Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

One of the ways we at CCI treat mental illness is through the use of psychotherapy (“talk therapy”). One such form of therapy is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Unlike cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on identifying inaccurate perceptions of others and themselves, DBT focuses on using concepts of mindfulness and acceptance or being aware and attentive to current situations and emotional states. This form of therapy was originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD); however, in more recent years, it has been shown to help with a myriad of mental disorders. DBT also gives clients the skills they need to control intense emotions and reduce self-destructive behaviors. This makes it an excellent candidate for treating substance use disorder (SUD).

What Does DBT Look Like?

DBT incorporates eastern meditative practices and focuses on acceptance and change. It incorporates mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotional regulation, and distress tolerance.

Core Mindfulness

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), mindfulness is a psychological process of actively paying attention to the present moment. This means being aware of your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and urges. By practicing mindfulness, we are given the power to be aware of ourselves in a way that promotes and assists in emotional regulation. We learn to accept ourselves and change ourselves.

An example of practicing mindfulness may be approaching an employer to request a certain day off. Perhaps it’s your parent’s birthday, and you want to help with their surprise party. When you approach your employer, you may be tempted to make assumptions about their reaction:

“My employer will definitely say no, then I’ll arrive late to their surprise party and everyone will say that I’m the worst and I won’t get any cake and no one will come to my party in 3 months all because my employer is a jerk.”

Your behavior may reflect this assumption. You may come across as combative or irritable as you make your request. By practicing mindfulness, you stay in the present moment:

“I’m going to ask my employer, politely, if I can have this day off. They may say no, they may say yes. Here is what I will say, and this is how I will act when I say it.”

By being mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and actions, you empower yourself.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

One of the major goals in DBT is to build and maintain positive relationships. DBT has dissected interpersonal skills that those with healthy interpersonal relationships develop naturally and breaks them down into a series of descriptive acronyms. Mastering these skills can be helpful to anyone, but they are especially helpful for individuals who have experienced trauma or were otherwise unable to develop healthy interpersonal communication skills organically.

Using these skills can help you navigate the above scenario. Using the acronyms, you can walk through the interpersonal effectiveness steps before and after interacting with your employer. The more you practice interpersonal effectiveness, the more natural these skills become. Eventually, you should subconsciously begin practicing them amid everyday conversations without even thinking about it.

Emotional Regulation

If you are suffering from a mental disorder, you may have found that you have a negative relationship with the concept of feelings. You may even blame them for negative experiences you’ve had throughout your life. It is important to remember that emotions serve an important purpose: to communicate information to us about our experiences and environment. DBT uses a variety of tools to help those who feel as though their emotions control them. Some goals of emotional regulation include:

  • Naming and understanding emotions
  • Decreasing the frequency of negative emotions
  • Decreasing our vulnerability to emotions
  • Decreasing emotional suffering

In the earlier illustration, should your meeting with your employer go negatively, for example, this skill will allow you to process the disappointment and frustration positively and helpfully so that you may continue to practice interpersonal effectiveness.

Distress Tolerance

Distress is an unfortunate but natural part of life. We may experience it due to major life events, such as the death of a loved one, loss of employment, or the end of a significant long-term relationship. On the other hand, there are less drastic events that can cause different kinds of distress, such as finding yourself stuck in traffic, being unhappy with your appearance, or being unable to participate in a major event for a loved one (such as you guessed it, your parent’s surprise birthday party).

DBT teaches a series of skills designed to help navigate emotional crises of all forms. It gives us the ability to accept what is causing the distress and move forward with our lives despite it.

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Is DBT Right for You?

DBT is a powerful tool that can help clients who are suffering from suicidal thoughts and destructive behavior. For this reason, it is often used in the treatment of many different mood disorders, personality disorders, and SUDs. At Crownview Co-Occurring Institute, DBT is just one of several psychotherapies we use to ensure our clients have the tools they need to overcome their mental illness and lead healthier lives.

Using a comprehensive diagnosis process, we identify and diagnose the disorder (or co-occurring disorders) that has disrupted the lives of our clients and their loved ones. We understand that each individual who walks through our doors is not just a statistic but a person who needs help.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a severe mental or substance abuse disorder, we may be able to help. Call us at (760) 477-4754 for more information.

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Stellate Ganglion Block for Trauma

Stellate Ganglion Block for Trauma

Stellate Ganglion Block for Trauma

Stellate Ganglion Block for Trauma

Emotional trauma can be difficult to identify and treat. It can seep into our everyday lives, impact our decisions, and can trigger depressive episodes or be the cause of other long-term disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Here at Crownview Co-Occurring Institute, we work with those who have experienced a traumatic event and those who live with severe PTSD. Alongside talk therapy and educational programs designed to provide our clients with the skills they need to return to their daily life, we also use a variety of medicinal treatments. This includes the stellate ganglion block (SGB).

What Is Stellate Ganglion Block?

The goal of the SGB is to provide relief from symptoms such as continual sleep disturbance, surges of anxiety and irritability, difficulty concentrating, jumpiness, and other life-altering symptoms of anxiety disorders. These symptoms are very common in those who suffer from numerous anxiety disorders, including PTSD.

Using image-guided techniques, one of our highly trained doctors injects a local anesthetic into the stellate ganglion. This cluster of nerves is found at the base of the neck and is a part of the sympathetic nervous system. These nerves, when stimulated, prepare the organism for stress by increasing its heart rate, increasing blood flow to the muscles, and decreasing flow to the skin. By injecting the local anesthetic into this cluster of nerves, we can relieve symptoms of anxiety and PTSD and provide a restored sense of safety to our clients.

