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
- 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.
4 Essential Keys to Happiness as We Age
When we’re young, many of us gain happiness from material gain; we line up for the latest devices, newest cars, or most fashionable clothes to feel content. But as we age, we realize that the joy we gain from objects can be fleeting. Many of the items we collect lose their emotional value. However, there are immeasurable things, like, experiences, that last forever and fuel our happiness well into our golden years.
Let’s take a deeper look at some keys to happiness as we age:
#1 Good Health
Good health is essential to living a happy life for older adults.
While staying healthy as we age isn’t a straightforward task, eating a balanced diet, living an active lifestyle, and visiting a family physician for regular check-ups can significantly improve anyone’s quality of life.
That’s why many older adults move to retirement communities that promote healthy living. For example, All Seniors Care Living Centres ensure that their residents have the right support systems, amenities, and programs to maintain a healthy lifestyle:
- Professionally cooked delicious and healthy homemade meals and snacks for older adults.
- On-site amenities and events that encourage active living.
- Assistance from trained, courteous, and caring staff members.
- Support systems that match the needs of residents.
- Access to top physicians.
#2 Healthy Relationships
Strong relationships with friends, family and even pets can make us feelhappy and give us a sense of belonging. For example, there’s nothing quite like laughing, sharing stories, or breaking bread with people in your community. In addition to happiness, positive social interactions can improve our lifespans, lower our risk of developing depression, and improve cognitive function.
Developing new friendships at any age can be challenging. But a great way to form new relationships is to live in a community of like-minded people from backgrounds.
#3 Positive Experiences
As mentioned, having positive experiences is essential to feeling happy as we age. Sitting down with a loved one to watch the sunset, taking a walk in the nearby park with other members of the retirement community, or baking cookies for your friends are all examples of small but meaningful life experiences.
Older adults should also consider traveling. After years of working, raising families, and meeting obligations, many people finally have the time and freedom to explore the world and experience different settings.
Studies show that older adults who travel enjoy better mental and physical health. Travelers also get a chance to meet new people, try fresh things, and see interesting places.
#4 Finding Purpose
Finding purpose can bring joy and satisfaction, provide a sense of direction, and offer a positive outlook on the future. Activities such as volunteering, engaging in hobbies or discovering spiritual practices can help older adults develop a sense of purpose.
Many older adults with professional experience offer their services in mentorship programs to find purpose. Sharing skills and expertise to help younger people find their career paths can be immensely rewarding.
Although there are no one-size-fits-all answers, happiness is possible at any age. A sense of purpose and meaningful connections with others are two of the most important factors. Feeling physically, socially, and mentally healthy can also help older adults enjoy their golden years.
The Yuletide season is here, and while most people look forward to celebrating with loved ones and friends, others are just gritting their teeth as they try to survive the holidays. According to a poll conducted last year by the American Psychiatric Association, 41 percent of adults experienced an increase in worrying during the season. Moreover, this year, more than 30 percent of individuals are expecting to feel more stressed than they did in 2021. Family tensions and fights, gift-giving obligations, and financial woes are causing people to feel stress and anxiety during the holidays, making them unable to enjoy what is supposed to be a joyous time. Thankfully, there are ways to rise above these challenges so you can have the happiest of holidays this year.
Don’t Engage in Family Feuds
Stress is a normal part of life– in fact, a little stress can be good for you since it challenges you to think on your feet and makes you better at solving day-to-day problems. However, having to deal with constant, unrelenting stress due to serious problems, such as medical and legal issues, can result in negative health problems since these can put you at risk of health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. This is why getting treatment or legal support is essential if ever you’re struggling with legal or medical problems, since doing so can help to alleviate stress and take some of the weight off your shoulders.
While it may not be as serious as a pre-existing medical condition or a legal matter, having to deal with family drama can also be stressful, especially during the holidays. A recent survey indicates that one in four people are expecting that their family dynamics may affect their mental health this holiday season. If your family environment is too toxic and it causes you to feel anxious or depressed, experts advise that it may be worth it to put some distance between you and them instead of forcing yourself to abide by family traditions.
