What are Common Anxiety Symptoms in Women?

All of us feel anxious on occasion. But sometimes, anxiety can occur on an ongoing basis for little or no reason. When it gets to this point, it’s time to reach out for help. 

There are many people that are prone to anxiety, but statistics show that women are twice as likely to be affected. Approximately 14% of men have anxiety disorders compared to 23% of women. This article will look at anxiety symptoms in women and how anxiety can impact genders differently. 

What are the Causes of Anxiety?

Here are some common causes of anxiety for women: 

  • Trauma: A traumatic experience that has happened to you at some point in your life, such as neglect, abuse, losing a loved one, and experiencing or witnessing a violent act. 
  • Life Factors: Negative situations such as stress at work or at home, money problems, or homelessness.
  • Health Issues: Physical and medical health issues can cause anxiety. It can also be brought on by the medication you take to treat those issues. 
  • Genetics: People are more likely to develop anxiety, or another type of disorder if a parent or close relative is affected. This could be due to their DNA, or it could be due to the environment they were raised in. 
  • A Chemical Imbalance: When anxiety gets to disorder levels, it is typically due to a chemical imbalance in the body. The imbalance can be inherited, or it can come from any of the factors listed above. 

Women are especially prone to anxiety due to the expectations of being a good mother, wife, or maintaining their careers. The risk can also be increased by brain chemistry and hormonal fluctuations. Women have also been shown to ruminate more about stressful situations than men. 

Females are also more likely to be victims of sexual abuse, which can increase anxiety later in life. 

What are Common Anxiety Symptoms in Women? 

While women are more prone to anxiety than men, anxiety disorder symptoms in women do not differ much from the opposite sex. They include the following: 

  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Panic and panic attacks
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hyperventilation
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sense of impending doom

How Does Anxiety Affect Drug Use? 

Anxiety and drug use are often tied together. Many people who are dealing with anxiety and other mental illnesses are reluctant to reach out for the help they need. This may be due to a fear of stigmas, or they may not have the time or money to deal with the problem. Some may feel their anxiety isn’t that bad. 

Instead of getting the help they need, they use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. These illicit substances may temporarily relieve symptoms, but they make them worse in the long run. They can lead to addiction, causing the person to deal with two disorders; substance abuse and anxiety. 

Fortunately, many rehab facilities take a dual diagnosis approach. This is a type of therapy that addresses the addiction and the mental illness causing the addiction. It offers a management strategy that’s conducive to long-term recovery. 

How to Find an Anxiety Treatment Center in Southern California

There are several facilities that offer anxiety treatment in Southern California. These include those that will address co-occurring disorders of anxiety and addiction. If you are looking for one that’s right for your anxiety in women symptoms, Casa Serena is highly recommended. 

Casa Serena is a nonprofit treatment facility for women. We are located in the beautiful Santa Barbara, CA area. We have over 60 years of rehab experience under our belt. 

Our nonprofit status allows us to use our funding to find the best treatments available. We offer inpatient and outpatient programs. We integrate a variety of therapies, ensuring you get the customized care you require. 

Anxiety symptoms in women are not pleasant to deal with, but they can be especially difficult if they co-occur alongside an addiction. Casa Serena can provide you with the tools you need to leave your disorders behind you. Contact us to find out how to move forward to a happier, healthier state of being with our mental health and outpatient addiction treatment for women.

How to Find an Alcoholism Center for Women in Santa Barbara, CA

Alcoholism is not easy to fight. The kind of treatment you get will make all the difference when it comes to your chances of success. Many experts feel that gender-specific treatment is the way to go. This approach makes individuals feel more comfortable in their surroundings. It addresses addiction issues that are specific to their gender. It also reduces the chances of developing sexual feelings that can get in the way of recovery. This article will provide information on how to find an alcoholism center for women in Santa Barbara, CA, so you can find the type of treatment that is best suited to your wellness goals.

How Common is Alcohol Abuse in Women? 

Here are 2019 statistics on alcoholism that reveal how common alcohol abuse is in women. 

  • About half of adult women have at least one alcoholic drink a month. 
  • About 18% of women between 18 and 44 binge drink. 
  • About 32% of female high school students consumed alcohol as compared to 26% of male high school students. 
  • About 15% of female high school students binge drink, compared to 13% of male students. 
  • About 4% of all women have an alcohol use problem. 
  • About 8% of women aged 18-25 have an alcohol disorder.

How Does Alcohol Affect Women? 

