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Does Bipolar Get Worse with Age?

Bipolar disorder is complex. Hearing this diagnosis can be overwhelming and there may be a ton of questions surrounding it. Does bipolar get worse with age? Does it mean something is broken? Something is wrong?

While it is complex, bipolar disorder is also treatable and does not mean that something is wrong, or broken in the person with this diagnosis. Understanding what bipolar is, and how age can affect its symptoms can be vital to grasp a full understanding of what this mental health condition entails.

What is Bipolar?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition. It is characterized by severe mood swings ranging from extreme highs to extreme lows. During these high points (mania or hypomania) feelings of euphoria may be present. Someone may experience elevated energy levels, and even irritability, while the lows are on the opposite end of the spectrum.

When experiencing these shifts in mood, energy, sleep, judgment, and behaviors can be affected. Bipolar disorder has several types associated. Broken down into three main types, they can include mania or hypomania (less severe than mania), and depression.

The symptoms of the different types vary and can be uncontrollable as well as unpredictable. Some people may wonder if bipolar gets worse with age, and this is a valid question. Understanding the symptoms can help to clarify this.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

As previously stated, the symptoms of bipolar disorder vary. Both from person to person and between the different types of this disorder. Breaking down the different types of bipolar disorder will help to show a clearer view of them.

Bipolar I Disorder

According to the Mayo Clinic, Bipolar I disorder is characterized by at least one episode of mania followed by or preceded by hypomania or episodes of depression. There can be instances of psychosis during mania in Bipolar I. 

Bipolar II Disorder

This is characterized by one hypomanic episode and one depressive episode, but no full blown mania has been experienced. 

Cyclothymic Disorder

This means at least one year (in children and teenagers) or two years (in adults) where there have been many periods of hypomania and episodes of depression. 

When it comes to what mania or hypomania is, these episodes are two different things. Manic episodes are more severe than hypomanic and can be more dangerous. However, both of these have the same symptoms.

Manic or hypomanic episodes consist of three or more of these symptoms: 

  • Increased activity or agitation
  • Abnormally upbeat
  • Overly confident with overall well-being and self (euphoria)
  • Racing thoughts
  • Extreme talkativeness
  • Distracted/unfocused
  • Impaired decision making
  • Less need for sleep

Depressive episodes include five or more of the following symptoms: 

  • Lack of interest in hobbies or life
  • Depressed mood
  • Restlessness
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Drastic and unexplained weight loss
  • Problems thinking clearly
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

Typically diagnosed in teenage years or early adulthood (20s), as time goes on the symptoms of bipolar can change and vary from person to person. But does bipolar get worse with age? 

Does Bipolar Get Worse with Age?

Asking whether or not bipolar gets worse with age is a valid question. Like any untreated disease, bipolar can have some severe impacts on someone’s life as time progresses. Treating the disorder and managing its symptoms can be helpful in preventing some of the complications that may be experienced over time with bipolar.

Undergoing trauma therapy and utilizing medications can help keep the symptoms at bay and prevent relapse. Again, leaving this disorder untreated can cause the symptoms of bipolar to get worse with age. This is why it is crucial to have proper care once a diagnosis has been given.

How to Know if Bipolar is Getting Worse

A person who suffers from this disorder will know what their episodes look and feel like. This makes it easier to identify any changes in them. As bipolar gets worse with age, paying attention to the episodes and identifying any changes is part of knowing it is getting worse.

If there are changes, it is best to contact a mental health professional who can help to alleviate the symptoms before they become problematic. Asking friends and family who are close to look out for any changes can also help to identify if bipolar is getting worse with age. Seeking professional guidance as quickly as possible can help these symptoms from becoming unbearable. 

Get Bipolar Treatment in Lexington, KY

Bipolar disorder can be debilitating to those who suffer with it. Leaving bipolar untreated can be even more debilitating, and cause the symptoms of the disorder to become unbearable. However, there is help for these symptoms, and ways to manage and make them subside.

At Lexington Addiction Center we offer help to those who struggle with bipolar disorder. Our program can help you find a way to manage symptoms and gain control of your life back. Contact us today and let our professionals help guide you through this phase of getting better.

Practicing Mindfulness in Addiction Recovery

Everyone who struggles with drug and alcohol addiction has different reasons for using substances, however a common denominator in a lot of people’s stories is: they drink and drug to avoid thoughts and feelings. Practicing mindfulness in addiction recovery can change the outcome and rate of success in a person’s life. Mindfulness can help shape a person into a new way of thinking and processing negative thoughts and emotions. This helps give them a powerful tool when it comes to staying clean and sober. It helps them to combat the negativity in a positive way that allows them to maintain recovery and get through the thoughts and feelings that once led to using drugs and alcohol as a means of coping.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a keen awareness about thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Being able to, purposefully, look at thoughts and feelings as they are occurring so that you can identify anything triggering to learn to cope with them. Identifying these thoughts and feelings, and not reacting to them emotionally or without intention can help to change your thought processes and patterns surrounding the use of drugs and alcohol. Practicing mindfulness is part of a holistic therapy that helps alleviate symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and can help to improve focus. The early stages of recovery for anyone can be super stressful as you learn a completely new way of life, there can be racing thoughts and a desire to constantly be on the move. Being aware of this (mindful) you can find a healthy balance.

