The Meadows Blog

Wednesday, 24 February 2016 00:00

Welcome, Dr. Terry Eagan!

We’re excited to share the news that we’ll be expanding our team to include Dr. Terry Eagan, He will be joining us as a Senior Fellow for all of our Meadows Behavioral Healthcare programs.

Dr. Eagan is a prominent Beverly Hills psychiatrist, and founder and CEO of Eagan Medical Group, LLC., a thriving mental health practice treating over 2000 patients annually. He also has years of experience as the Medical Director of several addiction and eating disorder treatment centers throughout the Los Angeles area. Most recently, he founded The Eagan Institute, an innovative new organization focusing on the advanced diagnostics and treatment of brain injuries and brain disorders.

He is an expert in the complexities of mental health and addiction treatment, and he specializes in effective treatment regimens for all types of emotional distress that often can arise from being in positions of responsibility and public attention. In addition to his specialties in primary psychiatric conditions, substance abuse disorders, trauma, abuse, impulse control disorders, human sexuality, and spiritual therapy, he also has 20 years of experience in treating patients with eating disorders.

He is also a leader in Professional Ethics and Compassion Fatigue and has guided training programs for individual practitioners, multinational corporations, public school systems, community health centers, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, and universities.

And, like us, he believes in multi-faceted treatment approaches that incorporate pharmacologic interventions with evidence-based therapies, adjunctive modalities, and traditional spiritual practices.

As part of his Senior Fellowship, Dr. Eagan will provide training on pertinent topics to staff, give occasional presentations to patients, and help to further develop and guide our treatment programs. We’re so glad to add Dr. Eagan’s expertise to an already top-notch team of compassionate and dedicated professionals at The Meadows programs.

Published in Blog

Now through December, you can enroll in our Survivors Workshop for only $2925. That’s $325 off of the current price. As an added bonus, you’ll get to experience all of the beauty, and all of the great amenities, of our new Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows.

Discover the Real You

The Survivors Workshop is an essential component of all of our inpatient programs at The Meadows, and is offered as stand-alone workshop to those interested in exploring the ways in which childhood trauma affects their day-to-day mental well-being.

If you struggle with addictions, trauma, mood disorders, troubled relationships or self-defeating behaviors, unresolved negative emotions from your childhood may be to blame. The Survivors Workshop allows you to process and release negative messages and feelings that are rooted in painful experiences from your past, allowing you the freedom to become your authentic self.

Immerse Yourself in a Healing Environment

You’ll attend the Survivors Workshop at the new Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows, a facility specifically designed to facilitate reflection, relaxation, and healing. In addition to the intensive educational and therapeutic experience of the Survivors workshop, you have the option to participate in additional transformative activities, like yoga, tai chi, 12-step meetings, expressive arts, equine therapy, ropes courses, and more. You will also be able to relax and connect with others during live music performances and camp fire events. Three meals per day, prepared by The Meadows extraordinary chef, are also included in the price of the workshop.

Register Today

Take advantage of this limited time offer and register today. Call 800-244-4949 to reserve your spot and get a jumpstart on the New Year!

Published in Blog

The Meadows is proud to be a co-sponsor of the 21st Annual Counseling Skills Conference, taking place September 24 – 26, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. The conference is hosted by U.S. Journal Training, Inc., and addresses the most relevant and cutting edge topics for today’s mental health, addiction, and helping professionals. Professionals who attend can earn up to 21 credit hours for continuing education.

The conference offers an up-to-date and comprehensive view of the interactions among trauma, addictive disorders and relationships, and allows participants to build skills in their areas of interest through a series of plenary sessions and in-depth workshops.

This year, three Meadows Senior Fellows and the Claudia Black Young Adult Center Clinical Director will be on hand to offer their insights through presentations and workshops:

• On Thursday, Claudia Black, MSW, PhD , will give a presentation on The Complexity of Treating the Young Adult and will conduct a workshop on The Family as The Client. And, Claudia Black Young Adult Center Clinical Director Leanne Lemire will offer a workshop on Honoring the Survivor Within.

• On Friday, Patrick Carnes, PhD, CAS, will address conference attendees with a presentation titled The Paradigm Crumbles: Science Struggles with Addiction, and will conduct a workshop called Heroes and Fame: Signifiers or Canaries in the Cage.

• On Saturday, John Bradshaw will give a presentation on Post-Romantic Stress Disorder and will conduct a workshop on Twelve Plus Experiences of Healthy Shame.

Conference attendees can also stop by our booth to learn more about our trauma, addiction, young adult, eating disorder, and outpatient programs.

To learn more about the conference, or to register, visit the U.S. Journal Training, Inc website.

