Monthly Archives: June 2024

Man with yellow shirt sits looking at the camera, concerned look on his face wondering if Xanax for anxiety is a good option for him

Xanax for Anxiety: Is It a Good Long-Term Solution?

Prescribing Xanax for anxiety is still the most common medication route for most cases. But that wasn’t always the case. Xanax is the commercial term for a drug called Alprazolam.

When a person begins taking Xanax, it might help them feel calmer and reduce some symptoms of anxiety within 30 minutes.  This is a big reason people choose to stick with it. It helps in the moment. You can get a calmer head about you to make decisions.

Anxiety is a complex condition with a multifaceted treatment plan. But understanding Xanax for anxiety can be a small piece of that puzzle.

Understanding Xanax for Anxiety and Its Treatment

You might feel alone in your anxiety, constant fears, and overthinking. But the reality is anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues around the world. This is not to make light of anxiety. It should make us look at it with more gravity.

Anxiety is a worldwide issue that is causing anguish around the world every single day.

The symptoms mostly feel like excessive worry, tension, and nervousness, but it is incessant. There seems to be no reprieve, and for some people, it becomes debilitating. It’s tough to even get out of bed and take on life’s daily tasks.

Types of Medications for Anxiety

There are several classes of medications used to treat anxiety:

  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): These medications help increase serotonin levels, and they are often the first line of treatment.
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs): These also affect serotonin and norepinephrine levels to alleviate anxiety symptoms.
  • Benzodiazepines: These are fast-acting medications used for short-term relief. This is where Xanax for anxiety falls.
  • Buspirone: A non-benzodiazepine that can be used for generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Beta-Blockers: Often used to manage physical symptoms of anxiety, such as rapid heart rate.

Xanax for Anxiety: Long-term Results

Xanax is a benzodiazepine that enhances the effect of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which helps to produce a calming effect. It is often prescribed for Short-Term Relief. Xanax is effective in providing immediate relief from severe anxiety symptoms.

People still use it for the long haul, but again, it is to help with immediate symptoms. In the list above, medications such as SSRIs are often preferred. However, how helpful short-term relief can be in a person’s life shouldn’t be understated.

That moment of being able to calm yourself and take your thoughts back can turn your entire aspect around.

The Drawbacks of Long-Term Xanax Use

While Xanax can be a lifesaver during acute anxiety episodes, long-term use can lead to several issues:

  • Dependence and Tolerance: Over time, your body may become dependent on Xanax, requiring higher doses to achieve the same effect.
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Stopping Xanax abruptly can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, including increased anxiety, insomnia, and seizures.
  • Cognitive Impairment: Long-term use of Xanax can affect memory and cognitive function.
  • Sedation and Coordination Issues: Xanax can cause drowsiness and impair motor skills, increasing the risk of accidents.

Alternatives to Xanax

For those seeking long-term solutions for anxiety, consider these alternatives:

  • Therapy: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and other forms of therapy can provide lasting strategies for managing anxiety.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and adequate sleep can significantly reduce anxiety.
  • Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Practices like meditation, yoga, and deep-breathing exercises can help manage stress and anxiety.
  • SSRIs and SNRIs: These medications can be more suitable for long-term anxiety management.
  • Herbal Supplements: Some find relief with supplements like valerian root, kava, and chamomile, though it’s essential to consult a healthcare provider before use.

A Holistic Approach to Anxiety Treatment

Treating anxiety effectively often requires a combination of strategies. A holistic program might include:

  • Medication: For immediate relief and as needed.
  • Therapy: To address underlying issues and develop coping mechanisms.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Incorporating exercise, healthy eating, and sleep hygiene.
  • Mindfulness Practices: Engaging in activities that promote relaxation and mental well-being.

Getting Help Anxiety’s Root Issues

Anxiety does result from chemical imbalances in your brain. This is why medication can help. But there is more. Certain types of talk therapy and groups are proven to make a difference in people with anxiety.

Tailor-made treatment is one of the key factors. The most important factor is getting help from a qualified mental health program that takes the time to understand your unique needs. It is too easy to prescribe medication.

Real treatment is multifaceted and understands this holistic approach to mental health wellness.

If this approach sounds like it could work for you or someone you love, call Lido Wellness in Newport Beach, California, today at 949-541-8466.

This entry was posted in Anxiety Treatment on by .
A calming scene with essential oils for depression on a stump, at the center, surrounded by eucalyptus leaves

Using Essential Oils for Depression

Feeling sad from time to time is one thing. But when we talk about depression, we refer to a specific diagnosis—one that is chronic and disrupts life. It is a complex condition, and it is more common than many realize—affecting millions worldwide. And the environment has a lot to do with it. This is where essential oils for depression come in.

But we will get to that shortly.

