Gooden Center
A residential drug treatment center for men located in Pasadena, CA. The Gooden Center is a proud member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP).

(626) 356-0078
191 North El Molino Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101 US

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Archive for March, 2018

Feeling Anxious vs Suffering From Anxiety

Posted on: March 28th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Anxious vs Anxiety

Most people experience the feeling of being anxious in small moments as a natural part of life. When you are late for work because of heavy traffic, have a big meeting coming up or are going on a first date you might feel a bit anxious and worried. However, others might find that their anxious feelings become overwhelming and make it hard for them to function in their daily life.

It is unrealistic to expect that as human beings we should never feel anxious. We have a natural physiological stress response to situations that we feel could be potentially negative or unpleasant. Someone in good mental health can experience anxiety but find ways to cope with it so that it doesn’t prevent them from doing things that they need or want to do.

Whenever anxiety escalates or becomes unmanageable, it could be a sign of a disorder. People can have trouble distinguishing between what could be normal nervousness and the kind of anxiety that requires treatment from a professional. Understanding the symptoms of a real anxiety disorder can help you determine if you have moderate levels of anxiety or if you need to see a therapist.

Defining Anxiousness and Anxiety

In our daily lives, anxious feelings can actually be good thing that help keep us safe and driven. It can help us stay motivated to study for a test, prepare for a meeting or try to make a good first impression. They can also act as a warning signal if there is something dangerous or a real threat that we need to be ready to face.

When anxiety is an occasional occurrence and it acts as a driving force to accomplish tasks then it is not something to be concerned about. However, when anxiety takes over your thoughts on a daily basis and begins to disrupt aspects of your life then it becomes a problem. Someone who has anxiety tends to have irrational fears that are not always related to specific situations that would warrant an anxious feeling.

One of the main differences between feeling anxious and having anxiety is that someone with a serious anxiety problem can no longer find ways to cope with it. Normal feelings of anxiety will pass once a stressful event is over but for someone with anxiety, those feelings continue in a constant state of stress. Their inability to cope with their anxious feelings may lead them to avoid certain situations or fail to complete important tasks.

Causes and Symptoms of Anxiety

Someone with anxiety can be triggered by much more than normal situations where anyone would feel nervous. Any kind of random stressor can set off their anxiety and cause them to feel panicked or upset. The person may know that their fears are baseless but they can’t control their feelings or their physical response.

When someone has a true anxiety attack, they feel more than just a bit of nervousness or butterflies in their stomach. They have real physiological symptoms and emotions that can be very overwhelming and hard to bounce back from. These are some of the symptoms of an anxiety attack:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Concentration issues
  • Excessive sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Depersonalization or a feeling of detachment from the world

These physical symptoms can occur when someone has an acute stress response and may happen on a regular basis. Someone with anxiety will often experience these symptoms when they are not in proportion with the actual stressor. Their response to a certain situation may be so intense that they can’t follow through and instead avoid it altogether.

For example, someone with normal feelings of anxiety might feel nervous before speaking in front of a group and have sweating or shaky hands but push through and finish their speech. Someone having a real anxiety attack will not even be able to make it to the podium. They will avoid the whole situation because their anxiety is so debilitating and they can’t cope with their feelings.

Getting Help for Anxiety

People with normal anxious feelings don’t necessarily need to see a therapist if they are able to manage their nervousness and still participate in stressful situations. Those with anxiety will need to attend treatment or speak with a therapist about the things that they are going through. They need to learn coping mechanisms to help minimize their symptoms and may benefit from having medication to reduce their physical response.

A therapist can help someone with anxiety learn to confront many of their fears and try to find strategies to handle an anxiety attack. Techniques like deep breathing, mindfulness and other tools can help anxiety sufferers to reduce their symptoms. If you or someone you know has issues with anxiety, contact a therapist or treatment center that can help you handle the symptoms.

Opioid Crisis: Who Has the Solution?

Posted on: March 24th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Opioid Crisis

The U.S. has been devastated by a crisis of addiction in recent years, with people struggling to survive their dependency on prescription opioids. Fatal overdoses from opioids have been on the rise and the numbers have become shockingly high. Every day more than 115 die after overdosing on opioids and the problem only continues becoming worse every year.

One of the reasons that opioids became such a huge problem in America is that they were initially marketed as being non-addictive. In the 1990s when new drugs like Oxycontin went on the market, pharmaceutical companies assured the medical community that they were safe and wouldn’t lead to addiction, even backing up their claims with dubious studies. The sale of prescription opioids skyrocketed in the following years and it was subsequently discovered that these medications were in fact highly addictive.

