naltrexone shot for medication assisted treatment

Self-Care in 2020: Investing in Mental Health

Mental health is one of the most underfunded areas of public health. However, almost 1 billion people worldwide struggle with a mental illness. Furthermore, 3 million people die from alcohol use disorder (AUD) every year. And sadly, 1 person dies every 40 seconds by suicide. And now, with billions around the world affected by Covid-19, the depth of mental health is coming to light. 

Unfortunately, very few people around have access to quality mental health care. For example, 75% of low-to-middle income countries have no treatment for mental, neurological, and substance use disorders (SUD). Furthermore, the stigma, discrimination, and human rights abuse is still a worldwide issue. 

What is World Mental Health Day?

World Mental Health Day is observed every year on October 10th. The overall focus is on the importance of mental health awareness and support around the world. On this day, experts and mental health stakeholders talk about their work and how to help people worldwide.

The Focus of International Mental Health Day 2020

The focus of International Mental Health Day 2020 is, Move for mental health: let’s invest. Dr. Daniels, President of WFMH, says, “ Now more than ever greater investment in mental health is needed to ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to mental healthcare. The under-investment in mental health has left large treatment gaps globally.” She also states, “ Mental health is an investment and not an expense and should be prioritized to avert a further catastrophe.”

International Mental Health Day: Commit to Your Mental Health

The World Mental Health Day campaign will offer online opportunities for each of us to support our mental health. We will also be given a chance to support our friends and families. If we are employers, we can put wellness programs in place. However, as governments, they are given a chance to swiftly up-scale mental health services within their country. Each person can step up and support the mental health of not only themself but for their neighbor.

Mental Health News: Facts and Stats

According to WHO, almost 450 million people worldwide live with mental disorders. However, the treatment gap is still large. In high-income countries, 50% of people still don’t have access to mental health treatment. In comparison, over 75% of people in low-to-middle income countries lack access to mental health care. 

According to WHO’s Mental Health Atlas 2014 survey, on average, 3% of a government’s health budget is spent on mental health. This percentage ranges from as high as 5% in high-income countries to less than 1% in low-income countries. However, to increase treatment, therapy, and antidepressant medication worldwide between 2016 and 2030 would only cost $147 billion U.S.

Even though it sounds like a lot of money, the return is greater than the cost. The WHO estimates that for every U.S.$1 invested in increasing mental health awareness, the return is $4 in improved health and productivity. But, despite the importance of mental health awareness, investment in mental health is not increasing. 

Mental Health News: Mental Health in the United States

According to the NIMH, there were over 46 million American adults with mental illness in 2017. That is almost 20% of U.S. adults. Other facts and mental health news to help better understand the importance of mental health awareness include:

  • Mental health is defined as a good mental state—for example, emotionally well and functions properly. 
  • Mental illness, or mental health disorder, affects mood, thinking, and behavior. 
  • Mental illness was most prevalent in young adults between 18 and 25. That is over 25%, according to the NIMH.
  • Over 11 million adults have a severe mental illness, such as major depression and schizophrenia. 
  • Severe mental illnesses left untreated often leads to suicide. Unfortunately, suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in 2018. Sadly, 48,000 people took their own life because of the lack of mental health care. 
  • In addition, suicide was the fourth leading cause in people between 25 and 54. While in 10 to 34-year-olds, it was the second leading cause of death.

As more and more people realize the importance of mental health awareness, the more people seek treatment. The NIMH also says that over 11 million Americans have a severe mental illness; over 66% received treatment. 

Effects of the Pandemic and the Importance of Mental Health Awareness

Before the pandemic, mental health issues across the globe were on the rise. However, the lockdowns in place to reduce Covid-19 and increased isolation also brought on depression and other mental health issues. On top of that, job loss and financial stress led to an increase in substance use

HRH Princess Iman Afzan Al-Sultan Abdullah of Malaysia, Patron of World Mental Health Day, says,

“While Covid-19 has increased the spotlight on mental health, the stocktaking of how greater access to mental healthcare can be improved must always be a continuous process. We can always do more to strengthen mental health response and support in our communities.” She also says, “These investments are not purely the government’s responsibility, nor should doctors be the only answer for those suffering. These investments are the responsibility of all. More importantly, they indicate that we ourselves are an untapped resource in mental healthcare.”

How Does International Mental Health Day Benefit the World?

Although WHO is hard at work every day, World Mental Health Day helps bring light to many of the world’s ongoing struggles. This year, 2020, the goal is to end the stigma and discrimination against mental illness. Specific mental health issues include:

About WHO: Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder

The World Health Organization has a whole department that focuses on preventing mental illness and substance use disorders. They also promote the expansion of access to affordable care to everyone. They especially focus on those in the poorest of countries. 

WHO’s Mental Health Unit leads the work in:

  • Mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian and public health emergencies
  • Care of mental disorders in specialized and non-specialized health care
  • Training of the mental health workforce
  • Research in psychological interventions
  • Mental health in the workplace
  • Suicide prevention
  • Mental health economics

WHO’s Alcohol, Drug, and Addictive Behaviors Unit benefits the world by:

  • Promote evidence-based policies, strategies, and interventions
  • Provide guidance and assistance on the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders
  • Gather data to enact changes in treatment development

International Mental Health Day: Organization Involvement

The World Health Organization

The World Health Organization is the global leader in public health within the United Nations. It was founded in 1948. WHO works to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable. They work with 194 Member States, across 6 regions of the world. They also have 150 global offices. 