Mindfulness and Addiction Recovery

Some of the biggest deterrents to successfully recovery from drug and alcohol addiction include stress, anxiety, and depression. Mindfulness in addiction recovery helps to combat these feelings by identifying and processing the feelings and emotions in a positive, non judgmental or emotional way. For example, in early recovery, cravings are high. The drugs and alcohol have just recently been removed from your life and when faced with uncomfortable situations, you may want to use. Rather than suppressing these feelings of using, acknowledge it. Feel its presence, and feel it as it begins to dissipate. Then you can feel yourself making through the very thing that made you continue drinking and drugging. You’ve then successfully overcome an obstacle to your recovery.

Approaching your thoughts and feelings in this way over a period of time will form it into a habitual way of processing them so you can better manage thoughts and feelings, positively, rather than turning to drugs and alcohol to cope. Positively identifying and processing triggering thoughts and emotions, practicing mindfulness in addiction recovery, is one of the best tools you can have under your belt when trying to maintain recovery.

What Mindfulness Practices are Used in Addiction Recovery?

Mindfulness in addiction recovery should always be tailored to a person’s specific needs. However there are some common practices that are taught to and used by people in recovery. Some techniques are used to help frame thought patterns in a way that is more positivity focused rather than the negative, self deprecating thoughts that many addicts and alcoholics think on a daily basis. Other mindfulness practices are used to help manage and alleviate symptoms of pain, or stress. All of the different practices of mindfulness in addiction recovery follow a basic guideline including these specific elements:

  • Observation: Identifying the thoughts and experiences.
  • Description: Describing the experiences
  • Participation: Healthy engagement with the thoughts/experience.
  • No Judgment: Accepting the experience or feeling (ie a craving) without judging it
  • Focus: Focusing on individual things, without distraction
  • Effectiveness: Actively making better choices for recovery

Learning to positively manage thoughts and emotions is what mindfulness in addiction recovery is all about. By implementing these practices into your daily life, you are forming a new routine surrounding thought processes.

Importance of Mindfulness

The positive connection between addiction and mindfulness in addiction recovery is uncanny. By practicing mindfulness, and learning a new way of thinking when it comes to drugs and alcohol, you are essentially retraining your brain to be able to self soothe the thoughts and feelings that once led you to drugs and alcohol. By staying aware, you can stay in control.

Help for Addiction in Lexington, KY

Mindfulness in addiction recovery can benefit those who struggle in insurmountable ways. Learning to be aware and change the way you think can help you to grow and change in recovery. Addiction is a monster and changes the most loving and understanding person into someone completely different. If you or a loved one struggle with addiction, there is help. You don’t have to go through it alone and you don’t have to continue to suffer.

At Lexington Addiction Center, we offer a comprehensive program to help you learn new skills to live addiction-free. Help if just a phone call away. Contact us today and begin living a healthy, mindful life of recovery.

Can Depression and Anxiety Cause Memory Loss?

Depression and anxiety can affect the body in many different ways. They both wreak havoc on the person’s mental state and physical wellbeing. But can depression and anxiety cause memory loss? If so, how? The way that depression and anxiety tend to affect the body can interrupt the formation of new memories. Understanding the facts about depression, anxiety, and memory formation can help someone to see how the two disorders tend to affect memories, as well as how they can be treated.

Understanding Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety is a mental health condition in which a person feels an intense feeling of fear, uneasiness, or dread. Symptoms of anxiety can include:

  • Nervousness
  • Sense of impending doom, panic, or danger
  • Sweating
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Hyperventilating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating

These symptoms and the intense bodily responses to the symptoms of anxiety can make it extremely hard to live life normally day to day. Those who suffer with anxiety tend to do things to avoid triggering their anxiety from flaring up, making socialization and daily living difficult.

Depression is a condition that can affect the way you feel, how you think and how you act. It can cause major feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable. The disruptions to life that depression can cause can have a huge impact on a person’s life. It can cause isolation, changes in behaviors, and if left untreated, depression can lead to far worse consequences. Fortunately, both anxiety and depression can be effectively treated.

How are Memories Formed?

When it comes to the formation of memories, there are generally 3 steps to creating them. The first step of memory formation is encoding. During this phase, meaning is attached to one of the five senses (touch, smell, hearing, sight, or taste).

The next step in memory formation is storage. This means the brain stores the memories in small portions and in different areas for recall later on.

The final step is called recall. This is when the brain pulls the memories back out. Those small chunks are pulled together from their storage locations, they then come together and form what is known as a memory. During this process, nerve pathways that were created when the memory was formed are activated. As an example, when you smell cooking in a restaurant it brings you back to grandma’s kitchen when you were a kid. Depression and anxiety can cause the loss of some of these memories due to the body’s response to these conditions.

