With our focus on becoming more resilient in your recovery, Whole Life Recovery treats both couples and individuals contingent on needs, starting with your treatment plan, getting back into the community, and addressing your vocational goals. We provide a full level of care with our sister facility First Light Recovery, which focuses on Residential Mental Health care. Whole Life is unique in its approach to reach you at your emotional needs with the assistance of a service animal with appropriate documentation.
Types of Disorders we treat:
Schizophrenia can be disturbing for those suffering from it, as they experience extreme confusion in their reality when not on the correct medication. The confusion stems from the severity of their hallucinations and delusions which drastically affect their reality. The hallucinations can be either visual hallucinations (seeing something that others cannot) or auditory hallucinations (hearing voices that others cannot). Each of the hallucinations can effect the individual in their interactions with others, and can be witnessed with disorganized speech, bizarre behaviors, decrease in hygiene, easily agitated, isolating, depressed, catatonic reactions, laughing at inappropriate times, mumbling to themselves, and at times an increase in paranoia of their safety and perceived threats. Individuals with schizophrenia fall under either positive or negative features. The negative features include a decrease emotional expression, while positive features include the racing thoughts and more heightened hallucinations and/or delusions.
The key differential with Schizoaffective disorder is the addition of a mood disturbance of either depression or a manic state. This commonly is misdiagnosed with other mood or psychotic disorders as most individuals experiencing psychosis experience depressive symptoms. Individuals with schizoaffective experience an extreme mood disturbance effecting their basic functioning, such as increase in suicide, extreme impulsive and/or reckless behaviors, while currently experiencing hallucinations and/or delusions. It is possible for this individual to experience psychotic episodes without the presence of a mood disorder, and are observed to be more bizarre, disorganized speech, flight of ideas, racing thoughts, mumbling to themselves, catatonic reactions, laughing at inappropriate times, increase in depression, and for some individuals there is an increase in paranoia.
Depression is one of the most widely used diagnosis, and typically goes hand-in-hand with anxiety. Depression is marked by fixating on the past, whether it be regrets or events the individual feels were done to them with the association of shame. Depression can seem complex at first, as there are mild and severe forms of it. Individuals suffering from depression are witnessed to have an extreme decline in their ability to function in daily activities, from showering, to work attendance, to feeling overwhelmed finishing daily chores that most of the population do not put thought into. Depression can be experienced as extreme shame, worthlessness, hopelessness, helplessness, extreme fatigue, weight loss or weight gain, psychomotor agitation, apathy, loss of motivation or desire to complete tasks that were at one time simple, and difficulty with concentrating and indecisive. Suicide ideation or history of suicide attempts is a common symptom of their depression, and it is often one that comes up for them after attempting to manage it for years with no success. The extreme feeling of disappointment and fear that their depression will never go away is overwhelming for the individual, and it is when they experience suicide ideation that they seek help. Self-harm is another symptom experienced later in the progression of their depression, as a way of releasing the emotional tension, creating a reliance to feel in control of the pain or relief.
Anxiety is the second most widely used diagnosis, as it typically goes along with depression. While depression is the fixation on the past, anxiety is the fixation on the future with excessive worrying. Most individuals experience some sort of anxiety daily, whether it be for an interview or taking a test. Individuals with severe anxiety are unable to manage or control the fears and worries, and it drastically affects their judgment and decision-making, and are put in a flight, fight, or freeze response. The symptoms attributed to anxiety are restlessness, feeling on edge, difficulty concentrating, fatigue from the chronic worries, irritable as they are more overwhelmed with their emotions, and issues with sleeping. Individuals with anxiety focus on their catastrophized worries, often making unrealistic assumptions of themselves and others, and worry about their every day routine.
The core issue to identify in someone with social anxiety is fear of further judgment in social settings. This comes from either not responding “appropriately” in their perception of the social norm, causing fear of a future outcome from social pressure. Individuals will avoid certain social settings to avoid this discomfort as a way of managing their anxiety, and hyper-focus on the perception of others and its effect on the individual’s identity. There is always fear associated with the social settings, fear of interacting with others, and fear of being observed by their peers. Individuals experience symptoms such as panic, tension, crying, isolation, sweating, staring, issues with communicating, and freezing either in the social setting or when the individual is asked to go in public.
