Tag Archives: post traumatic stress disorder

Mental Health Program for Young Men

Mental Health Program for Young Men

At PACE Recovery Center, we are pleased to announce the creation of our residential, mental health program for young men. Utilizing our proven treatment philosophy, along with evidence-based therapies, we help men make inroads in recovery. PACE’s multi-faceted approach to addressing mental illness helps adult males set recovery objectives and plot a course toward realizing their goals.

Mental health disorders are not a simple matter. Most individuals are unwilling to talk about their symptoms, let alone feel comfortable seeking assistance. The stigma surrounding mental diseases is pervasive, even though more than 300 million people face depression, globally. Anxiety disorders affect more than 260 million people. It is worth noting that major or persistent depressive disorder is just one form of mental health illness. Other common mental diseases include post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, bipolar disorder, and dual diagnosis.

Any mental illness (AMI) can significantly disrupt the course of a person’s life. Symptoms worsen, and overall health diminishes when AMI goes without treatment. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability around the world. Men contending with untreated mental disease are at severe risk of self-medicating, self-harm, and suicidal ideation. It is critical that men battling mind diseases come to understand that treatment works, and recovery is within reaching distance.

Our CARF-accredited mental health program helps emerging young men build bridges to a life of productivity, relational healing and independence.

Empowering males caught in the grips of mental illness to ignore stigma and seek help is a challenging task. Although, the effort becomes easier when such people discover that effective, recovery support services exist. Supportive environments like the PACE Mental Health Program for Young Men.

You Are Not Alone

Mental health and the ability to access evidence-based treatment is a worldwide priority, to be sure. The most recent data indicates that millions of people in the United States are especially vulnerable. WHO reports that mental illness or disorder will affect 50 percent of Americans in their lifetime. Moreover, 1 in 25 Americans grapples with a severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Mental health treatment availability is slowly improving across the U.S. Unfortunately, 56.4 percent of adults with a mental illness have not received treatment, according to Mental Health America. More than 24 million Americans are living with untreated mental health disorders.

The statistics above are startling, and they can also help people gain perspective. However, data can be both abstract and meaningless for the person living with AMI. When one is on the baneful end of mental disease, it can be trying to relate to others’ problems. Once in recovery, on the other hand, men find that healing is a most collective endeavor. A realization that crops up first in treatment.

PACE is a brotherhood of men sharing common goals of managing mental health conditions and healing from trauma.

Under our care, clients find themselves in an environment that isn’t constricted by the societal stigma found elsewhere. The gender-specific program at PACE offers men a forum to discuss their symptoms with other men who face similar mood disorders. Adult males work together to adopt personal programs of recovery. Aided by a compassionate support staff – clinicians, psychiatrists, and clinical psychologists – and judgment-free environs, young men can openly share their feelings of doubt, fear, guilt, shame or sadness.

PACE Mental Health Program for Young Men

PACE’s highly credentialed clinical staff can help you or a loved one navigate, manage, and recover from mental health disorder(s). The clinical practices our team of experts employs are specifically tailored to the needs of each client’s diagnosis. If you would like to acquire more information about our residential or extended-care programs, please contact us today. PACE admissions counselors are standing by at your convenience: 877.405.9411.

PTSD Awareness Month: Learn, Connect, and Share

PTSD

June is PTSD Awareness Month; we can all help those affected by post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is a severe iteration of mental illness that requires treatment and daily maintenance; those who recover rely on a combination of trauma-focused psychotherapy, counseling, and non-narcotic medications. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of individuals living with the affliction never receive the kind of care they require; such persons are apt to turn to drugs and alcohol to cope which only serves to make the underlying condition more serious.

Those of you in recovery from alcoholism and substance use disorder are no strangers to trauma; after all, people’s active addiction often involves one uncomfortable experience after another. In some cases, traumatic experiences precipitate the use of mind-altering substances; in other scenarios, people’s substance use puts them into situations where experiencing trauma is almost a foregone conclusion. Human beings are capable of putting themselves at great peril due to mental illness; as a result, one both inflicts wrongs upon others or are their self the victim of another person's’ wrongdoing; in either case, being OK in one’s skin and sleeping at night is not an easy endeavor.