Women are generally smaller than men, so their bodies are more absorbent to alcohol. It also takes them longer to metabolize the alcohol. After drinking the same amount, women will usually have higher blood alcohol levels than men. They will also feel the effects of drinking more quickly, and they will last longer.

And body size is not the only factor that makes women more susceptible to the effects of alcohol. It’s also biological factors. 

Even if a woman weighs the same as a man, she may not tolerate alcohol as well. This is because alcohol is held in body water spaces, not body fat. Women have less water in their bodies and more body fat than men, so the alcohol becomes more concentrated, increasing its effects.

Women alcoholics are also less likely to break down alcohol in the stomach before it reaches the bloodstream, affecting their bodies.

Because alcohol affects women more acutely than men, it makes them more prone to alcohol-related diseases and conditions than men. These include: 

  • Liver Disease: The risk of liver cirrhosis and other alcohol-related liver diseases is higher in women who drink. 
  • Cognitive Decline: Women that drink are more susceptible to cognitive decline and shrinkage of the brain. 
  • Heart Disease: Heart disease is more likely to occur in women that drink excessively. 
  • Breast Cancer and Other Cancers: Alcohol drinking in women increases the risk of breast, liver, throat, mouth, colon, and esophageal cancer. 
  • Fertility Issues: Alcohol can change a women’s menstrual cycle, decreasing their chances of fertility. Experts recommend that women who are trying to conceive should never drink. 
  • Menopause Issues: Alcohol can be especially detrimental during menopause. It increases symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, sleep problems, and osteoporosis. 
  • Appearance: Alcohol dehydrates you contributing to the formation of sagging skin and wrinkles. 

Women who are pregnant should never drink any amount of alcohol. It increases the risk of having a baby born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. It can also lead to a miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).  

How to Find an Alcoholism Center for Women in Santa Barbara, CA

It’s not difficult to find an alcohol rehab center in Santa Barbara, but if you are looking for an effective one specializing in women’s treatment, Casa Serena is highly recommended.

Casa Serena is an alcoholism program that has been providing substance abuse treatment for women with alcoholism for over 60 years. As a nonprofit organization, they use their fundraising money to provide the best treatment for their patients. They take a Southern California dual diagnosis approach addressing both alcoholism and its underlying causes to ensure long-term recovery.

Alcoholism is difficult to deal with, especially for women. Casa Serena is specialized in dealing with women’s issues to increase the chances of achieving a higher quality of life. Contact us to learn more about our women’s rehab and outpatient addiction program in Santa Barbara, CA

How to Find a Women’s Rehab Center Near Los Angeles, CA

When it comes to overcoming addiction, it’s crucial to find the right kind of care. Many experts believe gender-specific treatment is best. It makes people feel more comfortable and addresses the biological and emotional differences between men and women that come into play in dependency issues.

As a woman, you will want to find a Santa Barbara women’s rehab center that offers a soothing environment. The treatment offered should consider the female body and the characteristics that play a part in addiction. This article will provide guidelines for finding a women’s rehab center near Los Angeles.

What are the Benefits of Gender-Specific Treatment?

Gender-specific treatment offers several benefits, including the following:

Makes People Comfortable: Some people are simply more comfortable sharing their feelings with those that are the same gender as they are. A gender-specific treatment offers a soothing environment for individuals to heal.

Addresses The Emotional Needs of the Gender: Different characteristics of men and women can feed into their addiction. For example, men may have difficulty showing their weaknesses which can lead to dependency issues. For women, it could be the stress of balancing being a wife, mother, and businesswoman. Gender-specific treatment addresses individual emotional needs to facilitate healing.

Addresses the Biological Needs of the Gender: Men and women have several biological differences which should be considered in the recovery process and effects the administration of medications, which medications are used, and the steps to be taken in therapy and aftercare.

What Makes a Women’s Treatment Center Different?

Here are some concerns that may be addressed at rehab centers for women that are not as carefully considered in a non-gender-specific clinic.

  • Women may turn to addiction to handle mental health issues caused by a hormonal imbalance.
  • Women are more likely to develop a dependency issue due to social pressure from a partner.
  • Women are more susceptible to social stigmas and will feel greater feelings of guilt and shame related to their addiction. This may be due to how they feel that getting treatment will affect their role in their family.
  • Many women start using drugs to reduce PTSD symptoms tied to a sexual assault.
  • As compared to men, women are more susceptible to depression, which can lead to addiction.
  • Women are more likely than men to suffer from low self-esteem, which can lead them to use drugs.
  • Family therapy has been shown to be especially effective in women’s treatment.
  • Women may need special medications if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Recovery centers for women will consider the gender-specific factors that play into addiction. They will use this knowledge to work out a customized treatment that is best suited to the individual’s needs. They will come upon the best therapy for addressing issues connected to dependency issues.

