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

map The Gooden Center

Archive for the ‘Treatment’ Category

Support Groups for Families and Friends of Addicts

Posted on: March 20th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Support Groups for Families and Friends of Addicts

People that are struggling to become sober have lots of support from their treatment center and regular group meetings so that they can handle the experience. What about the family and friends of addicts that are also grappling with this difficult time? Support groups for those that have loved ones with addictions can be a very helpful and healing resource.

Twelve step and other types of treatment programs understand that it is not just the addict that is negatively impacted by substance abuse. When someone has an addiction it can hurt them and everyone around them. The way that a person behaves while they have an addiction can be very painful and confusing for their loved ones.

Support groups for an addict’s close friends and family can be a place for people to talk about what they are dealing with now and what has been problematic in the past. There are many frustrating aspects of knowing someone with an addiction and being able to talk about it can help ease some of the stress and make it more manageable. These kinds of support groups are designed to give people an outlet for dealing with their feelings about a person’s addiction and the recovery process.

Why Family and Friends Need Support

There are many reasons why people who know an addict need help from a support group to get them through the other person’s recovery. Addiction is a long-term problem and the things that an addict goes through can affect everyone around them. Close loved ones have many difficult and conflicted feelings about the addict and they need to talk about them with people that understand.

The dynamic between family members when there is an addiction in one or more individuals can be very complicated. Some family members may be angry and resentful, trying to exert control over the person’s addiction by hiding bottles taking away their car keys. Others may unwittingly become enablers by helping take care of the addict, hiding their behavior or lying to other people about their substance abuse.

People within a family and even close friends often take on different roles when dealing with an addict. They may not even be aware of how they are coping with this person’s addiction and how they are enabling or causing more conflict with them. Support groups give people a chance to get feedback on their relationship and learn better ways of dealing with these problems.

Spouses of addicts can have especially complex issues with their partner and may not know how to improve their relationship. The addict’s intense focus on their drug or alcohol use can leave their partner feeling unloved, neglected and resentful. An addict may also neglect their role as a parent leaving their partner to take on the duties alone.

Different Kinds of Support Groups

Because there are a multitude of issues that can come up when a person has a relationship with an addict, there are a variety of support groups available for help. There are support groups specifically for spouses because their relationship leads to unique dynamics that need to be addressed. Spouses of addicts need to be around others that have experienced similar problems with their partners so that they can receive the advice and support that they need.

There are other support groups available for specific family members such as parents of addicts. It can be especially painful and disappointing to have a son or daughter who has developed an addiction. Parents may be dealing with feelings of failure and may be unknowingly enabling their child by helping them.

Addiction can be especially hard on children who witness the addictive behavior of a parent on a regular basis. Children with an addicted parent often live in chaos or fail to receive the care and parenting they need to become a functioning adult. Support groups for children of addicts can be a safe place for people to confide in others who have also grown up with an addicted parent.

There are even support groups especially for siblings of addicts that are dealing with their own unique issues of living with someone else’s addiction. Siblings often feel ignored because the addict requires so much attention from parents and everyone else in the family. Siblings can also worry about the addict and their safety or feel unable to help them.

Whatever your relationship is to an addict, there is a support group available to help you work through your feelings about the situation. The more you learn about addiction from the group the more you will have a better understanding of how to cope with your loved one’s problems. Support groups can help everyone involved with the addict feel that they can handle them and their recovery.

Accepting a Late-Onset Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

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

Accepting a Late-Onset Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

Bipolar disorder is a complicated mental illness and it often takes some time for people to be properly diagnosed. Even though most symptoms of bipolar disorder start to appear some time in adolescence or early adulthood, there are also cases of late onset of bipolar disorder. People who have symptoms starting later in adulthood, from their 50s on are considered to have late onset bipolar disorder.

Late onset bipolar disorder can be difficult to recognize but if you have been diagnosed with this problem then it is not too late to receive treatment. Many people who have bipolar disorder are misdiagnosed, especially older individuals whose symptoms may often be confused with other conditions. Between 5 to 10 percent of people with bipolar disorder will be at least 50 when they first begin to show symptoms of mania or hypomania.

Although it can be painful to accept that you have developed a mental illness later in life, being accurately diagnosed can be a powerful step in the right direction. Many people suffer for years with bipolar disorder but are not aware that this is the condition they have. Knowing that you have this disorder can help you learn more about it and find the right ways to manage your symptoms.

