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Mindful News Blog

Treating Borderline Personality Disorder

Thursday, 1 December, 2016

What are best practices for treating Borderline Personality Disorder?

By Michelle Quilter, PsyD, CASAC

In an article written by Harvard University Medical School, the author outlines two evidenced-based treatment modalities that are currently offered at Lifeskills of South Florida; Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and psychotropic medication management for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

Lifeskills of South Florida offers a 13 week DBT skills training program. Typical outpatient treatment using DBT lasts for one year and includes once weekly group therapy sessions, individual DBT, and phone consultation DBT coaching. At our residential level of care, we offer three skills training groups per week, individual DBT, and phone consultation DBT coaching. DBT uses this combination of psychotherapy techniques, education, and individual and group psychotherapy to support the patient’s progress. In some studies, DBT has reduced the frequency of self-harm and the intensity of suicidal thinking. Other effective psychotherapeutic treatment options outlined in the article include transference-focused psychotherapy, Schema-Focused Therapy, and mentalization-based therapy.

The article notes that there is no single medication that is clearly helpful in the treatment of borderline personality disorder. Medication is usually used to treat symptoms as they emerge or to treat other disorders that may be present. For example, antidepressants, such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can be used for depression and anxiety. A mood stabilizer may be added or used by itself and antipsychotic medication may be tried if the person’s thinking is distorted.

Lifeskills of South Florida offers many advantages to the combination of evidenced-based therapies. These include:

  • State of the art medication management combined with DBT
  • Weekly medication management meetings with Psychiatrist.
  • Masters-level or greater licensed therapists foundationally trained in DBT
  • A frequency of DBT individual and group therapies far greater than typical once a week outpatient approaches; the intensity of our programming, and individualized to each individual’s unique needs, has resulted in therapeutic gains and successful targeted results in 60-90 days, that otherwise might take 12 months in traditional outpatient settings.
  • The combined effects of concurrent treatment approaches is unique

 

For more information about how Lifeskills South Florida might be a right fit for your challenges in managing and overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder, contact us at 844-749-1560.

 

 

 

 

Depression and its Impact on Marriages

Friday, 18 November, 2016


Depression is a mood disorder that can commonly onset immediately following a breakup or divorce with a partner. However, the condition can also be the leading factor in what caused the split between two people to begin with. Complications with mental health can wreak havoc on relationships which are already imperfect.

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Peter Hamilton launches an online community for Addicts in Miami Beach, Florida

Friday, 18 November, 2016


If you tried to paint a picture of an addict in your mind, you may automatically picture them as an irresponsible person that made poor life choices, as homeless or a criminal that’s deceitful and deviant. Those ideas couldn’t be further from the truth. Addiction doesn’t know a person’s age, gender, race, values or income. This terrible disease affects individuals from all walks of life.

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Tips for Helping Those with Mental Illness

Wednesday, 16 March, 2016

The National Alliance on Mental Illness has continued to lead the effort to reduce the stigma around Mental Illness until we define it as Stigma free. Other mental health foundations are also bringing awareness by focusing on the theme of “Give” in their education efforts: Give your time, your words your presence. By exploring this theme of Give we are able to break stigmas that have plagued our family and friends that struggle with mental illness.

Time

Why can’t we slow down? We spend a lot of our time wrapped up in what makes us feel good, how others perceive us and what is going to help us get ahead. Often, we are moving so fast through life that we forget about those who struggle with depression, anxiety, bipolar and other similar diagnoses, especially when it does not directly affect us. We become intolerant of those that cannot keep up or cannot understand or explain what’s wrong with them. Our society has evolved into a fast paced race for self-actualization. We often miss the importance of spending quality time with others.

Taking the time out of your fast paced day to give back to others will bless you and the person you are helping. Giving your time can be in service work. Or making a phone call to that friend you lost contact with or just in prayer for another. Anyway you choose to give your time, do so mindfully with all your focus being on the act you are choosing to do.

Words

Are you quick to judge or offer unwanted criticism to others? Often people who struggle with mental illness are already fighting society’s stigma that is associated with having a mental illness. They are not capable of managing the emotional toll it takes to live with the criticisms of their loved ones. Our words carry the power to build or break someone down and, for the person struggling with mental health issues, hurtful words can cut deeply. They can contribute to feelings of hopelessness. The golden rule also applies to communication, “If you cannot say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” While you may think that your constructive criticism is helpful, it may not be your place to offer such advice.

When you feel the desire to be judgmental that is when you should take the opposite approach. Instead, think about how you can offer positive affirmations and words of encouragement as it applies to the conversation at hand and your desire to help. Often, validation of other’s feelings and situations or just listening without words can help more than anything we might say or do.