While it may seem harsh, it’s an effective self-preservation technique that can make you feel a lot better, so you may want to rethink your plans to travel for that family reunion that you aren’t looking forward to. Meanwhile, for those who are still living with family members, the best course of action is not to engage in feuds and avoid getting into heated debates with anyone. If you feel that the tension is building, excuse yourself so you can have a much needed break.
Trim Your Gift Giving List
Having to spend money on gifts for a lot of people, not to mention finding the time to look and shop for presents, can be incredibly stressful for anybody. To lessen your burden, consider trimming your gift giving list. For instance, it may be nice to give your postman, the guy who regularly delivers your packages, and the kids’ teachers a little something for Christmas, but it’s not necessary. And while giving gifts to family members is a must, you may want to have a talk with your relatives to see if you can help each other out regarding this matter. For example, you and your siblings and cousins may agree to skip gifts for the grownups and only get presents for the children. You may also want to agree on a set amount of cash that will be spent on each person, or contribute money for one large gift for a certain relative.
Simple can be Memorable
A lavish Christmas spread may look impressive on your social media posts, but sometimes, even just a few simple dishes that are prepared with love and care will suffice. Instead of splurging on an expensive charcuterie spread and a dessert table, opt for a holiday meal that has one or two appetizers, two main dishes, two sides, and one dessert. Decorate your table to make it look festive, and light some candles to add ambiance. Doing so not only helps to save you money, but it’ll also save you the stress of cooking and prepping too many dishes. You’ll also have more time to bond with your family instead of spending the holidays slaving away at the kitchen.
This year, take care of your mental and emotional wellbeing by dealing with the things that are causing you stress and anxiety. Consider these tips to have a better time during the holidays, and enjoy the season with your loved ones.
Financial planning is something that all people should start at an early age. In fact, as soon as you start working and making a living, you must set yourself up for a lifetime of financial success by creating a plan to follow. The better the plan is, the more likely you will gain a sizable wealth. Wealth that can be taken away from you if a serious medical problem arises with you or one of your loved ones.
That is not to say that financial planning will make you rich beyond your wildest dreams because numerous aspects of life can help, or hurt, that idea. Regardless, there are a few key reasons to consider health insurance as a part of that financial plan.
- Tax Benefits – The governing bodies have put an extra percentage payment in place if you make over a set amount of yearly income. That percentage is currently set between one and one and a half percent of your income, which can be a substantial amount when you do the math.
- Bills – A solid financial plan depends largely upon the payments you have going out, compared to the cash you have coming in. The only way to get ahead is to have more money coming in than you have going out. Medical insurance can help achieve this by helping pay off surprise medical needs or even checkups to help prevent any major medical disasters from hitting you without any notice.
- Medical Savings – Even with the best health insurance policy, you will be responsible for paying a co-payment, or a percentage, of the bills you acquire. Part of financial planning should always include a medical savings account set aside and built upon to pay those bills when they do come up. Otherwise, you will have to dig into your family savings account.
- Family – A part of life everyone looks forward to is building a family with the perfect partner. If that includes having children, using a comparison platform, such as the iSelect pregnancy health insurance site, is imperative to ensure that the bills associated from day one until birth are covered.
- Rising Medical Cost – It may be thought that medical prices would level off because the cost is so high already, but that is not how the trend has been surging. In fact, the higher the living wage becomes the more medical care increases. If you want to have any chance of building a comfortable financial future, medical insurance is not an option, but a necessity.
- Retirement – Once you hit retirement age, you may have a good amount of savings built up, but even then, you will not have the disposable income that you have been used to having throughout your life. It is imperative to have a good health plan that will cover most of the expenses because as you get older medical care will be more important and will be needed more often.