The Body’s Natural Response to Anxiety and Depression

When you experience depression and anxiety, it throws the body into what is known as the “fight or flight” response. This means the body is trying to either stand and fight the real or perceived threat, or run from it. Signals are sent from the eyes and ears into the brain, and the emotional processing center of the brain then determines if it is a threat. Adrenaline is then pumped throughout the body, causing higher pulse rate, rapid breathing, and sensory changes. From there, if the perceived danger still exists, cortisol is released. This is a stress hormone, and once the danger has passed and the brain processes that it is gone, levels will diminish.

When the body goes into fight or flight due to anxiety and depression, it can disrupt the normal functionality of the brain. Depression and anxiety can cause memory loss during this response to real or perceived threats. The body is so focused on fending off danger that it is not processing new memories or focusing on anything other than fighting off the threats.

How are Anxiety and Depression Linked to Memory Loss

Can depression and anxiety cause memory loss? The short answer is yes. There have been many studies done on the subject matter, and there are many studies still in the works. However there have been some results showing that those who suffer from depression have been known to have short term memory loss. There are a few instances where the memory loss affects long term memories as well.

The link between depression and dementia has also been noted in medical journals. Anxiety can also impact how memories are formed. Because this condition is so taxing on the body, it can make it difficult to recall childhood memories. Untreated depression and anxiety can have a huge impact on memory loss.

Get Help For Anxiety and Depression in Lexington, KY

Anxiety and depression can cause major disruption to your everyday life, and can make it extremely difficult to function normally. Leaving these two conditions untreated can exacerbate the symptoms, and make the disruptions far more taxing on your quality of life. If you or a loved one are struggling with depression and anxiety, there is help.

At Lexington Addiction Center we provide a continuum of care that can help to address these mental health concerns and assist in beginning the healing process so you can return to a normal life. Contact us today and start realizing the benefits of this kind of help.

What To Expect At A 12-Step Meeting

Once the beginning stages of getting clean and sober are done, what is next? Going to meetings is highly suggested to maintain the work that was put in during the initial process of getting sober. What to expect at a 12-step meeting can vary from meeting to meeting. There are many different types of fellowships, and they each carry their own way of running their meetings. But one thing holds true, they all help the struggling addict and alcoholic find a place of solace and peace where they can open up and express themselves without fear or worry surrounding being judged. 

What is a 12-Step Meeting?

The initial program of recovery founded for struggling alcoholics is known as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). It was founded as a safe haven for people who struggle to come together and share their experiences, and help one another to stay sober. Since then, many different fellowships have adopted the basic outline of AA. The verbiage and the fellowships are different, but the steps laid out as a guideline for long-term recovery are the same. 

Each meeting has its own format, and while they may be similar, each meeting is self-supporting and has its own regulations. This helps the meetings to maintain functionality in the long term. Having a full understanding of what to expect at a 12-step meeting can help someone to make a decision to attend one, and begin a life in recovery that can only help them to grow and prosper.

How Do I Know If a Meeting is Right for Me?

It is highly suggested that once you complete treatment to attend a meeting as soon as possible. Make a plan for when you get home, and include a meeting within that plan. It is best to go immediately and get plugged into a meeting so you can begin making new connections with people who are clean and sober, trying to do the right thing, just like you are. These people will help support you through the hard stuff and help guide you through the early stages of recovery.

What to Expect at a 12-Step Meeting

What to expect at a 12-step meeting depends on each meeting’s format. However, there are some general components to any meeting that are usually a part of all 12-step fellowship meetings. These can include things like the following:

  • Opening prayer
  • Reading from 12-step fellowship literature
  • Open sharing 
  • Speakers (usually with 90 days or more of continuous recovery)
  • Denoting recovery lengths with chips or key tags
  • Time to share if you want to use or have used
  • Closing prayer

There are many myths surrounding 12-step meetings, the biggest of which is that you are joining a cult. The fellowships born from AA are a place to find love and support that can carry you through some of the tough moments that can and will probably arise during the first few months of recovery. That is the beauty of these meetings and the fellowship. What to expect at a 12-step meeting is love from a fellow addict or alcoholic in recovery that helps you maintain your own recovery.

How Long Are Meetings?

Generally speaking, meetings vary. However, more often than not, meetings usually go on for an hour, from opening prayer to closing prayer. They may run over a little longer sometimes, and this allows for people who need to get something off of their chest to be able to do so and could potentially be saving them from relapse.

What Happens After a Meeting?

What you can expect at a 12-step meeting—once the meeting ends—is the “meeting after the meeting”. This is if you choose to participate. This is where you will get to know the people in the meetings, and build friendships with those people. Whether it be going out for coffee, or going out to lunch or dinner. This will allow you to let down your guard, let people get to know you and you get to know them. This is not a requirement for attending meetings, everyone is welcome, it is just a place to get to know the people in the meetings.

How Do I Find a Meeting?

Each fellowship generally has its own website, and those websites are broken down into area websites that make it easy to locate meetings. Google can be your friend here! 

