Depression

When to Clean and Sober | Orlando Substance Abuse Therapy

When is the right time to get clean and sober??

by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey

When is the right time to get clean and sober? Now!  Often times when someone starts contemplating stopping or going into treatment they will come up with a list of various reasons why they can’t.  We frequently hear things like, “I don’t have time;” “I could loose my job;” “I won’t spend as much time with my children;”etc… The list of reasons go on and on.   These are things we hear all too often as loved ones when we are watching someone die right in front of us.  It may be frustrating from an outsider’s perspective but what we must recognize is that this individual truly does not know any other way to live.  One way to have compassion for someone struggling making that step into recovery is to understand that this life is the ONLY normal one to them.

When someone is in active addiction almost everything they do is managed around the drinking lifestyle.  They go to places where they can drink, they hang out with people who drink, or they come home to drink – the drinking/using routine becomes very ritualistic.  Eventually it gets to the point where if one tries to stop they begin obsessing about getting the next drink and then the compulsion takes over where it’s unbearable so they must drink again. Not until intervention is implemented can this cycle be stopped.

Progression of Addiction

The real problem of waiting to stop is the fact that addiction is a progressive disease.  […]

Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders | Orlando Substance Abuse Counseling

Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders | Orlando Substance Abuse Counseling

by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey

Over 10 million people have a mental health disorder and substance use disorder combined (2005).  Recognizing the link between addiction and co-occurring disorders is important for many reasons but when we acknowledge this link as a professional – whether it be a counselor, nurse, doctor, attorney etc. – it allows us to develop a cohesive system of care for this person.  It is not uncommon to have a mental health disorder in conjunction with addiction.  Symptoms of depression, anxiety, mood disorders, PTSD and more are seen often with substance abuse.  However, when we are talking about co-occurring disorders we are not just referring to mental health symptoms – we are also finding solutions for people who might be homeless, HIV positive, or those with a history of criminal charges.  When we think of the term co-occurring disorders we can think about treating the whole person and connecting them with multiple resources in the community.  This all enables the person to further achieve sobriety.

Why can’t we just help the person get sober?  Doesn’t that solve the issue in itself?  That is the FIRST major step.   Treatment programs that solely focus on the addiction aspect are missing a vital contributor to the person’s addiction.  For instance, let’s say a person struggles with depression from a very young age.  Then as an older adult they discover alcohol; it fills the void but gets out of control and eventually becomes a problem overtime.  Once, they stop drinking the deep empty feelings of depression return and intensify without something to numb it.  They are not sure how to cope with these uncomfortable feelings and they […]

Post-Vacation Hangover | Orlando Counseling & Coaching

Post-Vacation Hangover | Orlando Counseling & Coaching

Work is starting back up, kids are returning to school, and the bills are coming in. Post vacation hangover is real! Once the high from pine needles, Christmas cookies, and decorations are gone, reality hits like a ton of bricks. It is relatively easy to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and dread as January sets in.

Here are a few simple tips to remedy your post-vacation hangover.

post-vacation hangover, anxiety, stress, depression, janie lacy

  1. Routine, routine, routine. Setting yourself back on a routine can be a tremendous help. Implement bedtime routines, meal planning, and even leisure activities for yourself and your family. Nightly and morning routines are especially important. Feeling more awake in the morning and not being rushed out the door can make the difference between having a great day or crappy day.
  2. Taking it one day at a time. It’s important to plan and look towards the future. However, when the idea of tomorrow’s workload or next week’s bills sets your anxieties at an all-time high, then it will be best to focus on the here and now. Focus on being able to make it through today, the workday, the next few hours, or maybe the next few minutes. You need to build up your stamina and sometimes future thinking can be anxiety provoking and discouraging.
  3. Gratitude. Post-vacation blues can be most difficult because you are stuck living in your mental vacation wishing you were still there. Counting down to the next vacation can add onto the day to day dread. Identify the things you appreciate about the holidays, accept that they are gone, and move forward. […]

3 Things to Consider after a Break Up | Orlando Relationship Counseling

3 Things to Consider after a Break Up | Orlando Relationship Counseling

by Cherlette McCullough

You’re single now. Has it been really difficult to move on after the break up? Have you found yourself consumed with your Exe’s life? Break ups are hard emotionally. No matter what kind of relationship whether it was short term or long term. Here are three tips to use quickly after the break up.

