Category Archives: Addiction

Gadget Addiction – Are You Addicted to Your Smartphone/Tablet?

Gadget AddictionHeard this name before? With changing times and advancing technologies… Smartphones like iphone / android phones and tablets / iPads are surrounding us more and more. No doubt they have made our lives easier and interesting. But, at times we get too engrossed in them that the rest of the world seems to cease for us. Gadget addiction is nothing but the use/abuse of gadgets so much that it starts negatively influencing your health and life as a whole. The worst victims of gadget addiction are children and teenagers. It’s because both of the age groups are have mind-sets that compel them to explore things around them. Some see gadgets as a mode of exploration and learning. But, for others they become sources of entertainment, resulting in addiction.

Following are some of the problems experienced due to gadget addiction:

Symptoms of Gadget Addiction

  • Lack of concentration, attention or focus
  • Memory problems and problems in decision-making
  • Headache, eye problems and backache
  • Problems in fertility due to over-exposure to the radiation or EMF (Electro magnetic field) of the gadget
  • Stress, anxiety and communication disorders
  • Other hazardous physical and psychological ailments

The worst ailment that has cropped up in the past few months is “Digital Dementia”. It is a common memory disorder that has developed due to over-use of gadgets. It targets the brain chemistry and cells, causing dementia.

Now let me tell you the alarming statistics of gadget addiction: Over the past year, the number of gadget addicts has increased has grown by 123 percent. In March 2013, the number of gadget addicts was 79 million and by the same time this year the number has increased to 176 million addicts. So, this is the alarming rate of increase in gadget addiction. No wonder, if we don’t control it, there would be a gadget addict in every household very soon. The worst victims of gadget addiction are the children and the youth. Starting from communication modes to gaming apps, they use anything and everything on a daily basis. Mobile or gadget addicts are the ones who use such things 24/7/365.

When this addiction has gone so viral, it is very necessary to get rid of it or control it before becoming an epidemic.

Tips to keep you, children and enthusiastic teens to stay away from gadget addiction

  • Keep the use of mobile phones, tablets, and to its minimum. Use only when it is necessary.
  • Do not give mobile phones and gadgets to children at a very early age.
  • When children have nothing to do or play with, they crave for gadgets. Sometimes parents also use gadgets to pacify their children. This is not right. There are other modes available too. Why not try them!
  • When you use gadgets in front of your children or if you give your gadget for them to see or explore – it should be done completely under your supervision.
  • Have a gadget time-out session in your house where no one uses it unless and until its urgent.
  • Take professional help if gadget addiction gets out of control.

Best wishes,

Sareeta

Natural Remedies for Addictions

Addiction and its Natural RemediesHi folks! Congratulations!!! The fact that you are here reading this blog means that you want to know about addiction, or you want to gain knowledge, help yourself or help others to get rid of addiction. So you are at the right place at the right time. In this blog post I will be telling you about some natural remedies that help in dealing with addiction and its associated withdrawal symptoms. In order to gain more knowledge and insight on addiction, types of addiction, its aftermath and management… I would suggest you to read my previous blogs on addiction. Following are the direct links to them:

Treatment of addiction and its different forms like alcohol addiction, drug addiction, pain pill addiction, psychological addictions like sex and porn addiction, gadget addiction, etc. requires a great deal of patience, determination and professional help. If the addiction is too chronic or acute then pharmacological interventions, in-patient care are sometimes also considered. However, there are certain natural remedies that can also help you to deal with addiction and withdrawal symptoms. These natural remedies tend to build your body and mind’s strength to overcome addiction, de-toxify your body of the harmful toxins and chemicals that the addictive substance must have imparted, and they also help you in maintaining overall health and well being.

So let us look into some of the natural helpers that would help you deal with addiction:

Food and Nutrition

Addictive substances kill the body’s natural rhythm of health and rhythm. They make you run out of several vital nutrients. This either leaves you weak and out of energies or leads to several infections and diseases. Therefore, it is very necessary to take necessary food and dietary supplements when you start battling against addiction. Try to include the following nutrients in your food intake:

  • Vitamin B, Thiamine in particular
  • Vitamins C and E
  • Beta-carotene, zinc and selenium
  • Calcium and magnesium
  • Unrefined complex carbohydrates should be taken, for examples whole grains
  • Refined carbohydrates such as white bread should be avoided
  • Increase water intake. Drink lots of water to remain hydrated and help in body de-tox process
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables.