The goals of WHO for 2019-2023 are:

  • Ensure a billion more people have universal health coverage
  • Protect a billion more from health emergencies
  • Provide a billion more people with better health and well-being 

United for Global Mental Health

United for Global Mental Health brings the government and the mental health community together in support of mental health. Their goal is to make sure everyone everywhere has access to mental health services. This not-for-profit group was launched in September 2018 at the UN. 

United for Global has a nationally driven globally united campaign known as Speak your Mind. Speak your Mind supports mental health for all. It brings together mental health experts and organizations to call on governments to focus on the importance of mental health awareness. They want world leaders to increase funding and education to end the neglect of mental health issues. 

19 countries involved in this campaign are Argentina, Australia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tonga, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The World Federation for Mental Health

The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) is an international membership organization. It was founded in 1948 to increase mental health awareness across the globe. WFMH focuses on preventing mental and emotional disorders and proper treatment for such disorders. 

5 Things to do on International Mental Health Day

  1. Educate yourself about mental health – The more you know about mental illness, the more you will be able to help yourself and your loved ones. 
  2. Advocate for wellness programs at work – If you don’t have a wellness program at work, it never hurts to ask about one. There are virtual programs available to employers. In addition, there are many meditation apps you can download.
  3. Practice kindness – It’s not that hard to be kind, right? No, however, it’s easy to get busy in our own lives and forget to be kind. So stop, look away from your phone and remember….a small act of kindness can change a person’s life. 
  4. Support friends and family – Many people who struggle with mental illness feel alone. So if you have a friend or family member struggling, reach out, let them know you are there. You don’t have to fix it. Just listen without judgment.
  5. Speak out about the importance of mental health awareness – Talk about it. As hard as it is, talking about your own mental health struggles helps lower the stigma around mental health. And who knows, you may encourage someone else to speak out. 

Find Help at Sana Lake Recovery Center 

If you or someone you love is struggling with a mental illness or substance use disorder, they are not alone. Our caring trained professionals are waiting to show you how we can help. Contact us today and start your path to a better life. 


stress and addiction

What are 5 Emotional Signs of Stress?

The saying is, “there is nothing guaranteed in life except death and taxes.” Well, stress should be on the list. Whether it is work, children, or bills, life is full of stress.  Learn what the 5 emotional signs of stress are and tips to help you de-stress

What is Stress?

Stress is your body’s way of responding to a threat or demand. Even if the danger is not real, your body will react rapidly. The body’s defense is a “fight-or-flight” reaction or the “stress response.”

Stress is not always a bad thing, and is your body’s way of protecting you. The stress response helps you stay alert, focused, and energetic. In an emergency, stress can save your life. Stress can give you the strength to defend yourself or help you avoid a car accident. 

Stress also helps you rise to challenges. During a presentation at work, stress keeps you on your toes. It enables you to focus during a test or in a game of chess. At some point, stress can start to affect your health, mood, and relationships.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by stress, then it is crucial to stop. Stop whatever you are doing and bring your nervous system back in balance. You can improve your thoughts and feelings by knowing the signs and symptoms of chronic stress. 

What are the Negative Effects of Chronic Stress?

Your nervous system does not know the difference between emotional and physical threats. Stress over an argument, bills, and work deadlines can cause your body to react the same as a life or death situation. The more your body stays in the “fight or flight” mode, the harder it is to find a healthy balance. 

If you are easily stressed and spend most of the day stressed out, it can lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress affects every system in the body. It suppresses your immune system, upsets the digestive system, and can lead to a stroke or heart attack. Chronic stress changes your brain and can lead to depression, anxiety, or more serious mental health issues. 

The Effects of Stress on Your Health

Stress can lead to a variety of health issues. It can also worsen existing health issues. These health issues can include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Sleep issues
  • Skin conditions
  • Digestive problems
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Heart disease
  • Cognitive issues
  • Reproductive issues

Stress not only affects physical health but mental health as well. But what are the 5 emotional signs of stress? Learn the signs that stress is taking its toll.

What Are 5 Emotional Signs of Stress?

When you stress out for long periods, you start exhibiting the emotional signs of stress. The feelings of stress can feed off each other, making you feel worse. When you know what 5 emotional signs of stress are, you can stop and find balance again. 


An estimated 40 million Americans are suffering from anxiety. Adding stress to already existing anxiety increases a person’s anxiety. It is common for those under chronic stress to develop anxiety from the pressure. 


Frustration comes from the feelings of a stressful situation. Not all stress leads to frustration, but chronic stress can. Not being able to control a situation or fix something can become overwhelming. And when it becomes too much, then frustration kicks in. And frustration leads to negative behaviors.


Anger can be an emotional sign of stress and can lead to high blood pressure and heart attacks. It can also lead to relationship issues. Some people react in anger without thinking. But the intensity of the anger will be based on how a person views what is happening. 


