April 21, 2016

Resources

By better understanding addiction and depression, we’re better equipped to deal with it and treat it. On this page we provide information that we hope will help you do just that.

Addiction and Depression Videos

Drug Addiction

Addiction is not a weak person’s disease– It just makes people weak……

Addiction, in any form is a double edged sword. It is a physical compulsion coupled with a mental obsession with the external force (substance, person, place or thing!) being the focus. Because it attacks from these two fronts, it is an extremely hard problem to deal with. The disease is progressive, incurable and fatal, but can be arrested at almost any stage. A person having a genetic predisposition to the disease is usually not aware of it.

The threshold between abuse and addiction is invisible and different in all individual sufferers. Some people can be successful social drinkers for years, and then – literally overnight, become alcoholic. Others are addicted from the first experience. The pattern of addiction (The focus here is on a substance yet applies to ALL known addictions; codependency, gambling, shopping, work…………..)

A ‘drug’ is consumed and creates a desirable effect (not necessarily a high, it may be just a feeling of contentment or oblivion or pain relief). The behavior is repeated because of the desired effects. The brain builds a tolerance to the substance, so it takes more each time to achieve the same effect. As addiction sets in, these original sensations that are pursued are never achieved again. The brain becomes “used” to the substance and creates triggers when the substance is not used to turn the persons attention towards it (cravings).

After a period the person is spending more time preoccupied with the drug and therefore retarding mental and emotional growth as these thought patterns become deeply entrenched. Aside from the undesirable effects of the abuse of the drug itself, one of the outcomes of being so preoccupied with the substance is that it prevents healthy relationships from being formed and maintained.

After a further period of time, the brain also sends out physical indicators when the drug is not being used (sweating, shaking), known as withdrawals. These physical symptoms are caused by a release of chemicals that occurs while the drug is being used, especially in the case of CNS (Central Nervous System) depressants such as alcohol. The drug is depressing the CNS, so the brain counteracts with “stimulants” in an attempt to achieve balance. When the consumption of the drug is suddenly stopped, the brain is continuing to produce these chemicals at high concentrations which effectively send the body and brain into “overload”. This overload can present itself by way of seizures and can be severe enough to cause death. Alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs to withdraw from.

Because the sufferer is caught between the states of either being under the influence, recovering from the last consumption or thinking about the next one, their lives and the lives of all those around them become severely affected. High absenteeism from employment due to intoxication/associated physical illness and the expense of the substance leads to loss of work, social standing, financial security and self esteem.

This sparks off a whole series of problems within self and family. If the person is approached by a loved one about the problem, this can create a strong defensive reaction such as dishonesty through coarse language. If the drug is illegal, usage creates a network of people around the sufferer who are in the same situation to ensure a constant supply.

Because substances sometimes cost a great deal of money, the person learns the “tricks of the trade” to procure it, mainly prostitution and theft. What would have at one stage been considered as “insanity” by the sufferer slowly becomes the daily norm as this network of people begins to play a bigger role in their life.

Because most drugs decrease inhibition and impair areas of the brain which control aggression and memory, incidents occur whilst under the influence which would be considered out of character for the person. As periods of intoxication increase, so do the incidents. As the impairment to these areas of the brain increase, the incidents may become more violent. Once again what was considered “insane” now becomes normal for the addict.

The above pattern is repeated many times and becomes ingrained, so even when the usage is totally stopped, many of the thought patterns and coping mechanisms remain. Ceasing the consumption is not enough; the sufferer needs to learn how to cope mentally and emotionally through life without the substance and how to integrate into mainstream society which can take many years.Even after long periods of abstinence from the substance the brain remembers it very well!

Should the addict begins using again, the downhill slide is extremely quick. You do not get to start from scratch. Addiction does not disappear.

It’s in you….but it sleeps….

By working the 12 step recovery programme you may develop the ability to choose whether to wake it up or not!

Depression and Mood Disorder

Everybody goes through periods of sadness in their lives but not everybody will suffer from depression. Depression is considered to be a mood disorder. To have a mood disorder means that your overall level of happiness or sadness no longer follows typical rhythms and either drift to extreme highs or lows or move between the two. This will affect the way you see yourself, how you see the future, your sleep patterns, eating patterns, how you think, your memory, concentration, motivation, desire to socialise and your ability to experience pleasure.

A mood disorder is more than a passing emotion, you cannot snap out of it (hence the term disorder), you can’t will it away and it can last a long time if it is not addressed. However, appropriate treatment at Twin Rivers Rehab such as psychotherapy can reduce and sometimes even eliminate the symptoms.

Cell Phone Addiction

Personally, I think this short animation depicts present day cell phone addiction brilliantly!
There is perhaps an amusing side to this problem but definitely a tragic side too! I have heard stories of fatal accidents and serious injuries directly connected to cell phone use in moving vehicles and by predestrians walking into oncoming traffic for example. Please look at the link below;
https://seriousaccidents.com/blog/ten-worst-cell-phone-related-injuries-deaths/

My children are 9 and 6 years old and my wife and I are already under pressure to get them cell phones because some of their friends already have one! I cannot understand why any child under 16 would ‘need’ a cell phone and think that there should be age restrictions on cell phones. I am sure there are situation whereby a child needs to be able to contact their parent/s but why have a smart phone giving access to all manner of social media and the dreaded internet. One of our local schools report cyber-bullying in that children, during school hours are sending disturbing messages to other children causing anxiety and stress for the recipient. All too often this is about the parent’s ego in that their child cannot be seen with a basic phone as this may reflect on the family’s financial reputation-very sad!

My children have basic i-pads with no phone on them and have restricted access. Both i-pads are connected to my i-pad so as I control want games they download.

Social media could be known as anti-social media as all media now-a-days is infiltrated with tacky advertising and pornographic links. There are no shortage of articles on Google about how smart phones are ruining open communication, peoples sex lives, individuals privacy and has actually driven people to commit suicide.