There are a number of reasons why men gamble. Money is one, the emotional states gambling can engender is another. Some men gamble for the high… the action. For others gambling covers over problems of depression, panic attacks, mania, drug and alcohol abuse. Most gamblers are men. In 2005 The National Council on Problem Gambling estimated that, of the approximately 2.9 million young people between the ages of 14 and 22 gambling on cards on a weekly basis, 80% are male. The National Council on Problem Gambling estimates 1% of American adults (nearly 3 million people) are pathological gamblers. Another 2%–3% have less serious but still significant problems. They fear that overall as many as 15 million people are at risk from gambling. There are a number of signs & symptoms that could indicate a problem with gambling:
• You secretly gamble.
• Your gambling makes you take time away from work and family commitments.
• You try quitting gambling but then start again and again losing money that is needed to pay bills.
• You lie, steal, borrow or sell things to get gambling money
• You gamble to win back losses. You dream of the “big win” that keeps you in a spiral of debt.
• You gamble when you feel down or when you feel like celebrating.
• Relationships are breaking down because of your gambling.
By Jerry Kennard http://menshealth.about.com/od/psychologicalissues/a/Men_Gambling.htm
The sure way
of getting nothing
Gamblers Anonymous http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/
Go to the mirror now, and look yourself in the eye. There is a child inside of you, the child you used to be. He or she is you — a frightened child who is frozen in time because of harm suffered and endured at a young age. You know you desperately want to be released from the shackles of self-doubt, self-loathing and fear. You, and only you, can make the determination to walk down a new path in life that will certainly bring you to happiness, serenity and improved self-esteem. The decision is yours: Live with limited risk but perpetual relational dysfunction, or risk everything and choose to begin the personal/emotional work that will bring you to healthy and satisfying mutual love — true love. Along the way, you are likely to make a mistake or two. Do not let the pain of these mistakes throw you off course. More importantly, don’t second guess your commitment to yourself. There will be a payoff — I promise! In time, you will realize that you are now healthy, confident and strong enough to choose a romantic partner who is first and foremost a friend and who loves, cares and respects you for who you are, not just what you can do for him or her. You also will find that your improved “relationship picker” will help you get to the point in which you are ready “to take the one hand and the one life, you know belongs in yours.” Your improved psychological health will change the “polarity” of your human magnet. You will start to naturally repel narcissists while finding yourself irresistibly attracted to a person with whom you share deep feelings of love, respect and caring. Better yet, a person who wants to love, respect, and care for you will be attracted to you! From an article by Ross A. Rosenberg http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ross-a-rosenberg/dealing-with-codependency-_b_3854196.html
In dreams and in love
there are no impossibilities.
Losing a loved one can make you feel as if your heart is breaking—and sometimes it really is. Broken heart syndrome isn’t just Valentine’s Day hyperbole. It’s an actual medical condition, also known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy. In broken heart syndrome, extreme stress brings on heart attack-like symptoms, such as chest pain and shortness of breath. This isn’t just an anxiety attack. The heart is actually in serious distress. At times, the person may experience irregular heartbeats or cardiogenic shock—a condition in which a suddenly weakened heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands. In rare cases, broken heart syndrome can even lead to death. Broken heart syndrome is triggered by very severe stress. “That could be anything from the death of a loved one to the loss of a job,” says Malissa Wood, MD, at Massachusetts General Hospital. Doctors think that broken heart syndrome may be the heart’s reaction to a sudden surge in stress hormones. Symptoms can mimic a heart attack. “You may have chest pain and shortness of breath,” says Dr. Wood. “Other possible symptoms include sudden onset of chest pressure, sweating, palpitations, and pain radiating from the jaw, back, or neck.” The good news: Most people with broken heart syndrome make a full recovery. “The condition starts improving within days, and within weeks to months the heart is usually back to normal,” Dr. Wood says. “Very few people are left with a permanent problem.” …the onetime, extreme stressors that trigger broken heart syndrome—from catching a cheating spouse in the act to being in an auto accident—are often unavoidable. But starting out in good heart health can’t hurt and just might help with a faster recovery. By Linda Wasmer Andrews http://health.yahoo.net/experts/allinyourmind/broken-heart-syndrome-very-real
You will never know
until you have
and you will
what pain really is
until you have lost it.
Treating Codependency is not something a doctor does to or for a ‘patient’. It is more like having diabetes. The patient has to learn how to take care of themselves every day for the rest of their lives. Recovery starts when a Codependent understands and has insight into their condition. …I almost always strongly encourage… Codependency Recovery groups. Group is like the gym. It is where a Codependent goes to lift weights and get stronger… Group therapy rocks – it is inexpensive, weekly, powerful, fun, insight building and affirming. Recovery from Codependency is not just about gaining a strong voice. It is also very much about learning how to take good care of one’s self. It is about learning how to take the time to have fun, to exercise, to have a huge hobby that enriches your life and to nurture one’s self well. It might involve getting regular massages, joining a book club, making new friends, scheduling travel with your newly romantic and sensitive husband, getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising often, getting enough help in raising the kids, getting help with the household chores and getting enough alone time. Doesn’t all of that sound great? You can make it happen. You are in charge of your own life. The Recovery process for Codependency is an adventure. It is not torture. Recovery works. You just have to work at it really hard over a period of time. Today is the best day for you to start… From “Codependency – A Serious Disease of Lost, Confused, Undeveloped and Other-Centered Selves” by Mark Smith http://www.familytreecounseling.com/fullarticle.php?aID=278
Scars are not injuries…
A scar is a healing.
