How Mental Health Problems Complicate Addiction

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Having a loved one with a chemical dependency is one of the most challenging and heartbreaking situations we can face. These illnesses can last far longer than acute conditions like injuries or heart attacks, and they are far more difficult to treat because the patient may not want to treat the problem.

Further complicating the road to recovery is the presence of mental illness. Sadly, almost one-third of people with a mental illness will end up with an addiction problem of some kind. And roughly half of people with an addiction problem will ultimately develop a mental illness.

As a result, persons with both conditions are an even greater challenge for loved ones and friends. This situation is known as a dual diagnosis–the presence of both a substance dependency and a mental illness of some type.

A dual diagnosis for men can stem from a number of different conditions. Here are several areas where the presence of both an addiction and a mental illness can create challenges for treatment.

Bipolar Disorder

Once known as manic-depressive behavior, bipolar disorder involves drastic mood swings from exuberant happiness to severe and dark depression. It can make daily life difficult for the patient, leading to a desire to manage the symptoms by simply overwhelming them with an outside force that is more powerful. Alcohol, as a depressant, can be used in this way; the patient ingests enough to stabilize the mood to an impaired middle. Stimulants like cocaine may be used to try to pick up the low times and create constant euphoria.

Behind the scenes of treating these patients is their unwillingness to return to their up-and-down life. They may fully understand the impact that their chemical dependency has had on them, but they feel that even that misery is still better than their bipolar times. Some who escape their addiction may subsequently be afraid to medicate their bipolar for fear of returning to an addict’s life.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have flooded this area of mental illness. Unlike bipolar disorder, which a patient is born with, PTSD is environmental. Exposure to extreme danger and fear for prolonged periods of time forces a rewiring of the patient’s brain to a high-strung level of paranoia and alertness that can preclude a normal daily life.

The overwhelming emotions of their experiences in combat or other intense situations can become so powerful that even an improved environment cannot help. Instead, the patient begins to treat symptoms with chemical abuse. Their reality is so horrifying that they seek out alcohol or drugs to numb themselves and escape from reality. The combined effects of growing tolerance to the substances and avoidance of treatment of the underlying problem can cause the addiction to grow rapidly to dangerous and deadly proportions.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

This condition is marked with an overwhelming desire to have things in order and to follow rituals. This can include everything from how clothes are arranged in a closet to which foot is placed on which stair while walking. Near-constant handwashing and other germophobic behaviors are also evident.

Because this condition cuts through the patient’s entire waking day, some escape from it by seeking alcohol or drugs to distract them. Unfortunately, tolerance and the condition’s persistence, just as with PTSD, cause an escalation that can prove deadly. As soon as the fog of intoxication clears, the OCD behaviors return. This can mean the patient may need to have both conditions treated simultaneously, which is a challenge for some inpatient facilities and an overwhelming workload for patients.

Addiction itself is a mental illness that is incredibly complex and difficult to treat. When it has come about as the result of another mental illness, the hill is even steeper. Skilled, experienced treatment and limitless family support is critical for the patient’s success. The road is long, but when it’s properly identified, it can be traveled.

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The New Dos and Don’ts of Traveling While Pregnant

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When you’re pregnant, things that you’d normally do without thinking twice become something that has to be thoughtfully planned out in advance. Travel is one of those things. This list of dos and don’ts is the latest advice for pregnant women everywhere that have a trip planned before their due date.

Do Wear Pregnancy Leggings

Pregnancy leggings or compression leggings built for a pregnant body are a must when the travel mode requires long spells of sitting. The leggings will improve blood circulation in the lower body so that blood clots are less of a concern.

Do Wear Very Comfortable Shoes

A woman’s feet can grow up to a whole size larger during pregnancy thanks to edema. Time to break out the Uggs and Crocs.

Do Travel During Your Second Trimester

The second trimester is usually morning sickness-free, and you aren’t carrying around too much extra weight. Doctors often suggest taking longer distance trips between the 20 and 30 week mark.

Do Check the Airline’s Pregnancy Flying Policy

It appears that airlines don’t want women going into labor mid flight. Each one has established their own pregnancy flying policies that may require you to provide a note from a doctor if you are a month or less from the delivery date.

Do Prepare Medically

Bring your prenatal records with you wherever you go, and locate the hospital nearest to where you’ll be staying. You’ll also need to keep a copy of your health insurance handy.

