WHY IS IT THAT MEN DON’T TELL WHEN WOMEN ABUSE THEM? TEACHING PEOPLE ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

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WHY IS IT THAT MEN DON’T TELL WHEN WOMEN ABUSE THEM? TEACHING PEOPLE ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

I am a counselor for women in the jail setting. I set out to do a survey and out of the 15 women in treatment, 13 had battered the men in their lives. I showed them a movie called, “Men Don’t Tell,” and they started remembering how aggressive and abusive they were towards the men in their lives.

Some of these women reported that they had taken batterer’s intervention classes and identified some of the things they learned:

1.Recognizing red flags before it’s too late
2.Being aware of the volume of their voices when they are raised
3.Recognizing building aggression starting with a compulsion to break things or as they put it, “tearing up the house”
4.Unfounded feelings of jealousy that lead right into rage
5.Minimizing and justifying by saying things like “It’s not all my fault”
6.Yelling and blaming significant others when they are stressed out about something
7.Using sex to control their men

I asked these women this question, “Why do men stay if they are being abused by women?”
Here are some of their answers:

1.They are afraid that if they leave the women will hurt their children
2.They love their children and they want to be around to deflect the blows
3.They legitimately love their wives or girlfriends
4.They can’t get help because there are no shelters for men and no resources so they feel they have no place else to go or call for help
5.They are afraid that if they call the police they will be arrested as the perpetrator
6.They are afraid to call the police because they are afraid their children will be taken away and they may lose custody of their kids
7.They are too embarrassed to tell people the truth and ask their children to lie and cover up the abuse
8.They are “ashamed” of being beaten up by women
9.They try to uphold their tough guy image and don’t want to be seen as “weak” by family or friends
I asked the women this question, “Why doesn’t society take men seriously when a woman hits a man?

Answer #1
I feel society doesn’t think in most cases the woman would be aggressive and hit a man. Women being the weakest of the two usually are the ones that are battered. I think a lot of the situations involving women being the aggressors involve the women possibly having mental health issues, which have not been addressed. A lot of the times biological and chemicals imbalances are involved, too.

Answer #2
Because if a man being bigger than a woman society doesn’t think I’m a woman that would beat a man. My boyfriend and I got into an altercation and I hit him and manipulated him with sex to change his mind about calling the police.

Answer #3
Because society usually wants to see the man as the aggressor. Because they are usually bigger, strong, and more dominant than the female. Society always wants to assume that the female is scared of the male.

Answer #4
I think that society does not take men seriously when it comes to women hitting men because women are usually the smaller ones and men can usually overpower a woman easily. And you don’t usually hear about women beating on men because men usually don’t want to admit it. They are embarrassed of people knowing that a woman is beating up on them.

Answer #5
I believe society does not take abuse on men seriously because men are stronger than women in most cases. Also because it’s more common to have women report abuse than men. So, it’s being documented more by women because men feel ashamed as if they are “less of a man” and don’t reported it often or at all.

Answer #6
Because it bruises the male’s ego tremendously and makes the man feel inadequate.

Answer #7
Because the majority of the time it is the other way around and sometimes it is done so the cops won’t get called.

Answer #8
I think that society doesn’t take men seriously because they don’t think a woman could do such things like that.
Because people feel men should be able to take care of themselves and protect themselves.

Answer #10
Because people just don’t naturally believe that women actually do hit men because of the man being the stronger gender. Men are embarrassed by the fact that the female actually beats on them. Society just doesn’t understand the idea that sometimes the woman is more aggressive because of maybe a prior relationship or marriage. The man I hit didn’t press charges because he loves me.

Answer #11
Because men are usually the aggressor. I hit a man and denied it happening and I played the victim.

Answer #12
Because most of the time it’s the woman that is being battered. I hit a man and said please don’t all the cops my parents will find out. I’m sorry. I’ll never do it again.

Answer #13
Because men are usually bigger than women.