Presence

Being present is the third part of the goal of giving in this effort to impact the stigma of Mental Illness. When spending time with others, we should be mindful of our actions, words and quality of time. Being physically there while your mind is somewhere else is not the same as being emotionally present. People desire to make a connection and without your undivided attention they are unable to connect with you. The person who struggles with mental illness already has trouble connecting emotionally with others. When you are present with them, it gives them an opportunity to connect to you by modeling this behavior.

What are some techniques for being mindful and present? Don’t squeeze in time with the person struggling with mental illness. Make purposeful time in your schedule to be with them, because they will pick up on it if you are waiting to get to your next appointment. Second, focus on the conversation by listening to what they are saying or sitting with them in silence, because just being available is part of making this connection. Lastly, turn your phone, electronics and distractions on silent or off. It is hugely important that they feel like the priority when you are with them, even if you aren’t sure whether or not they appreciate you being there. Doing this last tip with consistency will translate over time and help them understand that you are a support they can trust.

Rachel Rowitt, Ed.D, LMHC, CAP has worked in the field of clinical psychology for 15 years. She is a freelance writer who specializes in educating the community about the effects of mental illness, addiction and how to make effective changes. She has been affiliated with Lifeskills, a residential treatment facility for mental illness and addiction, for over 5 years. 

Let’s Pay it Forward

Monday, 21 September, 2015

recovery_monthSeptember is National Recovery Month, so let’s pay it forward! Whether you support your favorite charity or perform an act of kindness to a friend or stranger – it’s all about being of service to others.

If you’re looking for a way to serve on a grander scale to help break the stigma, consider applying to join the Heroes in Recovery team as a lead advocate. The 2016 Heroes in Recovery lead advocate application deadline is 10/30/15.

The Depression and Anxiety Cycle

Monday, 21 September, 2015

Depression and anxiety are closely related and they work together in an antagonistic way. Severe anxiety can cause depression due to the overwhelming fear that ‘it’ will not get better. Whether it is a situation, event or a memory from the past, once a person becomes paralyzed with fear depression and hopelessness are just around the corner. Many times people go to residential treatment for depression symptoms only to find out that anxiety is the root issue. A residential treatment for depression and anxiety will help you simultaneously eliminate both of these mood disorders.

When an individual attempts to manage moods without the intervention of a residential treatment for depression and anxiety, it can lead to seeking unhealthy alternatives. Drug and alcohol abuse, gambling, shopping and other forms of unhealthy behaviors become forms of self-medication for mood discomfort. Once the initial change in feelings ends, the uncomfortable emotion remains. From this we learn that temporary fixes only contribute to supporting the uncomfortable mood.

Addiction only makes depression and anxiety worse and the individual is often left with unresolved emotions. If there is an additional substance abuse issue involved, it is imperative to find a residential treatment for depression and anxiety that will address addiction too. Focusing only on addiction can hurt and cause more damage resulting in the need for immediate additional care. Proper guidance, education and healthy outlets help to stop the depression and anxiety cycle.

Rachel Rowitt, Ed.D, LMHC, CAP has worked in the field of clinical psychology for 15 years. She is a freelance writer who specializes in educating the community about the effects of mental illness, addiction and how to make effective changes. She has been affiliated with Lifeskills, a residential treatment facility for mental illness and addiction, for over 5 years. 

Monthly Alumni Group

Friday, 18 September, 2015

Hi Alumnus,

Just a reminder… this month Alumni Group will be meeting at Lifeskills THIS Wednesday, September 23rd, at 7pm. Amongst other items, we will discuss thoughts on our Annual Holiday Dinner. Hope to see you there!

For those of you that received a template for a personalized Alumni Tile to be placed on the wall of the Auditorium at Lifeskills, please try to complete those and return to me ASAP. If you did not receive a template and would like to create a tile, I can email you a template or you can get one at the next Alumni Group meeting.

As always, if you have any questions, or if there is another Alumni you know that is interested in attending, please have them contact me @ 954-834-5099 ext.212, or email me @ peter.larmon@lifeskillssf.com

God Bless

Vapor Pens and Synthetic Drugs in Deerfield Beach, Florida

Tuesday, 15 September, 2015

Cunning, baffling and powerful are the words used to describe the disease of addiction. On September 5, 2015, CNN published a story depicting the latest trend for covert drug use, vapor pens. A vapor pen, also known as an e-cigarette, heats a liquid substance that in turn is inhaled. The beauty for cigarette smokers is that the vapor pen creates a steam instead of smoke which makes it easier to hide the habit. Police in Deerfield, Florida are finding more and more illegal substances being smoked using vapor pens, because of its non-detectable odor. “Thirty three people have died in Broward County from synthetic drug use, some involving vapor pens.” Additionally, mental health facilities in south Florida are seeing an increase in admissions from those who have psychotic symptoms as a result of smoking synthetic drugs.

