Category Archives: Mental Health

A man, seated comfortably, engaging in a counseling session with a compassionate woman. They discuss topics related to autism and mental health.

High Functioning Autism and Mental Health Seeking Counsel and Support

The term “high-functioning Autism” is not a clinical one in use anymore. It once was more common, and some people still use it as a way to help themselves have a deeper understanding of the broad spectrum of autism. All that said, we will use it in this article to refer to someone who seems to have fewer apparent communication and behavioral difficulties than someone with severe autism symptoms.

For those with high functioning autism, the colors and patterns of their processing approach to the world may differ from the typical, but the beauty of their story remains undeniable. Here we will explore the world of high functioning autism and mental health, with a look at the importance (or effectiveness) of counseling for autism and the support that can truly make a difference.

Understanding the Intersection of Autism and Mental Health

Autism and Mental Health: These two facets of human existence often intertwine in intricate and unexpected ways. To truly comprehend the significance of mental health help for individuals with high-functioning autism, we have to unlock a some of the unique challenges they may face.

The Silent Struggle

It is difficult to keep from generalizing in looking at this topic. So there will be a bit of that. However, individuals with high functioning autism often grapple with heightened sensitivity to their environment, social challenges, and a profound desire for routine and predictability.

This combination might not even be apparent to those on the outside. Many people with less severe symptoms of autism have learned their needs and may even have an understanding where it may clash with social situations. But that doesn’t mean they don’t feel it. Sometimes this disparity between how they process the world and the unpredictability of situations can lead to heightened levels of anxiety, depression, and social isolation.

Many individuals with high functioning autism employ a practice known as “masking” to navigate social situations. This involves concealing how they might feel about certain situations to fit into social norms. While masking can be a valuable coping mechanism, it can come at a cost, leading to exhaustion, burnout, and a degree of stress.

Statistics of Interest:

  • According to research, autistic individuals who frequently engage in masking behaviors are at a higher risk of developing mental health issues.
  • The prolonged use of masking techniques can lead to a phenomenon known as “autistic burnout.”

Counseling for Autism: A Beacon of Hope

In the journey toward mental well-being, counseling for autism emerges as a powerful option. Like a lighthouse guiding ships through the fog, counseling provides a steady and reliable source of support for individuals with high functioning autism. Here are some of the ways counseling for people with autism can be helpful.

1. Understanding the Individual

Counseling for autism is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It is a nuanced process that takes into account the unique needs and challenges of each individual. A skilled therapist can delve into the depths of a person with ASD helping them unravel their thoughts and emotions.

2. Navigating Social and Emotional Challenges

One of the primary focuses of counseling for autism is helping individuals navigate social interactions and emotional regulation. Therapists work with their clients to develop strategies for managing anxiety, depression, and the sensory sensitivities that often accompany autism.

3. Embracing Neurodiversity

In the realm of counseling for autism, the emphasis is not on “fixing” or “changing” individuals. Crucially, it is on celebrating neurodiversity and helping every person thrive in a world that may not always understand their unique perspective.

4. Building Coping Skills

Counseling equips individuals with high functioning autism with valuable coping skills. These skills empower them to manage stress, communicate effectively, and cultivate healthy relationships.

There Is Hope and Joy

People on the autism spectrum and those who love them know that their story is expansive. There are highs and lows. But the full story of high functioning autism and mental health can be one of hope, resilience, and the triumph of the human spirit. Through counseling for autism, individuals with high functioning autism can find the support they need to navigate the complexities of their world and embrace their unique place in it.

In the words of John Steinbeck, “We are lonesome animals. We spend all our life trying to be less lonesome.” Counseling for a person with autism offers a path to bridge the gap between the world and the individual, a path toward connection, understanding, and healing. And with help and connection each of us may come to realize, again in the words of Steinbeck, that “You’re not as alone as you thought.”

Embrace the Journey to Wellness at Lido Wellness Center

At Lido Wellness Center, we understand the intricate interplay between high functioning autism and mental health. Our commitment is to be your steadfast companion on this unique journey, offering compassionate and tailored support to help you thrive.

If you or a loved one is seeking counseling or mental health help in Newport Beach, we invite you to take the first step towards a brighter, more fulfilling future. Reach out to us today at 949-541-8466 and let us be your beacon of hope.