Answer #14
Because men are bigger than women and men are referred to as being more angry them women. Men don’t normally admit being hit by women. Men don’t want other men to judge them about being a wimp. Men don’t want to be belittled.

Answer #15
I don’t think society takes men being abused seriously because the majority of the population don’t think or believe women can be so vindictive.

Link to the movie “Men Don’t Tell” aired by CBS in 1993. I will be doing a review of the movie in the near future.

On March 14, 1993, CBS aired “Men Don’t Tell”, a TV movie about domestic violence starring Peter Strauss and Judith Light. The twist: Strauss’s character, construction executive Ed MacAffrey, was abused by his wife Laura, played by Light.

Link to the book, “Abused Men.” I will be doing a review of the book in the near future as well.

http://www.amazon.com/Abused-Men-Hidden-Domestic-Violence/dp/0313356718

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REFLECTING ON NEGATIVE PERSONALITY TRAITS WHILE PREGANT: EPISODE 4: TEACHING PEOPLE ABOUT NOT USING WHILE PREGNANT

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I work with women who are addicts. Some are pregnant and in jail. Some are getting ready to be released from jail and I wonder if they are going to use through their pregnancy. Some are struggling with their addiction in the outside world as well.

I sometimes wonder if there is anything I can do or say to get them to stop hurting their unborn babies. I sure try to sway them into thinking about their babies’ health and future.

Today I asked an addict to write down 10 personality traits she wants to improve upon and how those traits are tied to her using through pregnancy.

Addict
Negative Personality Traits Tied to Using Drugs

Compulsive, impulsive, manipulative, obsessive, short-tempered, procrastinator, anxious, worry wort, love too much, can’t focus.

My Story

All 10 of my personality traits create problems in my life. They can all be categorized as addictive behaviors for me. Makes sense . . . cause I am an addict. I think my biggest downfall is my approval dependency or my need to please people.

That alone causes me to be too trustworthy towards others. I am told I have no boundaries. I have tried most of the days that I have abused drugs by trusting. Consequently have been hurt so many times I have become closed off in my relationships.

I am scared to let anyone else get close to me just to hurt me again. I am very demanding of others. I am impatient towards others, yet I myself procrastinate all the time.

I constantly try to multi-task just to catch up on whatever I’ve put off only does anything ever get completed? I tend to put so much on my plate at one time and then get upset when I cannot focus.

I cannot focus long enough to complete any single task. I’ts all very frustrating to say the least and I turn to drugs to deal with it all because I have no coping skills.

Demographics

24 year old white female drug of choice is methamphetamine (by injection)

Amount – “I injected about a gram a day.”

Question: Did you use drugs while pregnant? Yes. I smoked cigarettes and meth until I was 12 weeks pregnant.

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According to SAMHSA Heroin’s Nasty Truths: Episode 3: Teaching People about Opiates

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According to SAMHSA Heroin’s Nasty Truths: Episode 3: Teaching People about Opiates

According to SAMHSA here are the nasty truths of heroin. Many people overdose on heroin and die because they never know just how strong the dosage is that they’re getting when they buy from unscrupulous dealers. These batches are usually cut with baby laxatives, if you’re lucky with Vitamin B, and quinine for starts.

Some people are used to low grade and low concentration heroin. Unfortunately, sometimes the heroin is 70% to 80% pure and that’s when they overdose and die. Imagine a pregnant mother doing this to herself and her baby!

It is unfortunate that the medical profession sometimes makes things worse. One case in particular comes to mind of a woman that was prescribed opiates due to losing a baby. She wound up getting pregnant and continued to get these drugs prescribed.

She began taking them as prescribed and wound up abusing them and had an addicted premature baby that underwent unspeakable withdrawals. Her doctors talked into breast feeding. Didn’t they think this would further damage the child? The drugs were transmitted through the breast milk. What were they thinking?

According to SAMHSA some of the side effects of heroin include euphoria, drowsiness, impaired cognitive functioning, slowed down respiration, and constricted pupils. , convulsions, and shallow breathing. For the fetus, this deadly cocktail has become mother’s milk that slowly poisons a new life.