  1. Exes can’t be your Friend after the Break Up

Being friends with your ex can be extremely confusing for one of you or both. This type of friendship is different because it started as a physical relationship. These relationships often make you stay in the past resulting in you not moving on to the right relationship that you deserve. When it’s over; let it go.

  1. Delusions after the Break Up

Stalking your ex by going to their social media pages, calling their family asking about them and their new love interest, showing up to places at times you know they are there, making excuses to call them, making situations with the children bigger than they are for attention. All of these will keep you stuck. It’s important to know if your ex has moved on its time for you to shift your focus to you and your children…not the ex and their new love interest. Also because you have custody or more time with children it may seem like your ex has more free time, but that doesn’t mean that your life is less full filling. You too can have friends to go out to functions and enjoy yourself. It’s time to let those delusions go and get into reality […]

Fighting the Holiday Blues | Life Counseling Solutions

Fighting the Holiday Blues | Life Counseling Solutions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Is it really? For many, the holiday season is a somber time where we remember loved ones lost or the scarcity and pain in our lives. Here are some ways to combat the holiday blues.

holiday blues, depression, christmas, alone, stress,

  1. Reach out! As human beings we need to be with people. Making new memories is a great way to combat the holiday blues. Don’t have plans for the holidays? You still have time so start making some! Ask around to see what others are doing or create your own event by inviting friends. You’ll never know the fun you could have.
  2. Closely related to the first suggestion is this second suggestion: Lend your time. Do some volunteer work! Go serve food to the homeless. Look for ways to brighten someone else’s day. When you do these things you will see the joy in others’ eyes and in turn that joy will return to you. This will also enable you to spend time with others.
  3. Watch some funny movies. There is nothing like a good comedy to lighten your mood. Go for a classic or perhaps a movie you’ve seen recently that really had you laughing. The more funny movies you watch the better you’ll feel. They may or may not be holiday related, that’s entirely up to you and whatever will make you feel good.
  4. Read. Pick up a good book (or two). There’s nothing like getting lost in a good book. Go to your local library, bookstore, or look online for suggestions on books […]

5 Ways to Better Self-Care | Orlando Individual Therapy

5 Ways to Better Self-Care | Orlando Individual Therapy

I have often heard that we are our own worst critics. I’ve also heard that we talk to ourselves worse than we would talk to own worst enemy! Maybe it’s time to show yourself a little bit more love and respect. Here are five simple things you can do to improve your self-care, to enable a healthier you.

happy young woman relaxing at home, self-care

  1. Get more sleep! Yes, late nights can be very productive but your body and mind need sleep to recover and rejuvenate. You’ll be glad that you did and getting a full night’s sleep will lead to an even more productive tomorrow.
  2. Meditate. Take the time to meditate at least once daily. Clearing your mind can work wonders in your day. It doesn’t matter if you do it before you start your day or at the end of the day. It is a natural way to relieve stress and give yourself a much needed time out.
  3. Laugh. They say laughter is the best medicine. Take some time to laugh! Maybe watch a tv show that you find funny. You can also laugh at yourself. Instead of feeling bad about that mistake you made earlier in the day, try to think of it in a bigger picture and how it looks in the great scheme of events. It’s okay to laugh at yourself. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
  4. Get (or do) a hobby! Working on your hobby has many benefits. It’s a good way to release stress. While doing a hobby you would be able to relax and find some enjoyment. […]

The Problem With Rape | Orlando Sexual Abuse Counseling

The Problem With Rape | Orlando Sexual Abuse Counseling

Yesterday, a reporter asked President Obama to make a statement about the allegations that Bill Cosby drugged and raped women.  The President declined to comment on Bill Cosby, but followed with a statement that is going to hit home with almost everyone, because it registers as obvious.  He said, “No civilized country should tolerate rape.”

As a society, we agree that rape, and along a continuum, any form of sexual abuse is wrong.  When we define the concept of rape on paper, it is clear that sex, or sexual acts, that happen through force, coercion, or without mutual consent are wrong.  If we imagine a rape, or sexual abuse, we think scary, dark, criminal figure seeking out a victim, stalking them, and overpowering a weaker person in a dark alley.  That scenario can and does happen, even though it never should.  But statistics show that 4 out of 5 assaults occur by someone who knows the victim, and that 47% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance of the victim.

