Your Treatment Options
Today divorce and relationship problems in general are on the rise at an alarming rate. Relationship problems can be devastating to those involved, turning people’s worlds upside down…sometimes in a matter of minutes.
We provide nearly immediate access to assistance and support for those facing marital/relationship problems. No matter who you are (straight, gay, married, single, or dating) or what relationship problems you are facing (divorce, marital dissatisfaction, marital crisis, infidelity, relationship ambivalence, and being left by a partner) Access Wellness Group is here to assist you. Our clinicians are highly trained and experienced in dealing with whatever martial/relationship problems you are experiencing.
We are here to help you resolve your problems and deal with the emotional difficulties that accompany these problems in a professional and compassionate manner.
Some illnesses have a specific medical cause, making treatment straightforward. If you have diabetes, you take insulin. If you have appendicitis, you have surgery. But depression is more complicated. Depression is not just the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, and is not simply cured with medication. Experts believe that depression is caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors. In other words, your lifestyle choices, relationships, and coping skills matter just as much—if not more so—than genetics. However, certain risk factors make you more vulnerable to depression.
Causes and risk factors for depression:
- Lack of social support
- Recent stressful life experiences
- Family history of depression
- Marital or relationship problems
- Financial strain
- Early childhood trauma or abuse
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Unemployment or underemployment
- Health problems or chronic pain
Understanding the underlying cause of your depression may help you overcome the problem. For example, if you are depressed because of a dead end job, the best treatment might be finding a more satisfying career, not taking an antidepressant. If you are new to an area and feeling lonely and sad, finding new friends at work or through a hobby will probably give you more of a mood boost than going to therapy. In such cases, the depression is remedied by changing the situation. Just as the symptoms and causes of depression are different in different people, so are the ways to feel better. What works for one person might not work for another, and no one treatment is appropriate in all cases. If you recognize the signs of depression in yourself or a loved one, take some time to explore the many treatment options. In most cases, the best approach involves a combination of social support, lifestyle changes, emotional skills building, and professional help. If even the thought of tackling your depression seems overwhelming, don’t panic. Feeling helpless and hopeless is a symptom of depression—not the reality of your situation. It does not mean that you’re weak or you can’t change!
The key to depression recovery is to start small and ask for help. Effective treatment for depression often includes some form of therapy. Therapy gives you tools to treat depression from a variety of angles. Also, what you learn in therapy gives you skills and insight to prevent depression from coming back.
Whatever the symptoms, depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and unrelenting, with little, if any, relief. Feeling down from time to time is a normal part of life. But when emptiness and despair take hold and won’t go away, it may be depression. More than just the temporary “blues,” the lows of depression make it tough to function and enjoy life like you once did. Hobbies and friends don’t interest you like they used to; you’re exhausted all the time; and just getting through the day can be overwhelming. When you’re depressed, things may feel hopeless.
Access Wellness Group can help.
If you identify with several of the following signs and symptoms, and they just won’t go away, you may be suffering from clinical depression:
- You can’t sleep or you sleep too much
- You can’t concentrate or find that previously easy tasks are now difficult
- You feel hopeless and helpless
- You can’t control your negative thoughts, no matter how much you try
- You have lost your appetite or you can’t stop eating
- You are much more irritable and short-tempered than usual
- You have thoughts that life is not worth living (Seek help immediately if this is the case)
Common signs and symptoms of depression:
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
- Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
- Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
- Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
- Irritability or restlessness. Feeling agitated, restless, or on edge. Your tolerance level is low; everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
- Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
- Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
- Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making pass it exam decisions, or remembering things.
- Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.
Depression comes in many shapes and forms. The different types of depression have unique symptoms, causes, and effects. Knowing what type of depression you have can help you manage your symptoms and get the most effective treatment.
Anxiety is a general term which describes symptoms such as nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress in most circumstances. It helps one deal with tense situations at home or at work, studying harder for an exam, keeping focused on an important speech or presentation, negotiate rush hour traffic. Basically, it can help one to cope.
However, anxiety can become disabling, leading to excessive, irrational dread and fear of everyday situations. Persons with anxiety disorders experience anxiety which is often unrealistic or out of proportion to a situation. The source of anxiety is not always known or recognized, but can often be associated with constant worry about health, money, work, school or relationships. Symptoms of anxiety can significantly affect an individual’s ability to function on a day-to-day basis. In addition to worrying and feelings of fear, anxiety can be accompanied by many physical symptoms including:
Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety
- Sleeping difficulties and nightmares
- Muscle tension, headaches
- Dry mouth, difficulty swallowing
- Frequent urination Sweating
- Dry mouth, difficulty swallowing
- Twitching or trembling
- Rapid or irregular heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Sexual problems
- Decreased concentration
- Being easily startled
- Restlessness or feeling “on edge”
Causes of anxiety disorders can include ongoing and intense daily stressors related to work, relationships, school or financial problems; trauma and stressful events such as past abuse; death of a loved one; divorce; changing jobs or schools; or use of or withdrawal from addictive substances such as alcohol, pain pills, nicotine or caffeine. Research has also identified hereditary factors in anxiety disorders. A history of anxiety in family members may increase the likelihood of an individual developing a similar disorder. Anxiety disorders can also be caused by an imbalance of certain brain chemicals which can affect how a person reacts to stress. Certain physical conditions such as thyroid imbalance, diabetes, chronic pain as well as medications used to treat medical problems can also contribute to symptoms of anxiety.
Treatment of anxiety disorders includes various approaches. Medications can help with reducing symptoms of anxiety. Working with a therapist can help to identify sources of anxiety, process past and current stressors and assist in the development of effective coping skills. Research has shown that a combination of medication and therapy leads to best outcomes.
