Signs You May Be Struggling with Alcohol Use

Behavioral Health Care & Therapy in Northern California

If you’re reading this, it may be time to get help. Many people wait until their alcohol consumption spirals out of control to admit they have a problem, which is often detrimental to their family life, health, work, and finances—but that doesn’t have to be your story.

By reaching out early on, you are making a decisive move to take your life back into your own hands, and our team at Therapeutic Solutions is here to provide you with the compassionate, effective behavioral health treatment and support you need to make it happen.

Call (530) 899-3150 to speak to a member of our team today.

Warning Signs of Harmful Alcohol Use

Many people who drink on a regular or semi-regular basis are at risk of becoming dependent on alcohol or developing a substance use disorder. Being honest with yourself is the first step to getting the help you need and avoiding the devastating consequences of alcohol addiction. Your life may depend on your willingness to admit that you need help.

Reach out to our team at Therapeutic Solutions right away if any of the following are true:

  • You drink heavily when you are sad, stressed, or otherwise upset.
  • You find yourself blacking out or unable to remember things you said and did while you were drinking.
  • You hide the amount of drinks you have had.
  • You feel uncomfortable at parties and events where there is no alcohol available.
  • You find yourself in a hurry to begin drinking at the end of the day.
  • Your drinking habits are a source of guilt or shame for you.
  • Someone you love has mentioned that they are worried about you because of your drinking habits.
  • You have found yourself in trouble with the law for things you have done while drinking.
  • You drink throughout the day.
  • Your doctor has suggested you decrease your drinking.
  • You are trembling and shaky in the morning and calm your symptoms with medication or more alcohol.
  • You have family members who have struggled or are struggling with alcohol use.
  • Your work, family life, finances, health, and/or social life have suffered as a result of your drinking habits.

Alcohol Use Disorders

If you have developed a habit of problematic alcohol use, you have no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that approximately 17 million adults in the United States in 2012 suffered from a diagnosable problem with alcohol use. Alcohol use disorders manifest themselves differently for everyone, but they all involve a variety of contributing factors such as family life, personality, personal history, biology, etc., and they all require professional intervention.

Allow us to help and be your partners in recovery. We provide behavioral health services for adolescents and adults throughout Northern California, and we know what it takes to help you achieve victory or alcohol use disorders. Please connect with a member of our team in Chico as soon as possible and allow us to guide you through the healing process.

Contact us to request your assessment and find out how we can help.


Tips for Making Your Home Conducive to Sobriety

How to Minimize Triggers at Home

Whether you are working through an outpatient substance use program or living in a residential treatment facility, your home environment can be a triggering space if you do not pay it the proper attention . Healing and recovering from a substance use disorder means implementing the lessons and coping skills learned during treatment to successfully choose a different path when triggers to use substances arise. This is especially important if you live with another person who uses or struggles with substances, or if your home has historically been a preferred space to use substances.

You can transform your home into a place for healing and sobriety by starting with four key changes to your living environment:

  • Keeping it clean: A chaotic or messy home can make you feel unstable or unable to relax. On the other hand, a clean, organized home can contribute to feelings of balance and a commitment to making positive choices. Tend to your home environment by tidying up regularly, adding plants or other soothing visual elements to your space, and maintaining access to healthy, enjoyable activities in your home.
  • Sticking to a routine: Triggers for substance use can arise in chaotic or stressful times, but they may also influence you during idle time. Properly tending to your home and your health takes time and effort, and you can reduce the temptation caused by boredom or idleness by busying yourself with housekeeping, cooking, exercise, and other healthy, constructive activities in the home. It is also particularly important to decide in advance how you will spend your free time in the evenings and what time you will go to bed. Following a schedule can help you maximize your free time and reduce your risk of falling back into unhealthy habits. You can even post your schedule or to-do list in a visible space as a frame of reference when your routine falls out of balance.
  • Minimizing stress: Stress is hard enough to manage without the added difficulty of managing a substance use disorder, but it can be even more difficult for people who are in recovery. While there is no such thing as a completely stress-free life, avoiding stressful situations is essential when seeking to remain sober at home. If your relationships with your spouse or children are a source of significant stress, consider incorporating counseling [LINK TO FAMILY THERAPY BLOG] into your routine or taking steps to learn to approach conflict more constructively. If your roommates stress you out, consider having an honest conversation about what you’re going through and how they can help, or think about finding a supportive place to go when things become overwhelming.
  • Keeping Inspiration Visible: When triggers arise, it is vital to remember why you are taking steps toward healing and recovery. Keep reminders of your reasons for changing your behavior visible in your home environment. Think of quotes, photos, or affirmations that resonate with you, and display them throughout your home to support you in difficult moments.

