New Mental Health Crisis Hotline - 988 - Set to Launch

New national suicide and mental health emergency hotline launches July 16th, 2022

Beginning Saturday, July 16th, 2022, people experiencing mental health emergencies can dial just three numbers to reach help from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The line will be referred to as the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, to emphasize that the service is for people experiencing a mental health crisis of any kind, not just those involving suicidal ideation.

This is not a new service, but rather a simpler way to access the critical support they might need during a mental health crisis. Anyone in the United States can text or call 988 to reach trained counselors who can help them cope with a mental health emergency, and direct them to additional resources for mental health and substance use treatment.

The Lifeline’s old number will continue to work, but the launch of the new service brings with it more help and resources to be able to help with suicide crisis as well as emotional distress and general mental health concerns.

“If you’re unsure, call,” said Dr. Robert Trestman, chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s Council on Healthcare Systems and Financing. “Having an anonymous opportunity to speak to someone who knows what they’re talking about, who won’t be scared when you say, ‘I don’t know what to do, I’m thinking of hurting myself’ — this is an extraordinary option,” Dr. Trestman said.

When a person calls 988, they will first be connected to one of 200 local centers to help connect them to community resources or dispatch emergency services if necessary. However, not every state has set up local crisis teams that can respond to a mental health emergency, in which case callers will be automatically directed to a national backup center.

Now everyone, all over the country, can reach a counselor simply by calling 988.

Counselors will talk through the root of someone’s distress — whether it stems from illness, job loss, family stresses, or any other issue. They will help callers create concrete next steps to take after they hang up, including thinking through who else they can turn to for help, like a trusted clergy member or a local therapist.

Calls are anonymous, but in an emergency, such as if the caller requires medical attention, 988 can collaborate with local police or hospitals to dispatch services.

Why is the new number so important?

Tragically, suicide rates are on the rise in many states and it leaves a lasting impact on families and communities. Over the last 10 years, the suicide death rate has increased nearly 35% making it the 12th-leading cause of death in the United States. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2020 alone, 12.2 million adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.2 million made a plan and 1.2 million attempted suicide in the past year.

What can family and loved ones do to help?

The new 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is going to be an important tool for those in crisis. Families, however, oftentimes see their children or relatives struggling well before the point of crisis. They could be struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD, substance abuse, and other disorders. Enlightened Solutions is here to help.

Enlightened Solutions offers those suffering with mental health and addiction issues a place where they can learn more about their struggle, find the support of others going through similar experiences, and make the necessary changes to their lives so that they can live well. Our integrated whole-person approach goes beyond just the symptoms to address underlying mental health conditions and the root causes of the issues and addictions. Give Enlightened solutions a call today at (833) 801-LIVE.


mental health patients

Why Mental Health Matters Need Urgent Attention

All signs point toward an upward trend in mental health concerns in the United States. Neurological research, population health studies and qualitative surveys all show that more people than ever are meeting diagnostic criteria for mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, panic disorders, personality disorders and more. In 2017 alone, an estimated 46.6 million adults — 18.9 percent of the adult population —  in the U.S. had a mental illness. Of these, 24 percent had a serious mental illness that interfered with one or more major life activities such as work, school or relationships.

While it’s unclear whether these numbers indicate an improvement in diagnostics or a higher rate of occurrence of mental illness, the effect is the same: a steadily increasing number of people are in need of treatment or assistance to help them manage their mental health.

Despite its prevalence, however, mental health remains stigmatized in our culture. Out of the 46.6 million adults in the U.S. with mental illness, only 19.8 million — 42.6 percent, significantly less than half — received treatment for their concerns. Too many people avoid diagnosis or treatment because they are afraid of what it means to have a mental health disorder. They may downplay their symptoms, which leads their loved ones to misjudge the situation. For many, it’s easier to brush off depression as having a few bad days than it is to make an appointment with a mental healthcare provider.

But no matter how mental illness may appear on the outside, the individual who is struggling is likely experiencing a host of inner difficulties. Living with mental illness like anxiety or depression can feel debilitating, and cause problems in many areas of an individual’s life. It’s critical not to ignore the signs of a mental health disorder, and to get help and treatment for mental health matters when they arise.

