Almost everyone has felt “down in the dumps” at times or had a case of “the blues.” In this state, you may have referred to yourself as feeling depressed.  But is this really clinical depression?

An estimated 25 percent of Americans suffer from major depression. So what distinguishes the common “down” feelings felt by most of us with true depression?  Actual depression is different from “the blues” in several key ways.

Symptoms of Feeling Blue vs. Being Depressed

Feeling “blue” or being down in the dumps” are ways we describe feelings of sadness or melancholy.  True depression has a host of other symptoms in addition to sadness.  They may include: significant weight loss or gain, insomnia, loss of interest in daily activities, feelings of guilt, helplessness or hopelessness, fatigue/loss of energy, and poor concentration.

Causes of Feeling Blue vs. Being Depressed

Brief periods of feeling “blue” are usually caused by life events that leave us feeling discouraged.  From a broken date to the loss of a loved one, the causes can range from minor to major events.  Depression can be triggered by a stressful life event, but research indicates that depression is also associated with a variety of genetic and biochemical factors.  Some individuals appear to be more “hard-wired” to get depression.  The “blues,” on the other hand, are feelings with which almost everyone can relate.

Duration of Feeling Blue vs. Depression

To be considered depressed, an individual must be experiencing significant symptoms for at least two weeks on an ongoing basis.  Individuals who are feeling a bit “down” usually shake off these feelings in a few days, if not hours.  The “down in the dumps” sensation we’ve all had is noteworthy for being temporary.  Without treatment, true depression, on the other hand, can last for months or years, or it can re-occur frequently.

Intensity of Depression Symptoms 

In addition to being longer lasting, true clinical depression is also more intense than a case of the “blues.”  Usually, individuals who are feeling “blue” or “down” manage to perform their regular daily activities.  Individuals experiencing an episode of depression often are unable to function normally. The depression interferes with work, relationship, and daily activities.  In extreme cases, depression can lead to feelings of complete hopelessness and suicidal thoughts or acts.

If you or a loved one frequently feels “down in the dumps” or “blue,” consider whether the condition may actually be depression.  A physician or mental health professional can conduct an assessment to determine if depression is present and recommend appropriate treatment.

Understanding the difference between feeling “blue” and being depressed can make a difference in the quality of life for an affected individual.  With proper treatment, depression can be managed, and individuals can live more enjoyable and productive lives.

Learn what residential treatment facility is like and when is residential treatment necessary.

What is Residential Treatment?

A loved one is experiencing mental health problems – or perhaps you are dealing with mental illness yourself.  As you look into treatment options – outpatient, inpatient, etc., one option that may be recommended is a residential treatment center.

Residential treatment is a specialized form of inpatient care. It typically includes 24-hour supervision and monitoring within a non-hospital setting, often aimed at providing an intensive therapeutic environment for clients with mental health and/or substance use issues. This type of care provides an extended stay with personalized, clinically informed interventions and services that can often be more beneficial than traditional outpatient care.

Additionally, residential treatment programs can offer a variety of activities designed for both the physical and emotional health of clients, ranging from recreational activities to individual and group therapies. Residential treatment is highly individualized to meet each person’s specific needs, helping them build life skills as they work on their emotional stability and overall well-being.

What is a Residential Treatment Center?

A residential treatment center provides intensive, comprehensive assessment and care for individuals dealing with complex mental health and/or addiction issues.

But is this type of program right for you or your family member? After all, any type of treatment approach isn’t right for everyone.  Consider the following information before you make a decision about whether residential treatment is the best choice.

Who Is the Best Candidate for Residential Treatment?

While a variety of individuals can benefit from the structured and supportive environment of a residential treatment center, some of the best candidates are those who:

  • Have complex diagnostic or treatment issues;
  • Need a more structured environment or do not have a natural environment ideal for supporting their treatment;
  • Have not responded sufficiently to previous treatments;
  • May have a higher risk of decompensation. (While stable, they may need a greater degree of watchful oversight to address potential suicidal risk, “acting out” behaviors, etc.).

When is Residential Treatment Center Necessary?

Residential treatment centers can be an important lifeline for those struggling with mental or emotional health issues and are in need of additional support for wellness. These establishments, providing short-term 24-hour care and a safe environment, often benefit those at risk of self-harm or suicide as well as those with severe emotional trauma that can’t be handled without a structured program.

