Mental Health

Understanding impulse-control disorder - Tikvah Lake Florida

Understanding impulse-control disorder

Someone who is diagnosed with an impulse-control disorder (ICD) will have repeatedly felt unable to resist an abrupt and seemingly overwhelming urge to do something that they know is morally wrong and culturally unacceptable. Consequently, many of these sudden actions are against the law.

Frequently, from being caught or from knowing that their behavior is not acceptable or decent the person will be left with negative feelings. These are of shame, regret, and guilt.

They will also often be left feeling helpless and in despair from their behavior. It’s as if they are acting against their own will.

As their behavior gets progressively worse, because whatever they are doing is creating their negative feelings, they will look to increasingly change the negative way they feel. As their ICD behavior also gives them some respite from feeling so bad because they are consumed with it and it may even give them some sort of a “high”, they will start to get new urges once more.

Then their impulsive action comes about again from an inner tension that builds to the stage where the person can seemingly no longer resist doing it. Yet their instant sense of relief from this impulsive behavior and any high from it is always short-lived.

They fall flat again with their negative feelings. So it goes on in a vicious cycle.

ICD and addiction

There is a strong link between ICD and addiction – in fact, it is seen by many experts as being an addiction of its own kind. Certainly, it fits one definition of addiction that is: doing something that’s detrimental to you and/or those around you but seeming to be unable to stop it and stay stopped from doing it.

Many mental health disorders have impulsivity as an aspect, including substance and alcohol addiction, but also behavioral addictions such as gambling, food, sex, and shopping. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), antisocial personality disorder, and borderline personality disorder (BPD) are some others.

The most recent edition of the DSM-5 – Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders that’s published by the American Psychiatric Association – contains a new chapter on ICD. It covers behavior “characterized by problems in emotional and behavioral self-control”.

What are the stages, major signs and risk factors for ICD?

Signs and symptoms of ICD - Tikvah Lake Florida

There are five identifiable behavioral stages behind impulsivity. These are:

  1. Having an impulse.
  2. Growing tension connected to the impulse.
  3. Pleasure on acting on it.
  4. Gaining relief from completing the impulse.
  5. Guilt (this most often but not always arises).

Some signs of people suffering from ICD include: having poor social skills, compulsive lying, displaying obsessive behavior, severe mood swings, poor concentration, increasing isolation, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

It is believed there are certain factors that can make someone more at risk for developing ICD behavior: experiencing trauma, abuse, or neglect, and excessive alcohol or drug use. Generally, ICD is seen – or perhaps more easily identifiable – in males than females.

What are the most common types of ICD?

Types of ICD - Tikvah Lake Florida

Promiscuous behavior

This means an increased urge to indulge in sexual thoughts and behavior. A sexual compulsion such as this often causes unwanted consequences in that person’s life. This ranges from getting Into risky situations with an inappropriate and sometimes dangerous person, unwanted pregnancy or pregnancies, and a higher chance of getting a sexually transmitted infection.


This is the impulsive urge to steal without necessarily needing or even wanting the item. Frequently what is stolen has no value either. Because of the nature of stealing, there is often a great deal of dishonesty too – such as that arises from attempting to cover up for themselves when something is discovered to have been taken.

Intermittent explosive disorder

This is diagnosed when someone has on several occasions acted out on aggressive impulses by committing aggressive acts. These include destroying someone’s property and assault.

Internet addiction

Addiction to the internet has only relatively recently been added as one type of ICD. It is characterized by excessive time spent using the internet.

This is not just limited to young people – but is an addiction across all ages and backgrounds. It includes excessive time spent on social media, casually browsing one thing after another, looking at porn, online shopping, and online gambling.


This is when somebody has repetitive impulsive urges to start fires. They cannot seem to stop themselves – even though they know there is going to be destruction and the potential to maim for life or even kill someone.

Compulsive shopping

This is the irresistible and repeated impulse to buy things. This is even when the items cannot be afforded or are not needed at all. It can lead to someone running up huge debts.

We have meticulously put together a friendly experienced team that has treated people with all types of mental health problems. Our luxury mansion right beside our beautiful tranquil lake is created with total comfort in mind.

We’re in the ideal natural setting to enhance wellbeing, recovery, and relaxation. Call us today to have a chat about how we can help you or someone you know.