According to SAMHSA some signs of a heroin overdose include shallow breathing, convulsions, clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, and coma. Heroin is usually taken by snorting, swallowing, smoking, and injection.

Sharing needles can lead to septicemia, cotton fever (infected injection area), hepatitis C and B, and HIV. According to SAMHSA heroin enters our brain quickly and slows down the way you think, your reaction time, your memory, and impairs your judgment.

STORY OF AN ADDICTED MOTHER

In 2010 I personally had a severe trauma because of a sudden infant death case. It was brought on by a ruptured placenta at 39 weeks and 5 days pregnant. As a result I was prescribed Roxicodone.

I became pregnant with my daughter and months later I was still being given Roxicodone. I continued to take the medication and eventually abused them by the time I was 6 months along.

She was born via emergency C-section at 7 ½ months into my pregnancy. She only weighed 2 pounds 4 ounces and spent 19 days in intensive care. She was a fighter for sure.

I was taught and encouraged to nurse my new baby. I nursed her and she was willing to take the breast. I continued to abuse my meds and others. Every time I went through withdrawal, the agony and the pain I felt emotionally felt unbearable.

I would always go back to using so I wouldn’t be “dope sick.” Two years later, my husband left. He had to deal with a detoxing off opiate baby girl. She went through all of the aches and pains, sleepless nights, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. I still struggle with forgiving myself, but I’m working on it.

The final result was that even if prescribed meds while pregnant, whether being abused or not, can cause detrimental issues with an unborn baby.

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Opiate Addicted Mothers Episode 2 and Doctor Arthur Janov on Overdosing the Fetus: Teaching People about In-utero Complications Due to Addicted Pregnant Women

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Opiate Addicted Mothers Episode 2 and Doctor Arthur Janov on Overdosing the Fetus: Teaching People about In-utero Complications Due to Addicted Pregnant Women

Yesterday we discussed the percentages of pregnant teenagers addicted to substance checking into treatment. Today I want to move on to discuss some of the effects these infants will experience due to their mothers’ drug use.

According to Dr. Arthur Janov (2015) He states, “And so the baby is sluggish and is a future depressive but it is a sub rosa event. Later, he cannot get out of bed to go to work; takes uppers and “speed” to get going, and we all run around trying to cure him of his depression. Oh and what do we do? Well now we give him uppers and find it helps. Or we give him LSD, as the new wonder drug because it temporarily lifts he depression; what it does is ease the depression by blasting open the cerebral gates.”

According to Dr. Janov (2015) babies born on opiates have no chance, are passive and lethargic, and never have enough energy, suffer from low blood pressure, allergies, and cannot concentrate in school. This is the next generation of Americans, our future that we are setting up to fail before they leave the womb.

I also read an interesting article by Dr. Karol Kaltenbach, Director of Family Center Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Human Behavior, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA.

In her article titled “Exposure to Opiates: Behavioral Outcomes in Preschool and School Aged Children,” Dr. Kaltenbach describes the following. Neonatal Abstinence is described as a generalized disorder characterized by signs and symptoms of central nervous system (CNS) hyperirritability; gastrointestinal dysfunction; respiratory distress; and vague autonomic symptoms that include yawning, sneezing, mottling, and fever.

Neonates undergoing abstinence often suck frantically on their fists or thumbs, yet they may have extreme difficulty feeding because they have an uncoordinated and ineffectual sucking reflex.

Infants who undergo abstinence generally develop tremors that are initially mild and occur only when the infant is disturbed, but which progress to the point where they occur spontaneously without stimulation. High-pitched crying, increased muscle tone, and irritability develop (Finnegan and Kaltenbach 1992).