It is often recommended to individuals when more traditional treatments such as therapy or medication have not been successful. A residential treatment center can also act as a bridge to prevent the person from having to go into a higher level of care such as hospitalization or long-term into the institution if their mental health condition worsens.

If you believe that you or someone you know might need residential treatment assistance, contact your healthcare provider who is best suited to assess the current level of care needed and guide you through this process.

What is Residential Treatment Like?

For an individual who meets one or more of the above criteria, a residential treatment center can provide many benefits, such as the following:

  • A supportive environment. The community and therapeutic milieu provided in a residential treatment environment can be treatment approach themselves. Many individuals with mental illness do not live in a naturally supportive environment and may easily become socially isolated or frustrated after an acute treatment episode.  Others lack the life skills necessary to function productively, and the therapeutic environment of a residential program provides a safe place to learn and practice them. It helps foster more responsible behavior, greater self-esteem, and positive relationships.
  • A greater degree of structure.  Residential treatment centers provide structured and stabilizing routines throughout the entire day.  These can be beneficial to individuals with impulsivity, compliance issues, medical problems, or high-risk behaviors.
  • More intensive, longer-term care. If a behavioral health problem is particularly severe or complex, outpatient treatment is not sufficiently intensive, and inpatient treatment is not long enough to help patients develop new coping and social skills. Ten- or 28-day programs are an increasingly popular option in many residential treatment centers today.
  • More extensive diagnostic assessment process and tools.   An estimated 85% of individuals with addiction are also dealing with a mental illness. Additionally, individuals with one type of mental disorder may also have other mental health issues.  Proper assessment and diagnosis is important to guide the best treatment plan possible.  Residential treatment programs typically provide more extensive assessment, often using sophisticated tools and technologies such as psychological tests, brain scans, and even genetic testing. Find out more about psychological assessments here.
  • Broader range of treatments. A residential treatment center typically offers a broader “menu” of services than other settings. Once assessment is completed, residential program offer a robust selection of therapies, from traditional psychotherapy to recreational therapy. The fact that the environment is more structured and supervised makes some treatments, such as medication adjustments, more feasible. The logistics of obtaining therapeutic assessment and high-tech treatments are also easier when services are provided literally under one roof. Finally, this environment is also ideal for implementing detailed protocols for specific disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive, substance abuse, and eating disorders.

There are many benefits to residential treatment. One way to remember the overall benefits is to think of the “4-S” approach to treatment: Supportive, Structured, Safe, and Sophisticated.

Alternative Options to Residential Treatment

Residential treatment is not appropriate for everyone.  Patients with short-term or milder disorders may benefit sufficiently from outpatient treatment, while individuals with critically acute problems or significant suicidal risk may need inpatient care.

But for many individuals, the “happy medium” provided by an effective residential treatment center offers the best head start on regaining a productive and enjoyable life. For more information about residential mental health and addiction treatment, view our in-depth guide.

There is HOPE. For more information, call 1-888-537-4229.

When someone is suffering from depression, a family member is often called upon to help make important treatment decisions.  In the midst of a major depression, your loved one may be too disturbed to make practical decisions about his or her care.

One of the most important decisions to make is the selection of the right depression treatment center to meet your loved one’s needs.  During the screening process, we recommend that you ask the following questions to potential providers:

1. Is the inpatient depression treatment program individualized?

No one wants a cookie-cutter approach to a loved one’s care.  For depression treatment, one size does not fit all. Varying levels of care and types of treatment modalities should be available. Individuals with imminent suicidal risk may require inpatient care, while others may be treated on an outpatient basis. Some patients may respond well to counseling, while others may also need antidepressant medications. The availability of a full treatment menu, with an individualized approach to care, is critical to finding the best treatment options for your loved one.

2. How involved are the patient and family with the inpatient depression treatment program?

Effective treatment programs tend to be ones that actively engage the patient and family in the assessment, planning, and treatment process. Terms like “person-centered” and “family involvement” mean that a center understands the importance of including everyone in the process – not just the professionals.  Even though they are troubled, patients with depression can contribute to an understanding of their illness and are better motivate if they are actively involved in treatment.  Family members can learn ways to better support a loved one coping with a depressive disorder, and they can also benefit from support for their own concerns and frustrations.