The painful incidents that occur during active addiction often lead to a vicious cycle; using leads to trauma and one of the reasons people continue to use is to quiet the internal echoes of one’s past discomforting episodes, and at a certain point, one loses sight of where the trauma ends, and they begin.

Trauma is a time traveller, an ouroboros that reaches back and devours everything that came before." —Junot Díaz

Signs and Symptoms of PTSD

Not surprisingly, PTSD is one of the more common co-occurring mental health disorders accompanying alcohol and substance use disorder. While treatment is effective and long-term recovery is possible, people living with the afflictions like PTSD often struggle accessing assistance. Encouraging people to seek help is of the utmost importance, and society benefits when those struggling receive aid.

In order for individuals to get treatment we first need to discuss what the condition looks like; the signs manifest differently in each person, but the National Center for PTSD lists four symptoms:

  1. Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms). You may have bad memories or nightmares. You even may feel like you're going through the event again. This is called a flashback.
  2. Avoiding situations that remind you of the event. You may try to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event. You may even avoid talking or thinking about the event.
  3. Having more negative beliefs and feelings. The way you think about yourself and others may change because of the trauma. You may feel guilt or shame. Or, you may not be interested in activities you used to enjoy. You may feel that the world is dangerous and you can't trust anyone. You might be numb, or find it hard to feel happy.
  4. Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal). You may be jittery, or always alert and on the lookout for danger. Or, you may have trouble concentrating or sleeping. You might suddenly get angry or irritable, startle easily, or act in unhealthy ways (like smoking, using drugs and alcohol, or driving recklessly.

PTSD, Self-Harm, and Suicide

Most people associate post-traumatic stress with combat; those returning from conflicts overseas often experience lingering effects from exposure to trauma. However, PTSD doesn’t just affect veterans, a noteworthy percentage of general public struggles with the condition, as well; in fact:

  • About 7 or 8 out of every 100 people (or 7-8% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
  • About 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma.
  • About 10 of every 100 women (or 10%) develop PTSD sometime in their lives compared with about 4 of every 100 men (or 4%).

In the absence of treatment, people rely on using drugs and alcohol to cope with their feelings of hopelessness, shame, and despair. While mind-altering substances may quiet one’s anxiety and depression, alcohol and substance use tend only to exacerbate the underlying condition. It’s worth mentioning again that self-medicating mental illness is a vicious cycle; the behavior is a sure path to addiction, self-defeating behaviors, and self-harm. There is a robust association between PTSD and suicidal ideation or attempts. If you or a loved one is contending with thoughts of self-harm, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

Encouraging PTSD Treatment

Greater understanding and awareness of PTSD will help Veterans and others recognize symptoms, and seek and obtain needed care." - Dr. Paula P. Schnurr, Executive Director of the National Center for PTSD

During June, the National Center for PTSD asks that everyone take some time to Learn about PTSD and the valid forms of available treatments; Connect with support services for yourself or a loved one—reach out for help; and Share what you learn about PSTD with the world via social media. When we work together to take the mystery out of mental illness, we can encourage more people to seek help.

At PACE Recovery Center, we can help you or a loved one learn how to navigate life without resorting to drug and alcohol to cope with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Our highly qualified team of addiction professionals can address your co-occurring mental health disorders and teach you effective coping skills. Please contact us today to learn more about our programs.

Veterans Day 2016 -TAPS, PTSD and PACE

Echoes linger in the heart, long after its tones cease to vibrate in the air...Jari Villanueva

Veterans Day 2016 - TAPS

Veterans Day Bugler Arlington National Cemetery Veterans Day 2016 TAPS PTSD PACE
Bugler Arlington National Cemetery
Tomorrow November 11, 2016, our nation will celebrate Veterans Day. It is a Federal Holiday that is always held on the exact day...we do not move it to a nearby Monday to create a magical three-day holiday, we stay the course and call to mind those who have served in our military, as well those who have died as a result of that service. We reminisce the end of World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. TAPS will be played at our National Cemeteries, the President will hear TAPS as he presents a memorial wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, and people will recognize the soulful melody of TAPS.