How to Find a Women’s Rehab Center in Los Angeles, CA

There are many rehab centers in Los Angeles. But it can be difficult to find one that offers gender-specific care for women as well as the atmosphere, type of treatment, and quality of care you are looking for. You can spend hours researching, or you can save yourself time by contacting Casa Serena first.

Casa Serena is one of the most trusted names in Los Angeles rehab centers for women. Our women’s addiction treatment facility offers a soothing atmosphere, just a few blocks from the ocean. We offer a wide range of treatments, ensuring you get the customized care you require.

Patients can choose from inpatient and outpatient care. We follow up with educational and career resources as well as a sober and supportive living. We have the tools you require to get sober and stay sober.Overcoming addiction is not easy. Our women’s rehab center in Los Angeles will get you the gender-specific care you require. Contact us to take the first step on your journey to wellness.

Is Xanax Safe to Use?

Anxiety is an emotion everyone feels at some point in their lives. But when it often occurs with little to nothing to provoke it, you may need to get help. Therapy and medication may be used to assist you in coping with your issues.

Xanax is a medication that is commonly used to treat anxiety. It has become so commonplace that we may lose sight of whether or not it is safe. This article will answer the question, is Xanax safe so you can determine whether it’s the appropriate treatment for you to use.

What is Xanax? 

Also known as Alprazolam, Xanax is a type of benzodiazepine. It enhances the effects of GABA, a natural chemical in the brain that inhibits nerve transmission. It has a calming effect and is often prescribed for treating anxiety, panic disorders, and sleep issues.

Xanax is taken orally in pill form. Dosage will vary depending on age, medical condition, and other factors.

Is Xanax Safe to Use? 

Xanax is safe to use when taken as directed. However, it should only be used for a limited amount of time. More extended periods of use can increase a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.

It can also be dangerous when mixed with other drugs. For instance, Xanax should not be combined with alcohol or any other type of depressant. This can lead to over-sedation, which can cause respiratory depression, a potentially fatal condition.

If you take large doses of alcohol and Xanax, you also run the risk of overdosing. 

Is Xanax Addictive? 

In addition to Xanax having the potential to cause cognitive issues and being dangerous when mixed with other drugs, it’s also addictive. 

As mentioned earlier, Xanax works by increasing GABA production in the brain. Eventually, the brain begins counting on Xanax to produce GABA. 

When a person stops taking Xanax, the brain is unable to produce sufficient amounts of GABA on its own. This results in unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that make the person want to continue doing the drug.

Apparently, Xanax’s effects are so strong that people can begin becoming addicted to it after taking it for just 3- 4 weeks. That’s why most doctors will order patients to use it for no more than 1- 2 weeks. If they continue using it, they will start building a tolerance and require more substantial doses or withdrawal symptoms will begin to occur.

What are the Signs of Xanax Abuse? 

The following symptoms characterize Xanax addiction: 

  • Drowsiness
  • Sleeping for long periods
  • Headaches
  • Lack of energy
  • Withdrawal from society
  • Vertigo
  • Attempting to get prescriptions from various doctors
  • Legal issues
  • Financial issues
  • No longer engaging in activities you once enjoyed
  • Vertigo
  • Lack of self-care
  • Troubled relationships
  • Difficulty with coordination
  • Missing school or work
  • Slurred speech
  • Delirium
  • Dry mouth
  • Lack of energy

You may also develop withdrawal symptoms that include:

  • Irritability 
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Restlessness
  • Pain
  • Weakness
  • Blurry vision
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Seizures that can be fatal

How to Find Xanax Addiction Treatment in Southern California

It’s essential to be careful when using Xanax and take it in accordance with your doctor’s orders. But if an addiction begins to form, it’s imperative to treat it before it gets out of hand.

There are many facilities that treat Xanax addiction, but it can be difficult to find the one that’s right for you. You must consider the environment, cost, success rates, and the treatments offered. You can spend hours or even days researching your options, or you can save yourself time by calling Casa Serena for women’s rehab in Santa Barbara.

