(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)
Author: Shernide Delva
Could something as simple as yogurt help with treating depression?
Depression is one of the most common mental health issues in the United States, affecting 16.1 million adults each year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Now researchers at the University Of Virginia School Of Medicine have made a discovery that they hope can change the way we treat depression and potentially help millions of people.
So what’s the answer, you ask? Well, it comes in a variety of flavors, is creamy and often fruit is added to the concoction. It’s yogurt, and the majority of us eat the stuff on a semi-regular basis. If this study holds merit, I may have to head to the nearest grocery story and grab a couple of cups.
After all, depression is not an easy mental illness to have in any capacity. It can be debilitating preventing a person from participating in their normal routines. The findings could offer an alternative to depression treatment not thought of in the past.
It turns out, the bacteria in yogurt could play a role in fighting depression. Researchers have yet to prove the theory on humans, however, in the future, this may become possible. The researchers believe future clinical studies will confirm these results.
“The big hope for this kind of research is that we won’t need to bother with complex drugs and side effects when we can just play with the microbiome,” said Alban Gaultier, Ph.D., the lead researcher on the study.
“It would be magical just to change your diet, to change the bacteria you take, and fix your health – and your mood.”
Of course, researchers note that depression is a complex disorder with a variety of treatment options. Still, this is a simplistic take on a treatment for depressions and researchers have long been fascinated by the role of our gut microbiome on mental health. In fact, there have been theories on how gut impacts our mood that date back hundreds of years.
Gut Microbiome and Bacteria
A while back, we even wrote an article about how gut bacteria could treat eating disorders. There is a project that allows people to send in their bowel movements (yes, poop!) for gut bacteria research. For quite some time, fecal transplants treated a variety of bowel irregularities. Fecal transplants are exactly what they sound like. They involve putting one person’s feces (yes, poop!) inside the colon of someone else. The bacteria in the feces eventually aids in rebalancing the gut.
Obviously, eating yogurt sounds like a simpler alternative than a fecal transplant. Scientists believe that microbes in the gut produce neuroactive compounds which influence mental health.
“The question that we wanted to ask is, does the microbiome participate in depression?” said Gaultier.
Through the study with mice, researchers examined the gut bacteria in mice before and after exposure to stress. They discovered that the loss of the bacteria Lactobacillus triggered depression symptoms, which researchers defined as lethargy-type symptoms.
“A single strain of Lactobacillus is able to influence mood,” said Gaultier.
Researchers only looked at one strain of the microbe, but they believe other strains with similar properties could also have a similar effect.
Still, if eating yogurt can ward off depression, why is it that so many people who may still struggle with depression? The answer Is simple:
“There are many mechanisms involved in driving depression. We have found one that is clearly important, but there are also other contributors to this complex condition,” explains Gaultier.
Overall, these findings are a step in the right direction when it comes to potential depression treatments. In the meantime, those with depression should continue to follow the advice of their doctor before switching to yogurt as a treatment for depression.
Depression is a complex disorder; therefore a study like this will remain inconclusive for quite some time. What do you think? Does this hold any merit? Could yogurt help with depression? Regardless, if you are struggling with this debilitating illness, please call now. We want to help you get on track. Do not wait. Call today.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Shernide Delva
As most know by now, the opioid epidemic has reached epic proportions. In the U.S. alone, more than 15 million people abuse prescription drugs. The leading cause of accidental death in the United States are opioid overdoses, with 52,404 lethal drug overdoses in 2015.
In 2012, 259 million prescriptions were written for painkillers, such as Vicodin and OxyContin. When these drugs are abused, they present some of the same risks as heroin on the street. Furthermore, as prescription opioids are regulated, more and more people are turning to heroin making the risk of a fatal overdose even greater.
With all that said, how exactly do opioids affect the body? We wanted to explore several areas of the body and understand how opioid abuse specifically affected each area. Whether it is prescription drugs or heroin, opioids affect almost every part of your body. Long-term use can lead to permanent damage to your health. Read on further to learn how the body reacts to abuse of opioids. Treatment can put a stop to the risk and address issues that may have already arisen in the body.
