“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:57

What’s Happening Now

Care Ministry | Encouragement and Support for Caregivers
The First Woodway Care Ministry Team wants to provide encouragement for our life group members who are caregivers for ailing or disabled family members. We know many of you are providing support as caregivers for your loved ones so we hope this ministry will be a blessing to you. Please CLICK HERE to fill out a form so our Care Ministry Team can provide support, encouragement, and resource recommendations for you and other caregivers in our church.

Porchlight | Led by Brad & Lisa Hyde | Open to All | Mondays, 6:30-8 pm | Glass Room
Ongoing – No Cost
Porch Light is a ministry for the loved ones of those who struggle with addictions – whether it’s a child, spouse, sibling, or parent – and is for anyone who is suffering alongside their loved one. For more information and to sign up, contact Brad Hyde at w5bk@live.com.

DivorceCare – 13 weeks | Mondays at 6:30 pm | Room 204
Divorce Care is a safe place where caring people come alongside you as you find healing from the pain of separation or divorce. During this 13-week, video-based support program, you’ll find helpful counsel to manage emotional and practical tools for decision-making. This group is currently meeting, and will continue through September 20; you can join at any time. Sign up through divorcecare.org or contact Lisa Smyers (lsmyers@firstwoodway.org) for more information.

Adoption Support | Led by Hannah Osborne | Adoptive/Foster Families | Date, Time, & Location Vary
Ongoing – No Cost
The Adoption Support Group exists to bring community and fellowship to families who have experienced adoption or are interested in pursuing adoption. The members of the group gather throughout the year to fellowship with one another, learn from one another and support one another in their stories of adoption. This group is a joint effort of First Woodway and the Methodist Children’s Home Family Outreach. For more information and to sign up, contact Hannah Osborne at hosborne@mch.org.

Adoption Group Playdates
The Adoption Support Group exists to bring community and fellowship to families who have experienced adoption or are interested in pursuing adoption. Contact Marissa Smith LCSW MDiv, at msmith@mch.org or 817-874-3928 for more information.

Dementia Support | Led by Natalee Oliver | Open to All | First Mondays, 5 pm | Glass Room
Ongoing – No Cost
If you are a caregiver for a family member who has dementia, this support group will be a great help to you. You will find others who are walking the same path as you, and learn more about dementia-specific topics including: grief/loss, self-care, communication and more. This group meets the first Monday of every month. For more information and to sign up, contact Natalee Oliver at alzeducation@yahoo.com.

Thrive | Led by Joe Padilla | Open to all | Tuesdays, 6:30-8 pm | Rooms 303-304
Starts September 7, 2021 – No Cost
Through this 11-week course, you’ll discover God’s heart and design for your whole-health life purpose and meaning (physical, mental, spiritual & relational) by building your mental wellness and renewing your faith. For more information and to sign up, contact Lisa Smyers at lsmyers@firstwoodway.org.

Re:Generation
We all experience brokenness in life. At Re:Generation, we believe that anyone can experience new life and freedom by working through steps of healing given to us by God through the Bible. All who are tired, broken or hurting are invited to come find recovery in Jesus Christ. Re:generation is 12-step discipleship through recovery. By working through these biblical steps within an authentic community, people have found freedom from substance abuse, codependency, pornography, eating disorders, depression, fear, control, emotional/physical abuse, same sex attraction, anger, obsessive thoughts and many other personal struggles.
We have two options for Re:generation, so you can find a community to grow with.

  • Re:Generation Men’s Group meets Sunday evenings 5:30 – 7:30 pm in the MAC Parlor
  • We also have a co-ed group that meets Tuesday evenings at 6:30 pm in the Glass Room

If you have any questions, or need more information, visit the Re:Gen Website Here, or email Eric Upton at ericupton@me.com.

GriefShare | Led by Lisa Smyers | Open to all | Tuesdays, 6:30 | Rooms 305-306
Start Date: September 7 – No Cost
GriefShare is for people grieving the death of a family member or friend. The class runs 13 weeks and is divided into 3 parts: video seminar, support group discussion, and personal study and reflection. For more information and to sign up, contact Lisa Smyers at lsmyers@firstwoodway.org .

