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 the ‘Mental Health Treatment’ Category

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.

The Placebo Effect in Mental Health

Posted on: March 17th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

The Placebo Effect in Mental Health

Medication can be a useful tool in the field of psychiatry as a way to improve the symptoms of a mental illness by balancing chemicals in the brain. However, there are many interesting cases in which a pill which is designed not to have any effect can also yield improvement in symptoms. The phenomenon of the placebo effect is important to study in the field of mental health to ensure that a medication has a truly positive influence on a person’s illness.

In clinical trials of medications for mental illnesses, the possible placebo effect of a medication needs to be determined. If a medication is making people feel better simply because they think it will make them better then has no real value as an active treatment. However an added placebo effect can be beneficial for a medication that is already proven to have positive results.

The placebo effect can be a helpful way to enhance treatment and get people feeling better quickly. When people have a belief that their condition will improve it can be a powerful motivator in helping them work toward recovery. However, it is still necessary to include active medication and functional treatment to truly improve symptoms of a mental illness.

What are Placebos?

The placebo effect is not fully understood but it is a known phenomenon that can occur in clinical research. Essentially, a placebo is anything that appears to be a “real” medical treatment but isn’t. Studies may use a relatively inactive substance such as saline or sugar and provide it in pill form as a placebo for a control group.

When someone experiences a placebo effect, they are told that their placebo is a real medical treatment and the belief that it is real can cause them to report improvement in their symptoms. A placebo is used to test the effectiveness of a drug compared to a an inactive drug and yet psychological influences can make the placebo seem effective as well. The placebo effect tends to take place more often with issues such as depression and sleep disorders.

There are various theories about why the placebo effect occurs and people are able to improve their symptoms simply through the belief that they are taking active medication. Most research on the placebo effect focuses on the relationship between the mind and the body. A person’s expectations for a pill can potentially dictate how their body responds.

If a person expects a pill to have a certain effect on them then in theory their body’s own chemistry can cause those effects to occur. Studies involving placebos have shown that participants will report bodily responses that they are told will happen because of the pill. If they are told a placebo is a stimulant for example, they might show a higher pulse rate and blood pressure.

The placebo effect can work for both positive and negative reactions. If a person is told a certain pill will improve their depression or help them sleep better then they will experience those things. When people are told a placebo has certain side effects like nausea or headaches then there is a greater chance of those things occurring.

Placebo Effects on Different Illnesses

People often experience positive results from a placebo when they have mental illnesses that are tied to their state of mind. Someone experiencing depression or even severe anxiety problems such as panic disorder is likely to be highly responsive to a placebo. People with posttraumatic stress disorder also have a high placebo response because many of their symptoms have to do with mental stress and memory.

However, certain mental illnesses such as obsessive compulsive disorder are less likely to exhibit a placebo response. Studies show that the placebo effect is not the same across all psychiatric disorders but instead tends to work on specific illnesses. Other issues such as ADHD have little no response to placebos as medication is more effective than behavioral treatment.

In cases where patients take medication that has been proven effective, they can experience an additional positive response as a result of the placebo effect. The medication itself will improve their symptoms and the belief that their treatment will work can also help improve their condition. The added effect of their mental state can go a long way to reducing the issues they are having with their mental illness.

Physicians can take advantage of the placebo effect by providing patients with the confidence that their treatment will work. People with depression for example can see great improvement when they are inspired to believe that they will feel better in a certain amount of time. The combination of real treatment and confidence in the effectiveness of the treatment can have positive results for people that need to improve their mental health.

The Mental Health of a Pathological Liar

Posted on: March 14th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

The Mental Health of a Pathological Liar

Whenever someone lies it can be hurtful and damaging to a relationship, causing problems with trust and accountability. People can lie to hide their behavior or pursue activities that they feel they might be judged for. However, some people may compulsively lie to others as a habitual problem and will do so without any discernible reason or motive.

Compulsive or pathological lying is usually indicative of some type of mental health condition or a symptom of a personality disorder such as borderline or narcissistic disorder. When someone compulsively lies and cannot control their lying habits it is usually not due to a moral failing on their part but a real mental health problem that they may not be aware of. Although pathological lying is somewhat controversial in the field of psychology, it is agreed that the behavior is associated with mental illness.

Lying can be a normal part of our lives but a person who pathologically lies can create all kinds of problems for themselves. As with any kind of mental illness, compulsive lying needs to be treated because it can interfere with a person’s ability to work, maintain relationships and function in normal life. Pathological liars need to minimize their behavior in order to connect well with others and have healthier habits.

What is Pathological Lying?

When an average person lies, they usually have a specific motive for doing so. However, a pathological liar will lie constantly, without reason or any immediate pressure that is causing them to lie. It is also known in the mental health field as intentional dissimulation and it can have a range of diagnoses such as antisocial, narcissistic or borderline personality disorder.