According to NIDA heroin use during pregnancy can result in neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). NAS occurs when heroin passes through the placenta to the fetus during pregnancy, causing the baby to become dependent along with the mother. Symptoms include excessive crying, fever, irritability, seizures, slow weight gain, tremors, diarrhea, vomiting, and possibly death. NAS requires hospitalization and treatment with medication (often morphine) to relieve symptoms; the medication is gradually tapered off until the baby adjusts to being opioid-free. Methadone maintenance combined with prenatal care and a comprehensive drug treatment program can improve many of the outcomes associated with untreated heroin use for both the infant and mother, although infants exposed to methadone during pregnancy typically require treatment for NAS as well.

A recent NIDA-supported clinical trial demonstrated that buprenorphine treatment of opioid-dependent mothers is safe for both the unborn child and the mother. Once born, these infants require less morphine and shorter hospital stays as compared to infants born of mothers on methadone maintenance treatment. Research also indicates that buprenorphine combined with naloxone (compared to a morphine taper) is equally safe for treating babies born with NAS, further reducing side effects experienced by infants born to opioid-dependent mothers.

As a previous Head Start teacher working with preschool children I can tell you that these kids struggle learning basic things. I remember working with kids with learning disabilities due to being born to opiate addicted mothers. They did not know how to hold a spoon, struggled getting potty trained, could not socialize with others, were extremely irritable, bit the other kids, hit them, identified no social cues, and were prone to angry outbursts. By the time they got to Kindergarten, these kids struggled with all kinds of learning disabilities.

Below is the link and article straight from Dr. Janov’s groovy blog enjoy.
http://cigognenews.blogspot.com/2015/01/overdosing-fetus-and-what-that-means.html
Janov’s reflections on the Human Condition

________________________________________
Overdosing the Fetus and What that Means
Posted: 29 Jan 2015 08:49 AM PST

Imagine you are taking your four year old child to a doctor. The doctor prescribes opiates for you for your anxiety and you give some to your child. You are 130 pounds and your baby is thirty. My oh my, you think how irresponsible, how terrible. It is criminal! But if I told you that one in four mothers might be doing that would you be shocked? Yes.

Well, a new study finds exactly what I am writing about. A report from the CDC (disease control) states that one-third of women of reproductive age have filled a prescription for opiate drugs in the last year, and every year for before that. So what does that mean? It means that drugged mothers in large numbers are giving birth. They describe these numbers as “astonishing”.

They believe it presents a great risk for birth defects, which I think is true. But there is a more subtle effect; that of down regulating the who biology. We need to know what percentage of these babies may not have obvious birth defects but are also much more vulnerable to depression. Think now: a 130 pound mother is stuffing herself with heavy drugs which reach a one pound fetus. Clearly there is a massive down regulation of so much of his physical system, from heart and liver to hormones and stress and energy levels.

Then to make matters worse, there is a birth with again massive drugs given to the mother which affects the newborn; more down regulation. He has no chance. He is passive and lethargic, never has enough energy, has low blood pressure, perhaps a few allergies and cannot concentrate in school.

Ayayay; it is constant mystery to us all because no one realizes what those medications to the mother have done. The baby is heavily drugged before he is out on the world. We understand if the mother hands her baby drugs but few understand if she directly transmits them into her baby’s system while he is living in the womb. She herself does not mean to but she doesn’t understand what she is doing. After all, no one can see it happening. And so the baby is sluggish and is a future depressive but it is a sub rosa event.

Later, he cannot get out of bed to go to work; takes uppers and “speed” to get going, and we all run around trying to cure him of his depression. Oh and what do we do? Well now we give him uppers and find it helps. Or we give him LSD, as the new wonder drug because it temporarily lifts the depression; what it does is ease the depression by blasting open the cerebral gates. Of course, anything that eases the repressive gates, lashed into action with the aid of our own opiates during womb-life, is going to help.

It is not rocket science; we are fighting heavy repression, the base of depression. (see my article in the World Congress of Psychiatry 2013-14 on Depression http://www.activitas.org/index.php/nervosa/article/view/157). I still believe that given a healthy birth and gestation there is little reason to suffer terrible afflictions. Of course, heredity plays a role but not as great as we might think. Epigenetics plays the predominant role, in my opinion. We are dealing here with invisible forces that are not obvious to the eye so we ignore them. Anything that a carrying mother takes will affect the biology of the baby.