Caregivers Ministry

Our team strives to offer spiritual, educational, and family services tailored to meet the many challenges facing caregivers. We provide education and support to enrich the emotional health needs of our congregational and community. This site is designed to make you aware of, and make available to you, resources that may be beneficial. Since caregivers vary in many ways and “one size” does not fit all, we value your feedback in how we can better minister to you.

First Woodway Care Ministries

Seniors Care Ministry
Contact: Lisa Smyers
The Care Ministry is here to assist in caring for our church family. We help with navigating health care services, in home contact and visits, retirement facility worship services, relief for care givers, in home food delivery on Wednesday evenings, rides to the doctor or for errands, and minor home needs.

Also service opportunities exist for volunteers to visit homebound, local nursing homes, those in local hospitals, and to assist with Bible studies and worship experiences both on and off campus of our local retirement centers and nursing homes. No matter your age, if you desire to serve our homebound or our senior adult residents, we have a place for you.

Please contact Lisa Smyers at lsmyers@firstwoodway.org or call her at 254.772.9696 for learn about more ways to get involved or if you know of someone in need of this ministry.

Wednesday Night Saints
Contact: Wanda Glaze (or call 254.666.8276)
Each Wednesday night during the school year, we have individuals who deliver warm meals to our homebound families as well as other families who have a need in our church family.

Helping Hands provides ministry for persons with disabilities (babies through adulthood) and their families. It is our desire that people affected by disabilities and their families come to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Just as God showed His great love and compassion, we want to follow our Lord’s example in reaching out to people who have disabilities. Click here to learn more about Helping Hands.

Senior Care Resources

Independent living is housing arrangements that are usually specific to people age 55 and older. Housing styles vary from apartment styles to freestanding homes. Independent living is designed specifically to assist senior adults in keeping their independence. Usually independent living is more compact and provides easier navigation than regular homes. Independent living includes retirement communities, retirement homes, senior communities, and senior homes. Independent living is appropriate for older adults who are independent in their activities of daily living, but may need assistance with yard management, etc.

Independent Living may be right for you if:
•    You need minor assistance with activities of daily living
•    You want a home that does not require a lot of maintenance and upkeep
•    You like the idea of being able to socialize and do activities with other senior adults

Resources in Waco
Brookdale Senior Living
3801 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, 254-714-2222

Lakeshore Estates

3209 Village Green Drive, 254-870-8738

Stilwell Retirement Residence
5400 Laurel Lake Drive, 254-772-4644

Ascension Living Providence Village
300 W. Highway 6, 254-761-8500

Cottages of Oak Springs
1900 Woodgate Drive, 254-666-2636

Ridgecrest Retirement & Health
1900 W. Highway 6,  254-776-9681

Assisted Living is for those who may need help with some activities of daily living. Assisted living includes residential care, board and care, and group homes. Some assisted living facilities provide help with medication management, and many have a common area for dining and recreational activities. Staff is available 24/7.

Assisted Living may be right for you if:
•    You need more personal care than can be given at home or an independent living facility
•    You do not need round-the-clock medical care and supervision

Resources in Waco
Brookdale Lakeshore
1700 Lakeshore Drive, 254-754-7900

Brookdale Senior Living
3801 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, 254-714-2222

Ridgecrest Retirement & Health
1900 W Highway 6, 254-776-9681

Saint Elizabeth Place
300 W Highway 6, 254-761-8500

Stoney Brook of Hewitt
151 Royal Lane in Hewitt, 254-265-9275

Nursing Homes provide the highest level of care outside of a hospital. Unlike assisted living facilities, nursing homes provide both assistance with activities of daily living and a high level of medical care. A licensed physician monitors each resident’s care and nursing staff is always available.