3.  What are the depression treatment center staff qualifications?

A professional’s best treatment tools come from a combination of training and experience.  Check the credentials of professional staff on your loved one’s treatment team.  Generally, you should look for clinical staff to have licensure in a professional field such as psychiatry, psychology, social work, marriage and family therapy, or counseling.

4.  What types of counseling and therapy for depression are provided?

When most lay people think about psychology, the first name that comes to mind is Sigmund Freud.  While he may have been a pioneer in the treatment of mental disorders, counseling and therapy have come a long way in the past century.  Many counseling techniques developed in the last few decades are designed to work with the negative feelings and self-defeating individuals with depression often have. Current therapeutic approaches considered the most effective with depression include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT);
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT);
  • Insight oriented therapy (IOT).

Beware of any provider that considers medication to be the sole method for treating a loved one’s depression. While modern antidepressants can have a very beneficial effect upon resistant depression, treatment should usually include other modalities such as counseling, training, or peer supports.

5.  What is the inpatient depression treatment program’s overall treatment philosophy?

A treatment center should have a clear philosophy about appropriate treatment. In discussing a program’s treatment approach, listen for terms such as the following:

  • Person-centered or patient-centered planning and care (see above);
  • Family involvement (see above);
  • Symptom management – provides patients with tools to help manage their own feelings and behaviors;
  • Least restrictive environment – provides the least intensive level of treatment necessary, while respecting the patient’s freedom;
  • Wellness and recovery – focuses on a total wellness approach to healthy living and a belief that recovery is possible.

Getting the right answers to the above questions can be a productive step in setting your own loved one on a journey to recovery.

Women appear to be particularly vulnerable to depression during the perimenopause years and in the years immediately after menopause. An estimated 8 – 15% of all women experience menopausal depression symptoms.  Unfortunately, problems are often misdiagnosed, because many menopausal depression symptoms mimic those of normal menopause. The causes of menopausal depression are mostly tied to estrogen levels. Symptom management tends to be the focus of menopausal depression treatment and can include hormone replacement, antidepressants and psychotherapy.

Menopausal Depression Symptoms

Increased fatigue, appetite and sleep disturbance, difficulty concentrating, and increased irritability are symptoms of both clinical depression and peri-menopause (the 8-10 years prior to full menopause) or menopause.

Extended periods of sadness or melancholy, accompanied by feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, call for medical intervention, as clinical depression may be present.  Untreated, depression can lead to a host of emotional and physical problems, and, in extreme cases, even suicide. Several recent studies point to an increased risk of depression in menopausal women, even those without any history of the disorder.  One study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found that women were four times more likely to develop depressive symptoms in peri-menopause than prior to its onset.

Causes of Menopausal Depression

The most frequent culprit in the development of women’s midlife depression is the significant drop in estrogen levels that accompanies the onset of menopause.   Emotional changes associated with low estrogen levels include depression, anxiety, and increased irritability. With the loss of estrogen, other hormones and neurochemicals become imbalanced as well.  In particular, those affecting stress and mood, such as cortisol and serotonin, may be disrupted.  Low serotonin levels are frequently associated with the development of depression.

The stress caused by other menopausal symptoms can also contribute to feelings of depression.  Insomnia, night sweats, mood swings – symptoms such as these can make the most emotionally balanced person feel out of kilter.  An individual who is biologically more prone to depression may find such menopausal symptoms to be a trigger for a depressive episode.

Finally, age-related stressful life changes and events may coincide with menopause, such as the loss of fertility, “empty nest” syndrome, occupational changes, parental care giving, and marital strife.  These stressors may contribute to feelings of depression.

Women more likely to suffer menopausal depression include those with a history of depression and those who experience a surgical menopause, due to the sudden loss of estrogen.

Menopausal Depression Treatment

Menopausal depression can be treated successfully, with significant symptom management. The most common form of treatment is hormone replacement therapy.  Often used to manage menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, estrogen therapy has also been found to reduce depressive symptoms. A study reported in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that 80% of menopausal women reported positive mood changes as the result of oral estrogen doses.

Antidepressants can also provide benefit to women with menopausal depression.  Those which help the body raise its serotonin levels are particularly effective.