After injury, a scar is
what makes you whole.
Addiction to substances or activities can sometimes lead to serious problems at home, work, school and socially. The causes of addiction vary considerably, and are not often fully understood. They are generally caused by a combination of physical, mental, circumstantial and emotional factors. Addiction, often referred to as dependency often leads to tolerance – the addicted person needs larger and more regular amounts of whatever they are addicted to in order to receive the same effect. Often, the initial reward is no longer felt, and the addiction continues because withdrawal is so unpleasant. According to Medilexicon’s medical dictionary: Addiction is Habitual psychological or physiologic dependence on a substance or practice that is beyond voluntary control. According to the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), published by the American Psychiatric Association: Substance dependence is When an individual persists in use of alcohol or other drugs despite problems related to use of the substance, substance dependence may be diagnosed. Compulsive and repetitive use may result in tolerance to the effect of the drug and withdrawal symptoms when use is reduced or stopped. This, along with Substance Abuse are considered Substance Use Disorders. Most people think of illegal drugs when they hear the word “addiction”. However, prescription drug addiction is becoming a serious public health problem in the USA and many other nations. Prescription medication abuse was described as “an epidemic” by researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine in a study they reported on in November 2012. The scientists explained that doctors today treat pain differently than they used to years ago. This change has led to an increase in prescription drug abuse. In the USA in the 1990s – the decade of pain treatment – not only was there a change in medication, but also policy. Pain became the fifth vital sign doctors looked out for, along with respiratory rate, blood pressure, body temperature and pulse rate. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/addiction/
Numbing the pain
for a while will
make it worse
finally feel it.
Substantial evidence from neuroscience, genetics, and clinical investigation shows that depressive illnesses are disorders of the brain. However, the precise causes of these illnesses continue to be a matter of intense research. Modern brain-imaging technologies are revealing that in depression, neural circuits responsible for the regulation of moods, thinking, sleep, appetite, and behavior fail to function properly, and that critical neurotransmitters—chemicals used by nerve cells to communicate—are out of balance. Genetics research indicates that risk for depression results from the influence of multiple genes acting together with environmental or other nongenetic factors. Studies of brain chemistry and the mechanisms of action of antidepressant medications continue to inform our understanding of the biochemical processes involved in depression. Very often, a combination of genetic, cognitive, and environmental factors is involved in the onset of a depressive disorder. Trauma, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, a financial problem, or any stressful change in life patterns, whether the change is unwelcome or desired, can trigger a depressive episode in vulnerable individuals. Later episodes of depression may occur without an obvious cause. In some families, depressive disorders seem to occur generation after generation; however, they can also occur in people who have no family history of these illnesses. Whether inherited or not, depressive disorders are associated with changes in brain structures or brain function, which can be seen using modern brain imaging technologies. https://www.mentalhealthscreening.org/screening/resources/men-and-depression.aspx
Depression is like a bruise
that never goes away.
A bruise in your mind.
You just got to be careful
not to touch it where it hurts.
It`s always there, though.”
Vengeance is wanting to make the other person suffer as much or more than the perceived suffering you have felt because of their actions, simply because of what they did to you, and to find pleasure or amusement in their pain because of the way they wronged you. Justice means that the person pays a proper penance for the wrong they have done. They have a moral, and sometimes legal, obligation to try to make things “right” after the wrong they have done. Justice should be fair – vengeance rarely is. We have a right to seek justice – we do not have a moral right to seek revenge. Revenge does damage to you, even if you do not realize it. Justice is simply moral accounting. I realize that moral accounting is already in effect – and justice, as the universe deals it, will be served. Forgiveness means letting go of the pain inside of you, while still allowing you to seek justice served morally or legally. Life moves forward without the weight that holding on to a lost cause brings. Remember, forgiveness is not a gift you give another, but something you do inside of yourself – for yourself. When you look at it this way, forgiveness is possible in any situation, once you are ready to release the pain of the wrongdoing and move on with your life. From “Forgiveness – the Gift You Give Yourself” http://voices.yahoo.com/forgiveness-gift-give-yourself-84466.html?cat=5
Every person has a dark side.
What defines a person
with good character
is not a spotless life
of constant kindness,
smiles and even temperament.
But rather, it’s the yearning
to learn from your mistakes,
applying it, making amends for them
and choosing not to repeat them
that defines good character.