Addiction Treatment in Lexington, KY

The beginning stages of getting clean and sober can have a rocky start. It can be difficult to maintain recovery on your own. The good news is, there is help available when you are trying to give up drugs and alcohol. At Lexington Addiction Center, we provide a safe place to remove the substances from your body, under the care of professionals, while you begin the process of starting a life in recovery. Seeking help is often necessary to achieve your goal of recovery, and we can help. Contact us today and begin your journey to recovery.

28 Addiction & Mental Health Resources For Asian American College Students

Mental health and substance abuse issues have been rising among Asian American college students in recent years. Studies have shown that this population faces unique challenges and barriers when it comes to seeking help for mental health and substance abuse issues, which may contribute to the high rates of mental health problems and substance abuse among Asian American college students.

One study found that Asian American college students are more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety than their non-Asian American peers. This is likely due to a number of factors, including cultural and linguistic barriers, lack of access to culturally sensitive mental health services, and stigma surrounding mental health and substance abuse in the Asian American community. Additionally, Asian American college students may experience added stressors such as pressure to succeed academically and financially and pressure to meet the expectations of their families and communities.

Another study found that Asian American college students are also at a higher risk for substance abuse than their non-Asian American peers. This may be due to the fact that Asian American college students may feel more pressure to fit in with their peers, and may turn to substance abuse as a way to cope with stress and social pressures. Additionally, there may be a lack of information and resources available to Asian American college students on the dangers of substance abuse, which may also contribute to the high rates of substance abuse among this population.

Despite these challenges, there has been a recent increase in awareness and attention to the mental health and substance abuse issues facing Asian American college students. Many universities and colleges have begun to offer culturally sensitive mental health services, and there has been a push to increase awareness and education on the importance of mental health and substance abuse among Asian American college students. Additionally, there are now more resources available to Asian American college students, including support groups and counseling services that are culturally sensitive and tailored to the unique needs of this population.

It’s clear that mental health and substance abuse issues continue to be significant concerns among Asian American college students. However, there is hope for improvement as awareness and resources for this population continue to increase. It is important for universities and colleges, as well as the broader community, to continue to address these issues and provide support for Asian American college students in order to improve their mental health and well-being. 

Asian American College Students Resources


Mental Health Resources for Asian American College Students

  • 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988 to be connected with a crisis counselor anytime, anywhere in America. 
  • Asian Mental Health Collective: This is a nonprofit organization that helps connect Asian Americans with culturally competent therapists and mental healthcare providers all over the country.
  • Asian American Psychological Association: This is an academic institution that works to improve mental health awareness among Asian Americans and also provides access to mental healthcare. Their website’s resource tab has a variety of resources, both for people struggling with mental health issues as well as Asian American students who are studying psychology. 
  • Mental Health America – Asian American / Pacific Islander Communities and Mental Health: Mental Health America is a nationwide nonprofit that works to improve awareness about, and access to, mental health services across the country. Their page on AAPI mental health provides information and resources for Asian Americans of all ages.
  • National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association: This association is devoted to providing access to mental health resources that are specifically tailored to the mental health needs of Asian Americans. Their resource page contains dozens of helpful resources for all kinds of mental health services.
  • South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT): This organization works to create a community of changemakers within the Asian American community. Their website provides information and links to several different multimedia projects.
  • American Academy of Adolescent & Child Psychiatry: This is a national organization whose website provides a helpful resource page containing an Asian American and Pacific Islander Resource Library.
  • Public Health Institute: Their page on Supporting Asian Youth in Mental Health and Wellness provides a top-down view of the mental health challenges facing Asian American youth today.
  • Asian Counseling and Referral Service: This is a directory that can help Asian Americans get in touch with culturally competent counselors and therapists all across the country.


Addiction Recovery Resources for Asian American College Students

  • FindTreatment.gov: This website is provided by SAMHSA and can connect anyone with substance abuse treatment services anywhere in the country.
  • Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations: This is a collective of community service organizations all across the country that provide a resource guide for Asian Americans struggling with substance abuse.
  • The SAFE Project: The SAFE Project has compiled a resource guide for Asian Americans that provides over a dozen resources, including those for substance abuse issues.
  • NAPAFASA: This is an advocacy organization that works to improve access to substance abuse and gambling addiction treatment for Asian Americans.
  • California State University Asian American and Pacific Islander Student Resource Guide: This resource guide was published by CSU, although it contains dozens of resources from all across the country.
  • Stanford SUPER: This page from Stanford is a part of their Substance Use Programs Education & Resources (SUPER) program and provides a variety of information for students struggling with substance abuse or mental health issues.
  • Asian American Health Initiative: Provided by Montgomery County, Maryland, this website provides a wide range of resources for Asian Americans struggling with substance abuse or mental health issues.
  • AACI: This is a California-based nonprofit, although they provide resources for people all across the country.


