Are There Los Angeles Mental Health Treatment Facilities That Help With Depression?

Are there Los Angeles mental health treatment facilities that help with depression?

More than ever, we can all understand what it feels like to feel sad when we are under stress from circumstances in our life or the world around us. But it can be hard to know when feeling down crosses the lines over into depression. Figuring out if you are battling clinical depression can be confusing, and a Los Angeles mental health treatment facility can help you sort through your symptoms. By working with a professional, you’ll receive an objective opinion and, if needed, begin to develop a treatment plan. More often than not, we spend time researching symptoms on the internet and try to diagnose ourselves. If you ever feel like you’re struggling please reach out to a mental health professional.

 At The Last House, we understand how difficult it can be to navigate depression and its treatment. We are here to help you learn more about your mental health and any treatment you might need. 

What Is Depression?

Depression is more than a feeling of sadness, although that can be a part of it. Depression is a mental health disorder defined by loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, a depressed mood, and an inability to carry out daily life activities. Depression is sometimes referred to as a major depressive disorder or as clinical depression. While it can be associated with significant life events such as losing a loved one, this is not always the case. Depression may be brought on by other conditions such as pregnancy, childbirth, or psychosis. In other cases, depression may arise without a precipitating event or factor. Only a licensed medical professional can diagnose depression.

Common Symptoms of Depression to Watch Out For

While sadness is what we think of most when we talk about depression, there are many other symptoms. If you are suffering from depression, you will experience a wide range of symptoms, including anxiety, loss of interest in activities, inability to concentrate, extreme sleepiness, insomnia, apathy, hunger, or lack of appetite. As you assess your depression, think about how long you have been experiencing symptoms and how these symptoms are affecting your life. If you recently experienced the loss of a loved one, a home, or a job, you may have a few weeks of feeling down. However, if the feelings of sadness continue beyond two to three weeks and are accompanied by other symptoms, it might be time to talk to a professional. While some who experience depression also have thoughts of suicide, this is not true of everyone who has depression. 

It’s important to note that depression presents differently in different people; not everyone will have the same symptoms.  While women typically present with feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and guilt, men may exhibit fatigue, irritability, and anger. Older adults may be less likely to admit to their symptoms. Teens may act out and get into trouble. All those affected by depression are at risk of using drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with their symptoms. It is pretty common for those dealing with mental health issues to self-medicate.  

Get Help With Depression at a Los Angeles Mental Health Treatment Facility

The Last House is a network of structured sober living homes in the heart of West Los Angeles. We believe in providing our clients with the tools to have a meaningful life and participate in their sobriety.  Activities such as service commitments, sober parties, conventions, dances, and house outings are all a part of helping you learn how to have fun in sobriety.  Composed of active members of the Los Angeles Sober Living community, our staff is familiar with many recovery support groups in the area.  If you’re wondering how to create your sober life, The Last House is here to help. 

Stimulant Drug Examples: What Do They Look Like?

What do drug stimulants look like?

Not all drugs are the same. Drugs are categorized into different classes, including narcotics, depressants, hallucinogens, and stimulants. Each drug class is made up of various drugs and has different effects. Depressants include benzodiazepines and alcohol and, as the name indicates, depress you mentally and physically when you take them. Hallucinogens include drugs like LSD and PCP, resulting in hallucinations. Stimulant drug examples include methamphetamines, amphetamines, and cocaine. Some stimulants are legal and prescribed, while others are not. As the name suggests, stimulants stimulate you mentally and physically. At

The Last House, we know all about the various drugs that can be taken, their effects, and the resulting withdrawals. 

Stimulant Drug Examples

Stimulants speed up the body and the mind. Someone who has taken stimulants will often talk much faster and appear to be moving much more quickly. Some stimulants such as amphetamines and certain methamphetamines can be legally prescribed. Prescribed stimulant drugs examples include Adderall, Ritalin, Didrex, and Meridia. Illegal stimulant drug examples include crystal methamphetamine, cocaine, and synthetic cathinones such as bath salts. While all stimulants act to speed up the body’s systems, the different stimulants can look different. 

Cocaine, only available illegally, will usually appear as a white powder. However, crack cocaine looks like small white rocks. Cocaine has many street names, including coke, crack, crank, flake, snow, and soda. It can be snorted, smoked, or dissolved in water and injected. Most who use cocaine experience a rush of euphoria and will binge on the drug until they run out. Following a cocaine binge, users will typically crash, sleeping for several days until they begin to experience cravings again. Cocaine, in any amount, is very dangerous. Cocaine use can result in irregular heart rhythms, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, restlessness, irritability, anxiety, stroke, cardiac arrest, and death. 