How much do you know about TAPS?

There is no doubt that if you were to ask someone "What is TAPS?" perhaps they would think of the 1981 movie TAPS, or they might associate it with an acronym of a present day organization; however, most will have some association to the  simple 24-note melancholy bugle call known as "TAPS." It is in fact the final call of the day at military bases...and interestingly was a Dutch command "taptoe" - to shut ("toe to") the "tap" of a keg."  For a clearer understanding of its origin, we are sharing a video from the History Channel.

Veterans and PTSD

In our world of today, we often hear people use the phrase "a call to action." TAPS, in its own way, is a call to action - end the day and begin rest. This past week we read with interest an article published by U.S. News and World Report: "A Call to Better Treat PTSD in Our Military Veterans." Here at PACE Recovery Center we offer dual diagnosis treatment for veterans and others who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) recognizing its complications associated with addiction and suicide. It is a complex problem and one that calls for more research.  Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, points out in trying to understand why there has not been more dedicated PTSD research:
There are three reasons. First, the idea of psychological weakness is antithetical to military culture with its ethos of aggression and invulnerability – so military leaders were reluctant to recognize and accept its existence. In the interim, many soldiers were accused of cowardice, in some cases punished and even executed, for their infirmity. Second, mental disorders are not tangible and have no visible physical signs. Hence, they are not seen as real and are often ignored or minimized. Third, PTSD was considered to be a military problem and thus the responsibility of the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.
We will continue to follow this call to action and keep our readers informed.

PACE Recovery Center's commitment to treating veterans

Each year on Veterans Day we feature our staff who are veterans and those who have special training and experience in treating veterans. In 2013  and 2014 we introduced and focused on staff members Sean Kelly and Victor Calzada.  In 2015 we proudly recognized Matthew Johnson, Dr. Hisham Korraa, M.D., Dr. Ryan Wright, M.D., and Dr. Venice Sanchez, M.D. 
Clinical Psychologist Helen O'Mahony, Ph.D. Veterans Day 2016 TAPS PTSD PACE
Clinical Psychologist Helen O'Mahony, Ph.D.
This year the PACE team would like you to meet Helen O'Mahony, Ph.D. Dr. O’Mahony is a licensed clinical psychologist. She has worked in the mental health field for over 13 years. She has worked with all populations and specializes in dual diagnosis. Dr. O’Mahony runs experiential groups to help clients not just talk about their maladaptive patterns but to help them transform them. She received her BA and Masters from Boston University and moved to Los Angeles in 2001. While working as a program director at the Salvation Army located at the West LA VA campus she received a lot of experience working with veterans diagnosed with PTSD and substance abuse along with other diagnoses. She received her Ph.D. from California Graduate Institute at the Chicago School in 2008.

In closing...

PACE Recovery Center staff and the gentlemen whom we treat wish veterans and their families a peaceful and memorable Veterans Day 2016.  Be thankful, graceful and hold dear...
In war, there are no unwounded soldiers. ~José Narosky

Traumatic Childhood and Substance Use Disorder

substance use disorderAs the month of June has come to a close and the July 4th holiday is almost here, we felt it would be a good idea to focus on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition that affects many Americans. The National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD) reports that about 8 million adults have PTSD during any given year. Left untreated, those afflicted by PTSD will often turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their feelings. As you might expect, mind altering substances while they may provide some temporary relief—only serve to exacerbate the problem. Posttraumatic stress victims, sadly, will often make the choice to find permanent relief by way of suicide.

PTSD Awareness Month

In the United States, the Senate designated June 27th as National PTSD Awareness Day. The NCPTSD chose the month of June as PTSD Awareness Month; however, we should always be aware of PTSD and how it might impact us and our loved ones. While posttraumatic stress is often considered to be a problem that affects those who have served in combat, it is in fact a condition that can develop from a serious trauma, such as domestic violence or sexual assault. PTSD symptoms include:
  • Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms).
  • Avoiding situations that remind you of the event.
  • Negative changes in beliefs and feelings.
  • Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal).