Psychotherapy has also been found to be an effective treatment method. Trained professionals can assist individuals in learning how to re-frame negative thoughts and reduce stress levels.

A focus on appropriate self-care is helpful for any woman facing menopause. Many symptoms can be managed through practicing such strategies as vigorous physical activity, stress management exercises, good sleep habits, and healthy eating.

Jennifer L. Shoenfelt, MD
Board Certified Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist, Lindner Center of HOPE
Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience Assistant Professor, Wright State University, Boonshoft School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry

Depression is on the rise in American teens and young adults. Adolescent girls, in particular, seem to be the most vulnerable youth, according to recent research published online in the Journal of Pediatrics.  Data collected between 2005 and 2014, analyzed by the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, concluded that “the 12 month prevalence of major depressive episodes in adolescents increased from 8.7% in 2005 to 11.3% by 2014”.  This number rose from 4.5% to 5.7% in boys and 13.1% to 17.3% in girls. The reasons for this increase remain under discussion. However, cyber bullying has been hypothesized as one trigger, particularly for girls.

How does a parent know when and where to seek help? How can parents support their child or adolescent suffering from depression? Here are some general guidelines for getting started.

  1. Observe your child’s behavior for idiosyncrasies or changes. Children with depression may demonstrate low mood, irritability, anger, fear or anxiety, mood swings, disruptive or risk-taking behavior, disobedience/defiance/ illegal behavior, isolation, lack of self-care/hygiene, decreased interest in previously enjoyable activities, decreased energy, increased or decreased sleep, increased or decreased appetite, and changes in friendships or family relationships. Some children turn to drugs or alcohol. Others turn to the internet for support or socialization. School performance may deteriorate, or attendance may decrease due to physical complaints or blatant truancy. Some children engage in self-harming behaviors or talk of death and dying.
  2. Engage your child in daily conversation or other one- on -one activity to open lines of communication.  Gently ask questions about your child’s change in mood, daily life and issues or how he or she is getting along with others. Find novel ways, if necessary, for your child to communicate his or her feelings. This may include sharing a journal that you pass back and forth or quantifying your child’s mood with a “mood scale” (0= severe depression and suicidal thinking versus 5 = happy mood/doing well) or even sharing “emojis” reflecting how the child is feeling that day. If your child expresses suicidal thoughts, such as not wanting to live or wishing he or she were dead, talks about ending his or her life, or engages in writing suicide notes – please take them directly to the local emergency room for further psychiatric evaluation.
  3. Talk to your pediatrician or family doctor about your child’s mood or changes in behavior. Consult with your child’s teachers or school counselor. Talk to your minister, priest, or rabbi. Arrange timely assistance for your child, perhaps through your Employee Assistance Program or through your health insurance. These professionals can assist you in finding a qualified mental health professional to provide evaluation and counseling.
  4. Monitor and limit phone, computer and electronics time. Know with whom your child is communicating. Watch internet history, cellphone texting, and social media communications. Kids looking for support often look in the wrong places and meet the wrong people while there.
  5. Encourage a healthy and consistent sleep schedule.  Children and teens need about 8-10 hours of sleep per night. A regular pre-sleep routine that does not include electronics and enhances relaxation along with a scheduled bedtime and wake-up time are all tenets of a healthy sleep habit.
  6. Encourage healthy eating habits. Limit sodas, caffeine, sugar- laden foods and snacks. If your child is not eating regular meals or portions, encourage smaller, more frequent meals of healthy foods throughout the day. Observe aberrant behaviors at meals, such as restricting caloric intake, leaving the table immediately after eating to go to the restroom and diverting food by hiding it or throwing it away. Observe striking weight loss, excessive exercising, or obsessive concerns with body image that may indicate concern for an eating disorder.
  7. Be consistent and firm with limit setting. Some parents feel badly for their child with depression and feel they should relax limits or house rules to decrease perceived stress on the child with depression. They fear being too strict or harsh. Maintain the same or even slightly more stringent rules with your child to maintain structure and avoid singling out the child with depression. Treat all children in the family equally. Be aware of your child’s whereabouts and safety at all times.
  8. Safety- proof your home. Lock up all medications, even over- the -counter medications, and seemingly harmless remedies. Secure anything in the home that could be used as a weapon, particularly firearms. Remove firearms from the home entirely. Secure alcohol or remove it from the home entirely.
  9. Ensure that you are taking care of your own well-being and mental health. Depression can run in families. If you, as the parent, are struggling with your own mental health, it will be difficult to remain objective and supportive toward your child, who is also struggling. It may also make identifying your child’s depression more difficult or impossible. Resist the urge to tell your child that you know how they must feel or that you were once depressed or are currently depressed. Avoid trying to give advice or sharing how you have battled your own depression.