Stellate Ganglion Block and PTSD

PTSD is a life-altering disorder that can be debilitating to live with. The sympathetic nervous system is known to play a part in PTSD. Some believe that extreme trauma can cause physical changes to this system, leading to PTSD symptoms that may persist for years.

This mental disorder can develop in individuals who have lived through a shocking, dangerous, or traumatic event. These events can be violent or traumatic (such as being physically attacked or being in a car crash), but they do not have to be. Unexpected life events, such as the sudden death of a loved one, can also lead to PTSD. Symptoms usually begin early, within three months of the traumatic incident, and may last for years.

These symptoms are often disruptive to the lives of those who live with it and cause significant medical, interpersonal, and social impairment. There are various treatments available for PTSD, including psychotherapy and medicine. SGB has shown to be effective for those who have not fully responded to conventional therapies.

Anyone can develop PTSD at any age. To be fully diagnosed with PTSD, an adult must have the following for at least one month:

  • At least one re-experiencing symptom, such as a flashback, bad dreams, or frightening thoughts
  • One avoidance symptom, such as avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event or avoiding objects, events, or places that they may associate with the event
  • At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms, such as being easily startled, feeling tense and on edge, having difficulty sleeping, and experiencing angry outbursts
  • At least two cognition and mood symptoms, such as trouble remembering the traumatic event, negative thoughts about oneself or the world, distorted feelings like guilt or blame, or a loss of interest in enjoyable activities

There are many first-line treatments for PTSD, such as psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two. However, there have been several challenges identified in the effectiveness of these treatments. Some barriers for those with PTSD include concerns about the treatment, a lack of emotional readiness for treatment, stigma, and logistical difficulties. SGB provides an alternative and innovative approach to improving the health and well-being of PTSD. Some of the proposed benefits include:

  • Destigmatizing treatment by offering a physical treatment for PTSD management: Many are reluctant to rely on psychotherapy or medication to treat their symptoms. For some individuals, the knowledge that they are undergoing a procedure to treat their mental illness can validate the severity of their PTSD without robbing them of their agency.
  • Offering a fast-acting treatment alternative with improvements reported within minutes to days of the procedure: As mentioned above, there can be a reluctance to rely on medication or psychotherapy alone. Often, the reluctance stems from the time this treatment takes. Clients may not feel as though they can wait for several weeks for treatment to begin effect.
  • Offering a treatment that does not require continuous daily or weekly administration: SGB may reduce symptoms of PTSD for at least a few weeks. This removes the necessity for patients to take daily or weekly dosages of medications to control their PTSD symptoms.

Is Stellate Ganglion Block Right for You?

Only an accurate diagnosis and discussion with a medical professional can truly answer this question. Here at Crownview Co-Occurring Institute, we work with our clients to ensure that the corrected diagnosis is provided so that we can provide the best possible treatment. We’ve worked with many individuals over the years, and in some cases, psychotherapy, medication, and a focus on life skills have been enough to help someone recover. In those cases where additional help was needed, we found SGB treatment to be effective, especially in those struggling with severe PTSD symptoms.

It may be difficult for a client to take that initial step themselves. It is important to remember that you can get better, although it may take some time. With the help of psychotherapy, medication, and long-term treatment, we at CCI will do our best to help all of our clients to take control of their lives in a way that caters to their individual needs.

If you or a loved one has been experiencing life-altering symptoms of PTSD, then the stellate ganglion block may be right for you. Call us today at (760) 477-4754 for more information.

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Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia

Appearing most frequently in the later stages of adolescence and early adulthood, schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that affects people’s thinking, mood, social functioning, perception of their surroundings, and sense of personal safety. It is essential to recognize the symptoms of schizophrenia and seek treatment as early as possible, as it can be debilitating if left untreated.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

The onset of schizophrenia is usually gradual, starting with changes in behavior and mood. To friends and family members, the early symptoms of schizophrenia may be easy to overlook, and the onset of more severe episodes may seem sudden and unexpected. Symptoms vary from person to person, but a diagnosis will typically fall into three main categories: psychotic, negative, and cognitive.

Psychotic Symptoms

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, psychosis is a term used to describe any condition that affects the mind in such a way that there has been some loss of contact with or understanding of reality. Those with psychotic symptoms often experience the world in a distorted way. Common psychotic symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations: Physically experiencing something that is not there. Hallucinations may be seen, heard, smelled, tasted, or felt. Hearing voices is especially common in those who suffer from schizophrenia. They may experience these hallucinations for some time before anyone in their life notices a problem.
  • Delusions: While hallucinations are imagined physical experiences, delusions are beliefs that are not true and seem irrational to others. An example would be the belief that those in their life are trying to cause them harm or the belief that their medication is designed to control them instead of helping them.
  • Thought disorder: This term describes symptoms of unusual, illogical, and challenging to comprehend thoughts. Individuals may have trouble organizing their ideas and expressing them to others. They may also stop talking in the middle of a thought, jump from various topics, or simply make up words that have no meaning.
  • Movement disorder: This is when a person moves abnormally; for example, by repeating motions over and over.

Negative Symptoms

Negative symptoms include things like loss of motivation, withdrawal from social life, difficulty expressing emotions, and difficulties with functioning. Some of these may be mistaken as symptoms of depression. However, while depression may manifest similarly, there are some distinct differences. Some examples of negative symptoms include.