Casa Serena is a Santa Barbara, CA, recovery center providing substance abuse treatment for women for over 60 years. As a nonprofit foundation, we use our funding to provide optimal care. We provide comprehensive treatment, including detox, inpatient and outpatient programs, lifetime aftercare, and a women’s sober living facility in Southern California

We realize that every patient is different. We take a customized dual diagnosis approach that simultaneously addresses addiction and its underlying causes. We work with a variety of insurance plans to ensure treatment is affordable.
Drug addiction is not easy to overcome. Casa Serena will help you find the treatment that’s right for you. Contact us so we can assist you in achieving the quality of life you deserve.

What is Trauma-Informed Treatment?

Traumatic events can shape people. Trauma is the unique individual experience of an event or condition that a person finds highly stressful. A person’s ability to integrate their emotional experience is thus overwhelmed, leaving the individual to experience a threat (perceived or actual) to their life, bodily integrity, or that of someone they care about. A traumatic experience may be from one event, a series of events, or chronic stress, abuse, or neglect. Over time, this can cause the body to freeze up or experience periods of stress, detachment, and anger.

Trauma is more common than you may realize. According to research, about 6 of every 10 men, or 60%, and 5 of every 10 women, or 50%, have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lives. Roughly two-thirds of children experience some form of trauma before the age of 18, as stated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Past traumatic experiences significantly affect an individual’s mental, physical, and emotional health. Trauma has been linked with many long-term issues that affect the overall well-being of a person, including the development of psychological problems and substance abuse in individuals. Trauma is considered the leading factor in most behavioral and substance use-related disorders.

How Can Trauma Impact Mental Health?

Trauma can have a significant impact on your mental health. It can affect how you feel about yourself and how you relate to other people. Women who have experienced trauma, including abuse, have a higher risk of developing a mental health condition, such as anxiety, depression, borderline personality disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Can Trauma Cause Addiction?

Trauma can lead to addiction. Many research studies have confirmed the correlation between traumatic experiences in childhood and addictive behaviors in adulthood. One 1998 study on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) found that people who experienced ACEs within the first 18 years of life had an increased risk of alcohol use and other drug use in adulthood.

Many people use drugs for the immediate psychological effects offered, often producing feelings of pleasure or happiness and reducing dysphoria or negative feelings. Those with dysregulated stress systems from trauma may find a reprieve from chronic stress or anxiety by using drugs or alcohol. People with traumatic histories are susceptible to addiction as a means of helping to regulate their mood, quieting intrusive thoughts, or suppressing the arousal caused by dysregulated stress hormones. However, others with a traumatic past may experience a different reaction to substance use. They may feel chronically emotionless, numb, and disengaged and thus use drugs or alcohol to help boost their mood.

Because there is a complex relationship between past trauma and the development of mood disorders and addiction, the need for a trauma-informed perspective is essential for recovery.

What is Trauma-Informed Treatment?

Trauma-informed treatment examines how individuals suffer from the lingering effects of past traumatic events. Trauma-informed treatment at recovery centers looks at each individual’s past and uses the information to provide skills that promote overall healing, helping them navigate their journey forward.

This approach to mental health and substance abuse counseling teaches clients specific behavioral techniques that enable them to manage trauma symptoms better, preventing relapse. Four assumptions make up the trauma-informed approach, known as the “Four R’s,” which include:

  • Realization about trauma and its impact on people and groups
  • Recognizing the signs of trauma
  • Responding to trauma with a system
  • Resisting re-traumatization

Trauma-informed treatment is a delicate balancing act between who an individual is now and what they have experienced in the past, working to help them see through a new lens that will help them as they work through recovery.

For those who battle substance abuse, there is always hope through a trauma-informed therapy lens, regardless of the type of drugs or alcohol they have used, the reason they abused substances, the severity of their symptoms, or what has occurred as a result of substance abuse.

Trauma-informed therapy offers a chance to begin the healing journey and to grow for those with co-occurring mental health disorders.

How to Find Trauma-Informed Treatment in Santa Barbara, CA

At Casa Serena, we want to help women overcome addiction and trauma symptoms so they can live their best lives. Our Southern California women’s trauma-informed treatment is here to help those who find themselves ready to accept help, offering the best practices regarding trauma-informed care. 
We have a place for you or your loved one in our beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, trauma-informed treatment program. For more information about our women’s rehab in Southern California, reach out today.

Does Anxiety Impact Women More Than Men?