Overcome Unhealthy Substance Use with Therapeutic Solutions

When seeking to overcome a substance use disorder, it can be disheartening to battle temptation day in and day out—but don’t give up. Healing is possible, and we are here to help.

At Therapeutic Solutions, we offer substance abuse therapy for people throughout Chico and Northern California. We can help you address the mental, physical, and environmental stressors and temptations you face and work with you to find ways to develop healthy coping skills and resources that support recovery. Our compassionate, understanding clinicians can help you evaluate patterns leading to substance use and help you figure out what can be done to get well, stay well, and be well.

Get started today by calling (530) 899-3150 or requesting a free program assessment.


Why Some Psychiatric Drugs Don’t Work as Well as Others

Factors that Hinder the Effectiveness of Psychiatric Drugs

Anyone who has been treated for a psychiatric disorder knows how challenging it can be to find a medication that works. Sometimes all it takes is a change in dosage, but other times people will bounce from drug to drug, hoping for relief, only to experience exacerbated symptoms or minimal changes.

This is the common experience of many people seeking pharmaceutical treatment for psychiatric problems like depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and others. The reasons why certain medications work for some patients and not others is largely unknown. There are plenty of success stories about certain psychiatric drugs, but there is relatively no guarantee that a medication that effectively alleviates one person’s symptoms will do the same for another, even if their symptoms are virtually identical.

Despite all these unknowns, there are a few identifiable reasons why certain medications and doses may not work, including:

1. Inaccurate Mental Health Diagnoses

Psychiatric disorders are notoriously difficult to pinpoint, creating the potential for imprecise diagnosis. Most psychiatrists and mental health professionals use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in order to diagnose patients who describe certain symptoms, but diagnoses which rely exclusively on patients’ self-described symptoms and DSM descriptions of psychiatric disorders can be skewed.

Along with inaccurate diagnosis comes incorrect treatment, which can lead to greater frustration and worsened symptoms for patients.

There is also the possibility that persons who do not respond to typically successful treatments for their behavioral health concern could be suffering from one of many varying subcategories of a disorder, which may require an entirely different class of drug. Some research has been done that may suggest patients suffering from varying degrees or subtypes of disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder, may respond well to different drugs, though proper treatment is, once again, impossible without a proper diagnosis.

2. Lack of Biological Markers for Psychiatric Illness

Psychiatric disorders often do not manifest themselves in a chemically or biologically measurable way, making it difficult to discern and identify the best treatment for each patient. When it comes to diagnosing mental health problems and chemical imbalances in the brain, physicians are still largely restricted to lists of behavioral signs listed in the DSM. This may lead to incorrect diagnosis, treatment for the wrong disorder, and either lack of relief for the patient or worsened illness. (This is especially true when physicians are operating independently, without the help or second look of other physicians.)

3. Varying Pharmacokinetics

Most psychiatric medications come with a recommended dosage. However, certain patients metabolize and excrete drugs more quickly than others (varying by weight, fat composition, ethnicity, etc.), making a one-size-fits-all dosage oversimplified and even harmful for some patients. Drugs tend to accumulate and spread throughout the body in fat and water, the proportions of which vary widely among recipients of psychiatric medications, and it is up to the overseeing physician to thoughtfully evaluate just how often and how much of a psychiatric medication each specific patient ought to take.