Teenager mental health - Tikvah Lake Florida

What to do if your grown-up child is an addict or has mental health problems

Every family is different – and so too are ways to help if a parent has an adult child with addiction or mental health issues. But there are certain ways that have proven to be the most helpful over the years.

What is absolutely certain is that family support can make all the difference. In fact, by being there to help a grown-up child recover from an addiction problem or mental health condition can bring a family closer together, sometimes in a way they have never been.

But obviously, it is extremely difficult on first suspecting, being told or realizing that an adult son or daughter has a mental health problem or an addiction issue, including alcoholism. So it’s also important to take care of yourself.

Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired

Perhaps the first thing to know is that a parent with a grown-up child who’s struggling with a mental health condition or addiction is certainly not alone. A great percentage of problems arise during the teen years and throughout people’s twenties.

In fact, it’s most likely that most addictions and mental health issues are certainly at least forming in these early decades. But the fact is that to the person struggling with them very frequently it’s not until their later decades that they have finally had enough of their suffering. 

It is very common that people only seek help in their thirties and onwards. By this time they are ready to admit that they’ve finally run out of ideas of how to fix themselves.

They are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. They are also most likely terrified of their life continuing as it presently is, which feels like survival rather than living.

Parental powerlessness

As the cliché goes, no one knows you better than your mother. This can usually be said for fathers too, and this is why parents can see when something is askew with a child of theirs – no matter the age of their son or daughter.

Often they are the first to notice. It means they are also in the position to be the first to be able to offer support, as well as connect their grown-up child in need of help with resources and treatment to start their recovery.

But as much as a grown-up son or daughter might feel powerless over their addiction or mental health condition, so too can a parent about being in a position to help them. In fact, frequently it leaves the parents feeling utterly helpless.

This parental powerlessness is often compounded because the parents feel that their adult child is old enough to make their own choices. They may think that their adult son or daughter just wants them to stay out of it.

Helping an adult child who has mental health or addiction issues

Helping an adult child who has mental health issues - Tikvah Lake Florida

So knowing the best ways to help a grown-up daughter or son is vitally important. Here are some things that can definitely help.

Do not hide it away or make excuses

Sometimes parents do not want to admit there’s a problem, or they might choose to ignore it because they feel ashamed. They may think it will give the family a bad name.

Perhaps they are seeking to protect their children and themselves from outside judgment. However, just because someone is not looking at a problem doesn’t mean the problem will go away.

In fact, mental health conditions and addictions, including behavioral addictions, most nearly always get progressively worse unless they are addressed. It may also give the message to the grown-up child that they do not really need the help they desperately do need.

Learn about their problem

It helps before you start talking with a grown-up child with problems to learn about what their issues are really about and what could be behind them. Do this with an open mind.

There are plenty of online resources now. Or find a therapist with knowledge about the particular matter and spend some time talking with them.

They will be able to let you know about the issue. As well, they can give their suggestions on how to best support the adult child.

Create open communication

Always keeping in mind to speak and behave with kindness and compassion, ask the adult son or daughter how best you can support them. Talk about how you can put that support into action.

Ensure to address their problem and not them as a person.  Making judgment, shaming or scolding them will not help – and could even drive them away.

Remind them that you love them and are seeking to help. Tell them this is so that they can be happy and have the best life possible.

It’s okay to talk about your feelings – such as when you see how much they have drunk, for instance, you feel very worried about the consequences. Be honest and open about any family history of addiction or mental health conditions.

It may help them gain some understanding of where they are. This can make them feel less isolated.

Ask them for their input. Make sure to listen to them carefully and with respect.

Set boundaries

Remember that you are looking to help them and not enable their problematic issues to carry on. Healthy boundaries need to be set and adhered to at all times.

If there have been unreasonable situations or behaviors, then these need addressing. Tell them there will be consequences otherwise.

For instance, a grown-up son or daughter might have lied to you to get money for drug addiction or stolen some money or something of value to sell while at the family home. Put down boundaries – and consequences for stepping over these boundaries. Ask yourself about anything you are doing for them, including giving or lending money: does it help or is it enabling?

Ensure to give them sufficient space too. Find the balance between helping but not suffocating them.