Sadness is a severe emotional sign of stress. A person can be so stressed out that all they can feel is sad. Sad that life isn’t going as planned. A sadness that they let everyone down. It is vital to seek treatment before the sadness turns to depression.


Many people become fearful when stress is high. We all know that fear is a product of being in danger. But, it can also be fearing messing up at work and being fearful of losing your job. Being afraid of losing your spouse due to the stress of a sick parent can also be scary. Fear can be life-altering unless you stop, relax, and find balance again. 

What Happens When Stress Is to Overwhelming?

Stress is dangerous because it sneaks up on you. You may not even notice how much it is affecting you. A little work stress, a little stress at home, is not a big deal. But, every day, a bit more stress gets added. And before you know it, the stress has become overwhelming. The physical and emotional effects of stress can cause serious health issues. 

Warning Signs That Stress Has Become Overwhelming

As stated, the effects of stress can harm the entire body. And the results can be long-lasting and require medical attention. Be aware of all the signs that stress has become overwhelming. 

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Constant worry
  • Anxious thoughts
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Poor judgment
  • Memory problems
  • Inability to focus

Emotional Symptoms

  • Isolation or loneliness
  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Moody
  • Overwhelmed
  • Other mental health issues

Physical Symptoms

  • Body aches and pains
  • Stomach issues
  • Dizziness or nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Low sex drive
  • Frequent colds

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Change in eating patterns
  • Change in sleeping patterns
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Ignoring responsibilities
  • Nervous habits
  • Angry outbursts
  • Use of drugs or alcohol

Stress at work is recognized worldwide as a major issue. If you have a high-stress job, it is vital to watch for the above signs of stress overload. 

First Responder and the Effects of Stress

According to a 2017 report by CareerCast, firefighters have the second most stressful job in America. And police officers have the fourth most stressful job. The chronic stress of first responders is the leading cause of death. The pressure can lead to heart disease, cancer, stroke, or depression. 

First responders not only run into fires, but they also respond to every accident. If the paramedics are on the scene, so are the firefighters. A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Institute (NCBI) shows that accident scenes are more stressful than fighting fires. 

First responders love their job. They make lifetime friends and save people’s lives. But, they are always on duty. Their brains replay accident scenes and fires that didn’t end well. And they live with the fear that something can go wrong. 

5 Stressors First Responders Don’t Talk About

  1. The weight of responsibility is crushing. On the outside, a first responder looks calm and collected. But on the inside, the burden can be crushing them mentally. 
  2. They are not born knowing how to be a first responder. A person may love the thought of saving lives. But, it takes training to know how. Training never stops. There is always new technology to learn.
  3. The fear of failure is the biggest fear of first responders. They respond to emergencies with confidence. So the public views them as invincible. But, in the quiet moments, first responders fear the what if’s. Failure is their biggest fear.
  4. They know the risk of cancer is high. When things burn, they emit toxins. The toxins are present even after the fire is out. Firefighters are exposed to cancer-causing toxins daily. 
  5. First responders see the worse things imaginable. They prepare themself to see death, disfigurement, and sights the general public can’t imagine. The images begin to destroy them mentally. PTSD is high in first responders because of what they see. 

Even though it’s evident that first responders have high-stress jobs, it doesn’t diminish the stress level of another career. Many jobs and careers are stressful. How you handle stress is the biggest concern. Many people turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with it. Drugs and alcohol do not help. They only add stress and lead to addiction.

Stress and Addiction

Addiction is a chronic brain disease. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports in 2014, one in every 12 American adults suffered from addiction. Stress is a big reason people use substances like drugs and alcohol. But, they are a temporary relief and lead to substance use disorder and addiction. 

Stress is a leading cause of addiction. Stress and addiction feed off each other. And can cause problems at work and in relationships. Stress and addiction can also lead to other co-occurring mental and physical health problems. 

Co-occurring Stress and Addiction

Co-occurring mental disorders are common in addiction. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports, a third to half of the individuals with mental health issues battle addiction and vice versa. Self-medicating to cope with stress or other psychiatric disorders is risky. 

In 2018 9.2 million American adults suffered a co-occurring mental health disorder and addiction. It is so common therapists screen each individual for all co-occurring diseases and addiction.

Stats on Stress and Addiction

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) studied the effects of stress and addiction. In humans and animals, stress leads the brain to release a peptide. The increase of peptide causes a pattern of responses. Individuals with chronic stress are prone to using substances and addiction. 

  • Exposure to stress increases the use of drugs and alcohol.
  • People with opiate addiction and high levels of stress will continue to use it. 
  • Chronic stress can lead to using substances even if a person has never used it before.
  • Chronic stress can impair memory and cognitive function.
  • Stress can increase cravings for cocaine and alcohol. 
  • The lack of coping skills increases the chance of relapse. 

You need to have excellent coping skills for stress and addiction. Treatment for both stress and addiction is a great way to build healthy coping skills. But, there are things you can do outside of therapy to help cope with stress without turning to drugs and alcohol.

Tips for Coping With Stress

Get up and moving

Regular exercise can ease stress. It can stop negative thoughts and worries. Make it fun. Involve friends and family and play a game of touch football. Sweat the stress away.

