Addictions

Defense Mechanisms

“When children are faced with pain and anxiety in their developmental years, they develop defense mechanisms to cut off that pain. But the tragedy is that in cutting off the pain, you also cut deeply into their lives, so that defenses that were basically survival-oriented psychologically also serve as terrible limitations to the self.” ~… Read more »

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Addiction Recovery: Why My Approach Is Trauma-Informed

It’s so hard to watch a loved one struggle with addiction. Whether it’s to using drugs, alcohol, food, pornography gaming, or something else, friends and family often feel helpless and hurt. We grieve losing connection with the person we care about. Why does addiction happen? What can friends or family do? I see addictive behavior… Read more »

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Eating Disorders and Vaping: What’s the Link?

Vaping is very much on the rise in adolescents and adults. (1) While early research shows that e-cigarettes are less dangerous to health than traditional cigarettes, there is no published data yet on cancer risks or the potential long-term impact on our lungs or heart. Here are some of the potential health risks we do… Read more »

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Why Therapy is Essential for Treating Addiction

Most people assume the remedy for recovery involves detox and abstinence from the drugs/alcohol. The truth is, this is only the beginning. Recovery is a lifelong process, one that requires discipline and most importantly intensive treatment and therapy. Addiction is usually a symptom of an underlying issue such as trauma, abuse, grief, and many other… Read more »

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Empowering Yourself to Conquer an Addiction

 “Pain in this life is not avoidable, but the pain we create avoiding pain is avoidable.” ~R.D. Laing Millions of people turn to addiction for escape only to find it a prison. One of the reasons an addiction is such an effective trap is that it’s constructed on contradiction. The lows chase the highs, the… Read more »

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Substance Abuse and the Teenage Mind

Adolescence arrives with a surge of energy. It pushes many young people to try new things, make new friends, depend less on parents, and live more passionately. But as an adult, your role is still important. Adolescence is also a time when some explore alcohol or drugs (such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and prescription medicine,… Read more »

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Do You Use Drugs and Alcohol to Manage Your Emotions?

I really dislike the word addict to describe someone. I believe that people are more than just their addiction! Yes, many of my clients are trauma survivors who use (or have used) drugs and alcohol (or food or self-harming behavior) to feel less badly and they are/have been addicted to their drug of choice, but they are people… Read more »

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Love Addictions: Do You Have an Unhealthy Addiction to Love?

While the term “love addiction” may be controversial among mental health professionals, having an overwhelming or obsessive compulsion toward love or a loved one is not uncommon. Love addictions are formed as a defense against psychological pain. Love addicts have a fantasy of being rescued by their loved one and often believe that this one… Read more »

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Is Food Addiction For Real?

People often ask, “Is there such a thing as food addiction?” and the answer, for many, is a resounding “Yes!” Experts, dancing on the head of a pin, dismiss overeating as a “behavioral” addiction, much like gambling or Internet use. Substance use disorders are somehow more legitimate, garnering recognition and resources, i.e., insurance coverage. Meanwhile… Read more »

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Understanding Cell Phone Addiction

I wake in the middle of the night and instinctively reach for my phone. I innocently tell myself that I just need to check the time. It’s still dark out and I will surely go back to sleep, but as soon as the iPhone is in my hand, muscle-memory takes over. Before I know it,… Read more »

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