Encourage Treatment

People are often resistant to getting help. Perhaps this is even more so for teenagers and people in their twenties.

If alcohol or substance addiction is the problem it can take some time for them to realize they have an issue with it, that their use is excessive compared to their peers. When we are younger as well we still have ideas to use up regarding how we can solve any problem our way, on our own terms.

As a parent of an adult child, you can be useful by finding what’s available to help them. If it costs money and you can afford it, you could offer to pay – but make sure there are clear boundaries around this, that the adult child must take the treatment seriously.

One strong way to convince anyone that they do need some form of treatment is by getting them to speak with someone who’s been where they are at the present moment. That person can tell them how it is and what might happen if they don’t get help now.

Your grown-up son or daughter may need encouragement but always do this lovingly. After they start treatment they will most likely still need your loving support and encouragement.

Don’t ignore your own needs

Being a caregiver in any way can be emotionally exhausting. Try not to worry though, as this will just steal your positive energy.

As well, make time to relax and to do some things you enjoy. Make sure to eat and sleep well too.

It might be that you can take this as an opportunity to learn more about yourself. Many people caring for someone with an addiction or mental health problem discover that therapy is extremely beneficial for themselves as well.

Others find great help at 12 Steps meeting groups such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon. These are groups where people affected by someone else’s alcoholism or addiction meet to talk and offer solutions.

Self-care is extremely important. This is for yourself but for others around you too.

As a parent, you can always play a unique and vital role in encouraging your children, no matter their age, to become their greatest ideal.

Tikvah Lake’s friendly experienced team at our family-run center has treated people with all types of mental health problems. Call us today to hear how we can help one of your children or anyone else you care about.

Understanding ADHD - Tikvah Lake Florida

Understanding ADHD

ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a mental health condition that is believed to affect around 50 million people on the planet.

Someone diagnosed with ADHD is likely to have persistently suffered from difficulty staying focused, hyperactivity, restlessness, impulsive behavior, and problems with paying attention.

Most people with ADHD are diagnosed before the age of 12 after issues at school increasingly highlight the problem. Two times as many boys as girls are diagnosed with it.

Between a third and a half of children diagnosed with ADHD will see certain symptoms continue when they become adults. It frequently causes unhealthy relationships; anxiety; low functioning at school, college, or work; poor self-esteem; and problems at home.

As well, many people diagnosed with ADHD will suffer from depression; sleep disorders; and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Understandably these symptoms can make normal living virtually impossible.

What are the reasons for ADHD?

Despite it being the most frequently diagnosed mental health condition in children and teenagers – and with years of research into it –  ADHD’s exact cause remains unknown. 

However, some studies show that it is something that can be passed on through the generations. Other potential aspects that could be linked include:

  • Premature birth or being born with a low birthweight.
  • Substance abuse, smoking or drinking alcohol excessively during pregnancy. 
  • Brain damage that happened while in the womb or following a major head injury.
  • Toxic substance exposure, such as to certain insecticides.

Common symptoms of ADHD

The majority of those with ADHD symptoms will have problems that come under two categories: inattentiveness; and hyperactivity with impulsiveness.

Inattentiveness can include:

  • Frequently changing tasks.
  • Misplacing and losing things on a regular basis.
  • Being careless in a way that often leads to making mistakes.
  • Difficulty in following instructions.
  • Seeming inability to finish anything that is boring or that takes time.
  • Being forgetful on a frequent basis.
  • Being easily distracted and finding it hard to pay attention.

Hyperactivity with impulsiveness can include:

  • Having no or very little ability to concentrate.
  • Being excessively talkative.
  • Frequently irritable.
  • Constantly restless and fidgeting, sometimes more noticeably when it’s calm and quiet.
  • Being impulsive time after time with little or no regard for consequences and little or no sense of danger – and so doing many risky and potentially dangerous things.
  • Having very changeable moods.
  • Tendency to break in on and interrupt conversations.
  • Having little or no patience.


Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a mental health condition with behaviors that are openly defiant, uncooperative, irritable, and purposely annoying. These are especially towards authority figures.

ADHD and ODD frequently occur together. In fact, experts in child and adolescent mental health at the Child Mind Institute think that up to 40 percent of young people diagnosed with ADHD also show symptoms of ODD.

