Addiction: Ways to Overcome it

 

Addiction: Ways to Overcome it

By: Daniela Vargas

Falling into addiction can feel like you have lost control of your life. But, you can gain that control back. Addiction can involve different substances like alcohol, gambling, drugs like cocaine and heroin. Now, you may ask how addiction starts or why people continue using these substances? The reason for this is that when you take a substance or do a certain behavior it makes you feel good and stress free. That “good feeling” is a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that your brain releases when you feel pleasure or satisfaction.

Psychotherapy:

Psychotherapy can help one overcome addiction. Psychotherapy has many ways which therapists can use depending on the situation. Here are some that can help with addiction.

  • Supportive Psychotherapy: Can help patients feel safe and comfortable sharing their experiences and troubles. A therapist can be a strong guide throughout your journey and give advice to help you push through.
  • Coping- focused psychotherapy: This method can teach patients ways to cope with substance abuse. This method, combines individual therapy with a Relapse Prevention programs.
  • Exploratory Psychotherapy: It is important to find the root of the problem. This type of psychotherapy can help uncover connections with your addiction.

Medication:

Medication or a combination of both medication and Psychotherapy can help overcome addiction.

  • Naltrexone: can help reduce craving of alcohol
  • Buprenorphine: this medication can help reduce Opioid withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine helps to block and activate the opioid receptors in the brain.
  • Methadone: Can also reduce Opioid withdrawal symptoms
  • Bupropion: can reduce withdrawal symptoms for nicotine addiction. This medication is also prescribed for people battling with depression.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/.

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/addiction

https://www.mentalhelp.net/substance-abuse/psychotherapy/

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-adolescent-substance-use-disorder-treatment-research-based-guide/evidence-based-approaches-to-treating-adolescent-substance-use-disorders/addiction-medications

Image: https://www.google.com/search?q=addiction&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS752US752&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi88tufv6juAhXjct8KHR3ZAF0Q_AUoAnoECBAQBA&biw=1434&bih=687#imgrc=qyOm9dPoiVdWaM

 

COVID-19: Addiction and Relapse

By: Elyse Ganss

It is currently unclear how COVID-19 will affect addiction. As a result of the nature of the coronavirus and its’ effect on the lungs, people who smoke tobacco, marijuana, or vape are at an increased risk for getting the virus. Besides an increased risk for getting the virus, people who suffer from addiction may be negatively affected in other ways as well.

 Isolation can have negative effects on people who suffer from substance abuse, particularly for those who are in recovery. Isolation can trigger anxiety and depression and without proper coping skills, this can trigger relapse.

Social distancing has put a stop to people attending peer-support groups in person, which are typically very beneficial for people who are recovering from addiction. While there are online support groups, it is unknown how many people will utilize them. Similarly, while family support is still available through phone calls and texts, it is no longer available in person. These changes have the possibility to increase levels of addiction.

In some states, access to critical medications, like methadone and buprenophrine that allow addicts to wean off of opioids, have been severely regulated and almost stalled. This could increase self-medication of drugs and alcohol and cause drug overdoses to occur. Receiving treatment, like teletherapy, with a licensed mental health professional to discuss a treatment plan, coping strategies, and what your support network looks like could be extremely beneficial for those who are recovering or currently struggling with addiction.

If you or someone you know is looking for support, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/ .

Sources:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/noras-blog/2020/04/covid-19-potential-implications-individuals-substance-use-disorders

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/healing-addiction/202003/coronavirus-and-addiction

https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20200407.290720/full/

Image Source:

https://www.healthline.com/health/addiction/alcohol

Addiction: Must be Love on the Brain.

Addiction: Must be Love on the Brain.

By: Keely Fell

Heartbreak notably causes a great deal of emotional pain, but have you ever wondered what it does to the chemistry in your brain? Experiencing heartbreak can cause pains in the chest, gut and even in our throat. Such sensations can leave one feeling broken. The brain has quite a way of reacting to the experience of a broken heart, and understanding the feelings caused by brain reactions is essential to overcoming heartbreak.