Understanding Bipolar Disorder

Most people understand very little about bipolar disorder and if you have spent most of your life without any mental illness symptoms then it might seem jarring to receive a diagnosis. It can be helpful to learn all you can about bipolar disorder including the typical symptoms and how they are usually treated. Educating yourself about your illness as you receive treatment can help you come to terms with the fact that you will live with it.

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition and not something that can be completely eliminated but the symptoms can be managed and minimized through the help of medication, psychotherapy and family support. People with bipolar disorder can lead very normal and stable lives, even if they have a late onset. It is very important to look into treatment options as soon as you are given a diagnosis so that you can start to manage the disorder and familiarize yourself with how it affects your life.

Bipolar disorder has two different phases that tend to shift back and forth for periods of weeks or months. There is the manic stage and the depressive stage, both of which can seriously interfere with a person’s daily life if they are not getting help and support from a therapist. Each stage has its own set of symptoms and someone with late onset bipolar disorder may experience the mood swings differently than someone younger.

Some of the symptoms of late onset bipolar disorder during a manic episode are:

  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Being easily distracted
  • More energy and less need for sleep
  • Irritability

A depressive episode for late onset bipolar disorder could include:

  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Feeling fatigued and overly tired
  • Having difficulty concentrating or remembering things
  • Changing daily habits
  • Having thoughts about or attempting suicide

Because the symptoms of late onset bipolar disorder can be unique, it is important to be able to recognize when you are experiencing a manic or depressive episode so that you can get support and help. You should understand the symptoms as well as the triggers that tend to cause mood swings to occur.

Treating Late Onset Bipolar Disorder

Although it is a more rare type of illness, treatment options are beginning to expand for late onset bipolar disorder. Look for professional therapists or a treatment program that can accommodate your disorder so that you can receive personalized treatment for your unique issues. Having a treatment plan that can cater to your specific symptoms and the stage that you are in life can lead to better success in recovery.

A treatment plan will most likely include a variety of different approaches that will help to stabilize your moods and minimize your symptoms. There are a number of medications that your psychiatrist might suggest including mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, antidepressants, or anti-anxiety medications. A combination of a few of these kinds of medications might be necessary for your illness depending on the severity of your symptoms and what your doctor thinks might be best for your situation.

Aside from medication, the most important part of managing bipolar disorder is regularly attending psychotherapy. You should talk to a professional therapist about your symptoms and how they have been affecting you. Your therapist can help to teach you techniques to avoid triggers, minimize your symptoms and better ways to handle episodes when they do occur.

Even though bipolar disorder is a difficult illness, treatment can make it much more manageable. If you have been diagnosed with late onset bipolar disorder find a treatment program for the support you need.

Family Therapy at Gooden Center

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

Family Therapy at Gooden Center

People that suffer from addiction often have complicated family dynamics that can make recovery more difficult for everyone involved. Addiction affects everyone in the family and there may be many relationships that have been damaged as a result of the person’s substance abuse. Attending family therapy is a necessary and greatly beneficial part of our addiction treatment and recovery program.

Family issues can be closely connected to a person’s addictive behavior and guidance from a therapist can help family members work out some of these issues. It is important for a person with an addiction to have a stable home life and try to repair some of the rocky relationships they have with loved ones. Conflict at home will only serve to fuel their addiction and make it much more difficult for them to remain sober.

The goal of family therapy is for the addict and the people closest to them to learn how to resolve personal differences, talk about problems in a constructive way and learn to be more connected. A healthy family life can be an essential part of living a sober lifestyle and maintaining better mental health. We understand the importance of family dynamics and make sure to incorporate regular family therapy sessions for each patient in recovery.

The Benefits of Family Therapy

There are many reasons that treatment should include family therapy in order to allow the patient the best possible chance for success in recovery. Numerous studies have shown that treatment approaches that involve the family have better engagement from patients and higher rates of success. Patients who take advantage of family therapy are often more committed to their sobriety and participate more in aftercare programs.

While individual therapy gives the patient a chance to focus on their own personal problems, family therapy helps them gain awareness of their behavior and how it affects others. They can learn to improve their communication style and the quality of their relationships with those that are closest to them. Many addicts struggle with their ability to communicate with others and it is an important skill they must learn throughout treatment.

Family therapy not only helps addicts, it is an opportunity for their loved ones to improve their own communication and gain more awareness about addiction. Family members can use these therapy sessions to learn self-care and how to increase the quality of their relationships. The group as a whole will feel better once they have completed several sessions.