Let’s face it. Being a family can be hard work. The pressures facing families today can be daunting. Balancing the demands of relationships, work, and school – dealing with the challenges of being a single parent – or overcoming the obstacles presented by living in a blended family. Coping with unknowns about the economy, job loss, or the fear of job loss while balancing work, children, and relationships are just a few of the things facing families today. The stress is cumulative and can seem overwhelming.
Family therapy is a type of counseling designed to address the family as a whole, not just an individual within the unit. If there is a specific issue/problem (substance abuse/addiction, anger, anxiety, recurring conflict, etc.), an experienced therapist can help families examine the dynamics of living in their current situation and explore ways that can lead them toward healthier ways of interacting.
At Access Wellness, our approach is collaborative. This means our therapists will work with you. We work with you to help your family learn productive communication styles. We work with you to help each family member establish healthy boundaries if these are needed. And we work with you to enable more satisfying behavioral patterns to emerge and grow within a unit of unique individuals. The results can often be dramatic and can lead families to a better understanding of one another and an improved quality of life.
Parenting is one of the most complex, challenging, and rewarding jobs a person will face in their lifetime. In today’s society there are additional factors that can add challenges to being a parent such as balancing work with family life, single parenting, being a step-parent, being a grandparent raising grandchildren, being a care giver to other family members while still parenting a young child or teenager, or having a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, behavioral issues or other special needs.
Professionals at Access Wellness Group can help provide support and guidance with your parenting issues. Sometimes having an understanding, empathetic person to listen and to provide problem solving suggestions is helpful. Our counselors can help you to identify coping mechanisms, various parenting/ behavioral modification techniques, and to identify helpful resources. In situations where psychiatric medications are indicated such as with childhood ADHD appropriate referrals can be made to caring and knowledgeable prescribers who will carefully monitor medications.
The loss of a loved one, be they a friend, neighbor, partner, family member or pet, is something that almost all of us endure at one point or another in lives. Yet this fact does not diminish the tremendous shock and pain that death causes in friends and family of the departed.
We at Access Wellness Group are here to help individuals deal with bereavement and the life changes of losing one close to you. Through processing emotions, planning concrete steps for getting through the death/dying process of your loved one, building coping skills and referrals to free outside support groups, the clinicians at Access Wellness Group can provide immediate assistance to those dealing with the death/dying of loved one.
Stress can be defined as our physical and emotional response to the environment. Basically it is the wear and tear we experience physically, emotionally and spiritually by bumping into life.
Addiction & Recovery
Access to Recovery, a Treatment Program of the Access Wellness Group, Inc.
Are You Someone Who….
- Wants help with your drug or alcohol problem but can’t afford to leave work and family for a traditional 30 day program?
- Has tried and failed with previous alcohol and drug treatment and wondered if there was a program out there to help you with your problem?
- Lives with someone who has a drinking and or a drug problem and you need help living with the problems of the drinker or drug abuser?
There is good evidence which suggests that outpatient treatment over time can be very effective in addressing the problem of alcohol or drug abuse. Even if you have tried and failed, know that you are not alone. Sometimes a fresh approach to treatment is needed to help achieve and maintain sobriety.
There are newer and more effective treatments which integrate the use of medically assisted treatment to help someone quit their drinking or substance abuse.
And even if you’re a person who doesn’t know for sure if you have a problem, talking with someone who understands recovery can often help you find the answers you are looking for.
Mental Health & Medication
There remains a certain amount of stigma associated with taking psychiatric medications. This has improved to some extent, however many people express views such as “I should be able to handle this on my own”, or “I don’t want anyone to know that I take these medicines”. It is imperative for people to understand that psychiatric conditions involve real biological and chemical imbalances, much like hypertension or diabetes and that medications can help to restore chemical balances in the brain. It is also important to emphasize that nobody needs to know about any person’s treatment unless they choose to divulge that information.
Types of Medications
There are numerous medications available to help with treatment of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, persons needing assistance with substance abuse disorders as well as psychotic disorders. Some medications work well for one or more of these issues. One thing to emphasize is that all of the medications work, however due to each individual’s chemistry, some may work better than others for each person. It helps to try to stay open to your prescriber’s suggestions regardless of the class of medications that may be recommended. The term “atypical antipsychotic” sounds very scary, however these medications are commonly used for problems such as mood stabilization as well as adjunct treatment for depression. Talk with your provider about any concerns that you may have.
Unfortunately, many medications which are helpful for mood, anxiety and other symptoms come with “baggage”. Some common side effects include weight gain, sedation, nausea, diarrhea, sweating, vivid dreams, sexual side effects and dry mouth. Many of these side effects will dissipate over time if the client will continue to take the medication as prescribed. It is important for prescribers to have a conversation about these issues and ask if the symptoms that brought them in have improved. If so, can the client tolerate some of the discomforts that they are experiencing? Medications prescribed for hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and other disorders often have side effects as well and it really comes down to a risk/benefit situation. If a person is so depressed that they are missing numerous days of work because they just can’t make themselves get out of bed but gained 10 pounds after starting the medication, which is the worst situation? Sometimes side effects can be dealt with by a change in medication or the addition of another agent to offset the effects of the first medication. Again, this is something to speak with prescriber about.
Each time a client meets with a prescriber, they will have ideally met with a therapist in order to give a detailed history of the circumstances which led them to seek help. Medications can be a wonderful tool for stabilization of symptoms, though it is important to point out that the medications do not solve problems. They can, however, often “level the playing field” so that the necessary therapy work for underlying issues can be more effective. All clients being treated with psychiatric medications are highly encouraged to work closely with a therapist. Other key aspects to the treatment plan include exercise, dietary changes, support groups and ways of increasing social support systems. The following are some reputable sites for more information regarding psychiatric medications. We look forward to helping all of our clients meet their personal goals.