Treatment Works

Please take a moment to watch the short video below: If you are having trouble watching the video, please click here.

Traumatic Childhood

Researchers from the University of Toronto have published a study which showed that children who experience traumatic events, are at a much greater risk of developing a substance use disorder. The research team found that one in five drug-dependent adults and one in six alcohol-dependent adults had experienced sexual abuse as child, PsychCentral reports. One in seven adults with a substance use disorder had been exposed to chronic parental domestic violence. The findings were published in Substance Use & Misuse. “Our findings underline the importance of preventing childhood abuse and domestic violence,” said study co-author Jessica Roane in a news release. “In addition, social workers and other health professionals must continue to support survivors of these childhood adversities across the lifespan, with particular attention to substance abuse and dependence issues.”

Recovery

It was mentioned earlier that using drugs and alcohol to cope with PTSD is a slippery slope that more often than not leads to addiction. It is paramount that both the PTSD and substance use disorder be treated simultaneously for recovery to be achieved. At PACE Recovery Center we specialize in the treatment of co-occurring disorders (dual diagnosis). Please contact us to begin the journey of recovery. Wishing you all a peaceful, safe and sober July 4th Holiday.

PACE Salutes Veterans November 11, 2015

Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.   Tecumseh
The Korean War Veterans Memorial is located in Washington, D.C.'s West Potomac Park, southeast of the Lincoln Memorial and just south of the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall. It commemorates those who served in the Korean War.
The Korean War Veterans Memorial is located in Washington, D.C.'s West Potomac Park, southeast of the Lincoln Memorial and just south of the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall. It commemorates those who served in the Korean War.
Tecumseh is gone now over 200 years, but his words still echo when we consider the power of a nod of understanding and appreciation for the men and women who have served our country throughout times of war and peace. So again,  PACE salutes Veterans November 11, 2015: We will stop what we are busy doing, maybe just for a few minutes, and consider the sacrifices made by our veterans to build and protect our freedoms and those of other countries.

Understanding veterans with addiction and PTSD, at the movies...

Over the past couple of years there have been a number of movies about war and PTSD, such as American Sniper, Unbroken and Railway Man. Two of these movies dealt directly with the impact of PTSD, and while Unbroken didn’t deal with Zamperini’s alcoholism and PTSD many of his family members will attest to his suffering from both and receiving help for his addiction and PTSD. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the term we have used for the past few decades to describe what many veterans experience as the result of service in times of war and minor conflicts. Over the centuries, the definitive terms were hysteria, melancholia, battle fatigue, combat fatigue, shell-shock, or operational exhaustion. In 2015 The Wounded Warrior Project conducted an annual survey of 23,000 injured service members and found that three in four wounded veterans are dealing with PTSD. This month a film completed in 2014 is now more widely available to view in the United States - Of Men and WarAccording to The Hollywood Reporter,  “...the horrors of the battlefield come home to roost in ways that are both riveting and deeply disturbing in Of Men and War (Des hommes et de la guerre), a remarkable chronicle of Iraq War veterans suffering from the devastating effects of PTSD.” This month Of Men and War will have playdates across the United States, including Southern California. Learning from films can be personal, powerful, and provocative.

PACE is honored by the service of veterans and our psychiatrists’ specialized skills