This entry was posted in Mental Health on by .
puzzle pieces, against a wooden background, needing help for completion. This image signifies the complexity and multifaceted nature of RAD

Spotting and Treating Reactive Attachment Disorder

One of the beauties of childhood is the new creation. The blossoming personhood that grows from every new experience, joy and sorrow alike. Reactive Attachment Disorder is a haunting testament to the profound impact early relationships have on a child’s emotional and psychological development.

But before diving deep into this topic, let’s first understand what RAD is and what it isn’t.

What Is Reactive Attachment Disorder?

Reactive Attachment Disorder occurs in children who have not formed a healthy emotional attachment to their primary caregivers during their early years. It could be a result of neglect, abuse, or frequent changes in caregivers. Whatever the reason the bonds are not created between the child and their parents (or caregivers).

RAD does not occur intentionally on the child’s part. It’s not like the child is intentionally getting revenge or feeling like they are wronged, its more about understanding that when a child’s basic needs for comfort, affection, and nurturing aren’t met, they learn to protect themselves by distancing from others.

But what does this really look like in the real world? It’s not the emotional tantrums we all sometimes feel like throwing. It’s more complex than that.

Spotting Reactive Attachment Disorder

It’s easy to label a child as “difficult” or “misbehaving” when they show signs of RAD, but beneath that exterior is a cry for connection. Some common signs to look for include:

  • Avoiding comfort: A child with RAD might recoil from touch or resist being comforted, especially during distress.
  • Failure to smile: They might not show genuine joy or happiness, even when it’s expected.
  • Not engaging in social play: While other children might enjoy playing with their peers, a child with RAD might prefer to be alone.
  • Being watchful: They seem to be always on guard, as if expecting something bad to happen.

Interesting statistics that throw light on this issue include:

  • An estimated 1-10% of children in the foster care system in the US have been diagnosed with RAD.
  • Studies suggest that children with RAD have higher rates of co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety.
  • Early interventions and treatments can make a significant difference in the outcome for children with RAD.

What Happens When a Child With RAD Grows Up?

Though RAD is not typically diagnosed in adults, many of the maladaptive behaviors and feelings can persist and present as other types of relational or personality disorders. Here’s how some of the unresolved symptoms of RAD may appear in adults:

  1. Difficulty with Emotional Connections: Adults who experienced RAD as children might have difficulty forming close, personal relationships. They might either avoid closeness or become overly dependent on a relationship, fearing abandonment.
  2. Mistrust and Suspicion: A fundamental lack of trust in others can continue into adulthood. They might be continually suspicious of others’ intentions, making it hard for them to form stable relationships.
  3. Impulse Control Issues: Some adults may engage in impulsive behaviors, which might include sudden decisions without thinking of consequences or understanding why they did something.
  4. Issues with Intimacy: They might struggle with intimacy, both emotionally and physically, often stemming from a deep-seated fear of rejection or abandonment.
  5. Anger and Control Issues: Unresolved feelings from childhood can manifest as anger and aggression or a need to control situations and people around them.
  6. Chronic Feelings of Emptiness or Sadness: A pervasive feeling of being “empty” or “lost” can be common, with bouts of sadness that might be difficult to explain or understand.
  7. Difficulty Showing Authenticity: They might wear a “mask” in various social situations, making it hard for them and others to understand their true self. This can be a defense mechanism from their childhood when they might have felt the need to adapt rapidly to different caregivers or environments.
  8. Avoidance of Social Situations: Social interactions can be overwhelming, leading them to prefer isolation or limited interaction.
  9. Challenges with Parenting: When becoming parents themselves, they might struggle with how to form attachments and bonds with their children, repeating cycles unless intervention and support are sought.
  10. Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders: Adults who had RAD as children may also be more susceptible to conditions like depression, anxiety disorders, or personality disorders.

Treating Reactive Attachment Disorder

Knowing the signs is only half the battle. The journey of healing is a long, winding road but with the right steps, a child (or adult) can be guided back to the realm of connection and love.

