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.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that can alter how we think or behave. Specific symptoms include chronic difficulty focusing, hyperactivity, and problems with impulse control. There’s a strong connection between ADHD and substance addiction, which can make treating the co-occurring conditions challenging. Many adults who grew up with undiagnosed or untreated ADHD now live with the consequences of that delayed diagnosis or treatment, including increased risk for struggles with addiction. However, understanding how they work together can lead to successful treatment.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that addiction doesn’t discriminate. It affects people of all ages, careers, income brackets, and zip codes. Even if someone seemingly “has it all,” there’s no guarantee that everything is okay behind the scenes. If anything, one of the not-so-appealing perks of high-profile careers is the additional pressure — and the stress that accompanies it — to stay on top.
If you’re a professional athlete, all those years of training and competing can play into your sense of purpose. That work has been a part of you and your identity. So what happens when the game ends? How do you deal with the fading of the spotlight? Is there a way to regain vision and purpose in your life outside of your former career?
If you’ve done any research on therapy before, you might recognize the term Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). But what you might not know is that CBT, while beneficial for a range of mental health issues, has also been proven to be effective in treating addiction. In fact, it is widely used in substance use disorder treatment, often with great and lasting success.
It’s been one heck of a chaotic year for the world of American sports, one that most of us are unlikely to forget anytime soon. COVID-19 initiated lockdowns and event cancellations in March of last year, and every professional sports league has had to make its own decisions about how to proceed safely.