In its legal form, methamphetamine is prescribed in pill form as Desoxyn to treat ADHD and obesity. In its illegal form, methamphetamines can be taken as a pill or may come as a powder. Created by mixing the prescription drug with over-the-counter drugs, crystal meth is another illegal form of methamphetamine that resembles glass fragments. Methamphetamines and amphetamines can be swallowed, snorted, smoked, or infected. These drugs are highly addictive and have many street names, including speed, ice, tweak, trash, and chalk.  

Like most stimulants, methamphetamines cause increased heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and breathing rate, as well as agitation, anxiety, and paranoia. Because of their highly addictive nature, many individuals began taking more of the drug to achieve the same high, resulting in convulsions, cardiac arrest, stroke, or death. 

In addition to methamphetamines, amphetamines, and cocaine, there are also designer drugs designed to simulate stimulants. Designer drug stimulant examples include bath salts and khat. Bath salts, which look much like bath salts or crystal meth, mimic the effects of crystal meth. Khat, a stimulant drug made from leaves and twigs, has cathine and cathinone as its active ingredients and can be drunk as a tea, sprinkled on food, or smoked. Also known as oat, qat, African salad, or catha, khat has similar effects to other stimulants. In addition to the expected results of stimulants, it can also result in manic behavior with grandiose delusions, cardiac complications, nightmares, depression, suicidal ideation, and gastric disorders. Designer drug stimulants are often sold online or in smoke shops, which results in people believing that they are less dangerous, but this is incorrect. 

How to Get Help With a Stimulant Addiction

If you or a loved one have been using drugs, you’ll find many options available for the road to recovery. The Last House is here to help keep them on that road. We are a network of sober living homes in the heart of West Los Angeles. We believe in providing our clients with the tools to have a meaningful life and participate in their sobriety.  Activities such as service commitments, sober parties, conventions, dances, and house outings are all a part of helping you learn how to have fun in sobriety.  If you’re creating a sober life or supporting someone who is, The Last House is here to help. Contact us today. 

Types of Support Groups for Those Affected by Someone’s Addiction

Types of support groups for those affected by someone’s addiction

Loving someone who suffers from addiction is a heartbreaking and isolating proposition. Whether it is a partner, child, spouse, family member, or friend, you will likely feel frustrated and even alone. While others are bragging about a loved one’s accomplishments, you may sit silently struggling with what to do next. Rather than remaining isolated, you might explore the different types of support groups available to those impacted by someone else’s addiction. Hearing the experiences of others who are similarly situated and speaking openly about your own can lessen the feelings of isolation. Additionally, you may hear solutions that help you as you face up to a loved one’s addiction. At The Last House, we understand how confusing and isolating it can be to love someone struggling with addiction. We can help you navigate the types of support groups so that you can support yourself and your loved one during this time.  

Al-Anon and Alateen

Founded in 1951 by Lois W., the wife of the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon provides support to the friends and families of alcoholics. While it was initially founded to support those who loved an alcoholic, all those who love someone facing addiction are welcome. Like Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon relies on its own set of twelve steps and the option for members to work with a sponsor. Al-Anon is a peer support group; everyone in attendance has been impacted by a family member or loved one facing active alcoholism or active addiction. Meetings are held all over the world, in-person and online. Also available is Alateen, founded in 1957 to support teens affected by someone’s alcoholism or addiction. Neither group is focused on helping anyone with their alcohol or drug problem. Instead, it is solely focused on helping those affected by someone else’s drug and alcohol use. 

Adult Children of Alcoholics

Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families (ACA) is aimed at men and women who grew up in dysfunctional homes.  ACA is a twelve-step program that also incorporated “The Laundry List,” a list of traits found in adult children. Much like Al-Anon and Alateen, ACA is a peer support group that relies on twelve steps, twelve traditions, and a sponsorship system. ACA is a peer support recovery group that originated within Al-Anon but focuses more on the effects of being raised in an alcoholic or dysfunctional household. ACA uses a Big Red Book rather than the Big Blue Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. 

Families Anonymous

Families Anonymous, while not associated with AA, Al-Anon, or ACA, is another twelve-step program available to those who love someone struggling with addiction. Founded in 1971 in California, Families Anonymous is for those relatives and friends who suffer from a substance abuse or related behavioral problem. Families Anonymous relies on twelve steps, twelve traditions, and meetings to assist those who love someone with a substance or behavioral problem. 

