I am very conflicted as to whether addictions should be qualified as a disease. I am against any definitions or societal attitudes which tend to remove personal responsibility for one's actions even for many common forms of mental illness.
I think the moniker of "disease" is helpful to the extent that society and the sufferer recognize that outside help and treatment are usually needed to overscome or manage the condition. Most diseased people can't control their own disease without help and need to recognize that. That's where the term adds value.
But on the flip side, when people have an attitude like, "you can't help it" or "I feel sorry for you" because of the disease then more harm is done than good.
I have personal experience with this. My father was mentally ill and could get violent. The family understood this and was forgiving. However, whenever the forgiveness and empathy went too far and acknowledged he couldn't help it, he would tend to let his guard down and things would get worse. It was better to hold his feet to the fire at all times and let him know we held him responsible to overcome his impulses.
I have a slow metabolism and predisposition to being fat. Society increasingly wants to call this a disease and tell me this is not my responsibility. If I felt that way I'd be obese. I just feel that I have to work harder if being in shape is important to me, which it is. It's my choice and my responsibility. Just as I feel people with learning disabilities should work harder to overcome their plight, preferably with outside assistance.
Well Cub...I am a firm believer in genetics...I am so Freudian...*lol*.. I do believe that environment can be a key factor in the expression of a genetic pattern...simply because if everyone in the family drinks, does drugs, shops or any other habit to the extreme and you begin to partake in the addiction then the genetic patter begins to express...it only takes one drink, drug or any addictive behavior for some to be an addict.
But please understand, I do not think that that is an excuse for an addiction. In fact, it should be the opposite. If a person is aware of the genetic risk for any type of addiction then they should be very cautious in the choices they make. Now...that is not me making the person responsible for their genetic inheritance but responsible for the actions they take to prevent physical addictions.
I am all about personal responsibility, I am a behavorist in practice. But let me ask you this, if you feel that a person makes choices strictly based on environment then why is it that, in a family, some feel greater pressure to participate in the "family addiction" then others. Why would that be? and how do you see the family members who do not participate in the family issue? Do they have a greater will or is the pressure different for them?...or is it just all choices....
Well WWWWW...I think what you are describing is closely related to the "Girls all get prettier at closing time" disorder in men...Which is related to "the really bad band guys are hot" disorder in women...tragic when it is at it's worst...but...that all falls under the disorder called "puberty"
...something some men and women get through...and some do not...but it is not life threating...but can be life changing...*lol*..;)
"many times the psychological dependence can be more difficult to overcome than the physical aspect of an addiction simply because of the incrediable power of the mind"
Now you have me sitting here thinking about women. Is it a psychological or physical additction. I decided it depends on how long it has been.
Is that covered under the disorders somewhere?
Hey Cub...What you are describing is the difference in a physiological addiction VS. a psychological need. Not everyone who is considered "addicted" has a true physiological reason for the addiction...it is strictly psychological dependence. I think that might be what you are describing in your view...but correct me if I am wrong...and many times the psychological dependence can be more difficult to overcome than the physical aspect of an addiction simply because of the incrediable power of the mind. You can go through "withdrawal" but the reprograming process of the mind can take a very, very long time..."New normals" do not come easy.
wwwww123 write: If anyone has any experience with a bi-polar (manic depressant), I would love to have them describe them how they act in manic stage. (ie shoping sprees, high energy, etc.)
Some clinical type of information on narsistic, or real life experinces with borderline personality disorder person would also be informative.
I have a friend who is bi-polar. She takes the medication, and as Southern the Psychologist pointed out..my friend goes through periods where she decides she doesn't want to take the drugs. Once a few years ago, while in a 'high' mode, she spur of the moment purchased a round the World ticket for herself. She was packing her bags to go on this trip when her husband came home and found her doing this. Until that moment, he had not realized that she had quit taking her medication a week or two prior. She was just flying somewhere...no hotels booked, no plans other than...I'm going! He had to commit her until they had her under medication and she was stable again. Several years ago, she dropped down to such a depressive state she wanted to commit suicide...again, she had gone off her medication, and her family had to commit her. It is the most difficult thing for families experiencing this by their loved one to go through.
Alcohol, Ecstasy (MDMA), and GHB, gamma hydroxybutyrate (date ra.pe drug), are common in the Houston area amoung the party teens and young adults. I didn't hear much about crack, cocaine,or heroin there. They seem to be afraid of those. Of the above, only alcohol is much of a problem in my area of Arkanas. It's funny that the drug of choice seems to go by regions of the US.
WWWW...I can tell you are in Arkansas...I am actually in Rogers for the summer working with a friend here and the Meth problem is unbelievable in this area...That was new to me...we still have problems with Heroin and cocaine where I usually am...there is some Meth...but not near what it is here...