The Effects of Opioid Use on the Body:
Painkillers are known to have side effects such as extreme drowsiness which can result in needing stimulant medication to counteract this effect. For example, heroin can elicit profound drowsiness. Abusers frequently experience bouts of ‘nodding off’ as they slip in and out of consciousness. Over time, the use of painkillers results in an increased risk fo major depression. Patients using painkillers for more than six months has a 50 percent greater chance of developing depressive episodes.
THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
Opioid overdoses can lead to a condition known as respiratory depression. It essentially means that breathing slows down significantly. The body goes into respiratory arrest and deprives the brain and body tissues of oxygen.
THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
Opioids affect the muscles of the digestive system making constipation common. This effect is due to the slowing of the digestive transit. The gastrointestinal motility and chronic constipation associated with opioid abuse can lead to more severe conditions such as small bowel obstruction, perforation, and resultant peritonitis. Nausea is very common among opioid users along with sudden, uncontrollable vomiting.
THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
The chronic use of opioid painkillers can lead to a syndrome that can increase your sensitivity to pain resulting in a condition known as hyperalgesia. Furthermore, opioid use may result in psychomotor impairment and an overall slowing of a person’s physical movements and loss of coordination.
THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Opioid use affects the immune system which means you’re more vulnerable to getting illnesses or feeling under the weather. The opioid receptors regulate immunity so long-term opioid abuse can negatively affect this process.
Most people are unaware of how many opioid painkillers contain acetaminophen, the same ingredient found in Tylenol. Excessive use of these drugs can cause liver damage from toxicity. Damage to the liver is an undeniable risk to taking excessive amounts of prescription painkillers like Vicodin. When you add alcohol to the mix— as many opioid-dependent users do—it makes a risky situation, even more,
Overall, opioids affect every part of the body, and we did not even mention the psychological impacts of drug abuse. Opioid use disorder wreaks havoc on your life and the life of those around you. Do not wait for the potentially life-altering consequences of opioid abuse to take its toll. Please call to speak to a professional treatment support specialist today. Please call now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Photo of artists Cane in the studio
Author: Justin Mckibben
Recently one of our Palm Partners Alumni who has been pursuing his passion for music posted a powerful music video with a strong message that caught our attention. After hearing how the track he had recorded was speaking intensely and poetically about the issues concerning the opiate epidemic and the shady side of Big Pharma in the prescription drug outbreak across the country, we wanted to know more about the project.
The name behind the deep reaching lyrics is Cane, and he’s a hip-hop artist ‘straight outta Indiana’. The video is titled “Detox” and is a powerful look into the world of prescription drug abuse from someone who has personally had to fight for their life. The video itself does have some mature content, but nothing extremely graphic. It begins with news broadcasters and headlines talking about the epidemic, and the beat itself is something a lot of people might recognize as the “Run This Town” instrumental by Jay Z, but Cane does a good job of making the music his own.
He credits the recording and video production to RJ Write @FlatlineMedia with a post that has been shared by multiple sources. Hopefully it’ll trend and catch even more momentum. We wanted to celebrate this level of heartfelt dedication, so we reached out to Cane to get a glimpse at some of the thoughts behind the music.
Q & A with Cane
Q: So, what is your sobriety date and how long have you been making music?
A: “My clean date is 8-8-14. I’ve been making music for 5 years. My father is a musician also so it’s always been in my life.”
Q: What has life been like since leaving treatment?
A: “Life after leaving treatment has been truly a blessing. When you’re caught up in the grip of addiction you tend to get caught up in the rat race and you feel like you’re going to be stuck in that forever you lose hope of having any normal life. Now that I’m home I’ve went back to school and getting my GED then went and got my CDL and in my semi-truck driver. I have a daughter and I also have another child on the way, all these things seemed impossible when all I could think about was getting one more… and as I grow in this recovery process I’m learning more about myself and learning to love myself and ways that I never have… and it all started when I took that first step and entered the doors of Palm Partners.”
Q: What was the most valuable experience you took from treatment at Palm Partners Recovery Center?
