help prevent inflammation.

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Ways to improve your immunity with CBD capsules




The immune system has the hardest duty of all physiological systems. It ensures the protective function of the organs, muscles and veins. Nothing operates in the body without protection against harmful microorganisms. You might try utilizing Immunity CBD Capsules to increase the body’s immunity. Millions of dangerous viruses, bacteria, fungus, and other hazardous microorganisms are exposed to everyone’s bodies within each minute. Your body will have no chance without a healthy immune system.

The immune system is a mixture of cells, bodies and tissues that forms synergy to guard the body against external bodies such as antigens and pathogens, which cause diseases. You should therefore try your best to improve your immune system. In that situation, you can increase your immunity with cannabidiol. Your immune system works as your body’s guardian. The CBD capsules for the immune system will assist improve your body’s defence mechanism.

Why is a strong immune system important during the coronavirus pandemic?

The global COVID-19 epidemic has pioneered many people. Older people who have chronic disorders, in general, are more susceptible to serious problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and lung ailments, or even to COV ID 19 deaths. Those whose immune systems are at higher risk of being infected with the virus due to a condition or therapy impairs their own immune systems.

How CBD capsules helpful for the immune system

In the current global environment created by the coronavirus, researchers are encouraged better to understand the effect of CBD on the immune system. CBD capsules and other cannabinoids can contribute to improving your immunological condition. There is no one-size-fits-all method when it comes to improving your immune system. CBD capsules can increase your immunological condition, but you need to take care of other protection methods by increasing the white blood cell count. The following benefits are linked to CBD by researchers:

  • Acts as a good antidepressant and can reduce inflammation of the cells.
  • May relieve migraine and serious headaches symptoms
  • CBD dabs and vapes may lower asthma mucus production.
  • Can fight chronic pain.
  • Can influence, among other benefits, insomnia prevention and other associated symptoms.

CBD also aims to diminish immunological processes vital for the management of automotive immunological illnesses, including lupus, human immunodeficiency virus, Parkinson’s disease, and MS. In addition, it enables a low risk of disease contraction in the human body. CBD is good for immune system enhancement. However, the better way to supplement your achievements would be to combine this with other processes such as nutrition, practice and other safe schemes.

How does CBD regulate the immune system? 

Many research shows that CBD capsules might affect your immune system. A great number of studies explore immunosuppressive effects of CBD, although these data are scientifically new. CBD capsules contain anti-inflammatory effects that can lessen the inflammatory response of the immune system. Inflammation is an essential reaction to separate contaminated zones and prevent the spread of poisons. CBD may promote apoptosis or cellular death. CBD capsules can avoid multiplication or fast growth of cells.

The function and secretion of cytokines can be modulated or deleted in CBD. Cytokines are huge protein groups that are separated into your immune response by certain cells. The synthesis of chemokine is also suppressed by CBD, which is a category of cytokines that are chemoattractant. They guide immune cells to an infection location to attack and kill invading microorganisms via white blood cells. CBD capsules can reduce the generation and function of T-cells, thus decreasing the ability of the immune system to recall external intruders.

How CBD capsules interact with the endocannabinoid system to strengthen your immune system  

By acting with the endocannabinoid system, CBD capsules help improve immunity. The therapeutic effects of CBD capsules occur via their relationship with the endocannabinoid body system and the particular receptors of cannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system is part of the physiology of the body and governs a range of biological functions. These functions include pain, anxiety and appetite, sleep, mood, memory and immunological response. Anandamide can work through contact with cannabinoid receptors. Appetite and stress responses in the body are controlled with anandamide. This is done by guarding it against environmental factors that impair the immune system and enhance it healthily by living

The Bottom line 

Several techniques help the immune system perform as effectively as possible, even though immunological illnesses cannot be prevented. Studies have indicated that CBD capsules can assist improve immunity and protect the immune system through their anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory effects. Treatments with cannabinoids can lower inflammation, alter the immune system, and regulate the immunological system.

