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Tag: alcoholism

Turn off the TV and Stop Playing the Tape

Trauma is a repeated incident in the mind of a trauma survivor. While the development of PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, is rare in trauma survivors, there can be ongoing emotional stress. That stress is activated in response to triggers, or stimulating information which elicits memory of the traumatic episode. In order to recovery from trauma, patients learn to manage their emotions and direct their minds away from constantly replaying the traumatic event. Being in a constant state of reminder is unhealthy and often unmanageable.

This is more than metaphor. When there is a particularly violent or traumatic event that makes national headlining news, it is replayed non stop 24 hours a day. Every new piece of information is discussed in depth, with gory details and disturbing videos on repeat. Not only is this constant loop traumatizing in general, but for people who have already experienced trauma in their lives, it can be extremely triggering and cause emotional distress. Psychologists and researchers alike have found that continuously taking in such content can develop in someone symptoms of PTSD where they have perviously had no issue. Professionals agree that one of the best things to do is turn the TV off. Turning off the constant influx of traumatizing messaging and media is not the same as turning off awareness or even emotions to the experience. It is important to continue talking about what has happened to us in our past. However, there has to be a turn off point before the overwhelming feeling of re-traumatization takes over.

Addicts and alcoholics in recovery from addiction face a similar challenge. Drinking, for example, is a part of daily life. Advertisements for alcohol are everywhere, just as alcohol is sold and offered just about everywhere. Avoiding the stimuli of alcohol is incredibly difficult. Alcoholism is a traumatizing experience which leaves recovering alcoholics sensitive to its presence, especially in the early months of the recovery process. At first, they may need to shelter themselves from repeating the trauma. Continuing to indulge in romanticizations of the past, or reliving the “good old days” of drinking is like watching traumatic news over and over again. At some point we just have to accept that the drinking days are over. We turn the TV off and stop playing the tape.

Can Food Reverse the Effects of Alcohol Damage?

Alcoholism usually isn’t accompanied by a healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet. Both unhealthy foods and excessive consumption of alcohol cause damage to the liver. Fatty foods are good for the brain and the rest of the body, but only if they are the right fats. Butter, cheese, heavy cream, certain animal fats, and meats are bad fats for the brain and body. Unfortunately, especially when under the influence of alcohol, they taste really good. People are inclined to believe that greasy, fatty, salty food aids in helping to “sober up”. Eating unhealthy fatty foods on a regular basis programs the brain to make poor food choices. As a result, the body gets used to unhealthy foods. Much like the cravings experienced with drugs and alcohol, the body craves fatty, greasy, salty foods- doing damage with every meal. Fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, cancer of the liver, and more, are the consequences of liver damage.

Can Food Reverse the Effects of Alcohol Damage?

Recovering from alcoholism is a physical process as much as it is a mental and spiritual one. Healing the body is of critical importance for successful long term recovery. To carry the burden of detox and ongoing withdrawal, the body needs to be strong. Emotional growth can be physically taxing. In order to sustain the early recovery emotional roller coaster, the body needs the nutrients, vitamins, and healthy fats necessary to function efficiently.

Here are some healthy foods and tips for reprogramming your eating in early recovery:

  • Garlic and Onions: These smelly vegetables have allicin which is (). When preparing garlic and onions, peel, then cut them up and let them stand for about ten minutes. Within that time they will naturally produce allicin. Eat raw or cook to taste.
  • Herbal and Mushroom Teas: tea is a great way to get in the herbal and plant-based supplement needed in a day. Up to four cups of tea a day is recommended. Try anise, reishi, ginger, fennel, or chamomile tea.
  • Tomatoes: Lypocene is () which is great for (). Eat tomatoes partially cooked with a minimal amount of added oil.
  • Avocados: Omega fatty acids help the brain produce essential amino acids which it needs to function. Amino acids only come from food, the brain doesn’t produce them on its own. Avocados are a great source of omega fatty acids. Eating tomatoes and avocados together boost their nutritional value and taste delicious. Avocado can be eaten in a number of ways, from by itself to in a popsicle.

Eating a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, healthy protein and carbs is always recommended. Each person’s diet will be different and require accommodation. Enlightened Solutions offers individualized plans of care for patients in our partial, inpatient, and outpatient treatment programs. Each patient is given a dietary and nutritional plan. We offer education on diet and nutrition as well as practical life skill building for being in the kitchen at home. Enlightened Solutions welcomes men and women with addiction and co-occuring disorders.

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