A: “The most value experience I took from Palm partners is that people do truly care and you’re not alone. I was reminded that Humanity is real and it still exists, there are still people out there that genuinely care because when you’re caught up in that street life you tend to lose that reality… and they also gave me a firm foundation to build on as I got out into the world and started to recover.”
Q: In your own words, what has inspired you to write about this in your music?
A: “What had inspired me to write this in my music was looking around at myself and those around me caught in the struggle, and realizing that we all share the same pain and can relate it was at that point that I knew I had to bring a clear message through my music and be a voice for those who feel they aren’t heard and also create awareness to situations that most turn a blind eye to.”
Q: What is the main message you want to send with a song like this?
A: “The main message that I want to get through with this song is that I believe the system (Big Pharma) is more of a business built on creating revenue instead of cures, it seems they are creating momentarily relief of symptoms instead of actually trying to heal their patients. A cured patient is a lost customer, not caring about the side effects their drugs have on the consumer they over medicate to the point that we feel we can’t go through life without these medications. It’s almost as if they’re telling the public, this is your only hope… don’t worry about what’s it’s doing to your health, don’t worry about what is doing to your life because we’ll just prescribe you something to handle that stress as well.
My personal experience has showed me that when my tolerance grew they upped the dose, always having a pharmaceutical answer for everything…when in the end everything they gave me to better my life was actually killing me, physically, mentally and spiritually.”
Q: Who has been most influential in your recovery?
A: “Ronald “Choke” Nelson has been one person who has helped me grow the most in my process of recovery, and my family.”
Q: How has recovery made you more successful in your music or other passions?
A: “Recovery is help me in my music by helping me learn who I truly am as a person, which helps me open up more and be able to express myself freely, opening up a new platform of consciousness and truly seeing life for what it is in all its beauty and Glory which makes me see reality instead of my self-made prison which kept my close minded, judgmental and delusional.
Now I see the beauty that life truly is, I can write and create with a sense of Peace and clarity, and with other passions like Family, relationships and life in general is just gave me a sense of gratitude and appreciation which helps generate a loving atmosphere, and in a loving atmosphere all things grow.”
Q: When can we expect more projects like “Detox” from you?
A: “I’m in the process of writing a new track called “It’s Okay” which will be somewhat of a motivational song letting the people know, it’s okay to have flaws, nobody’s perfect… just learn to accept yourself regardless of your past you can have a bright future.
I also already release a song called “My Story” which also gives hope and gives you a glimpse into my world.”
Q: If you could give a message to anyone who might be hurting, what would it be?
A: “Anybody that’s out there listening still caught up in the grip of addiction just know that there is hope. Find that last piece of strength; that last piece of love that you have for yourself and find a way to get somewhere to get some help. You do not have to settle for the limitations of your past, there is a brighter future ahead just step forth and make an effort and slowly but surely things will fall into place, you just have to believe. There is a better life for you out there, you don’t have to stay stuck in the never ending cycle, so please from me to you reach out to someone who cares make that call, Reach Out and save your life”
With gratitude and humility Cane happily touched on a lot of important ideas in his song and during our conversation. It is clear this artist believes in his recovery, and believes in raising awareness and spreading the message to others. We are always proud of the amazing accomplishments and uplifting stories our Palm Partners Alumni share with us about life in recovery. We always encourage our Alumni to reach out and share their own perspectives. Part of proving recovery and life after treatment is possible is living by example and making the most out of our message. Cane is taking that to heart and putting his talents to use to try and make a difference.
You can check out the music video for ‘Detox’ here and you can check out more of Cane’s music here.
We know there are so many more Palm Partners alumni out there with talents, stories and experiences to share, and we encourage you to contact us and be part of the message that may help countless others. You never know how many lives you can touch, and how many people could make the choice that saves their life because of something that you choose to share. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Dug McGuirk interviewing Jennifer Gimenez as part of Palm Partner’s new “The Real Deal On…” series.