Careful, Attentive Psychiatric Care in Chico & Northern California

At Therapeutic Solutions, we provide thoughtful, personalized psychiatric care for people battling with issues like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Our Chico psychiatrists team up and work together when diagnosing and treating patients. This collaborative approach increases our chances of properly identifying and treating a psychiatric disorder.

We also keep a watchful eye on all those under our care, in order to ensure dosages are accurate and helpful for recipients, and we provide various tailored treatment options to suit your individual needs. Get in touch with a member of our team today to schedule your assessment.

Let’s figure it out together. Call (530) 899-3150 or contact us online to get started.


Is My Teenager Using Drugs?

Signs Your Adolescent Child May Be Using Drugs

Is your teen behaving suspiciously, as if they are hiding something? Do they spend a lot of time behind closed doors? Have you witnessed uncharacteristic behavior or strange mood changes? These symptoms are within the realm of normal behavior for a teenager, but if substance use is underlying them, it could be time to seek support for your child.

Teenagers aren’t known for being up-front with their parents, but there is a difference between a desire for privacy and a desire to conceal drug use. This difference is often detectable, though it’s not always blatantly apparent. Substance use can be indicative of other underlying struggles and is something that should not be ignored. It is important to address these signs with directness and compassion, so that your teen can get access to professionals that can help them process the behavior and develop positive coping skills.

Is Your Child Seeking to Establish Independence or Hiding a Dangerous Habit?

If you are concerned that your child is using drugs or alcohol, pay attention to the signs that may indicate an issue. Remember that while you can explore these signs on your own, it is always a good idea to ask your teen directly about their habits and behaviors, and to express your concerns in a supportive way. This may open the door to further dialogue about substance use and its impacts.

  • Smell of smoke or alcohol: This may seem obvious, but you likely won’t notice it unless you interact with your child before they head to their room. In order to make sure you pick up on the scent, make sure to have a face-to-face interaction with your teen when they walk through the door.
  • Avoiding eye contact: Your child may be able to avert their eyes, but signs of drug use will likely show up on their face. Kids who have used marijuana will have red, droopy eyes and small pupils. Kids who have been drinking will have dilated pupils, trouble holding eye contact, and blushed cheeks.
  • More than secretiveness: It is not uncommon for teenagers to be dismissive of their parents in an effort to have their own private life. However, as a parent, you have the right and the responsibility to act when your child’s secretiveness occurs in conjunction with other negative behaviors. Your child may be using drugs if they are evasive about where they are going, what they are doing, and who they are spending time with, and they are also experiencing new problems with their health, appearance, mood regulation, school performance, and work performance.

Don’t be afraid to act and do what is best for your child. If they are struggling with drug use, they need you more than ever. Substance use can evolve in to a disorder, and can have a variety of impacts on a teen’s health and well-being. Addressing it is a step toward a healthier and safer life for your child.

Drug Rehab for Adolescents & Teens in Northern California

Parents are often at a loss for what to do when they find out their child is using drugs, but our team at Therapeutic Solutions is here to help. We are here to assist you as you encourage your child to make healthy decisions, and we are glad to support both parents and children throughout the recovery process. We offer a number of great options for families, including group therapyfamily therapy, and more. Connect with our team to learn about our Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program (A-IOP) and find out we can serve your family during this time.

Call (530) 899-3150 today or schedule a program assessment.


How to Talk with Your Child About Cutting and Self-Harm

The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that teenagers and young adults who engage in self-harm are 25% more likely than their peers to die by suicide within the following year.

If your child is self-harming, it does not mean you have failed as a parent—but it does mean your child needs help. Self-harm is often a coping mechanism used to relieve intense emotions, and a sign that your child may need help learning to process their feelings in a healthy way. As a parent, it is imperative that you step in and help your child get the care they need right away.

Our team at Therapeutic Solutions is prepared to serve you and your child during this time. Call (530) 899-3150 to get the help you need and learn about our teen programs.

Signs of Self-Harming Behaviors

When you suspect your child is hurting themselves, it helps to know what to look for. Self-harm can take a number of different forms, including (but not limited to):

  • Cutting
  • Pulling out their hair
  • Burning
  • Overdosing on drugs or over-the-counter medications
  • Excessive piercing
  • Punching or pinching themselves
  • Carving words or signs into their skin
  • Excessive picking at scabs, scars, etc.