  • Difficulty anticipating and feeling pleasure in everyday activities
  • Limited facial expressions and adopting a dull or monotonous manner of speech
  • Isolating oneself or having difficulty with socialization
  • Difficulty planning and executing everyday activities

Cognitive Symptoms

Cognitive functioning refers to a variety of mental processes, such as thinking, reasoning, remembering, problem-solving, decision-making, and learning. In some cases, someone with schizophrenia may find that they suffer from interruptions to these processes resulting in a significant impact on their day-to-day functioning. Some of the symptoms described also overlap with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other learning disorders, and so these symptoms may be mistaken or overlooked. Cognitive symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty following conversations
  • Difficulty learning new things
  • Difficulty processing information
  • Inability to use new information after learning it
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Inability to remember appointments

These symptoms vary in severity over time, with periods of worsening and remission of symptoms. Other symptoms may also present.

Violence

It is important to remember that most of those living with schizophrenia are not violent. That being said, the risk of self-harm and violence is greatest if the illness is left untreated. It is imperative to seek treatment as soon as possible to reduce the risk of self-harm.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse

As the early onset of schizophrenia may look or feel like symptoms we associate with various mood and cognitive disorders, it is not uncommon for individuals to seek out substances to treat their symptoms. These substances have been known to trigger a psychotic episode in some cases. Substance use can also interfere with treatments for schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia

Seeking Treatment

An unfortunate aspect of schizophrenia is that the individual often lacks awareness that the difficulties they have been experiencing stem from a mental disorder. For this reason, it often falls to friends and family to seek help. If you think someone in your life is living with schizophrenia, you can talk to them about your concerns. If they are experiencing psychosis, here are some things you can do:

  • Help them get treatment and encourage them to stay in treatment.
  • Understand that while they may be experiencing hallucinations and delusions, these experiences feel very real to them.
  • Be respectful and supportive without tolerating dangerous or inappropriate behavior.

If you believe the individual may pose a danger to themselves or others, you should seek out emergency responders for help so that they can be evaluated by a mental health professional.

There is no cure for schizophrenia. This is a disorder that requires life-long treatment to manage. While other disorders may be manageable without medication, schizophrenia often requires antipsychotic medications to lessen the intensity and frequency of symptoms. In addition to medication, at Crownview Co-Occurring Institute, we believe in using therapy and life-skills coaching in combination with medication to find solutions in dealing with everyday challenges.

While this disorder is ongoing and severe, this diagnosis does not have to suggest doom. When schizophrenia is treated and managed over the long term, the client can live a normal and fulfilled life.

Schizophrenia is a complex disorder that can be debilitating to live with. If you have a loved one who is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, don’t hesitate to call us today at (760) 477-4754 for more information.

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PTSD

PTSD

PTSD

PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects millions of families each year. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), “About 6 out of every 100 people (or 6% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives.” The effects of PTSD can impact many areas of a person’s life. Crownview Co-Occurring Institute offers premier mental health treatment services for acute and chronic mental health conditions, including PTSD and co-occurring conditions.

What Is PTSD?

Some individuals who witness or experience traumatic events have difficulty processing what happened, leading to maladaptive coping mechanisms. The mental distress can cause PTSD and other trauma-related conditions to develop. If left untreated, PTSD can significantly decrease quality of life and interfere with the following:

  • Relationships
  • Productivity
  • Communication
  • Stress management
  • Physical health

For some individuals, the memories of traumatic events cause physical and mental stress responses that interfere with everyday activities. The severity of symptoms depends on multiple factors. Crownview Co-Occurring Institute provides personalized treatment plans to address common symptoms and side effects, including:

  • Flashbacks
  • Intrusive thoughts related to the trauma
  • Dissociative events
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Increased startle responses
  • Lower stress threshold
  • Co-occurring disorders

Our clinicians use trauma-informed care to ensure clients have the tools they need to recover from PTSD.

Possible Risk Factors for Developing PTSD

Research indicates there may be genetic and environmental factors associated with the likelihood someone will be diagnosed with PTSD at some point in their lifetime. According to the United States Social Security Administration (SSA), “Approximately 10 percent of women and 4 percent of men develop PTSD at some point in their lives.” PTSD does not discriminate. Anyone who experiences chronic or acute distress has the potential to develop PTSD.

Frequent risk factors include witnessing or experiencing the following:

  • Childhood sexual or physical abuse
  • Childhood neglect
  • Domestic abuse
  • Living or working in a war zone
  • Surviving a natural disaster
  • Gun violence
  • Physical assault
  • Sexual harassment or abuse
  • A severe illness or injury

Not everyone who experiences trauma will develop PTSD. Every case of PTSD is unique. For some people, the symptoms do not begin to manifest until months or even years after the traumatic event. Risk factors play a significant role in how the disorder manifests, including the development of co-occurring conditions.​

Possible Risk Factors for Developing PTSD

Possible Risk Factors for Developing PTSD

Research indicates there may be genetic and environmental factors associated with the likelihood someone will be diagnosed with PTSD at some point in their lifetime. According to the United States Social Security Administration (SSA), “Approximately 10 percent of women and 4 percent of men develop PTSD at some point in their lives.” PTSD does not discriminate. Anyone who experiences chronic or acute distress has the potential to develop PTSD.

