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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4 Non-Addictive Ways To Manage Insomnia

Posted on: January 28th, 2020 by emarketed No Comments

4 Non-Addictive Ways To Manage Insomnia

Bedtime is difficult for many people suffering with various mental illnesses, not only addiction. At night, lying in bed, our thoughts can easily turn to all the most difficult aspects of our lives. We ask the unanswerable questions, remember everything we’ve ever done wrong, and worry about getting enough sleep.

However, insomnia presents a particular problem for people struggling with addiction, as most sleeping pills are addictive. The entire benzodiazepine class, for example, constitutes some of the most abused substances. The so-called “Z-drugs,” while less addictive, are still liable to be abused, especially by those already struggling with addiction.

Also, many individuals start using substances at least in part to help get to sleep. Alcohol and other substances provide temporary relief, while worsening the problem in the long-term.

Fortunately, there are non-addictive ways to manage insomnia that work for people who have abused substances.

Sleep Hygiene

Sleep hygiene should be practiced by everyone, even those who do not struggle with insomnia. However, it is particularly important for those with sleeping problems. Sleep hygiene refers to the routines and practices that you follow at night to improve your ability to fall and stay asleep. Your body gets used to the routine and is able to identify that you are getting ready for bed.

Some of the most common sleep hygiene practices include:

  • going to bed at the same time every night
  • not using your phone or computer within an hour or so before you go to bed
  • avoiding caffeine and other stimulants in the late afternoon and evening
  • avoiding napping during the day
  • exercising daily

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown as effective for treating insomnia. CBT will provide you with techniques to challenge troubling thoughts, quiet your mind, and release your negative associations to sleep. Insomnia can be its own vicious cycle, as the more you worry about getting to sleep, the less likely sleep becomes. CBT gives you the tools to change these thought cycles.

CBT uses techniques like reality-testing (through which you test the validity of your troubling thoughts) and worry journals (in which you write down worrying thoughts at night to stop your mind from fixating on them). It requires work and preparation, and should be done with the help of a therapist who specializes in CBT.

They may also train you in mindfulness techniques to quiet the mind and to relax before bedtime.

Non-Addictive Supplements

While most prescription sleeping aids carry some risk of dependence, there are non-addictive supplements that can improve your sleep without negative side-effects. The most popular option is melatonin, which is a sleep hormone. Melatonin regulates the sleep cycle, notifying your body when it is time for bed.

Melatonin can help with insomnia, but is especially effective in improving your circadian rhythm. It has been shown to reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, but if you have severe insomnia it is unlikely to be a perfect cure.

Non-Addictive Prescription Pills

Prescription sleeping pills generally build dependence. However, there are other medications that can treat insomnia that are not addictive. These are pills that treat other conditions and also have the effect of helping with sleep.

Seroquel is one such example. In its extended release form, it can be effective in regulating sleep on a uniform, nightly basis. The problem is that drugs like Seroquel are not prescribed for insomnia but rather for mood disorders and other mental illnesses. Therefore, if you are suffering from one or more mood disorders, your psychiatrist may prescribe these drugs at nighttime to treat both the mood disorder and the insomnia.

Speak to your psychiatrist to see if there are any such options for you. Many of these pills have side effects, and are far from ideal when not strictly necessary.

Treating insomnia is more tricky when you’ve struggled with addiction. However, there are effective ways of beating insomnia without requiring addictive pills.

Depression in Retirement

Posted on: March 16th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments
Depression in Retirement

Most people look forward to retirement as a time to relax and spend time with family. However, depression can become an unexpected problem for people in retirement because of the sudden change to their routine. In many cases people experience a sense of purpose and value in working everyday and suddenly quitting can have a dramatic effect on their mental state.

Having a fulfilling career allows people to meet their drive to achieve something and be a provider for their family. When their career ends through retirement they may lose their sense of accomplishment that they were able to get out of working. They might feel a sense of loss, sadness, fear about their new lifestyle and confusion about who they are.

People that experience depression after retiring can cope with those feelings by finding new hobbies and activities that give them a sense of purpose and achievement. They can become active in the community by volunteering or spend more time with family. If they view retirement as an opportunity to do things they never had time for such as traveling or learning a musical instrument it can be a more positive experience.

The most important thing to do in retirement is to create a schedule for yourself so that your days don’t feel empty. An unstructured day can lead to boredom and depression so creating your own new routine can prevent you from feeling lost. Schedule time to exercise, do work around the house, visit friends and family or other activities that you want to do.

Retirement can be a major change but making the transition can be easier if you find a new purpose and create a routine. If feelings of depression persist it may be helpful to talk to a therapist and work out some of your issues surrounding retirement.

Socializing with People When You Don’t Drink

Posted on: February 26th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments
Socializing with People When You Don’t Drink

When you are in recovery it can be challenging to maintain your commitment to sobriety, especially in social situations. Your coworkers might want to go out to get drinks after work or you might get invited to a party where everyone is drinking heavily. These situations don’t mean that you can’t socialize or have to remain isolated from people who drink, you simply need to develop strategies to handle it.

There can be a lot of awkward moments when you hang out with people who drink and you are sober. When someone offers you a beer or asks why you aren’t joining in you might feel uncomfortable. It can be helpful to have a plan in place so that you know how to respond to questions, cope with your feelings and safely get out of the situation if you should start feeling triggered.

