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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Posts Tagged ‘triggers’

How Addiction Triggers Can Affect the Brain

Posted on: July 14th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

 

How Addiction Triggers Can Affect the Brain

Most people have experienced how certain sights and smells can trigger memories or cravings for food, alcohol or smoking. People in addiction recovery must cope with these triggers on a regular basis in order to prevent relapse. Studies have shown that the concept of a “trigger” is a real cue that can light up certain areas of the brain, especially for people with addictions.

 

Scientists have researched how environmental stimuli or cues can produce certain reactions in the brain. Exposure to certain cues can strengthen the memories we associate with specific behaviors such as using addictive substances. When alcoholics are exposed to an ad for alcohol for example, it makes certain areas of their brain hyperactive including the prefrontal cortex and thalamus.

 

Since triggers can cause our brain to react, researchers have found that our brain is constantly fighting off unwanted reward signals that cause cravings. As the brain must exert effort to fight off these triggers, when a person is under stress it can become more difficult to ignore environmental cues that lead to cravings. Research discovered that people need their full cognitive control to ignore reward signals which means that when the brain is occupied by other problems it can be harder to fight triggers.

 

Stress and anxiety can put extreme strain on the brain’s functioning and can make it harder for people with addictions to manage environmental cues. When someone is under a lot of stress it is especially important for them to avoid situations where they might be tempted by signals. If they are calm and centered it can be easier for them to manage triggers in a more tempting environment.

 

Recent findings explain why fighting triggers in recovery can be so difficult and research provides more insight into how addicts can manage their cravings.

 

References

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325693.php

https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/latest-science/look-drug-craving

What are Mental Health Triggers?

Posted on: November 25th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Mental Health

Someone who suffers from a mental illness may not always experience their symptoms except in certain circumstances. People with mental health problems often have specific triggers that produce their symptoms or worsen them. It is normal for people to react to triggers but it is important to get help and support before the triggers lead to a downward spiral or a mental health episode.

Patients receiving treatment for a mental illness such as anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder will all have certain mental health triggers. During treatment they will need to learn to identify their own personal triggers so that they can prevent an episode or have a plan in place if symptoms do occur. Becoming familiar with triggers can make them more manageable so that they don’t control your mental well being when they come up.

Triggers can differ between each individual but some common triggers include stress, frightening news events, break ups with a significant other, family conflict, anniversary dates of a trauma, financial problems, being judged or teased, spending too much time alone and many others. When someone who has a mental illness experiences one of these triggers they may suddenly become very depressed or anxious and find that they are having trouble coping with their normal daily tasks.

It is crucial to develop a plan for how to deal with these kinds of triggers so that they don’t worsen symptoms too severely. Patients can make a list of actions or activities that help them minimize the effects of triggers such as going for a walk, talking to a friend, practicing relaxation exercises, or writing in a journal. As long as you know certain tactics that can help alleviate some of your symptoms quickly, you can prevent triggers from disrupting your normal routine.