Frequent risk factors include witnessing or experiencing the following:

  • Childhood sexual or physical abuse
  • Childhood neglect
  • Domestic abuse
  • Living or working in a war zone
  • Surviving a natural disaster
  • Gun violence
  • Physical assault
  • Sexual harassment or abuse
  • A severe illness or injury

Not everyone who experiences trauma will develop PTSD. Every case of PTSD is unique. For some people, the symptoms do not begin to manifest until months or even years after the traumatic event. Risk factors play a significant role in how the disorder manifests, including the development of co-occurring conditions.

Common Types of Co-Occurring Disorders

Many people diagnosed with PTSD have other mental health issues directly related to their trauma. According to Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Military and Veteran Populations (National Academies Press), ”[H]aving PTSD significantly increased the odds of onset of comorbid conditions.” In addition, “A recent meta-analysis found that 52% of people with current PTSD had co-occurring major depressive disorder.”

We use trauma-focused care, and personalized treatment plans to ensure that every client receives the support they need to heal and recover from PTSD and co-occurring disorders, including:

  • Depression
  • Substance use disorder (SUD)
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Borderline personality disorders

The comprehensive admissions process at Crownview Co-Occurring Institute includes an assessment to determine if clients require additional therapy to treat dual diagnosis. In addition to providing support for mental health recovery, we also offer treatment programs for individuals struggling with substance misuse.

PTSD and Substance Abuse

Many individuals who suffer from trauma-related mental health issues turn to substance misuse to cope with the emotional pain and symptoms. Research published in Clinical Psychology reported that “[I]ndividuals with PTSD were 2 to 4 times more likely than individuals without PTSD to meet criteria for an SUD.” The treatment programs at Crownview Co-Occurring Institute provide a safe space where clients can achieve and maintain sobriety.

PTSD Treatment at Crownview Co-Occurring Institute

We collaborate with clients to create a personalized treatment plan. Many individuals require integrative therapy that combines various therapeutic methods to address any co-occurring disorders and symptoms. Trauma specialists on our team provide the following:

  • Ancillary pharmacological including stellate ganglion blocks
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Solution-focused therapy
  • Prolonged exposure therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Alternative holistically therapies

In addition to providing evidence-based therapies, we also offer educational classes and skill development. Clients have an opportunity to learn, grow, and heal under the expert guidance of our clinical team.

Benefits of Trauma-Informed Treatment

We use trauma-informed care to reduce the risk of retraumatization and encourage trust between clients and the clinical team. The experts at Crownview Co-Occurring Institute understand that trauma-informed care enhances the effectiveness of treatment and helps stabilize individuals recovering from trauma-related issues. During rehabilitation, clients who feel safe and understood are more confident about ongoing recovery and often have better outcomes. Other benefits of trauma-focused therapy include enhanced communication skills and a lower risk of relapse for individuals with co-occurring SUD.

Continuing Care and Aftercare Services

Trauma affects everyone differently, and some individuals might require long-term therapy to address all underlying and co-occurring issues related to their post-traumatic stress disorder. The clinical team at Crownview Co-Occurring Institute collaborates with each client to construct a tailored aftercare plan that ensures they continue receiving the support they need after completing a treatment program.

Aftercare services we offer include:

  • Referrals to outside doctor and therapist offices
  • Assistance with acquiring financial, housing, or job placement services
  • Information about local self-help groups and community organizations
  • Alumni services and support

We help our clients prepare to transition out of treatment by making sure they have a strong support system in place and access to all relevant resources.

Crownview Co-Occurring Institute offers a wide range of treatment options for individuals struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. To learn more about our treatments and program services, call our office today at (760) 477-4754

Ready to Get Started Now?


Get In-Touch

Looking for treatment for yourself or a loved one? Get started by connecting with one of our compassionate treatment specialists. Use the Contact Form here or, call us now at  760.433.4357.

Verify Your Insurance

Go here to “Verify your Insurance.” One of our admissions staff members will be in touch with you as soon as possible. We’ll help answer any questions and guide you through the intake process.


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Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Anxiety is a natural part of life. It is not at all unusual to experience feelings of fear or reluctance when trying something new. Normal anxiety may occur with a specific situation or problem and typically only lasts as long as that situation. It is also a proportional and realistic response to the situation.

For example, if you are about to present a speech to a group of people it is not at all uncommon to experience some symptoms of anxiety. Your heart may pound as the microphone is handed to you, and you may stutter or shake as you give your speech. On the other hand, if your sibling were to ask you to give a speech at their wedding, and your anxiety was so great that you not only declined the speech but declined to attend the wedding or ever set foot in the same room as your sibling again, you may have an anxiety disorder.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by a consistent feeling of dread that interferes with daily life. It manifests in different ways and can have any number of triggers. It is not the same as experiencing symptoms of anxiety due to a life event or having a day when you’re feeling particularly on edge. Symptoms of this disorder may last for months or even years.

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

How do we describe feelings of anxiety? Well, there are numerous ways that anxiety may present itself. Some examples of symptoms include:

  • Feelings of restlessness, irritability, and frustration
  • Finding yourself easily fatigued after everyday experiences
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Inability to control feelings of worry or doom
  • Inability to fall or stay asleep
  • Headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches, or other unexplained pains

Anxiety may present with only a few of these symptoms. For example, someone might find themselves suddenly exhausted every day, but unable to sleep. They may start experiencing muscle aches and stomach aches before going to the doctor in the hope of receiving treatment, only to be told that there is nothing physically wrong with them. It is important to remember that because these symptoms are not the same between individuals, only a medical professional can confirm that your symptoms are caused by anxiety.

