Overcoming Cocaine Dependence

a new pathCocaine dependence is a psychological need to constantly use cocaine drug and an increased use indicates cocaine dependence. The intense need to depend on the drug indicates increased appetite, cravings and fatigue.  People who are accustomed to regular intake of cocaine are tolerant to the euphoric effects of the drug, to an extent that there is a change in personality. The user will find comfort in cocaine than any other activity considered enjoyable. Addicts are also particular about keeping sufficient cocaine.

Increased intake of cocaine causes a person to enter into a euphoric state and it changes the emotional characteristic and thought process of a person. It takes fifteen minutes for the user to remain in a euphoric state and it results in the feeling of intense pleasure and this causes a person to become addicted. Such a reaction affects the central nervous system and brain, and the addiction results in increased social awareness and confidence and the user becomes more talkative.

Effect of withdrawal symptom:

Once addicted, what happens in the process of being less used to cocaine, the effect of less severe cocaine dependence is based on reduced euphoric effect of the drug and the person becomes depressed, tired and feels low, and this is called a cocaine crash. Once a person who is addicted to cocaine stops taking it, he/she experiences a low point caused by unexplained anger, lack of energy and anxiety. These are the physical withdrawal symptoms, and it can last for a short period of time. Users experience psychological withdrawal symptoms as well, where the brain is used to cocaine as a trigger point to experience intense pleasure. The affected person also believes cocaine is the focus to enjoy the pleasures of life such as become highly sociable or get attracted to the opposite sex.

Understanding and dealing with cravings:

It takes time for a user to come out of cocaine addiction, it is however possible to enter into complete recovery.  The urge to think of or use the drug even after stoppage of usage results in cravings and it occurs when a person relives past moments and connects to the environment where drug intake was high. The brain adapts to these memories resulting in strong urges to use the drug.

To really determine if a person is experiencing cocaine cravings, watch out for these physical and mental symptoms:

Increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, increase in sweat gland activities, increased anticipation, increased energy levels, increased awareness, mild to severe levels of euphoria, more clarity in thought process, increased mood levels, increased irritability,  insomnia, increase in body temperature, increased breathing pattern and lack of appetite.

The occurrence of cravings can occur few hours after discontinuation of the drug or after many days or weeks. An important point to remember is it is normal to experience cravings. The average high from inhaling cocaine lasts for 15 to 30 minutes, this is because the drug takes longer to enter the blood stream when inhaled.  However, in cases of smoking cocaine, the timeframe of the drug being absorbed into the blood stream is faster, and hence the euphoric feeling lasts for five to ten minutes.  After such a short span of intense pressure, the user enters a state of crashing low and craves for more cocaine in larger doses.

The transformation of cocaine use into addiction is not easy to break, it is a common case for a user to be broke after getting his/her paycheck. The following week starts with feeling of anxiety and depression due to reduced dopamine levels. The addict may consume less amounts of cocaine through the week, and once weekend starts the binge-high resumes.

Why does a person get addicted:

Cocaine is a stimulant and when consumed the brain is flooded with chemicals serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. In a brain that is not subjected to cocaine use these chemicals are produced and recycled, but in the brain of a cocaine addict these chemicals remain and this is the reason why people experience short euphoric feelings and they just crave for more finding it difficult to quit. Cocaine now becomes the main focus of everyday life and other regular activities like relationships and work take a backseat.

Risk factors that could break the cycle of recovery:

Recovery from cocaine addiction is treated through medication and psychotherapy, it is important to seek help from a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. However it is also essential for an addict to control his/her own thought process. There are factors that will compel a person who is in total recovery to get back to addiction such as

Stress: Research has proven that stress is directly related to increase in cocaine cravings. Researchers from University of Michigan have discovered that there is a drastic increase in adult brain’s sensitivity towards addictive effects of cocaine caused from stress based changes in glucocorticoid receptors during early growth and development.

Environment: Being in an environment where the person took the drug for the first time or often can result in increased cocaine cravings or relapse.

Believing that taking in a little cocaine will not lead to relapse: People are of the view that they can control cocaine addiction and will ingest only small amount of cocaine. This is a risk and little intake can lead to relapse.

Not having a proper preventive plan: Not having an effective prevention plan can urge a person to get into relapse, particularly when his/her thoughts are flooded with stress, guilt and denial emotions.