Mental Health is Tied to Physical Health 

It’s becoming increasingly clear in modern medicine that mental and physical health are deeply intertwined. A growing body of research shows that exercising regularly, while benefiting your muscles, heart and more, also improves mood regulation, perceived happiness and self-confidence. And, studies like one carried out by the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health have found that the opposite may also be true: out of 10,000 subjects, those who had a happier and more optimistic attitude at the start of the study were more likely to exercise over the course of the next 10 years. 

Living with poor mental health, on the other hand, can impact physical health in negative ways. Several published studies show that mental illness is linked to a higher risk of a variety of physical concerns, including lowered life expectancy, cancer fatality, heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. It’s important to heal your mind so that you feel more motivated to take care of yourself and live a longer, happier and more fulfilling life.

Mental Health Disorders Increase Risk of Substance Abuse

When it comes to risks that are heightened by mental health disorders, not the least of them is a higher risk of developing a substance abuse problem. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that people with a mental illness are about twice as likely as those without mental illness to develop a chemical dependency on drugs or alcohol. And of the 46.6 million Americans with a mental illness, nearly 8.5 million had a co-occurring substance use disorder. The harmful of effects of addiction are well-known — it’s essential to get treatment for mental health concerns so that accompanying substance abuse issues don’t also arise. 

Abusing drugs or alcohol is also known to make the symptoms of a mental health disorder worse. The changes that drugs and alcohol cause in the brain can make symptoms feel better temporarily, which cause many people to turn to them to self-medicate for mental health disorders. But when the high wears off, the brain is left feeling drained, which brings the original symptoms back in full force. With the interplay between these two, addiction and mental health recovery centers like Enlightened Solutions are increasingly offering what’s known as dual diagnosis treatment: targeted care that helps people learn to manage both addiction and a mental health disorder at the same time. This offers longer-lasting and sustainable solutions to both problems and helps prevent relapse in the future.

Untreated Mental Illness Can Have Serious Consequences 

The last and most important reason to seek help for mental health matters is that mental illness can be deadly. Mental illness-related deaths are not only linked to poor physical health, but also to suicide. The National Alliance on Mental Health presents the following chilling statistics:

  • On average, adults in the U.S. with mental illness die 25 years earlier than those without — usually as a result of an untreated health condition.
  • More than 90% of suicide fatalities are individuals who were diagnosed with a mental health condition or exhibited signs of a mental health condition.
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death nationwide, and the 2nd leading cause of death for Americans aged 10-34.

Taking mental health seriously and getting the necessary treatment can truly save your life or the life of a loved one. If you or someone close to you is exhibiting symptoms that you believe might be signs of a mental health disorder, reach out for help. Effective treatment is available in many forms, including regular mental health counseling, lifestyle changes, carefully managed medication and inpatient recovery programs.

At Enlightened Solutions, we believe that everyone has a right to live a full and happy life. We know that you can find fulfillment, no matter how long you have been fighting with mental illness or substance abuse. We provide targeted, individualized care in New Jersey for men and women who are living with concerns including depression, anxiety and panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and bipolar disorder. We are also equipped to provide dual diagnosis care for individuals who have co-occurring mental health concerns and substance or process addictions. We encourage you to reach out to us if you need help for yourself or a loved one — even if you are not in the New Jersey area, we admit clients from out of state or we can direct you to resources to help you find treatment near you. Contact us today at 833-801-LIVE. 


Treating Co-Occurring Conditions

Treating Co-Occurring Conditions

Addiction is all-encompassing and touches every area of our lives, from our work and our interests to the health of our relationships and our ability to feel at peace. Addiction doesn’t function in a vacuum; it impacts and is affected by all of the other issues in our lives. Very often when we’re living with addiction, we’re also struggling with other deeply rooted mental, emotional and physical issues. When our conditions occur at the same time, they’re referred to as co-occurring conditions. To heal from one, we must work to heal from all of them. The underlying issues behind our addictions are often contributing factors to our other illnesses, and vice versa.