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Grilling Safety Tips to Keep In Mind during Summer BBQs



Summer Collection

As summer arrives, evenings turn into barbecue celebrations. People leave their dining halls and move to backyards for outdoor grilling sessions with family and friends. If you, too, have plans of organizing BBQs, be sure to learn these BBQ safety tips by heart to keep everyone at your celebration safe from potential fire accidents. You will be surprised to know there are numerous other foods that you can grill that you have probably never even thought of. Many unexpected foods cook perfectly on the grill, and the best part is that they don’t even require any extra preparation.

  1. Choose a location to set up the outside grill wisely

Even if you own quality grills, like Bonfire BBQ grills, you should take precautions to keep potential accidents at bay. Most fire begins during barbecue nights because owners set up grills close to a structure – like a piece of furniture or a plant. So it’s best to set up your outdoor grill in an open space, away from overhanging tree branches or loose curtains.

  1. Clean the grill before you light it up or after use

Grease and fat buildup are not uncommon. But before you fire up your grill, make sure you clean it thoroughly. Don’t forget to check the tray below the grill. Once you finish cooking, let coals cool off entirely before you dispose of them in their container.

  1. Check whether your grill is stable or not

Bonfire BBQ grills are sturdy, but on an uneven surface, the chances of getting tipped over are high. So make sure you set up your outdoor grill on a flat surface. You can also consider using grill pads to keep your patio or deck protected.

  1. Purchase quality BBQ covers

Yes, just like your car and other things, you also need to protect your BBQ from outside elements. For this, you need to get a quality and reliable bbq covers so you can keep it safe when not in use. Make sure you buy only quality covers from reliable brands. There are many suppliers available online to get the best quality covers at the most affordable prices.

  1. Look out for propane leaks if you have a gas grill

Before you get ready to impress your guests with your cooking skills, be sure to check for gas leaks. The smell of gas and the inability to flame the gas are a few signs of possible propane leaks.

  1. Wear the right clothes

Loose clothes quickly catch fire. If you are cooking, make sure your apron strings or sleeves of your shirt are not dangling over the grill. Always remember prevention is better than cure. Staying alert keeps you safe from accidental fires.

Always keep these BBQ safety tips in mind. If you don’t own an outdoor grill yet, cover, or anything else, shop for these things right away if you want to keep it in good condition for a long time. This will ensure that you will have a blast every time you invite your friends over for a BBQ session.

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How Long Does Depression Last After Quitting Heroin



How Long Does Depression Last After Quitting Heroin
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By Geoffrey Booth, M.D., Medical Director, LifeSync Malibu

When you make the courageous decision to quit heroin and turn your life round you might have pretty high expectations. You probably look forward to feeling healthy and whole again, and can’t wait to be a productive member of society.

So when depression clings to you, even after you have completed withdrawal and rehab, it can be disheartening. Worse than that, it can lead to a relapse. Depression is not just a common co-occurring condition among active heroin users, but it is also a prevalent aspect of post-acute withdrawal syndrome, or PAWS.

PAWS refers to the cluster of mild but persistent withdrawal symptoms that sometimes hang on for months in early recovery, and depression is extremely common. It can be frustrating to feel stuck in the gloom of depression when you had such high hopes after gutting out withdrawal. Setting realistic expectations in recovery, as your brain chemistry adjusts and stabilizes, can help you ride out the depressive symptoms and get to the other side.

Depression and Heroin

Heroin is a powerful drug made from morphine, a potent analgesic. When you use heroin, the drug is converted to morphine in the brain, which produces the well known desirable effects. Users experience a deep state of relaxation and rush of euphoria that the brain immediately registers as a pleasurable event. But because heroin is highly addictive, it isn’t long before the drug traps you into a cycle of using just to avoid feeling sick once it wears off.

Because heroin binds to the opioid receptors in the brain, it begins to slowly alter the way the brain functions. With the drug providing the dopamine surge, the brain becomes dependent on it and stops producing natural dopamine.

In addition to the chemical changes in the brain, people addicted to heroin are likely to experience many adverse psychosocial events, which can lead to depression. People often struggle with employment, relationships, legal problems, health problems, and homelessness. All of these factors increase the risk for suicide among heroin users. According to the publication, Addiction, a heroin users is 14 times more likely to die by suicide than their peers.