And thank you Bonnie for the welcome...I am the type that always reads the post but never adds my input...but...this just happens to be a subject I do know something about. I do not think there has been an increase in eating disorders in the US but there is more awareness. What has been surprising is the upturn in males with eating disorders. I even see this working with players who feel the pressure to maintain a certain weight and it is distressing...especially when I know their athletic career will end when college is over...and they will not only have to live with the residual physical injuries they suffered on the field but also with the long term mental and physical effects of their various eating disorders...OH...don't get me going...I love coaches...but we do not always see eye to eye...But if someone wants some answers...I am smart enough to know I don't know them all but I can try to point them in the direction of helpful information...because of all of the garbage on the internet...
And Cub...your question is the loaded gun...No...drinking is not classified as a personality disorder. If a person is a true alcoholic then there is a proven physical condition associated with it. I think what the debate is if you chose to drink and you knew you could become addicted why did you do it? I may be way off base in what you were saying...*lol*...it will not be the first time...but genetics plays such a big part in who will become an alcoholic and it is so much like playing Russian Roulette...maybe Dad is an alcoholic...but son/daughter can drink a beer every once in a while...and never have a problem with it...but as you probably know...the closer the alcoh...
wwwww123 write: Drug use seems to be the biggest problem that I see, especially meth.
Yes that is the biggest teen problem here esp at private boarding schools. Just attended the funeral of an 18 year old boy , who was a t school with my son last month..death-drug overdose..such a sad waste of a brilliant life..
Southerngirl- great to have you on board.
Here in UK these days there are more teenaged girls getting eating disorder..my neighbor's beautiful teenaged daughter was at the brink of death and missed 2 years of her schooling while she was getting treatment and is now just on a slow return to normality tho I wonder for how long and the amount of damage she has already inflicted on herself.
REcognition of her problem took so long within the family that the damage was so far down the line by the time they discovered it was that serious.
Believe it or not, I have never seen more than a few minutes of that movie. Reason, the movie was too close to home for me. I one had a woman who wanted me almost like the fatal attraction woman. You would not believe the stuff she pulled/did. It went on for years. Eight years after she moved to California I dreamed I took a collect call from her in the middle of my sleep. When I got my phone bill, sure enough, the call was on the bill. She was certainly a party animal, and yes, she was the life of the party. Wonderful personality, top sales person, etc.
I have had many bi-polar friends since then that were not anywhere near that extreme, and those that took their meds were fine.
WWWW...I also wanted to tell you...since you were looking for information on Bi-Polar...The movie Fatal Attraction is based on a woman with Bi-Polar Disorder...you may already be aware of that but many people are not.
And...as a therapist I learned early on in college that it is not advisable to have more than one Bi on your client list due to the amount of time and energy they take. It can be frustrating to deal with simply because you do not know who you are dealing with at any given moment. In saying that I mean yes, if they are experiencing mania they are the life of the party...so creative...and a million other emotions all in a 24-hour to several week period then plummet into a debilitating depression within just a matter of hours. What I experienced, and I have only had one client with this disorder, is the resistance of the client to taking medication simply because they did not want to give up the mania experience. This is not uncommon. So it is a constant struggle to maintain rapport strong enough with the client that will continue through the extreme highs and lows of the illness and this can be a rewarding and draining experience.
Thanks so much. I was aware of that site a couple of years ago but apparently there was a name change from .net to .com. Yes, it is a excellent site. Thanks again for helping me locate the site once more.
WWWWW123...I am a psychologist...ok...sports psychologist...but I am a psychologist *lol*...trained in it all...and I know of a web site that is very informative that might have some information that would be helpful to you....it is mentalhealth com. I am sorry I have to write the address in that manner but I understand the rules. There is so much information on the internet that is just garbage but this site has factual and informative information on all types of mental disorders and is easy to use. I hope it is helpful.
I also will point out another personality disorder that runs very close to narcissism and that is Histrionic personality disorder...they are similar in characteristics...and sometime difficult to distinguish...so it also could be something you might want to look into as well...
I read some time ago that a old time famous composer must have worked over 20? hours (or more), per day just to manually write his composition on paper, (not counting any thinking or rewrite time) --to have composed his creation in the 6 weeks he actually took. In other words, almost no sleep for about 6 weeks. Whatever the exact numbers are, it was a amazing feat. Very high energy, keen mind, extremely creative seems to be common in manic mode.
I had a friend that was married to a bi-polar that spent $135,000 on his way back from getting out of the hospital where he had been treated and stabilized (they thought). - was still in manic mode. Fortunately he could afford it.
Another friend,went on a shopping spree last Christmas, ordering from catalogs all new furniture, clothes, 4 leather coats, etc. because her doctor was trying out new medicine and it wasn't working. - manic mode. She couldn't afford it.
I think when in depressed mode, behavior is usely more typical of ordinary depression.
If you spot someone acting similar, get them proper medicine. It is very treatable as I understand, and their life will become stable.
There is a lot of information about personality disorders on the net. Educate yourself and help someone in need.
ps. I don't think personality disorders are considered mental illnesses by the medical folks. Just chemical imbalances. Would appreciate inputs to this thread by some medical professionals.