Alternative Alcohol Therapy Options

 

Source: sanantoniorecoverycenter.com

 

There are many effective and proven therapies for alcoholism, the most common of which include cognitive behavioral therapy and psychotherapy. This article will discuss the rest of the therapy options that are equally effective in managing alcoholism – Motivational interviewing, dialectical behavioral therapy, music, art therapy, yoga, and the 12-step program.

Motivational Interview

In therapy, motivational interviewing or MI is an approach used to enable a patient to overcome uncertainty, create objectives for self-improvement, and remain driven to realize these objectives. MI is a known approach for dealing with substance abuse problems because numerous people feel weak and helpless against substance abuse and benefit from an integration of willpower to choose to refuse it. In a motivational interview, a mental health professional such as a therapist will support a patient in committing to change, like quitting drugs or alcohol.

MI is a short, client-focused, semi-directive treatment regimen that emphasizes strengthening and enhancing a client’s drive for transformation. It strives to intensify a client’s view on the relevance of transformation. MI is beneficial for those who have a lack of motivation or are not prepared for transformation. The practice entails a compassionate and supportive therapy method that also involves resistance. Motivational interviewing is a brief regimen where the therapist and client will have meetings for at least one to four sessions. MI integrates four primary concepts in therapy: rolling with resistance, learning self-efficiency, developing inconsistency, and expressing empathy. This approach is typically applied along with other therapeutic interventions.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

DBT is a form of evidence-based therapy. It functions from the expectations that opposing factors might produce a better truth, the world consistently changes, and everything is connected. These expectations comprise the foundation of the ethical structure of dialectics. In a clinical setting, a group of individual DBT sessions will entail learning to live in the moment rather than live in the past, dealing with distress and emotions, and learning truthful communication.

Eventually, DBT is created to assist patients in acknowledging positive change and finding emotional equilibrium. The approach is dialectical, as the therapist who created it preferred patients to be capable of synthesizing recognition of the past to make a better life. Studies have revealed that DBT works for individuals who are struggling with substance abuse disorders such as alcoholism.

Music And Art Therapy 

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Music and art are instruments of creative expression that can improve the healing process. Essentially, rehabilitation facilities occasionally offer their patients music and art therapy. In the facility, music and art therapy is more than merely playing songs or painting. Music and art therapy sessions are supervised by therapists, particularly to aid patients with alcoholism.

Music and art therapy help individuals calm down, open up about their feelings, and remain occupied by engaging in positive activities. Music and art also help reduce anxiety and depression, two typical health conditions that affect those suffering from alcoholism. This form of therapy has helped individuals tap into their feelings and needs that might be hard to express by more conventional types of communication. It also offers increased enthusiasm for treatment.

Artistic expression, regardless if it is musical or visual appreciation, affects people profoundly. Music, specifically, affects mood. This is what makes this type of therapy very beneficial.

Yoga And Meditation

These two practices can be useful strategies for dealing with cravings and staying sober. Some rehab facilities even provide their own meditation and yoga classes. Generally, yoga is a group of mental and physical exercises. The practice does not really have to entail a religious or spiritual element. On the other hand, meditation is any technique of relaxation that helps an individual maintain clarity and emotional and mental peace. Studies have revealed that meditation and yoga can serve as therapy for individuals diagnosed with substance abuse disorders, particularly if the sessions are run by a mental health professional and in conjunction with other treatment regimens.

12-Step Assistance Programs

A 12-step program is a supportive group where individuals freely talk about their battles with substance abuse. Alcoholics Anonymous is a popular 12-step program, but other programs for addictions to cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and gambling are also available. These programs offer mutual assistance to everybody in the group, helping them feel important, connected, and responsible for their sobriety. It complements other types of therapy and provides patients with something to talk about with their psychiatrists or psychologists.

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The 12-step program is evidently effective at assisting people in attaining sobriety for the long term. Because of this, therapists occasionally expedite the process of entering a 12-step community for their patients and integrate 12-step material with their patients’ encounters at group meetings into their therapy sessions.

Conclusion

With numerous therapy choices, there is hope for everyone with an addiction to heal. If you or somebody you know or love is into alcohol or drugs, please act today and reach out to an experienced treatment provider.