One of the most interesting brain reactions to heartbreak is the experience of withdrawal symptoms in the absence of love. Often times when experienced, the brain mechanisms that are activated are the same as if someone is withdrawing from drugs like nicotine, cocaine, etc. So you could make the connection that love is addicting, thus creating a chemical reaction when you fall in love that is similar to a “high”.

Functional Magnetic Resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have been performed showing how these mechanisms are being activated in the brain. A study conducted by Art Aron, Lucy Brown, and Helen Fisher found that the area of the brain associated with the rewards system, known as the caudate nucleus, lights up on scans when in love. This shows that love might be more than just an emotion and more of  a response searching for the reward of affection. People who use drugs such as nicotine and cocaine see similar brain activity across fMRI scans. In both cases, the brain is experiencing a spike in the release of dopamine through the caudate nucleus. It was also observed that when an fMRI scan was performed on people experiencing the first stages of a break up, the caudate nucleus was still in “motivation mode”, meaning that the individual was still searching for that “fix” of love.

Understanding that these feelings and symptoms are deeper rooted than just simply feeling sad over a broken heart, can help us through the healing process. Over time the brains need to fulfill the “fix” will subside and will move onto the next big thing.

If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/ .

Sources:

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/this_is_your_brain_on_heartbreak  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201801/3-surprising-ways-heartbreak-impacts-your-brain

Image Source:                                                                                    https://www.123rf.com/photo_52211182_stock-vector-cartoon-heart-and-mind-characters.html

Anxiety: Social Media Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety: Social Media Anxiety Disorder

Tatyana A. Reed

Social media is very prominent in today’s society and nearly everyone has a social media account; whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. Although social media can be great for promoting things, it is also negatively promoting an Anxiety Disorder which is also known as Social Media Anxiety Disorder. According to ePainassist.com, “Social Media Anxiety Disorder is a mental illness that is related to generalized social anxiety, which is acquired when social media interferes with the mental and physical health of a human being.” This can mean that the idea of not being able to check your social media can cause you extreme anxiety. Your anxiety may rise because of the number of likes you’re receiving on a picture, the number of repost on your tweet, or just not getting as many views on your story. Since this new form of anxiety is now increasing, ever climbing with more technology, most people have never heard of the disorder. In this article we will delve more deeply into the topic.

According to The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), below are some symptoms of Social Media Anxiety Disorder:

  • Lying to others about how much time you spend on social media
  • Unsuccessfully trying to stop or reduce your use of social media
  • Loss of interest in other activities
  • Neglecting work or school to comment on Facebook or Twitter
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you are unable to access social media
  • Overwhelming need to share things with others on social media sites
  • Having your phone with you 24 hours a day to check your social media sites
  • Severe nervousness or anxiety when you are not able to check your notifications
  • Negative impacts in your personal or professional life due to social media usage

At first glance, the symptoms probably seem like they would have no physical or mental effects on a person. That’s a false assumption. For starters, being on a phone constantly will affect your eyes by drying them out which then leads to headaches and vision issues. Furthermore, sitting on your phone all day, instead of being active, can cause issues with weight, lower back problems, and neck strain. Using social media constantly can also feed into OCD, depression, and feelings of loneliness, according to ADAA. We think social media is all about being able to connect and share happy things with others but many people subconsciously begin to compare their lives or physical selves to others.

 

If you or a loved one appears to be suffering from SMAD, the licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/

References:

ePainAssist, Team. “Social Media Anxiety Disorder: Causes: Symptoms: Treatment: Recovery Tips.” EPainAssist, 15 Apr. 2019, http://www.epainassist.com/mental-health/social-media-anxiety-disorder.

Fadar, Sarah. “Social Media Obsession and Anxiety.” Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA, Nov. 2018, adaa.org/social-media-obsession.

n/a, n/a. “Social Media Anxiety Disorder All Occasion.” Zazzle.com, 2009, rlv.zcache.co.uk/social_media_anxiety_disorder_all_occasion-re4d11e0809ba45fbbbf7a966b6e2f527_xvuak_