Now opioid abuse and addiction has become one of our top national health challenges that causes serious damage to the U.S. The CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that prescription opioid misuse alone costs the U.S. about $78.5 billion a year including the costs of medical care, lost productivity, addiction treatment and criminal justice involvement. The economic and social burden of opioid addiction is something that needs to be addressed by the government soon to prevent overdoses from continuing to rise.

Expanding Access to Treatment

One of the biggest obstacles to resolving the opioid crisis is providing people with rehabilitation and access to the kind of healthcare they need to recover. It is important for addiction to be seen as a disease and not a moral failing so that the government can provide help to people that are in need. People are still struggling to get the kind of treatment they need because of a lack of access and availability for addiction recovery programs.

Many people are unable to get the treatment they need because they end up at the end of a long wait list or they simply can’t afford rehab and their insurance doesn’t cover it. It is an unfortunate reality that people who are on a waitlist for treatment often end up overdosing before they ever get the help they need. The government must work on providing more treatment centers, easier access and more affordable options covered by insurance.

It may also be helpful to provide people with medications such as buprenorphine or methadone as a temporary solution to help bring the number of overdoses down. When people have access to these medications it can cut the death rate by as much as 50 percent. Making it easy and affordable to access these medications can be a quick fix to save lives until people can get help from professional therapists.

Identifying Addicts and Preventative Education

Another aspect of resolving the opioid crisis is in the hands of physicians who can try to identify a patient that is abusing medication or has the potential to become addicted. Screening patients before giving them prescription opioids can help minimize the possibility of people abusing the drugs or becoming addicted instead of using them for legitimate medical reasons. Physicians can use certain guidelines such as history of past addictions, genetic predisposition to addiction and flagging patients who “doctor shop” to stop providing medication to vulnerable patients.

Whenever physicians become aware of a patient who is seeking out multiple medications from different doctors, they should provide that person with some type of treatment. Cutting off access to opioid prescriptions and providing addicted patients with medications like methadone can help them to start the process of quitting. It is important to realize that physicians need to do their part to start reducing the rising numbers of opioid misuse and overdose.

Preventative education can also be a useful tool in helping people understand the dangers of using opioids. Addictions began to steadily rise because the public was provided with misinformation about the safety of medications like Oxycontin. Educating people about the highly addictive nature of these drugs can influence people to choose alternative types of treatment so that they can avoid developing a dependency.

The combination of increased access to treatment, medication and more preventative measures are all solutions that could potentially help resolve the opioid crisis. There is no one answer as to how the country can solve this growing problem but it is crucial to start taking measures now so that the issue does not continue to escalate. The more people have the ability to receive the treatment they need and are provided with the information that can prevent addiction, the less likely that abuse will keep rising.

Opioid addiction is a complicated issue but treating the problem with compassion and concern can help save lives and prevent people from living with a dependency.

Alcohol Abuse a Part of College Frat Culture “Greek Life”

Posted on: March 24th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Alcohol Abuse

College is a time where many young adults first discover alcohol and the culture of universities often centers around binge drinking and partying. Socially, most college students are expected to drink heavily with their peers and that is especially the case for those involved in college fraternities. Frat houses are known for their parties and unfortunately their heavy alcohol abuse can sometimes lead to problems.

Tragically, some of the alcohol abuse in college can lead to issues like rape, assault and even death. In 2014 as many as 1800 college students died from drinking related causes. There were also 696,000 assaults perpetrated by drunk students, and close to 100,000 college students who were sexually raped or assaulted in incidents involving alcohol.

Although not all of these events involved fraternities, greek life is most well-known for its culture of heavy drinking. Students involved in fraternities are much more likely to abuse alcohol than their peers often because of social pressure to do so. The general enthusiasm for drinking in frat culture makes it a good target for intervention.

Reasons and Causes of Binge Drinking in Frats

What is it about greek life that leads to serious alcohol abuse? Fraternities tend to be resistant to alcohol education because the tradition of drinking is such a big part of being a frat member. Changing the drinking culture would be a major change that would require a lot of effort and intervention.

One of the reasons that drinking is such a constant aspect of frat life is the fact that it is a community living situation. Group members are around one another every day and experience peer pressure in the house to keep drinking. It becomes difficult for individual members to avoid abusing alcohol when their brothers are encouraging them to drink.