Supporting Someone in Addiction and Addiction Recovery

If you discover that someone you love has been using drugs or alcohol, you’ll find a world of options available to get them on the road to recover. The Last House is here to help keep them on that road. We are a network of sober living homes in the heart of West Los Angeles. We believe in providing our clients with the tools to have a meaningful life and participate in their sobriety.  Activities such as service commitments, sober parties, conventions, dances, and house outings are all a part of helping you learn how to have fun in sobriety.  If you’re helping your teen create a sober life, The Last House is here to help. Contact us today. 

How to Heal From Codependency and Repair Relationships

How to heal from codependency and repair relationships

Relationships are complex enough without the added complications of addiction and codependency. Loving a person who is fighting an active addiction is heartbreaking and exhausting. You may find yourself having an entire spectrum of emotions as the person you love  fights their addiction. You may feel like you are on the most extended road trip with multiple forks in the road but no map to guide you. Relationships with addiction are a breeding ground for unhealthy behaviors like codependency. Once the person you love finds their way to recovery, you’ll be left wondering how to heal from the codependency. At The Last House, we understand the strained relationships associated with addiction, and we can help your family heal the wounds created during active addiction.

How to Heal From Codependency as the Parent

As the parent of an addict, your child’s addiction may have taken over your life. Trying to save a loved one from active addiction can be all-consuming, especially your child. You want to protect your children from harm. Additionally, you’ve probably spent a lot of energy and effort trying to help them avoid the consequences of their addiction in an attempt to preserve their future. Finally, you likely have some level of resentment related to any manipulation that occurred during your child’s active addiction. One of the most important things to realize is that your child has responsibility for healing their addiction; it is not your role to save them. Any addict, no matter the age, must want to recover for any help received to be effective. Still, it’s hard to know where the boundaries are or how to create them.  Fortunately, you will find that you are not alone.  Peer support groups such as Al-Anon will provide you with the space and the tools to heal from codependency. Likewise, family and individual therapy will help you in your journey of healing. 

How to Heal From Codependency as the Recovering Addict

Nearly every person in recovery can look back at their active addiction and realize the number of times they manipulated, used, or lied to their loved ones. When you are active in your addiction, your focus is on using, and everything else becomes superfluous. Sadly, this only gets worse as you get deeper into your addiction, and you may not even remember all of the specifics of what you have done. Part of the recovery journey is to heal the relationships in your life. Sometimes this is done by creating healthier relationships, and sometimes this is done by ending relationships.  Working with a therapist and attending peer support recovery groups can help you to determine what steps are needed in your life. One of the basic tenets of recovery is to keep your side of the street clean, which simply means that you can only be responsible for your own behavior. Understanding this is critical for you to heal from codependency. If your parents have been rescuing you, saving you from consequences, and bearing the brunt of your addictive behavior, you have an opportunity in recovery to change those patterns. Being in recovery is about taking personal responsibility for your actions and your emotions. 

Sober Living at The Last House

The Last House Sober Living is a network of structured sober living homes in southern California. We believe in providing our clients with the tools to have a meaningful life filled with healthier relationships.  We’ll help you learn how to live and have fun in sobriety through service commitments, sober parties, conventions, dances, and house outings.  Our experienced staff is composed of active members of the Los Angeles Sober Living community. If you’re wondering where to start to create your sober life, The Last House is here to help. 

Acceptance, Change, Knowledge: Dissecting the Serenity Prayer Part II

While the surface-level meaning of the Serenity Prayer offers powerful concepts like serenity, courage, and wisdom, it’s the deeper meaning of the Serenity Prayer’s core concepts that can help us apply its words to our recovery journeys more effectively.

As with everything in recovery, the more steps we take to give meaning to what we learn and practice, the more likely we’ll be inclined to continue learning and practicing even after we leave the sober living facility.

The first part of the Serenity Prayer asks for peace to accept what we can’t change. Acceptance is a huge first step in our recovery journey, because it’s only after we accept the inevitable that we can begin working on the things that we can change in our lives. When we ask God to help us accept what we can’t change, we’re removing the power of unsurety, doubt and control from our lives. When we accept who we are, the nature of addiction, and how it can be beaten, we return the power of our future back to the only ones who should have control of it: ourselves.

The meaning of change in the Serenity Prayer is action-based. Once we’ve accepted what can’t be changed, all that lies ahead of us is what can be changed. With a clear mind and nothing we’re still holding on to, we’re asking God to give us the strength to take action in our lives. Recovery happens when we give ourselves the green light to start sifting through issues and situations in our lives, sorting them out, and correcting them for the better.