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The problem with rape is that when it happens in reality, it is not as clearly defined as a crime in the victim’s mind. 4 out 5 times a victim is raped by someone that they know, not a scary stranger in a dark alley at night.  It’s this personal experience with their perpetrator that leaves the victim feeling confused about what’s actually happened.    It’s easy to put the label “rapist”, “sexual abuser” and “pedophile” on a scary stranger that you don’t know.  Victims of rape, date rape, and sexual abuse are often reluctant to […]

Signs of an Eating Disorder | Orlando Eating Disorder Counseling

Signs of an Eating Disorder | Orlando Eating Disorder Counseling

Recently, Scandal star Portia de Rossi opened up to Entertainment Tonight about her struggle with anorexia and bulimia. The actress, now 43 years old, did not start battling these disorders as an adult, or even a teenager, but became anorexic and bulimic at the young age of 12. While it is difficult to fathom a 12-year-old struggling with such adult issues, the much too unfortunate fact of the matter is that it is very common for the onset of an eating disorder to begin this early in adolescence. In fact, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, anorexia is the third most common illness among adolescents. Also, 95% of those struggling with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 26 years old.

eating disorder

If you are worried that your pre-teen or teenager may be struggling with an eating disorder. Here are some signs to look out for:

With Anorexia:
• Dramatic change in weight
• Obsessing about calories, food intake, and diets.
• Refusal to eat at certain restaurants or certain foods cooked for them.
• Comments about being “fat,” “obese,” or “overweight.”
• Obsessing over food rituals such as chewing a certain amount of times or eating at exactly the same time every day.
• Withdrawal from friends and family.
• Lack of control with food (binging).

With Bulimia:
• Eating large amounts of food.
• Lack of control with food (binging).
• Going to the bathroom after every meal almost immediately.
• Hiding food in his/her bedroom.
• Using laxatives.
• Scars on knuckles.
• Frequent fluctuations in his/her weight.

There are things you can do to get your adolescent help. First […]

Can Divorce Be Healthy For Kids? | Orlando Divorce Recovery

Can Divorce Be Healthy For Kids? | Orlando Divorce Recovery

Divorce is not an easy process to go through but children fare better if parents can limit conflict associated with the divorce or at least minimize the child’s exposure to it. Children who live in the custody of at least one well-functioning parent do better than those who are living in high stress high turmoil environments with both parents. The ideal situation for a child is to have two healthy parents working together in a shared custody agreement. As a divorced parent of an 8 year old I have seen firsthand that it is possible to raise a child who is happy and well adapted in spite of a divorce. Regardless of how her father and I felt about each other we made a decision to work together and put her needs at the forefront of our decisions. It has not been easy to keep peace and take the high road because there is a reason we are divorced but I’m glad we have treated each other with respect for her sake. I’ve had to bite my tongue and smile at times but I decided to be motivated by her and not my own pain, anger, disappointment, etc. You get the picture. At first I was concerned about her going back and forth between two homes but she needs both of us and we both meet a different need in her life. The back and forth has not been as much of a disturbance as I had feared. What is important to her is that she has time with both her parents and the divorce although difficult has actually given both of us […]

5 Reasons Women Stay | Domestic Violence

5 Reasons Women Stay | Domestic Violence | Ray Rice

Did you know that approximately 15.5 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year and a current or former intimate partner kills three women each day? This is more than just a statistic to my family and myself.   I counsel individuals every day who are or have been in abusive/violent relationships and my family lost my eldest sister Carmen Rivera to domestic violence over 20 years ago. If we are to truly help those that are in domestic violence relationships, it is imperative that we understand the psychology behind those who choose to stay in these relationships.

Ray RicePeople who have not been in abusive situations find it very difficult to understand this level of dysfunction. Many times the victims are blamed for staying in this situation.  In my sister’s case, she was no longer in the relationship with the man who took her life.  In fact, she had a restraining order against him when she was murdered.

Below are a few of the many reasons why people stay in Abusive/violent relationships.

  1. Dysfunctional Emotional Connection. Those who use power and control with their partners are often verbally, emotionally and physically abusive along with apologies, promises, and affection to their victims. This often confuses the victim and they can start blaming themselves.
  1. Toxic Shame. A victim deep down often feels that something is wrong with them rather than the behavior of their partner. This results in a tremendous amount of feelings of shame and embarrassment. This, more often times than not, leads them to cope with denial of the reality of their situation.
  1. Safety Concerns. In many cases, […]