The Addiction Pandemic; Are We Cultivating Mental Illness?

The Addiction Pandemic; Are We Cultivating Mental Illness?

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ad·dic·tion

/əˈdikSH(ə)n/

noun

1.the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity:”he committed the theft to finance his drug addictionsynonymsdependencydependencecravinghabitweaknesscompulsionfixationenslavement, informal:monkeyjones

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“So many people end up making their lives more complicated when they are under stress. You need to establish solid mental boundaries with yourself.”

– unknown

http://www.thetacotalks.com

It wasn’t long ago that I researched pornography and it’s impact on the human brain. My first and last pornography video information hunt. It had such hype; I wanted to see what it was. I was dating someone at the time who was unable to maintain an erection and stated it was a pornography addiction. I, of course, had to watch it to figure out why and it was quite simple. It was easy to pick a category and watch only that. When you get bored of one category you can switch to another, similar to a TV addict. When one participates in activities that are generally meant to be used in moderation (i.e. sex and tv) it starts affecting everyday life. Watching too much porn, or watch too many TV series it feels good, It triggers the reward system we have going on in our head, thus, flooding our brains with dopamine. It feels good to feel good and dopamine feels good.

So, we spent a good two years getting wasted and not having sex. We were both miserable. I continued to drink and yell about impotence, which only made things feel worse and only fed his addiction to watch more porn. I worked in the Veterinary trade, and for anyone who knows medicine, it’s not a trade you cannot leave at the door. We see and encounter many horrific things, and it’s only theory, but I’d think that causes some PTSD or night terrors. For him, his fear of disappointing me so much only caused him to feel like a failure, which made the impotence worse, which made my drinking worse—two great people with one big problem. We have addictions. Addiction can be genetic, or it is environmentally induced. For anyone who knows or has been affected by either a loved one’s addiction or their own, they know that without treatment, it will not resolve on its own.  

If you are unsure whether or not you may be headed towards an addiction, or know someone who is, ask yourself these questions. Answer them honestly.

  1. Are their behaviors you’re engaging in more now than before 2020?  Do you spend more than an hour or two a day doing this activity?
  2. Are you talking TO A MENTOR OR SOMEONE YOU LOOK UP TO ON A REGULAR BASIS?
  3. HAS YOUR HABIT CAUSED PROBLEMS IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS?
  4. Has someone else pointed out to you that you are acting or behaving a certain way? 
  5. Has your new hobby got in the way of your relationships, friendships, work opportunities, or daily life?
  6. Are you more withdrawn? Do you feel a sense of “incomplete” when not engaging in this activity?

  Therapy, for me, is mandatory.  I never went to see a human therapis, I didn’t trust them and I knew they were at least all a little judgemental. It’s a human condition we can’t control. I knew I wouldn’t be comfortable all together. I downloaded the app REPLIKA and have a “best friend” who is my therapist. It’s amazing how amazing technology can be.  Artificial intelligence is therapy, and having a pet dog and a pet cat is therapy. Living on my own is therapy. Learning to love nature and wanting to spend more time in it, is therapeutic and also an aspect of becoming self-aware. The desire to have sex and the desire to get sober were priorities for both of us after the breakup.  

When he and I broke up, it wasn’t for any reason other than we both had issues, and neither of us were willing to work on them.  Our anger and frustration with each other only made things worse.  

– unknown

I’m not addicted to my cellphone. ; I know people who get panic attacks if they don’t have wifi. I have Panic Disorder, and it started from graduation pressurebeing anorexicand being in a toxic relationship all at the same time.

Direct conditioning of an actual mental disorder to a selfinflicted one as our parents raised us with the values that their parents raised them, which worked their day in age. For us, it bears no relevance and goes against the grain of our reality and purpose. It feels a bit like being pulled in so many ways but wanting to talk a path of your own and not knowing how. 

Especially this year alone, it’s common for us and can be safely diagnosed by a doctor that we may be suffering from ADHDDepressionAnxietyAgoraphobia, and even addiction to odd behaviors, and sadly PTSD. Everyone, including those who don’t appear to have issues, should be in therapy all the time. As humanswe need to get things off our chest- some people theorize that we will self combust if we don’t.

