Maintaining Sobriety in The New Year

Maintaining sobriety in the New Year is a common resolution for those who are overcoming alcohol addiction. As with other resolutions, maintaining this goal can be difficult as there are many challenging obstacles you can encounter.

Resisting the temptation to drink at social gatherings is often one of several difficulties you may face. However, there are measures you can take to avoid relapse and maintain your sobriety while socializing. Creating a plan ahead of time to avoid temptations and triggers is one of your best defenses against jeopardizing your sobriety.

When creating a plan, these are some factors you may want to consider:

  • On-call sober friend/sponsor – Choose a person you trust to call if you are experiencing the desire to drink.
  • Alcohol alternatives – Bring or ask the host to have non-alcoholic beverages available.
  • Eat a sweet – If an urge to drink hits you, eat or drink something sweet. Since alcohol is a sugar, eating a sweet can satisfy the part of the brain that triggers the need for alcohol.
  • Bring a Friend – Ask a sober friend to accompany you to the party for moral support.
  • Get rest – Take some time to nap, meditate or just to remain quiet. It’s best to try and relieve stress before going to a gathering.
  • Work on your response – Not everyone knows you are in recovery. They may ask you if you’d like a drink.  A response that works well is, “I have plans early in the morning tomorrow or I’m driving tonight.”
  • Pick and choose your events wisely – If you are invited to an event where there will be excessive amounts of alcohol served, remember you have the right to decline the invitation. Many recovery groups organize non-alcoholic mixers and sober holiday events.
  • Limit time with triggers – If you know your “drinking buddy” is going to be at an event you are attending, you can limit the time you spend with them and surround yourself with people who are aware of your sobriety or “safe-zones.”
  • Be honest – Honesty just may be the best policy. If you are honest with the people around you, they can help support you in maintaining sobriety.

While alcoholic beverages may be served at events, keep in mind that social gatherings are not only about drinking. You can have an exciting time while staying sober.

The road to recovery can be difficult but it is one that you do not have to travel alone. Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Addiction Services Division provides support and treatment for alcohol and chemical dependence through our Inpatient Chemical Dependence Unit and Reflections Outpatient Program.  Our highly trained staff utilizes a medical and holistic approach in helping our patients to address addiction and the impact it has on their lives. These approaches help patients to build coping skills so they can better reflect and focus on their goals. To schedule a consultation, please call 718-670-5087.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Employee Spotlight – Tracy M. Norris, LCSW

Meet Tracy M. Norris, LCSW.  Tracy is a dedicated social worker, doctoral student and Clinical Manager at the Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s (FHMC) Mental Health Clinic.

As Clinical Manager, Tracy’s daily responsibilities are many.  Whether overseeing patient care, staffing, medication trouble shooting, communicating with administrators or providing direct consults for patients Tracy’s days are eventful.

Tracy considers every day to be her best day.  No matter the challenge or accomplishment she is focused on the patient by always striving to improve patient care and overall satisfaction.

“When you know that your patients are healthy, happy and safe, you have a sense of pride and personal fulfillment” is how Tracy describes what pleases her most about the work she does.

Tracy does not keep her dedication to mental health tethered to inside the hospital.  She maintains a rigorous community outreach schedule bringing her knowledge to the surrounding community and schools in Flushing.

She hosts community workshops on various topics including, but not limited to:

  • Internet Safety
  • Satellite Babies
  • Mental Health 101
  • Anger and Rage Management in Adolescents
  • Parenting a pre-teen
  • Cyber-Bullying

“Outreach is a way of putting a human face on a mental health issue that may be culturally stigmatized causing people to not want to reach out for help.” “I feel that if I can influence a child or help a parent to connect with their child, I have made a difference,“ stated Tracy.

To Tracy M. Norris, life is about meaning. Her work and her patients as well as being part of the social work team at Flushing Hospital Medical Center are her greatest motivation. She states, “They are a good reason to jump out of bed every day!”

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Can Stress be Sweet?

Nurse giving treatment to patient

 

Stress can be disabling, but could it also affect your diabetes?

It is well known that stress can affect a person’s well-being and ability to function.  But, for people with diabetes, a stressful life can make managing their condition more difficult.

There isn’t a medically known relationship between diabetes and stress; but, researchers have found that people who live a stressful existence are 20 percent more likely to have diabetes than those who have learned to control their stress.

Additionally, studies indicate stress may have an effect on blood glucose levels causing them to spike.

Some ways to combat spiking blood glucose levels during stressful times are:

  • Devote 10 minutes of your day to a workout routine
  • Meditate for a few minutes a day
  • Get a hobby such as puzzles, sewing or reading
  • Take a 10-minute walk to get your mind off your stress

Having a comprehensive team of doctors or healthcare professionals is important to your health and managing your diabetes.  For an appointment, call Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-5486.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, FHMC has a diabetes support group.  For more information call 718-5000, ext 8232.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Mental Health Awareness Month

MentalHealthAwarenessMonth

May is National Mental Health Month.  During this month many mental health organizations across the country raise awareness to mental health by reaching millions of people through the media, local events and screenings.

Good mental health is critical for a person’s well-being at every stage of their life.  Mental illness is a real and disabling health condition that can have immense impact on individuals and families.  Mental disorders vary in type and severity and according to Mental Health America, one in four adults in the United States have a diagnosable mental illness.

Depression is the leading diagnosable mental illness.  Unfortunately, two-thirds of people do not seek medical treatment.

Mental disorders do not discriminate by race, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.  Risk factors include brain trauma, stressful events and financial concerns; families with a history of mental and addictive disorders are at an increased risk.

Treatment is individualized and may include counseling, psychotherapy, medication therapy, rehabilitation, and attention to other mental and psychosocial problems. If you or someone you know is showing signs of mental illness, you can call Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Mental Health Center at, 718-670-5486, for an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

National Depression Screening Day

 

October 8 is recognized as National Depression Screening Day. Started in 1990, the day helps promote awareness of the signs and symptoms of depression and provides those who need it mental health information and access to support services. Depression-300x200

Though many mental health conditions are treatable, many people go through life not seeking help because they are undiagnosed. Medical professionals estimate that one in five Americans has a mental health condition in any given year and less than half will receive treatment.

Depression affects one in 10 adults and is more common in women than in men.  Depression can be categorized either as  Major Depression which interferes with the ability to sleep, eat, work and study or as Persistent Depressive Disorder which lasts for at least two years having varying levels of severity and which does include Major Depression during this time. Depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

Signs and symptoms of depression include:

• Waking up and feeling exhausted
• Sleeplessness
• Difficulty concentrating
• Short temper
• Always worrying or anxious
• Lack of energy
• Sadness

Take this quick and easy depression screening tool to see how you are doing.
(This screening tool © Copyright Mental Health America”)

Depression is real and there are ways to treat it. Treatment options include therapy with a trained professional and in some situations medication may be prescribed.  If you would like to make an appointment to speak to one of the mental health professionals at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-5562.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.