Greek houses also tend to have initiation rituals and some type of hazing activities that center around alcohol in some form. Initiating members can involve asking them to drinking heavily and the pressure to do so in order can be too intense to overcome. There have been cases where hazing has led to alcohol poisoning, accidents and even deaths.

Fraternities and sororities also tend to have a lack of supervision over the activities of the house. There are no resident advisors, older adults overseeing the house or rule enforcers that can keep the drinking level down. The leaders of fraternities are upperclassmen who are still young themselves and often campus officials tend to look the other way on their behavior because of the positive economic impact that greek houses have on the school.

Curbing Drinking in Fraternities

With the long standing traditions, peer pressure, and lack of supervision how can fraternities cut down on binge drinking and alcohol related accidents? In the past frat houses have been resistant to educational efforts attempting to intervene and reduce the alcohol consumption in greek culture. Even lessons from peer-mediated groups have been unsuccessful in convincing fraternities to minimize heavy drinking.

It may be necessary to develop stronger interventions in order to help curb the drinking habits that become problematic in greek houses. The existing interventions mainly focused on high risk scenarios with alcohol education but proved to be ineffective. The interventions did not address issues such as correcting misplaced norms about alcohol culture or trying to have frat members understand their own motives for drinking.

Different types of interventions that allow frat members to analyze their own behavior could possibly prove more effective but more research needs to be done to determine if that is the case. Fraternity members can be especially resistant to alcohol education because they often view alcohol use as a way to achieve their social and sexual goals. Certain intervention tactics, however, proved more effective than others such as challenging students’ social expectations when drinking which led to reduced drinking habits.

The culture of fraternities is so closely linked to alcohol that it will take some more carefully designed and administered interventions to combat the problem. Frat members are often motivated by the social aspects of drinking and the feeling that they are bonding with their brothers by drinking heavily. They might also believe that drinking makes them more fun or likeable to their peers.

Over time it could be possible to work toward cutting down on drinking in fraternities in order to keep campuses more safe and healthy for students. However, it would require challenging student beliefs and traditions, asking them to consider the reasons for their behavior and the potential consequences. Focusing interventions on greek houses could help reduce the overall binge drinking behavior throughout college campuses.

Although college students are expected to drink heavily, more actions could be taken to prevent the kind of alcohol related issues that endanger the health and lives of students.

Middle Aged Men “Manxiety”

Posted on: March 23rd, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Middle Aged Men “Manxiety”

A recent trend in mental health issues has been affecting men in their late thirties and forties who are dealing with stress. Older men are coping with the struggles of work, family or being single in a time when they are no longer young with their full life ahead of them. The stress of middle age can lead to the highest levels of anxiety in a person’s life.

When a person is in their twenties they may feel less pressure to be in a stable career or have a long-term relationship. They often don’t worry as much about work or starting a family because they have time to think about what they want to do later in life. In middle age, people can experience a lot of difficulties that they didn’t have to face when they were in their twenties.

In their thirties or forties, people must reflect on what they’ve achieved and what they haven’t. They might begin to think about how their dreams of the past didn’t work out and life didn’t go exactly as they had planned. For men in middle age this can mean not having the career that they wanted or not finding a partner.

Coping with Stress in Middle Age

There are a number of reasons that a man in middle age may experience stress and struggle to cope with their problems. People in middle age can have demanding careers, more responsibilities such as taking care of children or aging parents or difficult marriages. On the other hand they may be experiencing the opposite problem where they have not found a relationship, are still working a low paying job or are getting past the age of potentially having children.

While stereotypically it is women that struggle with feelings of being past their prime if they are single in middle age, men are now starting to experience these worries too. More and more men in their thirties and forties are dealing with the stress of not being settled in their life. They may feel a lack of options as they get older or feel that their biological clock is ticking.

Although rates of anxiety and depression are typically higher for women in middle age, men are also dealing with psychological issues that can affect their health. Research has shown that middle aged men under psychological distress are three times more likely to have a stroke than those without any psychological symptoms. It is important not to ignore the signs of anxiety and to look for coping strategies so that middle aged men can remain healthy.

Men and Anxiety

One of the reasons that it is crucial for men to learn about the signs of anxiety and depression is because it is common for men to ignore or write off their feelings. They may dismiss feelings of anxiety or hide their problems from others by simply saying they are stressed. It can be harder for men to recognize that they need help because they are taught not to show their emotions or to push through them without expressing how they feel.

There has been plenty of research surrounding the type of anxiety that women experience as they age especially in connection with physiological changes such as changing hormone levels and menopause. However, men are sometimes overlooked in these studies in spite of their increasing need for help with psychological issues in middle age. They may experience symptoms but avoid talking about it because of stigma or fear of appearing weak.

