A Little Exercise is Significantly Better Than None   

Posted by on Dec 22, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

What is holding you back from starting a workout program? Is it fear of failure? Is it thinking you can’t do a “big” feat, like running a 5k, so why bother? Don’t let these excuses stop you anymore! Study after study has shown that all it takes is a little bit of activity to make a big difference in your overall health. 

Start with Small, Attainable Goals 

If you are wanting to go from a completely sedentary lifestyle to one that embraces physical activity with a fervor, then start small. Instead of saying “I am going to run a mile today,” say, “I am going to spend 15 minutes on the treadmill today.” Sure, 15 minutes may not feel like much, but it’s 15 minutes more than you did yesterday! 

A Little Bit Goes a Long Way 

Consider this fact: according to an American Heart Association study published in 2011, just two-and-a-half hours of moderate intensity physical activity each week can drop your risk of heart disease by as much as 14 percent. That breaks down to less than 25 minutes each day. A brisk 25 minute walk is all it takes to lower your risk of heart disease, America’s number one killer, significantly. 

And that’s just one study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found an interesting result when studying the risk of death from excess abdominal fat in men and women in Europe. In a study published in 2014, researchers followed individuals who had high levels of abdominal fat for an average of 12 years, and reported on their mortality risk and level of physical activity. 

At the end of the study, researchers found that the risk of death dropped the most in the groups who reported the smallest increases in physical activity levels. In other words, when these individuals went from no exercise to a small amount of exercise, they saw a great increase in their potential longevity. 

Small Changes Lead to Bigger Changes 

Starting small is the best idea, because small changes lead to bigger changes. If you are completely activity-free, take a walk with the dog around the block. You will love the way it makes you feel, and after a week of walking around the block you may feel energized to take the walk twice. 

Then, start setting small goals. Once you have reached those goals and began to notice changes in your health, you may find yourself pushing for higher goals. Who knows, you may find yourself being the next person to sign up for your town’s local 10k race. It all starts with small changes that lead to big changes and, in the end, a healthier, more active lifestyle. 

The human body was designed to be active. When you are not active, your health and well-being suffer. Make the decision now that you are going to take baby steps towards becoming more active, and see where it takes you. You will be amazed at how quickly your health will improve. 

Are you making changes to be more active and healthier this year? Come back for more advice on how to make your plans stick! 

Resources 

Francis, M. (2011, Aug. 1). Some exercise is better than none; more is better to reduce heart disease risk. American Heart Association. Retrieved from: http://newsroom.heart.org/news/american-heart-association-rapid-211298. 

 

Ekelund, U. Et. Al. (2014, Dec. 12) Physical activity and all-cause mortality across levels of overall and abdominal adiposity in European men and women: The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Retrieved from: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2015/01/14/ajcn.114.100065.abstract/. 

 

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Discontinuation Syndrome Explained–Signs of Antidepressant Withdrawal 

Posted by on Dec 22, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Discontinuation syndrome is most commonly associated with long-term use of antidepressants and the symptoms produced when users stop taking them. Routinely prescribed for depression, anxiety and panic disorder, antidepressants are thought to cause discontinuation syndrome due to their ability to increase serotinin levels in the brain by changing the way receptors function. 

When someone stops taking an antidepressant, serotonin receptors remain relatively inactive for weeks, unable to release normal amounts of serotonin1. This also affects other neurotransmitter systems (especially dopamine and norepinephrine) implicated in anxiety, depression and addiction disorders. Because of this, discontinuation syndrome is characterized by withdrawal symptoms similar to drug or alcohol withdrawal symptoms. 

Antidepressants, Addicts and Recovery 

Following completion of a detox program, those with substance abuse problems are often prescribed antidepressants to help them cope with powerful emotions previously suppressed by a drug or alcohol addiction. Although it sometimes takes four to six weeks before antidepressants begin exerting their effects, they eventually relieve much of the depression and anxiety associated with cravings for the addict’s drug of choice. 

If a person in addiction treatment stops taking their antidepressants because they feel better and think they no longer need to take them, symptoms of discontinuation syndrome typically emerge within 24 to 48 hours of taking the last dosage. 

Symptoms of discontinuation syndrome include: 

  • Dizziness (vertigo) 
  • Inability to concentrate 
  • Insomnia 
  • Headache 
  • Fatigue 
  • Nausea (not usually accompanied by vomiting) 
  • Flu-like body aches2 

Common antidepressants known to cause discontinuation syndrome after sudden stoppage include amitriptyline (Elavil), fluoxetine (Prozac, Lexapro) and venlafaxine (Effexor). 

Patients taking venlafaxine have reported experiencing electric shock sensationsthey describe as a “brain zap”. Neuroscientists suggest that this odd sensation represents changes in neuronal activity throughout the central nervous system4. 