A lot of children diagnosed with ADHD develop negative behaviors as a reaction to often feeling as if they are in continual conflict with adults, especially authority figures.

“There’s no malicious intent on the part of these young kids,” explains David Anderson, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute. “Because of the hyperactive and impulsive symptoms of ADHD, they don’t want to stay in their seat.

“They want to explore the entire restaurant. They want to run away from you at the park to check something out that looks cool. That can result in pretty stressed-out parents pretty quickly.

“So if you’re told from an early age that your behavior is wrong or isn’t what a kid is supposed to be doing, either you internalize it and you start thinking: ‘There really is something wrong with me,’ or you react aggressively towards the people who are telling you that you’re wrong.”

How to live with ADHD

Living with ADHD - Tikvah Lake Florida

If one of your children or you are diagnosed with ADHD, it can help to get in touch with a national or local ADHD support organization. Some other suggestions to help are:

  • Keep to set routines as much as possible – that can be broken down into structured stages. Making lists helps some people.
  • Avoid doing stimulating things for two to three hours before going to bed. 
  • Learn new ways to relax.
  • Go to bed at the same time every evening. Get out of bed at a regular time every morning too.
  • Keep active with exercise most days every week.
  • Eat healthily and at regular times, allowing time for food to digest properly after eating.
  • Become aware of warning signs that can lead to negative or damaging behavior. Take time out as soon as you notice any of these, allowing time to calm down.
  • If going to social events, ensure to keep them brief.

Our proven treatments can give you or somebody you know the very best opportunity for a swift and enduring recovery. We are in the ideal natural setting to help your wellbeing.

Our luxury mansion by a beautiful lake is designed with recovery uppermost in mind. We also have year-round warmth and sunshine here in Florida.

We have assembled an excellent and experienced team of experts that has helped people with all mental health issues. Call us today to have a confidential chat about how we can help you or someone you love.

Effective ways to overcome deep regret

Ten effective ways to overcome deep regret

Most of us will likely experience regret to some degree or another in our lifetime.

As the saying goes, ‘ to err is to be human,’ and many people are likely to make the same mistake or repeat specific patterns many times before realizing that such behavior no longer serves them.

Past regrets

Regret is a universal emotion that precipitates feelings of disappointment and, depending on the nature of such remorse, shame.

According to literature, ‘regret is a feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over an occurrence or something that someone has done or failed to do.’


We all tend to feel guilty from time to time. However, it is often the case that guilt or regret manifests out of a desire to stick to our personal values.

For example, boundary-setting can be challenging for people to stick to, especially those who veer towards people-pleasing.

Negative thoughts

Putting ourselves first is not something we have been taught to do, and often, when people decide to set boundaries with loved ones, one of the first few feelings they experience is guilt or regret.

What is regret?

What is regret

According to GoodTherapy, regret, guilt, and shame are interlinked emotions, and it can often be hard to tell the difference between them.

GoodTherapy defines regret as ‘a negative emotion that arises when individuals believe that their past actions or behavior if changed, may have achieved a different outcome’ (GoodTherapy, 2015).

Feelings of regret

The literature states that regret is an emotion that gets categorized into two parts:

  • A negative mental or emotional state
  • Cognitive construction of an alternative decision or behavior


There are many instances where people regret things they have no control over.

Even in situations where an alternative decision or behavior was impossible, people still find new and creative ways to blame themselves for things outside of their remit.

However, researchers say that one of the keys to overcoming regret is when people learn to cultivate self-compassion.

Mental health issues

In some instances, an individual may regret not following a specific career path.

On the other hand, someone may regret the way they spoke to a parent the last time they saw them; the regret in the latter example can be consuming and can cause many mental health complications.

Lessons learned

Lessons learned

Regret can be a long-lasting emotion, or it can be fleeting depending on the nature of the circumstances.

Some people are plagued by constant regret, while others can move through complicated feelings quicker.

For example, a young child may feel guilty about stealing a cookie from the biscuit jar but can move through their feelings of regret with relative ease.

In contrast, another person may be consumed by feelings of guilt and regret over past mistakes or decisions about a particular situation or event.

Past regret

Researchers state that since regret gets linked to the past, such emotions can create feelings of intense sorrow because people cannot go back and change what they did or how they behaved.