A nursing home may be right for you if:
•    You have both personal and medical needs that can not be met at home or at another facility due to a recent hospitalization or chronic illness
•    You need a high level of care temporarily after a hospitalization and plan to return home or to another facility

Resources in Waco
Waco Healthcare & Rehabilitation
1400 Lake Shore Drive, 254-753-0291

Greenview Manor
401 Owen Lane, 254-772-8900

Jeffrey Place Healthcare Center
820 Jeffrey Street, 254-772-9480

Lakeshore Village Healthcare
2320 Lake Shore Drive, 254-752-1075

Quality Care of Waco
2501 Maple Avenue, 254-752-0311

Regent Care Center
7801 Woodway Drive, 254-235-7801

Ridgecrest Retirement & Health
1900 Hwy 6 West, 254-776-9681

Royal Manor
9114 Royal Lane, 254-666-2164

St. Catherine Center at Providence Park
300 W. Highway 6, 254-761-8500

Texan Nursing and Rehab
5900 Clover Lane, 254-772-0610

The Courtyard at Hewitt
8836 Mars Drive, 254-420-5500

West Rest Haven
503 Meadow Dr., West, Tx, 254-826-5354

Westview Manor of McGregor
414 Johnson Drive, 254-840-3281

Woodland Springs Nursing Center
1010 Dallas Street, 254-752-9774

The purpose of home health care is to help you remain at home for as long as possible rather than having to move to a long-term care for facility. Home health care agencies range in the type of care they provide including companionship, medication management, cleaning, assistance with personal care, and more complex medical care.

Home Health Care may be right for you if:
•    You need minimal assistance with activities of daily living
•    You have a close network of friends and family nearby

Resources in Waco
ABC Home Health Care
3115 Bellmead Drive, 254-867-1181

Amedisys Home Health of Waco
7003 Woodway Dr. Suite #313, 254-399-6422

Bluebonnet Home Care
720 N 64th St., 254-772-5577

Comfort Keepers of Waco
6501 Sanger Avenue, Suite 275 B, 254-523-4234

Heights Home Health
3425 Hillcrest Drive, 254-753-0431

Hillcrest Home Health Services
7503 Bosque Blvd, 254-755-6179

Home Instead Senior Care
511 N. Hewitt Drive Suite 3,  254-935-3793

Interim Health Care
7401 Woodway Dr,, 254-892-4369

Providence Home Care
301 Owen Ln, 254-523-6970

Reliable Home Health Services
6312 Cobbs Dr,  254-772-1025

Texas Home Health Skilled Services
7503 Bosque Blvd
254-755-6179 – Skilled Home Health Care
254-741-1326 – Personal Care/Private Pay

Visiting Angels
1514 Auston Ave, 254-772-8660

Hospice emphasizes palliative rather than curative treatment and focuses on quality rather than quantity of life. The patient and family are both included in a care plan that strives to meet the biological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual needs of the patient and family. Hospice affirms life and acknowledges dying as a normal process. For more information on hospice go to www.hospicenet.org

Hospice FAQ’s

Resources in Waco
Bluebonnet Hospice
307 Londonderry Drive, 254-751-1790

Hillcrest Community Hospice
2911 Herring Ave, Ste 310, 254-202-5150

Community Healthcare of Texas
6700 Sanger Ave, 254-399-9099

Texas Home Health Hospice
8300 Central Park Dr A, 254-756-0404

Kindred Hospice
8005 Bagby Ave, 254-399-0963

Respite Care refers to a short time of rest or relief. It provides a break from the typical care routine and allows the caregiver to have a chance to rest and relax. Click here for more information on respite care.

Resources in Waco

Adult Day Care of Waco
323 N. 29th St. Waco, 254-714-2274

Friends For Life Adult Day Care
5000 Lakewood Dr. Waco, 254-772-7600

Ridgecrest Retirement & Health Care
1900 W. Hwy 6 Waco, 254-776-9681

St. Catherine Center at Providence Park
300 W. Hwy 6 Waco,  254-761-8500

Sunny Day Center
2714 Old Dallas Rd. Waco, 254-799-1099

Dementia is an umbrella term that covers a range of diseases impacting cognitive ability. The most common of these dementias is Alzheimer’s Disease. Caring for a loved one with dementia can be a very difficult and scary thing if the caregiver is not knowledgeable about the dementia, what to expect, and the impact that dementia can have on their loved ones and family. This webpage is designed to help you become familiar with the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease, and provide resources in the community.