All of us deal with anxiety, but who does it impact more, men or women? Knowing the answer to this question can help professionals work out a targeted approach for treating the condition. Read on to find out the answer to the question, does anxiety impact women more than men?

What are the Signs of Anxiety in Women? 

Anxiety symptoms can differ from person to person. They may vary according to your personality and the type of anxiety you are dealing with. Some people may experience more severe symptoms than others. 

However, when it comes to the types of symptoms anxiety produces, there is little difference between those that manifest in men and women. They include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Sleep problems
  • Physical symptoms like muscle aches, stomach aches, headaches, and general unexplained pain
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Nausea
  • Trembling 
  • Palpitations 
  • Fear and being easily startled
  • Racing thoughts

Does Anxiety Impact Women More Than Men?

Men and women may experience similar anxiety symptoms, but the disorder is more likely to occur in women. Here are some stats to consider:

What Anxiety Disorders Affect Women?

There are several types of anxiety disorder you may be diagnosed with. These include the following: 

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: This is characterized by ongoing anxiety even if there is little or nothing to cause it. 
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: OCD involves recurrent unpleasant thoughts, and repetitive behavior performed to manage these thoughts. For instance, if someone has a fear their dog might get hurt, they may believe washing their hands a certain way will keep the dog safe. Although the behaviors calm obsessive thoughts temporarily, they increase anxiety long-term. 
  • Panic Disorder: People with a panic disorder will experience episodes of intense fear characterized by heart palpitations, chest pain, dizziness, stomachaches, and shortness of breath with little or nothing to bring it on. 
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: PTSD is an anxiety disorder that develops after being exposed to a traumatic event. 
  • Social Phobia: People with a social phobia will have a fear of interacting in a social situation. They may avoid all social situations, or they may have issues with a certain social situation, such as public speaking.

Women are more likely than men to develop all the anxiety disorders listed above except for social phobia. Regarding social phobia diagnosis rates, men and women are about equal.

Females are also more likely to develop certain co-occurring disorders alongside anxiety. These include bulimia nervosa, depressive disorder, and agoraphobia. Men are more likely to develop substance abuse or an intermittent explosive disorder.

Women are also more likely to experience a physical condition or illness related to their anxiety.

How to Find Anxiety Treatment for Women in Southern California 

If you are dealing with anxiety, it’s important to reach out for the help you need. The more a person uses drugs to self-medicate, the more likely they are to develop a mental health disorder.

Fortunately, rehab centers address both addiction and underlying causes like anxiety. If you are looking for substance abuse and mental health facility in Southern California, Casa Serena is the ideal solution.

Casa Serena is a Santa Barbara rehab facility specializing in women’s substance abuse and mental health treatment. We take a dual diagnosis approach for women’s treatment, creating customized plans that simultaneously address addiction and its underlying causes. We have been around for over 60 years and have helped thousands of women recover from alcohol and drug dependency issues.
Anxiety can take its toll leading to dangerous substance abuse issues. Casa Serena can help you get the treatment you need to move on to a higher quality of life. Call us today to find out what we have to offer.

Are There Addiction Support Groups for Women?

Support groups often play a vital role at varying stages of the addiction treatment process. As part of some addiction treatment programs, support groups may be used to complement traditional therapy sessions. Support groups are also frequently used in sober living environments and as part of aftercare and ongoing recovery support. Many people find that participating in support groups provides ongoing companionship, support, and friendship from peers who share similar struggles and similar goals.

What are Addiction Support Groups?

Completing an addiction treatment program at a women-focused rehab will provide you with the tools you need to maintain lasting sobriety and heal from the effects of addiction. However, the end of your primary treatment program does not signal the end of the challenges you will face over time. Returning home will inevitably present challenges to your sobriety. These triggers come in the form of people, places, or situations that remind you of drinking or using drugs. It can be very difficult to manage triggers on your own, even with the coping skills you learned during rehab.

This is where support groups can help. Addiction support groups are a group of like-minded individuals who come together regularly (often at scheduled meetings or gatherings) to provide support to other group members. Addiction support groups are designed for those who need or want a little extra help after completing a primary treatment program. Support groups can provide the extra boost you need to stick to your goals and maintain your sobriety by knowing that others are there to lift you up and share the same goals you do.