Healing ourselves from addiction is not as simple and straightforward as abstaining from our addictive substance or behavior. When we don’t work to heal from all of the issues causing our addiction, our recovery isn’t as profound or as thorough as it needs to be in order to really prevent us from relapsing. Many of us living with addiction are also coping with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Just as many of us haven’t sought out help for our addictions, we also haven’t gotten help for these very pervasive and destructive mental illnesses. Our ability to cope with daily life is often impaired. We struggle to function in our regular lives. Our health declines. Our relationships suffer. Our ability to care for ourselves falters. When we are deeply depressed, we often retreat inwards and isolate ourselves, making us even less likely to reach out for the help we so desperately need. Many of us struggle with some form of social anxiety, where our fears of people and social situations keep us from interacting with other people or asking for help when we need it. Our depression can cause us to feel so hopeless that we give up on ourselves. We don’t see any point in getting help. We’ve lost faith that we can recover. We’ve lost all belief in ourselves.

Successfully recovering from our addictions means treating our co-occurring conditions with as much care and attention as we place on our sobriety. What trauma do we have yet to heal from? What fears are still unaddressed that are driving our behaviors? Asking ourselves these important questions is part of the healing process. Many of us are afraid to venture this deep into our emotional problems, because it’s very scary terrain. Our recovery depends on our courage and our willingness to face these very difficult issues. We can’t grow to heal and love ourselves without doing so.

The programs at Enlightened Solutions treat co-occurring conditions along with addiction, to help you achieve true recovery. Call us today: (833) 801-LIVE.


The Harm in Suppressing Our Emotions

The Harm in Suppressing Our Emotions

Many of us have been conditioned to believe that expressing our emotions is a sign of weakness, and that we are lesser or weak if we are honest and forthcoming about how we feel. We’re taught to suppress our emotions. We’re conditioned to keep everything locked up and buried deep within ourselves. The problem with suppressing our emotions, however, is that their energy continues to hurt us when we haven’t faced them head on. Unresolved pain festers inside us, causing us all kinds of mental, emotional and physical health problems.

Suppressed emotions can cause our mental health to decline. We can experience worsened memory and cognitive thinking skills. We can have a hard time processing our thoughts. We can struggle to think clearly and logically. Our painful feelings can totally cloud our judgment. We might think we’ve buried them deep enough to forget about them, and we may forget about them temporarily, but they always return to remind us of the issues we need to address. Our feelings are like clues to the healing work we need to do. When we pay attention to the information they’re giving us, we can make important progress in our healing.

Emotionally, suppression is quite toxic for us. Our emotions grow stronger, fiercer and more ferocious when we don’t accept them and make space for them. Until we embrace them with acceptance and mindfulness, they will try to alert us and get our attention by causing us distress and pain. Our emotions accumulate and worsen the longer we try to deny or avoid them. Suppressing our feelings can lead to exacerbated depression, anxiety, panic attacks and other mental health issues. Since so many of us have been taught to suppress our emotions, we’re trying to cope with life while these feelings are wreaking havoc on our balance and peace. We feel increasingly stressed, worried, angry and destabilized. Our emotions provide us with important information to help us grow our awareness. When we don’t pay attention, we limit our capacity for development and stunt our growth. We derail our healing progress.

Suppressing our emotions can have harmful physical effects as well. We tend to think of our thoughts and feelings as being confined to our minds, separate from our physical bodies, but in reality, our systems are completely interconnected. Everything we think and feel affects us physically, and vice versa. Our minds, hearts and bodies are inextricably linked. Trapped emotions and stuck energy can cause us physical pain and discomfort. Physical health issues such as chronic pain, fibromyalgia and poor alignment, for example, are often attributed to our unhealed trauma.

A huge part of healing is learning to allow ourselves to feel, express and communicate our emotions in healthy ways.

At Enlightened Solutions, we are here to help you remember that life can be full of happiness and enjoyable moments, once we learn how to manage our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Call us today: (833) 801-LIVE.