The 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

1. Memory Loss that Disrupts Daily Life
Forgetting recently learned information, forgetting important dates and events, asking for the same information over and over again, and relying on memory aides or family members for things they used to handle on their own, are all signs of Alzheimer’s Disease. Typical age-related change: Forgetting names or appointments but remembering them later.

2. Challenges in Planning or Solving Problems
A person with Alzheimer’s disease may have difficulty developing or following a plan and working with numbers. A person may experience difficulty in following a familiar recipe, or keeping track of their budget. It also may take them longer to do tasks than before. Typical age-related change: Making an occassional error when balancing a checkbook.

3. Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks
Sometimes people with Alzheimer’s disease may have difficulty remembering familiar tasks. They may have difficulting with remembering the rules of a game, driving to a familiar place, managing a budget, or remembering how to cook a favorite food.  Typical age-related change: Occasionally needing help with tasks such as recording a tv show or using appliances.

4. Confusion with Time or Place
Sometimes people with Alzheimer’s disease may have difficulty remembering what season it is, where they are, or how they got somewhere. They may have difficulty with the passage of time and remembering specific dates. Typical age-related change: Forgetting what day of the week it is, but remembering it later.

5. Trouble Understanding Visual Images and Spatial Relationships
People with Alzheimer’s disease may experience vision problems. These may include having difficulty reading, judging distance, and determining color. They also may not recognize themselves when they pass a mirror. Typical age-related change: Having changes in vision due to cataracts.

6. New Difficulties with Words in Speaking or Writing
People with Alzheimer’s disease may have difficulty joining a conversation or continuing one. They may begin to speak and forget what they were saying or repeat themselves. They may have difficulty with vocabulary and have trouble finding the right word, or call something by the wrong name. Typical age-related change: Sometimes having difficulty finding the right word.

7. Misplacing Things and Being Unable to Retrace their Steps
Sometimes a person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in the wrong place and have difficulty remembering where they put it. They may have difficulty in retracing their steps or accuse someone of stealing their missing item. Typical age-related change: Occasionaly misplacing things such as glasses or dentures.

8. Decreased or Poor Judgment
People with Alzheimer’s disease may have decreased or poor judgment such as giving large amounts of money to telemarketers. They also may pay less attention to things such as their personal hygiene. Typical age-related change: Making a poor decision once in a while.

9. Withdrawal from Work or Social Activities
Someone with Alzheimer’s disease may remove themselves from favorite activities or hobbies. They may have difficulty remembering their favorite sports team or remembering how to complete their favorite hobby. They may avoid being social due to the changes they are experiencing. Typical age-related change: Sometimes feeling weary of work, social, and family obligations.

10. Changes in Mood and Personality
Sometimes a change in mood will be noticed with people who have Alzheimer’s disease. They may feel confused, anxious, depressed, angry, suspicious, or fearful. They may become easily upset when they are in situations out of their comfort zone. Typical age-related change: Developing specific ways of doing things and become irritated when their routine is changed.

Dementia Resources

Alzheimer’s Association

Dementia Caregiver Resources

Palliative Dementia Care Resources

Conversation Starter Kit

Waco Housing Options

Sodalis Memory Care
4308 N 19th St.
Waco, TX  76708
254-752-1008

Wesley Woods Alzheimer’s Care
1700 Woodgate Dr.
Waco, TX  76712
254-666-5454

Brookdale Senior Living
3801 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
Waco, TX  76708
254-714-2222

Check out these resources provided through Conversation Project helping to guide the conversation when talking about end of life including terminal illness, heart disease, and more.

Conversation Project Starter Kit

Self Care

Caring for a loved one not only impacts the one receiving care, but it also can affect the caregiver both physically and mentally. “Caregiver burnout” consists of three major components which include emotional exhaustion, decreased feelings of personal achievement, and increased detchachment toward the one receiving care (Maslach, 2003). In order for “caregiver burnout” to be prevented, it is essential that the caregiver takes time to care for themself! Self-care will not only have a positive impact on the caregiver, but will also allow the caregiver to be effective in caring for their loved one.