 

 

Why Therapy Is Vital In Treating Addictions

 

Source: longislandinterventions.com

 

Trying to quit addiction from street drugs, alcohol, prescription drugs – or any addiction – is quite a big accomplishment. There’s much to be proud of, but you still need to work moving forward. Detox is just the beginning of a long course wherein you will learn to deal with the cravings and prevent relapse.

Therapy is a primary approach in treating substance abuse for a lot of individuals. Family therapy, CBT, and other forms of therapy can assist addicts in helping them quit and stay sober. Psychotherapy can also manage other mental health problems that frequently cause substance abuse.

Why Therapy Is Important

Addiction is largely a physical reliance on alcohol or drugs. Even following detoxification, when the body is not hooked anymore, there is a higher likelihood of relapse. Specific social and psychological factors are strong triggers that may cause relapse. Examples include:

  • Social groups, such as spending time with people who are using
  • Stress, particularly spontaneous life challenges
  • Signs from the environment, such as going into a certain neighborhood.

All these factors can lead to a powerful continuous craving to use again. Therapy helps you avoid cravings and practice managing whatever life brings you without alcohol or drugs. Numerous therapies can manage substance abuse, although no single approach has proven better than the other. Similarly, no single method is effective for everyone with drug addiction. The best treatment regimen will be customized to your individual and addiction needs.

Group Vs. Individual Therapy

Of course, any therapy for drug use is better than none at all, although group therapy is commonly preferred to individual therapy. Individual therapy is beneficial when you have bipolar disorder, depression, or another relevant mental health disorder that needs therapy and is not connected with your addiction. Group therapy, on the other hand, you are most likely to be tested and backed by people who are also in rehab with you.

Source: northjerseyrecovery.com

Residential Vs. Outpatient Therapy

Residential therapy isolates you from the things and places that triggered you to use alcohol or drugs. You will visit a particular facility for a timeframe of weeks and even months. While in the facility, you will develop new skills and practices for living a sober life. This method does work only briefly, as it has not proven to help one stay sober for a longer period than outpatient programs, which an addict joins for an hour or a few hours. Outpatient therapy programs are the typical setting for alcohol and drug abuse treatment.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT involves change and acknowledgment. Initiated in the 1970s to manage individuals who had suicidal thoughts, DBT was implemented for other purposes, including alcohol or drug abuse. In dealing with substance abuse, the focus is on decreasing it, along with the behaviors that have led to it, and improving the healthy behaviors as well that helps the individual to avoid using again.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT educates you on how to acknowledge thoughts, circumstances, and moods that intensify the drug cravings. Therapists teach you strategies on how to prevent these cravings. You will learn to substitute negative emotions and thoughts with positive ones to help you cope and stay sober.

The abilities you will develop can last forever, so CBT is truly a powerful treatment approach. However, not every therapist is trained to do CBT techniques.

Family And Couples Therapy

Addictions do not only impact your life but also your entire family. Fruitful therapies require robust connections with friends and family members. Different therapy approaches involve your partner and other members of the family. Below are three primary reasons to try couples or family therapy.

  • They can start to recover from the damage that your addiction has produced in their lives.
  • Members of the family can be a strong factor for transformation in your own life.
  • Involving them can persuade you to continue staying with the therapy.

Research has found that family therapy leads to decreased relapse rates, more happiness and positivity in the family, and assists kids of addicted parents deal with their situation.

Source: psychiatrycentre.co.uk

Inspirational Interview

Here, the therapist aims to drive you and assist you in maintaining your abstinence from alcohol or drugs. If you are driven by your desire to return to work or love for your family, these matters might become the center of your treatment plan.

12-Step Programs

NA or Narcotics Anonymous is an internationally active group of community-based meetings for individuals recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. It was shaped after AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), so it is a 12-step approach with a clear process for attaining sobriety. It could also be a self-restraint program. By concept, NA is against the utilization of maintenance therapy. On the other hand, MA, or Methadone Anonymous, is a 12-step course that recognizes the importance of methadone and other drugs used in recovery from addiction. Other known recovery groups include Celebrate Recovery and SMART Recovery.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About The Psychology Of Addictive Behaviors

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “addiction?” Usually, when you hear this word, you may think of dependency on drugs or alcohol. After all, these addictions plague over 22.5 million Americans annually.