Practice listening attentively and reassuring your child that you will get them whatever help is needed for them to feel better and return to a healthy, happy life. Be sure to get help for yourself, such as therapy or medication or both. This will assist you in being the best possible support for your child and family.

Identifying child and adolescent depression and dealing with it can be overwhelming. The key is to reach out for assistance and allow others to provide their support and expertise, so that a team approach can be utilized to its fullest. Organizations such as the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the American Psychiatric Association are all excellent sources of information and support.

Mojtabai R, Olfson M, Han B. National trends in the prevalence and treatment of depression in adolescents and young girls. Pediatrics. 2016; doi: 10. 1542/peds.2016-1878.
Glowinski AL, D’Amelio G. Depression is a deadly growing threat to our youth: time to rally. Pediatrics. 2016; doi:10.1542/peds.2016-2869.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Your Adolescent. 1999. 301-304.

Charles F. Brady, PhD, ABPP, Lindner Center of HOPE, Clinical Director of Outpatient Services and Staff Psychologist, OCD/CBT Psychotherapist, Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati’s Department of Psychiatry

In today’s culture the terms “obsessive” and “compulsive” have been adopted to refer to excessively repetitive thoughts and hard to resist behaviors.  In clinical situations this overly broad definition leads to substantial confusion when discussing obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and substance use disorders (SUDS).  Individuals who report they are always thinking about using addictive substances and “cannot stop” acting on their urges to use, are often erroneously referred to as obsessing about using or compulsively using.  Most often, someone who is struggling with a SUD does not have OCD and vice versa. However, both research and clinical practice reveal that these two conditions co-occur frequently.  Mancebo et al, 2009 documented that in their sample of OCD treatment seeking patients, twenty- seven percent were found to have SUDS.  To address the inevitable chicken and egg question, they delved further to uncover that seventy percent of the patients with co-occurring OCD and SUDS reported that their OCD symptoms preceded the onset of their SUD by at least one year.   They also found that in their sample, the participants who reported childhood onset of OCD symptoms were at higher risk for subsequently developing a SUD.  In this article, the similarities and differences between OCD and SUDS will be explained and the pertinent issues regarding the approach to treatment when a person suffers from both OCD and a SUD will be detailed.

Psychologically, the difference between a person struggling with OCD and a person with a SUD lies in what fuels the behavioral urge.   For the person with a SUD, the behavior is positively reinforced. By this we mean that the mind anticipates pleasure from completing the action (i.e., using a substance).  For the OCD sufferer, negative reinforcement describes the mechanism of striving to reduce distress as the key for driving the behavioral urge behind the compulsion.   An additional difference is that thinking about substance use initiates a pleasure experience, whereas the intrusive thought the person with OCD experiences initiates a distress response (e.g., What if I touch a door knob and die?).  There are occasions in which the person with a SUD will express that they use their addictive substance even though they do not want to.  Typically, such an individual continues to experience pleasure and pleasurable anticipation of the use of the substance, but over time they develop an aversion to the negative consequences that use of the substance has brought into their life (e.g., loss of job, legal problems., relationship damage, shame, etc…  ).

Biologically, it appears that the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) plays an important role for both SUDS and OCD.  The OFC is a part of the brain that helps to reign in emotional reactions.  For individuals with OCD, the OFC tends to be over activated, even in neutral situations. For individuals with SUDs, the OFC becomes over active in the presence of triggers. For instance, when a person with an alcohol addiction hears or sees a beer can being opened.  When the OFC is over activated, the individual experiences an intense drive to act and is overwhelmed by their desire to act.   This is why sufferers of both SUDS and OCD struggle to resist their urges to perform a compulsion or to engage in their addictive behavior.