Now let me tell you about some herbs that would help you in dealing with addiction and its harmful effects on your body ‘n’ brain:

Herbs Effects
Milk Thistle It consists of silymarin that supports the liver. The liver is the main organ that helps in detoxification but gets affected and damaged due to addiction. So this herb helps prevent addictive substance induced damage to the liver
Burdock root and Echinacea (purple coneflower) These herbs also help in detoxification process and are very effective in cleansing the blood
Kudzu root or bitter tea It is a Chinese herb used to reduce the craving or appetite for addiction
Dandelion root This herb has been amazingly effective since long in helping people to detoxify their liver. It also acts as a diuretic and helps in the transportation of nutrients throughout the body
Scullcap, Valerian, Ginkgo These medicinal plants/herbs help in relaxing and strengthening the nervous system

In today’s world there are a lot of treatment options available to help you deal with addiction. Starting from traditional herbal medicines to new generation pills and therapies… With proper care and treatment you can deal with addiction and its ill effects. We offer CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) treatment for addiction and its related problems. CBT is one of the best forms of psychotherapies. Your identity will also be kept confidential since your dignity well being, health and confidentiality are our highest priorities.

Addiction can be dealt with and kicked out. It depends on which way you choose to root it out…

Best wishes,

Sareeta

Say “No” to Drugs

“Why do I need drugs, will it really help me?” This is the question that one should ask before falling into the trap of drug addiction. Do you know the estimate of drug users worldwide is how much? You would be alarmed to know that it’s 185 million! Drug and substance abuse is a potential threat to the physical, psychological, socio-economic fabric of families and individuals.

Psychoactive Substance Use (Globally)

So this is the extent to which drug abuse has engulfed significant number of population far and wide the globe. Among them the worst scenario is in countries or regions where there is no ban or action against illicit drugs use. Starting from cocaine to marijuana, drug abuse has become the call of the day amongst youngsters, individuals unable to cope with the stressors of life and so on. I know everyone of you reading this blog know what a drug is and the related aspects of it. However, let me check your IQ on drugs and its important facts. Try to answer the following questions:

1)    What is a drug?

2)    What are the psychological effects of drugs?

3)    What leads to drug addiction?

4)    How to deal with drug addiction problems?

These are some of the important questions that you should know in order to save yourself from the vicious pangs of drugs. This will also help you to help others from falling into the trap o drug addiction. If you have already answered the questions, you can check the answers below:

1)    What is a drug?

A drug is any substance that can alter the physiological and psychological functioning of an individual.

2)    What are the psychological effects of drugs?

Drug addiction has adverse effects on the central nervous system of a human being. It also affects other parts of the body too. Due to this, the vital functions like perception, thinking, concentration, attention, memory and behavior of a person gets seriously impaired or affected.

3)    What leads to drug addiction?

There are many causes actually. Some common causes are: Situational factors, family environment in which some or the other person abuses drugs, peer pressure, faulty coping to the stressors and pressures of life, social learning and modeling, media influence and so on.

4)    How to deal with drug addiction problems?

Present day medical and clinical methods offer a wide variety of ways through which drug addiction can be treated. The best way is to opt for both pharmacological and psychological treatment. This will help you get over the problem and also aid to prevention of relapse.

So that was a brief sketch on drug addiction and its effects. If you or any one of your near ones are in the threshold of it or are suffering from it, then without any delay please try to seek medical/psychological assistance to get rid of it.

I remember while I was working in an observation home, I saw cut multiple cut marks in the hands of its inmates. You won’t believe the age of those inmates was below 16. These children cut their hands with blades and used drugs in the cuts to induce toxication. In our society, manifold forms of drug abuse are used. But, what is the final result…drudgery and death? Is that really worth? Drug addiction may give pleasure or solace for a moment, but its ill-effects on the body, mind, and society…are hellish. For whatever reasons one may get attracted and addicted towards drugs, finally it is going to take a toll on him/her one day. So as civilized and responsible citizens of the society we should try to save others and ourselves from the clutches of drug addiction.