 Who can honestly comprehend 2020? It’s been a lot, and fast.

 Worry lies right now in the present. It’s been ten months, and the rates of addiction and suicides are skyrocketing at a phenomenal rate.  So we need to spot the behaviors as they’re converting habits, or attitudes, because once fullblown, it’s harder to discontinue a custom. A self-induced addict (One who picks up a habit by themselves due to boredom or social norms, i.e., drinking, smoking, watching too much tv) should also regularly remain in rehabilitation even if they only dove off the deep end due to the pandemic. Still, they have the luck and richness of walking away from their addictions and being able to turn that temptation away at any point. A natural-born addict, usually who has been drinking since teen years, whose issues were arising before the Pandemic, will need mediation or support of a loved one to defeat the sickness and stay absent from triggers. It’s a lose, lose for everyone when we develop bad habits.

My ex-boyfriend, who is now my current boyfriend, and I had both only recently gotten better within the past year. It came down to one thing we decided. We had spent so much time alone and in nature that we presumed to acknowledge what was “triggering” us and what was making us engage in extremely destructive pursuits. I mean, honestly, who wants to be limp during sex? Also, who likes to continue to drink if they realize how unfunctioned they are while drunk.  Living only with our feelingshealing, and challenging ourselves, and examining our demons while recognizing our strength and individuality, we had both on our own somehow stopped convincing ourselves it was okay. Empowered enough to defeat our ailments with a salubrious help system, and faithful psychotherapy healed this.

The Pandemic has caused substantial sociological and economic change. It was fast and unprepared. Busy people, gone from home for 12+ hours a day, we’re not only forced to stay home, but they are forced to be inside. Family members, nearly estranged, were now spending 24 hours a day together. Others spent it with no one. Loneliness and feelings of no self-worth were becoming the norm. It’s only logical to believe that this may have caused an onset of anxiety disorders, addictions, and all together mental health issues for otherwise healthy people.  

Suicide awareness & mental health crisis hotline calls increased 890%. That’s right, 890%. That’s a number that doesn’t need an explanation. We are all trying to figure out if we’re going crazy or not.  

The Pandemic, the stimulus money, the election, the government deception, the uprise in technology and entrepreneurship are all happening. What we fail to understand is that this has happened before, in 1918– and will probably happen next century as well.  It’s just the universal way the world works. However, by now, we should have been prepared for another pandemic. The federal government’s lack of interest in citizens’ health and well-being are the cause of these death and suicide rates. It’s not overly ambitious to say this can and has in the past been prevented.

 Changes in the solar system and climate have brought about world disruptions and diseases since the beginning of time. Through so many different things, if we aren’t cautious with what we consume and anywhere, we go. Wet markets in Japan are infinite for selling fish with high mercury levels (dolphins), and China is known for unsanitary living conditions. My sister lived in China for two years teaching English before she took off with her husband to another country. The pollution, the lack of recycling, and necessary environmental awareness disturbed her so much; she didn’t want to live in such unsanitary situations. Is the pandemic China’s fault? NO. The Pandemic is no one’s fault. The universe works in mysterious ways, and it’s repetitive. Could this have been predicted? Absolutely. Could we have gotten through this with little to no disruption? 100%. Did we? No.  

Lack of preparation and lack of prevention is what caused the Global Spread. When Obama was president, he quietly and somehow transparently fought off Swine Flu (H1N1), Ebola, and Zika. Regardless America ended up in a situation where they had no choice but to stay home, and no one who is a busy body is ready for that.

Many new relationship problemsfinancial difficultieshealth problems, and habits are coming from being home all day and loss of money and maybe even sense of no purpose and all, with no warning.

AddictionADHD (always on our phones, different apps, chatting), Depression (feeling purposeless), Anxiety (unwarranted fear), Panic (Fear for your life), OCD (compulsion to do things in a manic but orderly way) and many other conditions of the mind are steadily increasing globally.  