How to remain calm and stay in the complete recovery phase:

Ponder upon the circumstances that is stressful or sad and work towards finding peace and positivity and gradually work on these aspects.

Whenever you get into a blank state or feeling of boredom and worthlessness, try to do an activity that is enjoyable such as your favorite hobbies or meet up with friends and family or decorate your house.

Try to stay around people who provide you with support, positivity and happiness than negative people.

Maintain a diary and write down your prevention plan and tick the goals achieved.

Pamper yourself with a new outfit, jewelry or perfume.

Browse through positive quotes.

Find inspiration through developing a new passion or hobby.

It takes just self-worth and determination to get over cocaine addiction and live in a happy and positive world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being there for someone with stuttering

 

The feeling of expression for a person with stuttering is no easy task, mainly because of the different views of people living in a society. There is a section of the society that is unaware of what it is to have a stuttering problem. Stuttering also referred to as stammering or childhood-onset fluency disorder is a kind of speech disorder that obstructs normal flow of speech. A person who stammers knows what is going on in his mind and knows what to say, but is just unable to say it. This is the kind of speech difficulty faced, the person will either prolong, repeat or even stop while trying to say a syllable, phrase or word. Such a situation is certainly not comfortable and hence it is the responsibility of people around such as family and friends to make the person feel comforted.

As part of the growing phase, young children do stutter because the part of the brain responsible for language and speech ability is still developing. With time, kids outgrow this issue, however if the condition is diagnosed as stuttering the problem will persist into adulthood. How to really know if a person has a stammering problem. Take note of these symptoms.

Trouble during the initial pick of conversation with regard to starting a phrase or sentence

The person will have an issue with continuing a conversation noticed in issues with prolonging a sound or word within the uttered word.

When faced with difficulty in moving to the next word the person will incorporate certain sounds such as um to just have control over tone.

You will notice silence in between words and sentences.

You will notice excessive tension, movement or tightness on face or upper body while uttering a word.

The person becomes anxious while speaking

Irregularities in process of communication

Notice these physical symptoms of stammering

Rapid blinking

Head jerks

shaking of upper lip or jaw

clenched fists

facial tics.

An important point to note is stammering becomes highlighted when a person gets excited and anxious. However a person who stutters is comfortable in certain situations such as while being alone and speaking to oneself or being with a close friend.

When to take appointment with doctor or speech language pathologist

Look out for these signs of stammering in order to get medical attention

If stammering appears to be a persistent problem as the child grows older

You will notice a struggle in communication visible on discomfort in speaking or muscle tightening.

The person is unable to communicate effectively in school, work or during social gatherings.

The person will avoid situations where speaking among a large crowd is necessary such as being on stage or in a corporate environment.

What really causes stuttering

Medical experts have not been able to determine the real cause of stammering, however these are the possible causes.

Defect in speech motor control- Based on few evidences research has shown stammering is caused from defects in brain responsible for speech motor control. The areas that are affected are sensory and motor coordination and timing.

Genetics- There has been evidence of stuttering being genetic and experts say the cause of it is abnormalities in regions of the brain responsible for language.

Medical conditions such as trauma, stroke or any brain related diseases increases chance of acquiring stuttering.

It is to important to understand the feelings of a person with stuttering problem, because only the person with the condition knows how it feels to stammer. These people are just differently made and they too have strengths.

Being there for a person with stuttering:

Shame is a constant feeling of a person with stammering:

Someone who is unable to express himself because of stammering will feel shame, due to stuttering he may say different words than intended. In such a case counsellors or speech therapists should aim at understanding the feeling of shame and help the person block such thoughts and feel confident and wanted.

Guilt:

A person who stutters will feel guilt when uttering a word unintended to while stuttering, this situation is common in normal speakers as well, where one will accidently misspell a word. Such a scenario makes a person feel guilty and they feel fear as well, the combination of guilt and fear is no easy task to handle. It is important for loved ones to be understanding and non-judgmental.

Situations that trigger stammering and the importance of being there for people

Young children who stammer are fearful of making friends and fear being teased and bullied. In such a case it is essential for parents and loved ones to make the child feel wanted and confident, and teachers too should help such students and help build their self-esteem by treating them equally as other students.

People who stammer fear seeking employment into the corporate world, due to the fear of lagging behind, not being understood by boss and other colleagues. In such a case it is essential for the boss and co-workers to be more understanding and give the person respect and chance to blossom.