Where generalized anxiety has a slower onset and lasts for multiple days, panic attacks are more abrupt and last up to a couple of hours. This is marked by extreme discomfort, and at times the individual feels they are having a heart attack from the increase in palpitations, accelerated heart rate, and pounding heart. Individuals who experience panic attacks live in fear of experiencing another one and will avoid certain interactions or situations to avoid the panic attack. This abrupt surge can come from either a calm state or from an anxiety-provoking state, and it is in the unknown state which causes emotional discomfort. For those with panic attacks, they experience symptoms such as shaking, shortness of breath, chest pain, difficulty with taking deep breaths, nausea, chills or heat sensations, numbness or tingling, and fear of going “crazy”. At times, the triggering event to the panic attack is known, but it is possible for the panic attack to be unexpected which causes further concern of feeling there is something wrong.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder:
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a common diagnosis for those who have been exposed to severe threat or violence and continue to fear its recurrence in the future. Individuals who witness or experience acts of violence and threat experience physical reactions of hypersensitivity, recurrent dreams of incidents that cause distress, flashbacks of the incident, and are quick to a flight, fight or freeze response. This can be distressing for the individual as they are challenged to learn to seek safety in their environment while managing the fear of further violence or threat.
Everyone can relate with being impulsive in life. The difference is most of the population feel more in control of their impulses and learn from past decisions instead of engaging in them over and over again. Impulse-control disorder is marked by an impairment in overall decision-making, are more emotionally reactive to de-escalate their current state, and do not put much thought into the potential consequences. Individuals who relate with impulse control issues struggle with planning, making realistic goals, exploring alternative outcomes, and feeling safe to manage their current emotional state. This can result in risky behaviors resulting in hospitalizations to potential legal issues.
Adults diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder as children continue to struggle with the symptoms as adults, such as completing tasks on the job, organization, difficulty concentrating, feeling indecisive, and prioritizing. This can result in careless mistakes on the job or overlooking details most of the general population do not relate with. Individuals with ADD/ADHD can also experience symptoms of depression from not feeling they can complete daily tasks, misplacing items, and receiving feedback from their peers for their mistakes. It can also be observed to struggle with resisting the urge to impulsively act or speak when it is unnecessary. Families describe their experience of an individual with ADD/ADHD as not paying attention or listening to them when spoken to, avoidance of activities that require long span of attention, excessive energy, on edge, and changing topics often in a conversation.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is recognized by a recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or images the individual experiences, and the need to engage in the behaviors or thoughts drastically affects their overall functioning. When the individual attempts to avoid the thoughts or urges, they experience anxiety and fear for not engaging in them. For most individuals with OCD, the rituals become time consuming and affects their ability to engage socially or in the work environment. The most common types of rituals include hand washing, flipping switches, changing clothes, ticks, checking multiple times that something was done, and requiring that objects be in certain orders. Although it can be observed behaviorally, there are internal acts such as counting, repeating words to themselves, and fixations on certain thoughts.
Bipolar Disorder is recognized by severe emotional and behavioral swings that disrupt an individual’s ability to feel in control of them. There are two main criteria of experiencing a severe depression, and then have a manic or hypomanic episode. Mania is marked by an excessive amount of energy that requires little sleep, increase in agitation, extreme goal setting, and increase in impulsivity and potentially risky behaviors which lasts for at least two weeks. Hypomania is a mild version of mania, where there is an elevated or irritable mood paired with impulsivity, but it does not match the length of time or intensity of mania. During the manic/hypomanic state, there is a sense of grandiosity, minimal need for sleep, excessive talking, racing thoughts, and engagement in risky activities that result in severe consequences.
When it comes to personality disorders, there is a marked struggle with interpersonal relationships that are outside of the norm of what is appropriate for their environment and culture and are inflexible with change. The most common personality disorders found that come in to seek help are Borderline Personality Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder, and Histrionic Personality Disorder. Borderline Personality Disorder at its root is fear of abandonment that affects their interpersonal relationships, issues with self-image, highly impulsive with their emotions and behaviors, unstable and intense relationships, and at times recurrent suicidal behaviors and thoughts. Avoidant Personality Disorder is marked by feeling of inadequacy and fear of perceived negative feedback from peers. Individuals with avoidant personality present as hyper focused on criticism from others and will avoid interaction where they fear a perceived threat of further rejection. Histrionic Personality Disorder is identified by attention-seeking behaviors, perceived as dramatic and theatrical, and exaggerates their emotions as a way of seeking attention. With each personality disorder, the identifying factor is its marked effect on interpersonal relationships and unstable relationships.