However, addiction doesn’t just pertain to heavy dependence on drugs or alcohol. Some people can also exhibit addictive behaviors toward activities. Gaming and having sex are just some of the common and potentially addictive activities.

Even excessive browsing through endless apps like Facebook and Twitter or e-commerce websites can qualify as addictive behavior.

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Sure these activities are indeed enjoyable, with little to no immediate consequences. However, other addictions can also bring immediate problems. You can get addicted to gambling or shopping. These activities entail spending a significant amount of money.

Some people can also become obsessed with their appearance. Thus, they can develop an addiction to exercise, tanning, or plastic surgery. These addictions can then lead to serious physical health conditions.

But generally speaking, behavioral addictions seem milder than substance abuse and addiction. However, these conditions aren’t as foreign to each other as they seem. 

A study has even shown glaring similarities between the two. Here are just some of the symptoms of behavioral addictions which are also apparent in substance abuse cases:

  • Feeling of euphoria while indulging in the activity
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Developing tolerance and increasing intensity of behavior
  • Thinking obsessive thoughts
  • Losing the ability to control behavior

And so, at the psychological level, fatal substance abuse and relatively mild behavioral addictions are actually on the same level. 

Thus, therapists must dig deep into the psychology of these behaviors to treat addicted patients. They need to look through all known factors. Once they can fully understand why their patients indulge in their activities, they can help shift their mindset.

Addiction may also be a product of stress, pressure, and other mental and physical conditions. For substance abuse, some users turn to drugs for their natural pain-relieving effects. Such a state of high can then lead to dependence, misuse, and addiction. 

So, the question is, how can daily and mundane activities like eating and shopping result in addictive behavior?

In this article, you can find the answer to this bugging question. We also listed other frequently asked questions to help you better understand the psychology of addictive behaviors.

What does psychology say about addiction?

Psychology explains that addiction occurs when a person cannot stop doing a pleasurable activity despite its harmful effects on their quality of life and physical well-being.

For example, someone with uncontrollable drinking habits that negatively impact their relationships, work, and health would be considered an alcohol addict. Drugs and gambling are other activities that a person may get addicted to.

What are the psychological theories of addiction?

Some psychological theories of addiction are learning theories, including classical and operant conditioning, social learning theory, cognitive psychology, and self-medication theories.

Classical conditioning occurs because people may learn to associate substances with pleasure, triggering a craving response. An operant condition occurs when they perceive the addictive substance as a positive reinforcement that helps them with their negative emotions.

Social learning theory considers addiction a learned or mimicked behavior; cognitive psychology talks about how the substance impairs memory and function. Lastly, self-medication theories explain why people develop an addiction to help with their pain.

Why is the idea of having an addictive personality harmful?

Addictive personality is a myth that can be harmful as it perpetuates cruel stereotypes and may negatively affect the likelihood of a person seeking rehabilitation for their addiction.

While it is true that people getting rid of addiction may substitute it for another one, it does not necessarily support that they have an addictive personality. Furthermore, there is little research and evidence that support this claim.

Why are things addicting?

Some things or activities are addicting because we learn to associate them with pleasure, making the brain’s reward system active when we see them. Other reasons affecting our addiction are genetics, social network, emotional trauma, and other mental illnesses.

How does addiction hijack the brain?

When we are repeatedly exposed or introduced to an addictive substance or behavior, our nerve cells learn to associate liking to wanting, which leads us to become addicted. So, when we encounter this substance or behavior, we strive to get it to reap the rewards or pleasure.

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What is an addictive behavior?

Addictive behavior may refer to continuously seeking the substance or activities that trigger our brain’s reward system despite its negative consequences. It may also mean the reinforcing and rewarding stimulus that affects the development of an addiction.

The following red flags indicate an addictive behavior:

  • Having trouble stopping
  • Dependence on the substance or action to feel normal
  • Social withdrawal
  • Repeatedly engaging with the substance or doing the action despite negative impacts on self
  • Difficulty focusing on other things except for the addictive substance or action.

What is the addiction pathway?

The addiction pathway is the part of your brain responsible for motivating behavior. People used to refer to this part as the pleasure center, and it is one part of our body that we also share with other animals. Today, it is more commonly known as the brain reward region.

How do I activate my brain reward system?