Fear of public speaking is common with a person who stammers, because it isn’t easy to speak in front of a crowd fearing stammering. It is necessity for loved ones to build confidence in the person and make him feel comfortable.

Self-help methods for people who stammer

A person who stammers will suffer from social anxiety and will remain isolated, it is important for him to find strength to overcome anxiety and gradually work on mingling with people.

A stutterer will shy away from entering the corporate world due to fear of being in a crowd or public speaking. It is essential to gradually work towards being in a work place and have the confidence to excel.

For someone who is not comfortable being among a large crowd in a workplace, there are other alternatives such as work from home, one on one sessions of teaching young children and so on.

Pay a visit to a speech therapist who will teach you exercises to control stammering

A stutterer has the same level of intelligence and creativity as anyone else and with support towards such people, the talent and creativity network across the globe will increase two-fold. They can enter any profession they desire to and excel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stress is a likely trigger to smoking

A good quality of life is what we all strive for, and people work around the clock or ponder upon ideas that will trigger success driving enterprise. Alongside striving for a good life packed with happiness and wealth stress comes in between. The reason being unpredictability of the future or present and out of the blue unexpected situations or challenges arise.

It isn’t a great feeling to feel stressed and in order to cope with it, people resort to various behaviors and smoking is one among them along with drinking, drugs and binge eating. There are individuals who smoke for pleasure as well, just to experience the feel of having a good time. In such cases, the reason for smoking is just a way to get away from normal day to day life, but it is not necessarily a set off from stress. When normal levels of smoking turns into an addiction, then stress is one of the reasons for it. The affected person is termed to be a stress smoker. A recent study has revealed smokers, particularly heavy smokers have higher levels of depressive symptoms and anxiety compared to non-smokers.

What are the stressful circumstances that elicit smoking behavior?

Whether it is a single person who is studying or working or a working parent, there are many responsibilities to handle. A single person who is studying will have to balance between university, work and assignments and a working woman will have to balance work hours and there is the stress of being financially independent. A working parent needs to work around balancing professional and personal life and there are so many thoughts embedded in the mind simultaneously. On analyzing the lifestyle of people in different life phases what are the stressful circumstances a person encounters. It is the challenge to multitask, get ready for sudden surprises such as a work deadline, child or loved one falling sick and change in economic scenario and so on.

Smoking causes stress:

Individuals who are unable to bear stress take into smoking to feel relief and calmness, but the fact is smoking does not reduce stress, it actually causes stress. When a person smokes, the nicotine (addictive substance a psychoactive or mood altering drug) enters the bloodstream and moves to the brain where it releases a feel-good chemical called dopamine. The effect of pleasure or feeling good caused by dopamine is short lived, and as a person continues to smoke the level of this chemical reduces making a person feel worse than the first inhalation. When a person experiences perceived feeling of relaxation from the first light up from dopamine, the craving for cigarettes increases. During this period, the body experiences low levels of oxygen, muscle tension and increased heart rate and blood pressure and these reactions increase stress levels in the body and the individual now feels more stressed than before.

According to research conducted by National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, nicotine damages the blood vessels and also has an effect on skin health causing wrinkles. Nicotine has an adverse effect on the lungs by causing oxygen starvation. Nicotine increases risk of heart problems, with increase in number of cigarette smoking, there is an increase in the level of plaque buildup in arteries. People who smoke are at a greater risk of suffering from breast and lung cancer.

Smoking affects mouth and throat health; excessive smoking causes stained teeth and bad breath. Smokers are at an increased risk of suffering from cancer in esophagus, throat and tongue. Over 93% of reported oropharyngeal cancers are due to smoking, however an important point to remember is a person who has remained smoke free for twenty years has a lower chance of suffering from neck and head cancer.

Smoking affects reproductive health and causes male impotence, it damages sperm and increases occurrence of testicular cancer. There have been reported incidences of 120,000 men in UK being impotent and the main reason for this is smoking. Based on inference from recent research men who smoke are at a higher risk of having reduced sperm count when compared to non-smokers. Smoking affects fertility in woman as well, and females who smoke are at a 72% risk of unhealthy reproductive system than non-smokers. Pregnant woman who smoke are at a higher risk of having stillbirth, premature birth and miscarriage.

Stress management to fight cigarette cravings:

When succumbed to stressful situations it is difficult to fight cigarette cravings, it is however possible if we have the willpower to get over the addiction.