Other Anxiety Disorders

GAD is not the only form that an anxiety disorder may take. There are many different forms of anxiety, all of which require a medical professional to fully diagnose. Some examples of these are:

  • Panic disorder: This disorder is characterized by frequent and unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are moments of intense fear/discomfort or a sense of losing control. These attacks may appear when there is no clear danger or trigger. A person may experience a pounding or racing heart, sweating, chest pain, and an impending sense of doom.
  • Social anxiety disorder: If a client is experiencing anxiety that has been brought on by a persistent fear of being judged or watched by others, they may be diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. In some cases, this disorder may get in the way of attending work, school, social functions, or doing everyday things such as going to the grocery store.
  • Phobia-related disorders: Phobias are characterized by an intense fear of specific objects or situations. Although there are times when fear or anxiety is a realistic response, a phobia represents a fear that is out of proportion to the actual danger caused by the situation or object.

Anxiety

Co-Occurring Disorders

anxiety. Mood disorders such as bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder may also be associated with symptoms of anxiety. To be diagnosed with both depression and anxiety may limit the kinds of medications that may be used to treat your anxiety, which is why it is incredibly important to seek a medical professional for a thorough assessment and diagnosis.

According to the National Library of Medicine, it is also not uncommon for anxiety disorders to co-occur with substance use disorders (SUDs) both in the general population and in treatment-seeking samples. This co-occurrence is associated with greater symptom severity, meaning that while some members of the population may seek substance abuse as a form of self-treatment, it often makes their symptoms significantly worse.

Common Treatments for Anxiety

Trauma affects everyone differently, and some individuals might require long-term therapy to address all underlying and co-occurring issues related to their post-traumatic stress disorder. The clinical team at Crownview Co-Occurring Institute collaborates with each client to construct a tailored aftercare plan that ensures they continue receiving the support they need after completing a treatment program.

Aftercare services we offer include:

  • Referrals to outside doctor and therapist offices
  • Assistance with acquiring financial, housing, or job placement services
  • Information about local self-help groups and community organizations
  • Alumni services and support

We help our clients prepare to transition out of treatment by making sure they have a strong support system in place and access to all relevant resources.

Crownview Co-Occurring Institute offers a wide range of treatment options for individuals struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. To learn more about our treatments and program services, call our office today at (760) 477-4754

Ready to Get Started Now?


Get In-Touch

Looking for treatment for yourself or a loved one? Get started by connecting with one of our compassionate treatment specialists. Use the Contact Form here or, call us now at  760.433.4357.

Verify Your Insurance

Go here to “Verify your Insurance.” One of our admissions staff members will be in touch with you as soon as possible. We’ll help answer any questions and guide you through the intake process.


Address: 315 N. Clementine Street, Oceanside, CA 92054 © Crownview Co-Occurring Institute
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OCD

OCD

OCD

OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a widely misunderstood anxiety disorder. You may have heard someone use the term “OCD” to describe an intense need for order and cleanliness. They may have said something along the lines of: “I’m kind of OCD about that” when referring to a small quirk or pet peeve they have. The truth is that OCD is a complex condition that can severely interfere with daily life.

The National Institute of Mental Health describes OCD as a chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable reoccurring thoughts and behaviors that they feel the urge to repeat over and over. For example, a person may be driven by an obsession with loss of control. They find that they are incapable of leaving their house without checking to ensure their door is locked numerous times, no matter how urgent it is that they leave. The anxiety caused by their obsession may outweigh other important moments or responsibilities in the individual’s life.

Symptoms of OCD

Those with OCD may suffer from symptoms of obsessions, compulsions, or both at once. These symptoms commonly interfere with work, school, personal relationships, and other aspects of everyday life.

Obsessions

Obsessions are thoughts, urges, or mental images that cause anxiety. These symptoms may be intense and intrusive. The person doesn’t necessarily want to have these ideas but is incapable of stopping them. Common obsessions include:

  • Fear of germs: This may manifest as a fear of contact with contamination or infection and may include chemicals, dirt, germs, bodily fluids, or environmental contaminants.
  • Loss of control: The individual may be plagued with fears of their impulses, such as impulsively causing harm to oneself or others and blurting out insults or items.
  • Causing indirect harm: Some find themselves terrified of finding themselves responsible for something terrible such as a fire or burglary or causing indirect harm through careless actions.
  • Perfectionism: The individual may be afraid of losing or forgetting important information, may be obsessed with evenness or exactness, and may be unable to decide whether to keep or discard them.
  • Unwanted taboo thoughts regarding religion, sex, or harm: The person may find themselves plagued by forbidden thoughts or images of a sexual, religious, or violent nature. These thoughts may be general or directly involve others.

We describe OCD as a form of anxiety because these thoughts can make it difficult for the individual to relax. They may find that they are in a constant state of “preparing” or “paying attention” and there may be fear of dire consequences if they “slip up.” This anxiety, in some cases, leads to the development of compulsions to ease those feelings of anxiety.