Connect with others.

Suppose you are feeling overwhelmed by stress talk to someone. Talking about it takes away it’s power. Talking to a friend and seeing a smile, calms the nervous system. 

Engage your senses.

A fast way to relieve stress is by alerting another one of your senses. Maybe it is a happy song or the smell of fresh coffee. Everyone responds differently, so experiment to find what works. 


Stress is going to happen. But you can control how it affects you. Yoga, meditation, and breathing techniques activate relaxation responses. Learning to relax can reduce how you respond to stress.

Eat a healthy diet

Your mood is affected by the food you eat. When you are in a bad mood, stress is difficult to handle. A diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, and protein can help cope with stress.

Get lots of rest.

A good night’s sleep is crucial to thinking and coping with the day. But, chronic stress can interfere with sleep. Using a combination of the above tips can help you get a good night’s sleep.

Treatment of Stress and Addiction

Stress has a strong role in addiction, so it essential for treatment to address stress management and addiction. Many therapy programs already involve stress management. Behavioral therapies focus on the treatment of both stress and addiction.

Behavioral therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps you recognize behavior patterns and your response to situations. By understanding these patterns, you can make changes to correct the behaviors and responses. Changing behaviors is crucial for handling stress and avoiding the use of drugs and alcohol

Support groups and 12-step groups are great for helping fight addiction. These groups hold you accountable for your actions and behaviors. At the same time, these groups decrease stress levels with human contact and fun activities. 

Stress and Addiction Treatment at Sana Lake Recovery Center

Has overwhelming stress in your life led you to use drugs and alcohol to cope? If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction, we can help. Contact us today and get started on your path to a better life. 


boderline personality in teens

Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder in Teens

Personality disorders come in all shapes and sizes. They affect how we interact with people every day and our entire lives as a result. About 1.6% of adults in the U.S. suffer from borderline personality disorder. As much as they can take a toll on adults, they can affect teens as well. 

Although it can be common for teens to feel moody, have angry outbursts, and withdraw from social activities, persistent happenings could mean that your child has borderline personality disorder. Sana Lake Recovery Center clinicians can help you treat this mental health disorder and help both teens and adults manage their symptoms. 

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) affects the way you feel and think about yourself and others. This can negatively impact how you function every day. People with BPD often have trouble maintaining relationships and have a poor self-image. 

This mental disorder can have a significant effect on many areas of your life, not just relationships. If you have BPD, you’ll most likely have difficulty holding down a job or completing school. You’re also likely to easily get into fights or have sudden surges of anger, and you might even have psychotic episodes in which you hear voices. 

Borderline Personality Disorder in Teens 

If a teen has borderline personality disorder, it can affect their relationships, emotion regulation, and identity. This can lead them to suffer in school and their social lives. It’s already tough being a teenager in today’s society. Having a mental health disorder on top of that would be even more difficult to deal with. This is why treatment for borderline personality disorder in teens is crucial.

Studies show that rates of borderline personality disorder in teens are higher than in adults. This could be because of the fact that teens can display signs of BPD when they’re stressed. However, they usually recover from these situations.

A BPD diagnosis can happen in early adulthood when it will be at its worst. Fortunately, it can improve as you get older. Knowing the signs and symptoms of borderline personality disorder and detecting them early can help your condition. People who receive treatment early enough can eventually lead satisfying and fulfilling lives. 

Signs and Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

The symptoms and signs of borderline personality disorder can vary in teens and adults. The four main signs of any personality disorder in teens are as follows:

  • Problematic emotional responses
  • Difficulty interacting socially in relationships
  • Trouble controlling impulses
  • Distorted perception and thinking

Signs of borderline personality disorder include:

  • Extreme mood swings
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Intense and inappropriate feelings of anger (having physical fights, losing your temper)
  • Rapid changes in self-image (shifting values and goals)

Symptoms of borderline personality disorder include:

  • Impulsive behavior
  • Trouble maintaining relationships
  • Believing that change means failure
  • Suicidal thoughts and tendencies
  • Fear of being alone
  • Unstable sense of self

Borderline Personality Disorders and Addiction in Teens

Having borderline personality disorder as a teenager is bad enough. Combine that with substances like drugs and alcohol, and you could have a more serious situation on your hands. Teens with BPD who are feeling upset or the urge to isolate themselves might turn to substances for comfort. Although this can provide temporary relief, it won’t make your symptoms go away for good.

Co-occurring disorders, or dual diagnosis, requires a specific type of treatment in which both disorders are managed at the same time. Sana Lake offers dual diagnosis treatment for our members with an addiction and a mental health disorder. 

Risk Factors of Borderline Personality Disorder in Teens

Although it’s unclear what exactly causes borderline personality disorder in teens and adults, it can develop due to a few risk factors. Be on the lookout for any of these in your teens so that you can get them help as soon as possible. 

