“I drank to drown those voices, because I wanted the bravado of a sexually liberated woman. I wanted the same freedom from internal conflict that my male friends seemed to enjoy. So I drank myself to a place where I didn’t care, but I woke up a person who cared enormously. Many yeses on Friday nights would have been nos on Saturday mornings. I had wanted alcohol to make me fearless, but by this point I was scared all the time. Afraid of what I’d said and done in blackouts. Afraid I would have to stop. Afraid of a life without alcohol, because booze had been my trustiest tool.
I needed alcohol to drink away the things that plagued me. Not just my doubts about sex – my self-consciousness, my loneliness, my insecurities, my fears. I drank away all the parts that made me human, in other words, and I knew this was wrong. My mind could cobble together a thousand PowerPoint presentations to keep me seated on a bar stool. But when the lights were off and I lay very quietly in my bed, I knew: there was something fundamentally wrong about losing the narrative of my own life. …”
from new book “Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget” by Sarah Hepola
Hadley Freeman writes …”Nobody ever asks me what it felt like…Instead they ask why: “Why were you anorexic? Why?”
Eating disorders are the only mental illness that people still assume is caused by something identifiable and external. No sensible person would ask anyone why they became schizophrenic, why they suffer from clinical depression. But eating disorders are different, and this is partly because of the behaviour of those who suffer from them. In the grip of the disorder, your world shrinks to the size of a pinhole: your brain fixates entirely on weight, calories; and, if you’re underweight, being so cold it feels like you have icicles for bones.
Asking a person with an eating disorder why they are behaving like that is not going to elicit a sensible answer, any more than asking an alcoholic why he or she drinks. There will be talk of wanting to be thin like this model, pretty like that friend, slim enough to wear nice clothes. But none of these reasons are why the person developed an eating disorder…
It’s about the way women are still valued primarily by their physical appearance…one potential factor behind eating disorders in women, especially anorexia, is a fear of being sexualized, which is just one reason why it tends to take root during puberty…
So why did I stop eating? Because I was unhappy. Because I didn’t know how to express it vocally. Because I didn’t understand I was allowed to respond to my own needs. Because I was scared of growing up. The specific causes of eating disorders are varied, but those factors are pretty common.
Here is an excellent article calling into question the whole premise for the war on drugs … rat addiction remedied by the Rat Park, US soldiers using heroin in Vietnam who simply stop their use when they return home, patients in hospitals given diamorphine – the medical name for heroin who do not leave the hospital and attempt to score heroin on the street …
This has huge implications for the one hundred year old war on drugs. This massive war – which kills people from the malls of Mexico to the streets of Liverpool – is based on the claim that we need to physically eradicate a whole array of chemicals because they hijack people’s brains and cause addiction. But if drugs aren’t the driver of addiction – if, in fact, it is disconnection that drives addiction – then this makes no sense.
From an article discussing Johann Hari’s book ‘Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs‘. The book has been praised by everyone from Elton John to Glenn Greenwald to Naomi Klein.
… lots of multitasking requires decision-making: Do I answer this text message or ignore it? How do I respond to this? How do I file this email? Do I continue what I’m working on now or take a break? It turns out that decision-making is also very hard on your neural resources and that little decisions appear to take up as much energy as big ones. One of the first things we lose is impulse control. This rapidly spirals into a depleted state in which, after making lots of insignificant decisions, we can end up making truly bad decisions about something important. Why would anyone want to add to their daily weight of information processing by trying to multitask? Read more of this article from The Guardian here …
“Her name means love in Korean. Three-month-old Sarang died in her sleep of malnutrition. The 5 1/2-pound baby wasted away while her parents spent their nights playing Prius Online, raising a virtual child in a Korean cyber cafe as they neglected their real one at home.
Love Child, a documentary about the 2010 death and the culture surrounding it, started airing on HBO this week. Director Valerie Veatch, also the director behind HBO’s ME the Zoo, told Polygon that her documentary isn’t meant to be an attack on the game industry, but instead a way to spark an important dialogue.
Villanova University’s Patrick Markey, an associate professor of psychology and an expert on how video games affect human behavior and relationships, said that there is no question that some people play video games excessively and that doing so could lead to negative consequences. “However, people engage in all types of activities excessively if that activity provides enjoyment or distracts them from other issues going on in their lives,” he said. “For example, a person under extreme stress (either due to work, children, or just because they are generally anxious) might engage in excessive gameplay as a way to avoid dealing with this stress. In this manner excessive gameplay might be considered more of a symptom of an underlying issue than the actual cause of a problem.”
Markey dismisses the notion that video games are addictive as an “artifact of media hysteria.”
“There is currently no major organization which has accepted that video games are addictive in the same manner as drugs or gambling,” he said. “In short, video games might encourage high levels of engagement but they are not addictive.”
For some, the distinction is the difference between addiction and obsession.