People who compulsively lie seem to have words flowing out of their mouth and they don’t really think about the lies they are constructing. They can easily transition from telling a lie based on the notion that it could have happened and then having a sense of conviction that it did. However, when pressed a compulsive liar may eventually admit that what they are saying isn’t true.

It can be difficult to understand why a pathological liar is creating false stories when they are not attempting to hide something or trying to purposefully manipulate others. Most often their lies tend to present them in a positive light which is why some theorize that the problem has to do with self-esteem. Their deceptions can help create a different sense of self and the liar does so because they are unhappy with themselves.

Their lies can be driven by the need for approval and to seem like someone else because they fear their own true self is unworthy. Essentially, their lies have an internal rather than an external motivation. Their lies can sometimes have truthful elements but they invent them without thinking and can get carried away by their own stories.

Causes and Treatment for Compulsive Lying

Aside from issues of self esteem there can be other underlying causes that lead someone to engage in compulsive lying behavior. Often they are people who have experienced early childhood trauma that has affected their mental health as they developed into adults. Issues of abuse and parent modeling may also be at the root of a person’s need to constantly lie.

Past trauma can contribute to a person’s development of a mental illness like borderline personality disorder and they may use lying as one of their coping mechanisms. The lies can help them escape from negative feelings or a lack of self worth stemming from an abusive childhood. However, their lying behavior often leads to more pressure, stress and relationship problems that can ultimately make life harder for them.

In order to receive treatment for compulsive lying it is important for an individual to get a diagnosis from a professional psychiatrist. They can determine what type of mental illness is at the root of their lying behavior. Once they are diagnosed, they can be given a treatment plan that will focus on minimizing the symptoms of their condition including their tendency to lie compulsively.

It is important for treatment that the patient is able to recognize their condition and have a desire to stop their habit of lying. If an individual is forced into therapy and they don’t recognize that they have a problem it can be difficult to treat them. If the patient understands that they need to change their behavior then they are likely to have more success in recovery.

If you or someone you know is a pathological liar, then there may be an underlying mental illness that needs to be treated by a therapist. Find a psychiatrist who can offer an accurate diagnosis and suggest a treatment plan to help minimize the habit of compulsive lying.

Do I Have a Thought Disorder and Can It Be Treated?

Posted on: February 27th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments


How Thought Disorders are Treated

People who experience symptoms affecting the way they think and perceive things may have a mental health condition known as a thought disorder. When an individual is having issues with putting together sequences of ideas in a way that is affecting their daily life and their behavior then they may need thought disorder treatment from a professional therapist. Even though a thought disorder can be a serious illness, it is possible to use treatment as way to help manage the symptoms and improve the condition.

There are many different issues that can occur when you have a thought disorder and it can affect people in various ways. At the core of a thought disorder are issues with illogical, problematic or incoherent patterns of thinking. These irregular thinking patterns may cause the person to behave in ways that interfere with their ability to function normally.

Normal thinking follows a certain flow starting with a thought, followed by stringing together different thoughts on that subject and then the delivery of a thought pattern. When someone has a thought disorder it disrupts aspects of the thought process so that it doesn’t flow in a logical pattern. Thought disorders come in many forms including illnesses like schizophrenia which can be debilitating if not properly treated.

Recognizing a Thought Disorder

Thought disorders are not often discussed and people may not be familiar with what constitutes the illness. In order to recognize a thought disorder in yourself or your loved one it can be helpful to look through the various symptoms and signs associated with the problem. These are some of the common symptoms of a thought disorder-

  • Incoherent, rapid or illogical speech
  • Bizarre thoughts or false beliefs
  • Continual interruptions in a person’s train of thought
  • Delusions that persist in spite of evidence against them
  • Hallucinations or seeing and hearing things that aren’t really there
  • Unusual speech patterns in which the individual discusses several unrelated topics
  • Inability to convey an idea or tell a story
  • Paranoia that includes fearful or suspicious thoughts

When you see any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one then it may indicate a problem with thinking patterns and a possible thought disorder. If you notice any of these symptoms it is important to meet with a psychiatrist for an assessment so that they can diagnose what type of thought disorder you have. More serious thought disorders such as schizophrenia may require inpatient treatment to resolve issues of hallucinations, delusions and paranoia.

How Thought Disorders are Treated

A person’s thought disorder can accompany a different type of mental illness including bipolar disorder, schizotypal personality or psychosis. In order to manage the symptoms of a thought disorder and the associated mental illness it is imperative that the individual receive an accurate diagnosis. Knowing what condition is connected to the thought disorder can help make treatment more effective.