“Addiction isn’t about using drugs. It’s about what the drug does to your life.” – Enock Maregesi

So go ahead, take a decision now. Get rid of your drug addiction. And the first step towards it is “Say NO to Drugs”

Wish you a drug-free and addiction-free life ahead!

Best wishes,

Sareeta

Action against addiction: A success story…

what-is-addictionMany thoughts race in our minds when we hear the word “Addiction”. Some see it as a bad habit, while some see it as a way out of all problems. Whether it’s just addiction per say or whether it’s how one becomes addicted to something, getting rid of addiction is often seen as very difficult thing to do.

In my career as a therapist, I have often seen cases frightened of getting de-addiction problems. Do you know why? They are afraid of the withdrawal symptoms, they are afraid that after getting de-addicted they won’t be able to cope with their life’s problems. In fact, there are many people who got successfully out of their addiction issues. Other than therapy techniques, their own determination and will-power pulled them out of the dark and deadly clutches of their addiction problems. If you are someone who is struggling to get rid of your addiction problem…trust me, it’s possible. This blog post is an epitome of a successful victory in the battle against addiction. This is a true story of an addiction-survivor, the way he fought against his addiction problem and the messages he has given to us that addiction can be reigned over with persistent efforts and targeted intervention.

To maintain confidentiality and respect his dignity I have changed his name. He says:

“Hello everyone, 

I have masturbated on average everyday for the last 13+ years. I have tried to quit unsuccessfully several times. I was able to quite for 1 month on a couple of occasions but I always went back to watching porn and masturbating to cope with stress and anxiety. 

I have been molested as a child on a number of occasions, and obviously these early traumas have pained me deeply and confused me over the years in terms of how I felt about my sexuality especially that I’ve been secretive about them most of my life. 

Also, I went to a all-boy school and had a number of homosexual experiences, but I’m primarily interested in women, which lead me to think of myself as a “male lesbian” sometimes. 

My addiction to porn has worsened over the years that I had to look for novelty because I was bored from “normal” sex. So I developed foot fetish and now I’m struggled with ass fetish, so of course, I feel guilt and shame regarding craving these things and I fear this downward spiral because it can only get worse, so I need to bring more awareness to my situation to transform my suffering………

My first shock came to me when I experience erectile dysfunction that’s when I realized I had a problem. I was masturbating so much that I couldn’t have intercourse. I have had good days, but this problem is still with me to some degree. Also, I sometimes don’t feel comfortable in my body and it’s hard for me to open up sexually and be trusting……

Spirituality and a healthy lifestyle have helped me, too, but again I am still an addict. For some reason, part of me (the addict) is drawn to the dark world of prostitution and pornography because it’s kinky and it expresses my wild side, but it’s also very delusional because it’s all a fantasy. 

I also came to the realization that masturbation is a selfish act especially when overly done. Self-love can be expressed in other ways. 

I am grateful to share this with you all. And I’ve read all of your stories and I feel compassion with everyone here. 

Much love! May we all have happiness and all the causes of all happiness….”

The story of X does not end here. He gave his heart and mind to get rid of his addiction. He tried every way out of it and did not leave any therapeutic technique unattempted. As you have already read in his writing, Spirituality and a well-balanced lifestyle showed him a way out. Apart from these, following are some amazing and effective ways that helped him combat his addiction with greater efficacy:

  1. Healthy lifestyle with good food and regular exercise
  2. Spirituality, meditation
  3. A supportive community
  4. Supplements like Endorphinate, Bach flower remedy, etc
  5. 12-step Buddhist principles combined with psychotherapy
  6. Mindfulness Meditation
  7. Other meditation techniques like TM and Metta
  8. Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  9. Body-centered Psychotherapy

So folks, if you will try and analyze the steps taken by him…you would see that he has used a combination of therapies and strategies. He also had his bad days while getting rid of his addiction, but now he has successfully got rid of it.

I would like to say each one of you who is struggling with addiction…Addiction can be reigned over with a strong will-power, determination, regularity, positivity in every situation ‘n’ symptom, modern day therapy as well as alternative therapeutic measures. If you are afraid of the withdrawal symptoms or other problems that you may face, I would say that these may be your own mirage-thinking. I mean, it could be that you won’t face much trouble in your quest towards addiction.