“The claim that video games are addictive often conflates chemical addiction with obsessive behaviors,” said Adrienne Shaw, an assistant professor at Temple University’s department of media studies and production. “More than that, as Carl Hart from Columbia has found, our understanding of chemical addiction has been largely shaped by the assumption that it is not a rational choice. Doing so stops us from dealing with the underlying causes of the chemical addictions and obsessive behaviors.”
Pathologizing excessive game play can actually be a hindrance, she said. “When people neglect their kids, I suspect there are many more issues at play than video game obsessions,” Shaw said. “If it wasn’t games, it would probably have been something else.”
Tuesday July 29, 2014 evening 7-8pm (Pacific time) for
Recovery 2.0 Power Hour on In The Rooms (a recovery social website)
the topic is: “Manage Your Energy For A Vital Recovery”.
To attend, create a free membership profile at www.intherooms.com
The Recovery 2.0 Power Hour is featured on the homepage, easy to find.
Please find me under username Durga Leela
The several million Americans dependent on narcotic painkillers, along with their families, friends and co-workers, are probably giving a little cheer today at some pretty amazing news. Two California municipalities, Santa Clara County and Orange County, have launched lawsuits against five of the largest narcotic painkiller pharmaceutical companies in the world.
The suit, being brought on behalf of the entire state of California, accuses the drug companies of creating the nation’s prescription drug epidemic by “waging a campaign of deception” to boost sales of their dangerously addictive painkillers.
- Endo Health Solutions Inc.
- Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals
- Purdue Pharma
- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ Cephalon Inc.
The drugs made or marketed by these companies include most popular brand name painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, Opana, Duragesic and others, along with many generic narcotic painkillers, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl and others.
Both Orange and Santa Clara counties say they have been seriously impacted by prescription narcotic overdose deaths, emergency room visits and skyrocketing medical costs. The lawsuit contends that the pharmaceutical companies violated California laws against false advertising, unfair business practices and creating a public nuisance.
The LA Times said the 100-page lawsuit uses “sweeping language reminiscent of the legal attack against the tobacco industry.” The companies employed tactics similar to those used by the tobacco industry to “conceal their deceptive marketing and conspiratorial behavior.”
The suit “alleges the drug companies have reaped blockbuster profits by manipulating doctors into believing the benefits of narcotic painkillers outweighed the risks, despite ‘a wealth of scientific evidence to the contrary’”, the Times said. The lawsuit claims that the drug companies’ marketing practices “opened the floodgates” for such drugs and “the result has been catastrophic.” Patients were encouraged to ask doctors for narcotic painkillers to treat common conditions such as headaches, arthritis and back pain. The drug manufacturers promoted narcotic painkillers as safer than they actually are and promised unproven benefits such as improved sleep and quality of life. Such claims are beyond those allowed by the FDA, the suit says. The result, says the suit, is “a population of addicts” which has led to the explosion in heroin abuse and addiction – the same high at a fraction of the cost of illicit prescription painkillers.
The suit also says that in Orange County, there is a painkiller-related death every other day. The county’s district attorney told the Times he sees the suit as a matter of public protection, with the “primary goal to stop the lies about what these drugs do.”
“Most of us prioritize externally oriented attention. When we think of attention, we often think of focusing on something outside of ourselves. We “pay attention” to work, the TV, our partner, traffic, or anything that engages our senses. However, a whole other world exists that most of us are far less aware of: an internal world, with its varied landscape of emotions, feelings, and sensations. It is often the internal world that determines whether we are having a good day or not, whether we are happy or unhappy. That’s why we can feel angry despite beautiful surroundings or feel perfectly happy despite being stuck in traffic.
University of Toronto study compared exteroceptive (externally focused) attention to interoceptive (internally focused) attention in the brain. Contrary to the conventional assumption that all attention relies upon the frontal lobe of the brain, the researchers found that this was true of only exteroceptive attention; interoceptive attention used evolutionarily older parts of the brain more associated with sensation and integration of physical experience; brain regions that link the cortex to the limbic system. These limbic connections may support more direct access to emotions and physical sensations while the neocortex is more responsible for a conceptual sense of self. By recruiting “limbic-bridge” areas, a person using interoceptive attention may bypass the pre-frontal neocortex, directly tapping into bodily awareness that is free from social judgment or conceptual self-evaluation.
For some, turning attention inward can be distressing, because it may tune us into emotions that are not comfortable. However, constantly distracting ourselves through attention turned outwards will not remove those underlying emotions. Yoga, breathing and meditation practices are designed to increase our interoceptive awareness. By learning to engage with our emotions through our dedicated interoceptive awareness, we may experience the first signs of healing. Research conducted with veterans suffering from trauma is also showing this to be true. Though the veterans are at first wary of being present with the emotions, feelings and memories that can arise during their first yoga, yogic breathing, and meditation practice, they report that over time those distressing inner experiences start to actually wane and heal. Best of all, they feel empowered. No longer reliant on drugs or a therapist, they have learned to use their own breath to regain control of their lives.”
and see what Deepak Chopra has to say on the subject here – where I found the cool images on this post, thanks Deepak ; )