Here’s what that path might look like:

  • Therapy: This is the cornerstone of treating RAD. A child therapist specializing in attachment disorders can help the child learn to form healthy relationships. Family therapy might also be recommended to address relational dynamics.
  • Parenting strategies: Parents or caregivers can be educated on techniques to foster a sense of safety and security in the child.
  • Consistency in care: Children with RAD need stability. Regular routines, consistent caregivers, and predictable environments can be immensely beneficial.

For an adult that suffered with a reactive attachment disorder:

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) offer a structured therapeutic environment that can be particularly advantageous for adults who once had Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) in their childhood. These programs provide the rigor of regular and intensive therapy sessions without necessitating the 24-hour care found in inpatient services.

An integral component of IOPs is group therapy, which becomes a conducive space for individuals with RAD to hone their social skills, draw from shared experiences, and practice forming attachments under safe conditions. Alongside this, individual therapy sessions in IOPs delve into personal histories, traumas, and behavioral patterns, helping to unearth and address the lingering impacts of RAD.

The sense of community fostered in an IOP is invaluable. Connecting with peers facing similar challenges offers not just understanding but also the solidarity of shared experience, making the journey toward healing less solitary.

In the beautiful, messy journey of life, Reactive Attachment Disorder is a testament to the raw human need for connection. It’s a reminder of how vital those early relationships are and the ripples they send through a lifetime. At Lido Wellness Center Reactive Attachment Disorder doesn’t have to be a life sentence. There is still potential for profound growth, understanding, and deep, lasting connections.

If you need help understanding RAD and its effects,  don’t navigate this journey alone. Lido Wellness Center in Newport Beach is here to support and guide you every step of the way. Call us today at 949-541-8466.

This entry was posted in Mental Health on by .
Two hands engaged in a tug-of-war, symbolizing the struggle between mental health and substance abuse.

Co-occurring Disorders Newport Beach

There is a lot of data showing that millions of people living in the United States have some mental disorder. The truth is that substance use disorders (SUD) directly impact mental health. Therefore, it is best to look for a center that deals with co-occurring disorders in Newport Beach to get the right level of care.

Who Develops Co-Occurring Disorders?

An interesting study presented information that over half of the millions diagnosed with co-occurring disorders are male. Studies have also shown that people suffering from anxiety will more than likely abuse substances compared to the general population. Additionally, those with untreated anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder are also at risk for substance abuse.

Q: What is an example of a co-occurring disorder?

A: There are many types of co-occurring disorders that someone may have that go hand-in-hand with alcohol or drug abuse. These include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, eating disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mood or personality disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and more.

Q: What is the most common co-occurring disorder with mental illness?

A: It is difficult to pinpoint the most common co-occurring disorder with mental illness. There can be many emotional issues that impact someone’s addiction problems. This may include guilt, grief, lowered self-esteem, and anger management issues. However, these issues generally get categorized as symptoms rather than disorders. It refers to the actual diagnosis that brings on the symptoms mentioned when speaking of disorders. For example, someone with bipolar disorder may present with several symptoms.

Q: How do you identify co-occurring disorders?

A: To get a successful diagnosis, you need to work with a facility that is also a co-occurring disorder treatment center. Dual diagnosis may have to do with anxiety, depression, undiagnosed psychological traumas, biochemical influences, and more. The initial steps in diagnosis include looking at the different signs and symptoms. Someone may have erratic behavior, mood swings, forgetfulness, and many other characteristics, unlike their usual behavior.

Q: What is the best treatment for co-occurring disorders?

A: It all starts with finding a facility that deals with co-occurring disorders in Newport Beach. This means a center with specialists on staff to diagnose and treat people with dual-diagnosis. The treatment methodologies may include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), medications, family therapy, 12-step programs, stress management, community support, and more.

When you start to notice the signs and symptoms that you or a loved one is developing a substance abuse problem, you need to look for help. Here at LIDO Wellness Center, we work with each of our clients to ensure they have the tailored treatment plan they need to get on a path to recovery, wellness, and sobriety.

Do you want to know more about co-occurring disorders in Newport Beach and how we work with patients to get them the right level of care? We are always here to address any questions or concerns at LIDO Wellness Center. Give us a call at your earliest convenience at (949) 541-8466 to speak with a member of our team about our substance abuse and mental health treatment services.