  • Family history. If one of your parents or siblings has BPD, you’re at risk for developing it as well.
  • Childhood trauma. People with BPD say they were physically or sexually abused as children, or they had parents who weren’t around physically or mentally. They tend to have unstable family relationships as well. 
  • Abnormalities in the brain. Those with aggression and impulsivity can have abnormalities in their brains that cause BPD to develop. Other chemicals like serotonin, which helps regulate mood, might not work properly in the brains of people with BPD. 
  • Genetics. Studies have shown that people with borderline personality disorder have family members with other types of mental health disorders.  

Can Personality Disorders Be Diagnosed Before Age 18?

Experts have debated this question for many years. The general consensus is that these disorders shouldn’t be diagnosed in teens before they’re 18 because their personalities aren’t fully formed yet. However, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders states that they can be diagnosed before 18, provided that teens meet certain criteria.

Symptoms of personality disorder must be present for more than a year, and they must be “pervasive, persistent and unlikely to be limited to a particular developmental stage.” The frontal lobe becomes fully mature at age 25, so some doctors feel that signs of BPD will disappear at that point. 

Treatment for Personality Disorders in Teens

There are several beneficial treatments for borderline personality disorder in teens at Sana Lake. Our trained and licensed therapists can give your child comfort and teach them new skills for improving their relationships. 

Below are just a few treatments available for our members with borderline personality disorder. Talk to our licensed professionals to see which one is best for your child.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dr. Marsha M. Linehan developed dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) specifically to treat borderline personality disorder. DBT is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that focuses on improving your relationships, as this is a common deficiency of BPD. When you enroll in DBT, you learn how to communicate better and control your emotions by using these four techniques:

  • Emotional regulation: Learning to regulate, change, and identify your feelings
  • Core mindfulness: Accepting your life as it is right now, and learning how to live in the moment
  • Interpersonal effectiveness: Helping you become more assertive in your relationships
  • Distress tolerance: Trusting your current situation and learning how to healthily handle stressful situations

DBT consists of individual and group sessions as well as phone coaching, and it can also treat many other personality disorders and even addiction. After completing DBT, you will be better able to accept and change behaviors. 

Dialectical behavior therapy is one of the most effective treatments for borderline personality disorder, and it’s used at many rehab centers. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This method of talk therapy is popular for treating mental disorders, including BPD. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that could have contributed to your borderline personality disorder. 

CBT therapists believe that your actions can be attributed to the thoughts and feelings that you have in the moment. Through skill-building exercises and role-playing, you’ll learn more positive behaviors that you can use to control your borderline personality disorder.

Family Therapy

When your teen is diagnosed with BPD, it might be difficult and frustrating to understand it. Attending family therapy will provide you with a better comprehension of this disorder, and it will help your child learn how to effectively communicate with you. 

Mentalization-Based Therapy

This type of therapy emphasizes the belief that you should think before you react. helps you identify your feelings and thoughts at any moment, and it will also help you create a different perspective on your current situation. 

Transference-Focused Psychotherapy (TFP)

TFP, also known as psychodynamic psychotherapy helps you understand interpersonal difficulties as well as your emotions. Once you’ve learned how to do this with your therapist, you can apply this to your current situations.


There aren’t any medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration that treat borderline personality disorder, but there are other depression medications you can take. Other medications can help with aggression, anxiety, and anxiety. 

No matter what treatment you pursue for borderline personality disorder in teens, any one of these will help you on your road to recovery. Learning how to manage your behaviors and accept change will take time and work. You’ll likely encounter some obstacles along the way, but with time, your life will improve drastically. 

For more severe cases of borderline personality disorder in teens, we offer different levels of treatment at our Behavioral Wellness Center: 

We also offer young adult rehab for our teens with borderline personality disorder.

Get Help for Borderline Personality Disorder Today

Our staff at Sana Lake Recovery Center is experienced in treating borderline personality disorder in teens. We can provide your child with the tools and skills they need to overcome this mental disorder and start living the life they deserve. 

If you or someone you know has borderline personality disorder, contact us today to see what we can do for you and your family. You have the power to overcome your mental illness. Reach out today and get started!


ptsd awareness day

PTSD Awareness Day

PTSD is a mental health disorder than many find themselves being vaguely familiar with, and it is more common than some are led to believe. However, that is not to say that everyone is aware of it. Most people aren’t even certain of what PTSD is when it comes to the specifics. 

June 27th 2020 is National PTSD Awareness Day. Due to this spotlight on PTSD, lets learn more about this mental illness and how it affects many Americans.  

What is PTSD?

PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Usually, when people think of PTSD, they assume it means the development of poor mental health as a result of some sort of trauma. On the surface, they are correct, but there’s much more to it than being defined as an anxiety disorder. This has all to do with the weight of the conflict that has influenced the behavioral change. 

PTSD occurs as a result of a traumatic or life-threatening experience. Some of these experiences commonly include war, sexual assault/use, physical assault/use, accidents, and natural disasters. This is due in large part to the impact of stress on the autonomic nervous system, which pertains to internal organs. 

These include the following:

  • Blood vessels
  • Stomach
  • Intestines
  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Bladder
  • Genitals
  • Lungs
  • Pupils
  • Heart
  • Sweat glands
  • Salivary glands
  • Digestive glands

Stress also affects the endocrine system (which regulates metabolism, mood, sex drive, sleep, and other hormones) and the immune system (biological defense system protecting against disease). The autonomic nervous, endocrine, and immune systems are all dependent on one another; because stress has a massive impact on each of these, the way we perceive and process trauma is distorted. 