Tell yourself you are determined to quit smoking and set a quit date, develop will-power and you will have the courage to reduce number of cigarettes and throw away cigarettes.

Whenever you experience cravings, tell yourself it is short lived (cravings last for few seconds to one minute). Tell yourself smoking is no longer an option and remember the 5Ds which is drink water, delay, distract, deep breathing or discuss problems with loved one.

Always have a positive outlook through visualization- Surround your thought process with something beautiful. If you are someone who likes to be in calm surroundings, imagine yourself to be in a scenic place such as among greenery or on the beach. Such thoughts of being in a place that is calm will help you get into a state of relaxation with no room for anxiety.

During free time gradually work on activities you enjoy doing such as reading a book, listening to music, watching favorite shows and so on. Remember, in order to beat stress you need to make time for hobbies, and not think of it as a waste of time.

In order to make yourself feel better you can decorate your home or wear an outfit which according to you is nice.

If you are experiencing work related stress, work out your savings and work on something that will make you less stressed and happy. For example-If you are the type who prefers to have your own business, work on a business plan and get it going.

Regular exercise helps beat stress- Exercise regularly to beat stress and it need not be a complex exercise, a good regime would be brisk walking, swimming or biking. Regular physical activity boosts endorphins which are neurotransmitters that induces a feel good effect. The American Heart Association recommends a 30 minute daily exercise schedule.

Get help from doctor and counsellor

Always remember there are healthy ways of combatting stress that will make you feel good and happy with yourself.

 

 

Understanding Body Dysmorphic Disorder

The theme looking nice is engraved in many individuals, this is true particularly during fun and significant occasions such as parties, home gathering, celebration moments and so on. During such events people put in their best effort to look good and spend hours just deciding on what outfit to wear and how best to look attractive. There are also people who are just unhappy with the way they look and they consider themselves to be ugly and such individuals suffer from (BDD) Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

People with BDD have characteristics similar to eating disorders and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The distinction between people with BDD and eating disorder is people with eating disorder are pre-occupied with body and weight and individuals with BDD are concerned about how a particular part of their body look. The similarity between BDD and OCD is performing rituals such as picking the skin and standing in front of the mirror for hours.

People who suffer from BDD are totally unsatisfied with the way they look and there are parts of the body which they are uncomfortable with. The areas of the body that appear totally unappealing are size and shape of nose, body weight, color of hair on head and body hair. The affected person is also unhappy with blemishes, acne, scars and wrinkles on skin. The sufferer is also unhappy with the shape and size of any part of his/her body which includes thighs, arms, feet and so on.

How can we really determine if a person has BDD? Watch out for these behavioral characteristics.

The person is constantly looking in the mirror and in order to cover the perceived unattractive part, he/she will wear clothes to cover the area that is termed unlikable. He/she will even meddle with skin.

The sufferer will frequently consult with loved ones if he/she looks good and whether they have covered the undesired part.

You will notice the person will repeatedly experiment with the disliked body part

The person is obsessed with the way he/she looks and his/her mind is regularly focused on what is considered the ugly body part. Such as obsession has a detrimental effect on professional and personal life.

The affected person becomes anti-social and feels uncomfortable in public fearing being judged.

The sufferer will often visit dermatologist or plastic surgeon to just be able to fix the body part that is considered to be ugly.

What causes a person to suffer from BDD?

How do people get BDD and repeatedly dislike their appearance caused by the dislike of certain parts of their body? This disorder starts during adolescent period and men and women are equally affected. BDD occurs in people with anxiety disorders and major depression, researchers are not able to predict the actual cause of this disorder and it is said this condition emerges from environmental and biological factors such as improper functioning of serotonin in the brain, personality disorders, neurobiological factors and genes too is known to play a significant role.

The main factors that increases a person’s likelihood of suffering from BDD is

When a person is constantly criticized by loved ones about appearance

Lack of self-esteem

Experience of emotional and mental abuse during childhood.

Helping a person with BDD to cope with what they consider to be body flaws:

It isn’t a good feeling for people with BDD to hate themselves because of the dislike of certain parts of their body and the way they look. Everybody wants to lead a normal life feeling good about themselves and so does a BDD sufferer, but they are just uncomfortable in their own skin. A visit to the doctor and psychologist is important for treatment, there are also self-help methods as well. It is important for loved ones to recognize the emotional trauma of a BDD person and help them feel important.