Guidelines to Prevent “Caregiver Burnout”

Learn as much as you can about your family member’s illness so that you can be the best caregiver that you can be. Knowledge is power and the more you know, the more effective you will be as a caregiver.

Know your limits. Be realistic about how much time and energy you can invest in being a caregiver. Set your limits and clearly communicate your limits with your family members, doctors, and others who are involved.

Accept your feelings. Caregiving can trigger a wide variety of emotions including resentment, fear, guilt, anger, sadness, and helplessness. As long as you don’t compromise the well-being of the receiver, allow yourself to feel what you feel.

Confide in others. Talk to others about what you feel and what you are going through. Lean on your friends, family, and your church and join a support group so that you do not feel like you are going through this journey alone.

All information was provided by helpguide.org.

10 Tips for Caregivers

1. Caregiving is a job, and respite is your earned right. Reward yourself with respite breaks often.

2.  Watch out for signs of depression and don’t delay getting professional help when you need it.

3.  When people offer to help, accept their help and suggest specific things that they can do.

4.  Educate yourself about your loved one’s condition and how to communicate effectively with doctors.

5.  There’s a difference between caring and doing. Be open to technologies and ideas that promote your loved one’s independence.

6.  Trust your instincts. Most of the time they’ll lead you in the right direction.

7.  Caregivers often do a lot of pulling, pushing, and lifting. Be good to your back.

8.  Grieve for your losses, and then allow yourself to dream new dreams.

9.  Seek support from other caregivers. There is great strength in knowing you are not alone.

10.  Stand up for your rights as a caregiver and a citizen.

Source: www.thefamilycaregiver.org

Mental Health

ADHD

Characteristic Symptoms

The essential feature of AD/HD is a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. Inattention manifests behaviorally in AD/HD as wandering off task, lacking persistence, having difficulty sustaining focus and being disorganized not due to defiance or lack of comprehension.

Hyperactivity refers to excessive motor activity when it is not appropriate or excessive fidgeting, tapping or talkativeness. Impulsivity refers to hasty actions that occur in the moment without forethought and that have high potential for harm to the individual. Impulsive behaviors may manifest as social intrusiveness and/or as making important decisions without consideration of long-term consequences.

Treatment and Support

  • Group/individual therapy
  • Support groups
  • Behavior modification therapy (works by increasing the frequency of positive behaviors and decreases the frequency of undesirable ones)
  • Medication

A Spiritual Perspective

What does the parent struggling to care for a child with AD/HD need more than anything? Encouragement! Those who minister to children with AD/HD and their parents must be careful not to become focused only on discipline. While there are certainly heart issues that must be addressed with the child, these issues should be approached with a spirit of love. Parents are to be encouraged in the Lord, and children are to be shown that God loves them unconditionally.

Anxiety Disorders

Characteristic Symptoms

Anxiety is a normal cognitive and physiological response designed to call our attention to the seriousness of an event or situation and motivate us to action. Anxiety disorders are not mild and brief, but severe and chronic. Panic attacks, a consuming wave of fear and dread, are a common characteristic of the anxiety disorders.

Treatment and Support

  • Medication (Anxiolytics and Antidepressants)
  • Psychotherapy (Most often Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
  • Support groups
  • Individual/group therapy or counseling

Bipolar Disorder

Characteristic Symptoms

The bipolar disorders are characterized by cycling mood changes. The affected individual alternates between severe highs (manic or hypomanic episodes) and severe lows (major depressive episodes), often with periods of normal mood in between. The mood changes can be rapid but most often occur gradually.