Symptoms of PTSD

Some symptoms of PTSD may include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Tiredness
  • Sweating
  • High blood pressure
  • Low blood pressure
  • Trouble digesting food

Due to the fact that our body’s reaction to stress is largely dependent on our perception of it, it is imperative to understand why and under which circumstances we become stressed. When our bodies are responding to stressful situations, there are large amounts of inflammatory hormones that make their way into our bodies. This makes it possible for even the memory of a traumatic event to have a catastrophic impact on our emotions and regular functions.

The Dangers of PTSD on the Brain

There have been extensive amounts of research done to highlight the impact that PTSD has on the human brain. Some studies have shown that the region of the brain referred to as the amygdala processes both fear and other emotions. When PTSD strikes, the amygdala shrinks as a result. When the amygdala shrinks, it becomes more difficult to process fear and other emotions. 

PTSD by the Numbers

The first time PTSD was ever regarded was during the Civil War. Additionally, it was given attention in World War I, but until the 1980s, it was not officially acknowledged as a legitimate mental health disorder, at least by the American Psychiatric Association. Fast forward a few years later, and not only is it understood better, but it’s also taken much more seriously. There are massive amounts of research being done to help combat PTSD. 

The National Center for PTSD suggests that 5% of men and 10% of women in the US will develop PTSD in their lifetime. To put these numbers into perspective, it represents somewhere between the 6 and 7 million adults that are suffering from this mental illness today. It is imperative to remember, however, that adults aren’t the only ones that will develop PTSD. Children as just as much at risk as adults are.

If you think that’s a lot, you may want to brace yourself; that number is going to increase exponentially. This is largely due to all of the terrible things happening in the world at the current moment. PTSD tends to show up right after a traumatic experience. PTSD has no respect for time; in short, it can manifest itself years after trauma has been experienced. 

In addition to all of this, one of the most common groups people associate PTSD with is the military, and it makes sense. However, it’s only getting worse. 30% of men and women in active warzones develop PTSD sooner or later in their lives. 

These rates vary on many factors, some of which include the following:

  • The branch of the military in which they served
  • Participation in active combat
  • Whether they were enlisted or an officer
  • Experiencing sexual assault

How Common is PTSD?

PTSD is vastly present in the United States. 1 in every 13 people will develop PTSD in their lives. This is a scary thought to consider. Some or all of these individuals account for the nearly three-quarters of American adults to have experienced a traumatic event in their lives at least once. Of this number, half are women, and more than half are men (50% women, 60% men). This all accounts for 8 million people in total.

In addition to all of this, there are more stats that reflect the severity of PTSD in the US:

  • More than 13 million people in the US have PTSD at any given time
  • 3.6% of adults in the US suffer from PTSD every year
  • 10% of women will develop PTSD in their lifetime as opposed to 4% of men
  • Women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD
  • Nearly half of all rape victims will develop PTSD
  • 32% of severe physical assault victims develop PTSD
  • Nearly 17% of people who experience a serious car accident develop PTSD
  • 15% of shooting or stabbing victims develop PTSD
  • Those who suffer from the sudden death of a loved one can develop PTSD
  • Parents whose children suffer from a life-threatening disease may suffer from PTSD
  • 7.3% of those who witness a murder experience PTSD
  • Close to 4% of those who suffer from a natural disaster develop PTSD

PTSD and Substance Use Disorder

Those who are at risk of developing PTSD or any other sort of mental illness usually cling closely to certain coping mechanisms. Some of these coping mechanisms include drug or alcohol misuse. When people start doing this, their problems become much more serious. Alcohol has the capability to worsen depression, anxiety, and any other sort of mental illness due in large part to the fact that alcohol is a central nervous system depressant.  

Oftentimes, substance use disorder is connected to PTSD, and this isn’t at all unusual. PTSD and other mental health disorders are extremely difficult to go through. Sometimes, it’s easiest to look towards unhealthy coping mechanisms like drug or alcohol use. This all eventually leads to co-occurring disorders.

Dual Diagnosis

Those looking for PTSD treatment are 14 times more likely to also be diagnosed with a substance use disorder. This is an example of a dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis is when someone is suffering from a mental health disorder and substance use disorder at the same time. 

This does not mean that because someone is suffering from substance use disorder, they have to also suffer from PTSD, nor does it mean that anyone suffering from PTSD will definitely suffer from substance use disorder as a result. Dual diagnosis should be understood as the co-occurrence of two behavioral disorders. 

When individuals are suffering from a mental health disorder, it is natural to feel lonely or isolated. This is perhaps one of the worst parts about mental illness. Not many people understand it. There are many who try to fix individuals without first hearing them and seeking to understand them. Because of this, those individuals feel isolated and sad, frustrated, or aggravated, and they tend to cope using methods like alcohol or drug use

Self-medicating could be one reason that people who suffer from PTSD are also suffering from substance use disorder. When dealing with a mental illness that’s as severe as PTSD, it can be difficult to manage the pain. Sometimes, it’s scary to seek professional help and much easier to try solving the problem yourself. As a result, people become dependent on a substance to numb their pain, and then addiction becomes a problem. 

