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Sky's The Limit
There are many different paths to happiness and recovery. This section will help you choose tools that are right for you.
- Emotional Enhancement Therapy
- Cognitive Approaches help you identify and change unhelpful and/or overly negative thinking patterns
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Compassion Focused Therapy
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy
- Emotion Efficacy Therapy
- Physical Approaches (Healing the body to support the mind)
- Specialty Approaches
- Self Esteem
Happiness works in two ways…It prevents misery AND it replaces it. You cannot be miserable and happy at the same time. By learning more about yourself and what you need, you can increase the amount of time each day you are happy.
What made you happy yesterday? For how long? Even if just for a moment, that is a moment you weren’t miserable. Just doing things to make yourself happy does not “fix” what is making you upset, but it can give you a break, even if just for a moment.
- Find funny videos on YouTube
- Download a knock knock joke app
- Listen to your favorite comedian
- Play with your dog
Addictions help people escape from (survive) unbearable pain, but they can also cause pain, depression and a variety of other issues. Addictions can be chemical (drugs and alcohol) or behavioral (sex, gambling, shopping, gaming, eating). Most support groups do not deal with mental health issues, which is a big cause for relapse among their members.
Learn about your recovery needs by developing an understanding of:
- Addiction and co-occurring mental health issues
- What triggers your addictive behaviors
- The functions they are serving for you
- Which tools will reverse the emotional, mental, physical, and relationship damage
- How any recovery approach can be applied to addiction and mental health issues
Anger and anxiety are flip sides of the same coin. Both protect you from a threat. If you feel you have the strength to defeat the threat, you feel anger and fight. If the threat feels overwhelming, you feel fear and have to muster the courage to leave.
The feelings anger and anxiety are designed to prompt you to do something. Neither emotion is a sign of weakness. They are signals that for some reason your brain thinks there is a threat. Recovery from an overactive threat alert system involves learning about what those threats are, deciding if they are really, in fact, threats, and addressing the issue from there.
Anxiety or worry is your brain’s way of telling you it THINKS there is a threat. Many times our threat response system has gotten out of whack because our brain chemicals or hormones are out of balance; we use unhelpful reasoning when deciding if there is something to worry about or simply because we indulge in excessive amounts of caffeine or other stimulants.
- Learn how to identify the root of your anxiety
- Review your lifestyle for habits that increase your vulnerability to anxiety
- Develop skills to tolerate distress
- Start taking steps to address fears of failure, rejection, isolation, the unknown and loss of control
Depression is best thought of as a sense of exhaustion, hopelessness and helplessness. This can be caused by a disruption of brain chemicals due to addiction, illness or poor nutrition, or the body’s way of protecting itself from excessive stress. At a certain point it cries “Uncle!”
Many of the symptoms of anxiety and depression overlap. Which section you choose to start on depends on which symptom is worse for you right now— worry or depression.
Make Treatment Work for You
Many treatment programs and clinicians are one-size-fits-all. None of us are exactly the same size! For treatment to be effective it must:
- Help you learn more about your learning style and temperament so you can personalize your treatment. (Group or individual; discussion or reading; secular or spiritual…the list goes on.)
- Be based upon your strengths. You have survived until now. Learn how to strengthen your healthy coping strategies instead of reinventing the wheel.
- Address BOTH mental health and addictive or compulsive behaviors including but not limited to sex, gambling, shopping, food, drug and/or alcohol use. Addictive behaviors can cause depression and anxiety, and people often self-medicate depression and anxiety with addictive behaviors. Most people with a mental health issue also have some addictive behaviors and vice versa.
- Be available at the intensity needed for each person. Some people are struggling to make it an hour, while others are able to make it a week between appointments. Online support groups, self-help tools and Recovery Coaches make it easier and more affordable for people to get help and support between clinical appointments.
People with Addiction in the US
People with Depression in the US
People with Anxiety in the US
Americans Needing Treatment for Mental Health or Addiction Issues Who RECEIVE It
Take the First Step
You can’t be happy and miserable at the same time. Start learning tricks and tools of truly happy people…
There are a ton of things you can do to start feeling better. It all starts with learning about what YOU need.
If you are feeling suicidal or homicidal or are in crisis, dial 911 immediately.