To activate your brain’s reward system, you must be exposed to a rewarding stimulus that can trigger an increase of dopamine – a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure. And research says that the reward systems are situated near major dopamine pathways. That is why, when we do addictive activities or substances, we feel pleasure.

How do addictive behaviors start?

Addictive behaviors are triggered and started by emotional trauma and abuse, mood disorders, and the immediate social environment.

When people experiencing these things are exposed to pleasurable activities – gaming, gambling, sex, and food, the neurotransmitters in the brain are triggered and released. It becomes a want, making them crave and continuously participate in these activities despite its adverse effects on themselves and their relationships.

Conclusion

Now that you know about the hows and whys of addictive behavior, you can better understand it as a mental health problem. It might not be as fatal as drug or alcohol overuse, but it is just as mentally draining. 

Besides, each of the common addictive behaviors also has its consequences. Gambling addiction can lead to bankruptcy, and excessive gaming can lead to loss of productivity. Some of these addictions can even lead to obsessive and risky actions so that you can partake in an activity.

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If you know someone who is exhibiting symptoms of behavioral addiction, talk to them about their behavior. Better yet, if you notice an increased dependence or too much risk-taking to partake in an activity, seek professional help. 

But if you’re the one experiencing these symptoms, reflect. While addictive behavior can provide you with unexplainable happiness, remember how fleeting such a feeling can be. Don’t wait for your situation to worsen before asking for legitimate help.

Do not be ashamed of whatever your addiction may be. After all, the first step to improvement is to recognize your own shortcomings. 

Be accountable for your actions and accept the help you deserve. You can seek counseling and therapy from licensed and certified mental health professionals. There are many types of counseling programs you can try to help yourself out.

You can also practice healthy coping mechanisms as you try to replace your obsessive and addictive nature. Here are just some activities you can try:

  • Practice yoga or aerobic exercise
  • Listen to music
  • Take strolls
  • Read books

Most of all, you can seek the help and support of your loved ones. You can ask your family to be frank with you so they can provide you with feedback and constructive criticism. Even just having one friend check up on you and hold you accountable can be beneficial.

Addiction is as much a mental health issue as any other condition. So, don’t beat yourself up because repeatedly blaming yourself won’t get you anywhere. Instead, reflect and take proper action. The more you understand what you’re going through, the more chances of changing for the better.

Frequently Asked Questions About Therapy For Managing BPD

Chemical dependence can greatly affect the life of an individual. Dependence on these harmful substances can affect the behavior as well as the basic functioning. Without proper guidance and timely intervention, it can lead to addiction, which is much worse. 

In some addiction cases, it gradually overlaps into another mental health disorder, which is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). It is a condition that impacts both everyday lives as well as relationships. BPD can be dangerous and pose a risk to life because of the symptoms that come with it. 

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There are even instances when BPD comeS with other mental health issues like depression. So what does BPD look like, and why does therapy help?

With BPD, there is distress over relationships due to an intense fear of abandonment. It may feel difficult or even intolerable to be alone. It intensifies the longing for lasting relationships yet inadvertently sets it back because of inappropriate anger and impulsiveness. 

The loneliness becomes insurmountable for them as they take measures to prevent situations where the people they love leave. Borderline Personality Disorder greatly affects the self-image. It leads to form harmful and negative beliefs about oneself.

Even when it sounds discouraging, most people with BPD can manage to cope better and, in turn, live a better life with treatment.

Now, getting treatment for BPD may seem difficult at first. Of course, there are obvious factors such as cost and accessibility. However, there is the stigma of BPD that makes it challenging for both therapists and those seeking treatment. 

It’s essential to try not to let these factors dishearten you. There are plenty of support systems out there available. Therapy for BPD can come in many forms, including individual and group counseling. For the most part, treatment for BPD is usually a form of psychotherapy or talk therapy. 

The therapist will first figure out the current situation. They will then observe how the patient currently functions to determine how sessions can tailor-fit for their needs. In these sessions, the patients will learn skills and ways of thinking to help them cope and manage their condition.

Over time, treatment can effectively teach the patient how to sit with uncomfortable emotions and manage their responses. Moreover, it will also guide how to work on improving relationships through self-awareness and empathy.

If you are interested to learn more about how therapy works for BPD, we answered the frequently asked questions below.