Sleep Deprivation and Psychosis

Sleep Deprivation and Psychosis

Sleep deprivation is an unfortunate struggle that is all too common among those with addiction. When a person had been engaging in stimulants, there’s a much greater chance that there had been a lack of sleep. Some people go for days without sleep and the longer the abuse takes place, the higher risk there is for someone to slip into an early psychosis or psychosis. There is hope in coming back from this state, but there are many people out there for which it was too late.

Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse have become a popular aid for students and others who need an extra boost. These are meant for those with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Unfortunately, it has become easy for many to lie to a psychiatrist to gain access to this “miracle pill”. It may work great in the beginning, but once any abuse takes place, it’s like any other high. Those with addiction can then be headed down a dangerous path.

People can sometimes feel euphoric after pulling an all-nighter. This sleep loss leads to bad judgment and poor decision-making skills. Combining the lack of sleep and food will put an anyone on a path to destruction of the body psychically and mentally.

Those living with mental disorders already have a sleep barrier. Sleep patterns become disrupted by the countless mood swings of the brain, enabling rapid eye movement (REM) sleep to occur when balanced. This is why it can be a difficult process while stabilizing in early recovery. People need sleep to balance the mood, but at this time the mood is keeping the person from sleeping.

There are many guided meditations to help people find a sleep pattern that can prevent tossing and turning all night. At such a painful time in life, it’s also important to turn the mind away from negative talk and imagery. Guided meditations can take people into a safe, comforting place for much needed sound sleep.

If you are struggling mentally and physically with addiction, please start with us on the road to recovery. Recovery is the most beautiful possibility if you are willing to take it! Enlightened Solutions offers a clinical, holistic and 12-step approach that can help you take back your life. Don’t waste one more day and call us here in New Jersey. 833-801-5483.


Dual Diagnosis: Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Dual Diagnosis: Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Many people with a drug or alcohol addiction also have a mental health condition. People who have depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or other psychiatric disorders often turn to drugs or alcohol to escape reality. The psychiatric disorder and substance addiction are referred to as a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis.

A person with a mental illness uses drugs or alcohol for the euphoric effects caused by the release of dopamine. These effects are temporary and drugs or alcohol can make the person's mental illness symptoms worse. Drugs can cause paranoia, increase depression, disrupt sleep patterns, and heighten anxiety.

Drugs also affect a person's mood and can cause aggressive behavior such as rage, violence, or anger. The intensity of the drug, duration of use, and amount used determine the effects each person experiences. Some drugs can cause lethargy, sleepiness, or delayed responses and reactions.

PTSD is a debilitating mental disorder marked by depression, intense anxiety, and intrusive memories or flashbacks that interfere with daily life. People develop PTSD from military combat, natural disasters, sexual assault, or childhood abuse. First responders are also at high risk of PTSD due to on-scene tragedies, accidents, or crimes.

People with mental disorders often turn to drugs or alcohol to suppress his or her pain. A person abuses drugs or alcohol as a way to seek temporary relief from the reality of daily life. He or she uses more and more to escape painful memories and flashbacks, which increases the risk of drug or alcohol addiction.

People living with PTSD often relive the traumatic event, have nightmares, and can become socially withdrawn. A person with PTSD can feel ashamed or guilty from the trauma and be reluctant to seek help. When a person with PTSD and substance abuse goes to treatment, he or she needs intense support and encouragement from family and friends. A dual diagnosis can be difficult to treat, but recovery is possible.

A person with a mental illness and substance addiction is living with a dual diagnosis and needs to get treatment immediately for his or her mental health and addiction. A medical professional or medical team can monitor and manage the combined treatment and medication if needed. Many drugs can worsen symptoms of a mental illness and cause physical impairment, overdose, or death.

Recovery needs to take place in mind, body, and spirit in order for full rehabilitation to take place with a dual diagnosis. That is why Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a holistic approach to treatment, providing a multi-faceted partial care program rooted in evidence-based therapies, proven healing methods, and 12-step inspired recovery. Call us today for information on our programs for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders: 833-801-5483.