Family members also need to learn how to avoid any enabling behaviors that could endanger the addict later on when they complete their treatment. People in the family may have a tendency to enable the addict without even realizing. Therapy allows them to become more educated about addiction, codependent behavior and the best way to support their loved one in their sobriety.

Reaching Goals in Family Therapy

Attending group therapy sessions for the family is not only to improve their relationships and allow healing, it is also a way to reach important recovery goals. Everyone in the therapy sessions will need to put in some time and work to practice what the therapist teaches them whenever they meet. This means applying what they learn to see how it works to improve family relationships.

The biggest goal of family therapy is creating a home environment that will be stable, loving and free from stress and conflict that could endanger the addict’s recovery. The home should be a safe place with positive communication and everyone should have the ability to resolve issues effectively. Family life doesn’t have to be perfect, but for an addict their relationships with their family play a major role in their recovery.

Ideally the family members that the addict currently lives with or spends the most time with will need to attend therapy sessions on a regular basis throughout the patient’s treatment program. The therapist will ask for input from everyone in the group and ensure that they are all on the same page as far as improving family life. If everyone participates and does their share, family therapy can create a lot of positive change for those who attend.

Family therapy can help improve social functioning for an addict, make it more likely for them to stay in treatment and reduce harmful behaviors. It can also reduce the occurence of separation or divorce and create better relationships overall. Staying focused on the goals of family therapy will create a better outcome for everyone involved.

The Gooden Center understands the importance of family dynamics in an individual’s life and how their family relationships affect their health and stability. If you are interested in family therapy, we have options available in our treatment programs to incorporate key members of your family into your recovery plan.

Can Court Ordered Treatment be Helpful for Long Term Sobriety?

Posted on: December 19th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Can Court Ordered Treatment be Helpful for Long Term Sobriety?

Not everyone who attends rehab for an addiction is doing so voluntarily because they have made a decision to quit. Many people end up quitting drugs as a result of legally mandated treatment ordered by the criminal justice system. Even though it may not be the individual’s personal choice to receive treatment, these kinds of treatment programs can still be very effective at facilitating long-term sobriety.

Drug offenders are often pressured by the court to participate in drug abuse treatment as a way to help rehabilitate them and reduce the population in already over-crowded prisons. Instead of facing jail time, someone who has broken the law with a drug related crime can go to treatment and learn how to manage their addiction. Surprisingly, these types of court ordered treatment situations have success rates that are as good or better than those that lack any kind of legal pressure.

Being ordered to attend rehab depends on the crime and whether the judge and prosecution believes the person will benefit from treatment. Court ordered rehabilitation is mandatory which means that the offender has no other option but to enter a rehab program. Most often, the offender was under the influence of an illicit substance when they committed their crime and the nature of the crime is not severe enough to merit jail time.

People who commit minor crimes while under the influence of drugs might do so because their drug use has impaired their judgement. They also might be stealing or getting involved in some other illegal activity simply to fuel their addiction. In these cases, court ordered drug treatment is a good solution as their criminal behavior is only a result of their substance abuse.

The Effectiveness of Mandatory Rehab

One might assume that because the person is forcibly placed in rehab, that court ordered treatment will have no effect on their recovery. The reality is that many people benefit greatly from attending rehab in this situation. They might face more challenges and risks for relapse when they leave treatment, but it is possible to stay sober long-term following mandatory rehab.

Research has shown that no matter what the circumstances of a person entering rehab, the treatment program itself has the positive potential for success. A study following a group of men who attended rehab either voluntarily or through a court order found that they had similar success rates after five years of living sober. Both groups of men were less likely to relapse and had high sustained abstinence rates.

There are many different reasons why mandatory treatment is still effective for addicts. Most people attend treatment voluntarily do so after they have hit “rock bottom” or have faced some difficult consequence of their addiction. A person who faces potential jail time is dealing with some serious consequences, and might realize that their addiction is what put them into this situation.

People who attend rehab voluntarily are sometimes confronted by people in their lives through an intervention. In this situation they are told that their addiction has become out of hand and that they need to attend treatment. Court ordered treatment is another case in which the individual is told that they would benefit from rehab because their addiction has become harmful to themselves and others.

Mostly, the effectiveness of mandatory rehab is due to the fact that treatment centers can help provide people with the motivation they need to quit. Even if someone did not have enough internal motivation to check themselves into a treatment center, their rehab program can help foster the desire to be sober. Being around people that want to make positive changes can be inspiring and change a person’s mind about their drug use.