For the individual with OCD and a SUD, the relationship between the two may vary.  Some individuals develop addictions as an attempt to soothe and self-medicate the distress caused by their OCD. Yet others may find that their use of addictive substances follows OCD-like rules.  For example, the person who must drink 7 ounces of alcohol per night due to the obsession that if they do not, something bad may happen to a loved one.  If the use of the substance is nested within a compulsion, exposure and response prevention (ERP)targeting the compulsion may need to be started.

At times if the addiction greatly interferes with treatment for the OCD symptoms then treatment must include aggressive treatment of the SUDS early in the treatment process. There are several ways in which substance abuse disorders, if untreated can impede effective treatment of OCD. First, many substances, including barbiturates, alcohol and benzodiazepines that are involved in SUDs are depressants.  They either cause or exacerbate depressed mood. If a person’s mood is depressed, the motivation and drive necessary to engage in ERP treatment for their OCD symptoms may be severely impacted.  Also, the essential component of successful ERP treatment involves learning. The person with OCD learns that the obsessive thoughts they experienced are not as dangerous or as intolerable as they previously believed.  This learning allows them to free themselves from compulsions and helps them resist relapse. Many individuals develop SUDS in an attempt to self-medicate and soothe the distress caused by their OCD by using drugs like alcohol, benzodiazepines (e.g., valium, Xanax, Ativan,  etc…), and marijuana. Unfortunately, these substances impede learning. The patients who are unable or unwilling to reduce or cease their abuse or dependency of these substances while they engage in ERP are going to have a more difficult time accomplishing the learning needed for recovery from their OCD symptoms.

When treating a patient with a co-occurring SUD and OCD, the clinician also must consider how willing and motivated is the person to tackle both the addictive behaviors and the OCD behaviors.  It is not uncommon for a person with a co-occurring SUD and OCD to be more hesitant and resistant to let go of their addictive behaviors as they derive some pleasure from them, yet they may be very motivated to rid themselves of their time consuming compulsions and the anxiety triggered by their obsessions.  In such instances, the clinician may need to start where the motivation allows, but continue to educate and explore with the patient about how the addiction may impede their OCD recovery and how it also may be negatively impacting their health and well-being.

In conclusion, for clinicians who treat individuals with OCD or SUDs, it is of primary importance to assess for symptoms of both disorders.  The person who presents with complaints of a SUD, may be ashamed of the absurdity of their obsessions and compulsions and may not volunteer them.  Likewise, the person with OCD may also feel hesitant to report their use of substances.  When the clinician discovers that a person may have co-occurring OCD and SUDS, the patient will benefit most from a thoughtfully and collaboratively developed treatment plan to address both conditions.


Mancebo et al.,  J Anxiety Disord. 2009 May; 23(4): 429–435

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                     

Jennifer Pierson
Lindner Center of HOPE
(513) 536 -0316
[email protected]

April Session of Free Series to Explore The Addictive Brain

Free Community Education Series to Address Substance Use Disorders, Behavioral Addictions, Treatment and Strategies for Coping

Addiction is often stigmatized and misunderstood. The fourth session of this free series to help increase understanding is April 19, 2017. Chris Tuell, EDD, LPCC-S, LICDC-CS, Clinical Director of Addiction Services at Lindner Center of HOPE, will present Understanding Addiction through The Addictive Brain – a view from the inside out.

Lindner Center of HOPE with the support of Manor House in Mason, Ohio is offering a Free Community Education Series in 2017 on topics related to addiction. The series will offer expert discussion of Substance Use Disorders, Behavioral Addictions, Treatment and Strategies for Coping for community members seeking information.

The series is held at Manor House, 7440 Mason-Montgomery Rd., Mason the third Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. through November 15, 2017 (A session will not be offered in May 2017. On May 7, 2017 Lindner Center of HOPE will offer their second Education Day, a ½ day workshop about mental illness and addiction.)