Do Consider Traveling by Car

Cars may not be the quickest mode of transportation, but they do offer distinct advantages over other types of travel. The most important being that you have more control over when and where you can stop just in case there’s an issue. Just keep it to a maximum of six hours in the day.

Do Pay Attention to How You Wear Your Seatbelt

Once your bump starts to grow you’ll have to be careful about where the seatbelt straps are placed. The lap belt should be below your belly and the shoulder strap should go across the middle of the chest and around the stomach.

Do Get the Aisle Seat at the Front or Back of an Airplane

To keep the blood circulating doctors advise that pregnant women get up and walk around at least every few hours. An aisle seat at the front or back will make it easier to get up to go to the bathroom, stand out, stretch and walk during the flight.

Do Drink the Right Beverages

Some beverages help make the trip easier (water), and others could make things more uncomfortable (caffeinated drinks). Guzzling water also has the added benefit of keeping you hydrated and keeping your skin from getting dry.

Don’t Forget to Factor in Frequent Bathroom Breaks

Having to go more often is a normal side effect that starts much sooner in the pregnancy than many people realize. From the first trimester on the urge to go is more frequent, which is going to factor into long car rides. Women have reported urinating as frequently as every hour, so give yourself extra time to get where you need to go.

Don’t Leave Without Talking to Your Doctor First

No matter how far along you are, let your doctor know if you plan to take a trip out of town. They can provide specific advice on what you should and shouldn’t do to avoid issues while traveling.

Don’t Travel in the Last Month of Pregnancy

Doctors typically advise against traveling once your pregnancy reaches 36 weeks. Only travel after this if it’s absolutely necessary.

Don’t Go Through the Imaging Machines at Airports

Because no long-term studies have been done, doctors say pregnant women should play it safe and avoid the Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) scanners at airports. Request that they give you a pat down if necessary after going through the metal detector.

Don’t Sit Still in Your Seat

Whether you are in a car, on a train or a plane do stretches while seated every 30 minutes. Extend your legs out in front of you and flex the feet, wiggle your toes and rotate your ankles.

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5 Things To Ask Yourself When Considering Breast Implants

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Are you considering breast implants? Wanting to know more about the procedure and what is involved before making the final decision? There are a number of things to consider before you book in your appointment. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself.

1. Is This Really What I Want?

Before anything, you must ask yourself if breast implants are what you really want. You have to be honest with yourself and accept whether it is your decision or one that is being influenced by people around you. Once you have confirmed that it is something you definitely want to do, then continue on with the following questions.

2. Do I Know All Of The Risks Involved?

Breast implant surgery comes with many risks and there are potential complications involved in the surgery, so before going ahead you must ask yourself if you are completely aware of the risks involved. Swelling, bruising, infection and discomfort are just some of the common risks involved, while others can be more drastic if something goes wrong during the procedure. Before any surgery, consider all of the possible outcomes that could occur and know what you are potentially getting yourself into.

3. Can I Take Time Off Work?

Recovering from breast implant surgery can take days and sometimes weeks, so you may have to schedule time off work and cancel any commitments for the weeks following your procedure. Ensure that you are able to take time off work in the event that the healing process is prolonged or there are complications with your recovery.

4. Can I Afford Breast Implants?

Breast implant surgery can be a huge financial burden if you don’t have thousands of dollars put aside for the procedure. Before considering the procedure and going ahead with it, ensure it is in your budget and you have funds to support you if something goes wrong or if you need to take extended leave from your job. If possible, it is best to pay for the procedure upfront rather than getting a loan or having a credit card debt; however, it is up to you to consider your options and financial situation.

5. Who Am I Going To Trust With The Procedure?

Breast implant surgery can be an invasive, complicated procedure, so you want a qualified professional to be your surgeon. Visit specialists in breast augmentation, such as Cosmetic Surgery For Women , and meet with them as many times as you need before the procedure. Always go with someone you trust, and don’t sacrifice quality to save money, because your life and wellbeing is in their hands and that’s much more important than saving a couple of hundred dollars.

So, is breast implants for you? If you managed to answer all of these questions honestly and without hesitation then you are on your way to making the final decision. If you struggled with any one of these questions, speak to the people around you, as well as trusted healthcare professionals, and make an educated, supported decision.

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How To Choose The Best Coat/Jacket For You

Choosing the best coat or jacket for you is a decision that depends greatly on your personal sense of style, as well as your budget. While there are a wide range of outerwear items to suit every pocket and coupons from such sites as Discountrue.com or Coupons.com can be used to save on your purchase, it is in your best interests to be as choosy as possible.