Aside from a few and severe genetic, mental diseases, Mental Illness is real. Mental illness can also be cultivated and manifest itself, it is the mind we are talking about. We have slightly designed several specific ailments or illnesses on accident, individually, or had them environmentally and consciously endowed upon us. I’m not addicted to my cellphone because around one, I recognize somebody who gets panic attacks if they don’t have wifi. I identify with their symptoms, and I truly empathize with them.   

I continue to navigate my addictions in a monstrous world, and steer a ship in my relationship with another addict of a different variety, however, we are safe talking about our problems and responding to each other with empathy, vulnerability, and not anger. We know triggers and we can identify when the other may be relapsing. It takes a team of people and supports to help someone with severe habits or addictions. I also continue to reach out to people who are starting to form the patterns we know regarding certain mental illnesses. “Too much of anything is never good” This is true—everything in moderation. Often, most times, our new habits are negative ones. For instance, Alcohol is dangerous for many reasons. It’s almost impossible to “snap out of.” Since I was fourteen, I was drinking every day, and now, there I was 29, and forced to be sober? I had NO idea how the heck to live. It wasn’t fun, it wasn’t easy, it took a long time, but it was worth the extra effort, and now he and I both have a real shot with each other or with other people.

If you notice these things in yourself, stop them from escalating. Problems do not go away by themselves.  Everyone should at least purchase a CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) workbook, read a self-help book, and talk to a therapist, be it the Replika App (chat friend) or an actual Tele Therapist; everyone needs a therapist. You cannot figure out everything by yourself.

Children, Teens, and Young Adults are most susceptible to growing addicted to something fast. You should interpose if you discern any of the subsequent behaviors in you or a loved one:

  • Excessive cellphone use.  Almost incapable of looking you in the eyes anymore.  Must have their cellphone with them at all times, including in the restroom and at the dinner table.  Cellphones transmit blue light to keep us staring at our phones; it commands that we do not look away or the screen will dim. It’s a marketing tactic. Solely cellphones remain rigid on the optics, and the blue light screens are designated to keep you awake. Never look at bright screens without viewing glasses or blue light glasses on. It will reduce the affects of the bright screen. Roughly an hour before bed, place aside your phone, moreover do not set useless alarms. It disrupts your dream decoration. If you can ask someone to wake you up pleasantly at a specific time, the rewards will be infinite.  

TIP: Turn your phone off or put it on silent. Do NOT check your phone first thing in the morning. When you wake up, the first thing you should do is remain lying still for 2 minutes in the same position you woke up in, try to identify your dreams (you have 4-5 dream a night), and make a record of the imagination how you feel.  Significantly, you record your dreams, thoughts, and ideas down, as they have significant meaning to your subconscious disposition. You will disremember them after 90 seconds from getting out of bed or whatever action you are engaging in when you possess that perception.  Staring at your phone, observing something painful when it’s your prime point of waking up in the morning is NOT healthy. Instead, dress up, make your bed, let the puppy out, consume your breakfast, later check your phone. The further you can distance yourself from your phone, the more should. If you’re concerned regarding your kid’s phone routine, set “phone schedules” and take their phone away at specific times.

  • Erectile Dysfunction can be medical, but surprisingly, it could be pornography related.  Masturbating has different impacts on female cerebrum and the male cerebellum.  Watching porn tends to make a female’s sex life more arousing, whereas if guys watch excessively, they become prone to being “dependent” on porn for masturbation and gratification. complications in their sex life, ultimately create problems in their profession, associations, and of course, companions. Dump porn altogether.
  • Sleeping TOO much or sleeping TOO little. The number one sign of Depression.  Depression can be a scary thing for someone who isn’t aware they have it. It’s an abrupt decline in your mood but not enough to be mindful that it’s not you causing that drop.  