Compulsions

We use the term compulsion to describe repetitive behaviors that a person with OCD feels to do as a response to obsessive thoughts. Some examples include:

  • Obsessive cleaning, disinfecting, and handwashing
  • Arranging items and furniture in a precise and distinct way
  • Repeatedly checking on things, such as checking to make sure the door is locked, the stove is off, or the lights are off
  • Repeating routine activities or body movements (going in and out of doors, tapping, blinking)
  • Compulsive counting
  • Collecting items (hoarding)

It is important to remember that not all habits or rituals are compulsions. What sets a person with OCD apart is that they cannot control their thoughts or behavior, even if they recognize the behavior as excessive. They may spend at least an hour a day on these thoughts or behaviors. They don’t take any pleasure in the rituals; they instead feel brief and light relief from the anxiety described above. Sometimes, the individual may not even realize their behavior as being out of the ordinary. This can further complicate both diagnosis and treatment.

Tics

Occasionally, individuals with OCD will also have a tic disorder. Tics are sudden, brief, repetitive movements such as a shrug, grimace, head-jerk, or shoulder jerk. There are also vocal tics such as throat-clearing, sniffing, or grunting sounds. For example, a person may experience a tick where their body shudders, and they click their tongue involuntarily when someone says a certain word around them.

People with OCD may try to help themselves by avoiding situations that trigger obsessions, compulsions, or tics. They may also use drugs or alcohol to calm themselves. This self-medicating can further complicate the situation and lead to the development of substance use disorder (SUD).

Symptoms of OCD

Treatment for OCD

Addiction can develop as someone attempts to manage their OCD; for this reason, we have found that treatment first requires an accurate diagnosis by a medical professional. This is the best way to ensure that the major symptoms of OCD are distinguishable from any complications that come from a chemical dependency. We have found that the key to treatment in these cases is integrated care to treat both conditions at the same time.

Here at Crownview Co-Occurring Institute, our multidisciplinary team is highly experienced in diagnosing both OCD and SUD. We understand that every client is unique and that their treatment will need to be individualized to ensure the best results.

OCD is exhausting and can leave an individual feeling as though they’ve lost part of their lives to it. It can cause serious problems with work, personal relationships, and even one’s health.

If you or a loved one has experienced life-altering symptoms of OCD, remember that there is always help. Call Crownview Co-Occurring Institute today at (760) 477-4754  for more information.

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Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a deeply misunderstood mood disorder. It has been known to be misdiagnosed or missed altogether as there is a high likelihood of co-occurring conditions and addiction. This is a mental illness that can have serious effects on the lives of those living with it and those around them. It is commonly understood that bipolar disorder’s primary symptom presents as changes in mood. Still, the primary misunderstandings about the illness revolve around how these changes may present themselves, as well as how often they may occur.

This disorder typically presents itself during late adolescence and early adulthood. In some cases, symptoms may appear in children. Although symptoms vary over time, this disorder typically requires lifetime treatment.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder presents with periods of extreme sadness and lethargy, periods of normality, and periods of extreme hyperactivity, happiness, and recklessness. These periods are referred to as “mood episodes.” These mood changes may be triggered by any number of causes and, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, may last most of the day, every day over days or weeks.

Some symptoms of manic episodes include:

  • Feeling highly elated, excitable, and happy
  • Feeling irritable or touchy
  • A decreased need for sleep
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rapid-fire speech over many topics in one conversation
  • Racing thoughts
  • Feeling invincible, engaging in risky behavior that shows poor judgment
  • Inflated sense of self: feeling unusually important, talented, or powerful

The depressive episodes of bipolar disorder present with symptoms that are similar to major depression. Some of the symptoms you may see include:

  • Feelings of sadness, worthlessness, or emptiness
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Problems with sleep
  • Troubles with concentration or making decisions
  • Feeling unable to do even simple tasks
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

It is not uncommon for people to experience both manic and depressive symptoms in the same episode. This is called an episode with mixed features. A person may feel simultaneously energized, restless and irritable, as well as feeling sad, empty, or hopeless.

Types of Bipolar Disorder

There are currently three known types of bipolar disorder that present with slightly different symptoms. While all three show clear changes in mood and energy, the time and severity change depending on what symptoms are being experienced.

  • Bipolar I disorder: This disorder is defined by manic episodes that last at least seven days or by symptoms that are so severe they require hospital care. Depressive episodes will also occur, lasting for at least two weeks. Episodes of mixed emotions are also possible.
  • Bipolar II disorder: This disorder is characterized by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomania. Hypomania is a manic episode that is significantly less severe than that which is experienced by those with bipolar I.
  • Cyclothymic disorder (cyclothymia): These hypomanic and depressive symptoms may last for years. The symptoms in these cases may not meet the diagnostic requirements for a hypomanic episode and depressive episode.

Frequently Co-Occurring Conditions

It is not uncommon for bipolar disorder to have co-occurring conditions. These co-occurring conditions can severely complicate the diagnostic and treatment process. Some common co-occurring disorders may include:

  • Psychosis: The patient may find that they believe they are famous, have a lot of money, or even have special powers. A patient experiencing psychosis during depression may feel as though they are in a hopeless situation, such as having no money, having committed a serious crime, or having some unrecognized serious illness.
  • Anxiety: There are multiple ways in which anxiety can co-occur with bipolar disorder. Panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are all examples of anxiety disorders that may co-occur with bipolar disorder. This may complicate the accuracy of diagnosis and treatment.
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): ADHD on its own may result in difficulties with mood regulation, often resulting in a misdiagnosis that may go both ways. It is not unheard of for someone to be experiencing both bipolar disorder and ADHD. This may present as someone who experiences the normal symptoms of ADHD but, in addition to this, experiences debilitating depressive episodes and weeks of consistent agitation and lack of sleep.
  • Alcohol or drug abuse: Many people experience addiction in the form of self-medicating. This is an attempt to numb the painful symptoms of an emotional disorder. The unfortunate side effect is that drug or alcohol abuse often worsens the symptoms.
  • Eating disorders: These disorders are associated with severe disturbances in people’s eating habits, and these habits are tied to thoughts and emotions. Preoccupation with food, body weight, and shape may also be symptoms.

