Fighting The Adult Mental Health Stigma With Behavioral Outpatient Programs

Fighting The Adult Mental Health Stigma With Behavioral Outpatient Programs

Adult mental health is not talked about often because there is a harmful stigma around illnesses such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. But that's just it–a stigma is viewing something in a negative way due to a false understanding of the subject. It doesn't have to be that way, though. 

Just How Overlooked is Adult Behavioral Health?

Although mental health is gaining some attention these days when it comes to teenagers, not enough attention is being put toward mental health within adults. 

Approximately 1 in every 5 adults in the country experiences a mental illness in any given year. 1 in 25 adults in the country experience a serious mental illness that severely interferes with their day to day lifestyle. 20.2 million adults in the U.S. experienced a substance use disorder, and 50.5% of them had a mental illness at the same time. Finally, only 41% of American adults with mental illness received any help at all.

The Stigma Around Adult Mental Illness

Stigmatizing anything will inevitably lead to discrimination, which can either be explicitly stated in regards to your mental health or your treatment, or it can be subtle. Subtle discrimination can be demonstrated when someone avoids you because they assume the worst about you as a result of your mental illness.

Some Harmful Effects of the Mental Health Stigma

We have witnessed many effects that result from the harmful view on adult mental illness. Among them are your family and/or friends not understanding you, bullying or harassment, and your personal belief that you will not succeed or improve your mental health. 

This often leads to self-judgment and hate, as well as resulting behavioral health problems such as depression, or in some cases, chemical dependencies such as alcohol and drug abuse and addiction. 

Sacred Oak Medical Center Fights The Discrimination With Our Outpatient Programs

At Sacred Oak Medical Center, we are dedicated to offering help to those suffering mental illness through our behavioral health outpatient programs, in which we offer both an Intensive Outpatient Program as well as a Supportive Outpatient Program. You are not your illness, and we will work with you to help you walk your path to recovery. Please contact us today for more information. 

Some Ways Alcohol Addiction Can Affect Your Life

Some Ways Alcohol Addiction Can Affect Your Life

Alcohol addiction, which is a common form of substance abuse, is a disease in which an individual regularly and uncontrollably drinks an excessive amount of alcohol. Drinking so much alcohol usually occurs as a result of some type of reliance on it, whether it be an emotional dependence or a physical one. Many individuals may even experience both kinds of dependencies. Furthermore, an individual with an addiction to alcohol will continue to consume it even if their lives have been negatively affected by their drinking habits. Negative consequences can manifest as damaged relationships and legal problems, among other things.

Damaged Relationships

A key sign of substance abuse is that of changed behavior and personality, as the brain reconfigures how it perceives pleasure and explicitly associates it with alcohol. For example, an adult, who was originally very pleasant, warmhearted, and always up for spending time with loved ones, who is now battling an alcohol addiction may become distant from their friends and family and may even develop some anger when confronted or questioned about the shift in their behavior. 

This can result in damaged relationships, as priorities shift and attitudes towards people the individual was once close with change. If loved ones aren't aware of the fact that an addiction is taking place, they may take offense and quickly cut ties without fully understanding what is going on.

Legal Problems as a Result of Alcohol Addiction

Many legal problems can arise from alcohol addiction, but one of the most common ones we see is DWI's as a result of shifting priorities and concerns that now revolve around the need for alcohol.

In Texas, Driving While Intoxicated and Driving While Impaired are used interchangeably and are cited to an individual who was driving a vehicle with alcohol present in their system. Texas has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to driving with alcohol content in the blood, so after three DWI citations, the offender is considered a repeat offender and has committed a felony.

Outpatient Programs at Sacred Oak Medical Center to Understand Alcohol Addiction

One of the key steps to recovery is understanding the root problems that lead to a chemical dependency. If you are struggling with alcohol addiction or have received a DWI before, we offer supportive outpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs, and intensive outpatient programs that help you understand more about your triggers and underlying causes. If you have received a DWI/DUI on more than one occasion, we offer a specially focused class for repeat offenders so they, too, can start their path to recovery. Addiction is just like other mental illnesses, it's not anyone's fault and with adequate treatment, recovery is possible. Please contact us if you are in need of an assessment.

Is Intensive Outpatient Treatment Effective for Behavioral Health?

Is Intensive Outpatient Treatment Effective for Behavioral Health?

Although mental health for adolescents is an issue that is getting some rightful attention, adult mental health is not spoken about as often because there is still a stigma associated with it, even though it's widely common for adults to develop a mental illness. It is estimated that 1 in 5 adults will experience mental illness in any given year. 1 in 25 adults will experience a level of mental illness that interferes with their day-to-day routine. Some may even develop drug or alcohol addictions as a result of substance abuse as a coping mechanism.

At Sacred Oak, we are committed to helping adults work through their behavioral health challenges. Although many first think of fully immersive in-patient programs at rehab clinics as the primary means of getting depression treatment and improving overall mental health, outpatient programs are also a viable option. Are they just as effective?

Which Form of Behavioral Health Treatment is Best?

The truth is that between our In-Patient Behavioral Health Program, Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), and our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), no single one is necessarily better or more effective than the others. Recovery is a deeply personal, lifelong fight, so which program you select at any given time depends entirely on where the individual is in their journey to better mental health.

Our Intensive Outpatient Program for Behavioral Health

The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is best suited to individuals who have completed our In-Patient Behavioral Health treatment and/or our Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), and have since reached a point in their treatment for depression or other mental illness where they are more stable and no longer need constant, round-the-clock care. This program, although more flexible than the aforementioned, remains highly-structured and thorough in order to ensure the patient has continued support through their rehab. 