Treatment and Support

  • Therapy/counseling
  • Lithium
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Atypical Antipsychotics
  • Psychotherapy

Borderline Personality Disorder

Characteristic Symptoms

Borderline Personality disorder is characterized by a long-lasting, rigid pattern of maladaptive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture. The inflexibility and pervasiveness of these patterns cause serious relational problems and impairment of functioning for the afflicted individual. Characteristic symptoms of the personality disorders fall into four categories:

  • Distorted thinking: is an extreme and inaccurate pattern of perceiving and interpreting one’s self, others, and the world around you. Patterns include idealizing then devaluing other people or one’s self; extreme black-or-white thinking; distrustful, suspicious thoughts; unusual or odd beliefs that are contrary to cultural norms; and thoughts that include perceptual distortions and bodily illusions.
  • Emotional dysregulation: is an inability to modulate the range, intensity, lability, and appropriateness of emotional responses. For some, this is characterized by emotional sensitivity and a tendency to experience intense feelings. Other disordered individuals show little or no emotional response, regardless of the circumstance or situation; one moment overwhelmed with intense emotions, the next, numb and disconnected.
  • Impulse control: is the degree to which a person can regulate their internal drives or impulses to act. Some personality disorders are characterized by behavioral over-controlled (an inability to act), while others are characterized by a lack of behavioral control (acting spontaneously without forethought)
  • Interpersonal difficulties: are common to all of the personality disorders. As would be expected, the three characteristic symptoms described above (i.e., distorted thinking, emotional dysregulation, and impulse control problems) make it difficult for personality disordered individuals to form and maintain healthy relationships

Treatment and Support

  • Psychotherapy
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Therapy/counseling

Dementia

Characteristic Symptoms

Dementia is a general term used for a decline in cognitive functioning (thinking, remembering, and reasoning) severe enough to interfere with daily life. Dementia is not a disease; instead, it is a group of symptoms caused by conditions that have damaged an individual’s brain. Symptoms that signal the onset of dementia may be subtle and not noticeable for years. The characteristic symptoms of dementia include memory loss, communication difficulties, confusion, changes in mood, and apathy.

  • Memory loss: is often subtle and tends to involve short-term memories. The individual may be able to remember years past, but not what they had for breakfast.
  • Communication difficulties: make it hard for individuals with dementia to carry on normal conversations. They may struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word, or call things by the wrong name.
  • Confusion: may initially appear as problems with more complex tasks such as balancing the checkbook or playing games that have a lot of rules. As the cognitive decline progresses, the person may struggle to complete familiar tasks or become disoriented to a familiar place.
  • Changes in mood: are common in dementia. Individuals can become suspicious, depressed, fearful, and anxious. The person may show increased irritability and explosive outbursts of anger when a routine or schedule is disrupted, and sudden mood swings can occur regularly.
  • Apathy: is a frequent problem in the early stages of dementia. Individuals begin to lose interest in hobbies or activities once considered pleasurable. Emotionally, the person may appear flat and have no interest in spending time with friends or family.

Treatment and Support

While there is presently no cure for the diseases that cause the neurodegenerative dementias, a number of treatments and interventions have been shown to slow or minimize the development of symptoms:

  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Cognitive stimulation therapy
  • Palliative care

Depression

Characteristic Symptoms

Reactive Depression: A period of sadness or melancholy that occurs in reaction to a personal loss or trauma is often referred to as a reactive depression. While in some instances a reactive depression may be severe enough to require treatment, it is normally of short duration and self-correcting. In the depressive disorders, however, the depressed mood arises spontaneously and is long lasting, the symptoms are severe, and the individual is unable to function normally.

Major Depressive Episode: is characterized by either a persistent depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities over at least a two-week period. Four or more of the following symptoms must also be present: significant weight change or change in appetite, sleeping too much or not being able to sleep, psychomotor agitation or retardation, fatigue or loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt, an inability to concentrate or indecisiveness, and recurrent suicidal thoughts.

Treatment and Support

  • Antidepressants
  • Psychotherapy
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
  • Group/individual therapy or counseling
  • Support groups

Eating Disorders

Characteristic Symptoms

Many people believe that eating disorders are a lifestyle choice. Eating disorders are actually serious and often fatal illnesses that cause severe disturbances to a person’s eating behaviors. Obsessions with food, body weight, and shape may also signal an eating disorder. Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder.