Causes of Depression After Heroin Withdrawal

There are various reasons for experiencing depression after completing treatment:

  • Depression may have been present prior to getting treatment. If there was co-occurring depression present with the heroin addiction, the only way to achieve lasting sobriety is through a dual diagnosis treatment program. This is a specialty that provides simultaneous treatment for both disorders in an integrated plan. If the depression was not addressed during treatment, then there is a higher probability it will linger in recovery.
  • Feeling disappointed in recovery. After years of living in an altered state due to substance abuse, sobriety may not seem all that great initially. In the early months of recovery feelings of depression can set in when expectations are not immediately met. Also, the consequences of the addiction may now be fully realized in sobriety, which can cause feelings of sadness, guilt, or shame.
  • Post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS). Depression is a PAWS symptom that may stubbornly persist for months following treatment. Because of the significant impact of heroin on the brain it is not surprising that there might be some long-lasting psychological effects. Even after completing detox and treatment, the PAWS can persist.

Regardless of how or when the clinical depression surfaced, treating depression after rehab is critical. Depression in recovery can pose serious risks to not only the recovery itself, but also may cause impairment in functioning, adverse effects in relationships, reduced productivity at work, and increased risk of suicide.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)

Depending on how long the heroin addiction was present, it can take time for the brain to begin to normalize following treatment. During this period of transition, it is very common to feel a lack of joy or happiness. Lingering depression is one of the most common effects of PAWS, a cluster of symptoms that may take months to resolve.

Depression symptoms include:

  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and despair
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Slowed or agitated movements
  • Sleep disruptions
  • Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Difficulty making decisions or concentrating
  • Irrational feelings of shame or guilt
  • Thoughts of suicide

Persistent depression poses a threat to recovery because the symptoms can become so unbearable that the individual may seek relief by returning to heroin use. This is why the longer you can remain in a treatment program the better. An extended treatment program, such as six months, allows the brain and body to stabilize within a supportive environment, reducing the risk for relapse.

Treatment for Depression After Quitting Heroin

The worst thing someone in recovery can do is to ignore the symptoms of depression. Treating depression in recovery involves ongoing psychotherapy, holistic methods, and possibly medication.

Therapy: Emotional and psychological support is key in heroin recovery. Therapy, both individual and group sessions, provide a safe environment where you can work through the feelings associated with depression.

Holistic: Depression symptoms can be relieved to some extent through natural means. These include getting regular exercise, sticking to a healthy diet, and getting adequate sleep. In addition, learning how to relax, through yoga, mindfulness, or massage, can also improve mood.

Medication: Medication for depression may be necessary. Antidepressants take about 4-6 weeks before the effects begin to be seen, but these drugs can possibly relieve the symptoms.

In the early months of heroin recovery it is important to heal the body and the mind. As difficult as it is to suffer through a bout of depression, be patient and always remember, this too shall pass.

About the Author

Geoffrey A. Booth, M.D. is the Medical Director of LifeSync Malibu, an exclusive rehabilitation program located in the heart of Malibu. Dr. Booth has treated thousands of addicts over the years and now has dedicated most of his clinical time to providing medical care and detoxification to clients who suffer from substance abuse. He is committed to helping them establish the foundations for long-term sobriety. While not working, Dr. Booth has a rich personal life filled with activities surrounded by friends and family.

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Does Teen Loneliness Lead to Internet Addiction?



Does Teen Loneliness Lead to Internet Addiction
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By Arastou Aminzadeh, M.D., Founder, BNI Treatment Centers

One of the most distressing effects of the pandemic has been its affect on teen mental health. Young people spent a significant amount of time cooped up at home, forced to give up most of their social activities due to lockdowns. This resulted in increased teen loneliness.

At a time in their development that social interactions play a key role in helping adolescents acquire healthy social skills, teens were left few options this last year. Most would default to the Internet to find peers to chat with on social media platforms and forums, or to kill time with online activities. In fact, the majority of a teenager’s social life has occurred online for a year now.

Teen loneliness was already a common problem prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Research from Italy and Iran had previously studied the connection between loneliness among young people and subsequent internet addiction. Both studies demonstrated a positive correlation between these two factors.

