Addiction

How Internet Addiction Almost Ruined My Life


Is my life that attached to the Internet, or was I using it as an escape from life altogether?

It was nearly a decade ago that I transitioned into a career that involved working almost entirely in the digital space, and social media began to take over my life.

Since basically forever, the online world always held a certain siren's call. ICQ and LiveJournal, IRC and Friendster. I illustrated my mood via cryptic AIM status messages, and exhibited deep feelings of hurt when I'd put someone important to me in my MySpace Top 8 and they didn't do the same for me.
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Addiction

Mental Health in America: A Shakespearean Tragedy

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 16 million adults in the United States experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2012. Major Depressive Disorder is defined as “Depressed mood and/or loss of interest or pleasure in life activities for at least two weeks and symptoms that cause clinically significant impairment in social, work, or other important areas of functioning almost every day.”

Along with diagnostic criteria for depression, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-V is also notorious for a whole doctrine of pathologies under which the field of psychiatry preaches its creed; a grim gospel for any ardent disciple to follow. Social factors, environmental triggers, and increased stress in modern life all influence mental health, including the onset of depression. With healthcare expenditures approaching $3 trillion, our disorders and diseases are helping to keep the U.S. economy rolling.

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Addiction

The 10 Worst Things You Can Say to Someone in Recovery


So it seems that you have a few friends that are in recovery in your life. That is no surprise, most people do. You aren’t in recovery, of course. You never had those sorts of problems. But still, you want to be supportive. You want to let the person in recovery know that you understand what he went through. You want to say just the right thing. You are a sensitive type of person, you don’t judge.

I don’t recommend it, but go ahead if you want. Give it a shot. But if you want to talk to your buddy in recovery about their issues here are 10 things that you shouldn’t say. Ever.

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Addiction

Alcoholism & Depression: Frenemies Forever

I’ve heard a thousand variations of this problem: “My brother is depressed, but he also drinks a lot, which is probably causing the depression. So which do you treat first? The alcoholism or the depression?”

The two conditions are so intertwined that it can be impossible to separate them.

Just last week I met with an executive director of a behavioral health program here in Annapolis. We were discussing how to start a faith-based initiative.

“Should we also include substance abuse?” he asked.
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Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: October 17, 2015


Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

This week's Psychology Around the Net brings you the latest on therapy and your sex life, the effects of alcohol use on the economy, what exactly counts as creepy behavior, and more.

Enjoy!

The Psychology of Sex: How Therapy Can Save Your Sex Life: Sometimes, physical conditions such as low testosterone and diabetes can lead to intimacy and sex problems; other times, mental health help such as talk therapy might be just what a couple needs to strengthen their relationship and boost their sex life.

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Addiction

In-Depth: The Curious Websites of American Addiction Centers, Including MentalHelp.net

Continuing the tradition of questionable online marketing practices by addiction treatment centers -- which are a huge and growing industry -- the company behind American Addiction Centers (AAC Holdings, Inc., ticker: AAC) over the summer acquired a little online marketing company that virtually nobody had heard of: Referral Solutions Group (RSG). The company was acquired by AAC for $32 million in cash in addition to stock.

Referral Solutions Group (now known as Sober Media Group) operates a whole bevy of websites, including everything run by Recovery Brands. But on most websites run by this group today, you won't see any mention of who owns or operates the site.

Why would a company seemingly want to hide the fact that they own or operate a particular website? It's anyone's guess, but it appears such actions are meant to make it seem like a website is independent and not associated with any particular treatment center.

This illusion of independence is important, in my opinion. As a consumer, if you go to a website and believe it's not affiliated with a treatment center, I suspect you're more likely to use its treatment referral hotline or directory. And if you're on one of these websites operated by AAC Holdings, you may even get a referral to an American Addiction Centers treatment facility.

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Addiction

Bipolar Disorder and Drug Abuse

It’s very common to find people with bipolar using drugs of one kind or another. If you were to experience the constant interference, disruption and pain that bipolar brings about, you would understand why one would resort to using drugs. Bipolar disorder makes it hard to get up in the morning, hard to hold a conversation and almost impossible for many to hold down a job. With problems like these it’s no wonder that medication is abandoned in favor of street drugs.

You see, medication doesn’t always quite hit the spot. Medical teams and patients spend years trying to find the right balance of medication. In the meantime, the patient suffers emotionally and psychologically. Often there is little support during this period as the patient is half better and looks okay -- so they must be okay, right? Wrong. That’s not the case at all. We can look fine and feel horrendous.
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Addiction

My Public Apology to Everyone Hurt by Alcoholics Like Me


I'm deeply ashamed about these things I did.

Just a couple of short weeks ago, I celebrated being clean and sober for 31 years. Yes, it's been a long time, which can make it very easy to dissociate with the addiction-riddled man I was all those years ago.

Don't get me wrong, that's not entirely a bad thing. I don't want to live in the constant memory of who I was then and the things I did in my addicted years. I got sober to save my life, and I stay sober to have a life. My present is very good, so I don't live in the past.

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Addiction

6 Surprising Myths of Inpatient Residential Rehab

We've all seen the commercials: gentle, soothing music playing over a reassuring voice that tells you that this specific rehab center is going to change your life. Because, after all, it's changed his.

Inpatient rehab centers offer treatment for people with substance abuse or alcohol disorders. Most are intensive, requiring patients to live in their facility 24 hours a day for 30 days. And it is a gold mine for those who run such addiction recovery centers.

The Carlat Report: Addiction Treatment's July/August 2015 issue is devoted to the topic of understanding treatment for alcoholism and substance abuse. It also offers an eye-opening interview with the former director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Here we run down some of the myths we gleaned from the issue about residential rehab.

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Addiction

Screentime Is NOT Making Kids Moody, Crazy & Lazy

I'm sure Dr. Victoria Dunckley means well with her recent screed entitled "Screentime is Making Kids Moody, Crazy and Lazy." She cites research studies to back up her points, and buried in the middle of the article is the common-sense disclaimer that "restricting electronics may not solve everything."

But what Dr. Dunckley misses is how electronics today are to teens what the telephone and TV was to a prior generation (and the radio was to a generation before). The studies she references don't purport to show a causual effect, simply a correlation between two things. Generalizing from such correlations is a mistake too many well-meaning physicians (and even researchers) make.

Screentime is not "making" kids moody, crazy and lazy. Here's why.

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Addiction

Art Therapy in Addiction Recovery

The Breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. ~ Rumi
As a survivor and “thriver” of a coma, 27 surgeries and a decade of medical trauma, I know firsthand the healing power of the arts.

As a child, the arts were my passion and identity. When my traumas occurred, they became my lifeline. Now that I am out of my medical crisis and into a life of health and vitality once again, the arts are how I can reconnect with the world, make a difference and raise awareness of the power of one’s internal resources. They make one aware of the human potential and spirit and that there are many ways to heal, externally and internally. They also raise awareness of gratitude. Every day and moment should be celebrated. Life is a canvas, an open score, a bare stage, waiting for us to join the dance.

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