Can you self-treat BPD?

Borderline personality disorder or BPD is a dangerous disorder that may need treatment from certified mental health professionals. However, there are self-help methods for individuals with BPD to reduce symptoms and BPD episodes.

  • Education: It is significant to be knowledgeable about the diagnosis, symptoms, accessible medications, and other characteristics of the condition. There is proof that just getting educated about BPD can help relieve symptoms.
  • Emotional Processing and Expression in BPD: There is some evidence indicating that creative writing or any activity where you can express your emotion has beneficial effects, including improved physical health and decreased psychological symptoms.

Can BPD be cured without therapy?

The symptoms of the condition will abate and fade through time, even without medication. Several individuals with BPD can live life at a better pace than others, so treatment for every individual is different.

How long does therapy take for BPD?

It usually takes around 70 to 120 sessions and may also require more. Sometimes sessions are arranged once every two weeks but are commonly conducted every week.

Why do therapists find it difficult to treat BPD?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a condition that is difficult to handle because it is complicated and stigmatized. Moreover, its symptoms represent deeply embedded thinking and behavior patterns.

What triggers BPD episodes?

Triggers are specific occurrences or circumstances that intensify or worsen BPD symptoms instantly.

  • Interpersonal relationship triggers: Relationship triggers are the most common BPD trigger. Several individuals with BPD have an elevated sensitivity to being abandoned. They can feel severe dread and rage, impulsive behavior, self-harm, or even suicidal tendencies in occurrences.
  • Cognitive triggers: Memories that tend to appear from nowhere may cause extreme anxiety and other BPD signs. For people who have BPD, traumatic events such as child violence may cause triggers. Simultaneously, memory, place, or picture of a previous trauma or suffering experience can also trigger intense emotions.

How do you calm down a Borderline Personality Disorder?

One of the best and simplest ways to quickly soothe yourself when having a BPD episode is to engage your senses.

  • Try to take a warm shower or bath, nuzzling underneath bed covers, or hugging a pet.
  • Consume something relaxing, like warm tea or soup.
  • Light a scented candle, start aromatherapy, spray and smell your preferred perfume or anything that smells good.
  • Concentrate on a picture that catches your attention.
  • Put on calming music or listen to nature’s stimulating sounds, such as rain, wind, or the ocean.

Does BPD ever go away?

Outcomes may vary, with some coping better than others. The condition might not go away, but it is manageable for a better quality of living.

What happens if BPD is left untreated?

The impact of borderline personality could be severe if ignored. It applies not just to the patient dealing with the condition but also to their family and friends. The following are some of the most common symptoms of untreated BPD:

  • Interpersonal relationship issues
  • Loss of job
  • Self-harm
  • A tendency to participate in dangerous activities
  • A general sense of confusion
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Are borderlines intelligent?

An individual with a borderline condition may be brilliant, intelligent, warm, polite, and highly-capable. Before their defensive structure collapses, they will sustain this image for several years until they experience a traumatic event. Triggers are different for everyone. It can be a breakup or death of a loved one or other reasons.

Do therapists hate borderlines?

Several therapists share the overall stigma regarding Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) patients. Owing to the belief that they are hard to handle, a few even stopped dealing with BPD patients. Handling BPDs take up a lot of the attention and effort of the therapists.

Furthermore, very few conventional treatment methods in a therapist’s repertoire are useful for individuals suffering from BPD.

Can a person with BPD really love?

An individual with BPD can love and undergo love-related feelings, like attraction, affection, admiration, and desire. They can have a strong degree of commitment to a romantic relationship. However, it’s crucial to remember that individuals with BPD have exceptionally sensitive characteristics.

Therefore, they will likely exhibit strenuous behaviors and responses in their relationships if it goes out of control.

Does BPD go away with age?

Borderline personality disorder typically occurs in young adulthood. BPD appears to be severe in young adulthood, but individuals with the condition may progressively get healthier with age.

Borderline Personality Disorder is dangerous if left untreated. It affects individuals by putting them in unsafe situations. Moreover, it also affects loved ones and other relationships. The thing about BPD is, despite the bursts of anger and mood swings, it still seeks great relationships.