Men can have issues such as nervousness, fearfulness, irritability, impatience, edginess or just general anxious feelings. At times these feelings can begin to interfere with their ability to focus or concentrate at work and may make it harder for them to handle relationships. When feelings of anxiety interrupt a person’s life it is important for them to seek help from a professional.

Treating Middle Aged Anxiety

When men feel anxious or depressed they may feel hesitant to seek help or try to keep moving forward instead of dwelling on their problems. However, without professional assistance anxiety symptoms can build up and lead to greater physical and mental health problems. Treatment is crucial in order to minimize symptoms of anxiety and prevent any further issues.

Men have many of the same psychological needs that women have as they age and they need to focus on their own mental health as they cope with the stress of middle age. Anyone who experiences anxiety, no matter what age or what phase they are in their life should seek professional help so that they can heal and recover. If you are suffering from anxiety, contact a local therapist or a treatment center that specializes in anxiety so that you can learn how to manage your symptoms.

Depression Demographics: Who is the Most Depressed in USA?

Posted on: March 22nd, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Depression Demographics

One of the most common mental illnesses in the U.S. is depression affecting more than 16 million Americans. Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability for people between the ages of 15 to 44 and it affects about 6.7% of all adults. People across a wide range of different demographics can be affected by depression.

Depression is a problem that can be debilitating and make it difficult for people to function in their daily lives. They might have trouble performing at work, school or handling their relationships with others. People with a depressive disorder will find it hard to prevent their symptoms from interfering with important things in their life.

People typically experience depression in adulthood but it can actually start early in life with many people developing their symptoms in adolescence. If the person doesn’t receive any treatment, the problem can become worse and cause multiple mental and physical issues. Major depressive episodes can occur periodically throughout a person’s life.

Who Does Depression Affect?

Depression can affect different age groups, races and other types of demographics in varying levels. Women tend to be affected by depression more often than men even within different age groups and with other factors. The prevalence of a person having a major depressive episode tends to occur in 8.5% of women compared to 4.8% of men.

In fact middle aged women actually have the highest rates of depression with the disorder being most prevalent among women age 40 to 59 years old. The lowest rates of depression are seen among teenage boys age 12 to 17 and men over the age of 60. It is believed that hormone changes, genetic factors and personal circumstances can all contribute to the reason why women tend to experience depression more often than men.

Even though gender plays a major role in depression demographics, there are other factors that can influence whether someone is more likely to experience depression. Reports have shown that people living below the poverty level are actually two and a half times more likely to suffer from depression. This factor could have to do with environmental causes of mental health problems making a person living in poverty more vulnerable to a depressive episode.

Certain races and ethnic groups can also experience a higher prevalence of depression than others. People that are biracial or have two or more races tend to report the highest rates of depression. There are also very high rates of depression among people of Native American descent.

Depression and Treatment

Looking at depression statistics, those that have a higher prevalence of experiencing a depressive episode also tend to have severe impairment. In 2016 an estimated 10.3 million US adults had at least one major depressive disorder with severe impairment representing 4.3% of American adults. Of the adults who had a depressive episode in that year, 64% had an episode with severe impairment.

The rates of people who receive treatment for their depression is lower than ideal. About 37% of adults that have had a major depression episode did not seek any kind of treatment. Only about 44 percent received combined treatment of help from a professional as well as medication. ABout 13 percent received treatment from a health professional only and 6 percent received medication only.

With low rates of treatment even among demographics with a very high prevalence of depression, the mental illness is a major problem in the U.S. It is important for people in demographics who are more vulnerable to be aware of the symptoms of depression and the need for getting professional help. Although depression may seem like a natural human emotion, someone who experiences it on a regular basis needs to talk to a therapist to improve their condition.

The stigma behind depression can sometimes make people feel ashamed or afraid to seek help. Going to a treatment center can mean admitting to yourself and others that you have a mental illness and that can be a difficult thing to do. However, treatment is crucial to prevent depression from interfering with day to day aspects of a person’s life and their ability to work and function in relationships.

Although certain demographics may experience depression more often than others, it is possible for someone from any age, gender, economic status or ethnic background to recover from the illness. Getting professional help can increase the quality of life of an individual that is suffering from depression. Talking to a therapist, receiving medication and working on reducing symptoms can all minimize the negative experiences of having depression.

If the U.S. is able to reduce the stigma of depression and get more people in treatment we may be able to see the numbers in these demographics decrease over time.