Matthew Johnson
Matthew Johnson
On Veterans Day 2013 we proudly featured two veterans who serve on our staff: Sean Kelly, now PACE’s Chief Operation Officer and Victor Calzada, A PACE Resident Manager. This year we want to also recognize Matthew Johnson, A PACE Resident Manager who served four years in the Marine Infantry and highlight our Consulting Psychiatrists who are experts in the field of addiction and skilled in working with those suffering from PTSD, including veterans. Dr. Hisham Korraa, M.D.Dr. Hisham Korraa, M.D. is a UCLA trained psychiatrist specializing in psychotherapy and medication management for adults and adolescents. With a heavy emphasis on addressing the individual, Dr. Korraa’s treatment focuses on variables that would impact the individual’s development and coping patterns over the course of the years. Dr. Korraa developed a special interest in helping individuals overcoming their chemical dependency issues and addressing underlying core struggles to focus on growth and health. Dr. Korraa works well with several different chemical dependency programs in Orange County including PACE Recovery Center and he maintains a strong relationship with his patients well after their acute recovery period. Dr. Korraa did his undergraduate training at University of Houston. He later graduated from Texas Tech School of Medicine. He then specialized in Psychiatry at the reputable UCLA/Sepulveda Training Psychiatry Program. Being exposed to several different facilities in the Los Angeles area (with much exposure to veterans in the greater LA VA and Sepulveda VA program), Dr. Korraa became well versed in PTSD and chemical dependency. In addition to psychopharmacology and individual therapy, Dr. Korraa is one of the very few physicians who also specializes in both the transcranial magnetic treatment of depression and deep brain nerve stimulation of obsessive compulsive disorder. Dr. Korraa has been awarded multiple awards over the course of the years. He has been recognized by his patients with several “Patient’s Choice Award” and “Compassionate Doctor Recognition”. He has also been recognized as among the best rated doctors in the area. Dr. Ryan Wright, M.D. PsychiatristDr. Ryan Wright, M.D. is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He completed college, medical school, and residency at the University of California, Irvine. While in college, Dr. Wright graduated Magna cum laude from the school of Biological Sciences at UCI, was invited to join the national honors society Phi Beta Kappa, and graduated from the Campuswide Honors Program at UCI. During medical school and residency at UCI, he received extensive training on treating a wide range of psychiatric disorders utilizing both medication management and psychotherapy. Dr. Wright worked extensively at the Long Beach VA treating veterans for post traumatic stress disorder. He successfully mastered the skill of using cognitive behavioral therapy to improve the quality of life of veterans after returning home from overseas. During his final year of his residency, Dr. Wright elected to spend a significant portion of his year working at a substance abuse treatment facility in Orange County in order to gain specialized training in the field of chemical dependency. This experience allowed him to treat psychiatric patients who have a co-morbid substance abuse diagnosis. Dr. Venice Sanchez, M.D. PsychiatristDr. Venice Sanchez, M.D.  received her Bachelor’s degree from University of California, Los Angeles and Medical Degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. She continued her training at the University of California, Irvine Psychiatry Residency Program where she was recognized by faculty with the Outstanding Resident of the Year Award as an acknowledgement for her dedicated efforts in education, the clinics and her work with her patients. Dr. Sanchez has had extensive training at multiple facilities under supervision of experts in her field, which allowed her to gain comprehensive knowledge and experience in treating a wide array of psychiatric disorders. Her work at Long Beach VA, Pat Moore Rehabilitation Center, San Diego Detention facilities allowed her to gain expertise in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Substance Abuse and mood and thought disorders underlying the substance use. Dr. Sanchez realizes the significant need in women’s health, especially in treating pregnant and post-partum patients who are struggling with mental illness. She not only trained with a specialist at the Maternal and Fetal clinic at UCI Medical Center, she was also a forefront in opening up the first Women’s Mental Health Medication Management Clinic at Long Beach VA Veteran’s Hospital. Her passion for her field allowed her to diligently pursue the much needed training and experience in treating patients who have a co-morbid psychiatric diagnosis.

In closing…

PACE Recovery Center staff and the gentlemen whom we treat salute all veterans, remembering their sacrifices. Gratefully the enormity of these sacrifices is memorialized in monuments in our nation’s capital (see below) and throughout our country with national cemeteries that provide a final resting spot, a permanent salute to our veterans. ___________________________________________________________________________ If you are or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, please contact Pace Recovery Center.
Iwo Jima Memorial
The United States Marine Corps War Memorial is a United States military monument sited at the back entrance to Arlington National Cemetery .
 
World War II Memorial
The World War II Memorial is a memorial of national significance dedicated to Americans who served in the armed forces and as civilians during World War II.
 
Vietnam's Women Memorial
The Vietnam Women's Memorial is a memorial dedicated to the women of the United States who served in the Vietnam War, most of whom were nurses. It serves as a reminder of the importance of women in the conflict.