Biologically, depression can often be explained by an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These chemicals affect our moods, our energy levels, and even our ability to have fun.

When they are not firing like they are supposed to, we may feel persistent sadness, inability to find motivation, difficulty concentrating, and plenty more.

Genetics, hormonal imbalances, chronic stress, and more can also influence depression.

The Environment’s Role in Depression

While our genetics lay the groundwork, how we interact with the world around us makes a difference. Environmental depression is a reality. Even the seasons can influence our chemistry to experience depression when the sun is gone (or even when the sun is out too much).

Indeed, the environment is a significant factor. Stress, lack of social support or friends, simply being in a stressful environment—all of these can impact your depression levels. Respectively, when these things are good (at least to you), they can help reduce depression symptoms.

This is also environmental. Working in a room with open windows and good lighting, a clean, spacious space, being in the woods, or seeing the ocean outside your window can help.

Essential Oils for Depression

So what are they? Essential oils are concentrated extracts from plants known for their fragrance and environmental properties. They have been used for centuries in various cultures for their healing properties. But can they really help with depression? Let’s take a closer look.

How Essential Oils Impact Your Body

Your nose is connected to your brain. That much is obvious: sending signals and receiving them. But more specifically, your nose (the olfactory system) is connected to the limbic system in your brain. This is where emotions, memories, and even arousal are.

It should ring true to you. Certain aromas can bring you right back to a time in your life. Or the smell of apple pie cooling gets you salivating. When these kinds of things are triggered, it becomes a cycle (in this case, a positive cycle) where the brain then delivers serotonin and dopamine. These two neurotransmitters affect mood.

So, short answer? Yes. Essential oils can help with depression. They aren’t a magic bullet or the answer to all your mental health woes. But they can absolutely help, especially if you respond well to certain oils and aromas.

Essential Oils Do Even More for Depression

Some essential oils can also reduce inflammation and cortisol levels, promoting a sense of calm and relaxation.

  • Lavender Oil: Known for its calming effects, it can help reduce anxiety and promote restful sleep, which is crucial for mental health.
  • Bergamot Oil: This citrusy oil has been shown to reduce stress and improve mood, making it a popular choice for those with depression.
  • Rosemary Oil: It has stimulating properties that can help enhance focus and reduce mental fatigue, which are common issues in depression.

The Environmental Impact of Essential Oils

Back to the environment aspect of depression, essential oils can affect this in a few ways. Aromatherapy is a practice of bringing essential oils (and other aromas) into your space. It adds to the atmosphere to bring a sense of calm and well-being and can reduce stress.

Then, there is simply the personal care aspect. When we are willing to take care of ourselves, we enter another good cycle. It makes us feel better, helps us make better decisions, and moves us in a good direction on a personal level.

Taking a bath with oils, getting a massage, or using them in your skincare are all ways to take care of yourself. You can create self-nurturing rituals with essential oils for depression and see the difference it makes over time.

A Few Tips for Using Essential Oils for Depression

  • Start Small: For topical use, begin with a few drops in a diffuser or a couple of drops in a carrier oil.
  • Safety First: Always do a patch test to check for allergic reactions, and consult with a healthcare provider, especially if you’re pregnant or have existing health conditions.
  • Quality Matters: Use high-quality, pure essential oils to ensure the best therapeutic effects.

Getting Help With Depression

As great as essential oils can be for depression, they typically are not the “cure.” They tend to be part of a holistic, individualized treatment option if they make sense for the person struggling.

So, yes. Make use of essential oils for your mental health. But always remember, depression is a disease of the mind. There is no shame in reaching out to get help from people trained to treat it.

If you want to know more about how a mental health facility or IOP option for treating depression can make a difference in your life, call us at Lido Wellness today: 949-541-8466.

This entry was posted in Depression on by .
Man against a pastel background with multiple colors looks away deep in thought as though he is showing excessive rumination.

When Does Rumination Require Therapy?

What is Rumination?

The dictionary says that ruminating is thinking deeply about things. The word comes from the way cows in a pasture continually and repetitively work on the grass they eat. In psychology, rumination describes a mental process of repeatedly thinking about the same thoughts or problems.

Some call it negative thinking or excessive rumination. But the result is the same: negative thoughts that circle and circle us, becoming a cycle of negativity affecting our lives and happiness.  At Lido Wellness, we also see it intertwining itself with myriad mental health issues and disorders.

So, when does rumination require therapy?

Real-life example

Imagine a mom who takes care of her kids during the day. She goes to the park, and one has a bit of a fit. After the park, the mom obsesses over it all day, even later that night. Maybe she felt she didn’t handle her child’s tantrum well. She begins questioning her parenting skills and feeling like the other parents were judging her.