Body Image and Eating Disorders

Body Image and Eating Disorders

The disease of addiction is a way to ignore painful feelings stemming from the past. The many behaviors that people can find themselves compulsively participating. These can range from illegal substances to products you can buy from the store at any age. Body dysmorphia is a psychological condition that involves a false body image. Often times this leads to dangerous eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. Each of these disorders have different side effects and behaviors. Eating disorders are more prevalent in countries that have histories of body shaming. All genders suffer from body dysmorphia.

Body dysmorphic disorder is an addictive behavior. This in particular is the mind obsessing over food. It begins to take on a life of its own, overlooking life’s other responsibilities. Body shaming has been the reason behind much of this behavior. This has been an issue that’s been getting more attention and often times it coincides with addictions to stimulants. One of the more popular prescription medications that’s currently being abused is Adderall. However, adderall is supposed to focus those with ADD and ADHD. In fact, this was initially given to soldiers in WWII, giving them an extra boost of energy to continue the war. Now it’s being used for weight loss and productivity. This is similar to methamphetamines, which can cause psychosis with severe abuse.  

Eating disorders can be damaging to the body. The body needs nutrients to survive and when it’s depleted the body begins to shut down. Although anticipated weight loss may occur, there could be a long list of major health issues down the road. Once in treatment, there will be an opportunity to work on patient’s body image and lack of self-esteem. There will be promotion of self-love and respect which will assist in correcting harmful feelings of self worth. Patients will work on the inner child trauma that had inevitably brought them to the point of self-destruction. Through different methods of therapy are designed to help patients heal. This will in time, will increase the patient's love for the body, soul, and mind.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder and/or addiction to substances, Enlightened Solutions partial patient program in New Jersey will greatly benefit you. Our clinical, holistic, and 12-step approach is the beginning of a beautiful life with passion and hope. For more information, please call today: 833-801-5483.


Mania, Not Depression, Is The Hardest To Deal With In Bipolar

Bipolar disorder can feel like living two different lives. Defined by episodes of mania and depression, bipolar is defined by experiencing shifting mood swings in the extreme of each category for extended periods of time. There are two different kinds of bipolar. Bipolar 1 includes more manic episodes than depressive episodes. The episodes can last for weeks or even months at a time. Bipolar 2 includes more depression and can change much more rapidly. Depression in bipolar is similar to other kinds of depression. What someone with bipolar experiences in mania, however, is unlike any other condition. Sometimes it is possible to feel a manic episode coming on. Thoughts might start to change, energy increases, and ideas become bigger over a short period of time. Most of the time, someone with bipolar wakes up at 1,000% instead of 25% and the energy doesn’t stop.

Symptoms Of Bipolar Mania

Bipolar mania will look different for every individual. Generally, there are shared symptoms which include:

  • Feeling “up” or elated
  • Having an abundant amount of energy
  • Feeling overly optimistic and positive
  • Coming up with high standard plans and ideas
  • Feeling invincible, often accompanied by a heightened sense of ego
  • Acting without consequence or consideration
  • “Jammed speech” or talking so fast as though there hasn’t been conversation for weeks
  • Insomnia or restlessness

Shopping beyond budget, participating in reckless behaviors, substance abuse, sexual promiscuity, and other thrill seeking behaviors are common during mania.

What Makes Mania Difficult

After spending a period of time in a depressive state, mania can feel like a welcome relief, if not an escape from the doldrums. Unfortunately, mania can quickly get out of control. The brain can become so rapid fire that it turns all the positive energy in a different direction. People in manic episodes might experience psychosis and paranoia because their mind is moving so quickly.

Mania is not an upside to depression in bipolar. It can mean feeling out of control, unable to trust oneself, and not knowing when the madness will end. It can mean not knowing mania is even happening until money is spent, arguments are started, and reckless behaviors take a toll.

Bipolar and addiction often go hand in hand. To treat dual diagnosis problems, there is a solution. At Enlightened Solutions, we see the holistic approach to treatment work successfully in bringing peace and serenity to our client’s lives. Our integrative partial care programs fuse together spiritual wellness, clinical therapy, and 12 step philosophy. For more information, call us today at 833-801-5483.