Addiction support groups, sometimes referred to as peer support groups, are sometimes included as part of your treatment program but almost always as part of a comprehensive aftercare program. These groups are a vital component of many ongoing recovery programs as they provide you with a group of supportive peers who can help you remain accountable. Also, the peers who are part of your addiction support groups we’ll be there to help you in the event of relapse or one faced with challenges to your sobriety.

What Role Do Recovery Groups Play in Treatment?

Addiction support groups play a crucial role in all phases of addiction treatment. Peer support groups (group meetings, support groups) are generally guided or supported by a leader who is usually a skilled counselor, peer leader, or social worker. Support groups not only complement the recovery process but provide a supportive environment to maintain connections with like-minded peers in the weeks and months after treatment.

It is essential to remember that addiction support groups are not a substitute for a comprehensive detox and therapy program; instead, they are a complement to traditional treatment. Peer support and shared experiences connect many support group participants. Members of the group often have similar experiences (successes and failures) with drugs and alcohol. Also, group members have often experienced similar medical and mental health side effects linked to ongoing substance abuse.

Another benefit to peer support groups is reduced isolation. Many who are newly sober struggle with the pain and loneliness of isolation. It is not uncommon for recovering addicts to have few members of their former social circles who share in their newfound sobriety. When a recovering addict feels isolated, it can worsen depression and anxiety. Peer support groups can help recovering addicts realize they are not alone and reduce feelings of loneliness.

Are There Addiction Support Groups for Women?

There are many types of addiction support groups, including popular, well-known groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA ). In addition to 12-step programs such as these, there are multiple peer support groups that follow a less religious format for those who are uncomfortable with the concept of “a higher power” presented as part of traditional 12-step programs. Casa Serena is a Santa Barbara rehab center specializing in women’s only treatment. Many of these peer support groups offer group sessions that cater to specific demographics. For example, LGBTQ+, youth and teens, first responders, and women-only support groups. Contact a member of our admissions team today if you would like to learn more about addiction support groups and how Casa Serena incorporates support groups into our treatment plans.

What is Trauma?

The symptoms of trauma exposure take time to develop, or they may occur in the hours and days immediately after. Because trauma symptoms are unique to the person, it can be challenging for friends, loved ones, and even medical providers to notice or recognize the outward signs of trauma before they evolve into a more significant mental health problem.

What is Trauma?

The American Psychological Association defines trauma as “an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster.” Trauma symptoms develop in the days, weeks, and months following a traumatic event. Although these symptoms are typical and expected based on the circumstances, some women struggle to overcome their trauma and move on with their lives. In these cases, seeking help at a Southern California women’s treatment center like Casa Serena may help. There are three types of trauma. The severity of your symptoms and how your symptoms evolve or resolve may depend on the kind of trauma you experience.

The three types of trauma are acute trauma, chronic trauma, and complex trauma. Acute trauma describes the type of trauma that results from a single adverse event. Chronic trauma occurs due to repeated and prolonged exposure to harm such as abuse or a violent relationship. Finally, complex trauma describes repeated exposure to different and multiple traumatic events. Often, those who experience complex trauma are witnesses to or victims of invasive and personal trauma.

How Does Trauma Impact Women?

Data from the American Psychological Association shows women are at a greater risk for long-term impacts of trauma. Some studies show women are more than twice as likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder after a traumatic event. Women are also more likely to struggle with trauma symptoms that last far longer than those experienced by men. It takes an average of four years for women to receive a diagnosis and effective trauma treatment. This is compared to closer to one year for men.

The signs and symptoms of trauma are often different based on gender. Women are more likely to have symptoms such as avoidance, emotional numbness, shame, and self-blame. Women also experience high rates of co-occurring anxiety and mood disorders that develop due to trauma.


What Can Cause Trauma?

There are several reasons why women may experience different reactions to trauma. Statistically, women are more likely to be exposed to varying types of trauma than men. A typical example of this is sexual violence. Statistics show one in four women are raped before age 50 compared to 8% of men in the same age group. Women are statistically more likely to experience higher levels of other high-impact traumas such as domestic violence and physical assault.

Other circumstances or events that may cause trauma include:

  • Learning about the harm that occurred to a loved one, death or injury to a loved one, or serious illness.
  • Accidents.
  • Natural disasters.
  • Acts of terrorism.
  • Witnessing a violent event.

Women who experience trauma from military service are also at risk of developing PTSD, as are men.

How Does Trauma Impact Mental Health and Addiction?

