Frequently Asked Questions

Serotonin syndrome, or serotonin toxicity, is an excess of serotonin in the body.

Generally, mild and more severe cases of serotonin syndrome is caused by taking too much medication (or a combination of medications) that alter serotonin levels. For example, taking a combination of antidepressants, or taking antidpressants with pain pills may increase the risk of serotonin syndrome.

Serotonin syndrome is not often reported. However, this condition is thought to be commonly overlooked and may therefore be underdiagnosed.

Symptoms of mild serotonin symptoms are easy to miss, so it is important to be aware of the medications that can cause this condition. In general, symptoms may include tremors or involuntary muscle movements, excessive sweating, changes in blood pressure and heart rate, pupil dilation, fever, anxiety, confusion, and ultimately, seizures.

The length of serotonin syndrome depends on the severity of the case. Mild serotonin syndrome will resolve on its own within a few days as long as the medication causing the problems is stopped. More severe cases will require medical attention and may take a week or longer to resolve.

A co-occurring disorder is a condition that exists secondarily to another major health issue. If we use this co-occurring disorders definition to look at mental illness and substance abuse, we can see that turning to drugs or alcohol, which then results in addiction, often happens simultaneously when a patient also has mental health concerns. Since one issue influences and worsens the other, we would call these co-occurring disorders. Co-occurring disorders must be treated together through a specialized program to ensure full recovery.

As with any disease, drug addiction is classified as such because it is a condition that can cause serious and numerous health complications. Additionally, drug addiction is considered a disease because it cannot simply go away on its own—instead, it needs to be treated by experts in the field.

Yes. According to the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a diagnosable mental illness that occurs in people who experience at least two of the 11 total criteria for this disorder. In fact, alcohol and mental illness have always been connected. Alcohol use can lead to mental health symptoms, and experiencing mental health distress without treatment can lead people to use alcohol as a way to “cope.”

A co-occurring disorder is when you experience a mental health condition alongside another. If you have depression and anxiety, these would be co-occurring disorders. Co-occurring disorders can be challenging to diagnose and end up putting people at a greater risk for developing addiction struggles as well.

Having an addiction to drugs or alcohol is actually a mental illness. This means that addiction is something that greatly impacts your day-to-day life. Additionally, the fact that addiction is a mental health concern proves that it cannot go away on its own—instead, your ability to heal from addiction and any other mental health concerns relies on professional treatment.

When it comes to mental health, dual diagnosis indicates that there is a mental health concern on top of a substance use disorder. Dual diagnosis is meant to help people who need treatment for mental health conditions as well as addiction.

Simply put, the dual diagnosis definition is that a patient has two or more diagnoses that require treatment. For example, struggling with addiction as well as anxiety would be a dual disorder. With dual diagnosis treatment, you will have the opportunity to heal from both conditions in addition to learning valuable skills to use if you experience symptoms in the future.

Apart from challenges in getting access to care as well as navigating insurance for mental health treatment, the biggest barrier to mental health care is a lack of mental health awareness. Mental health awareness is essential in understanding symptoms of different mental illnesses and actually finding treatment to make your life happier and healthier.

Evidence-based practices are approaches to mental health care that are scientifically supported and proven to help treat specific disorders and illnesses, such as addiction. Port St. Lucie uses evidence-based practices to provide the best care possible for all of our patients.

The best way to take care of your mental health is to receive professional help through treatments for mental health conditions and substance use disorders. Professional programs, like those at Port St. Lucie Hospital, give you access to evidence-based treatments that are proven to help you learn the skills you need to manage various mental health conditions.

As with your overall health, mental health influences the way that you function from day to day. This is why it is so important to care about mental health. If you do not take care of your mental health, you could find it challenging to work, build healthy relationships, and even leave your home.

Yes, unless having visitors will be harmful to the person being treated. If a facility wants to restrict visitors from a patient, they must file a written notice documenting the refusal of visitation.

Baker Acts must be imposed by the courts or law enforcement, or medical/mental health professionals. If a parent wants to have their child Baker Acted, they should petition the Clerk of Court or contact the police.

If a person is actively endangering themself or others while showing symptoms of mental illness then the police can be called to manage the situation.

Alternatively, a request can be turned into the court to ask that an individual is mentally evaluated due to safety concerns.

Yes, a Baker Act can be voluntary. However, to willingly Baker Act yourself you must be considered capable of consenting to treatment. 

To Baker Act yourself, visit an Emergency Room and describe your symptoms to medical professionals. If necessary, the medical staff will request the Baker Act. 

When a person is Baker Acted in Florida they are taken to a mental health hospital that is also a Baker Act receiving facility. A mental evaluation must be performed within 72 hours.

After 72 hours if deemed mentally stable the person will be released. If further treatment is mandated, the individual can be admitted to a mental health facility for up to six months.

To be Backer Acted in Florida a person must meet certain criteria.

The individual must be showing signs of mental illness, a failure to understand why an evaluation may be needed, and/or posing a threat to themselves or others. Usually, a Baker Act is used in response to a mental health emergency.

A Baker Act can be started by medical professionals, the court system, and law enforcement.

Usually, being Baker Acted means that a person was admitted to a mental health hospital to be mentally assessed. The time a person can be held during the Baker Act is 72 hours. 

Yes, we do take insurance, give us a call for a free insurance verification.

Treatment can vary from a few days to months. Research shows that the longer a person remains in treatment, the greater the likelihood that long-term recovery will result. As with most aspects of treatment (such as therapy types and program structures), determining ideal length of stay involves an analysis of a number of personal factors.

Please see our treatments under Programs and Services here

Family involvement is an integral component of an effective treatment program.

Though every recovery experience is unique and personal, most effective treatment programs will encourage strong family involvement.

Behavioral Services visiting hours
Wed 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Sat 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Sunday 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm

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