Like this special person, I have seen many people win the battle against different forms of addiction. What is required is just taking that first strong step. Because unless and until you step out, you won’t know what the world has to offer you. If you are one among them who want to get rid of your addiction problem, then please do not waste a second – just contact us. With the help of our online addiction treatment program you can soon discover a “new you”! You can surely see a sunshine in which you get up one day and your addiction problem is all over.

With Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Addiction: Onset and Aftermath…

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Hey folks! Hope you have read about my recent blog post on “The A, B, and Cs of Addiction: Psycho-education”. Now let us see about how addiction starts and its aftermath.

Addiction and its various creep in into your life with some common roots. Sometimes you are aware of it and sometimes it gobbles you up sub-consciously. Do you wanna know what these common roots are? OK, let’s have a look at these:

1)    Family / Home Environment:  As an innocent child and a curious teenager I used to “ape” or replicate whatever my mom, pops and siblings used to do. It used to fascinate me so much. I felt victorious every time I could mimicry them successfully. In this way I picked up many bad habits too. Only when I grew up to a certain age I could differentiate between what is good or bad for me. And then I made rectification in my thoughts, habits and behaviour. I am sure, many of you must have done this…trying to dress like your mom, shave or smoke like your father or brother, use make-up like your sister. This is a natural human behaviour. But, problem arises when you pick up unhealthy habits from your home environments and the older ones. If at any point you realize that a certain habit is unhealthy and you should abstain from it, then it’s really great. However, if this realization does not strike you at the right time, then that recurrent habit easily tends to become an addiction. Often smoking, alcohol, sex addiction are some of the addictions easily picked up from home environments.

2)    Peer Group Influence and Social Media: Being the limelight of my peer group was always on my mind. The moment someone made me feel down or challenged me, I would do everything to fulfill that challenge. Have you also felt like this or have gone heights to do “dare” stuff? In a peer group we all want to do our best and show our best side in order to impress our friends and followers. But, this attitude back-fires sometimes. When you try to impress others by going beyond your safe limits, you are very much likely to fall into a deadly trap. It’s good to do challenging things, but not at the stake of your health and safety. Breaking self barriers in order to fulfill challenges, “do and dare” stuff, heroic acts, etc are often the first threshold towards deadly addictions in the form of alcohol, drug abuse, gambling, smoking, shop-lifting and so on.

Similarly, social media also is one of the major causes in addiction. Exposure to illicit and negative content in an inappropriate way and age can lead to fatal consequences. If you come across some promiscuous content through the media (TV, Internet, etc) your mind is naturally tempted to explore about it. Porn addiction and sex addiction, and so on are some of the examples whose high incidence rates are due to wrong exposure to such content.

3)    Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms: Faulty coping to life’s stressors can lead to addiction in manifold ways. If you are depressed, frustrated, abused, tensed…and you do not know how to cope with it healthily, then addiction may silently sneak in.

As I had said in a previous blog post, “Use and Abuse” are two similar sounding words, but can make either hell or heaven out of your life. In the same way; alcohol, sex, masturbation, social media, etc are not bad. The way you use them in your life is what makes the whole difference. Using them for healthy purposes will ultimately be for your betterment and abusing them will take you into a world of pains, illness and agonies.

Addiction of any form can land you in serious physical, social and mental health problems; memory and concentration problems, opportunistic infections, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, social stigma and discrimination…Well, this list is endless! A knife in a doctor’s hand saves a life but a knife in a thief’s hand takes a life. So it’s your choice whether to use the resources for your development and well-being or decay and death. The choice is all yours.

But, this is not the end folks. There are still many things you can do to prevent addiction from curbing your life. There are endless ways in which you can kick addiction out of your life. Some of the ways are:

  •     Knowing safe limits of an addictive substance and self-control.
  •     Abstinence is the best way so far.
  •     Taking suggestions or advice from a friend/elder if you feel that you are getting addicted towards something.
  •     Knowledge about healthy way of coping with the ups and downs of life.
  •     Eating good, sleep, exercises, hobbies, good social circle are some of the finest ways of staying away from addiction.
  •     The courage to say “NO” to unethical deeds and unhealthy behaviour/practices.
  •     Choose your friends and social circles wisely. Good friends and social circles are the one who lead you towards health, happiness and prosperity. Stay away from “toxic” people who tend to destroy your life.
  •     Age-specific and appropriate use of Internet, media outlets and so on.
  •     If you fall prey to any kind of addiction, do not waste even a second and contact a Counselor / psychologist / self-help groups / de-addiction centre in your area.

