What I remember most from growing up in the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) generation was that those frightening school assembly testimonials were more than enough to motivate me to “say no” to drugs. As well-intentioned as the D.A.R.E. program was, it turns out their scare tactics, wealth of statistics, and refusal strategy for when someone is offered their first beer or joint didn’t work. Scientific American reported “no significant long-term improvement in teen substance abuse” in 30 subsequent evaluations after the first national study of D.A.R.E. was made public in 1994. Now, in stark contrast to the “just say no” mentality, the binge-watching contingent has been learning about the harrowing realities of addiction by watching Euphoria, a buzzy HBO show starring Gen Z icon Zendaya as Rue Bennett.
The noble concepts of diversity and inclusion have been in play since the mid-1960s, as cultural, social, and educational constructs — and systemic racism inherent in them — were confronted during the Civil Rights movement. Decades later, movements like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter brought nationwide attention to social injustices too reprehensible and rampant to ignore. As the digital age revolutionized global communication, social media gave victims and advocates a worldwide stage for demonstration.
Addiction recovery can seem like a lonely process. Especially if you attend a residential program where you take time away from your life, it can easily feel like you’re alone on this difficult journey to get well. In reality, you probably have many family members and friends who are eager to support you in your recovery process.
Tired of hearing, talking, and thinking about COVID, mask-wearing, social distancing, virus testing, work-life balance, and lockdowns? Burned out on hearing about COVID burnout? Emotionally exhausted by the mention of emotional exhaustion? You’re not alone. As we round the corner on two years of the coronavirus, many of us feel ground down by the cumulative effect of all of the changes the pandemic and our response to it have wrought. And even the mentally healthy among us have struggled with the constant stream of bad news, followed by hopeful news, followed by still more bad news.
The nature of work has changed in recent years, but workaholism is still as prevalent as ever. Why is this the case? Advances in technology promised us the ability to work less; but now that we can work from anywhere — and more people are working from home — our devices have made it more difficult to “turn off” work. In fact, in the digital age, it may be easier to be a workaholic without even knowing it. This new era of work has its advantages as well as its challenges. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of workaholism as we adjust to a world where the lines between home life and work life have blurred considerably.
We’ve all heard it said that money can’t buy happiness, but are you sure? Our society, culture, and economy together push the idea of buying things to bolster our mood and self-esteem, a message we’re often bombarded with. You could argue that several industries actually owe their existence to this pursuit (luxury goods, anyone?). But beyond the immediate charge of the purchase, it appears that, no, buying more stuff doesn’t equal more happiness. So, why do we keep trying?
The fight for mental health awareness has been a long one, and talking about mental health openly is one of the best ways to raise awareness. Unfortunately, one of the dangers of social media is that awareness can easily turn to glamorization. With all this talk of mental health online, it seems reasonable to ask, Has it become popular to be depressed?
In addition to establishing healthy habits as an individual, every person in recovery needs to learn how to have healthy relationships with family members and other loved ones. If addiction thrives in isolation, recovery thrives in community, and whether it’s our family of origin, or the family we’ve created, these loved ones are often the closest community we have. Addiction and recovery are extremely personal experiences. If you’ve experienced either, you know how isolating they can be. No matter what outside forces affect you, ultimately, you are the one responsible for your actions.
Mental health issues have come to the forefront in recent years. Approximately 51.5 million adults in the US reported having a mental illness in 2019 according to pre-pandemic data. The COVID-19 pandemic, having caused physical, emotional, and mental ramifications for people all over the world, has certainly increased that number. However, one cathartic result is that it has become more socially acceptable to become a mental health advocate by speaking up about conditions such as anxiety, depression, burnout, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Life changes, illnesses, and traumatic events can trigger anxiety that can be difficult to manage, opening up the potential for anxiety disorders. Here at The Meadows Malibu, we help many patients who are struggling in this area. Symptoms include excessive worrying and intense, sustained anxiousness and nervousness that extends beyond the typical kind of worry that is appropriate in life situations. This type of anxiety can interfere with day-to-day functioning and leave a person feeling consumed by fear and drained of energy.