There are several connections between trauma and addiction. The most common is using self-medication. It can quickly become overpowering when you or a loved one struggles with trauma’s painful and often unpleasant symptoms. In some cases, victims of trauma struggle to complete or participate in everyday activities and obligations such as going to work or school, socializing with friends, going to the mall, or taking care of family and loved ones.

It is not uncommon for trauma victims to turn to drugs or alcohol to help reduce emotional and physical pain associated with their trauma. Although substances are successful for a short time, the effects inevitably wear off, leaving you to struggle with your symptoms once more. This leads many to begin using or drinking at higher amounts and more frequent intervals to achieve a lasting escape from symptoms. Unfortunately, this dependency on drugs and alcohol can quickly lead to a substance use disorder and worsening mental and physical health symptoms. The safest and most effective way to overcome struggles with trauma and addiction is to seek support and help at a Santa Barbara women’s treatment program like Casa Serena. Our team of experienced, caring providers understands the unique ways trauma and addiction affect women and are here to help you begin your journey towards wellness. Contact us today to learn more about our Southern California treatment programs and how we can help.

What are the Signs of Depression for Women?

Feelings of sadness or short-term emotional lows are typical for everyone. We all experience periods in our lives where we feel unhappy, sad, or unfulfilled. In many cases, these feelings, sometimes called “the blues,” resolve independently after a brief time. Unfortunately, this is not the case for someone who struggles with depression or major depressive disorder. When someone experiences symptoms of depression (clinical depression, major depression, etc.), feelings of deep, painful sadness are persistent, intrusive, and significantly impact our overall quality of life. Contact Casa Serena today to find comprehensive treatment at a Santa Barbara women’s rehab.

What is Depression?

Depression is a type of mood disorder. The alterations in mood associated with depression go well beyond merely feeling “a case of the blues” or “down in the dumps.” The severity of depressive episodes and related symptoms will vary throughout a person’s life.

Major depressive disorder is a highly recurrent illness, with at least half of the people who experience one depressive episode having additional episodes in their lifetime.

Current evidence suggests each additional episode further increases the risk of more. After two depressive episodes, the chance of experiencing depression in the future increases to 70%. That number grew to ninety percent after the third episode. For someone to be diagnosed with major depressive disorder, they must experience at least five symptoms of depression once per day for at least two weeks.

How Does Depression Impact Women?

Although depression is not a diagnosis unique to women, the symptoms of depression impact women in different ways. Some studies indicate that women might be nearly twice as likely to have a depressive disorder than men. Similar research suggests symptoms of depression may present differently in women.

Women often experience intense and overwhelming depression symptoms. Researchers suggested this might be connected to hormonal differences between biological genders. Also, women may experience depression at higher rates than men due to societal expectations placed on women. Women may also experience depression at greater rates than men due to specific biological factors (such as pregnancy, menopause, and childbirth) unique to women.

Depression symptoms in women are often connected to specific life changes. Research suggests that as many as one in seven women experiences postpartum depression during the first year after giving birth. Studies show up to 300,000 women who have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth experience postpartum depression. Perimenopausal depression occurs as a woman transitions into menopause. Again, during this period, women experience significant hormonal changes. General life stressors, personal struggles, and other factors can increase the risk of developing depression during perimenopause and menopause.

What are the Signs of Depression for Women?

The symptoms of depression are generally the same for women As for men. However, as noted above, women sometimes experience more intense symptoms. The severity of symptoms varies from person to person and based on their unique situation. The most common symptoms of depression may include:

  • Problems with sleep, including falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • Difficulties focusing or concentrating.
  • Feeling exhausted “all the time” without another apparent cause.
  • Frequent, sometimes significant mood swings.
  • Little or no desire to participate in activities or hobbies.
  • Feeling anxious or irritable.
  • Unplanned (sometimes unhealthy) weight loss
  • Talking about suicide or death.
  • Engaging in self-harm.

Without treatment to address your depression symptoms, they may worsen with time, putting you at an increased risk for additional physical and emotional health challenges, including substance use disorders and difficulties maintaining healthy, productive relationships with family and friends.

How to Find a Depression Treatment Center for Women

The symptoms of depression can be challenging to manage without support. While depression *(like many mental health conditions) does not have a known “cure,” with professional treatment at a Santa Barbara women-focused treatment program like Casa Serena, depression symptoms can be well managed. Through therapy, you will learn and practice safe and healthy ways to manage the stressors and other factors that lead to episodes of depression.If you, or a loved one, struggles with depression, don’t wait another day to seek help. Our caring and compassionate treatment team will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan focused on your health and treatment needs. Freedom from the weight of depression is only a phone call away. Let us help you start your journey to a healthier, happier you. Contact our admissions team today for more information about our Santa Barbara treatment programs.