When Is It Time to Seek Help?

Bipolar disorder can be devastating to both the client and their families. Medicinal treatment is often required to stabilize mood fluctuations due to the severe impact both manic and depressive episodes may have on the client’s life. If you recognize a pattern in your life that is similar to periods of mania/hypomania and depression, and if that pattern is severely disrupting your life and relationships, it is recommended that you reach out to a medical professional to seek help. Only a medical professional can accurately diagnose bipolar disorder due to some of the overlapping symptoms it shares with other common mood and personality disorders.

Here at Crownview Co-Occurring institute, we have dedicated ourselves to accurate diagnostic procedures and treatments that are designed to do more than mitigate symptoms. Our well-trained clinical and medical staff provide medical, psychological, and integrative therapies, medicinal help, and life-training skills. It is our goal to effectively treat the core issues that cause the life-disrupting mood episodes caused by bipolar disorder. If you or a loved one is struggling with severe depressive symptoms and would like more information about our programs, call us at (760) 477-4754.

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Co-Occuring Disorders

Co-Occurring Disorders

Co-Occurring Disorders

Co-Occuring Disorders

What Is a Co-Occurring Disorder?

Living with any mental disorder can be difficult. Living with multiple disorders simultaneously can make life feel unbearable. “Co-occurring disorder” is a term most commonly used to refer to someone experiencing a co-existing mental illness and substance use disorder (SUD). However, the term can also be used to describe a situation in which a client is suffering from more than one mental illness. Co-occurring disorders complicate both the diagnostic and treatment processes.

How Common Are Co-Occurring Disorders?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), about half of those who experience a SUD will also experience a co-occurring mental disorder and vice-versa. Drug abuse can happen at any time during a person’s life, but it commonly begins in adolescence, when the symptoms of a mental disorder may first present themselves. Adolescence is already a difficult time, as we navigate the path from childhood to adulthood while chemical changes are taking place in our bodies and minds.

Equally difficult is the transition into young adulthood, during ages 18-25 when we begin experiencing major transitions in work, relationships, support, lifestyle, and in some cases, education. Knowing this, it is unsurprising to hear that young people with disorders such as depression, personality disorders, schizophrenia, autism, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more susceptible to developing a SUD.

Childhood ADHD and Co-Occurring Disorders

Undiagnosed ADHD can be a challenging experience for children, adolescents, and adults as they attempt to navigate the world with a severe disadvantage. They may experience high levels of impulsiveness, have difficulting focusing on a task, have more frequent mood swings, and have more difficulty coping with stress than their peers. These differences may complicate their lives and isolate them from others in their age group, putting them at greater risk for co-occurring disorders.

Several studies have documented an increased risk for co-occurring disorders in youth with untreated ADHD. Some examples of this include comorbid conduct disorder, depression and anxiety, and again, a greater likelihood of developing a SUD.

Childhood ADHD

Substance Use Disorder (SUD)

The most common form of a co-occurring disorder is SUD. This is a mental disorder that affects a person’s brain and behavior, leading to an inability to control their reliance on substances such as legal drugs, illegal drugs, medications, or alcohol. The symptoms of SUDs range from moderate to severe, with addiction being the most severe form. The most common examples of SUDs include:

  • Opioid use disorder
  • Stimulant use disorder
  • Sedative use disorder
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Hallucinogen use disorder

Common Risk Factors of SUDs

It is important to remember that while SUDs and other mental disorders commonly co-occur, this does not necessarily indicate causation. There are many reasons why SUDs and other mental disorders may occur together. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), common risk factors for SUDs include:

  • Environmental factors: Abuse, trauma, and other stressors increase the likelihood of a mental disorder as well as the likelihood of co-occurring substance abuse. Working through trauma associated with stress and abuse through therapy can at times help treat SUDs.
  • Genetic factors: Historically, those suffering from SUD or other mental disorders have been accused of a weakness of character. We now understand that, as with most illnesses, mental and physical, genetics and family history play a direct role. It is an illness, not a weakness.
  • Mental disorders: Although not always the case, studies have found that people with mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), may use substance abuse as a form of self-medication. This abuse may temporarily help with some of the symptoms of mental disorders, but in the long term, It often makes the symptoms worse.
  • Chronic pain or illness: Being diagnosed with a chronic illness or trying to manage a chronic condition can be stressful. In some cases, this stress may lead to depression or complicate an already existing mental illness. If the condition requires treatment with an addictive substance (such as an opiate for pain management), the individual may be at greater risk of developing a dependence or SUD related to that medication.

How Can We Treat Co-Occurring Disorders?

Due to the complex nature of SUD and other mental disorders, we understand that finding the right treatment plan can be an arduous process. That’s why we make it our mission to provide expert help to those in our area. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for any mental disorder, including substance abuse. Integrated treatments are required to treat both the physical symptoms and emotional aspects of mental and SUDs.