Finally, knowledge lies at the crux of every action we take in recovery, and it’s fitting that knowledge brings up the end of the Serenity Prayer. When we ask God to give us the “wisdom to know the difference” between what we can and can’t change, we’re asking Him to show us the people that will help us discern the things about ourselves that we might not be able to discern by ourselves. We’re also asking Him to help us learn about ourselves. Each day is a day to learn something new about ourselves, and when we gain knowledge in recovery, we gain confidence and independence. When it comes to living sober, knowledge really is power.

At The Last House sober living facility, we strive to dive deeper into the Serenity Prayer to uncover meaning that can help us make the most out of our recovery journeys. Learning the power of acceptance, change, and knowledge in recovery helps make us more confident and independent as we walk our recovery paths. Call 1-866-677-0090 to get started with The Last House today.

Serenity, Courage, Wisdom: Dissecting the Serenity Prayer Part I

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

For years, the twenty five words of the Serenity Prayer have acted as a guiding light for those of us battling addiction and our own inner demons. The words embody a few core principles of recovery, and many of us can even recite them by heart. It’s not the ease with which we can remember these words that makes them so powerful, however. It’s the meaning of the Serenity Prayer that makes it such a guiding light for us, and such an excellent tool to help us give context to why we take the actions we take in recovery.

To fully understand the meaning of the Serenity Prayer, we must first break it down into its three core concepts: serenity, courage, and wisdom.

When we ask God for serenity, we’re referring to inner peace, calm, and quiet. We’re asking him to help us let go of ego, anxiety, stress, and any other emotions or dispositions that can weigh us down and prevent us from seeing and feeling clearly. Serenity is a peace we can feel, and a comfort that relaxes us. We can’t control everything, and we can often change even less. Serenity helps us realize that that’s perfectly okay.

The meaning of courage in the Serenity Prayer is two-fold. We’re asking God to help us deal with the problems, inner maladies, and issues of life without relying on substances, and we’re also asking him to give us the strength to make the changes in our lives that can be hard to make. Getting sober isn’t easy, but with the courage to continue to better ourselves and make the changes we have to make for ourselves, we can keep pushing forward even when the road gets rough.

Finally, when we seek wisdom in the last part of the prayer, we’re seeking discernment. We won’t always know the meaning of everything that happens in our lives, but in praying the serenity prayer, we’re asking God to help us release judgment about ourselves, seek the right people for help making the right decisions, and understand what it is we need to change or accept. We’re asking for God to make our recovery path clear, and to give us the knowledge we need to make the choices that will determine our future.

At The Last House sober living facility, we understand the meaning and importance of the Serenity Prayer, and we encourage our men to apply its concepts within their recovery journeys. Serenity, courage, and wisdom are a powerful recipe for building powerful men. Call us at 1-866-677-0090 to see how we can help you today.

One Mind, One Body, One Soul: Aligning Yourself to Maximize Your Recovery

meditation in recovery

To align mind, body, and spirit is to live awakened. It is to become more in tune with not just who you are, but with the person you want to be, and even the person you used to be. We all have desires, passions, and dreams, but we often live in a way that prevents us from realizing them. Living this way stints our growth, and keeps us chained down. At The Last House sober living, we encourage young men to break those chains and live connected, both through activating their own mind, body, and spirit connection, and through forging uplifting bonds with their peers.

For a long time, addiction treatment was purely about the mind. It made sense, to an extent: because addiction is a mental illness, it was only fitting that recovery efforts focused on the mental implications of the illness. Unfortunately, not paying attention to the physical or spiritual consequences of addiction led to treatments that were not nearly as effective as they should have been. Over time, therapists found that they needed to adopt a more holistic approach to treatment, and the idea of treating the mind, the body, and the soul was born.

Sober living houses like The Last House could not be better suited for this kind of holistic addiction treatment experience. Here, we are just as focused on what is going on in your head as we are on how you feel, and even how you collaborate with others. That’s one of the reasons why we champion collaboration in everything we do. Being around a tribe of brothers always striving to better themselves invites you to do the same

What exactly does alignment mean?

Our bodies live in more than one dimension. There is the physical dimension that we see, touch, taste, hear and feel. Then there’s the mental dimension, and the spiritual. Most of us never really stop to consider how these dimensions might be intertwined, but they very much are. For instance, think of what happens if you tell yourself that you do not want to get out of bed and go to work, because you hate your job. Almost immediately, your bed begins to feel a lot more comfortable. That’s physical. You more than likely begin to think of jobs you would much rather have. An astronaut, perhaps? Or maybe a scientist? That’s mental. Then, as you slog off to brush your teeth, make the coffee, and get ready for the day, you can’t quite shake the feeling that you really don’t want to go in to this job. That’s the spiritual. Many people live in misalignment on a daily basis, and they don’t even realize it. They feel these things, but aren’t able to make the connection, and wonder why their life feels off.