Author: Shernide Delva
Jennifer Gimenez is a successful model, actress and reality television personality who has had a successful career in Hollywood. She’s appeared in major films like Blow, Vanilla Sky, and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, along with TV shows such as The Bold and the Beautiful. She’s also made regular appearances on the Bravo reality show Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
However, Gimenez’s proudest achievement is overcoming a tumultuous battle with substance abuse. She now has over 11 years sober and shares her story of recovery across the country. Gimenez has appeared in a variety of addiction-based reality television shows such as Sober House and Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.
Gimenez opened up about her inspiring story of recovery with VP of Training and Development, Dug McGuirk as part of our new The Real Deal On… series. We wanted to share just a few of the powerful moments Gimenez shared in the interview.
Please stay tuned for the professionally edited interview set for release in the upcoming weeks!
On Her Most Profound Moments:
When Gimenez discussed her more profound moments in sobriety, she reflected on her first year sober. She remembers going to Argentina to visit her grandmother in the hospital before she passed. It was summer in Argentina, and excruciatingly hot. Gimenez remembers walking on dirt roads experiencing the intense feeling of heat for the first time.
I started screaming, ‘I’m hot! I’m hot!’ Everyone‘s like looking at me like I was crazy. I realized at that moment I was feeling, I was feeling heat. […] Then I realized it was January 15th, a year later after I got sober this time around. From being in the psych ward and trying to kill myself and all that stuff, to being there, it was like mind-blowing that I actually felt and that my life got a little bit better. That was a big major turning point for me and I felt like I came out of a coma. I went ‘Holy Shit, I am alive. I’m really alive. I’m really here.” Every year, I feel like there’s always so many other moments, but that one was my first.
Gimenez’s realized a major part of early sobriety is re-learning what it means to feel.
As addicts and alcoholics, and especially in recovery and early recovery, I feel like we don’t know how to feel. We don’t know it’s okay to feel hot and uncomfortable.
On Healing Through Writing:
Gimenez says one of the best tools she discovered in sobriety was learning how to write to express her emotions.
I had to write every single day in my early recovery, and I always go back to that.
At first, the task of writing every day in treatment was far from easy.
I’d be like [writing] ‘fuck, fuck fuck”… for three pages, ‘fuck’ And then like, I think maybe like a week later, it was like ‘I feel like shit.’ Then, you start to feel like there’s something very powerful from your brain to your arm to your hand, hand to pen; pen to paper… the truth comes out.
Eventually, the writings started to express how she really felt inside:
I’d wake up, and I’m like ‘I really miss my dad today… like why’d he have to go. Why am having to struggle today? I’m so over going to meetings or whatever it is that I was feeling.’
Gimenez says understanding her emotions helped her understand herself. While she has bins of writings from those early days in recovery, she has not looked back in a long time. Instead, she reflects most on a list she made when she was determining what she wanted to be in life.
At two and a half years sober, I had to figure out what I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. […] I wrote 85 things, and I still have those in my nightstand. That’s really cool to look at. I like looking at it once a year to see what’s come true.
On Accepting Self- Care-
One of the areas Gimenez says she has struggled with tremendously was wanting perfectionism. She discussed how, ultimately, that desire held her back the most. She remembers a conversation with her sponsor when she realized the idea of perfection was unobtainable:
“My sponsor would be like, ‘Can you define perfect in this scenario’ in whatever conversation we were talking about, and I couldn’t define it. There is no perfection,” she said.
“My sponsor always says, ‘Why don’t’ you try to be more of a human being, then a human doer. I am a doer. I don’t want to be that,” she admitted.
Instead, Gimenez now focuses on breathing, living in the moment, and accepting herself as God intended her to be.
“I was born to be okay and being okay is perfect,” she said.
Eventually, Gimenez learned to accept herself and celebrate all aspects of the person she is intended to be. Her story has inspired many in recovery and those struggling with their addiction.
I don’t want to be here to judge people. I want to be here to love people and celebrate people. I think it’s so important because I know that I am in recovery. […] I also know that I am an arm length away from my next drink or drug if I choose that. Today, I choose life. I choose to live. I choose to turn my will over. I choose to be in recovery. I choose to try to be my best self and with that being said, I also, through trial and error, am going to figure out who that best self is.