At home, her partner knows she tends to be in a bad mood; she’s irritable and often gets into arguments, or there is tension in the house. And the thoughts of the tantrum continue over and over for days.

The Nature of Rumination

Repetitive thinking that we can’t control is typical of mental health issues. It is similar to what a person with anxiety experiences. The cycle can come from stress, unexpected situations, anxiety, or even trauma.

It’s important to understand that rumination, when it gets problematic, is different from just going over something that happened. It is healthy to be introspective. Considering our days and understanding our actions helps us grow. However, it becomes problematic when it leads to persistent negative thinking, affecting one’s overall mental health.

The Impact of Negative Thinking

What is the harm in overthinking and persistent negative thinking? The harm is to your happiness. And the joy of those around you. It chips away at your overall mental health, leaving you in a place where you might be susceptible to other issues you deal with.

Tragically, it distorts perceptions. Often, these thoughts are somewhat divorced from the situation. Something might have happened, but it wasn’t as bad as your mind and ruminations are telling you.

Along these lines, negative thinking breeds more of itself. You may begin to have a pessimistic outlook on life, yourself, and the world. This will affect your self-esteem and even your decision-making.

When Does Rumination Require Therapy?

The transition from general negative thinking to a more significant mental health disorder is often gradual. The steps may eventually lead to Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) or Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). These conditions are characterized by constant worry and despair, making daily functioning increasingly difficult.

How do we know if that is happening? Here are some potential indicators:

Incessant Replaying of Negative Events:

    • Continuously thinking about past mistakes, failures, or embarrassing moments without being able to move past them.

Persistent What-If Scenarios:

    • Constantly imagining worst-case scenarios or potential negative outcomes of future events.

Overanalyzing Conversations:

    • Frequently revisiting past conversations and worrying about things said or not said, often leading to self-criticism.

Difficulty Letting Go of Grudges:

    • Holding onto feelings of anger or resentment towards others, replaying the perceived wrongs repeatedly.

Excessive Self-Criticism:

    • Engaging in harsh self-judgment and blaming oneself for things beyond one’s control.

Perfectionistic Thinking:

    • Fixating on perceived imperfections in oneself or one’s work leads to chronic dissatisfaction.

Intrusive Negative Thoughts:

    • Experiencing unwanted and distressing thoughts that are hard to dismiss and frequently occupy the mind.

Sleep Disturbances Due to Overthinking:

    • Lying awake at night, unable to sleep because of repetitive and negative thoughts.

Physical Symptoms of Stress:

    • Experiencing headaches, muscle tension, or stomach issues as a result of chronic overthinking and stress.

Feeling Overwhelmed by Small Issues:

    • Becoming easily overwhelmed by minor problems or daily challenges due to relentless negative thinking.

Difficulty Focusing on the Present:

    • Struggling to stay present in the moment because the mind constantly dwells on the past or worries about the future.

Emotional Exhaustion:

    • Feeling emotionally drained and exhausted from the constant mental effort of dealing with negative thoughts.

Mood Swings and Irritability:

    • Experiencing mood swings or irritability due to being trapped in negative thought patterns.

Decline in Academic or Work Performance:

    • Noticing a decline in productivity or performance at school or work due to inability to focus or constant distraction by negative thoughts.

Recognizing When to Seek Help

It’s important to realize when professional help is necessary. If these thoughts lead to significant stress, as in the list above, interfere with daily life, or contribute to severe mental health issues, it’s time to reach out. The transition from negative thinking to disorders like MDD or GAD often requires therapeutic intervention to manage effectively.

The Role of Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

At Lido Wellness Center, we understand the intricate nature of rumination and its impact on mental health. Our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is designed to provide comprehensive support to individuals struggling with these issues. Through a combination of individual therapy, group sessions, and holistic treatments, IOP offers a structured yet flexible approach to mental health care.

Call us today for more information about our program and how we can help: 949-541-8466.

Self-Help Strategies to Combat Rumination

Addressing rumination requires a multi-faceted approach. Here are some self-help strategies that can mitigate its impact:

  1. Mindfulness and Meditation: Practicing mindfulness helps one recognize one’s thought patterns without judgment. Meditation can create a space for mental calm, breaking the cycle of repetitive thinking.
  2. Cognitive Behavioral Techniques: Challenging negative thoughts and replacing them with more balanced perspectives can diminish the power of rumination.
  3. Physical Activity: Regular exercise is known to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, providing a healthy outlet for stress and improving overall mood.
  4. Engagement in Activities: Pursuing hobbies and interests can distract from negative thoughts, fostering a sense of achievement and joy.
  5. Journaling: Writing down thoughts can help organize and make sense of them, reducing their overwhelming nature.

Again, we are ready to discuss your options for counseling or outpatient treatment in Newport Beach, California. Call us today at 949-541-8466 to speak with a specialist.

