Feed the Person, Starve the Illness

I never could keep my Grandmother’s advice straight. It is starve a cold and feed a fever, or feed a cold and starve a fever? It’s just as well that I can’t remember it right; modern medicine discredits the practice of withholding nourishment from any sick person, regardless of whether they have a cold orContinue reading “Feed the Person, Starve the Illness”

Discerning the Person from the Addiction

Addiction can take over a relationship, just as if it moved into the house, kicked the couple out of their bed, ate up all the food in the refrigerator, and didn’t let them leave. It starts by taking over your partner. You think it’s your wife speaking when she says she can’t go to aContinue reading “Discerning the Person from the Addiction”

The Shrink’s Links: Terry

Bringing you the best of mental health every week. You may think you know George McGovern. Maybe not, maybe you’re too young to know the Democratic presidential nominee who challenged Nixon in 1972 and lost abysmally. Politically, he was my generation’s Bernie Sanders. Long after his presidential bid, he wrote a book, Terry: My Daughter’sContinue reading “The Shrink’s Links: Terry”

Addiction Wants it All

The trouble starts when you accommodate the wrong thing. Partners deserve accommodations. Reasonable compromise is at the heart of friendship, much less love. It’s better to give than to receive. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. There is no greater love than to lay down your life. If your girlfriend had the flu,Continue reading “Addiction Wants it All”

Are you a Partner or a Hostage?

Let’s sort this out: Partners have choices. Hostages have to do what they’re told. Partners can leave and speak. Hostages are bound and gagged. Partners share power. Hostages have no power. Partners compromise. Hostages adjust. Partners are trusted. Hostages are checked up on. Partners are loved. Hostages are blackmailed. Partners’ boundaries are observed. Hostages’ boundariesContinue reading “Are you a Partner or a Hostage?”

When Addiction Takes Over a Relationship

Even when people are firing on all cylinders, relationships can be tricky. When your partner is addicted, they can be impossible. Addiction takes a relationship into a dangerous territory where clarity turns gray and selfishness rules the day; where individuals disappear and are replaced by need; where spouses are objectified, resented, and manipulated; where weddingContinue reading “When Addiction Takes Over a Relationship”

Some Things you May Not Know About Substance Abuse: Addiction is not satisfied with just screwing you up

Once addiction has got a good hold on you, it doesn’t stop there; it looks for others it can infect with madness. In you, it has established a home base from which it can make forays into others, as if its whole purpose is to spread evil, corruption, and despair. Addiction is not satisfied withContinue reading “Some Things you May Not Know About Substance Abuse: Addiction is not satisfied with just screwing you up”

Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse: You may not have gotten yourself into this mess, but it’s your responsibility to get yourself out

Addiction lands you right square in the middle of an ancient controversy between deterministic views of human behavior and the belief in free will. This is not just a philosophic or academic issue. What you believe about your ability to make choices will affect the choices you make. In fact, you’ll only make choices ifContinue reading “Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse: You may not have gotten yourself into this mess, but it’s your responsibility to get yourself out”

Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse: You’re being sold

I know. When you use drugs you think you’re a bohemian, wildly independent, marching to a different drummer, rejecting the herd mentality, experimenting with alternate consciousness. Well, take it from an aging hippie; before you turn on, tune in, and drop out in that particular way, think for yourself and question authority. Yes, question authorityContinue reading “Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse: You’re being sold”

Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse: What keeps you addicted

Chemistry First there’s the chemical. That calm feeling you get from Percocet is just too good to give up. The sickness you feel when you are in withdrawal is just too bad to bear. Genes get rewritten when you use cocaine often enough, so that nothing but cocaine can make you happy. Your brain cellsContinue reading “Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse: What keeps you addicted”