Helpful Videos, Articles, and Podcasts for Asian American College Students

  • Vogue – 5 Asian-Founded Wellness Resources: This article by Vogue details 5 different resources for Asian Americans to help them maintain positive mental wellness.
  • EveryMind.org: This page provides information for Asian Americans and several videos in different languages, including Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
  • Misfortune Cookies Podcast: This podcast is by Asian Americans, for Asian Americans and recounts stories of mental health recovery.
  • Asian Nation: This website is packed full of information and stories of recovery from substance abuse, mental health struggles, gambling addiction, trauma, and more. They also provide links to dozens of different resources for Asian Americans who may be struggling with any of these issues.
  • The Zoe Report: This article titled “7 Mental Health & Wellness Resources That Support Asian-American Communities” provides 7 useful resources that can help Asian Americans both young and old.
  • UC Davis: Provided by the UC Davis Student Health & Counseling Services, this page contains dozens of helpful resources for Asian American students.

Social Media Accounts for Asian American College Students

  • Asian Mental Health Project: This Instagram account is aimed at making mental healthcare more accessible for Asian Americans.
  • The Mind Health Spot: Created by Vancouver-based therapist Laura Lu, this account provides inspirational and mental health-focused content geared toward young Asian Americans.
  • Misfortune Cookies: This is the Instagram account for the podcast of the same name and posts inspiring stories of mental health struggles and recovery.
  • Project Lotus: This social media account aims to destigmatize mental health within the Asian American community by sharing stories of struggle and hope.
  • Asians Do Therapy: This account is normalizing therapy within the Asian American community by sharing stories of how it has helped many people who thought they were beyond hope.


Eight Key Life Skills in Addiction Recovery

Life skills in addiction recovery are essential to learning how to live life productively. Learning and implementing these skills into your day to day routines is vital for moving forward in life and being able to maintain recovery long term, even on the hard days. But what are life skills? Why are they important? There are many different things that you could introduce into your daily routine that can help you achieve long term recovery. Seeking ways to learn different skills is highly recommended for those looking to stay clean and sober.

What are Life Skills?

As addiction progresses, people often forget how to be a “normal” person. Even the simplest of tasks seem far-fetched and foreign.

When someone gets sober, and is trying to change their life, they have to relearn some of the most basic things in order to be a productive member of society again. In such cases, aftercare services can be a lifeline. Here are some examples of what some essential life skills are.

Problem Solving Skills

Life skills in addiction recovery include problem-solving skills. This is a skill that can be used in all aspects of life, from family relationships to problems that can arise in the workplace. Problem-solving is an essential skill to being able to turn a negative into a positive. As addicts, people tend to run away from problems and turn to drugs and alcohol as a solution.

Of course, drugs and alcohol only compound the problem. Learning ways to effectively work through whatever is going on that is causing discomfort is essential to maintaining mental health and wellness.

Communication Skills

Lack of effective communication is a struggle that most people endure. Learning to clearly and effectively communicate feelings and boundaries can help to teach assertiveness and allow for someone to grow in self confidence. Being able to communicate when things are tough, and you are struggling can help you to maintain your recovery when you want to give up on the process. Hard days are hard. But being able to communicate when you’re experiencing a rough patch can help you to learn ways that others have made it through the same things.

Setting and Achieving Goals

Goal-setting is one of the most effective life skills in addiction recovery. Throughout active addiction, the only goal that was ever set was to get drunk or high. On most days that goal was achieved. Applying that same thought process to goals in recovery can help you to get where you want to be and all the while gaining self confidence. When you set a small goal and reach that goal, the good feeling of accomplishment can help propel you forward to greater and greater goals.

Financial Management

In early recovery it can be difficult and overwhelming to be able to hold onto money and not impulsively spend every penny you have. During your using, every cent went to maintaining your habit. Filling that void with spending money impulsively can lead to financial hardship and eventually it can lead to relapse. Money management and saving for your goals and future can help to set the path for a successful future.


Self-care is another of the most important life skills in addiction recovery. Being able to take time for yourself, so that you can do things that bring you joy and happiness, is crucial for balance. Recovery is a full time job, and having pleasurable and fun times is part of maintaining a balance. Between working a regular job, and doing recovery related things, having fun is a necessary component.

Develop Coping Mechanisms

The go-to choice for addicts and alcoholics is turning to drugs and alcohol. The old adage of “When I stubbed my toe my answer was to drink or use drugs” applies here. Rather than turning to drugs and alcohol to deal with day to day inconveniences, learning how to do positive and healthy things can be helpful.

Build Relationships

Having healthy, positive relationships in recovery, especially with people who are like-minded and on the same path is another of the healthier life skills in addiction recovery. Having people that can support and help you when times are hard is going to be one of the best things you can have to maintain recovery.


No matter what, don’t give up. You have come this far, and when you were drinking and drugging you never gave up until you got what you wanted. Recovery operates on the same concept. In conclusion, put the same amount of effort into staying clean and sober that you put into using and you can maintain recovery over the long term.

Learning Life Skills in Lexington, KY

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and looking to learn a new way of life, there is help out there. At Lexington Addiction Center we teach the necessary life skills that can help to maintain recovery. Contact us today and start the next chapter of your life.

Is Addiction Hereditary?