It is a tiny little baby, helpless, trying desperately the escape the constant onslaught of a mother’s constant smoking and drinking with not great success. We need to teach that in schools so that students will not be so insouciant about it. While pregnant,the mother and child is as close as they ever will be again. Their biologies are very close so that the predominant state of the mother, anxious or depressed, will be reflected later on in the baby. Take care, friends, and be a good friend to your baby.

References

http://archives.drugabuse.gov/pdf/monographs/monograph164/230-241_Kaltenbach.pdf

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin/how-does-heroin-abuse-affect-pregnant-women

http://cigognenews.blogspot.com/2015/01/overdosing-fetus-and-what-that-means.html

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Pregnant Substance Abusers Birthing Addicted Babies Episode I: Teaching People about Addiction and Pregnancy

BABY ADDICTED

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Pregnant Substance Abusers Birthing Addicted Babies Episode I: Teaching People about Addiction and Pregnancy

Pregnant substance abusers birthing addicted babies are on the rise. These babies come into the world already manifesting withdrawals from the mother’s drug of choice.

Let’s begin by discussing teen addicts first and how their substance abuse lifestyles are affecting our next generation of newborns. The reason I am starting with pregnant teens is that they are at a higher risk for delivering premature babies and having babies with all sorts of developmental disabilities.

In this first article on this topic I intend do my best to interpret the findings of a research project aimed at coming up with percentages of pregnant teens versus non-pregnant female teens that are admitted to substance abuse treatment facilities to report these admissions to SAMHSA.

According to SAMHSA, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, TEDS (treatment episode data set) is instrumental in gathering information on annual admissions to substance abuse treatment providers that offer information on pregnant teen admissions.

I was able to locate the following data. Combining the data from 2007 to 2010, a report was populated with admissions of pregnant females ages 12 to 19 years of age. Then, a comparison was made between the pregnant teen admissions and non-pregnant female teen admissions.

This information was gathered from a census of all admissions to treatment providers that reported to SAMSHSA by state substance abuse agencies.

According to SAMSHA there were 57,000 female teen admissions and of these 4.0% (a yearly average of 2,200 admissions) were pregnant. These pregnant girls were less likely to have completed high school or any college education. The stats are 34.7% vs. 51.0%

74% of these non-pregnant teenagers reported not working because they were students whereas only 44.2% of pregnant teens reported they didn’t work because they were in school. 77.6% of pregnant teens were expected to pay for their treatment through government help including Medicaid compared to 60.3% of other non-pregnant teens.

According to SAMSHA marijuana was the main drug abused by all, but in comparison, 72.9% were pregnant teens and 70.2% were non-pregnant teens. Those that were pregnant were twice as likely to abuse amphetamines and or methamphetamines as the non-pregnant teens 16.9%. Non-pregnant females were more likely to report alcohol abuse by 58.5%.

Patterns of substance abuse were reportedly varied with 51% (half of the pregnant teens) using drugs or alcohol one month before beginning substance abuse treatment services as opposed to non-pregnant teens 70.9%, which reported daily use.

According to SAMSHA, selected substance abuse among female admissions between 2007 to 2010 consisted of the following:

Pregnant Teens

72.9% Cannabis 45.7% Alcohol 16.9% Meth/Amphetamines

13.1% Cocaine 5.4% Heroin 8.9 Non-heroin Opiates

Non-Pregnant Teens

70.2% Cannabis 58.5% Alcohol 8.4% Meth/Amphetamines

10.9% Cocaine 7.1% Heroin 9.8% Non-heroin Opiates

How Were the Teen Substance Users Referred to Treatment?
The most prevalent referral source was the criminal justice system followed by community agencies and ending with self-referrals. Most of the pregnant teen substance abusers were referred by agencies while the non-pregnant teens were referred by the criminal justice system and themselves.

However, being a counselor that works within the criminal justice system, I get quite a few treatment referrals for in jail treatment from the Department of Children and Families and its sub-contracted affiliates.