This entry was posted in Mental Health on by .
Minimal Illustration of a woman against a background of lines that show the everyday avoidance that is involved in ARFID.

What Is ARFID?

Understanding and Overcoming Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder

When people talk about eating disorders, they usually are referring to the ones most people are familiar with.

Anorexia: extreme food restriction, intense fear of weight gain, and a distorted body image.

Bulimia: cycles of binge eating followed by purging through vomiting, laxatives, or excessive exercise to avoid weight gain.

Binge Eating: eating large quantities quickly, usually followed by shame.

But another disorder is lesser known but can be just as devastating.

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder: This is an eating disorder in which someone avoids certain foods in an extreme manner, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies.

What is ARFID—Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder?

You might think you are dealing with a picky eater if you are unfamiliar with ARFID. But the reality is a more complex mental health issue. It has little to do with taste buds and what a person likes.

Someone with this condition will find themselves only able to eat a narrow range of foods and avoid large swaths of food groups.

Imagine someone who avoids most fruits, vegetables, and meats. They eat only white bread, some cheese, and rice. This person will likely experience extreme anxiety at the thought of eating anything outside of these strict parameters. Over time, this kind of eating would result in malnutrition.

And the issues are more profound than just not liking certain foods.

But why does this happen? Let’s dig in.

Why Does ARFID Happen?

Just like any mental health issue, the reasons someone might develop ARFID are complex. There is not going to be a specific situation or reason. And each person diagnosed with this disorder will have a unique experience.

Some people develop food sensitivities because of a traumatic experience with food, such as a choking incident or severe food sickness. Some people have food sensitivities to everything from colors to textures. Of course, this can be concurrent with other anxieties or disorders, which amplifies the issue.

The Brain and ARFID

Humans have one thing in common: our brains try to help us avoid pain, harm, or discomfort. And sometimes, a person’s brain can go into overdrive on this. Indeed, extreme anxiety is an example of this happening.

But if you once had a life-threatening experience that involved choking on a carrot, your internal system is going to begin to warn you to avoid carrots.

The Real-Life Impact of ARFID

As you can see, living with ARFID isn’t just a quirky eating habit. Certain foods or food groups elicit a mental and physiological response from the person who suffers from it. Since eating happens every day, all day and many social situations also include it; life can be overwhelming.

it’s a daily struggle. Imagine navigating a world full of food when most of it feels off-limits. Social gatherings become stressful, and dining out is an obstacle course of anxiety. Beyond those things, depending on the foods, you may have nutritional deficiencies that can lead to several issues.

Diagnosing ARFID

The key to a diagnosis of ARFD is persistent patterns that result in nutritional deficiencies. Significant weight loss could also be part of the decision factor or simply how your relationship with food impacts your typical psychological health.

Does it ruin your life?

Treatment for ARFID

The good news is that ARFID is treatable.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the cornerstone of mental health techniques that help people change their relationship with food.

Here are a few ways that CBT can help if you or a loved one are experiencing Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder:

  1. Identifying Negative Thoughts: The first step in CBT is recognizing the negative thoughts that fuel food avoidance. These might include irrational fears about choking, contamination, or negative past experiences related to food.
  2. Behavioral Experiments: CBT often includes behavioral experiments where people gradually expose themselves to feared foods.
  3. Coping Strategies: CBT also equips individuals with coping strategies to manage anxiety and stress around eating. These strategies include relaxation techniques, mindfulness, and other routines that can help a person manage their approach to eating.

Exposure Therapy

For those whose ARFID is tied to specific traumas or phobias, exposure therapy can be incredibly effective. This approach involves:

  1. Gradual Exposure: Exposure therapy works by gradually and systematically exposing individuals to the foods they fear in a controlled and supportive environment.
  2. Building Tolerance: By slowly increasing the exposure, individuals build tolerance and reduce anxiety responses. For instance, someone afraid of choking on solid foods might start with pureed versions, then move to softer solids, and eventually more textured foods.
  3. Positive Reinforcement: Throughout the process, positive reinforcement plays a crucial role. Celebrating small victories and acknowledging progress helps to build confidence and motivation to continue the therapy.

Medical Monitoring

Given the risk of nutritional deficiencies, regular medical check-ups are vital for a person dealing with ARFID. These visits help monitor physical health and ensure that any deficiencies are addressed promptly.

While ARFID can feel overwhelming, it’s important to remember that with the right support, recovery is possible.

Getting Help for ARFID

The journey might be challenging, but every small step forward is a victory. Whether you’re personally affected by ARFID or supporting someone who is, know that understanding and patience go a long way.

If you want to talk more about ARFID, general eating disorders, or any other mental health condition, contact us at Lido Wellness Center in Newport Beach California: 949-541-8466.

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