The bottom line is that you need medical coverage for you, your partner, your children, and your children that are yet to come. It is the only way to cover the bills, especially as you age. A solid financial plan is not complete until health care coverage is addressed.
With the increase in online business transactions, there are so many options available that having a medical plan should never mean that all your extra cash goes to pay for the premiums. In fact, with a little looking around, and some research, it will be simple to find the perfect amount of coverage for a price that will not break the bank.
While we are only a few days into the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament, the matches have been lit with thrilling performances. We have seen huge one-sided results, smooth draws and, most of all, surprising upsets. From Saudi Arabia’s shock victory over the World Cup Betway sports betting favorite Argentina to Japan’s surprising victory over football powerhouse Germany, here are the greatest World Cup upsets in the 2022 Qatar tournament.
Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia (1-2)
The 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup is proving to be a great campaign for underdogs. The 22nd of November will be remembered as one of the greatest days in Saudi Arabia’s football history. Following their surprising victory, the Saudi King announced a day’s holiday in the team’s honor.
In one of the greatest surprises in the history of soccer, Saudi Arabia surprised Betway World Cup sports betting favorites, Argentina, by beating them 2-1 in a highly contested match. As expected, Argentina played quite well during the first half, with Lionel Messi scoring a goal. However, Saudi Arabia scored two goals to take the lead early in the second, but even their star player (Messi) couldn’t help them recover.
Argentina hadn’t lost in 36 matches before falling prey to Saudi Arabia’s well-calculated gameplay. That was the first time in six attempts that the Saudi Arabia Green Falcons won their World Cup opening match. The Falcons rank 31st out of the 32 participants in the world cup.
Germany vs. Japan (1-2)
In a tale of fleeting football, bold substitutions and a relentless attitude, Japan surprised the football world with their well- deserved 2-1 victory over football powerhouse Germany in their World Cup opener. The Blue Samurais used all their 26% possession to give Germany their first upset in 26 games.
While Ilkay Gundogan gave Germany an early lead with his calm penalty with 33 minutes on the clock, Japan launched several counterattacks, which should have alerted the Germans of what was coming. By halftime, Germany dominated the game with 80% possession and 14 shots, with five being on target. Unfortunately, that didn’t matter in the end.
Often criticized for negatively setting up his men, Japan’s coach Hajime Moriyasu made attacking changes in a flip second. At one point, two wingers were playing as full-backs, which made it look like Moriyasu was organizing a rugby team. However, Japan managed to slice through Hansi Flick’s men during the second half and kept growing in belief.
Japan’s main man, Junya Ito, continued chasing the ball and causing trouble for Germany’s defense, which paid off in the end.
Belgium vs. Morocco (0-2)
In another thrilling and surprising match in Qatar, Morocco weathered a heavy first-half storm to claim their first World Cup win since 1998 as they crashed Belgium 2-0 in Group F. Morocco fans raucously celebrated the win at the Al Thumama Stadium after the match.
While Belgium dominated the first half, they could not convert that dominance into goals. During the second half, Morocco’s substitute Abdelhamid Sabiri curved a free kick past Belgium’s talented goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. At stoppage time, another substitute, Zakaria Aboukhlal, secured the win for Morocco to give them the lead in Group F with four points, a point above their opponents.
Top Picks: 6 best tech degrees you can consider
The role of technology is evident in every business across various industries. It automates the systems, boosts productivity, accelerates the flow of communication, and streamlines daily operations.
With an increased demand for experts in the rapidly evolving IT industry, choosing a degree becomes challenging. You cannot select a degree in information technology just because it includes the word “information technology.”
Before finalizing your decision, you need to research and figure out the following:
- What specialization has the potential for a stable career in the future?
- Which degree program is in the trend or newly introduced?
- Which degree can help you continue your education?
By reading this blog, you can filter out some degree programs to excel in the information technology sector.
Here are the six best tech degrees you can consider to launch your career in the tech industry.
