Addiction

The Physical and Emotional Parallels of Hoarding

In the newly-released indie film "Hello, My Name Is Doris," sweet and eccentric Doris (played by Sally Field) is an older woman who lives in her deceased mother’s immensely cluttered house. Needless to say, Doris grapples with hoarding issues, tightly clinging to all kinds of items from her past. Her home’s disarray is a barrier of sorts, physically creating entrapment to what was and not what could be.

Doris blossoms through a new relationship with a younger man (played by Max Greenfield). Though the outcome of their relationship may not be the one she unequivocally pines for, their time together symbolizes hope for what is very well possible in her next life chapter. She’s merely grateful for the friendship they share -- for its impact.

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Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: April 23, 2016


Earlier this week, a recently unemployed friend of mine began a round of several interviews for a new job that, if all goes well, potentially could be the perfect fit for him. During the first interview he was asked, "What is your strongest attribute and how would it benefit our company?"

My friend is a quick thinker and delivered an answer that, after talking about it later, we both decided indeed summed up his strongest attribute; however, the interviewer's question made us both start thinking more deeply about our attributes -- especially as they relate to employment and personal relationships.

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Addiction

Treating Trichotillomania

As a hair stylist with over 15 years of experience, I recently had the opportunity to work with a client who suffered from trichotillomania. Also called "hair pulling disorder," trichotillomania is characterized by an obsessive pulling of one's own hair, leading to hair loss and baldness. It's often chronic, difficult to treat, and can lead to high stress and social impairment for the sufferer. The following is an account of our work with this client using my skills as a master stylist.

Our client had gone through years of hiding her pull spots and had become masterful at finding different up-styles to camouflage her problem areas. The idea was to add hair extensions, as the client and her behavioral therapist believed it would help her to stop her compulsive pulling.
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Addiction

10 Tips for Staying Sober During Difficult Times


Self-care is critically important, especially in early recovery. Here are some methods to stay balanced, for 12 steppers and non-12 steppers alike.

My 2016 had a rocky start. It was all relatively manageable stuff -- tremors, instead of earthquakes -- but for a recovering alcoholic, the smallest of shakes can sometimes feel off the Richter scale.

I came down with a nasty, two-week flu, which left me feeling behind on work. That led to me feeling grumpy and stressed about my financial situation, which led me to being grumpy with my family and friends, and soon, I was looking at everything with anxious and hopeless eyes.
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Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: March 26, 2016


Listen to that...do you hear that, sweet readers?

That's the sound of absolute silence. Well, at least, it is for me. The roofers are gone, our living room is safe again, and let's just say this week has presented far less work frustration over it, ha!

So, this week I've rounded up some exciting updates, research, and other findings on how learning to cook is helping one person's depression, why hanging with friends could actually cause super smart people to feel less happy, what advocates are saying about a plan to ease the rules on patients' privacy regarding addiction treatment, and more.

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Addiction

10 Addiction Recovery Groups You Never Knew Existed


12-step groups have evolved beyond treating addictions. If you can think of a problem, there's likely a 12-step group out there to cure it.

It seems that things have been a little rough lately. What was once a bad habit has, over time, turned into a much bigger problem, and now you need support. That is nothing to be ashamed of. Believe me, I understand that type of thing more than most people. You need to do something, but what? Maybe you should try finding a 12-step group to help you get past this. Can’t hurt, right?

While some people feel that AA and 12-step programs are not the best way to recover from addiction, many others disagree. There is no shortage of adherents of 12-step programs. And if imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, then AA has a lot of admirers out there.
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Addiction

An Open Letter from a Wife in Recovery

Please note, this letter is my own and unrelated to any Al-Anon approved literature.
After reading An Open Letter From an Addict, I took the liberty of writing a letter back early on in my own recovery. Yes, my recovery.

After finding out my husband was actively using for years, I was devastated. How could I not know? What was I thinking this whole time?

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Addiction

Empaths vs. Codependents

I don't like when the term “empath” is used interchangeably with “codependent.” “Empath,” which has its origins in the spiritual and metaphysical world, was never intended to be a replacement term for codependency.

An empath is defined as a person with the paranormal ability to intuitively sense and understand the mental or emotional state of another individual. According to empaths I have spoken to and the information available on the Internet, they are highly sensitive to others' emotional and metaphysical energy. If, indeed, this extra-sensory phenomenon exists, it is definitely not the same thing as codependency.

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Addiction

How to Write a Daily Journal in Two Minutes or Less

Keeping a journal is often recommended as a powerful tool to aide addicts on their road to recovery. Journals not only help patients reflect on and express their feelings, but also to examine ways to avoid relapse.

However, many patients don’t stick with journaling because it can be a tedious practice. I work as an addiction psychiatrist, and I have developed a highly effective method of journaling that takes two minutes or less every day. This method offers patients personal accountability to understand the cycle of addiction.

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Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: December 26, 2015


Ah, you survived -- and possibly thrived in -- the holidays, sweet readers, and we've got just what you need to unwind and catch up on what's going on in the world of mental health.

Grab a cup of joe (or hot chocolate...unless you're experiencing this weird heat wave here in the U.S.), and read up on how music therapy can help depression, a therapist's answers to pressing anxiety questions, what we can push for regarding state mental health legislation next year, and more.

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Addiction

The Top 8 Reasons Why Prison Drug Treatment Fails


Why is prison drug treatment such a failure? A counselor, an expert and two former inmates weigh in.

Drug offenders have among the highest recidivism rates of all prisoners. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 76.9% of drug offenders get arrested for a new crime within five years of their release. That’s a lower recidivism rate than for property crimes (82.1%) but higher than for public order offenses (73.6%) or violent offenses (71.3%).

Although jails typically don’t offer drug treatment, many state prisons do—but the above data is for state prisons. So what’s going wrong? Why isn’t prison drug treatment working?
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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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