You should have a prepared response for when people offer you a drink or ask about why you are sober. You don’t necessarily need to talk about your recovery if you don’t want to. You can tell them that you aren’t drinking today or that you are driving so you can’t drink which can easily and quickly end the conversation.

If you find social situations where alcohol is involved too uncomfortable you can bring a sober friend with you to make you feel less alienated. You can talk to them about what you are experiencing and they will understand and feel the same. Remember that you can always call a friend, arrange to get a ride home or leave early if you are feeling too upset or tempted to drink.

Being sober doesn’t mean completely giving up your social life, but it does mean that you need to be cautious and mentally prepared for situations where alcohol is involved.

What is Rejection Attachment?

Posted on: February 20th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

What is Rejection Attachment?

People who harbor many feelings of being hurt by others, humiliated or have feelings of social anxiety and low self-worth may have an attachment to rejection. This is a psychological syndrome where they have many limiting beliefs about themselves which causes them to feel rejected by people in their lives. The unconscious rejection attachment that they experience can affect their relationships, their work and their choices in life.

Someone who has an attachment to rejection may deal with a lot of feelings of hurt, betrayal, loneliness, humiliation, shame and disapproval. They may react to things people say or do very defensively because they fear and expect rejection in a lot of situations. They may react by being angry, confused, discouraged or hopeless which can create a cycle in which they experience even more rejection.

When someone fears and anticipates rejection from others they start to see the world in a self-fulfilling lense of being hurt. They may under-perform at work, provoke other people, choose romantic partners that are critical and mean, or generally engage in behaviors that encourage others to view them negatively. The behave in ways or even seek out rejection because of their tendency to create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In order to treat rejection attachment the person needs to become more aware of their unconscious behavior and how it is affecting their life. Bringing the unconscious to the conscious level helps them see how their feelings about rejection influence their choices and shape their life. Talking about fears with a therapist and working through the focus on rejection can help them accept the possibility that others may be able to love and approve of them.

When rejection attachment is treated, the individual may learn to develop healthier relationships, perform better at work and feel more self-confident over time.

Addiction Treatment LA

Posted on: November 26th, 2016 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Addiction Treatment LA

If you feel like you’ve hit a “bottom” that goes lower than you ever thought you would, it may be easy to give up hope.  You may feel totally powerless, wanting desperately for things to change, but unsure of how that is possible. Falling back on old patterns, or simply trying again to strengthen your willpower to abstain or “control” your alcohol or drug use is not going to be enough. In order to overcome a lifestyle of addiction, you need a radical transformation of how you live your life, and this is not something you can do by yourself. Fortunately, you don’t have to continue in old patterns by yourself. An addiction treatment facility, like the Gooden Center in Los Angeles, can offer many different resources to help you turn your life around.

Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Some people assume “rehab” means spending an extended period of time cut off from their regular life, spending a month or more focusing only on issues of their addiction. However, there is another option for people to get the positive benefits out of a addiction treatment while living and working as normal. The Gooden Center offers intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) as another option that can work around your schedule and your financial needs. Each IOP session is three hours in length, Tuesday through Friday mornings and evenings, or Saturday mornings. Each session will include both processing groups where you can discuss your struggles with other people, and education opportunities to learn more about ways to care for yourself in all aspects. Both of these can be very helpful in helping you maintain your sobriety.  Here are some reasons why an intensive outpatient care might be right for you:

  • You have completed residential treatment, and need a boost to continue in recovery.
  • Your level of substance abuse and addiction has reached a level mild enough to not require full treatment
  • Active participation in a peer support group, like 12-step programs or their alternatives, doesn’t feel like enough.

The more you are able to keep up treatment for your addiction, the more likely you will be able to sustain your commitment to sobriety. Outpatient care can be a great way to extend your care, and continue gaining tools to hold onto your important, life-saving commitment.

Drug and Alcohol Treatment

In 2009, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that  23.5 million adults in the U.S. have a serious drug or alcohol abuse problem in need of addiction treatment. That’s 23.5 million people with their own stories and experiences. Yet it is also 23.5 million people with a lot of things in common. The right addiction treatment program for you will recognize these truths, and strive to create a balance, having both a solid foundation of evidence-based treatment that will work for everyone, and openness and flexibility to find the right treatment plan that works for your unique situation.

Addiction is something that affects every aspect of your being. Treatment must also deal with multiple aspects that contribute to your full thriving. Your physical health, emotional and mental well-being, social support network, ability to function with and feel supported by family, and ability to do well in school or employment are all important aspects that support full recovery. This is why a treatment should involve a wide variety of programs and therapeutic options, all of which can contribute to helping you get and stay sober.

How the Gooden Center Stand Out From Other Addiction Treatment Centers

There are many potentially wonderful addiction treatment centers out there – that may be capable of giving you personalized evidence-based care. The Gooden Center has a few particular strengths and uniqueness, including that it is gender-specific for men, allowing for greater intimacy, safety, and sharing.  It also offers a great deal of personalization, and a low staff to client ratio that insures you will always have access to its services. At the Gooden Center, there is space for  your needs to be truly listened to.