Homewood Ravensview treats psychiatric and addiction conditions including trauma and PTSD, major depression, anxiety disorders, substance and behavioural addictions (gambling, sexual, gaming, internet), and individuals who have symptoms of OCD, ADHD and personality disorders as well as other concurrent disorders.

Anxiety


Anxiety is a state of mental discomfort, often accompanied by distressing thoughts and worries, and physical feelings of tension and unease. Anxiety takes many forms, and can focus on a wide variety of issues. The main element is that it is uncomfortable and evokes a sense of threat or risk. This feeling of risk can apply to almost any aspect of a person’s life including physical safety, the security of important relationships and desired future outcomes. Some degree of anxiety is normal, but in its more extreme forms, anxiety can become a mental illness, where anxiety is especially strong and/or especially persistent. In these cases, treatment by medication or psychotherapy can help control the anxiety and limit its impact. Anxiety is also a common symptom of other mental illnesses including depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Learn more

Depression


“Depression” is a commonly used word, but in a clinical context, it describes a state of low mood, pessimistic or hopeless thinking and a loss of pleasure and motivation in activities that a person usually enjoys. For many people, depressed thoughts are often excessively negative towards oneself, leading them to feel faulty or even worthless. When these kinds of feelings become severe, this is typically an indication of a mood disorder, and anyone experiencing these kinds of symptoms for at least two weeks may be experiencing a depressive episode. A persistent combination of mental symptoms (i.e. depressed thoughts and feelings) and physical symptoms (loss of energy, difficulty thinking and concentrating) is a marker of a depressive disorder. For those experiencing persistent and troublesome depression symptoms, mental health treatments can be highly effective. Many studies have shown that depression can be helped by psychotherapy, medication or both.

Learn more

Addiction


Traditionally, addiction has been viewed as a form of physical and psychological dependence on a drug like alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, narcotics or illicit drugs such as cocaine or heroin. This traditional substance-use definition is still correct; however, mental health professionals now include behavioural addictions such addictions to gambling, sex, shopping or even the internet in the modern definition of addiction.

Another feature of substance addiction is that the person often develops a tolerance for the substance of choice and, therefore, needs more and more to elicit a feeling of pleasure.  For both substance addiction and behavioural addiction, a person often experiences withdrawal when they try to quit.  Homewood Health has more than 135 years of experience helping people overcome addiction.

The most common signs of addiction are:

  • That the behaviour is rewarding in some way – it provides pleasure, satisfaction or a ‘high’
  • The individual feels a strong physical and/or psychological urge to take the substance or engage in the behaviour
  • The behaviour creates social, psychological, physical and/or logistical problems
  • The person has trouble controlling their behaviour, even though the behaviour creates negative consequences
Learn more

Trauma


The word ‘trauma’ has a number of meanings and implications.

It can refer to:

  • A physical injury, for instance a neurological trauma (i.e. head trauma) that may cause brain injury
  • A significantly upsetting event, including witnessing a traumatic event or learning that a traumatic event has happened to a loved one
  • An experience of exposure to death, or a life-threatening or severely violent experience, for oneself or a loved one. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, this is described as “exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence”

Additionally, certain types of professionals including first responders, police and members of the military may experience high levels of job-related trauma.

Learn more

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


PTSD is a mental illness that can occur in adults, adolescents and children. PTSD can appear after a traumatic event—which is defined as an experience of exposure to death or a life-threatening or severely violent experience. Some people who experience trauma never develop PTSD, but those who do may experience some or all of several symptoms:

  • flashbacks, unpleasant memories and/or nightmares about the traumatic event,
  • attempts to avoid reminders of the event including avoiding places, people or things associated with the trauma,
  • negative and unrealistic thoughts caused by the trauma including the inability to remember details of the event and strong negative beliefs such as “I am a bad person to deserve this bad event” or “No one can ever be trusted.”
  • strong negative emotions such as fear, anger, guilt or shame,
  • feeling detached or disconnected,
  • difficulty feeling positive emotions.

People with PTSD may also have behavioural problems, such as violent or angry outbursts, reckless or destructive behaviour and difficulty concentrating/sleeping.  A person with PTSD may not display all of these symptoms, but rather any number or combination of symptoms that are strong enough to cause significant emotional problems or challenges with daily living.  Homewood Ravensview offers a number of proven, evidence-based treatments for PTSD.

Learn more

Concurrent Disorders


There a number of terms for concurrent disorders including ‘dual diagnosis,’ ‘comorbid disorders’ and ‘co-occuring conditions.’ Under any name, concurrent disorders are much more common than most people think. Anyone living with the symptoms of more than one mental illness – either simultaneously or sequentially – is living with concurrent disorders.

A reliable diagnosis of concurrent disorders can be challenging because the symptoms of one disorder can mask the symptoms of another. For example, an addiction may be obscuring the symptoms of post-traumatic stress. This is one of the reasons that an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of mental illness is so vital – it can often be the first step to identifying and treating a concurrent disorder.

There are many possible combinations of concurrent disorders, and a thorough psychological assessment is necessary to get a clear picture of the person’s mental functioning and multiple symptoms. For clients with concurrent disorders, it is important to receive mental health treatment from a provider or team that specializes in the treatment of concurrent mental illness.

Learn more