Those who suffer from PTSD and substance use disorder are more likely to use alcohol than any other substance. Not only that, but studies have shown that those who have served in the military who have a tendency to drink heavily are more likely to suffer from mental illnesses such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Some of these individuals who are diagnosed with PTSD suffer from binge drinking, a form of substance use disorder. 

Sana Lake is Here to Help

Here at Sana Lake Recovery, our goal is to meet each individual where they are rather than trying to fit them in a mold. There’s not a method of treatment that works for every single person successfully. This is why we put a huge emphasis on individualized care. 

PTSD is not an easy road to walk down. There are many who aren’t aware of its destructive nature, nor do they care to understand. Here at Sana Lake, however, we are here to listen and meet your needs. If you or a loved one are suffering from PTSD or any other mental illness and would like to find out more, contact us here

Dual Diagnosis: Is Your Alcoholism Caused By a Mental Illness? Key Indications it Could Be

The truth of the matter is, drinking alcohol is considered a social norm, but can easily become the beginning of the road to alcohol abuse. While people do not have the intention of abusing alcohol when they first start to drink, alcoholism often occurs as a result of continual binge drinking. As a depressant, people turn to alcohol for various reasons, and either become dependent very quickly or for others, it takes longer. In whatever case, it is important to know, that alcohol dependence can lead down a very dark path, leading to serious life-changing complications. 

Nearly 17 million American adults in the United States have an alcohol-related problem, meaning having a dependency or addiction to alcohol, otherwise known as an alcohol use disorder (AUD) or alcoholism. Research conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), states that approximately 88,000 people die annually from alcoholism-related causes that could have been prevented. 

In fact, alcoholism is the third leading cause of preventable deaths throughout the United States. Let these statistics sink in. This means, that those people suffering could have received help for their addiction, but couldn’t or it was too late.

How Do I Know if I’m an Alcoholic? 

If you or a loved one is experiencing these symptoms outlined by the DSM-V, they more than likely qualify as being an alcoholic. These include:

  • Drinking excessively for a longer period of time than intended.
  • Incapable of cutting back on the amount consumed.
  • Becoming or making yourself sick due to drinking too much.
  • Inability to function or concentrate without craving alcohol. 
  • Inability to carry out important tasks, such as caring for family, holding down a job, or going to school. 
  • Continuing to drink despite strained relationships with friends or family.
  • Convincing others to also drink. 
  • Pushing away from activities or people that were once important. 
  • Finding yourself in dangerous or harmful situations because of drinking. 
  • Continuously drinking and blacking out despite it causing depression, anxiety, and other health problems. 
  •  Drinking more because you are dependent and tolerant of it. 
  •  You are experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these statements above, it is best to start seeking help from a professional alcohol treatment center, the earlier the better. Sana Lake Recovery Center in Dittmer, Missouri can help you recover so that you can live a long-term healthy and sober lifestyle. 

What is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis also referred to as co-occurring disorders are when substance abuse and a mental health disorder occur simultaneously. It is extremely important to note, that mental health can be caused by excessive drinking, or those with an already existing mental disorder, such as anxiety or depression, oftentimes turn to alcohol as their substance of choice, to suppress and numb what they are feeling. 

When there is a dual diagnosis present, a person who has substance abuse can have multiple conditions, and vice versa. For example, a functioning alcoholic can suffer from bipolar disorder, heroin or crack addict can have clinical depression, the combinations are endless. According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 7.9 million people in the United States experience co-disorders, most commonly men, 4.1 million of them to be exact. The symptoms of dual diagnosis include: 

  • Isolation from loved ones, family and friends
  • Denial to get help
  • Extreme changes in mood, becoming increasingly irritable, angry, or anxious
  • Changes in appetite, such as eating more or less than usual
  • Losing motivation and energy
  • Noticeable loss in focus or completing everyday tasks 
  • Neglecting personal or professional responsibilities
  • Trying to justify drinking excessively 

An individual with co-occurring disorders, for example, depression, are more likely to be the one to drink alcohol, as a means of self-medicating to get rid of negative thoughts and feelings of helplessness. Specific research has shown that while excessive drinking does not produce behavioral conditions, alcohol consumption exacerbates the symptoms of mental illness, making it increasingly more difficult to treat. 

Alcoholism and Mental Illness are Linked 

Alcoholism and mental illness are linked but in various ways. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that about one-third of individuals who are struggling with alcohol abuse problems, also suffer from a mental illness. This is called a dual diagnosis. While this is very true, it is not always the case, as everyone and their level of addiction are different. 

Mental illness is defined as a condition that affects a person’s mood, thinking, emotions, and behavior. These conditions often affect someone’s ability to function properly and maintain normal relationships with others. There are various types and levels of mental illness, which affect each person with one, differently. The most common mental health conditions that occur when abusing alcohol and other substances include:

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Clinical Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Dementia
  • Attention Deficit Disorder/Hyperactivity (ADD)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) 

As mental illness affects a person’s ability to function, in addition to thinking and feeling properly, so does drinking alcohol, excessively. Addiction is a mind-altering disease, so when that addiction is alcohol, as a depressant, it impairs and slows down one’s central nervous system (CNS), where the vital parts of the brain — mainly its physical and psychological activity become significantly reduced. 

