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Mental Health Basics

In broad terms, mental health refers to a person’s emotional and psychological wellbeing. When someone has good mental health, that person is relatively content and able to cope with life’s stresses and challenges. Millions of people, however, struggle with mental health disorders that can make daily life seem unmanageable or even impossible.

Studies indicate that around one in five American adults experience at least one mental health disorder each year. These can be caused or exacerbated by a number of factors including genetics, environment, daily habits, and biology. The Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) used by mental health professionals lists nearly 300 mental health disorders. Fortunately, treatments for mental health disorders are advancing every day, and help is available for people struggling to regain their wellbeing, happiness, and lives. Here we provide an overview of some of the mental health disorders we treat at Pacific Solstice.

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Alcohol/Substance Dependence & Abuse

Alcohol and/or substance dependence and abuse is a disorder that affects nearly 22 million Americans over the age of 12. People who suffer from substance use disorder exhibit abnormal and destructive patterns of alcohol or drug usage. The disorder can have a serious impact on brain function and physical health, as well as behavior.

People battling substance abuse exhibit a range of behaviors that may include an inability to fulfill obligations at home, work, and/or school; engaging in dangerous and risky activities such as driving while under the influence; recurring substance-related legal problems; and unhealthy or deteriorating relationships with family, friends, and others.


deaths in the US every year are due to excessive alcohol use.

Individuals living with substance use disorder also typically experience three or more of the following: an increased tolerance for the substance (the need to drink or use ever-increasing amounts for the desired effect); withdrawal symptoms when not using or drinking; inability to stop using or drinking despite an urgent desire to; significant time dedicated to obtaining, using/drinking, and recovering from the substance; loss of interest or involvement in activities previously enjoyed; and continued use of the substance despite experiencing severe symptoms, side-effects, or health damage.

Anxiety Disorders

People with anxiety disorders generally experience excessive worry for multiple days per month, related to a range of sources including health, work, relationships, social interactions, and everyday life. Anxiety disorders can be severe enough to interfere with life, family, friendships, school, activities, and work. Symptoms of this disorder can include feelings of restlessness, fatigues, loss of concentration, irritability, tension, worry, and sleep problems.

Adult Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD)

Adults who suffer from Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD) typically exhibit a combination of symptoms that may include difficulty paying attention; excessive activity; restlessness; impatience; mood swings; outbursts of anger; and impulsive behavior . These symptoms may start in early childhood and persist through adulthood — often leading to unstable relationships, poor performance at work, and difficulty with daily functions.

People living with ADHD/ADD can find it challenging to focus on tasks, stay organized, prioritize, manage their time effectively, multitask, plan, follow through, and cope with stress.

Bipolar Disorder

Also known as manic-depressive illness, bipolar disorder is a chronic mental health disorder that affects about 2.6 percent of Americans each year. People suffering from bipolar disorder may experience severe mood swings ranging from episodes of energetic, manic highs to extreme lows or depression. These dramatic mood swings often make it difficult for people with a bipolar disorder to think reasonably, function in daily life, and maintain energy levels.

The National Institute of Mental Health has identified four basic types of bipolar disorder, each one categorized by different ranges between periods of “up” or elevated and energized moods and periods of “down” or very sad, hopeless moods. In some types of bipolar disorder, manic episodes can last around one week and be severe enough to require hospitalization, followed by several weeks of depression. People with bipolar disorder can also experience a mix of manic and depressive feelings at the same time, and can experience mood mood swings that last for years.

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Young man standing outdoors looking off to the side.


Depression is a disorder that causes feelings of extreme sadness or hopelessness that typically last for an extended period, even weeks at a time. People may suffer from less intense chronic depression that lasts for longer periods, sometime years. The symptoms of depression can include a persistent sad or anxious mood; irritability; feelings of guilt or worthlessness; loss of interest in activities; low energy and fatigue; restlessness; loss of concentration and memory issues; sleep problems; and physical discomfort or pain.

The severity, frequency, and length of the symptoms vary from person to person, depending on the type of depression they have. Symptoms can dramatically alter the way a person feels, thinks, interacts with others, and handles simple daily tasks like eating, sleeping, and working. Those who suffer from severe or clinical depression may become so despondent that they attempt suicide.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is characterized by constant and repetitive thoughts or obsessions that are often accompanied by an unnecessary and unreasonable desire to perform certain compulsive behaviors. While many people with OCD realize their thoughts and behaviors are unreasonable, they cannot stop them.