The thing is, whether we like it or not, our bodies understand and are constantly aware of this connection at all times. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous makes the connection between the three dimensions very clear, as it pertains to drinking, and even indicates that the reason for alcohol addiction begins in the spiritual realm. It says: “we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.” In short, when we look inside ourselves, we can see the spiritual malady that causes a physical reaction when we pick up a bottle (to drink), and address it accordingly.

Alignment, then, is identifying that there is a connection, and changing our outlook accordingly. At The Last House, we focus on what it means to identify this connection in a number of ways. Number one, we encourage transparency, direction, and emotional vulnerability in our group sessions. Every man in the room has weaknesses and strengths, and we tell it like it is there. Encouraging one another to look inside and pull out things that we’ve kept hidden forces us to confront spiritual and mental stressors. Then, in sharing, we make a physical action out of what we’ve discovered inside.

Number two, we champion camaraderie. Every man shares a room with at least one other man. We eat meals together, go on outings together, laugh together, and cry together. We forge physical bonds through confronting our spiritual demons together, and we gain mental confidence by knowing each of us has each other’s back.

Finally, we provide tools for the future. Once we find out what our spiritual desires are by listening to our thoughts and looking inside ourselves, we make them happen by putting pen to paper, brick to mortar, and action to imagination. We completely stimulate, the mind, body, and soul so efficiently that our men begin to listen to their whole selves. They realize that they can make things happen in their physical worlds simply by listening to what they want and making a plan to get it. It’s this experience, and this power, that makes their recovery process not just so successful, but so life-changing.

Aligning yourself to maximize recovery is as simple as joining a dynamic sober living house like ours and listening to what your spirit has been telling you all along. We don’t know what makes an alcoholic pick up a drink even though they know it will kill them, or what makes a drug user use a dirty needle knowing it could mean dire consequences. We do, however, know that just as the mind, body, and spirit are connected when addiction sets in and they take those actions, the mind, body, and spirit must be aligned to guarantee true transformation in recovery.

If you’re looking for the alignment that you need to make your transition from drugs and alcohol complete, you need look no further than The Last House, a men’s structured sober living program in Mar Vista, California. Call us today at (855)998-5278.

Recovering with Grace

addiction recovery

Many who have successfully recovered from addiction count the mental struggle as one the most taxing of the entire recovery process. Our mindset is of utmost importance when it comes to determining whether or not our journey will be a successful one. The most important question in determining an individual’s aptitude for a successful recovery becomes one of whether or not they are truly mentally and spiritually ready for the process. While there is no definitive way to answer this, there are steps that can be taken to bolster readiness and ensure as smooth of a journey as possible.

In learning to recover with grace, it is important that you fundamentally understand that your treatment was just one step in a long recovery process. A lot of individuals are not ever able to truly recover because they, for whatever reason, cannot accept the fact that a lot more work must be done after treatment to make sure they’re ready for the everyday world. If you don’t accept this, it’s easy to play the blame game post-treatment and forget that treatment can only go so far. While shifting the blame on treatment may help to temporarily assuage guilt or responsibility, it contributes to the wrong mindset. If an individual opts for recovery, he must understand exactly what it is he is getting himself into. At The Last House, our sober living facility programs provide that baseline knowledge, and significantly help with the process of adjusting from treatment to everyday life.

The second step in recovering with grace is acknowledging that recovery is not an overnight process. Many people acknowledge that they are still recovering from addiction decades after treatment. Though they may not have touched a substance in years, they understand that every day presents an opportunity to get a little stronger, and that recovery is a never-ending process. Likewise, those that are just beginning the recovery process must not anticipate total transformation in a day’s time. Preparing yourself for a gradual process ensures that your mind stays focused on goals and milestones of the journey.

The third step in recovering with grace is ensuring that you keep your mind, soul, and body aligned throughout the entire process. While this is significantly easier to do in the care of a treatment facility, it can become rather difficult outside of the facility, when in the comfort (or confines) of your own home. That’s where The Last House comes in. Our sober living facility bridges that gap between treatment and home, and provides the tools you need to stay aligned throughout your transition. Here, you’ll learn just how much remembering to eat healthy, staying active both physically and mentally, and setting attainable goals for your physical, spiritual, and mental well-being can positively impact your recovery. Recovery is very much mental, but it also requires that the rest of your faculties be at peak performance.

Recovering with grace starts with step one: making the transition from treatment to the rest of your life. The Last House is here to help you not just make that transition, but to make the most of it. Call us at (855)998-5278 to start your life changing path today!