Now, a new study out of Finland further cements this relationship between teen loneliness and compulsive internet use. The new variable in this recent study is the pandemic and how it has exacerbated teen loneliness, and therefore, internet addiction. The fallout from the excessive time online is an increased sense of loneliness because it replaced real life social interactions.

About Teen Loneliness During COVID-19

Ask any teen if they sometimes experience loneliness and they are likely to nod their head in the affirmative. All young people sometimes feel left out or lonely. However, teens who suffered from more pronounced feelings of loneliness may have been struggling with depression or another mood disorder, social anxiety, or a personality disorder. Some loneliness is normal, but intense chronic loneliness is typically associated with a mental health challenge.

During the pandemic, however, loneliness became its own epidemic that affected everyone of all ages. Teens, though, were hardest hit by the effects of the social distancing policies because of the significant role socializing plays in their daily life. Where adults had plenty of other distractions, teens were left with a gaping void in their life.

Study Shows Increase in Internet Addiction Among Lonely Teens

According to the Finnish study that was published in February 2021 in the Child Development journal, compulsive internet use has increased at a statistically significant rate. Dysfunctional internet behavior would include online gaming addiction, copious amounts of time on social media sites, and consumption of online pornography.

Further, the study found a direct connection between compulsive online behaviors and depression. This went both ways. A teen that was depressed may have spent more time online, as a distraction or salve, while teens that spent copious amounts of time online were more prone to develop depression. In either scenario, depression was the link.

In addition to the mood disorder, adolescents that engaged in excessive online activity had poorer academic performance. This is attributed to the amount of time that is consumed by online activities, which cuts into the time available to study.

The study determined that it wasn’t only due to a lack of social time with their friends this last year that has resulted in compulsive online behavior. The authors found that teens whose parents were not around, or who were inattentive, were also likely to turn to the Internet to fill their sense of loneliness.

COVID-19 and Teen Mental Health

There is no denying the serious impact the pandemic and lockdowns have had on our young people. Major milestones have been skipped over, social events radically altered or cancelled, schools closed, and, of course, the loss of live, in-person social interaction.

Teens need structure, predictable daily routines, and a sense of safety. During the past year these basic needs are not being met. Many kids have lost loved ones to the virus, or seen their parents become unemployed. All of this is very difficult for a teen to process and manage, as their limbic system is not fully developed at this age. Brain functions like impulse control, emotion regulation, and decision-making will be under construction until age 25.

As a mental health practitioner, I can confirm that our teens are struggling at higher rates than usual. Anxiety and depression are definitely on the rise in this cohort. When the dust settles we will have to face the statistics head on and provide additional services for struggling adolescents.

Other Causes of Teen Loneliness

At first glance, it may seem that teen loneliness is simply caused by a lack of friends. Maybe the teen struggles socially and has trouble establishing or maintaining sound friendships. But in reality, there are many other factors that can contribute to feelings of loneliness. Consider these 5 things that can cause loneliness:

  1. Moving. Possibly the family has recently relocated. Even if the new home is not that far from their former home, the unfamiliar surroundings can triggers feelings of loneliness. This even more so if the move is quite a distance away from their old friends and school.
  2. Social anxiety disorder. Some teens have a heightened or irrational fear of being judged by their peers. Because of the fear of being publicly criticized or mocked, the teen chooses to isolate, leading to loneliness.
  3. Feeling excluded. Teens are very sensitive. Most teens have the “fear of missing out,” or FOMO, which means they crave the feeling of belonging and being included in social gatherings. When they are passed over repeatedly it can lead to feelings of loneliness and even depression.
  4. Social media. While the word “social” in social media may sound like it is all about connecting with others, in fact social media can enhance feelings of loneliness in teens. This is due to the unnatural, shallow, and sometimes toxic “relationships” made on social media platforms.
  5. Being bullied. Cyber-bullying is extremely damaging to a teen’s self-esteem. When they happen to be the target of a bully who uses social media to embarrass or shame them, they will feel marginalized and isolated.

At this time in history it is essential for parents to be fully present for their children, and tuned into their mood states. If the teen is exhibiting signs of depression due to loneliness, and seem to self-medicate by engaging in compulsive internet use, it would be a good time to have the teen evaluated. Parents truly hold the key.