How to Talk to Children Who Are Currently Self-Harming

Remember the following when bringing up the subject of self-harm with your child:

  • Self-harm is a symptom: Teenagers and children who engage in self-destructive behaviors such as cutting often struggle with anxiety disorderdepression, or both. When bringing up your child’s self-harming behaviors, it is important to remember that they typically signify a deeper problem.
  • Don’t stay silent: Self-harm is a sign that your child is emotionally hurting, struggling to process strong emotions, and/or experiencing outside pressure to engage in self-destructive behaviors. Even if your child is resistant to talking about the root problem or admitting that they are self-harming, the worst thing you can do is silently allow it to continue.
  • Get professional help: For most parents, the issue of self-harm is beyond their depth. Don’t be discouraged if you are unable to understand why your child is hurting themselves or if they shut you out. In many cases, addressing self-harm and its underlying problems requires the intervention of experienced mental health professionals.

Behavioral Health for Teenagers & Families in Northern California

You may be devastated, angry, or bewildered to learn that your child is engaging in self-harm, but you are not alone. Our team at Therapeutic Solutions is equipped to compassionately and effectively address a range of mental and behavioral health challenges in teenagers and young adults. We provide flexible treatment options designed to meet your family’s specific needs, including family therapy and more.

Allow us to walk alongside you and support you as you seek to do what’s best for your child. We serve Chico, Butte County, and families throughout Northern California.

Call (530) 899-3150 today to learn more about how we care for struggling teens, or click to schedule your free program assessment.


Parenting a Child Through a Mental Health Crisis

Given the deeply personal nature of our relationships, many parents are at a loss for what to do when their child displays signs of mental illness or experiences a mental health crisis. No matter their professional background, the number of children they have raised, or their experiences caring for others with mental illness, it is challenging for most parents to figure out how to best approach caring for their child’s mental health.

How to Care for Children During a Mental Health Crisis

Mental health crises in children can take different forms, ranging from violent outbursts to slow and progressive decline. Sometimes mental illness in children creates meltdowns that are traumatizing for the whole family, creating a need for immediate intervention. In other cases, mental health problems that were once manageable develop to the point that a child can no longer live at home or stay safe.

The best solution for your family and your child depends on the nature of the mental health issue at hand and the sort of crisis you are experiencing. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, here are a few pointers for navigating your child’s mental health concern:

  • Don’t keep it to yourself or internalize your struggle. Reach out to those you trust or to a professional.
  • Create as much stability, consistency, and positive structure as possible for your child and the rest of your family.
  • Do everything you can to remain present with your child and assure them of your love and support.
  • Take time to talk to your family about the struggle at hand, creating a safe environment and giving family members permission to verbalize their questions, worries, etc.
  • Don’t let stigma or shame keep you from pursuing treatment and acting in your family’s best interest.

Although watching the people we care about struggle is scary, overwhelming, and sometimes chaotic, understand that it is not yours or your child’s fault. Mental health concerns impact a wide range of individuals, and often require therapeutic or medical intervention to treat.


Mental and Behavioral Health Treatment for Parents & Children in Northern California

At Therapeutic Solutions, we understand that mental health challenges affect the whole family. Family therapy is one of the ways we help you and your loved ones cope with the difficulties of living with mental illness, and we also offer a number of solutions for families in crisis, including:

Even if your child has not responded to other treatments or is experiencing particularly intense symptoms, our team of doctors, clinicians, and other care providers can help. You don’t have to be silent about your struggle and you don’t have to suffer alone. We are prepared to serve you and your loved ones during this difficult time and help you find solutions that work.

Call (530) 899-3150 today or contact us online to talk to one of our compassionate, knowledgeable team members in Chico.


3 Ways Family Therapy Improves Behavioral Health Treatment

Mental health challenges neither occur in a vacuum nor heal in a vacuum. People experiencing behavioral health challenges may not realize how powerfully their mental health struggle is affecting their close friends and family. Furthermore, a person suffering from mental health concerns also may not know just how key their affected family members can be to recovery.