Throughout the interview, Gimenez discussed important subjects such as:
- Learning self-love
- Doing the work in recovery
- Accepting Cliches (Hint: they’re true!)
- Processing childhood trauma
- Coping with grief
- Why ignorance is pain
- Feeling “the feather” vs. “the truck”
- Staying motivated in long-term sobriety
- Listening to the inner voice
- Addressing the current opioid epidemic
Stay tuned for the full edited interview in the upcoming weeks! Jennifer Gimenez story is incredibly inspiring and proves that recovery is a possibility for anyone. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free. You are not alone.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Shernide Delva
Bam Margera is a professional skateboarder, stunt performer and television personality that transcended the sport of skateboarding in the late 90s and early 2000s. He gained prominence after appearing in MTV’s Jackass show. He has since appeared in MTV’s Viva La Bam, Bam’s Unholy Union, and various other projects throughout the years.
Unfortunately, along with Margera’s success came an ongoing battle with substance abuse. Strung in a plethora of shows on MTV and increasing wealth, Margera succumbed to the celebrity lifestyle while his skateboarding took a major backseat. He struggled on an ongoing basis with a serious drinking problem and did not touch a skateboard for five years.
Last year, Margera sought treatment on the VH1 show “Family Therapy, ” and the rumor started to spread that he was returning to his skateboard. A few photos popped up on his social media accounts and on March 13, Jenkem published an interview and short clip of Margera skating on a mini ramp.
It was confirmed that Margera is, in fact, sober and living in Spain, skateboarding every day.
Margera says, “In Barcelona I wake up and my mission is to skate all day. I know being in Spain is the best place for me right now to not drink.”
In order to get back to skating, Margera had to lose 30 pounds. He says he accomplished this feat through intense cardio every day until he achieved a more comfortable weight.
“When I was in Estonia, I made it a point to do an hour of cardio, 300 pushups and 100 sit-ups every day for like two months. That slimmed me down enough to where I knew I could go to Barcelona without looking like a f*cking fat piece of shit [laughs]. And I just knew the spots in Spain are awesome and I wouldn’t get too bothered,” he says.
On top of losing weight, Margera had to relearn the majority of the skills he once knew but lost.
“I got so caught up with the fame and bullshit, it was just easier to drink for a long time,” he said. “So, that’s what I did. I partied with rock stars, and now I’m paying for it.”
The Process of Getting Sober:
As mentioned, Margera went publically sober on the reality show “Family Ties.” In the interview, he mentioned not realizing that he had a problem when he initially agreed to do the show. At first, he says his decision was motivated by money.
“I didn’t realize I had that much of a drinking problem, but I saw the dollar signs they offered me. I was like, wait a minute, people pay a lot of money to get therapy and you’re paying me this amount to have therapy done? This is a double win, I’ll do it,” he said.
Soon, he realized his problem really stemmed from an addiction and not just partying.
“Once I went in, I realized musicians can party like rock stars because playing a guitar and being drunk go hand and hand, but if you want to skate and be drunk it doesn’t work. You’re gonna rack your nuts and slam your face, so once I realized that I haven’t skated because I’ve been sippin’ on too much alcohol, that’s when I got it.”
After leaving the show, Margera discovered how difficult it truly was for him to put down the alcohol. That’s when he realized, the decision to get sober was more than just for show, it was going to be an everyday reality. These days, Margera says he’s learned the tools necessary to maintain his sobriety, and believes he will make it through with the right support system.
“I never had any pill problems and I’ve never tried heroin in my life, but it’s been a real struggle for me to stay off the alcohol. But just as long you’re surrounded by good people and you have something to do, you’ll be good,” he concluded
Did you know about Bam Margera’s struggles? He brings up some important point about recovery. Often, people are in denial about how urgent their addiction situation is. Regardless of whether you have done “hard” drugs or not, addiction is a disease. Whether it is alcohol or heroin, you need to seek treatment if you are struggling. Do not wait. Call now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135