Also if you are suffering from BDD you can gradually work towards liking and accepting yourself. You can work on these self-help methods.

Focus on your admirable qualities:

When you are frequently worried and embarrassed about certain parts of your body and your appearance being deformed, it is not easy to let go of negative thoughts. However uneasy it may be aim to focus on your good qualities. You certainly do have strengths that makes you a good person, ponder upon all the good qualities you possess and successes you have earned. Maintain a diary and write down the good things you have done such as helping an elderly person, taking care of children, taking dog for a walk and so on.

Get rid of negative thoughts with activity:

For people who are not happy about being overweight or obese, tell yourself you look good, but you want to be healthy. To get distracted from negative thoughts do activities that are fun like dancing, or simple exercises at home. You can even form a group and go for a fun run or jog.

Respect yourself:

Gradually try to respect yourself and consider your body to be a gift, without which you would never exist. Tell yourself it is your body and you have to cherish it nobody else will.

Keep a distance from negative source:

However perfect a person is there will always be external sources who will criticize, it is important for a person with BDD to stay away from negative influence. It will only build the feeling of anxiety and embarrassment. Media is also a negative source, but it is not always easy to avoid the portrayal of perfect bodies and looks on television. If such a scenario makes you feel uncomfortable remember it is what you see on TV, real life situations are different.

Find your kind of individuals:

Remember you are not alone there is a significant number of people who are dissatisfied with the way they look. In order to feel better help yourself and others who are also suffering from BDD and form a group. The group can comprise of two to four people, it is just about finding people who are just like you.

Slowly fight BDD and accept and respect yourself for who you are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overcome Bulimia nervosa and feel good about yourself

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating followed by ways to remove excess food as perceived by the affected person by purging or using laxatives. This is called purging type of Bulimia. There is also the non-purging type and here people deal with not appreciating their self-image through excessive exercising and fasting.

We live in a world where the awareness of being healthy is prevalent evident from the increased number of health apps. People do inculcate healthy eating habits and find ways to stay healthy, but for someone with Bulimia the pre-occupation with body image is excessive to an extent that he/she suffers from mental and emotional trauma. The individual suffers self-harm, depression, loneliness, anxiety, alcohol and drug addiction and low self-esteem. An important point to remember is people with Bulimia are of normal weight or a little overweight. People who are underweight and purge suffer from purging type of anorexia.

What goes on in the mind of a person suffering from Bulimia?

People with Bulimia do not feel comfortable in their own skin; their mind is constantly filled with negative thoughts about the way they look. In order to know what really goes on in the mind of a person with Bulimia, watch out for these signs and symptoms. The affected person feels:

Depressed thinking about the way he/she looks and is totally dissatisfied with their body

They are anxious about the way society looks at them, mainly emerging from the dislike of appearance.

Social isolation sets in from the lack of confidence of looking good

Constant obsession with body and weight

How does it feel to be constantly engrossed in body shape and weight? The person is continuously thinking of food and finds ways to satisfy the urge of being uncomfortable. A person with Bulimia will eat in large amounts and then find ways to eliminate excess food through purging or misusing laxatives. This cycle of binge eating followed by purging is referred to as binge-purge cycle. There is the opposite effect as well where a person is immersed in fear of gaining weight compelling him or her to exercise or fast excessively to an unhealthy limit.

If you are concerned about a loved one having Bulimia, watch out for these behavioral patterns:

The person will indulge in a binge eating episode by eating huge amounts in a short span of time than indulging in regular eating patterns.

Once the person is compelled to binge eat, he/she feels uneasy and thinks this behavior cannot be stopped.

The person will spend money on buying more than needed groceries and will come up with excuses on why so much money was spent.

The person will eat until he/she feels totally uncomfortable.

Along with bingeing you should notice or recognize signs of purging if you or a loved one has Bulimia

He/she will visit the bathroom regularly during a meal or after a meal

You will notice unhealthy teeth and gums

Regular occurrence of sores in mouth and throat

Swollen salivary glands in cheeks

Caused by the side effects of vomiting you will notice scars, calluses or sores on hands or knuckles.

Harsh sounding voice

An important point to remember is Bulimia is fear of gaining weight and not looking good, a person with this condition suffers from lack of self-esteem. It is also necessary to understand the physical side effects such as abnormal bowel movement, dehydration, bloating, fatigue, fainting, seizure, irregular heartbeat, dry skin, no menstruation or menstrual irregularities, muscle cramps and tingling in feet or hands.