Avoiding Relapse

Mandatory treatment can be very effective, but patients must be especially careful to avoid relapse as they often face unique challenges after returning home. People who have committed crimes due to their addiction might have a number of other problems to deal with such as educational and employment issues, mental health problems or financial difficulties. It is important for people to continue receiving support following their court ordered treatment.

Returning home can mean facing triggers and people from the past who may still be involved in drugs or crime. In order to avoid the temptation to return to a criminal lifestyle, the individual must be careful to stay in contact with other sober people from their rehab program or twelve step group. If the rehab center offers an aftercare program then this can be very helpful in preventing relapse.

Anyone charged with a drug related crime will benefit greatly from attending a treatment program as an alternative. Rehab is an inherently positive experience no matter what kind of circumstances led you there.

Managing the Manic Side of Bipolar Disorder

Posted on: December 12th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Managing the Manic Side of Bipolar Disorder

Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder can be devastating because it is a difficult and complex disorder to live with. However, with treatment and management skills it is possible to handle the symptoms and not allow them to interfere with your life. One of the more challenging aspects of bipolar disorder is dealing with manic episodes.

People with bipolar disorder shift between phases of depression and of mania which both have very different sets of symptoms. Most people understand what depression is like and how that can manifest itself in an individual. Mania is a distinct issue that can be just as problematic and make it very difficult to function normally in daily life.

One thing that can make it easier to manage manic episodes is understanding what occurs in your own mania and learning to identify certain warning signs. It can be a good idea to record certain moods and behaviors that tend to occur during and right before a manic episode. When you know your own specific symptoms it can be easier to identify when you are entering the manic phase and start to react with treatment strategies.

Identifying Mania Symptoms and Warning Signs

Every individual with bipolar disorder may experience their mania episodes differently and they will need to get to know the list of their symptoms. Mania can include a number of symptoms that vary depending on the severity of the disorder and the individual person. These are some of the more common symptoms:

  • Being abnormally upbeat or jumpy
  • Increased energy, activity or agitation
  • Inflated ego or exaggerated sense of self-confidence
  • Talking rapidly or excessively
  • Racing thoughts and inability to focus
  • Impulsive behavior such as shopping sprees or making risky investments

If there are certain symptoms that tend to occur when you are experiencing a manic episode then make a list of the ones that affect you the most. When you begin to realize that you are entering a manic phase you might notice these symptoms or certain warning signs that indicate an oncoming episode. Possible warning signs include:

  • Needing less sleep
  • Feeling unusually happy
  • Making unrealistic plans or focusing intensely on a goal
  • Feeling easily distracted
  • Having feelings of self-importance

Over time you will learn to identify the pattern of your symptoms as well your warning signs so that you will have a better idea of when a manic episode is approaching.

Preventing and Managing Symptoms

Although it may not always be possible, doing everything you can to prevent a manic episode from occurring or growing worse can be helpful in managing bipolar disorder. When you identify warning signs you might become aware of certain triggers that are causing those behaviors to occur. You can try your best to avoid the triggers that might cause a severe mood swing to occur.

Self-care and maintaining a healthy routine can also be very helpful in preventing mood swings and manic episodes from becoming a problem. It is very important for people with bipolar disorder to have regular and stable sleep patterns. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can keep your mood stable and prevent chemical changes in your body that could trigger a mood swing.

Because manic episodes often begin with decreased sleep, a healthier sleep pattern can make it easier to identify if your symptoms are developing. Other aspects of daily routine can be important such as eating healthy foods, getting plenty of exercise, and practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga. These kinds of habits can help keep the body and mind stable so that emotions become less extreme.

If you notice any warning signs of a manic episode taking place, try to pay more attention to your health and focus in on any self-care practices that you may have been neglecting. Under no circumstances should a person with a mental illness like bipolar disorder use alcohol or drugs. Substance abuse can worsen and complicate symptoms and are not useful as a form of self-medication even though you might feel tempted to use them for temporary relief.

Getting Support for Manic Episodes

If you do begin to experience a manic episode, make sure that you have a support network of people that can help you so that your symptoms don’t become too detrimental. Talk to your psychotherapist about what is going on and ask for guidance on how to minimize certain symptoms. Make sure family and friends are aware of the situation and can help you make good decisions if you are struggling with mania.

The most important thing to do when a manic episode occurs is to continue your treatment program, group meetings, therapy sessions or whatever plan you have in place as you manage your disorder. Make sure to contact someone you trust for help if your symptoms are becoming difficult to control.