This entry was posted in Mental Health on by .
Woman on couch checking toddler's temperature with a thermometer, illustrating Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome.

Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome

We are going to cover a topic that is not very fun. It is messy and filled with difficulty. Be aware, we are not going to go into details, but this is essentially a child abuse issue. So please be aware we will cover parts of this topic. This article/discussion touches on themes of child abuse, medical trauma, emotional manipulation, and mental health issues. Please proceed with caution if any of these topics might be triggering for you.

That said, let’s look at Munchausen by proxy syndrome.

It’s one of those bewildering and painful corners of the human psyche, a space where love and harm are tragically entangled.

MBPS Is Child Abuse

Munchausen by proxy syndrome, often abbreviated as MBPS, is a form of child abuse. Here, a caregiver, usually a mother, either exaggerates, fabricates, or induces physical or psychological symptoms in someone under their care. While the motivations can vary, one commonly believed reason is the caregiver’s need for attention, validation, or sympathy. The “sick” individual (often a child) becomes a conduit for these needs.

Now, if you’re raising your eyebrows or thinking, “Who would do such a thing?”, you’re not alone. It’s important to remember that people are layered, intricate puzzles. It’s easy to think of villains and heroes, but when we start labeling, we close the door to deeper understanding.

Here’s a brief sketch in numbers:

  • Few and Far Between: Only about 1,000 of the 2.5 million child abuse cases reported annually in the US can be ascribed to MBPS.
  • Motherly “Love”: Approximately 85% of the perpetrators are mothers. And this isn’t because mothers are inherently sinister. It’s possibly because they’re traditionally the primary caregivers and are more closely scrutinized in medical settings.
  • Shadowed by Mystery: It’s estimated that up to 10% of cases in pediatric chronic illness might be cases of MBPS, but we really don’t know for sure. It’s a tough condition to diagnose.

Who Has the Syndrome?

It’s not accurate to say the child “has” MBPS. Instead, the child is subjected to the behaviors and actions stemming from the caregiver’s manifestation of MBPS. The caregiver, on the other hand, is the one with the disorder. They are causing the harm or fabricating the symptoms for various reasons, often related to a need for attention, sympathy, or control.

So, in essence, the caregiver manifests MBPS (or Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another – FDIA), and the child is the one being harmed or made to appear sick by the caregiver’s actions.

So, the direct and most profound suffering is experienced by the child, who is subjected to unnecessary medical procedures, emotional distress, and a distorted sense of health and well-being. They might grow up with a skewed perception of their own health, facing potential long-term psychological and physical consequences.

The Whys and How’s of Munchausen by Proxy

It’s important to note that the adult perpetrator, while responsible for the abuse, may also be suffering from psychological issues or disorders that lead them to this behavior. Their actions are certainly harmful and inexcusable, but it’s possible that their own mental health struggles play a role in the manifestation of MBPS. It’s a complex issue that intertwines the mental well-being of both the caregiver and the child. Here are some potential underlying causes:

  • The Need for the Spotlight: We all crave attention. But imagine a need so profound that it eclipses reason. Caregivers might be seeking the emotional satisfaction derived from the attention and sympathy of doctors, nurses, and others who express concern.
  • Playing the Savior: There’s an addictive high that comes from appearing knowledgeable, competent, and necessary. The caregiver feels vital in the medical setting.
  • Control and Power: Inducing illness can be a way to control a child, to keep them dependent.
  • Unresolved Past Trauma: Some caregivers might have faced trauma or neglect in their past. This behavior can be an unconscious attempt to resolve that past pain.
  • Mental Health Issues: Some perpetrators might have underlying disorders like borderline personality disorder or narcissistic personality disorder.

Understanding MBPS requires us to face the shadowed alleys of the human heart. It’s about realizing that sometimes, the lines between love, pain, and attention can blur into a heart-wrenching shade.

Seeking Light in the Shadows?

If you or someone you know is navigating the intricate maze of mental health challenges or Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome, remember that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Lido Wellness Center in Newport Beach offers a place to find clarity and work towards healing. You don’t have to walk this path alone; Lido is here to guide, support, and uplift. Call today: 949-541-8466.

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