Source: pexels.com

The back and forth of wanting to be accepted and loved yet unwittingly pushing people away is indeed discouraging. The intense feelings of loneliness might seem like they will last for a long time. Furthermore, episodes of anger and impulsiveness may leave feelings of distress.

Therapy for BPD will teach useful life skills which are applicable beyond talk therapy. It will teach how to cope significantly better with difficult emotions. Additionally, it will help improve your relationships and interactions with others.

Moreover, therapy is important in learning how to manage BPD episodes on one’s own properly. While it’s never wrong to seek help from others, having confidence in oneself significantly boosts the quality of living.

No matter how discouraging it may seem, it’s always best to remember that Borderline Personality Disorder is a manageable condition. 

With proper help and guidance, anyone with BPD will see themselves in a better place. Through therapy, it is possible to manage the condition and improve the quality of life and relationships. 

My Life Journey On Alcohol Addiction (Mental Health Confession)

After receiving a diagnosis of getting addicted to alcohol, it really got me thinking about my relationship with it. I can still recall the binge-drinking days where I just didn’t care if I get a total blackout due to whatever level of consumption I was doing. I enjoyed drinking back then, so what else do I have to think about besides the happy moments of me enjoying and living life to the fullest? Growing up, I started drinking alcohol when I was sixteen. I was binge-drinking every weekend with my friends as we party all night. Honestly, I can’t count those times that I passed out and got wasted. Sometimes, if it’s convenient for me, I drink alone once or twice before going to bed.

Source: pixabay.com

Looking back on those drinking habits, I didn’t realize things can go bad over time. I never considered that I have an alcohol problem because I was too convinced that every individual experienced a phase like that. I never thought that my drinking habit was not something I could easily stop myself from doing. Honestly, I never pictured myself quitting drinking because I believe it to be a requirement to strengthen my social behavior and skills. But right after I got diagnosed with mental health problems associated with drinking consumption, I knew from that moment I need to change things.

The Quitting Process

I was crazy addicted to alcohol that I often experienced passing out on the streets whenever I consumed too much. I became a laughing stock because I always ended up drunk and wasted and unable to physically, mentally, and emotionally control myself. I had this issue that whenever I start drinking, there is no way anyone could stop me. I can go for a full 24-hour cycle of non-stop alcohol consumption. Some people who don’t know me think it was a talent that I should brag about. But for me, I slowly realized that it was a problem.

Source: pixabay.com

The quitting process was quite hard because I wasn’t sure about what to do. I went on controlling myself for a couple of days, nine days, to be precise. I was so happy that I somehow managed to instantly stop drinking without the help of anyone but myself. I thought it was not that hard because I went on nine days straight of not taking any sip. I was convinced that I can make alcohol addiction go away. But right before I am about to celebrate my days of success, I snapped. I took a bottle of beer and told myself that it was just for that day. Unfortunately, as soon as I took that first gulp, I went crazy over it and craved for more.

After a couple of days of triumph, I was back again on my alcohol addiction. And this time, it was worse. It was as if I drink alcohol to fuel my body. I was a mess. I lost my job, my friends won’t hang out with me anymore, and my family won’t talk to me. I was so devastated that I ended up having clinical depression.

Source: pixabay.com

The Struggle For Success

My alcohol addiction pushed me on edge. I was left with nothing in my pocket and no one on my side. I was entirely eager to end my life because of that. I was so depressed that I couldn’t think clear thoughts. I thought that maybe if I could die instantly, things would be a lot better. But somehow, I knew I need to make things right. That is where I decided to look for an effective solution, so I scheduled myself for counseling before finally entering rehabilitation. Admittedly, the process of simply talking to someone about my mental health condition was not something I entirely considered effective. But to my surprise, a couple of sessions made me feel better, and I don’t know why. It made me realize many things about myself regarding my behavior and how I was supposed to manage my life.

Source: pixabay.com

The Positive Outcome

After a year of battling with my addiction, I am now alcohol-free. I am so happy that I began to see the good things in life. After I cut back alcohol entirely, I can now make better decisions at a much approachable level. I feel awesome every day, and I don’t get to feel too exhausted, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I don’t get wasted anymore as I am now off to any embarrassment. My mind is so much clearer that I can focus on doing things productively and creatively. It feels like my senses were enhanced, and I am more aware of what is going on around me. I feel great to have this incredible sense of well-being. I am now in control of my life, and I want it to stay that way.