Bulimia nervosa results in imbalances in professional and personal life, the affected person is so unhappy about his/her appearance to an extent that it hinders leading a regular and productive life. The person gets into extreme social isolation, finds it difficult to get regular sleep, loss of interest in faith or religion, the person gets into drug and alcohol addiction from the need to fight being depressed about body image. The other severe side effects are internal bleeding, infertility, self-harm, heart attack, suicide and death.

What causes a person to become Bulimic?

It is the strive for perfectionism that triggers Bulimia and it stems from fitting in well into a society. In schools and universities there is peer pressure of being thin and according to reports this condition can be genetic. Media plays a big role and here the concept of beauty is equated to being thin and it has a negative consequence on the minds of people who are unhappy with the way they look.

People with history of emotional and sexual abuse are prone to suffer from Bulimia and their mind is constantly filled with the feeling of low self-worth and guilt. The co-occurring mental disorders associated with Bulimia are personality disorders, anxiety disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), mood disorders, personality disorders and self-injury.

Helping a person with Bulimia:

A Bulimic person is totally dissatisfied with their self-image and they are constantly thinking about food and weight. They are of the view that being thin is considered to be normal and being responsible. A person suffering from this condition needs help and it is advised to visit a psychiatrist or counsellor. It is important for family members and friends to help those suffering from Bulimia. Along with a visit to doctor and psychotherapist, there are self-help methods as well.

The most important aspect is to accept yourself, and you can do this gradually by recognizing your good qualities like how creative and kind you are. Ponder upon the impact of your presence in workplace, friend circle, charity organization and so on.

Recognize that everybody has flaws and nobody is perfect, there is always some part of your body that is beautiful. Also, remember that there are people who will appreciate you for your kind words and good actions more than your self-image.

Whenever you feel negative about your self-image think about the people who appreciate you for the person you are. If you really want to change the way you look indulge in healthy exercise habits but don’t overdo it.

Stay away from people who criticize you and be around people who appreciate you, and write down every good deed you have done which can be as simple as feeding your kid or pet, taking your dog for a walk, cooking a good meal and so on.

The most important aspect about feeling better is try to eliminate negative thinking and work towards self-appreciation and self-confidence.

Whenever you feel stressed or anxious think about the positive deeds you have done and feel happy with yourself. It will take a while, but remember nobody is perfect and slowly bend towards feeling good about yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is possible to fight binge drinking

Binge drinking is consuming large quantities of alcohol within a short span of time, heavy drinking for men is drinking five or more drinks and for women it is four or more drinks in two hours. The intension to binge drink is to feel the pleasure of intoxication.

Why do people binge drink and how they get into the habit?

It is visibly evident that binge drinking is common among people of all ages, what is the reason behind this behavior?

The most common desire behind binge drinking is to have fun:

People binge drink to have fun, to just enjoy a relaxed weekend and celebrate their hard work. Individuals who are experiencing high levels of stress drink in large amounts to feel relaxed and tide away from pressure. The place where binge drinking is enormously high is in parties and here the main focal point of enjoyment is liquor.

To socialize and feel more confident:

People with high levels of social anxiety find it a challenge to socialize and they hence drink to feel less anxious. For people who are socially anxious drinking is considered to be a good way to fit in among an excited large crowd.

To feel dominant:

This holds good for people who hold high positions in work place and who want to show-off their elite image. Such individuals participate in binge drinking competitions to showcase their high authority image.

To let go of their issues:

One of the primary reasons to binge drink is to let go of daily stress, and this enables people to drink continuously within a short span of time. The affected person is involved in drinking to a vast degree of not knowing or being aware of the consequences of alcohol abuse. They use alcohol as a coping mechanism.

To fight peer pressure or the challenge of being accepted:

Drinking is perceived to be cool among high school and university crowds, and the concept of drinking is strong emphasized. It is forced among people to drink to fit in and people among friends circle who binge drink are forced into this crowd to a larger degree.

Curiosity:

First time drinkers want the taste of alcohol from just being curious about what it is all about. This is particularly true among teenagers and university students after hearing about another person’s experience.

The other reasons to binge drink are genetics and family history of alcohol abuse.