According to SAMSHA, between 2007 and 2010 the following are the percentages of substance abuse treatment referrals.
Pregnant

41.4% court referrals 23% community agencies 18.5% self

6.5% substance abuse providers 4.5% school 5.8% other health providers

Non-pregnant

36.7% court referrals 22.9% self 15% community agencies
8.8% substance abuse providers 6.4% other health providers
10% school

According to SAMSHA the following is the summary of differences between pregnant teens and other female teens admitted to substance abuse treatment.

Pregnant teen admissions were more likely than other teen admissions to be or to report:

• 18 to 19 years
• No past month use of any substance
• Government assistance like Medicaid as payment source
• Less than a high school education under 11th grade
• Public assistance as a primary source of income support
• Methamphetamines or amphetamine use
• Referral to treatment from community agencies like self-help groups, churches, Federal, State, or local government agencies that provide social services

Other non-pregnant female teen admissions were more likely than pregnant teen admissions to be or to report:

• Being a student
• 12 to 14 or 15 to 17 years old
• Having at least some college education
• Alcohol use
• Any past month use
• Referral to treatment from school

The females I work with usually wind up in jail treatment because they have been non-compliant with outpatient and residential treatment. They wound up relapsing, violating probation, and incarcerated as a result.

One Addict’s Story

I have a friend and her last two babies she took drugs with. She did cocaine for the whole nine months and when they were born addicted to the drug, those babies had to take like 3 different shots every day for the first three months of their lives.

Then for like two more months they had to take a shot once a week. They both made it and survived, but one of them is mentally slow and they both struggled with all kinds of diabilities.

Both of them are grown now, but neither one of them has a productive life and both of them are hooked on drugs. The mom is still on drugs herself.

I feel like she didn’t give them a fair chance at a sober life. I’ts a real shame.

References

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center
for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (May 9, 2013). The TEDS
Report: Characteristics of Pregnant Teen Substance Abuse Treatment
Admissions. Rockville, MD.

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REVIEWING THE NIGHTLY SHOW AND THE LIMBIC SYSTEM AND DRUGS ACCORDIN GTO DR. JANOV: TEACHING ABOU THE BRAIN

Life Before Birth Book

REVIEWING THE NIGHTLY SHOW AND THE LIMBIC SYSTEM AND DRUGS ACCORDIN GTO DR. JANOV: TEACHING ABOU THE BRAIN

According to Dr. Arthur Janov’s Book, ‘Life Before Birth” a great number of us take drugs to make ourselves comfortable. I agree with Dr. Janov. As a counselor, I have come to the same conclusion. The irony is that most people are not aware of the “why.”

The “Why” drives the addiction and the addict is subconsciously attempting to ameliorate the pain. Perhaps giving up drugs is so difficult for addicts, including alcoholics, because the pain is always there.

Last night I watched Larry Wilmore’s show The Nightly Show on Comedy Central. They were discussing Client Eastwood’s movie about an America sniper. There was one guest that was a real life sniper and I watched him talk about killing people with no show of emotion.

He repeatedly said he did because he knew if he didn’t’ they would kill soldiers. However, when he talked about the soldier that saved his life and how he had been unable to return the favor, he showed emotion. It was obvious that young man has seen things that have undoubtedly left him traumatized. He also discussed his struggle with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

As I watched the show I realized my feelings were getting stirred up because they were lightly discussing drinking and binging as a social activity. How sad that the topic of American veterans drinking or using drugs wasn’t more deeply delved into.

I like Larry Wilmore and his sardonic and witty expose of news and the social condition. I have followed his show since the first day it aired. I would like to see Larry research the link between traumatized veterans and substance abuse. That’s why I tweeted him my Keep it 100 question. Let’s see if he responds. I think he could really do this topic justice.