Life is too short to waste it under the influence of addiction. It is our choices and wisdom that makes or mars our life… Stay safe and Stay healthy.

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

The A, B, Cs of Addiction – Psychoeduction

The A, B, Cs of Addiction“Hate addiction and not the addict”… If you are someone who is struggling to come out of the clutches of addiction, if you are someone who wants to know more about addiction and its treatment, then you have come to the right place. Technically speaking, addiction means getting used to a certain substance/behavior, etc. Addiction can be in the form of alcohol, drugs, pain pills, masturbation, smoking, gambling and so on. Addiction is different from a habit. Habits can be easily changed and manipulated with simple efforts. However, once you get addicted to something you will need strategic interventions to deal with it and come off it.

Let me give you an example: Let us assume that you brush your teeth three times a day. Without that you may feel that your day is incomplete. Suddenly one day you realize that there’s no need to brush your teeth three times, only two times is enough. Then you start working on it and soon you will get used to brushing two times a day. Sounds great, right! But, once you are addicted to something, say alcohol, you will get a variety of physiological and psychological problems/symptoms if you do not consume it. So that’s the symptomatic dimension of addiction. Getting recurrent thoughts of the addictive substance, getting frequent urges to satiate your addiction, changes in diet-sleep-thoughts-behaviour, experiencing a lot of stress-anxiety-depression-mood swings-hot/cold flushes-palpitations, etc. when the addiction urge is not gratified are some of the common symptoms of addiction.

Usually addiction starts under some common situations like:

  • Loss or death of a loved one
  • Faulty coping mechanisms to life’s challenges
  • Peer pressure
  • Social challenges
  • Lack of knowledge about a certain addictive substance
  • Lack of abstinence and self-control
  • Other intrinsic and extrinsic factors

Whatever be the source of cause of addiction, it literally shatters your life in a manifold ways. Once you are addicted to something it will have a negative impact on the vital organs of your body and important psychological functions like memory, attention, concentration, cognition, emotions and affect as a whole. The social stigma that strikes as an aftermath of addiction cannot be denied too. Sometimes you may be the center of fun and bullying due to addiction; family members may start de-tangling themselves from your company, moreover your professional life will also get affected in this muddle.

So what to do now? The first and foremost thing to do in case of addiction is to get loads of information about the same. Secondly, look out for the source of your addiction, how it started and what aggravates it, and thirdly, look out for support system, as in, people who can help you to get rid of it. People from different spheres can help you with your efforts in de-addiction or getting rid of addiction. Some of them may include your family members, friends, teachers/colleagues who understand you and empathetic towards you. The world fraternity is filled with professionals who are trained to help you in your de-addiction problem. So taking the help of a psychologist or a doctor will be of immense help too.

Addiction treatment and the virtual world

Given to the complex world of addiction and its pros and cons, the best solution is offered by online system of treatment or online therapy. Online mode of therapy will help you to deal with your addiction and at the same time protect your dignity, integrity, confidentiality and therapy expectations. If the addiction is too acute and chronic, you can opt for both in-patient treatment and online therapy. This will benefit you in both the ways. On one side you can get care and support of face-to-face health care workers/professionals and at the same time you can contact your online therapist as and whenever you need.

Online therapy of addiction treatment has many benefits over the traditional form of treatment. Some of them are:

  • You can access your online therapy sessions anytime
  • You will get 24/7 support and feedback from your online therapist
  • It is economic and less time consuming
  • You may forget the doctor’s treatment plans for you in a face-to-face setting, but in online therapy mode you can always save a copy of all the therapies your therapist imparts you and keep it for your future reference.
  • In case, you feel that there is a relapse you can again start working on those therapies or contact your online therapist immediately.

In the fast paced world today, virtual therapy in treatment of addiction is becoming the favorite of many people who are struggling with addiction. Many have already reached the safe shores of a normal life and others are continuing to get help via the online mode.

If you feel that you are addicted to something, if you sense that addiction is taking a toll of your life, if you are badly addicted and going to hospitals and clinics seem impossible due to lack of time, money, fear of stigma and discrimination; please don’t waste even an ounce of a second.

Best Wishes,

Sareeta