Once you receive a diagnosis and have been evaluated by a professional they can start to determine what type of treatment plan will be most effective. A psychiatrist may recommend inpatient or outpatient treatment or regular therapy sessions to address the symptoms. The type of treatment will depend on the severity of the condition and how much it interferes with regular functioning.

If you have a thought disorder you can discuss with your psychiatrist what the best options are for medication. Taking a regular prescription medication may be necessary with a thought disorder to regulate mood and minimize hallucinations and delusions. Different medications such as antipsychotics may be helpful in managing a thought disorder but it is important to work with a psychiatrist to find the right dosage.

People who have thought disorders can greatly benefit from psychotherapy in order to help address some of the behavioral and emotional issues that can occur as a result of their disrupted thinking patterns. A therapist can help guide the individual through their thoughts and feelings so that they improve their quality of life and make it easier for them to function in day to day. The individual may see a lot of improvement while staying in an inpatient treatment center that will provide them with daily therapy sessions for intensive recovery.

Receiving a diagnosis of a thought disorder may seem devastating but with regular treatment and medication it is possible to minimize symptoms and stabilize a person’s mood or behavior. Treatment is very important for a thought disorder because if the symptoms become worse they may be lead to risky or dangerous actions. However, having a thought disorder does not mean that the person cannot lead a normal and fulfilling life.

If you or someone you love seems to be experience symptoms of a thought disorder, contact a mental health professional to start a treatment plan.

Do People Need a Depression Intervention?

Posted on: February 14th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Do People Need a Depression Intervention?

When most people think about the concept of an intervention, they imagine it is reserved for people with serious drug or alcohol addictions that need to get help. The truth is that an intervention is a useful format for a discussion of any problem that you feel is negatively affecting your loved one’s life. In fact, some people that are struggling with mental illnesses such as depression may need other people to encourage them to get help for their problem.

Although an intervention for a mental illness may not take place in the same confrontational style as an addiction intervention, it can still be a useful tool in communicating to a loved one who is struggling. People suffering from depression may feel that they have to live with this problem or they may not even realize how much it is affecting them and the people around them. When other people in their lives tell them that they need help they may be more likely to listen.

Interventions can come in many forms and they are simply a way to help someone understand that the people in their life are concerned about them. An intervention allows a person to begin to recognize that there is an issue that they haven’t been dealing with appropriately. After intervening, ideally the person with depression will respond by entering a treatment center or seeking a regular therapist.

Recognizing Depression

People are dealing with depression often don’t fully realize that they have a treatable mental illness. Because of their growing symptoms they may be less self aware and unable to recognize the changes that they are going through. They may know that they feel bad but aren’t aware of how many changes it has caused in their life and how their behavior has been affected.

Staging an intervention helps the depressed person start to get an outside image of what has been taking place that they may have been too absorbed in their feelings to understand. When friends broach the topic of getting help it may be an important realization for them that would be harder to reach on their own. Friends can also give them hope that they will get better through getting treatment.

Before setting up an intervention it can be helpful to make sure that your loved one is exhibiting traditional symptoms of depression and truly needs professional help. Familiarizing yourself with the recognizable signs and symptoms of depression can allow you to be certain you are making the right decision about intervening. These are some of the common symptoms of depression-

  • Trouble focusing on or completing tasks
  • Issues with sleep such as fatigue or insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Dramatic weight changes and problems with appetite
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or things once enjoyed
  • Physical pain, achiness or headaches
  • Persistent feelings of sadness, guilt or hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

If your loved one is showing many of these signs or symptoms and you are worried about their health and well-being then it might be a good time to talk to other friends and family members about getting help for them.

Intervening and Talking about Depression

When people stage an intervention for an addict they might need a group of several people who can confront them in a way that will help them realize that they have hurt others with their actions. For a mental illness like depression, it might be more effective to have a smaller group of only two or three people so that the person doesn’t feel overwhelmed. They don’t need to be confronted so dramatically but they do need some feedback from an outside perspective of a couple of people to understand that they need help.

Friends or family members that want to intervene and help a depressed person need to make sure that they are gentle, calm and compassionate when they open up a discussion. It is important the person doesn’t feel attacked or judged but understand that people are worried about them and want what’s best for their health. Expressing their concern can help them realize that their depression is a visible problem that other people can easily recognize.

Setting up an intervention for a depressed person is an important task because if someone is left alone with their symptoms they are likely to get worse. Depression can quickly evolve into suicidal thoughts and attempts if it hasn’t already gotten to that point. Getting someone help for depression can literally mean that you are saving their life.

When you start to see someone you love battling feelings of sadness and depression you don’t have to watch helplessly. Taking action and talking to them about getting treatment is the most positive way to cope with the situation. Look for a treatment center or a therapist that will be available at the end of the intervention for the best outcome.