It is evident that alcohol especially worsens the symptoms of mental illnesses, and therefore treatment by professionals who specialize in mental disorders and addiction is of utmost importance. While help is needed for addicts suffering from alcoholism and a mental disorder, oftentimes, dual diagnosis goes undiagnosed and untreated for long periods of time, which is greatly responsible for the increase in the rate of relapses.

Truth is, dual diagnosis is the key to a patient’s successful recovery. While addiction relates to trauma, anxiety, depression, and biochemical imbalances in the brain, addicts usually attempt to regulate or relieve their pain by using and abusing substances of their choice. Dual diagnosis combines both the factors or symptoms of addiction so that a patient can be treated properly and be on the road to recovery, to ultimately live a healthy and sober lifestyle

The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health

There is no doubt that there is an ongoing stigma surrounding mental health, one that medical professionals or those suffering have been trying to put to rest. It is important to realize that while some individuals may be open about struggling with substance abuse and addiction, others deny having a problem at all, which is a common reaction for various reasons. People struggling with both alcohol abuse and a mental disorder view their predicament as a failure and an embarrassment.

As a result, people are afraid to admit they have a problem, which is detrimental on all levels, but it happens all the time, and unfortunately, sometimes too late. Alcoholism and mental health is a sensitive subject. In cases such as these, it may be beneficial to discuss the matter with an alcohol counselor or treatment specialist. Denial and ignoring this severe problem will only cause further complications and take complete control over a person’s life. 

How is Dual Diagnosis Treated?

Getting help is the first step, and the sooner the better. Early diagnosis equals successful outcomes in the medical world. In other words, the sooner that symptoms of dual diagnosis are recognized and treated properly, the greater the chance for long-term recovery. 

The idea that both a substance abuse problem, such as alcoholism, and having a mental disorder need to be treated separately is outdated. Today, co-occurring disorders are often treated together. The goal during treatment for dual diagnosis is to understand the ways each condition; alcoholism and depression, for example, affect one another, and how treatment can be most effective. 

During treatment for dual diagnosis, you and your treatment provider will sit down and go through what is called the intake or medically-assisted detox. This comprehensive process allows the treatment center to get to know the patient as a whole, by doing a psychological assessment and gathering medical history. This allows specialists to be able to administer the right form of treatment, tailoring it to each patient’s needs, as everyone and their situations are different. Here are the most common methods used to treat co-occurring disorders: 

  • Inpatient Rehab: A person experiencing both this dangerous combination of substance abuse and mental illness may benefit from entering into an inpatient rehabilitation center. Inpatient rehab is also known as residential treatment, where individuals will live at the facility and receive treatment from medical and mental health professionals around the clock. Inpatient rehab provides support, therapy, and health services to best treat the alcohol use disorder (AUD, mental disorder, and its underlying cause. 
  • Outpatient Rehab: A person with a dual diagnosis often benefits from entering an outpatient rehab after living in inpatient rehab for an extended period of time. However, everyone’s treatment journey is different. Outpatient programs allow patients to recover from their co-occurring disorders while living a more independent life at home. People will not live at the facility like in inpatient, but will still attend hours of treatment several times each week, participating in various programs and support groups. With the help of treatment specialists, aside from attending groups and programs, they will also learn the necessary coping skills to learn how to best deal with their mental health in everyday situations. Most addiction treatment centers also offer intensive outpatient programs (IOP) for those who need extreme treatment.
  • Detoxification: The first part of the comprehensive treatment plan before being admitted into a rehabilitation center is called detox. Trained medical staff will monitor a person and start to wean them off their substance of choice, in this case, alcohol until it is removed entirely from the bloodstream. Withdrawals will occur, but the goal is to lessen symptoms and the effect it has on the body. Once detox is complete, the person will be admitted into an inpatient or outpatient program to continue their journey to recovery.

Sana Lake Can Help You Recover

At Sana Lake Recovery Center, our specialists know how to treat both substance abuse and mental health disorders simultaneously. We will examine both the addiction side and mental health side, and as a result, administer the right treatment plan to treat both in hopes of having an optimal outcome of sobriety.  

We are a world-class facility, where our approach is individually based, as we recognize everyone’s situations and needs are different. Our specialists pride ourselves in providing the most effective personalized treatment plan for our patient’s suffering from both substance abuse issues, such as alcoholism, and co-occurring mental health issues. We will evaluate each person’s needs to determine what program would benefit the most, in addition to providing them with the basic lifestyle and coping skills, and other tools they need to live a high-quality of life. 

If are suffering from alcohol abuse and a mental disorder, here at Sana Lake, we specialize in dual diagnosis and understand the challenges and fears that you are facing while overcoming alcohol abuse. While it is not easy to stop using a substance that you have been dependent on, our compassionate team is dedicated to helping save and change our patient’s lives for the better. You are not alone! To get help today, contact us in Dittmer, MO today.