Symptoms of OCD can manifest as repeated thoughts, urges, or mental images that cause anxiety; and repetitive behaviors that someone feels compelled to perform in response to an obsessive thought. Some people with OCD also exhibit a motor or vocal tic — brief, repetitive movements or sounds they perform over and over without being able to control them. Symptoms may come and go, but if left untreated, OCD can be very disruptive in all aspects of life.

Panic Disorder

People who suffer from panic disorder experience recurring unexpected panic attacks, or sudden episodes of intense fear that peak within minutes. Panic attacks can appear seemingly out of nowhere or be triggered by a specific event, object, person, location, situation, or memory. Panic attacks are often accompanied by several symptoms that may include heart palpitations or increased heart rate; sweating; trembling or shaking; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; feelings of impending doom; and loss of control.

Individuals who experience panic attacks are often fearful of the next episode and will tend to avoid certain places or situations in an effort to avoid the onset of the attack. This can in turn be very disruptive and make daily living activities more difficult.

You don’t have to take this journey alone. Recovery starts with a simple call to Pacific Solstice.

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that affects some women after giving birth. Mothers with this disorder often have intense feelings of sadness, exhaustion, and anxiety that make it difficult for them to care for their babies, others, and themselves. There is no single known cause of postpartum depression, but the disorder can be exacerbated by post-birth chemical changes and shifting hormone levels, sleep deprivation, and physical exhaustion.

Mothers suffering from postpartum depression may experience excessive crying without apparent reason; irritability; sleep problems; trouble concentrating; increased forgetfulness; eating problems; lost interest in activities; physical pain or discomfort; withdrawal from family and friends; self-doubt about mothering capabilities; and trouble bonding with their babies. In severe cases, mothers may have thoughts of harming their babies or themselves.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is triggered after witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event, such as a war, national disaster, serious accident, verbal, physical, sexual abuse, or loss of a loved one. People who suffer from PTSD can feel stressed or frightened even when there is no apparent or immediate danger.

PTSD symptoms can include flashbacks of the traumatic event; bad dreams; sleep problems; angry outbursts; misplaced feelings of guilt or shame; frightening thoughts; being quick to startle; difficulty remembering specific details about the traumatic event; and a general feeling of tenseness. These symptoms usually appear shortly after the traumatic event occurs, but can also show up years afterward. Symptoms can reoccur and last months, and interfere with relationships, school, work, family life, and normal daily activities. People with PTSD may also try to avoid situations, places, people, and activities that trigger symptoms.

Social Anxiety Phobia

People who suffer from social anxiety phobia have an extreme fear of social situations and of being around other people. Often, this fear is accompanied by a feeling of being negatively judged by others. Symptoms include racing heart rate; blushing; excessive sweating; dry throat and mouth; trembling; muscle twitches; and dysmorphia (irrationally negative self-perception about a part of the body, usually the face).

Social anxiety phobia can be triggered by a number of events and situations, including being introduced to new people; being teased or criticized; being the center of attention; being watched or observed while doing something; speaking in a public setting; meeting authority figures; feeling insecure and out of place; being embarrassed; and eye contact. This disorder can make meeting new people and attending social gatherings very difficult and even impossible.

It’s time. Get help.

Call (949) 200-7929

Don’t put your life on hold any longer. Call today to speak confidentially with a qualified Pacific Solstice counselor from our Orange County treatment center.

We’ll help you take the next step toward putting your life back together. You don’t have to give up hope. And you don’t have to take this journey alone. Recovery starts with a simple phone call.

In Network Insurance

Pacific Solstice is in network with Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Tricare, HMC, Multiplan, & Health Advocate Solutions

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Insurance coverage

At Pacific Solstice, we believe quality mental health services and addiction treatment should be accessible and affordable. We accept a wide range of PPO insurance providers, including the ones listed below. At this time, we do not accept Drug Medi-cal, Medicare, or Medicaid.

BlueCross BlueShield
Health Net
Medical Mutual
United Healthcare


Pacific Solstice Events

Treating The Epidemic: Harm Reduction & Narcan Training
3/13/19 from 1:00-2:30 PM.
Hosted by Pacific Solstice

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