Even more frightening is that the Deerfield police report social media sites, such as Instagram, show people using vapor pens which could contain other harmful and possibly lethal substances. Vapor pens have become more of a fad than a help to quit smoking or stop the nuisance of cigarette smoke. It seems the disease of addiction has taken yet another good intention and twisted it to claim more lives and send more people to mental health facilities. In south Florida, and as a society, we need to become even more aware concerning the behavior of our loved ones. If you believe there is more than nicotine being used in their vapor pens, ask questions.

Take time to inform yourself about vapor pens, synthetic drugs and which mental health facilities in south Florida treat this addiction. Vaping: The latest scourge in drug abuse
Rachel Rowitt, Ed.D, LMHC, CAP has worked in the field of clinical psychology for 15 years. She is a freelance writer who specializes in educating the community about the effects of mental illness, addiction and how to make effective changes. She has been affiliated with Lifeskills, a residential treatment facility for mental illness and addiction, for over 5 years.

It’s Suicide Prevention Week: What Are You Doing?

Saturday, 12 September, 2015

unnamedThis week is National Suicide Prevention Week, an annual observance that aims to inform and engage the nation around the topic of suicide prevention, encourage mental health treatment and educate people on suicide’s warning signs and risk factors.

Use the suicide infographic achieve a better understanding about suicide and the ways we can help prevent the more than 36,000 deaths by suicide each year.

Check out the articles in the National Council Magazine suicide prevention issue and share information with your networks, friends, family and people you serve.

Share information about the Black Dog Ride to support suicide prevention and Mental Health First Aid. On September 13, a band of 65 Australian motorcyclists will roll into New York City to begin the first-ever 4,350-mile “Black Dog Ride” across the United States. Their mission is to raise awareness and funds to support trainings in Mental Health First Aid for first responders and veterans. Check out this video to learn more about the ride, and donate here to help support the cause.

Suicide In America Infographic (Right Click to Save)

 

The Suicide Trap

Thursday, 10 September, 2015

Have you ever interacted with someone who on the outside appears happy, collected and participating in life, only to find out they have attempted suicide? What the person did not show

was the inside, where they are in tremendous pain and suicide had become an option. People with this idea are usually waiting for the right time to execute their plan, because they feel

helplessly trapped and overwhelmed by suicidal thoughts.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 2013 report, 41,149 people in America committed suicide. This number continues to grow. The leading group to successfully kill themselves in 2013 was 15-24 year olds. The devastation of suicide impacts all those who knew the individual no matter what the age of their lost loved one might have been. Unless this dangerous pattern is externally intervened upon by family, friends or in residential treatment, over time these recurring behaviors and thoughts will strengthen securing one into the suicide trap.

What Sets the Suicide Trap?

People who decide taking their own life is an option do not believe there is any way out of how they are feeling. This may be linked to their actual situation or they may have an inability to get past certain life events that have left them feeling hopelessly trapped. Traumas, deaths of loved ones, sexual abuse, physical abuse, drug and alcohol abuse are just a few of the events leading to negative thought patterns, giving way to the option of suicide. Sometimes people blame themselves for situations that have occurred and may have been out of their control. For example, a physically abused young adult may think, “I am a bad person and no one will ever accept me. I am already alone, so if I die it won’t matter.” Although this is just an example, many people who come through residential treatment make similar statements.

Others struggle with chemical imbalances and the impulsivity of wanting to die in a moment of despair, which can lead to a successful suicide. Many people with borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder and depression may have taken their own life based upon a fleeting feeling. A permanent fix for a temporary feeling, no matter how toxic that emotion might be, reveals a problem in one’s thinking. It can blind the person who is contemplating suicide, making it extremely difficult to see that change can be around the corner. For example, a person with borderline personality disorder may make a statement like, “This pain I have is too much and no one understands what I am feeling. If I was dead, then they would understand.” For this individual, the trap has been set and this type of negative thinking may lead to a self-harm gesture which sometimes ends in suicide.

How to Help the Suicidal Person

There is a way out of the suicide trap. First, it is important to not minimize how someone feels or question them in a challenging way. Instead, approach them from a concerned and patient mind-set. This will allow you to maintain open communication instead of them shutting you out. Second, understand you have no control over changing a person’s suicidal thoughts no matter how much you care about the individual. It is important to know your options for introducing professional help into the situation. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 and is available 24/7 to help your loved one to have a connection anytime. Lastly, it is important as family and friends to continue educating yourself about suicide prevention and residential treatment options as your first line of defense.

Rachel Rowitt, Ed.D, LMHC, CAP has worked in the field of clinical psychology for 15 years. She is a freelance writer who specializes in educating the community about the effects of mental illness, addiction and how to make effective changes. She has been affiliated with Lifeskills, a residential treatment facility for mental illness and addiction, for over 5 years.