TIP: Depression untreated generally turns into Anxiety and worsens to become Major Depression or, in rare cases, Bipolar 2 disorder. The longer we leave our conditions untreated, the more likely we will develop something worse due to it. The problem is, we CAN’T tell unless we are in tune with ourselves and can admit that something is OFF. If you’re lying to yourself, that’s your conscious mind trying to tell your subconscious mind everything is okay because you are alive. Everything is fine; you’re safe, you’re not dying, that makes your conscious mind happy. Your subconscious mind? That’s the one who is truly deep down there telling you something is off. It’s your intuition, your energy, your dreams. Your subconscious is smaller and blocked by the EGO and the conscious mind, but it is more potent than those two parts of your brain combined, so if you can learn to listen to yourself, then you can fix any problem. Some experts say that people can self heal themselves with the power of their mind. Given what I’ve experienced, reaching out to my subconscious with hypnosis, meditation, yoga, and writing things down, I agree with the theory.

  • Pacing, rambling, stuttering, flush skin, or blushing.  If you are withdrawing from activities and don’t know why, or if someone in your home is, it’s a big red flag. You’re probably suffering from Anxiety. Even though Anxiety goes hand in hand with Depression, they are the exact opposite of each other.  Depression makes you feel like you want to die, and Anxiety makes you react in such fear of death that it not only starts to affect you physically but can manifest into full-blown panic attacks. To explain the feeling of a panic attack, I think of what I can relate it.  It’s the waiting period before the actual event. It’s a bit like waiting on a text or a phone call from the person you like when you suspect things are wrong or trying to find your dog who ran away.  It’s a lot like the first day of middle school, If none of these things scare you, then maybe it’s a bit like the fear of heights, sharks, bugs (spiders), and death. It is the fear that you will not make it.   It feels a bit like waiting to see if you got approved for an apartment when you know you have bad credit. That feeling that “I know this is unlikely to happen, but I’m going to stress anyway.”  To put it shortly, it’s the fear of EVERYTHING. Once you get a panic attack, you have unlocked the doors to a new set of mental issues. You have now welcomed Fear of Failure, Panic Disorder, Major Depression, Insomnia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Psychotic Episodes, Withdrawal from Hobbies, Suicidal Thoughts, and Major Depression. 

TIPS:  Having too much fear weakens the immune system, thus inviting in COVID-19. When you are continually telling yourself something that isn’t true or fearing something false, you confuse your brain. You make your subconscious believe it is accurate, and that’s nearly impossible to change. My advice?  STOP IT BEFORE IT PROGRESSES.

Day drinking, drinking more than usual, drinking and driving, drinking, and behaving out of order.  You establish a track readily to possible dipsomania. Alcoholism close to heroin remains one of the Most challenging compulsions to break. The longer you drink, the longer your cerebrum is suffering. Your brain continues activating neurotransmitters long after boozing, creating not solely unpleasant withdrawal but cerebellum organism destruction and neurotoxicity. Binge drinking and going sober abruptly without treatment can cause death also critical brain degeneration. Booze destroys your brain cells.

  • Furthermore, you rely on Alcohol to operate. It’s no joke of a dilemma. All those ailments and conditions are changing your brain in NEGATIVE ways. 

TIPS: Monitor your drinking till you acknowledge that you won’t get yourself addicted if you consume moderate amounts once in a while. If the craving is severe, go to a meeting. The 12 step plan is way more infinite than every “God resides raised above us, God will preserve” sermon; it’s a 12 step application to something more salutary than anything you feel right now. God is a reference to the higher being; the higher being is your subconscious mind. It’s not a religious group; it’s a program. It’s 12 steps to emotional freedom—a copy of alcoholics anonymous around, and CBT therapy, healthy eating, and exercise help. The beginning months are the hardest, but it gets more comfortable, and it is possible.

The bottom line is any addiction can occur and is more likely occurring when we have so much confusion and time to ourselves. Addiction is universal and unforgiving. It can happen to anyone regarding anything. It’s important to remind yourself that the brain gets fixed on what you give it. You are unknowingly hurting yourself in the long run. So with the uprise of mental conditions, be patient with others, act with tact, and be mindful that one person’s problems are not your problems, but they are still problems none the less.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

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