This program allows patients to work with our qualified medical professionals to learn about the symptoms of behavioral health issues, as well as healthy ways to overcome them instead of resorting to substance abuse, resulting in a more stable foundation for their continued recovery.

How The Intensive Outpatient Program for Mental Illness Works

The program lasts for an average length of 6 weeks and consists of 3 group sessions a week, all of which last 3 hours. It also consists of 2-3 individual sessions a month. To help encourage the patient and remind them they are not alone, we offer both daytime and evening hours for sessions, in order to make time for them and ensure they get the support they need.

Sacred Oak Tailors Treatments to Every Individual Looking to Improve Their Mental Health

Depression treatment as well as treatment for other mental illnesses are never one-size-fits-all solutions. Our professionals will tailor treatment plans to each individual so that they can get the most out of our programs and learn to Repair the Body, Mend the Mind, and Heal the Spirit. Please get an assessment if you feel that you or a loved one are in need of an intensive outpatient program to recover from behavioral health challenges. 

Outpatient Therapy to Understand the Causes and Signs of Drug Abuse

Outpatient Therapy to Understand the Causes and Signs of Drug Abuse

Drug abuse, otherwise known as substance abuse or substance use disorder, is an illness that affects someone's brain and, consequentially, their behavior. It is characterized as being unable to control the use and consumption of drugs, resulting in continued use even though their life has already been negatively impacted by this behavior. At this point, it has quickly become an addiction. Commonly abused drugs include, but are not limited to, alcohol, cocaine, nicotine, and marijuana. 

The Root Cause of Substance Abuse

Much like mental illness, there can be a number of causes. A major cause for adults struggling with substance abuse and drug addiction is their surroundings. They could be surrounded by friends or family that encourage drug use, who also convinced them to try drugs in the first place. Genetics may also play a role in addiction, so if the individual's parents, for example, were addicted to a certain drug, it becomes possible that the individual can become addicted as well. Additionally, some adults develop a substance addiction from going through a series of rough patches in life, which led them to turn to drugs as a way to escape from their current reality.

Signs of Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction

There are several different signs that someone is struggling with abuse or addiction. A common sign that may not be seen is when the drugs change the way the brain perceives pleasure to a point where the individual will seek it occasionally to feel good, but then they will seek it regularly. This can then progress to having an intense desire for the drug. Over time, they will only ever feel good if they keep using the drug, resulting in keeping a constant supply no matter what the costs.

After a while, constant use of the drug leads to another sign: withdrawal. It may easily be confused with fever and flu symptoms, such as nausea, sweats, fatigue, and even vomiting. In more severe cases, some symptoms may include seizures. 

Other signs relate to a change in behavior and personality. For example, an adult who is dealing with substance use disorder may slack off on work responsibilities and seem distant when it comes to social or recreational activities with friends or family, often choosing to avoid them altogether. Additionally, they may start to steal as a means of affording the drug.

Outpatient Treatment For Substance Abuse at Sacred Oak

Substance abuse, as part of chemical dependency, is more common than not. Through our outpatient programs, we are able to help individuals understand the cause of their addiction, their triggers, and healthy ways to mitigate them. Help and recovery are out there, so please contact us if you or a loved one may be in need of an assessment. 

Outpatient Programs for Chemical Dependency at Sacred Oak in Houston

Outpatient Programs for Chemical Dependency at Sacred Oak in Houston

Chemical dependency, also known as substance dependence, is one of the most common reasons for someone seeking treatment at a specialized facility. It can be described as the continued abuse of drugs or alcohol even though several problems have arisen as a result of this abuse.

Signs that someone has developed a chemical dependency may include an increased tolerance for a certain substance, the appearance of withdrawal symptoms, distancing themselves from fun and social activities, and most importantly, insisting on obtaining the substance despite fully knowing and understanding the psychological, physical, and familial consequences that occur.

At Sacred Oak Medical Center in Houston, we offer two outpatient programs to help people overcome behavioral health and chemical dependency symptoms and challenges. We offer an Intensive Outpatient Program as well as a Supportive Outpatient Program, and which one our medical professionals recommend depends on the severity of the patient's experience.

The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for Chemical Dependency

This option allows individuals to follow a thorough care and treatment program that is well structured without being as restrictive as our Partial Hospitalization Program. 

In order to be eligible for this program, the patient must achieve a certain level of stability that lets them properly engage throughout the program. This also means that the patient must have recovered enough to not need constant, round-the-clock care. Taking part in the Intensive Outpatient Program requires responsibility at the individual level, so the patient must be capable of living alone or with family, and must have reliable transportation to and from the medical center.

This program typically lasts for six weeks on average. The patient will attend 3 group sessions a week, each lasting 3 hours, along with 2 or 3 individual sessions a month. Both daytime and evening hours are available for all of the sessions in order to provide flexibility and to help the patient as needed.

The Supportive Outpatient Program (SOP) for Chemical Dependency

On the less intensive side, we offer a supportive program. This is typically the best placement for those who have successfully completed the IOP, but still want continued support in their day-to-day effort to maintain their sobriety. This program, although lighter, still offers a well-structured environment.

In order to be eligible for this type of program, the patient must meet the same eligibility requirements as the IOP.

This program has no set time limit. The patient may participate in individual sessions as needed, but we do ask that they participate in 3 hours' worth of group sessions every week. However, if the patient feels they need more group sessions, they are welcome to on an as-needed basis.

Sacred Oak Can Help You or a Loved One Work Through a Substance Dependence

Substance abuse and dependence are more common than you may think, but it's important to know that help is out there and you can start by contacting us to learn more. We are dedicated to helping individuals repair the body, mend the mind, and heal the spirit.