Whether addiction is hereditary has been a commonly asked question over the years. There’s been studies on the subject, there’s been statistics released, and still the question remains. Is addiction hereditary? The short answer is yes, addiction has been linked to genetics. It wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that addiction was even recognized as a disease. Now, the thought process surrounding addiction is still ever changing. Understanding the link between genetics and addiction is vital for those who have suffered with substance abuse and for those who have loved ones who have.

Understanding Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Addiction is a monster that can be difficult to beat. In many cases, people turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with situational feelings, and end up not being able to stop drinking and drugging. This is because the brain and body become dependent on the substances. When this happens, it can be hard to break that cycle. Oftentimes people need to seek professional help in order to end drug addiction and alcohol addiction. Other times, they continue to use drugs and alcohol and end up with some severe physical and emotional consequences. No matter the situation, drug and alcohol addiction is a disease and the question can be asked, is addiction hereditary?

Is Addiction Hereditary?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, there is a link between genes and DNA and your susceptibility to drug and alcohol addiction. They say that about half of it can be hereditary. While there is a link to genetics, addiction is more complicated than that. Just because there is a genetic predisposition to developing a substance abuse problem, does not mean it is a definite thing that’s going to happen in your life. It just means that you are more prone to developing a substance abuse problem. On the flip side, just because you do not have a predisposition does not mean you won’t. Addiction does not discriminate, and anyone can be affected.

To see how addiction can be viewed as hereditary, there are studies that show differences in dopamine in the brain. Higher levels of dopamine can cause poor impulse control, and lower inhibitions toward substance use. Dopamine is viewed as the reward center in the brain, responsible for feeling pleasure. So, when it gets affected by drug and alcohol use, it can make it easier to continue to turn to drugs and alcohol for a sense of pleasure.

Other Factors Contributing to Addiction

Even though it is said that addiction is hereditary, there are other factors that can be attributed to addiction. As previously stated, anyone can be affected by addiction. It is a disease of the mind and the body. There is a physical dependence, and a mental craving associated with drug and alcohol addiction. Knowing other factors, other than addiction being hereditary can help to avoid or identify substance abuse problems.


Trauma can be a main factor for substance abuse problems. Traumatic events happening in life, whether in early childhood, adolescence or adulthood, can harm a person psychologically. It can cause flashbacks and anxiety so severe that, seemingly, the only way to feel any relief is to self medicate with drugs and alcohol. This can lead to dangerous consequences. Being that studies show addiction is hereditary, those with a predisposition to substance abuse have a higher risk of turning to drugs and alcohol to cope with traumas.


The link between drug and alcohol abuse and environment can easily be seen. Oftentimes, children who grow up in homes where there is substance abuse, physical or emotional abuse, or neglect are often seen to begin using drugs and alcohol as a way of coping with their feelings surrounding their upbringing. Whether addiction is hereditary or not can also play a role in the environment affecting someone’s use of drugs and alcohol to cope.

How You Can Help

Regardless of the situation, there is help. Drugs and alcohol can drastically change a person’s behavior and personality. If you have suffered from addiction, the best thing you can do is be open with your family about it. It can help them to be more aware of their possible predisposition to drug and alcohol abuse. If cancer or diabetes ran in your family, you would do everything you can to warn the others in your family of the risks of developing these diseases, right? Think of it that way. Warning them could help to keep them healthy.

Finding Help for Addiction in Lexington, KY

Drug and alcohol addiction is a beast and affects all aspects of the addict or alcoholic’s life. It can take the most functional person and turn them into a monster. If you or a loved one are struggling with drugs or alcohol, there is help for you out there. We at Lexington Addiction Center can help guide you through the early stages of getting clean and sober, and help you to learn to live a life free from drug and alcohol addiction. Contact us today and let our team help you begin this process.

Childhood Trauma and Adult Addiction

There is continuing research being done on addiction. Research topics like genetics are often heard of. But what about the correlation between childhood trauma and addiction? Is there a link there? Childhood is the formative years for your sense of right and wrong, what your perception of love is, and your general reaction to situations. Having trauma occur during these years can alter the way the brain forms and functions, and this can lead to detrimental repercussions in later years, long after the trauma has occurred.

What is Childhood Trauma?

Childhood trauma is when an event occurs in childhood that can be emotionally painful to the child. The events that occur often have long lasting effects on the physical and mental well-being of the child in the long run. Having traumatic events occur during the formative years, whether a single event or repeated, can cause a child to feel they have lost all sense of control and safety. These feelings can interrupt the development of the child.

How Childhood Trauma Affects the Brain

While biology and genetics are a vital part of brain development, the brain has what is known as neuroplasticity and this means that it can change and adapt to any given situation. So when any sort of traumatic event occurs, it can lead to the brain’s make-up changing. Trauma during the early years of life, while the brain is beginning its formation, can alter the formation of the brain. This can lead to difficulty in behavioral and emotional reactions. These changes can carry on into adulthood.

Does Childhood Trauma Affect Addiction in Adulthood?

Many people who struggle with an alcohol addiction or drug addiction have experienced some kind of trauma. A lot of those traumas were experienced in childhood. Having tragic and harmful things happen during childhood and feeling that sense of losing control can cause someone to turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to feel like they have gained some semblance of control. This is a false narrative, as drinking and drugging can lead to addiction and once addiction has been reached, the sense of control has been lost.