About the Author

Dr. Arastou Aminzadeh is a triple board certified physician in psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and addiction medicine, and is the co-founder of BNI Treatment Centers in Agoura Hills, California.  Dr. Aminzadeh is a fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and also a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.  A well respected leader in the field, he also holds an adjunct faculty position at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, where he completed his residency and fellowship.

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How to Stop Intrusive Thoughts



how to stop intrusive thoughts
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By Steven Booth, Co-Founder, Elevation Behavioral Health

We have all experienced unwanted involuntary thoughts that upset us. These are not like ordinary thoughts that flow through the mind during the day. Instead, intrusive thoughts are highly distressing. When intrusive thoughts plague us it can result in the symptoms of anxiety.

Sometimes intrusive thoughts are associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In fact, for someone with OCD, the intrusive thoughts are what drive the compulsive behaviors. The thoughts are so upsetting that the individual with OCD will attempt to diminish the potency of the disturbing thoughts. This can turn into a pattern of obsessive thoughts followed by compulsive actions. Learning how to overcome OCD-related intrusive thoughts becomes an integral goal in managing this mental health disorder.

Whether the intrusive thoughts are related to anxiety or OCD, either way they are very frustrating and disrupting to your daily life. Learning techniques to stop intrusive thoughts can help bring these under control and improve functioning.

What Causes Intrusive Thoughts?

It is not yet fully understood why people have undesired thoughts that invade their consciousness. Often, these random thoughts that intrude on our otherwise peaceful day will keep tapping away demanding our attention. Other times, the thoughts, though disturbing, are fleeting and leave us as quickly as they arrived.

There are a few potential causes for the onslaught of intrusive thoughts. These include:

  • PTSD. Someone who has prolonged symptoms of stress after experiencing a trauma will be plagued by intrusive thoughts. The thoughts are usually related to the event itself, such as undesired memories.
  • OCD. OCD usually has intrusive obsessive thoughts that drive the compulsive actions. The thoughts are so upsetting that the person will engage in ritualistic compulsive behaviors as a way of mitigating the stress the thoughts cause.
  • Medical issues. Intrusive thoughts can be a symptom of a health condition, such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, or a brain injury.

Are Intrusive Thoughts the Same as Ruminations?

Intrusive thoughts may seem to be the same as ruminating thoughts, but the two actually bear distinct differences. Where an intrusive thought is usually random and fleeting, ruminations the ongoing mulling over of the upsetting thoughts. Instead of noticing the intrusive thought and then choosing to ignore it or dismiss it, ruminating involves embracing the thought and chewing on them for long periods of time. Rumination is a type of coping mechanism to help process a disturbing event by reviewing the event over and over in your mind.

OCD and Intrusive Thoughts

The most common source of intrusive thoughts occurs among those who struggle with OCD. The intrusive thought is often related to a core value, such as religious beliefs or ethical issues, and involves a disturbing scenario that goes against what the person believes in. These thoughts might involve things of a sexual nature, thoughts of harming a loved one, or blasphemous thoughts that are in opposition to their core faith beliefs.

Because these intrusive thoughts are so destabilizing, the person with OCD will begin to fear the thoughts, which only makes the thoughts more pervasive. They begin to adapt compulsive behaviors to help diffuse the stress that the obsessive intrusive thoughts cause them.

Types of Intrusive Thoughts

There are different types of OCD-related thought intrusions. These include:

  • Sexual intrusive thoughts. Disturbing thoughts that involve taboo sexual imagery, inappropriate sexual thoughts, or violent sexual acts.
  • Religious intrusive thoughts. Obsessing about possibly sinning against God, scrupulosity, doubting faith beliefs, or blasphemous thoughts.
  • Harming intrusive thoughts. Undesired thoughts of harming a loved one, such as a spouse, a parent, a child, or self.
  • Responsibility intrusive thoughts. Irrational acceptance of the blame for certain acts committed that was not the fault of the person.
  • Existential intrusive thoughts. Anxious thoughts that question the reason for existence, the purpose of life, or the reality of self.

Each of these types of intrusive thoughts will drive a corresponding compulsive action.