Why A Video Game Is Becoming A Silent Addiction (Family Discussion)

Like other types of addiction, video game addiction is less debilitating. The impact is not that severe to most individuals. Some can only view it as an entertainment obsession and not dependence. Thus, spotting the difference might be challenging, especially when it comes to gaming habits. Unlike some of the other categories of addiction, video game addiction often becomes not a big deal since it does not connect to the engagement of criminal activities or anything alike. However, for those people who are addicted to video games, the consequences can be quite subtle. Eventually, it would cause detriment to the other areas of individuals’ lives. These include people’s work, hygiene, social commitment, as well as family and romantic relationships.

 

Source: pexels.com

When You See It

Addiction always becomes a problem because individuals can no longer put an end to whatever they are addicted to. And like video game addiction, there is a persistent pattern or occurring gaming behavior that may be offline or online that individuals continue to do. That is regardless of the negative effects it brings to their surroundings. The adverse effects are manifested by these following:

Impaired Control Over Gaming – Individuals’ impaired control over gaming has a lot to do with onset enthusiasm with a particular game. When the type of video game turns out to be so interesting and entertaining, the individuals’ demand for frequency soon rises. When that happens, the intensity of the gaming duration often extends over time. As a result, people soon experience problems putting their gaming habit to necessary schedules. That explains why they often find it hard to leave, quit, and pause the game even for a while.

 

Source: pexels.com

Increased Priority Given To Gaming – Individuals with gaming disorder often do not see themselves in worst-case scenarios. They usually take their gaming addiction to the next level as they continue to view it as part of their priorities over other life interests and activities. In some unfortunate instances, it becomes their whole world. People with video gaming addiction tend to change their perspective. They do not worry about anything anymore, and it seems like other things no longer matter. So whether they do not eat, sleep, take a bath, or go outside, it does not create a single concern anymore.

Continuation Of Gaming Despite Adverse Effects – Fortunately, some individuals’ gaming behavioral pattern tends to change for a couple of reasons. The most common one is when they get fed up with the same routine over and over that they decide to take a step back and rest for a while. However, it takes a lot of courage to do that. Because most of the time, instead of quitting, some individuals change the video game instead of habit. Meaning, despite the presence of physical and mental exhaustion, they prefer to continue playing. Thus, it creates a sufficient severity of multiple brain and body malfunctions.

 

Source: pexels.com

Gaming Impacts Significant Areas Of Functioning – Contrary to the beliefs, individuals with gaming disorder are not unaware of things around them. The truth is, they entirely know what is going on. They understand how their behavior affects and somehow ruins their lives. But despite that, they seem to not care about the impacts at all. They have this mentality that they are not doing anything wrong, so there is no need for them to explain themselves. They view video gaming as leisure. For them, those people who think about gaming as a disorder are unrealistically unreasonable.

Loses Sense Of Communication Due To Gaming – Most individuals with gaming addiction often prefer to be alone because they are not fond of meaningful conversations. Though sometimes, they can access small talks and digital chats, they still prefer not to discuss anything rather than video games. And though some choose to be around with people, it becomes hard for them to communicate. That is because gaming addicts are senseless, and often they do not care whether their friends, family, or special someone is having a hard time dealing with their behavior. As a result, everyone leaves.

 

Source: pexels.com

Not Knowing They Are Addicted – Most gaming addicts do not think that they are addicted to video games. For them, it is just a hobby that they love more than anything else in the world. With that, these people tend to ignore seeking professional advice or any help. They believe they do not need it and that their behavior is not something that others should worry about. Gaming addicts are in denial of their condition and often find it too late to work on their recovery.

These are just some of the basis why gaming disorder recently became part of the World Health Organization’s draft of the ICD or the International Classification of Disease. And for the other reasons, there are still a lot out there that individuals are undoubtedly dealing with.

Life After Rehab: Sober Housing Or Stay At Home

Do you know that studies show that more and more people are now relapsing due to COVID-19? Since individuals are forcibly staying at home, there is a significant chance that people will pour their boredom and anxiety into a glass of alcohol.

Statistics show that the sales of alcohol increased by a massive 5% in the U.S. in the last week of March. This period was when the president revealed that the coronavirus is getting more deadly. 