Shannon L. Alder
Most people with addiction problems feel that they have a disease. Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous all see addiction as a disease. Professionals mostly feel that the situation is more complex than this. It must be recognized that viewing addiction as a disease helps many people to overcome their problem. The evidence for biological and genetic factors being important in addiction bolsters the illness argument, but there is also evidence for social and psychological factors being important. Low levels of serotonin – a brain chemical – appear to be an important cause of addiction. ‘Drugs of solace’ may increase serotonin levels and depressed people take them for this reason. Alcohol raises serotonin levels in the short-term, but the levels fall in chronic alcoholics. Ecstasy produces the same effect. Cigarettes may increase serotonin levels, adding to their addictive properties. Gambling problems also seem to be associated with low levels of serotonin. Low levels of serotonin may be the result of inheritance, but low status in society also seems to reduce serotonin levels. Drug and alcohol abuse is more common in people from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Studies in animals demonstrate that they will self-administer substances – such as alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, nicotine, barbiturates and some benzodiazepines. Therefore, these drugs are described as rewarding or reinforcing. The fact that drugs and alcohol are rewarding does not explain why some people become addicted but not others, but it does lend weight to the argument that addiction is an illness or disease. Do You Have an Alcohol Dependence Problem?
Ask yourself the following four questions (the “CAGE” questionnaire).
+ Have you ever felt that you should cut down on your alcohol consumption?
+ Have you ever felt Annoyed when others criticized your alcohol consumption?
+ Have you ever felt Guilty about your alcohol consumption or the consequences of alcohol consumption?
+ Have you ever had an Eye opener in the morning?
If you answer ‘yes’ to two or more of these questions, it’s possible that you are drinking too much and should seek help. The obvious answer to addiction is to stop taking the consumed substance, but of course this is far from easy. The important thing to remember is that help is available. Probably the most important source of help (it reaches the greatest number of people) is Alcoholics Anonymous. Someone who has been consuming alcohol heavily may require admission to the medical ward of a local hospital in order to ensure safe withdrawal. Coming off alcohol quickly can result in delirium tremens, which can be a fatal condition and must be treated carefully. By Dr. Ciaran Mulholland http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/menshealth/facts/addiction.htm
When you live in an alcoholic family
or an abusive family, you tiptoe,
you don’t want to step on any mines.
Men are twice as likely as women to become alcoholics and now scientists believe they know why. Researchers from Columbia and Yale universities studied the underlying biology of how drinking affects the brain. They found that consuming beer and wine on a night out gave men a far greater ‘pleasure rush’ than women. The team compared a group of male and female college-age social drinkers in a laboratory test of alcohol consumption. After consuming an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink, each participant underwent a specialized positron emission tomography (PET) scan, an imaging technique that can measure the amount of alcohol-induced dopamine release. Dopamine has multiple functions in the brain, but is important in this context because of its pleasurable effects when it is released by rewarding experiences, such as sex or drugs. Despite similar consumptions of alcohol, the men had greater dopamine release than women. This increase was found in the ventral striatum, an area in the brain strongly associated with pleasure, reinforcement and addiction formation. The findings were reported in the journal Biological Psychiatry. Senior author Dr Anissa Abi-Dargham, added: ‘Another important observation from this study is the decline in alcohol-induced dopamine release with repeated heavy drinking episodes. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1321767/Why-men-twice-likely-alcoholics–drinking-sparks-pleasure-male-brains.html
People who have never had an addiction
don’t understand how hard it can be.
Writing that both describes traumatic events in detail and also examines how we felt about these events at the time and feel about them now (describing both negative and positive emotions), is the only kind of writing about trauma that clinically has been associated with improved health . And this is accomplished in Pennebaker’s (Dr. James Pennebaker of the University of Texas) experiments by only one hour of writing – fifteen minutes a day – over a four-day period. Later studies showed that the more days people wrote the more beneficial were the effects of writing. Dr. Pennebaker’s work is compelling. I knew nothing about it during the years when I was working on When the Piano Stops, my own memoir of recovering from incest (and Never Tell: The True Story of Overcoming a Terrifying Childhood, which was the title given its best-selling, UK print). From time to time during those years, my beloved uncle, who had a very limited understanding about what’s involved in healing from childhood sexual abuse, expressed concern about my continually revisiting the most horrifying experiences of my life. The information in this blog would have been great to share with him at that time, but of course I couldn’t. Today, however, I have the opportunity to share it with you, and I do so with the hope that if you’re a survivor of child abuse you’ll take it to heart, gather your internal resources, your memory, your pain, and your creativity, and write on! By Catherine McCall, MS, LMFT http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/overcoming-child-abuse/201209/how-and-why-writing-heals-wounds-child-abuse
We must be content to grow slowly.
Most of us will still barely be
at the beginning of our recovery
by the time we die.
But that is better than killing
ourselves pretending to be healthy.