Exposure and Response Prevention

One of the targeted treatment methods for helping someone with OCD-related intrusive thoughts is an intervention called exposure and response prevention, or ERP. ERP is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that helps the person face the disturbing thoughts head, but in small stages. Slowly they are encouraged to disengage from the compulsive actions that would typically follow the intrusive thought. 

By stating their thoughts out loud with an ERP therapist, the power of the thoughts is greatly diminished. As Dr. Debra Kissen, a Clinical Fellow at the Anxiety Depression Association of America states, “The same intrusive thoughts that feel so real, all powerful and self-defining when swirling around in your head will disintegrate when said out loud.” The thoughts have far more power when they are held captive inside your mind, but when shared with someone they lose their impact.

In ERP the intrusive thought is exposed, and then the decision to not engage in the compulsive behaviors is the response prevention. The person makes a decision to no longer give in to the compulsions. During the first few weeks of ERP the therapist will guide the person through the steps of exposure and non-response. Eventually, the individuals will be equipped to conduct ERP themselves.

How to Stop Intrusive Thoughts

There are some effective techniques for managing intrusive thoughts when they appear. Consider these tips:

  1. Do not fear the thoughts. While natural to want to avoid or ignore the thought, that can make it a reaction based in fear. Instead, try to accept the thought, realize that it is an obsessive irrational thought, and remind yourself that it will soon pass.
  2. Practice self-care. Intrusive thoughts are related to anxiety or OCD, so learning methods to help promote relaxation can be helpful when the thoughts occur. Practice mindfulness and deep breathing to calm yourself down when the thoughts occur.
  3. Seek help from a therapist. A therapist can work with you through the ERP therapy and other therapies, like CBT, which can help you make changes in how you respond to the thought triggers. They can also refer you to a psychiatrist who can prescribe antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications.

Don’t let random intrusive thoughts impact your quality of life. There are ways to manage these thought obsessions, which will improve all areas of daily functioning.

About the Author

Steven Booth is the CEO and Founder of Elevation Behavioral Health in Agoura Hills, CA. Steven earned his B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Economics. Before helping to co-found Elevation Behavioral Health, Steven worked in both private and public accounting. Like many others, Steven has seen firsthand the destruction that addiction can inflict on family and friends. He has also witnessed the extraordinary changes that can be made when addicts receive the necessary treatment. His passion is providing outstanding mental health care through his facility, and improving the quality of life of clients.

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Trauma Triggers and Addiction



Trauma Triggers and Addiction
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By Ken Seeley, Founder Ken Seeley Communities

We are all equipped with a certain faculty that allows us to bounce back from adversity. It is called resilience. Each person has his or her own psychological make-up and personality, which means that the capacity for resilience is not uniform. Some people are more resilient than others. This is just a simple fact of our human nature.

When we encounter a traumatic event it can be very destabilizing. Whether we simply witnessed something horrific, or actually experienced it personally, the trauma registers in our psyches and causes a deep disturbance. How we process that event, and eventually overcome its effects, is highly individual.

For some, the trauma does not resolve easily. In order to deal with the psychological impact—the emotional pain, nightmares, flashbacks, detachment, avoidance, and anxiety—there is a tendency to use a substance to help numb the effects. For example, there is a tendency to rely on alcohol or benzodiazepines to help diminish the painful effects of the upsetting memories, or related depression or anxiety symptoms.

A trigger, or being exposed to the people, places, or situations related to the initial traumatic event, can exacerbate the disturbance by rekindling the associated emotions. Trauma triggers only drive the substance abuse, setting up a cycle that could result in addiction.

Dual diagnosis treatment tackles both issues at once. These specialized programs address the trauma while also treating the co-occurring  substance use disorder. Obtaining treatment for both disorders simultaneously will improve overall recovery results.

 What is Emotional Trauma?