The Limbic System and Drugs by Dr. Janov

Following is an excerpt from Dr. Arthur Janov’s book, Life Before Birth 2011. A great number of us take drugs to make ourselves feel comfortable. As I pointed out, many drugs tend to work on the limbic system and brainstem. We take drugs to block pain and in so doing we speak to the brain in its own language of what I’ll henceforth call “chemspeak.”

Indeed, researchers have always been looking for chemicals to ease our pain. Chemspeak is a language carried on in the dark trenches of the lower brain where there has never been a language of words. We can take drugs, develop self-protective beliefs, or join a twelve-step program, but the chemspeak is the same.

We crave what we are missing. That is why, in dialectic fashion, stopping drugs can immediately lead to a back-up system of beliefs. Beliefs are not as direct a fix as drugs, but they avoid much of the harm that drugs do to the brain and body. It is not haphazard that the amygdala lights up when one needs a fix. It is, after all, a center for feelings; when they are importuning, we seek out drugs to answer the call.

The field of psychotherapy must learn the language of need and travel to that early brain with the patient, if we are ever to understand and root out addiction to both “approved” and “unapproved” drugs. We must ask the brainstem, “What have you got to say for yourself?”

It can only answer with elevated blood pressure, but that is indeed, a valid language. Not so oddly drugs that work on blood pressure also work on the brainstem and vice versa. In our therapy, patients speak this language by exhibiting specific foot positions, breathing patterns, grunts, facial expressions, coughs, gags, and heart rates. My patients taught me to “speak” and understand the language, but it took me decades to master its syntax.

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BRAINSTORMING ABOUT ANGER: TEACHING PEOPLE ABOUT EMOTIONS

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BRAINSTORMING ABOUT ANGER: TEACHING PEOPLE ABOUT EMOTIONS

I asked 13 addicts/alcoholics to come together as a group and brainstorm the following, “What areas of your life are severely affected by your anger?” They took the bull by the horn and all 13 of them split up into groups. Anger is something that we have been taught as children to suppress.

According to society’s norms, if we express anger we are being impolite, rude, mean, and possible out of control. How many times have you been told not to make a scene in public? These 13 addicts/alcoholics have 3 things in common, they have all been arrested and spent time in jail, they all self-medicate with their choice of addiction, and they are all broken humans.

My groups tackled this project wholeheartedly and they asked me to post it up on this blog because they felt it might help someone out there that could be looking for some help and may not have access to it. Here are their insightful findings:

We all split up into groups and each one of us made a list of each topic. We then came together as a group and went over our list and combined everything as one. The main topic we chose was “What are of your life is severely affected by your anger?”

GROUP NUMBER 1

RECOVERY – Anger can cause you to relapse

CHILDREN, FAMILY, FRIENDS – Anger interferes with all these relationships
HOME, WORK, SCHOOL, MEAL TIME – Being angry makes us forget about cleanliness. Anger makes us forget about our homes. It can cause us to lose our jobs due to problems with our co-workers and boss, which by default can cause us to have financial difficulties. Anger can affect our attendance, which can result in failing grades, truancy, getting an incomplete grade for a class, and affects our relationship with students and teachers. We can be kicked out or we can get angry and drop out of school.

HEALTH – Anger interferes with our mental, emotional, and physical health. Anger causes depression, stress, loneliness, hopelessness, and damages our self-worth and attitude.

GROUP NUMBER 2

How does anger trigger me?
a. Anger changes our attitude – it can cause us to have a bad attitude. Most addicts and alcoholics seek happiness and fun.
b. Anger causes embarrassment – it can cause us to run away from everybody and everything.
c. Anger causes emotional, mental, and physical reactions that can cause us to relapse (can shut us down emotionally).
d. Anger can cause us to become lonely, depressed, scared, guilty, and to feel ashamed.
e. Anger can cause us to seek vengeance and retribution. In order to seek justice many addicts need courage to obtain retribution. We use our drug of choice for this including alcohol.
f. Anger triggers some of us to want to use their drug of choice as a method to calm down. Any drug (mind altering) including alcohol.

GROUP NUMBER 3

What areas of your life are severely affect by your anger? How does my anger trigger me to want to use?