How long these symptoms last varies among antidepressant takers and may continue for a few days to as long as one month. Relief from discontinuation syndrome symptoms occurs fairly rapidly after dosage is resumed. 

Discontinuation Syndrome v. Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms 

Symptoms of withdrawing from a drug or alcohol addiction are much worse than discontinuation syndrome symptoms primarily because addictive substances affect different areas of the brain than antidepressants do. This happens specifically for the pleasure/reward pathway extending through the ventral striatum, the frontal cortex and various brain organelles5. 

When someone experiences discontinuation syndrome symptoms, they have usually stopped taking their antidepressants abruptly instead of tapering off their dosage slowly. Gradually lessening the dose to minimize symptoms is called titration and should be supervised by a physician until symptoms are negligible and the person is no longer taking antidepressants. 

Defeating Addiction Requires Professional Treatment by Addiction Specialists 

As a caretaker of someone who is going through recovery, it is important to be aware of the difference between discontinuation syndrome symptoms and the more severe signs of substance withdrawal. People in addiction treatment who are supposed to be taking antidepressants may inexplicably stop taking them without telling anyone, begin feeling the effects of discontinuation syndrome and relapse. 

Find out more about getting help for a loved one who is suffering a drug or alcohol addiction by downloading Delray Recovery Center’s free e-book here. 

Resources: 

  1. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2006/0801/p449.html
  2. http://apt.rcpsych.org/content/13/6/447
  3. http://pb.rcpsych.org/content/29/10/395
  4. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1592/phco.23.5.678.32198/epdf
  5. http://neuroscience.mssm.edu/nestler/brainRewardpathways.html

 

 

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5 Things to Try if You are Feeling Depressed  

Posted by on Dec 22, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Depression is an isolating and debilitating disease. However, the truth is that depression is more common than many realize. Depression affects nearly 9 percent of American citizens, and there are many more people who suffer from the symptoms of depression, but have not officially been diagnosed with depression. If you’re feeling depressed, that doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. It simply means that you’re human. 

The good news is that you don’t have to stay depressed. Here are some things that you can do to help you to feel a little better at those moments when you’re feeling down. 

Exercise
Studies have shown that physical exercise can be as effective as anti-depressant medication. Exercise gets your blood flowing and helps you to feel better about yourself. Additionally, engaging in exercise can take your mind off of the things that bother you. You don’t need to embark upon a vigorous exercise regimen to see results, either. A simple walk or yoga workout can be all you need to start feeling better. 

Eat a Healthy Meal 

Many people turn to food when they’re feeling down, indulging in large quantities of comfort foods. However, a sensible and healthy meal is more effective in terms of helping you to turn your spirits around. A good meal demonstrates a commitment to helping you feel better, and the nutrients found in healthy foods will boost your spirits. 

Call a Friend 

It’s normal to feel alone when depression hits. While reaching out to a friend might seem unnatural at these times, it’s actually one of the best things you can do. Just getting things out into the open can be truly beneficial. Also, letting a trusted friend know what’s going on in your life can help them to understand your situation as you try to make things better. 

Express Yourself 

As helpful as it can be to confide in a friend, not everyone feels comfortable reaching out to another person. Finding a way to express yourself can give you a similar release. Writing about your feelings, drawing a picture or playing an instrument can provide a creative outlet that enables you to unburden yourself and create something positive in the process. 

Turn Off Your Phone 

Sometimes the non-stop connections we’ve grown accustomed to in today’s world can do more harm than good. Checking your phone constantly can make you feel worse, especially if you feel as though nobody is concerned about you. Instead of agonizing over the actions of others, take matters into your own hands and eliminate the temptation to let other people make you feel worse. Doing this will help you to focus more on the real issues that are bothering you. 

Everyone is different, and everyone has their own preferred ways to feel better. Try different things out and see what works for you. If none of these tricks work, consider talking to a professional counselor to learn more about what you can do to help yourself when depression strikes. 

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5 Factors that Contribute to Drug Cravings  

Posted by on Dec 22, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Drugs that can be abused have a powerful impact on the functioning of the brain. Each time you use the drug, your brain’s reward center becomes activated. The resulting sense of euphoria increases your desire for the drug, making you want to use drugs again and again. However, it is not just the drug itself that elicits this desire to use. Our brains create complex memories that bind together many aspects of the drug-using experience. Thus, you may find yourself startled to be hit with a powerful craving when you drive past the place where you used to buy from your dealer. Understanding your triggers and learning strategies to cope with cravings is an essential part of maintaining sobriety. Common factors that contribute to drug cravings include: 

 

Physical dependence on the drug. It takes time for the body to become physically dependent on the drug, but many long-term drug users experience develop dependence. There are two signs of drug dependence: withdrawal symptoms and tolerance. Withdrawal refers to the physical symptoms that occur when it has been a while since you last used. This might include insomnia, sweating, aches and pains, headaches, or irritability. Tolerance is the need to use more of the drug to get the same effect you used to. 