Regret can be a helpful emotion

All this may sound counter-intuitive, but when we experience regret, such feelings, as unpleasant as they might be, can be helpful.

Regret is often the learning experience many of us need to improve specific behaviors or actions that may not serve us.

In many ways, regret is a valuable emotion since it signals the need for corrective action.

Seeing things differently

When we experience regret, we also get insight and understanding to improve future decision-making skills.

For example, if someone uses offensive language at us, instead of reacting, we take a few steps back and return to the situation with a calmer, more rational approach.

In many ways, regret can be the nutrient we need to improve the way we navigate our internal and external worlds – especially when others demonstrate disrespect towards us.

Essentially, we learn from our past mistakes, and through the pain of regret, we cultivate a more empowering approach.

How to overcome regret

Fortunately, there are many ways that people can learn to overcome regret.

As mentioned, regret can be a powerful platform in which people are motivated to make significant changes to their life by modifying how they approach specific situations.

Essentially, regret can result in several outcomes; it can lead to personal growth and motivation or self-loathing and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

The key to managing regret is to re-frame how we perceive and respond to external stimuli.

Ten ways to effectively manage regret

Ways to effectively manage regret
  1. Do not obsess over past mistakes: When people chastise themselves for past mistakes, they can’t move forward with clarity. Antagonizing over mistakes will compromise your ability to learn from them. Therefore, people must use mistakes as opportunities to learn and be inspired to make new and better choices.
  2. Take stock of how you cope with regret: By evaluating your decisions that ended in shame, you better understand how to avoid those choices in the future. Ruminating over mistakes amplifies feelings of regret, so you must take a step back and remember that whatever bad choices you made are in the past.
  3. Practice self-compassion: Self-compassion helps prompt self-forgiveness. The mistakes you made are in the past, and if you wouldn’t make those exact choices in a similar situation today, you are incriminating an innocent person. Learn to forgive yourself.
  4. Create new goals and objectives: Instead of obsessing over past mistakes and making yourself feel bad, perhaps you could consider setting a new goal or plan for the future. Celebrate when you meet your goals or respond better to situations and create more positive outcomes.
  5. Acknowledge your feelings: You take power out of them by acknowledging and accepting your feelings. In any event, when you might have been wrong, the ability to recognize and re-frame those experiences puts you in the driver’s seat.
  6. Do things that make you feel good: A new opportunity or focus will help distract you from the negative feelings of regret. Why not get busy and write that book you’ve been thinking of writing, or perhaps get in touch with an old friend? Positive distractions can be profoundly valuable, and you are less likely to ruminate over the past if you are too busy enjoying yourself!
  7. Allow yourself to heal from the past: Give yourself time to replenish and heal. Whether it’s a lost relationship or something you could have done better, the past is over, and being stuck in stress and worry will only keep you locked in unhelpful cycles.
  8. Consider having therapy: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is effective in helping people manage any self-destructive thoughts and emotions by redirecting any negative impulses into more constructive ways of thinking and behaving.
  9. Practice mindfulness: By being present with your feelings, you learn to accept whatever unpleasant sensations that might be associated. Mindfulness is an excellent way to manage anxiety-fueled emotions, particularly if you struggle to acknowledge past mistakes.
  10. Stay active: Exercise is known to reduce anxiety and depression and is suitable for our mental health in general. If you feel stuck in a cycle of regret and guilt, it may be helpful to engage in the process of physical activity. Perhaps you could consider taking up running or joining the gym?

Speaking to a mental health professional

Living with the effects of deep regret can create all kinds of health problems.

Nearly everyone makes mistakes in life – but for those who cannot move past their mistakes or see a future beyond what may have happened, it might be helpful to seek professional help.

If you struggle to deal with the adverse implications of regret, you may find counseling or talk therapy beneficial. There are many treatment options available to help those dealing with regret, such as:

Get in touch

Other ways of dealing with the adverse effects of regret are speaking to a close friend about any problematic emotions, keeping a journal, and acknowledging that you won’t always feel this way.

Final thoughts

One thing in life is inevitable; nothing stays the same forever, and the same goes for our feelings.

If you feel you would benefit from therapy or any other treatment, please get in touch with one of our specialists who can help.

Contact Us When You're Ready


Ready to Get Started?