Why is Opioid Abuse Common?

When people think of opioid drugs, they often think of prescription pain medications. While these are indeed common drugs classified as opioids, they are not the only drugs in the class. Illicit and synthetic opioids are also widely used and highly addictive substances that many seek help at a Santa Barbara women’s treatment center like Casa Serena to safely overcome. Opioid abuse and addiction frequently evolve out of prescription use. Despite the nationwide efforts to slow addiction by reducing the number of opioid prescriptions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported nearly 143 million opioid prescriptions issued in 2020.

What Drugs are Opioids?

Opioid drugs may be prescription, illicit, or synthetic (artificial) drugs. Prescription opioids are drugs prescribed by a medical professional to help alleviate pain. There are many prescription opioids. Because prescription opioid use carries a significant risk of dependency, they are often prescribed as a short-term treatment. Unfortunately, addiction to the effects of opioids can occur quickly, and even when taken as prescribed for a short duration, struggles with dependency can occur.

Common names of prescription opioids are familiar to many. Some of the most common include oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, tramadol, Demerol, Percocet, and Vicodin. Drugs used as part of medication-assisted addiction treatment programs like methadone and buprenorphine are also prescription opioids.

Illicit and synthetic opioids are also significant sources of addiction struggles. Heroin is an illicit (illegal) drug frequently used as a “replacement” for prescription pain medications. It is not uncommon for someone who can no longer obtain a prescription medication to which they are addicted in turn to heroin because it is easy to get and produces similar effects.

Another opioid drug of significant concern is Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, meaning it is manufactured using ingredients that produce similar effects to those of naturally occurring opioids. It is prescribed (in specific circumstances) and widely available as a “street drug,” either sold as Fentanyl or used to cut other drugs. Some people who take Fentanyl are unaware they are taking it. Fentanyl is extremely dangerous and between 80 and 100 times more potent than morphine.

How Do Opioids Affect the Body?

Opioid drugs affect all areas of the body but most notably, your brain. When used, opioid drugs attach to specific receptors in the brain and body called opioid receptors. By binding to opioid receptors, the drug tells your brain to block pain signals sent from other body areas. Opioids also impact how your brain produces and releases a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is a naturally occurring chemical responsible for feelings of calm and pleasure.

The amount of dopamine produced when you take opioids far exceeds what it can produce under normal circumstances. With ongoing use, the natural production of dopamine decreases, and it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to feel pleasure without using opioids.

In addition to effects on the brain, opioid drugs also affect other body systems. You may notice increased sleepiness, confusion, slowed breathing, stomach problems (including nausea, vomiting, and constipation), slowed heart rate, and dizziness in the short term. The long-term effects of opioid use may include infections, cognitive decline, and addiction.

Why is Opioid Addiction Common?

Opioid addiction knows no limitations. Anyone who takes an opioid is at an increased risk of developing an addiction to its effects. Several factors may add to your risk for developing an addiction, including how long you have used opioids, the type of drug used, and your history with substance use and addiction treatment programs. Unfortunately, though, it is impossible to predict who may develop an addiction.

One of the most common reasons for opioid addiction is a dependency on the effects of the drug. When someone takes opioids, even as a prescription, it causes a rush of dopamine and other “feel good” chemicals in the brain. In addition to pain relief, this endorphin rush leads to feelings of pleasure and a sense of well-being that many who struggle with chronic pain or addiction crave. It does not take long for an addiction to the sensations produced by opioids to develop. In time, it becomes impossible to feel pleasure or comfort without drugs.

How to Find Opioid Treatment Centers

Achieving sobriety from opioid addiction can be difficult. Trying to stop or reduce taking an opioid drug can produce powerful withdrawal symptoms that are difficult to manage without help and support from a Santa Barbara inpatient treatment program like ours at Casa Serena. The safest and most successful way to overcome an opioid addiction is to choose a comprehensive program where you can detox and participate in Santa Barbara addiction therapy to learn more about how to manage pain without drugs. If you or a loved one are ready to begin your journey to sobriety, Casa Serena is here to help. At our women-focused treatment center, we are here to support you through each stage of detox and treatment. To learn more about our programs and how we can help you find freedom from the grip of opioid addiction, contact us today.

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