Why do you need Mental Health ...

Every day we learn of suicide and individuals engaging in mass murder. Most of these individuals actually suffer from mental illness. From the youngest to the oldest all are at risk when it comes to mental illness. So what do we do in times like this? We provide Mental Health First Aid. Mental Health First […]

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When does Psychological First ...

  The world is going through a crisis. From disasters, wars, terrorist attacks, traumatic events, ongoing discrimination towards sections of society, criminal activities etc. causes a large number of victims and affected family members of such victims undergo a major psychological breakdown. At times like this Psychological First Aid helps to prevent their health from […]

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Mental Health First Aid

In a first aid an injured person is given essential help until a professional medical treatment is given. The main aim of a first aid is to save life, prevent any kind of further harm, promote recovery and provide comfort. Mental health first aid (MHFA) does the same for individual developing mental health problems. Mental […]

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What are the other medical pro...

Dementia refers to a loss of mental function which compromises a person’s cognitive thinking. It results in declining memory and linguistic skill as well as behavioural changes. It is a progressive disease caused by brain damage. This means that the symptoms and effects will progressively worsen over time. The effects can range from physical or […]

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Say No to Cocaine in all forms...

We live in a world where taking cocaine is trendier than fashion. Its availability and use is not limited to a certain class of the society or an age group. The ‘Happening’ drug is easily available at the hidden corner of the street nearby. Whether it is to boost self-esteem or just succumbing to peer-pressure, […]

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Trapped in ‘Land of Lotus Eaters’

t2In the Greek epic ‘Odysseus’, the hero – Odysseus – jubilant over a hard earned victory in the Trojan Wars sets sail for the journey back home. Halfway through the journey, the ship passes by the ‘Land of Lotus Eaters’.

Total oblivion

Attracted by the beautiful island, the crew drops anchor only to find that they are addicted to the Lotus which makes them oblivious of everything. Lest all his crew forget the ocean route to home, Odysseus orders his men to quickly leave the island.

Incorrigible habits

The epic narrative, written over 3000 years ago by Homer, is an analogy to a serious modern-day issue: the problem of addiction. The word addiction generally entails a wide range of substances and human actions. It could be addiction to drugs or addiction to seemingly incorrigible habits that take a lot of efforts to get rid of and overcome.

Addiction: description

The Oxford Dictionary describes addiction as ‘The fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity.’ In today’s context the word addiction is being used to mean a range of addictions – addition to drugs such as heroin, cocaine and behaviours – addiction to gambling, shop-lifting, stealing, etc.

Addiction: categorisation

Addictions, then, can be categorised into those enlisted and categorised under the Diagnostic and Statistical Mannual of Mental Disorders and addictions that have to broadly do with human behaviour. The former is associated with drug abuse and the latter with behavioural traits that are socially unacceptable but symptomatic of a different kind of addictions than the drug addiction.

Substance abuse

Addiction to substances is perhaps the most harmful of all addictions in terms of its direct impact on the human brain. It is similar to the one experienced by Odysseus and his crew members who nearly got trapped in the Island of Lotus Eaters, where once people eat the lotus they get addicted to it, making them oblivious of everything around them.

Hooked forever

A person addicted to drugs is hooked to it forever till he or she is weaned away from it and rehabilitated. It is a never ending craving, a compulsion to have it on a daily basis with each passing day the craving for ‘more’ assuming greater proportion. It not only throws the personal life out of gear but leads to social isolation and mental disorders.

Impulse control disorder

In contrast, addictions having to do with compulsive behavioural traits have nothing to do with drug abuse. These behavioural traits are largely manifestation of impulse control disorder. The patients suffering from impulse control disorder find it very difficult to keep their impulses under control.

The symptoms of impulse control disorder are:

Behavioural Addiction:

  • Actions marked by compulsive aggression
  • Actions marked by compulsive assault on others
  • Actions marked by compulsive stealing or Kleptomania
  • Actions marked by compulsive setting ablaze things or Pyromania
  • Actions marked by a compulsion to indulge in gambling

Addictive Behaviour

  • Eating Food
  • Watching Pornography
  • Using internet
  • Video games playing
  • Doing work
  • Doing exercise
  • Obsessive preoccupation with spirituality
  • Asking for pain
  • Cutting things
  • Needless Shopping

Substance abuse or drug addiction is the single most harmful addiction. It begins with a small dose and the quantity keeps going up with each passing day till the patient is addicted to it.

Persons can get addicted to substances through:

  • Tobacco-use
  • Alcohol intake
  • Using heroin
  • Using Cocaine
  • Using Marijuana

Addictive prescription drugs are:

  • Sedatives
  • Hypnotics, or anxiolytics (sleeping pills &tranquilizers)

Other addictive substances are:

  • Cannabis (marijuana)
  • Amphetamines (such as methamphetamine or meth)
  • Hallucinogens
  • Inhalants
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

Finally, addiction irrespective of its types and manifestations causes untold misery to the patients suffering from it. Proper and timely medication can greatly alleviate the pain and sufferings.