Today is R U OK Day and it’s seen as an opportunity for people to ask those around them R U OK? And to start a meaningful conversation with someone you notice might be struggling, whether it’s with mental health, addiction or anything.
Recently we had a Media Personality stay with us at Salt Recovery. After spending 20 years in the Media Industry, she had finally met with mental burnout and needed recovery time for past trauma. The demand of the job and the hours had taken its toll, turning to alcohol had become one way of managing what was really going on.
Shae (Salt's Nutritionist) and the Guests Dog.
Kate* Media Personality
“I know the concept of asking someone if they are ok is an important one, but often we hide behind our problems and will just say ‘Yes I’m fine’ from the fear of being judged, losing your job, or just wanting to avoid the gravity of what it really means to reach out for help. For me, I could feel my exhaustion getting worse and the drinking more frequent. I had past trauma bubbling under the surface and one morning ironically while sober, I felt like I was having a complete breakdown and burst into uncontrollable tears and grabbed my dog and checked into mental health recovery.”
For Kate*, not only were the demands of the spotlight and constant intrusion taking a toll on her wellbeing, after seeking help from Salt Recovery’s Therapists she was finally diagnosed with CPTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) for a lot of people they can feel something isn’t right, whether it’s feeling down, a change in mood or behaviour but it’s the next step that’s the most important and that’s getting help.
*Kate Media Personality
“When I checked into Salt Recovery for mental health care, I didn’t realise such a place existed. I’d heard of wellness retreats and mental health hospitals, but this was a place that could offer me recovery as well as medical assistance and therapy. I just needed a break; I had reached burnout and I was suffering with an undiagnosed mental health condition. I kept telling people I was fine, and I wasn’t. I withdrew more and more from social activities and became really paranoid and anxious about some aspects of my life. I’m now receiving out-patient care and are feeling better about myself, I still have a long way to go in my recovery. I do think though, if you are going to ask someone ‘R U OK?’ be prepared to listen, don’t just ask the question to tick a box, really try and listen and see how you can help them.”
It’s important to understand what mental burnout and acute stress looks like, here are some of the physical and psychological symptoms of chronic stress:
- Heart palpitations
- Insomnia and other sleep disorders
- Cold sweats
- Weakened immunity
- High blood pressure
- Loss of libido
- Loss of appetite
- Weight gain
- Diarrhoea/stomach upsets
- Muscle aches
- Suicidal thoughts
- Altered mood – irritability/fear/anger/guilt/shame
- Loss of concentration and poor memory retention
If you’re experiencing chronic stress, you may find yourself taking up unhealthy habits such as excessive alcohol consumption or drug dependency. It can also lead to other serious mental health issues and with a lack of emotional support it can even lead to suicidal thoughts.
Whether the roots of your stress are linked to work, financial issues, relationships, health problems or another traumatic life experience, it’s important to remember that every individual experiences stress in a different way. For this reason, the management of stress needs to be tailored to your individual needs. At Salt Recovery we specialise in mental health care and recovery and will tailor your treatment to your needs.
So, if someone asks, ‘R U OK?’ don’t be afraid to be honest with your answer and seek help. Did you know you can access your superannuation on compassionate grounds to seek help for your mental health? CLICK HERE to learn more.
Data provided by Gallup Inc, 2023, in the ‘State Of The Global Workplace 2023 Report‘, showed that Australia and New Zealand had the “second highest regional percentage of daily stress”.
Salt Recovery has emerged as a game changer in facilitating addiction recovery in the industry, significantly reducing relapse rates from a devastating 70% to 22% among all Salt guests. Salt Recovery is taking an approach that is clearly transformative in helping people get to where they need. Their experienced staff revolutionises the approach to recovery, by providing personal in-house clinical and medical support on a serene 17-acre property which offers guests the comfort and privacy they need to develop and find resolution in their struggles.
At Salt Recovery, we are dedicated to helping our clients change their lives for the better, to find out more about our services and programs, please contact us today.
Note: Kate’s* name has been changed for the confidentiality of this article.