Addiction

Hitting Rock Bottom: Some, Not All

Hitting rock bottom is a phrase I hear all the time when people talk about addiction. “She needs to hit rock bottom to stop drinking.” “Once he hits rock bottom, he will realize the damage that drugs have caused.” “After they hit rock bottom, they will understand how negatively addiction has affected their careers, finances, and families.” These are common phrases I hear when people talk about friends, family, or acquaintances with addiction.

Yet, what does it mean to hit rock bottom? Literally speaking, it means someone has fallen so far -- perhaps off a cliff -- that they have hit the ground. Metaphorically, hitting rock bottom describes a point in one’s life when they reach a definite low as a result of addiction problems. People generally see it as the lowest point possible, an epiphanic moment or process where one becomes cognizant of their addiction’s destructive nature. This point may be financial, emotional, physical, social, or spiritual.

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Addiction

How ‘Mad Men’ Taught Us about Trauma, Shame & Healing

Don Draper, a character on the TV series "Mad Men," was a survivor of childhood trauma.

But when we first met Don, we met a man who had it all. He was at the pinnacle of his career, happily married to his gorgeous wife, Betty, and father of two adorable children. His haughty, arrogant and aloof facade was easily mistaken for genuine confidence.

We soon found out, however, that Don was a man with flaws. An alcoholic, a womanizer and an adulterer, he lied about things, not the least of which was his fake identity. These flaws, or what a therapist would consider symptoms, were an indication that Don was unwell. Symptoms are often brilliant clues that let an individual know they have underlying yet blocked emotions, often from the past, that need attention and release.
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Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: May 7, 2016


As I mentioned last Saturday, I had a pretty stressful last week of April. I was crunched for time to meet an important deadline, and it looked like I was going to fail.

I did -- fail, that is -- but fortunately, my boss was completely chill about it. So, I spent this week finishing up and, given how tightly wound I've been for the past, oh, five or so weeks, I am absolutely ecstatic about today (well, "today" if you're reading this on Saturday).

Why, you ask?

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Anxiety and Panic

The 4 Greatest Lessons I Learned on My Journey to Healing Social Anxiety

During my teens and most of my 20s I lived with social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, OCD and depression. For most of those years I was on strong antidepressants and during the worst of it, medical disability benefits due to my fear of job interviews.

I believed I had a genetic fault in my brain and I was born that way. I had totally given up on myself and was convinced I would never get over social anxiety. That brings me to the first lesson I learned on my journey to overcoming social anxiety and shyness:

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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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