In addition to individualized treatment for the affected person, family therapy may be used to help address a variety of behavioral health challenges, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Substance abuse or addiction
  • Coping with a serious illness
  • Anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)—and more.

Connected and understanding relationships are essential to mental health. Discussing the impacts of a mental health concern or crises with our families and spouses or partners can be essential for mental well-being, and its benefits can be seen long after treatment is completed.

Benefits of Family Counseling on Behavioral Health Treatment & Recovery

There are 3 major ways family therapy can make behavioral health treatment more effective:

  • Family therapy involves professional counseling with a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), who has the skills to facilitate positive and healthy discussion of difficult topics.
  • Family therapy can improve communication and problem-solving between spouses and family members, in addition to teaching healthy coping skills and building a sense of connectedness between family members.
  • Family therapy is goal-driven and takes a strategic approach to strengthening families.

In addition to providing a collective and practical approach for individuals and their loved ones, family therapy sends a powerful message to the struggling individual. Behavioral health problems like addiction and depression are often very isolating and disheartening for those affected. However, when families are willing to walk alongside a loved one with a behavioral health challenge, it demonstrates teamwork and support, which is essential to long-term recovery and rehabilitation.

Family Therapy and Mental Health Care in Northern California

When a person is participating in our clinical programs, we offer couples and family sessions to facilitate healing and understanding amongst those impacted by a mental health concern. Our team at Therapeutic Solutions has the tools, programs, and individualized care options you need to make a full, long-term recovery. The licensed clinicians, doctors, and caregivers on our staff are trained to provide you with the compassionate, individualized care you need. Whether you are dealing with anxiety, substance abuse, a personality disorder, or any other mental health struggle, we are here to help.

Let us be the support you need. Call (530) 899-3150 to get in touch with a member of our compassionate mental health care team.


Can Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Help with PTSD

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that makes it very challenging for affected individuals to recover after witnessing or experiencing a traumatizing event. Traumatic events can include car accidents, sexual assault, abuse, war-related violence, natural disasters, and other experiences. Symptoms of trauma can also develop in people who are repeatedly exposed to images, video footage, or reported details about a traumatic event, even if they were not present when it occurred. We all deal with real or perceived threats to our safety in different ways, so similar events can manifest differently from person to person. If left untreated, traumatic experiences can have severe impacts on our mental health and daily lives.

PTSD can occur in varying degrees and manifests itself in any combination of the following pervasive symptoms:

  • Hostility
  • Hyper-vigilance
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Mistrust of others
  • Irritation and agitation
  • Emotional detachment
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Controlling fear or anxiety
  • Flashbacks and nightmares
  • Intrusive or racing thoughts
  • Inability to enjoy normal activities
  • Guilt and other negative emotions
  • High risk or life-endangering behaviors
  • Lack of interest in normal activities

Sometimes the impacts of traumatic events lessen on their own with time, but it is not uncommon for these symptoms to persist. In some cases, they rise to the level of severely affecting a person’s daily life and overall wellness. In these cases, mental health treatment can be extremely beneficial in reducing the impacts of a traumatic event. One cutting-edge treatment that may help someone recovering from PTSD is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).

What Is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and How Does it Help PTSD?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is not mere “brain zapping” or “shock therapy,” as many in the media have characterized it. TMS is a is completely safe and has successfully helped many people suffering from mood-related mental health concerns. During treatment, short electromagnetic pulses are emitted, targeting the prefrontal cortex and other brain structures responsible for regulating mood. These pulses improve brain function and, in many cases, and improve symptoms of depression and other mental health concerns. TMS is particularly successful for individuals for whom other forms of treatment, such as medication, have been unsuccessful.

TMS can improve the function of the brain and support you in better regulating your emotions, stress responses, anxiety, and social behavior, alleviating many of the painful and isolating symptoms of PTSD. Especially when combined with other therapeutic interventions like individual or group therapy, it can help you get well, stay well, and be well.