Register by calling Pricila Gran at 513-536-0318. Learn more by visiting

Lindner Center of HOPE in Mason is a comprehensive mental health center providing excellent, patient-centered, scientifically-advanced care for individuals suffering with mental illness. A state-of-the-science, mental health center and charter member of the National Network of Depression Centers, the Center provides psychiatric hospitalization and partial hospitalization for individuals age 12-years-old and older, outpatient services for all ages, diagnostic and short-term residential services for adults and adolescents, outpatient services for substance abuse through HOPE Center North location and co-occurring disorders for adults and research. The Center is enhanced by its partnership with UC Health as its clinicians are ranked among the best providers locally, nationally and internationally. Together Lindner Center of HOPE and UC Health offer a true system of mental health care in the Greater Cincinnati area and across the country. The Center is also affiliated with the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                     

Jennifer Pierson
Lindner Center of HOPE
(513) 536 -0316
[email protected]

Free Community Education Series to Address Substance Use Disorders, Behavioral Addictions, Treatment and Strategies for Coping

March session to explore Stress and Family Functioning

Lindner Center of HOPE with the support of Manor House in Mason, Ohio is offering a Free Community Education Series in 2017 on topics related to addiction. The series will offer expert discussion of Substance Use Disorders, Behavioral Addictions, Treatment and Strategies for Coping for community members seeking information.

The series will be held at Manor House, 7440 Mason-Montgomery Rd., Mason the third Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. starting January 18, 2017 for one year (though sessions will not be offered in May 2017 or December 2017. On May 7, 2017 Lindner Center of HOPE will offer their second Education Day, a ½ day workshop about mental illness and addiction.)

Register by calling Pricila Gran at 513-536-0318. Learn more by visiting

The third session is March 15, 2017. Michael K. O’Hearn, MSW, LISW-S, Clinical Director of the Lindner Center of HOPE’s Stress Related Disorders program and staff provider, will present Stress and Family Functioning.

Lindner Center of HOPE in Mason is a comprehensive mental health center providing excellent, patient-centered, scientifically-advanced care for individuals suffering with mental illness. A state-of-the-science, mental health center and charter member of the National Network of Depression Centers, the Center provides psychiatric hospitalization and partial hospitalization for individuals age 12-years-old and older, outpatient services for all ages, diagnostic and short-term residential services for adults and adolescents, outpatient services for substance abuse through HOPE Center North location and co-occurring disorders for adults and research. The Center is enhanced by its partnership with UC Health as its clinicians are ranked among the best providers locally, nationally and internationally. Together Lindner Center of HOPE and UC Health offer a true system of mental health care in the Greater Cincinnati area and across the country. The Center is also affiliated with the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine.

Millions of individuals live each day in fear – not of an actual physical threat, but imaginary dangers, remembered trauma, inanimate objects, or something as simple as walking outside their front door.

The most common psychiatric illnesses today are anxiety disorders.  Estimates place the number of affected Americans at up to 40 million. At least 18% of adults and 13% of children suffer from some type of anxiety disorder in a given year.

The Nature of Anxiety Disorders

We all experience brief moments of anxiety during stress.  In order to be considered an actual disorder, anxiety symptoms must be intense and frequent.

Mental health professionals recognize six different types of anxiety disorders:

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder – continual disturbing thoughts and/or the need to perform ritualistic behaviors;
  • Generalized anxiety disorder – excessive, unrealistic worry or tension without apparent cause;
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder – frightening thoughts and memories after a traumatic event, often with emotional numbing;
  • Social anxiety disorder – overwhelming self-consciousness or phobia about being in social situations;
  • Panic disorder – sudden feelings of terror, often with incapacitating physical symptoms;
  • Specific phobias – intense fears of specific situations or objects.

Excessive fears or feelings of dread are common to all types of anxiety disorders.

Common Symptoms

While clusters of symptoms vary with the type of anxiety disorder, individuals with severe anxiety may experience:

  • Persistent feelings of panic, fear, or dread;
  • Obsessive thoughts;
  • Ritualistic, compulsive behaviors;
  • Flashbacks to traumatic experiences;
  • Feelings of losing control;
  • Frequent nightmares;
    • Intense fears in public situation;
    • Intense fears of certain objects or activities;
    • Physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, heart palpitations, nausea, muscle tension, dizziness, or dry mouth.

Causes and Risk Factors

Many factors may influence the development of an anxiety disorder.  They include genetic tendencies as well as such environmental factors as repeated exposure to stressful events or one major traumatic event. Even certain medications, including antihistamines, oral contraceptives, and insulin, have been found to trigger anxiety.  As with most mental illnesses, anxiety disorders appear to develop from an interaction of many medical, genetic, psychological, and environmental factors.