A trauma is a shocking and often unpredictable life event. The range of traumatic events is diverse, but basically a trauma is anything that evokes a deep sense of fear and anxiety caused by a perceived danger to self. Examples of traumatic events include:

  • An event where there is perceived risk of physical or psychological harm
  • Death of a family member, spouse, or close friend
  • Physical injury, such as being in a serious car accident
  • Divorce
  • Stress related to combat
  • A serious illness
  • Abandonment or neglect in childhood
  • Sexual abuse or rape
  • Domestic abuse
  • Physical assault
  • Natural disasters

Traumatic events that are experienced during childhood have a significantly higher potential to result in addiction later in life. According to the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, there is a clear relationship between cumulative adverse events in childhood and subsequent substance addiction or dependency.

Whether a trauma occurred in childhood or adulthood, there is an increased likelihood that alcohol or drug use will result. This is especially true when there were multiple traumas experienced.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is an anxiety disorder than impacts 7%-8% of the population. PTSD features a persistent response to an overwhelming traumatic event. Debilitating PTSD symptoms may last for a month or more. There is a high occurrence of a co-existing substance use disorder among individuals with PTSD, as well as comorbid depressive symptoms.

Symptoms of PTSD are generally expressed in these four categories:

  • Intrusive memories. Unwanted thoughts or memories of the trauma are experienced repeatedly through recurrent flashbacks, vivid memories, or nightmares.
  • Avoidance. People with PTSD may choose to avoid any people, places, or situations related to the past trauma, as they may trigger the disturbing memories. They will also avoid discussing the trauma.
  • Hyper-arousal. The individual may be easily startled, irritable, quick to anger, easily frightened, and may suffer from insomnia. Alcohol or anti-anxiety medications may be used to numb these symptoms.
  • Negative thoughts. People with PTSD may have a negative demeanor. They may display a sense of hopelessness about their life, and put themselves down. They may exhibit anger, guilt, shame, and fear.

Addiction and Trauma

Substance abuse is a common response to the anxiety and/or depression symptoms that may develop after experiencing a trauma. According to a 2012 article published in Current Psychiatry Reports, about 50% of patients receiving treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction met the diagnostic criteria for co-occurring PTSD.

This can be explained by the use of unhealthy coping strategies accessed in the aftermath of a highly traumatic event. While some might seek the help of a therapist or use exercise or holistic strategies to overcome the effects of the trauma, others may lean on a substance.

Someone with PTSD may have experienced impairment in the brain’s limbic system. The change in brain chemistry caused by the traumatic event can actually set up the reward system to be hijacked by substance abuse. The limbic region is where impulsivity, decision-making, and other executive functions occur. When these functions are disrupted, compulsive use of a substance may result.

Addressing Trauma in Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Substance use disorder with co-occurring PTSD or trauma disorder is called a dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis program will provide the clinical recovery elements for treating the substance use disorder along with psychiatric support for trauma-focused therapies. These therapies include:

  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  TFCBT helps individuals overcome trauma by reshaping the thoughts that have led to the maladaptive behaviors. By guiding the person to safely express their feelings about the experience, the therapist will show them how those thoughts have led to adverse mood states and also substance abuse. Through this therapeutic process, the negative thoughts slowly lose their potency.
  • Exposure Therapy. This is a short-term behavioral therapy that uses prolonged exposure techniques to help the person become less sensitive to the memories of the trauma. By encouraging discussion of the event, and incrementally exposing them to the triggers within a safe environment, the therapist is able to gradually reduce the impact of the trauma.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing. EMDR is a type of exposure therapy that involves an 8-step process. Part of this process has the person follow a therapist’s finger back and forth with their eyes while they discuss the traumatic event. This process also helps to reduce the effects of the trauma.

Someone who has difficulty resolving the impact of a trauma may be more susceptible to a substance use disorder. A dual diagnosis program can be an effective tool in restoring wellness.

About the Author

Ken Seeley is an internationally acclaimed interventionist, having years of experience in this field. Certified as a Board Registered Interventionist-Level 2, Seeley has worked full-time in the business of recovery and intervention since 1989. He is a regular contributor to CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and ABC on the topics of addiction and intervention. He was one of three featured interventionists on the Emmy Award winning television series, Intervention, on A&E. He is also the author of “Face It and Fix It,” about overcoming the denial that leads to common addictions while bringing guidance to those struggling with addiction. Ken Seeley is the founder and C.E.O. of Ken Seeley Communities, a full spectrum addiction recovery program located in Palm Springs, California.

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