Master of Science in Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is a rapidly evolving field that has become an integral component of today’s businesses and organizations. In the purview of rising cyber threats and criminals, the demand for cybersecurity experts is booming. You can pursue a master of science in cybersecurity to defend organizational systems and processes from internal and external threats. It primarily focuses on techniques and tools to assess and handle the systems and network for vulnerabilities and potential threats.
Moreover, an online cybersecurity degree helps you to gain and polish essential skills needed for the digital world. You can pursue a career path in the highly promising field at any time with an online master’s in cybersecurity while continuing your job. It prepares you to protect digital infrastructure by implementing security principles and threat response mechanisms.
You can become an information security specialist, penetration tester, cybersecurity engineer, and cybersecurity analyst after obtaining a cybersecurity master’s degree. Other advanced positions are chief information security officer and chief privacy officer.
Master in Computer Science
The most common degree that every tech enthusiast can pursue is a master’s in computer science. This degree is suitable for students who might get confused about what to decide from among the wide range of computer specializations. You can get to know different majors with time and pursue a specialization later on.
Computer science graduates focus mainly on advanced computer technology, its theory, and practice. They learn about software and related systems while getting technical knowledge of software development, design, and applications.
In addition, students also study programming languages, computer architecture, algorithm design, and artificial intelligence. This degree also inculcates critical thinking and problem-solving skills in students.
After obtaining a master’s in computer science, you can land a job as a data scientist, system analyst, IT manager, and software developer. If you’re interested in advancing toward teaching and research, you can gain higher education in computer science to grab such job opportunities.
Master in Data Analytics
Data analytics is a crucial part of every industry in the modern and fast-paced dynamics of the 21st century. It makes information processing and handling easier and faster. With the production of huge amounts of data every day, it is nearly impossible to store and manage data without data analytics.
A master’s in data analytics provides students with a strong foundation of data collection, storage, organization, and maintenance principles. You can get practical skills for designing and developing systems and tools for data collection and storage. Moreover, as a data analytics student, you learn how to generate result-oriented and valuable insights from a huge pile of data. It also polishes the communication skills of the students as they discuss and share reports and actionable insights with key stakeholders. After earning a data analytics degree, you can become a chief data officer, data scientist, chief technology officer, business systems analyst, and more.
Master in Information Technology
Information technology is the driving force behind the success of systems and applications worldwide. Students of information technology learn about digital systems and related technology.
Core subjects of an information technology degree include software development, computer programming, internet technologies, data systems, information modeling, etc. You can enroll in highly in-demand subjects like IT management, cloud computing, and many more. It provides you with the foundation to pursue tech specializations further.
A master in information technology can land you a job as a data analyst, IT technician, IT manager, etc.
Master in Health Information Management (HIM)
Modern healthcare systems heavily rely on information technology to deliver quality patient care and streamline medical setups. A master’s in health information management is a combination of information technology and healthcare services where you can develop a better understanding of how tech can upgrade the healthcare industry.
Health information technology prepares students to get a stronghold of IT concepts that are prevalent and useful in the healthcare industry. You can expect to store, process, and manage patients’ data and generate reports.
As an HIM student, you study the healthcare revenue cycle, including medical billing, privacy protocols, and patient data confidentiality. Moreover, you also learn about health-related laws and regulations such as Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and others. This degree trains you to handle health-related information and data according to US government standards and get accreditation. After getting this degree, you can pursue your career in the healthcare industry as a medical coder, clinical systems manager, and medical research analyst.
Master in Software Engineering
Software engineering involves designing and developing code for software and its applications, websites, and computer programs. In addition, it also covers software maintenance, where software engineers meet deadlines within a set budget for high-quality software. This degree is an advanced version of the master’s in web designing, where you can learn advanced applications and gain a comprehensive knowledge of all digital systems, including websites.
You can become a part of the thriving IT industry as a software engineer, software architect, or software developer.