Anxiety disorders can affect anyone and often occur in conjunction with other physical and mental illnesses. Women are diagnosed with anxiety disorders more frequently than men.  No differences in prevalence have been noted across races or cultures.

Anxiety Treatment

Treatment of anxiety can greatly reduce or eliminate symptoms in most individuals.  Primary treatments for most anxiety disorders include medication and psychotherapy.  Treatment can usually be provided on an outpatient basis, although brief residential or inpatient treatment is sometimes needed, depending upon the individual’s unique needs.

Medications used to treat anxiety disorders include a variety of antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the preferred type of psychotherapy for severe anxiety.  Through therapy, patients learn to recognize unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors associated with their anxiety and to change both faulty thinking patterns and their reactions to “trigger” situations.

In addition to medication and psychotherapy, treatment may include relaxation therapy, changes in diet and lifestyle, and education on the illness for both patients and their families.

While anxiety disorders cannot be prevented, people can often reduce symptoms by limiting caffeine consumption, avoiding over-stimulating medications or supplements, and seeking immediate support or counseling after a traumatic experience.

Through proper treatment and symptom management, millions of individuals affected by anxiety disorders can lead fulfilling lives again.

When another episode of senseless violence occurs, such as a school shooting, mental health advocates hold their collective breaths as they wait to find out more about the perpetrator of such tragedy. If a mental health diagnosis is found, it fuels renewed public debate about violence and mental illness.

While discussion on finding better predictors of sudden, violent behavior can be valuable, what often gets lost in the noise of accusation and outrage is that mental illness is NOT closely associated with violence.  The exceptions, profiled on television screens and across the front pages of morning newspapers, stoke public fears and increase stigma about mental illness.

A look at a few facts about mental illness and violence, however, can help separate speculation from reality. Consider these facts:

  1. Individuals with mental illness are not generally violent. When examining the incident of violent behavior, researchers have found that mental disorders are not a major cause. Only an estimated 3 – 5% of violent acts appear due to the presence of a serious mental illness. The MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study1 found that having a severe mental illness alone was not a predictor of violence. Other factors, such as an individual’s past history of violence, social conditions, and substance abuse, were much greater predictors.
  2. Treatment of mental illness further reduces the risk of violent behavior. Mentally ill individuals who undergo treatment are statistically no more likely to be violent than the general population. One study looked at psychiatric hospital patients one year after discharge and found that they had no higher rates of violent behavior than individuals without a psychiatric disorder.
  3. The general public is not statistically at risk for aggression by the mentally ill. Isolated incidents may lead people to believe that they may be a likely victim of a deranged attacker, the MacArthur study also found that the infrequent acts of violence by those with mental illness were much more likely to occur with family members or close friends in the home. Such a finding is true of most violence in American society, regardless of one’s health status. Discharged psychiatric patients have actually been found to be less than half as likely as individuals without a mental illness to target complete strangers for aggression.
  4. People who are mentally ill are more likely to be victims of violence. In one study, almost two thirds of hospitalized psychiatric patients reported that they had been physically victimized in the past year by someone they dated. Half of those who lived with family members reported being physically victimized. Another study compared the rate of criminal victimization of individuals with severe mental illness versus the general population. Over a four-month period, it was found that mentally ill individuals had a victimization rate of 8.2%, as compared to 3.1% in the general population. Untreated mental illness makes an individual more vulnerable to exploitation and violence by others. Much like some victims of child abuse, individuals may more likely to become part of a cycle of violence, sometimes reacting to violence with aggression. But they are also more than twice as likely to be a victim than a perpetrator.

Based upon the facts, it appears that individuals with serious mental illness need treatment and protection from violence more than suspicion and stigma. While horrible acts by individuals should not be defended, being armed with the facts can help the general public be less likely to give in to fear or to perpetuate myths that maintain stigma. Such stigma make it more difficult for individuals with mental illness to seek the treatment they so need.

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1 Monahan, J., Steadman, H., Silver, E., Appelbaum, P., Robbins, P., Mulvey, E., Roth, L., Grisso, T., & Banks, S. (2001). Rethinking Risk Assessment: The MacArthur Study of Mental Disorder and Violence. New York: Oxford University Press.