How to determine if there is a drinking problem?

If you are concerned that either you or close friends and family having drinking problem then watch out for these signs.

The person tends to feel huge levels of guilt or shame about drinking

Tendency to hide binge drinking behavior or lie to friends

Friends and family who are overly concerned about the affected person’s binge drinking problem.

The urge to drink to feel relaxed

Drink in greater quantities than the normal amount.

Behavioral symptoms of binge drinking:

Binge drinking obstructs normal day to day functions and relationships, and this happens when the person drinks to an extent of not being aware of children’s responsibility and performing badly in school and work place.

Being under the influence of alcohol in unsafe situations, here the person is intoxicated while driving and he or she also mixes prescription medication with drinks.

He/she continues to drink even while being aware of the fact that it is causing a strain on relationships and day to day life.

A majority of people drink to relieve stress and they indulge in alcohol after encountering stressful moments with family, colleagues or boss.

Major symptoms of alcohol dependence:

Alcohol use disorder also referred to as alcoholism is when a person is habituated to uncontrolled drinking. He/she uses increased alcohol consumption as a medium to fight life’s issues and also becomes dependent on it even when it hinders relationships and daily routine performance.

When a person is extremely pre-occupied with alcohol and uses it as a primary medium to beat reality, then he/she has alcohol dependence problem.

The first major warning sign of alcoholism is tolerance:

He/she is tolerant to excessive alcohol consumption that goes beyond the legal moderate drinking limit. This is a regular habit and the person consumers many glasses or bottles and develops tolerance and the same habit continues regularly.

Withdrawal is the second major warning sigh of alcohol dependence:

When a person becomes alcohol dependent he/she is unable to control the urge to reduce the amount of drink. The affected person will drink to let go of withdrawal symptoms, when excess alcohol is consumed the body is accustomed to the increased level and if he/she tries to cut down withdrawal symptoms emerge.

Watch out for these withdrawal and physical symptoms:

Headache, reduced appetite intake, fatigue, irritability, depression, lack of sleep, nausea and vomiting, sweating, shivers, anxiety or impulsivity. The other more severe symptoms are agitation, fever, seizure and confusion. Long term alcohol abuse damages liver and causes problems with brain, nervous system, stomach, heart. The other major medical complications are osteoporosis, cancer, sexual problems and high blood pressure.

How do people develop alcohol dependence?

Alcoholism or alcohol dependence is a kind of addiction and there are two variations physical and psychological.

Physical addiction:

Physical addiction towards alcoholism stems from the need to drink to get high. Increased amount of drinking results in chemical changes in brain and it causes the person to get high and experience pleasurable feeling. This kind of sensation compels a person to get into binge drinking and the body develops tolerance towards pleasurable high.

Psychological addiction:

Psychological addiction stems from dealing with stress, and this is not related to chemical changes in the brain. The intension behind depending on alcohol is to ease emotional strain, and the intensity of addiction causes a person to develop guilt, despair and shame.

Helping a person with binge drinking:

A person with an alcohol dependence problem will deny that they ever have an issue because of the constant feel of guilt and shame. It is however possible to get over binge drinking from medication and psychotherapy. It is achievable to fight drinking through self-help methods as well.

The power to fight binge drinking happens gradually, and it is first important to recognize the fact that you have a tendency to binge drink and try to remove the feeling of shame and realize you are not alone.

Once you feel comfortable coming to terms with binge drinking, slowly develop thought process about yourself and family and the enjoyable and productive life you want to lead.

Once you have reduced consumption of alcohol write down your rewards and celebrate it with the activities you enjoy.

Whenever you experience alcohol cravings think about how successful you were in reducing intake and it will compel you to get into recovery and over time beat the addiction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fight drug addiction and feel good

Drug addiction is the compulsive urge to take drugs and this is a chronic disease where the addict is unable to curb drug cravings despite the negative changes experienced. A person who is keen to try out drugs for the first time will do it voluntarily, but when he/she becomes addicted to the consequences of taking the drug, it leads to changes in brain that fights the need to stop taking the drug and this change is constantly enabling the person to lack self-control or facilitating them to continuously take the drug.

Brain of a person who takes drugs:

What compels a person to take drugs to an extent that they enjoy the feeling tremendously. These drugs target brain’s reward system and this center is flooded by a chemical messenger called dopamine responsible for controlling pleasure and behaviors such as spending moments with loved ones, movement, motivation, emotion and eating. The level of dopamine that floods the reward system is excessively high compared to the normal amount and this induces a person to experience a pleasurable high feeling compelling them to take the drug often.