Using drugs and alcohol to cope with the feelings associated with childhood traumas is unhealthy. The link between childhood trauma and addiction can be seen by the number of addicts seeking recovery who say that the things that happened during childhood, like molestation, abuse, and neglect, led them to feeling a sense of unworthiness and not feelings wanted or loved. These feelings trigger a need for individuals to, somehow, gain those feelings. Whether it be codependence or substance dependence as a way to feel like they don’t feel that way.

The number of addicts looking to get clean and sober who cite childhood trauma as the reason for them using drugs and alcohol is staggering. It is vital to sort out and learn ways of coping with these unresolved traumas in order to curb addiction and prevent relapse once the drugs and alcohol have been removed.

Can Addiction Be Treated?

The short answer is yes. Childhood trauma and addiction are both treatable conditions. When it comes to ending the addiction, it is highly recommended to have medical supervision for various reasons. One being that there can be side effects, medically, of the drug being stopped. These are known as withdrawal symptoms. Everyone experiences withdrawals differently, and no one symptom is associated with any specific drug. There are some pretty generalized symptoms of withdrawal that can be seen across those experiencing withdrawal. Not all are necessarily seen in everyone, however most of these symptoms are associated with those ending drug and alcohol abuse:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Muscle cramps and aches
  • Restlessness
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Seizures
  • Dehydration
  • Increase or decrease in appetite

Having medical supervision during this time can be beneficial to preventing medical events that have long lasting repercussions. Being medically monitored by professionals can allow for these blood pressure spikes to be handled. It can also help to maintain someone’s comfort during detox, medications can be dispensed to help counteract some of these extremely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and allow for someone to get through the detox process, and begin their journey of recovery.

Additionally, having the addiction professionals available in an inpatient setting for therapeutic purposes can help to begin the process of healing from childhood traumas and addiction traumas. Being able to turn to someone trained to help process feelings and emotions, as well as traumas can help keep someone from acting on impulse and giving up on finding recovery. There is help for both childhood trauma and addiction that may have stemmed from it.

Help for Childhood Trauma and Addiction in Lexington, KY

Trauma that stems from childhood can be extremely detrimental in the later, adulthood years. Resolving them can lead you to a healthy lifestyle. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, or have experienced childhood trauma, there is help out there. Here at Lexington Addiction Center there is hope. Contact us today and our team of professionals can help to guide you to a place of peace and serenity.

What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?

What are co-occurring disorders? We know there are substance use disorders, and there are mental health disorders. But what about when someone suffers with both mental health and substance abuse? That is what co-occurring disorders are. These disorders affect countless people across the world, and affect both men and women. But what exactly does it mean to suffer from co-occurring disorders? What is the treatment? How does one “fix” it? Here we will give answers to some of the more prevalent questions surrounding this type of disorder.

What are Co-Occurring Disorders?

As previously stated, when there are substance use and mental health disorders coexisting within one person, that is what co-occurring disorders refer to. This can mean one disorder and one substance being abused, or it can mean any variation of multiple mental health and substance abuse issues existing at once.

Those who struggle with mental health tend to turn to drugs and alcohol more often than others in order to manage the symptoms of their mental health conditions. Conditions associated with co-occurring disorders often include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Bipolar
  • Schizophrenia

These are just a few of the mental health conditions often seen in conjunction with substance use disorders, and they can lead to the use of any combination of drugs and alcohol. Oftentimes, those who struggle with mental health turn to drugs and alcohol to help them to manage the symptoms they may be experiencing from the mental health concerns. This is not the best solution, however, to the addict or alcoholic, it may seem like the fastest way to find relief.

Some Common Co-Occurring Disorders

What are co-occurring disorders that are commonly seen in addicts and alcoholics? Well, there is no definitive substance that is associated with specific mental health concerns. However, there are some more commonly seen substance and disorder combinations.


Those who suffer from depression are more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol as a way of self-medicating. Those who turn to alcohol are oftentimes attempting to “drown their sorrows” and trying to heighten their mood. Others use drugs to feel the “high” that they produce, rather than the lows of depression. This helps to relieve the negative thoughts and feelings they may be experiencing due to the depression. Using drugs and alcohol to self-medicate is what leads to addiction.

Anxiety Disorders

When it comes to using drugs and alcohol as a way of coping with anxiety, the feelings produced by drugs like benzodiazepines or opiates can help to ease the mind almost into a state of sedation. This leads the person to believe that they are “feeling better” when in reality, they are just masking the symptoms and creating an addiction. The same rings true with alcohol, the calming effects can seem as though they are a cure to what the person is feeling when it only causes more harm.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

It is common among those who struggle with PTSD that drugs and alcohol are used to cope with the symptoms. It can make the person feel like they are OK, without the stress often seen with PTSD.