However, some people have just finished their rehab amid the pandemic. The question that’s running in their mind is where they’ll stay – at a sober housing or home?

Source: pxfuel.com

Living In A Sober Housing

Sober housing refers to a substance-free living environment for individuals recovering from either drug or alcohol addiction. Take note that this is different from a rehab center. A sober house acts as a middle ground between the independent sober living and residential treatment. 

Sober housing residents are also required to attend group meetings. These are initiatives to attend their 12-step programs, create a sober fellowship, feel their accountability, and keep on track of their goals. These are strategies to reinforce the will to abstain from alcohol and drugs. 

Other recovery programs include the following: 

  • Finding a job
  • Fixing the relationship with family and friends affected by substance abuse
  • Picking the best housing after treatment
  • Drafting a relapse prevention therapy plan
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These are just like an average house located in a quiet neighborhood. The only difference is that these are for both men or women who are still in addiction recovery. Often, residents are in groups, so they’ll have roommates as a company. However, there are instances where they are allowed to have a private room.

Sober Housing Setup

Unlike a rehabilitation center, residents in sober housing are allowed to come and go as they please. The only thing that they have to follow is that they be home by curfew time. They are also sometimes required to undergo random drug tests to ensure that their home remains safe from temptations.

Also, those living here need to take care of themselves – buy groceries for themselves, cook their food, and pay for rent. 

Benefits Of Staying In Sober Housing

  • Strong support group
  • Reliable and like-minded housemates
  • Accountable
  • Regular drug testing
  • Sense of independence
  • Fresh shart
  • Slow yet safe reintegration to society
  • Application of sobriety goals and commitment

Returning Home

The more popular choice after rehab is returning home. Most prefer this option since they’re enthusiastic about the idea that friends and family are waiting for them to return. At the same time, most people feel that this is the best support group that they’ll encounter. 

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For other individuals, returning home is a more viable option since they do not have the financial means to sustain a sober housing living. There is an additional cost when for a sober living program that this sometimes hinders individuals from enrolling.

Benefits Of Staying At Home

  • Presence of family, friends, and significant other
  • Pets to cheer you up
  • No need to live with strangers
  • Comfortability of living in the familiar

What’s Better?

Both setups have their pros and cons. Statistics show, however, that more individuals relapse upon returning home. It occurs even more if their loved ones still haven’t accepted their state and are not supportive of their sobering decision. There is also a bigger chance of relapsing given the presence of alcohol and drugs at home as compared to sober housing. 

“If there’s a common concern among those overcoming addiction, it would have to be the fear of returning home. Will you be able to maintain your sobriety? How do you build a routine that doesn’t include buying, selling or using drugs? What should you do if cravings hit again when you face your triggers?” shares Brittany Polansky, LCSW

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Some might also question what the better option is amid COVID-19? It will depend on the circumstances as well. It is safer to stay at home, given the control of the people going in and out. There is a slighter possibility of opening your home to the virus, given that it’s a contained environment.

This set up is the opposite of that of a sobering home. Many people live there, so there’s not much control when it comes to housing the virus.

However, as mentioned above, given the anxiety brought about by the pandemic, many individuals are now relapsing. They use alcohol to mask the stress that they’re feeling. Therefore, those at home are more susceptible to this situation due to its availability at home. 

There’s no perfect decision here. The best way to go about this is to carefully weigh your pros and cons and align it with your preference. 

Subtle Hints to Alarm Parents if Their Teens Are Drug Addicts

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Parents beware. Your teen might be a victim of drug addiction.

 

It’s quite a rare occurrence for teens to approach their parents and honestly admit that they are taking drugs or are struggling with substance abuse. Therefore, it’s up to the parents to be wary and observant for subtle, insidious clues that their children might be engaging in inappropriate substance use.

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Is Your Husband A Recovering Alcoholic?

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Do you have a husband who is recovering from alcohol addiction? Do you struggle when it comes to taking good care of him? Are you interested in learning how to ease the inconvenience and pain? What you need to learn as early as now is the truth: that dealing with a recovering alcoholic is not going to be a walk in the park. There are times when you would want to give up especially if the other does not cooperate in the recovery process. Do not fret because you can handle it well by doing these things:

Continue reading Is Your Husband A Recovering Alcoholic?