When the person continues to take drugs the brain adjusts to increased amount of dopamine by reducing the amount of this chemical or by lowering dopamine receptors and the ability of the cells in the reward circuit system to respond to dopamine. This response reduces a person’s ability to feel the pleasurable high compared to the first time when they took the drug. During such a situation the person will continue to take the drug, till they encounter a dopamine high that was experienced when they took the drug for the first time. The affected person is now not interested in anything else, not even the activities which they find to be highly enjoyable.

Drugs affect the normal functioning of the brain, drugs such as heroin or marijuana have similar structure to neurotransmitters. Due to this similarity they are able to fool brain receptors and activate nerve cells to release abnormal messages. Drugs like cocaine stimulate nerve cells to release large amount of neurotransmitters thereby avoiding normal recycling of brain chemicals required to shut down normal communication between neurons. This irregularity  produces large amount of false messages and therefore disrupting normal communication process.

Negative effects of drug addiction and abuse:

Drug addiction is a serious problem, it changes the way a person functions and behaves, mainly because drugs affects the body to a great extent. An important point to remember is drugs are chemicals, and each drug has a different structure that affects the body in various ways. There are drugs that are absorbed through ingestion, inhalation and injection. The drugs that are injected moves into the blood stream directly and drugs that are ingested passes through digestive system.

The pleasure of addiction emerges from the flooding of dopamine a neurotransmitter in the brain’s reward circuit. Dopamine is responsible for feelings of pleasure, emotion, movement and cognition. The high levels of dopamine causes a person to experience a state of euphoria and this is what leads a person to get addicted.

Drug addiction affects relationships with family, friends, work colleagues, and the person is also prone to self-harm, accident, domestic violence and even death.  Drugs have an adverse effect on physical health, and the affected person suffers stroke and severe brain damage resulting in problems with decision making, attention and memory and the individual is unable to function normally with his/her day to day activities.

Drug addiction causes cardiovascular conditions that range from infected heart valves and blood vessels, collapsed veins from injected drugs and abnormal heart beat that can progress to heart attacks. The other harmful effects on the body caused by drugs are nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting and weakened immunity system increasing susceptibility to infections. When a person is addicted to drugs he/she looses self-control and is not aware of their surroundings, and you will notice these behavioral changes, which are loss of self-control, extreme activity, lack of judgement, aggressive behavior, paranoia and hallucinations.

Effective ways to fight drug addiction:

Whether in rehabilitation or recovery, it is common for an addict to experience cravings, the need to crave drugs is present even in a person who has recovered from the addiction for many years. Holiday periods and celebration moments are also a trigger to encounter cravings and the frequency of wanting drugs is at its peak. It is certainly tough for a person in complete recovery to let go of addiction during holiday periods, but the addict should not feel under-confident during such a circumstance and he/she should relate the craving to just a feeling. An important point to remember is cravings surface every now and then, and there are ways of tackling these cravings.

When craving hits do not panic:

It is possible to feel cravings, but when it hits you do not panic and feel you are likely to get into relapse. Just consider this to be a feeling and think of the pleasurable things life has to offer, or think of a good and commendable moment. Practice meditation and even prayers will help. Most importantly try to switch from thoughts of craving into victorious moments encountered in life.

Aim to get into a social circle:

Any person who has recovered from addiction treatment would certainly want alone time to ponder over cravings. It would be great to get into a social circle or reach out to close friends and family and even speak to someone who has recovered fully to know what it feels like to be in recovery and overcome cravings.

Get into a regular activity:

A good way to beat cravings will be to get into a regular physical activity, it releases feel good chemicals called endorphins that promotes good mood and takes a person’s mind off cravings. You can jog or brisk walk with a large group of friends or even swim or play a fun sport. You will only have fun and feel the fantastic rhythm of recovery, and you can also indulge in great hobbies like music, books, painting, art, music and so on.

Make a list of your efforts in tackling every step of overcoming addiction:

An excellent way to beat cravings is to make a list of the efforts you have made to overcome every step of addiction. Remember every step of addiction overcome is a reward to not only yourself but other people around. Every time you get cravings, think of how victorious you have been in overcoming the addiction and you will experience good vibes.