Published in Blog

By Stephen Brockway, M.D.
Staff Psychiatrist for Inpatient and Outpatient Services at The Meadows

A college student whom we’ll call Jim is experiencing a profound sense of despair. Dragging himself out of bed is becoming increasingly more difficult; brushing his teeth is a tall order; fixing himself a sandwich seems insurmountable; and doing his homework is too much to ask given his bleak emotional state. As his symptoms progress into an even more downward spiral and become more debilitating, Jim discovers through trial and error that taking a potpourri of uppers such as cocaine, speed, and self-prescribed amphetamines helps to ease his depressive symptoms. In his quest to devise a creative solution to his dilemma, he never considers he could be facing a psychiatric illness such as bipolar disorder. Months later, Jim’s mood shifts and he becomes restless and agitated. Thoughts of leaving college to become a racecar driver sound appealing – and reasonable. Sleep isn’t on the radar. Jim feels ecstatic as if he’s the big man on campus and believes he’s the quintessential heartthrob. He spends excessive amounts of money on women he barely knows and is on the path to financial ruin.

Soon though, his thoughts begin racing so fast he can’t concentrate or focus. He’s unable to sit still and it’s unnerving. Jim figures out that a cocktail of alcohol and Valium can calm him down. Though, he begins to need more and more of both of the above to achieve the desired effect, and he begins spending an excessive amount of time (and money) at bars or at home with bottles of pills and alcohol in hand.

There’s a saying that goes, “All of our problems started out as solutions” – and this scenario fits the bill. Jim’s attempts at creative problem solving have gone awry. As Jim continues to self-medicate in an attempt to balance out his highs and lows, he needs more of these uppers and downers to regulate his symptoms. Jim believes he’s doing himself a service by self-medicating and spends a good deal of time trying to keep his fluctuating moods in check.

At the same time, Jim’s life is passing him by. He isn’t enjoying his precious youth, his peers, potential love interests, and the invigorating atmosphere of college life. The abundance of beauty in the world escapes him – genuine laughter, the kindness of others, and the miracle of feeling truly alive – aren’t in reach.

The severity of his depressive symptoms finally brings Jim into the medical clinic on campus where he is diagnosed with depression. This sounds like a reasonable diagnosis. The symptoms conveyed by Jim to the physician on campus certainly fit the criterion for depression. What the physician doesn’t know is that Jim has a family history of bipolar disorder and, in the past, has also experienced manic symptoms. The physician only captures a fragment of Jim’s medical picture. It’s important to note that individuals with bipolar disorder may suffer from hypomanic and depressive episodes (which are indicative of bipolar II disorder.) Hypomanic behavior is not as severe and pronounced as the full-scale mania associated with bipolar I disorder.

After his doctor’s appointment, Jim is handed a prescription for antidepressants and his depression soon lifts – but is followed by a manic episode. The antidepressants, he believes, have done its job, so he figures he doesn’t need any more meds. Jim now feels energized, invigorated, and ready to conquer the world. He is, once again, the big man on campus. This, he believes, is the way life should be. It feels good.

This scenario plays itself out over and over again during the next ten or so years. Unfortunately, depressive episodes tend to worsen with age and persist for longer periods of time. One reason for this is that people experience more losses – deaths of loved ones, health problems, and employment issues – as they age.

During Jim’s manic episodes after graduate school, he accumulates major debt causing friction in his current relationship and stress on the financial front. His life is unraveling and his dependence on drugs and alcohol escalates. Life has become unmanageable.

The grim reality is that Jim is not alone. Many people – especially young people – with undiagnosed bipolar disorder become addicted to drugs and alcohol in an attempt to self treat a wide range of symptoms. Unable to thrive, it’s the only way they feel they can survive. What once seemed like a perfectly logical solution to these mood swings is now its own problem. Drug and alcohol addiction is no stranger to people suffering from bipolar disorder.

Ten years after college graduation, Jim finally consults with a seasoned psychiatrist and is accurately diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He is put on an appropriate medication regimen and now must also seek help for his drug and alcohol abuse.

Jim’s story is not uncommon. One of the greatest tragedies of bipolar disorder is that many people who are afflicted with this serious and debilitating condition are often diagnosed ten or more years after the initial onset of their symptoms. It is estimated that people with bipolar disorder are up to 15 to 20 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population. Many people with bipolar disorder are great talents in the art world – writers, painters, and comedians. Such individuals add flavor, color, and a sense of style to the world, and it’s sad to hear about all the hardships they’ve endured during their lives. What’s more, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt are said to have suffered from bipolar disorder.

What’s most unsettling is that bipolar disorder is treatable. Becoming aware of the symptoms of bipolar disorder is instrumental in securing an accurate diagnosis. Family history is an integral component in the process, along with obtaining a complete medical history. Looking at just one piece of the picture can result in a faulty diagnosis.

The Meadows Can Help

The Meadows psychiatrists and other members of our clinical team have helped and continue to help individuals with bipolar disorder, many of whom also struggle with substance abuse. The good news is that help is available. There’s no reason why such individuals have to miss out on all the beauty and splendor in life – falling in love; doting on newborns; exploring foreign lands; forging life-long friendships; and learning to love themselves for who they are no matter how many struggles they’ve endured over the years.

Feel free to contact The Meadows Intake Team at 800-244-4949 or visit us here. We’re the most trusted name in treating addiction, trauma, and co-occurring disorders. Give us a call if you or a loved one is in need of the best available care. We’re here for you.

Published in Treatment & Recovery

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