PTSD Treatment Center in Northern California

At Therapeutic Solutions, we have the tools and experience to help you overcome your challenges and reclaim your life and mental well-being. Our psychiatrists, nurses, therapists, social workers and other care providers are all motivated to help you get back on your feet and work with you to achieve long-term recovery and stability. If you are suffering from the effects of PTSD, don’t wait a minute longer to reach out and ask for help.

Take the first step today. Call (530) 899-3150 to talk to someone about your struggle, or contact us online to learn more about how we can help.


Is Group Therapy the Right Fit For Me?

Myths and Facts About Group Therapy

Many people steer away from group therapy because they do not understand it. This is not surprising, given the number of misleading or unappealing caricatures of group therapy that can be found on TV or in movies. There are a lot of myths flying around out there about group therapy, including:

  • Group therapy is not as good as one-on-one therapy with a professional.
  • Group therapy requires you to share your deepest, darkest secrets with complete strangers.
  • Group therapy is only for people who are good at verbalizing their thoughts and feelings.
  • Participation or sharing with a group will result in judgement, criticism, or gossip from other group members.

However, none of these are true. For those who participate, there are typically a number of needed benefits, including:

  • A safe place to discuss difficulties and celebrate victories with others who share your struggle
  • Controlled discussion and encouragement about your challenges and progress
  • Learning from others who may be further along in their recovery
  • Learning to discuss what you are feeling and experiencing in a way that is healthy and conducive to growth and positive human connection
  • Freedom to be open about your experiences without fear of it being disclosed to anyone outside the group

Don’t be afraid to try something new or attempt a form of treatment that seems scary. Even for introverts or people who are not used to talking about their feelings and experiences, group therapy can be (and often is) essential to recovery and restored health.

Compassionate, Personalized Behavioral Health Care in Chico & Northern California

At Therapeutic Solutions, we believe in personalized solutions, especially when it comes to alcohol abuse, drug addiction, mental health struggles, and other challenging battles our patients face. Group therapy is often a source of comfort, solidarity, and encouragement for people who are working toward recovery while trying to meet life’s other demands, such as work, classes, and family life, and it may just be right for you.

Our team recognizes that not everyone requires the same kind of therapy, which is why we offer a variety of solutions and treatment options depending on your needs. These include (but are not limited to):

No matter what sort of mental or behavioral health challenges you are facing, our Chico team is here to help. Call (530) 899-3150 to speak to one of our friendly team members and learn about our treatment options.


Is it Time to Seek Behavioral Health Treatment?

Signs You May Benefit from Mental Health Care

Unfortunately, many people do not turn to mental or behavioral health care until they have hit rock bottom. Behavioral health treatment can be instrumental in keeping you and the people you love from spiraling downward into patterns of emotional struggles, substance abuse, self-destructive behaviors, and unhealthy coping.

It may be valuable to consider seeking behavioral health treatment if you or someone you love is experiencing any of the following:

  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Controlling fear or anxiety
  • Drug or alcohol abuse/addiction
  • Disrupted sleep, difficulty falling asleep
  • Major shifts in social behaviors, especially if they trend toward isolation
  • Symptoms of post-traumatic stress, such as hyper-vigilance, flashbacks, and high stress
  • Persistently replaying a traumatic event in your mind
  • Coping with personal difficulty by turning to drugs, alcohol, sex, or food
  • Personality changes or suddenly behaving in a way that is out of step with your normal behavior, especially if this means angry outbursts, reckless decisions, putting others or yourself in danger, etc.

Compassionate, Life-Changing Behavioral Health Care in Chico & Northern California

Our team at Therapeutic Solutions is ready to help you or your loved one work through the challenges at hand. We offerDialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) for people experiencing a variety of struggles, including:

  • Depression
  • Mood disorders
  • Suicidal thoughts or tendencies
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Failed attempts to treat any of the above with medication or other therapies

We are also able to care for people who require counseling and support after experiencing a traumatic life event or emotionally stressful circumstance. If you are interested in exploring the possibility and potential benefits of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for yourself or a loved one, get in touch with us right away to get all your questions answered and take the next step toward health and recovery.

Call (530) 899-3150 today to learn more and speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable team members.