The robust shift in industries across the globe set the pace for an increased demand for IT experts. The Tech industry has been continuously evolving while creating new roles every day. After gaining an IT degree, you can kickstart your career in the multidimensional technology industry with high financial growth. However, it would be best to explore various options before making a final choice to launch your career. It will help you pick the best option that aligns with your goals and interests.
The quality of a company’s brand is important, but the company’s physical presence is also crucial. The way your workplace is decorated sends a strong message to potential customers.
If you work in the creative sector, your workplace must reflect your innovative approaches to increase efficiency and output. Therefore, you must design a one-of-a-kind office space based on cutting-edge concepts that improve productivity in the office and leave a lasting impression on guests. When clients visit your workplace, they will immediately be able to see that you put thought and care into its design because of how different it looks from the competition.
Employees are more motivated and creative in a setting that inspires and delights the senses. As a result, they can increase their output and functionality.
6 Office Design Ideas for a Creative Business
Here are some suggestions on how individuals in the creative industries may lay out their workplaces to best showcase their capabilities via an office fit out.
Strive For Innovation
Since you work for a creative firm, you are expected to use cutting-edge equipment and strategies to create visually appealing spaces for employees.
If, for example, your company has several locations, a UHD video conferencing system may facilitate communication and collaboration across offices, resulting in more streamlined operations. Without having to deal with cumbersome phone conversations and texting, your employees can flawlessly collaborate and generate innovative concepts.
A nicely equipped lounge with cafe tables provides a comfortable space for staff to unwind during breaks. Put a screen here so that folks can relax and unwind with some entertainment. A lounge is great for teams to meet and collaborate on initiatives that best serve your clients.
Layout with Open Areas and Flexible Rooms
Creative workers often prefer quiet, enclosed offices where they can focus without distractions. However, when employees’ work depends on their ability to collaborate and communicate with one another, open office layouts might allow them to do so more effectively.
Therefore, it is more productive to provide people with creative roles in an organization with cubicles, pods, or workstations along a long table. To maximize the positive effects of natural light and teamwork in the workplace, arrange desks in a row along windows.
These days, a flexible, cutting-edge workplace welcomes a variety of employees and their various ways of working. Variable shift workstations, Zoom rooms that can be set up in minutes, and on-demand conference rooms help employees work when and how they like.
People who spend most of their time inside benefit greatly from access to natural light and good air quality in the workplace. It is becoming increasingly common for businesses to use green spaces such as sunbeds, breezeways, and indoor gardens when the weather is suitable. Patios, terraces, and picnic spaces are common features in modern office spaces, allowing workers to enjoy fresh air and sunshine throughout the workday. Establishing good feng shui in the workplace may also be accomplished in this fashion.
Further, preliminary studies of SAD and related mental health disorders revealed that exposure to natural light, greenery, mobility, and exercise were significant factors in patients’ reported improvements in mood. If a worker were to peek out a window, what would they see? The view and natural light are improved when landscaping is redone, and furniture is relocated away from windows so they don’t block them.
Having a peaceful place to be alone with one’s thoughts might be inspirational for workers who have been at home for a while and have just returned to the workplace. You may readily achieve this by reimagining smaller workplaces such that in addition to large communal areas, workers also have private sanctuaries where they can relax and think creatively.
Integrate User-Friendly Tech
Employees want their workday to go as smoothly and efficiently as other aspects of their lives. As a result, you should provide as much attention to the user experience of your staff as you do to that of your customers. There will be a significant decrease in output if your staff cannot effectively utilize the tools you provide. Put another way, it’s useless if it’s not user-friendly. In addition to a well-managed workplace, virtual collaboration technologies are critical to enhancing the user experience.
Better and Healthier Amenities
Healthy amenities are increasingly being included in the design of new office buildings. The availability of refreshment options like snack carts, cafés, high-end vending machines, and cooking facilities encourages workers to take a break and creates fantastic opportunities for impromptu dialogues that may lead to innovative solutions.