 

People who are physically dependent on drugs tend to struggle more with cravings. This is because their bodies have come to physically require the drug for normal functioning. Without it, the brain sends intense signals asking for more of the drug, which you experience as cravings. 

 

Being in the same environment in which you used to use. Specialized areas of your brain bind together information into complex memories. Thus, your brain does not just remember that using drugs feels good. It also remembers who, what, where, when, and how you used to use drugs. Being in a similar environment — for example, running into a friend with whom you used to snort cocaine — can reactivate these drug memories and trigger strong cravings. 

 

Experiencing periods of stress. For many people struggling with drug use, using the substance is a way to alleviate stress. Tough day at work? Getting high may make you feel better, at least temporarily. Thus, even after taking the first steps toward sobriety, your instinct may be to use drugs when you are stressed. The important thing is to recognize this tendency and replace drug use with more adaptive stress reduction techniques. This is a major focus of therapy at professional drug treatment centers. 

 

Feeling down or depressed. There is an overlap between the brain regions activated by drug use and those involved in depression. Feeling depressed may trigger your brain’s reward pathway, causing you to seek drugs. This is one reason that people struggling with depression often turn to drugs or alcohol to alleviate their symptoms. Managing depression and other co-occurring mental health problems during treatment will help you overcome powerful drug cravings. 

 

Social events. Although everyone experiences different triggers for drug use, social events are a common trigger. Many people use drugs socially, so going to a party or hanging out with friends may make you feel a strong urge to use. This is particularly harmful when you observe other people using the drug, which can trigger intense cravings. Managing your social calendar and decreasing contact with the people with whom you used to use drugs is a good way to counteract these triggers. 

 

National Institute on Drug Abuse. Coping with craving. A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach: Treating Cocaine Addiction. http://archives.drugabuse.gov/TXManuals/CBT/CBT8.html 

Cleck, J.N. & Blendy, J.A. (2008). Making a bad thing worse: adverse effects of stress on drug addiction. Journal of Clinical Investigation.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2214707/ 

 

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Accomodation

Posted by on Aug 28, 2012 in Featured | 0 comments


Located in the tranquil and tropical atmosphere of coastal South Florida, Mensana Clinic offers a relaxed, peaceful and nurturing environment where individuals can focus on recovery and developing the strength to get better.

Only minutes from the beach and a block away from Atlantic Avenue, Mensana Clinic offers not only a beautiful backdrop for the program, but also a centralized location for attending community events and places of worship. And because Mensana Clinic is a premium, private pain center with only 34 residences, we are able to maintain a low client to doctor ratio, allowing us to provide each individual the personalized attention they deserve.

The treatment programs at Mensana Clinic are designed to provide a foundation for a pain-free life and a framework for a healthy lifestyle.

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Treatment Program

Posted by on Aug 24, 2012 in Featured | 0 comments

You Can Trust Mensana Clinic

Finding a chronic pain center you can trust is the first step to recovery. The expert staff at Mensana Clinic provides safe, effective treatment that you can trust. Our luxurious facilities and professional team help clients overcome the challenges and obstacles in their path and lead a new, sober life.

Get the Answers You Need Right Now

If you are suffering from chronic pain, now is the time to call and find out treatment options from an expert. If you believe that there is an immediate need, give us a call and we can help you with the next appropriate steps for you. There’s no obligation. We are just here to help.

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Since 1978

Posted by on Aug 24, 2012 in Featured | 0 comments


Mensana Clinic has helped many individuals achieve sobriety by teaching effective coping mechanisms to manage pain. Long term happiness is within reach. Success can be achieved when individuals understand and are able to employ the critical techniques to combat chronic pain.

As professionals in the field of addiction, Mensana Clinic’s staff helps individuals develop new ways to manage chronic pain.

Most individuals enter the program relying on medication that revolve around the use of substances to keep from dealing with pain, unpleasant emotions, and life in general. In order for treatment to be effective, each individual needs to be open to understanding the distress behind the addiction as well as learning new ways of thinking to replace these unhealthy and damaging coping practices.

Many of the techniques we teach have been proven over decades; other methods are on the cutting edge of treatment. We incorporate a holistic approach in the recovery process. We provide a variety of different treatment modalities, allowing us to reach each individual on multiple levels. By targeting and treating these different areas of life affected by addiction, we are able to help the individual transform key behaviors that foster long term recovery.

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