Addiction Articles

Psychology Around the Net: October 18, 2014

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Mental Health Blocks

Suffer from insomnia? Ever feel you might be addicted to the Internet? Interested in seeing what a schizophrenia episode actually looks like? We have it all and more in this week’s Psychology Around the Net.

Hip-Hop Therapy Is New Route to Mental Wellbeing, Says Psychiatrists: According to researchers in the U.K., hip-hop music might be a viable mental health treatment for illnesses such as depression and schizophrenia. How? By providing people with a sense of empowerment and self-knowledge.

Man With Schizophrenia Records Episode to Give Glimpse Into Life With the Disorder: Social media has made it easier to share experiences with mental illness, and Scottie Long is just one patient to do so. Long documents his schizophrenia episodes via YouTube and sends a clear message: When treating mental illness, sooner is always better.

Room for Misery & Room for Joy: My Story

Friday, October 10th, 2014

misery joyMost people who have been sober longer than a year are asked to give a “lead” — to tell their story. Mine was structurally simple, covering what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now. Having only drank for three years, my addiction story is pretty straightforward: I stopped guzzling down mood-altering beverages.

My depression story, however, is not.

There are too many circles and uneven ends to fit into any neat, compact narrative. It seems as though the longer you dance with the demon of depression, the more embracing you become of different health philosophies and the more tolerant of unanswered questions.

Is it open-mindedness or desperation?

I don’t know.

Porn Addiction: Not the Whole Story

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Porn Addiction: Not the Whole StoryThe issue of whether porn addiction is real has produced a storm of controversy. Yet all this noise may be distracting us from a graver risk to healthy sexuality: sexual conditioning of adolescents.

I monitor a number of popular online recovery forums. I have read self-reports of thousands of otherwise healthy young men who heal severe symptoms, including sexual dysfunctions (anorgasmia, delayed ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, loss of attraction to real people) by removing a single variable: Internet porn use.

Is Depression an Addiction?

Friday, September 19th, 2014

photomedic.netOne of the chapters of my memoir, Beyond Blue, is called “The Least Harmful Addiction.” I explain that willpower is, regrettably, a finite thing. We have a limited amount, so we must preserve it for the most harmful addictions we have (i.e., when desperate, we should inhale chocolate truffles over getting wasted on vodka). In that chapter, I list all my vices in order of most threatening to least threatening: depression, alcoholism, toxic relationships, workaholism, nicotine, sugar, and caffeine.

Someone in Group Beyond Blue, the online support group I moderate, was reading my book and was confused why I would list depression among my addictions. “Is depression really an addiction?” she asked. Her query inspired an interesting conversation in the group.

Psychology Around the Net: September 13, 2014

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Tips for Getting to Sleep and Staying Asleep

What happens when you and your partner are on different sleep-wake schedules? Do you experience anxiety when waiting on a text reply? What about social media — how is it affecting both your brain and your body? Find out within this week’s Psychology Around the Net.

Couples on Different Sleep Schedules Can Expect Conflict — and Adapt: If “[e]xperts think couples tend to have more stable sleep-wake routines and help co-regulate each other,” what happens when the two have sleep-wake schedules completely out of whack with one another?

Once an Addict, Always an Addict?

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Once an Addict, Always an Addict? This is a saying I’ve always grappled with. One part of me is against any type of labeling, let alone a heavy label to be carried for the rest of your life. We are all so interchangeably dynamic, that to categorize someone into a box forever doesn’t sit well. 

Another part of me completely agrees with this statement and perceives it to be utterly valid. Instead of denying who you are, true acceptance perhaps is the only way to not only recover, but to continue to maintain your recovery. However much I am against “branding” someone for life, it is human nature to create categorizes in order to piece things together and make sense of circumstances.

How the Brain Creates a Dependence On Opioids

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

How The Brain Creates A Dependence On OpioidsOpioids have been around for a very long time, and are used as painkillers to help patients cope with pain post-surgery. They have both helped and harmed people, alleviating chronic pain for people who have undergone invasive surgeries, but also being the source of dangerous addictions for those who have developed dependencies on the painkillers.

Derived from the poppy plant, it’s known for being able to induce sleep. And the use of opioids for medical reasons is widespread, which has contributed to the growth of opioid related addictions. The reason lies in the powerful effect opioids have on the brain.

How to Be Diligent in Your Recovery

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

3 Ways to Develop A Spiritual PracticeRecovery is a long process. It takes time and it takes patience to achieve a relative balance and to find a measure of health after you’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness.

When I was diagnosed eight years ago with schizophrenia I was so riddled by delusions and paranoia that I could hardly step foot outside. I was constantly worried that people were thinking things about me, talking behind my back and conspiring against me. In the thick of it, it was me against this horrible evil world, and to say it broke me would be an understatement.

Why the Death of Robin Williams Is So Hard to Accept

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Flickr Creative Commons / Global PanoramaSadly, it’s nothing new — a celebrity either directly or indirectly ends their own life. It was Philip Seymour Hoffman, most recently; Heath Ledger, previously; and the list continues.

Now, Robin Williams is gone. Removed from the world directly by his own hand.

As much as I was moved by deaths of other celebrities who hold a place within me, there is something noticeably more difficult to accept with Robin Williams’ suicide.

Are You ‘Addicted’ to Something?

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

addiction-300x212The definition of  “addiction,” and what people can become “addicted” to, are hotly contested issues. In everyday conversation, of course, people throw around the word “addicted” a lot, as in, “I’m addicted to Game of Thrones.”

Addiction, whatever it might be, is a subject that’s related to my current fascination: habits. As I explain in the introduction of Better Than Before, my discussion of habit formation doesn’t cover addictions, compulsions, nervous habits, or habits of mind. Nevertheless, I did a lot of reading and thinking about addiction, because it’s a useful area to consider.

Hopeful Lessons from Robin Williams and Kurt Cobain

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Hopeful Lessons from Robin Williams and Kurt CobainI’m old enough to remember Kurt Cobain’s suicide in 1994, and what a major cultural and news event it was.

Although there have been other celebrity deaths in the years since, it’s only now with Robin Williams that a suicide has had as much attention and social magnitude.

The differences over time are striking. Social media has changed the nature of news as well as the conversation about news, and blogs make it easy for anyone to publish online what once might have been op-eds and letters to the editor in paper newspapers and magazines. Retweets and faves on @unsuicide reached an all-time high this week, with more people interested in both learning about and sharing information on suicide prevention. Mashable noticed a powerful and far-reaching positive change in the dialogue about suicide.

Can a Sex Addict Also Be a Codependent?

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Can a Sex Addict also be a Codependent?In my 27 years working with addicts and codependents, I rarely have come across a completely healthy partner of an addict. Although addicts’ partners are unequivocally not to blame for the addiction, and most certainly not the consequences of it, they certainly carry responsibility for the shared relationship problems.

The nature of shared relational responsibility is even more pronounced in the sex addict/co-addict (partner) relationship. Addiction psychotherapists all have experienced how both the addict and his or her partner participate, either actively or passively, in their dysfunctional relationship.

Recent Comments
  • NotEasy: I had a similar experience to that described above (10years) and then took your approach (that s hubby...
  • Cathy B: hi, was searching for ways to fix myself when i am broken and i am very broken and read your post. the...
  • samphd87: People either ignore scientific evidence, or they believe everything they read. Especially the...
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  • sonali: its very heartening to read the discussion above on plus n minuses of neurofeedback. i have a 10 yr old...
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