Dual Diagnosis

What is a co-occurring disorder compared to a dual diagnosis? Well, they are very similar. However, co-occurring disorders tend to refer to mental health conditions coexisting with substance use disorders while dual diagnosis refers to two or more completely separate diagnoses. As an example, a person can have different ailments caused by drug and alcohol addiction, this would be a dual diagnosis. For what a co-occuring disorder is, the drugs and alcohol would be used to self medicate the symptoms of whatever mental health concerns exist.

In simpler terms, what co-occurring disorders are is when the mental health treatment and addiction treatment happen together, in order to manage them.

How to Treat Co-Occurring Disorders

In recent years, it has become common practice to treat mental illness and substance use disorders together. This is due to the fact that they are intertwined and impact one another. When only the substance use or only the mental health is treated, it does not “cure” the other portion of these co-occurring disorders. The best way to address these coexisting conditions is for medical professionals to guide you through the process.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Lexington

If you or a loved one struggle with co-occurring disorders, there is help. Here at Lexington Addiction Center, we provide care that addresses all facets of addiction and mental health. Reach out to us today and let us help guide you to a healthier lifestyle.

Xanax and Rebound Anxiety

Xanax is a drug used to treat anxiety. But what happens when you stop taking it? Xanax and rebound anxiety are tied together being that once someone stops using Xanax to treat the anxiety, there can be a recurrence of the symptoms of anxiety. Learning how to combat this and cope with the side effects of quitting Xanax is important for those looking to stop taking the drug. The right treatment plan can make managing these symptoms easier.

What is Xanax?

Xanax is a drug used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It belongs to the benzodiazepine drug family. It is a Schedule IV controlled substance. This means that it has a medical purpose, but has a risk of being abused. Xanax abuse can lead to dependence and addiction. Xanax was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat anxiety disorders because it helps to calm the brain activity in someone struggling with anxiety and panic disorders. This helps to ease the symptoms anxiety causes and alleviate the stress to the body.

Being that Xanax slows the brain activity, this can lead to slurred speech and motor functionality. It can also change the chemistry within the brain, and alter the productivity of GABA. When this happens, and someone stops taking Xanax, the brain has to rewire itself to regular production of this essential amino acid, and relearn what is normal production rather than what is produced artificially with the Xanax.

Xanax helps those who struggle with these mental health disorders enjoy a greater quality of life. Panic disorders and anxiety can be debilitating to those struggling. Having a medication that can help ease the uncomfortable feelings and help with sleep as well make it easier to function normally can almost seem like a dream come true. But this drug comes with the risk of dependence and, inevitably, withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped.

Symptoms of Xanax Withdrawal

Symptoms of Xanax withdrawal can be uncomfortable to endure. Some of the symptoms associated with Xanax withdrawal can lead to lifelong repercussions and even be fatal. The most common symptoms associated with Xanax withdrawal are:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Increased anxiety
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Spikes in blood pressure
  • Higher pulse rate
  • Seizure

Some of these symptoms can lead to fatal results. Having professional medical monitoring when withdrawing from Xanax is essential to maintaining a state of comfort and controlling these symptoms that can lead to fatality.

What is Rebound Anxiety?

When someone stops taking Xanax, there is a risk of experiencing increased anxiety. Withdrawal from Xanax and rebound anxiety can go hand in hand. When the brain is used to having the effects produced by the drug, taking it away can cause the anxiety to return at the same level, or sometimes even worse.

You may ask yourself, “Why stop the medication if it is going to make anxiety worse?” First, Xanax has the risk of abuse and dependence. What happens if the drug is unavailable? A person runs the risk of having adverse effects because they can’t get their medication. Xanax and rebound anxiety both have risks, but the rebound anxiety can be managed with non narcotic medications and holistic methods. It is all about being properly cared for in the proper setting to successfully and safely detox from the medication to manage the symptoms.

How Long Does Rebound Anxiety Last?

Rebound anxiety usually begins within 24 hours and up to four days after the last use of the drug. Once the rebound anxiety kicks in, the individual experiencing this symptom of withdrawal may also experience some insomnia. These symptoms can also be accompanied by things like shakes or tremors, sweats, and muscle cramps. The rebound anxiety can last up to two weeks from the last use.

This time frame is vital to be medically monitored to prevent relapse on the drug. While anxiety may continue after the two week period has been surpassed, the intensity and severity of rebound anxiety shouldn’t be felt at that point.

How to Get Through Xanax Withdrawal

Being medically supervised and monitored when withdrawing from Xanax is highly recommended. As previously stated, some of the symptoms of withdrawal can be fatal. And at the worst, all of the symptoms are uncomfortable. Having the capability to speak to medical professionals and address each symptom individually can be a vital component to successfully maintaining recovery from Xanax addiction.

The addiction to Xanax and rebound anxiety associated with withdrawal can be best addressed in an inpatient treatment setting with medical professionals as well as mental health professionals that can address the underlying mental health concerns once the drug is stopped.

Help for Xanax Withdrawal in Lexington, KY

If you are struggling with Xanax addiction, or know someone who is, there is help available. At Lexington Addiction Center, we have a team of professionals trained to manage the symptoms of withdrawal and aid in your recovery. Contact us today and we can help you begin your recovery journey.

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