After all, a coat or jacket is worn on a consistent basis and is often the first thing that people see when they catch a glimpse of you. These are the questions that you should be asking yourself in order to make the best decision possible:

Am I Looking For Something Timeless or Trendy?
The answer depends strictly on your budget. If you are working with less, then you will probably want to get the absolute most out of your purchase. Selecting a coat or jacket with a timeless design is your best bet. For those who have a higher budget to play with, it is okay to get a little more adventurous and try on the newest and hottest styles of the season.

Should I Invest In Quality?
Even with a lower budget, it is still best to invest in quality. The more you spend on a coat or jacket, the longer it will last. Making a quality purchase will allow you to keep the item for years, without having to shop for a replacement. However, if you are looking for something that is more fashionable, then you may invest in a lower quality product, as you will probably not need it for a very long period. Unsure about quality? Take a moment to check out the coat’s finish, as well as its lining, as these are typically great indicators.

What Function Will This Coat Serve?
It is important to consider the function that the coat will serve before making the final decision. Is it going to be worn on a daily basis, to work or school? Or is this coat only going to be worn on special occasions? Those who plan to be more active will need to make a selection that fits their lifestyle, while those who are looking for something to wear on their evenings out have a different choice to make.

Am I Looking To Stand Out Or Blend In?
For those who already have a neutral colored coat, they may be looking for something with a little more pizzazz, something that allows them to stand out among the crowd. Choosing coats and jackets of unusual colors makes for a great addition and gives you the chance to mix and match with more of your current closet. Even if you are someone who typically favors neutrals, selecting a brighter color means standing out during those cold, drab winter months.

5 Things to Know About Breast Reduction

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Running, swimming, dancing – these are the activities many of us do without a second thought. For some women, however, a simple movement can result in severe back, neck or shoulder pain, general discomfort and self-consciousness. Having large breasts can also find you searching high and low for clothes that fit appropriately, as well as contending with bra straps that dig painfully into your skin. Does this sound all too familiar? If you are considering a breast reduction procedure to put an end to your woes, read on. Below you’ll find five of the things you should know before going any further.

The General Process

Understanding what the process will involve is extremely important. While every clinic and surgeon will have their own methods and procedures in place, generally speaking, the process will involve the following:

  •  An anaesthetic will be administered
  •  Markings will be made on the breast area
  •  Incisions will be made
  •  Excess breast tissue will be removed
  •  Your breasts will be reshaped
  •  The nipple and areola will be moved higher
  •  The incision will be closed using sutures
  •  The affected area will be dressed with gauze and tape.

Some surgeries, such as Cosmetic Surgery for Women have this sort of information accessible on their website, allowing prospective clients to make informed decisions.

There Are Several Techniques

The way in which your surgeon makes the incisions will depend on which technique they are using. Three of the more common techniques include the ‘Benelli’ (the incision is made only around the areola), the ‘Anchor’ (the incision is made around the areola and then moves down in a vertical direction to the breast crease, before moving horizontally along the crease), and the ‘Le Jour’ or ‘Lollipop’ technique (the incision is made around the areola and then moves down in a vertical line).

Your surgeon will likely discuss the benefits and disadvantages of each technique and explain why a certain method would be more suitable for you and your body.

The Recovery Journey

As with any form of cosmetic surgery, recovery time is dependent on the specific type of procedure you are having and you as an individual. Maintaining a healthy diet both before and after your surgery will help you recover quicker, as your body has the vitamins and nutrients it needs to heal.

Your surgeon will also likely provide you with special supportive bras to be worn in the first few weeks after the surgery. You should also avoid any strenuous activity in the first few months post-surgery.

The Risks

Any professional and trustworthy surgeon will run through all the risks and complications associated with breast reduction. It can be daunting, but the reality is that you could experience any of the following:

  •  Blood clots
  •  Infection
  •  Scarring
  •  Nipple sensitivity
  •  Breast unevenness
  •  Prolonged wound healing times.

Having a frank conversation with your surgeon should help you understand whether you are more at risk for certain issues, or whether others will likely not be applicable.

It can Improve Quality of Life

The last thing to know about breast reduction is that it can have a lasting positive effect on your lifestyle. If successful, a breast reduction surgery can help you be more active, help you feel more in proportion and help boost your confidence.

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