At Crownview Co-Occurring Institute, we specialize in treating clients with co-occurring disorders using our multi-step program. We use a combination of thorough diagnostic procedures, psychotherapy, and life skill/work skill education to give our clients the tools they need to live a life free of substance abuse. Our treatment plans are comprehensive and tailored to the specific needs of each individual who steps through our door.

If you or a loved one is living with co-occurring mental disorders and/or SUD, you may find the situation feels helpless. It is important to remember that no individual is “too complicated” or “too difficult” to find a treatment plan that is right for them.

Treating co-occurring disorders is a complex task that requires a thorough diagnosis. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of one or more disorders and need help, give us a call at (760) 477-4754.

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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

For most people, life may be full of challenges that affect their day-to-day lives. What sets those living with a mental illness apart is that some of the greatest challenges they face are entirely internal. What do you do when life throws a hurdle your way when you’re already in a major depressive episode? How can you ask for help when your mind tells you that picking up the phone is pointless because there is no support waiting for you on the other end?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy (or talk therapy) where the intention is to identify inaccurate or negative thinking so that you can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them more effectively.  Its goal is to give our clients the tools they need to live with their mental illness and develop helping coping mechanisms for difficult situations.

Why Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

CBT can quickly identify and help clients cope with specific challenges in their day-to-day life. At Crownview Co-Occurring Institute, it is just one of many types of psychotherapy we use to provide highly individualized help to our clients. It is especially adept at addressing emotional challenges.

As CBT excels at treating emotional challenges, many of the disorders it treats are emotional disorders. It can help clients manage their symptoms and prevent a relapse, as well as treat mental illnesses when medications aren’t a good option. Additionally, CBT helps overcome emotional trauma, cope with a medical illness and help manage chronic pain symptoms.

Some examples of disorders that may benefit from CBT include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • PTSD
  • Sleep disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Substance use disorder
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sexual disorders

What Are Some Examples of CBT Practices?

CBT is a solution-based treatment with an emphasis on developing the client’s confidence and using problem-solving skills to cope with difficult situations.

For example, let’s say that a client struggles with extreme social anxiety and a fear of confrontation. They decide to go out to eat, and the server gets their order wrong. Worse still, they’re given something they’re allergic to. They decide this must mean that the server knows them from somewhere and has a personal vendetta against them. The client also believes that it is useless to ask for their order to be corrected because the server has a personal vendetta. Their fear of confrontation, combined with a lack of self-confidence, results in them paying for a meal that they cannot eat.

Some examples of CBT strategies that one might use in this scenario include:

  • Identifying, recognizing, and reevaluating distortions in thinking that are creating problems in the client’s life
  • Developing a better understanding of how others behave (their motivations, etc.)
  • Building the client’s confidence in their abilities and beliefs
  • Having the client face their fears
  • Utilizing role-play scenarios to prepare for problematic interactions and confrontations
  • Learning coping skills to relax the mind and body during intense situations

So what does this look like in practice? We encourage the client to reevaluate the scenario and the emotion it caused. They felt unseen, hurt, and thought that it must have been purposeful. However, by developing a better understanding of others’ behavior, the client can consider that perhaps the server was overwhelmed, which was why they got the order wrong. They acknowledge that it logically was probably not a personal attack.

During their therapy sessions, we work with the client through role-play scenarios, walking them through examples of positive confrontations that end in resolved conflict. We teach them how to face their fears and give them coping mechanisms such as breathing techniques to ease the physical symptoms of anxiety and distress. Using all of these tools, the client takes a deep breath, adjusts their thinking, and politely explains to the apologetic server that there has been a misunderstanding, that they had ordered something else and are allergic to this food.

This is an extremely simplified example of how this treatment might play out in a client’s life. It would take several sessions to see this kind of development, and not every client will need these specific treatments and tactics. It is important to remember that proper diagnosis is required before therapy to ensure that the treatment being received is designed to address the client’s specific problems.

Lessons for Life

The goal of any treatment should always be for the patient to have the confidence, coping skills, and mental wellness to continue forward with their life. CBT uses in-session exercises as well as tools to be used out of sessions to help clients learn how to change their thinking and behavior.

At Crownview Co-Occurring Institute, we believe that life skills, in conjunction with proper medication, can help to achieve sustainable mental wellness. While medications can be used to stabilize a client, the goal is to reduce or even eliminate medications where they are no longer deemed necessary for the client’s well-being. CBT is just one of several therapies that we use to develop those life skills.

Working together with a highly qualified therapist, each client is shown how to identify and correct areas to prevent self-defeating behavior. As the causes of problematic thoughts, feelings and behaviors are identified, they are replaced with tools that will set the client on the path to recovery.

Here at Crownview Co-Occurring Institute, we understand that each client is an individual and that no two treatments will be the same. Our goal is to help those individuals who enter our program by providing them the tools with which to continue forward with their lives post-treatment. If you or a loved one is seeking treatment and would like more information about our programs, call us at (760) 493-2887.

Ready to Get Started Now?


Get In-Touch

Looking for treatment for yourself or a loved one? Get started by connecting with one of our compassionate treatment specialists. Use the Contact Form here or, call us now at  760.433.4357.

Verify Your Insurance

Go here to “Verify your Insurance.” One of our admissions staff members will be in touch with you as soon as possible. We’ll help answer any questions and guide you through the intake process.


Address: 315 N. Clementine Street, Oceanside, CA 92054 © Crownview Co-Occurring Institute
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