Treatment and Support

Adequate nutrition, reducing excessive exercise, and stopping purging behaviors are the foundations of treatment. Treatment plans are tailored to individual needs and may include one or more of the following:

  • Support groups
  • Individual, group, and/or family psychotherapy
  • Medical care and monitoring
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Medications

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Characteristic Symptoms

Obsessions: are persistent thoughts that one recognizes as intrusive and inappropriate and that result in marked distress. Common obsessions include fear of germs or contamination, unwanted forbidden or taboo thoughts involving sex, religion, and harm, aggressive thoughts towards others or self, and thoughts of needing to have things symmetrical or in a perfect order.

Compulsions: are repetitive actions that are performed to try to prevent or stop the anxiety related to the obsessions. For instance, an individual with this type of disorder may be obsessed with germs and dirt, constantly fearful of contamination. In an attempt to deal with his fear, he washes his hands over and over, hundreds of times throughout the day. Most people with this condition recognize that what they are doing is senseless, but they cannot stop.

Treatment and Support

  • Psychotherapy
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Therapy/counseling

Schizophrenia

Characteristic Symptoms

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling.

Treatment and Support

  • Therapy/counseling
  • Antipsychotics
  • Psychosocial treatments
  • Coordinated specialty care (CSC)

Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders

Characteristic Symptoms

Substance dependence is a repeated pattern of substance abuse that can result in tolerance, withdrawal, and compulsive drug-taking behaviors.

  • Dependence is what most people are referring to when they use the term addiction.
  • Tolerance is present when the individual has to use progressively more of the substance over time to achieve a particular high.
  • Withdrawal is a set of unpleasant physical symptoms that are opposite of the effects of the drug. If using the drug causes a decrease in heart rate, a potential withdrawal symptom might be an increase in heart rate. Withdrawal symptoms are a result of the body’s compensatory responses and appear when use of the drug is abruptly discontinued.

Compulsive drug-taking behaviors include uncontrolled use of the drug, craving the drug, excessive amounts of time devoted to obtaining the drug, unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control substance use, and giving up important and pleasurable activities in order to obtain the drug.

Treatments and Support

  • Group/individual therapy
  • Support groups
  • Detoxification
  • Psychotherapy
  • Relapse prevention
  • Pharmacotherapy

Trauma and Stress-Related Disorders

Characteristic Symptoms

It has long been understood that exposure to a traumatic event causes some individuals to display abnormal thoughts and behaviors that we today refer to as a mental illness.

The trauma- and stressor-related disorders are serious psychological reactions that develop in some individuals following exposure to a traumatic or stressful event such as childhood neglect, childhood physical/sexual abuse, combat, physical assault, sexual assault, natural disaster, an accident or torture.

Characteristic symptoms of all other trauma- and stressor-related disorders can be placed into four broad categories:

  • Intrusion symptoms: include recurrent, involuntary and distressing memories, thoughts, and dreams of the traumatic event. The individual may also experience flashbacks, a dissociative experience in which they feel or act as if the traumatic event is reoccurring.
  • Avoidance symptoms: are efforts to avoid internal (memories, thoughts, feelings) and/or external (people, places, situations) reminders of the traumatic event. Preoccupation with avoiding trauma-related feelings and stimuli can become a central focus of the individual’s life.
  • Negative alterations: in cognition and mood include problems remembering important aspects of the traumatic event, depression, fear, guilt, shame, and feelings of isolation from others.
  • Hyper-Arousal symptoms: include being jumpy and easily startled, irritability, angry outbursts, self-destructive behavior, problems concentrating, and difficulty sleeping.

Treatment and Support

  • Psychotherapy
  • Support groups
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’S)
  • Therapy/counseling

A Spiritual Perspective

*All information comes from Mental Health Gateway

*For more in-depth and specific information, please contact Lisa Smyers at lsmeyers@firstwoodway.org*

At First Woodway, you’ll find a sense of family and belonging. We’d love to meet you.

Plan Your First Visit