Raising children/family
Work/school
Driving
Jail
Stress
Anxiety
Depression
Self-worth
Finances
Relapse/boredom

DIFFERENT FEELINGS
Getting someone back
Shutting down
Hopelessness
Being lied to
Feeling guilty
Being accused
Withdrawn
Leaving a safe place to go use

GROUP NUMBER 4

How does my anger trigger me to use?

Being lied to
Waking up in a bad mood
Fights/arguments with loved ones
Accusations
Emotions that are out of control
Boredom and loneliness
Being put down by others
What parts of my life are severely affected by anger?
Health
Loved ones
Money/finances
Jobs
Vehicles/cell phones
Emotions
Attitude
Self-worth
Relapse

GROUP NUMBER 5

What parts of your life are severely affected by your anger?

Family/friends/children
Work/school
Health
Emotions
Attitude
Relationships
Incarceration
Finances
Relapse

Anger makes us want to use to calm down. Makes you want to use meth. Makes you want to smoke a blunt. Makes you want to take a couple of shots. Makes you vengeful, shameful, hopeless, bored, and guilty.

GROUP NUMBER 6

What areas of your life are severely affected by your anger?

Health
Incarceration
Self-worth
Relationships
Relapse
How does my anger trigger me?
Relapse
Running away
Shuts me down
Bored
Depressed
Embarrassed
Scared
Guilty
Ashamed
Gives me a bad attitude

Our group came together to let Julie know that we really enjoyed this project because most of us had not really explored our dealing with anger before. We got to come together as individuals and contribute to a group. Working together is hard for most people that are antisocial and this was no different.

However, we felt that we got a lot of stuff off our chest and we felt like a real support group. We did this because we thought this might help some of you reading this blog. We can’t wait to see what our next challenge from Julie is. We had fun, socialized, problem solved, supported each other, and look forward to reading about our results on this blog. The most important thing is that we accomplished our task without using. Awesome!

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WHEN DOES ANGER BECOME A PROBLEM FOR YOU? TEACHING PEOPLE ABOUT EMOTIONS

hands image by Photobucket

WHEN DOES ANGER BECOME A PROBLEM FOR YOU? TEACHING PEOPLE ABOUT EMOTIONS

When does anger become a problem for you?

I want you to think about the last time you were angry and try to remember where you were and who you were having a problem with. People get angry every day and have no clue where those angry feelings come from. As a society we have become experts at suppressing our feelings. So good in fact that we have managed to pass it on to the next generation for thousands of years. Well, people, it’s time to break the angry cycle.

Old wives’ tales about anger and catchy psychobabble phrases

When was the last time you heard somebody say to you, “don’t let it bother you. Keep a stiff upper lip. Let it roll off your back. It’s no big deal. You have to learn to let it go. Don’t overreact. Get over it already. You are not a child anymore.

These are things that are used against us in society every day to discourage us from sharing about what makes us angry. What if someone was abandoned as a child and that person has abandonment issues? Maybe that person was really looking forward to going out to dinner with you and you decided to change plans at the last minute and go with someone else? Of course that person is angry.

It’s just that the person is not consciously aware of where that anger comes from because of an emotional shutdown. I hear people tell me all the time how much better they feel after taking about their feelings. This is somewhat funny because I have to practically pry it out of them. They usually fight it tooth and nail and answer with absurdities like, “I’m all right. No worries. I’m fine. Got nothing to say. Everything is A OK.” They will say just about anything to keep from sharing about their pain.

How do you know you are carrying around some pain?

Well, I like to say, “feel about it.” Thinking about a feeling doesn’t really do you much good. If your approach to dealing with your emotions is to think about it, you won’t make any progress. How about getting off your head and into a feeling? Why not go with that? What a marvelous thought!

What is the attraction to a support group?

Have you ever heard someone go on and on about how good group was? Listening to people that get excited about the next support group lets me know that person has a vested interest in personal growth. If they are dreading the next group and thinking up excuses not to go, they are not really buying into the support group concept. Sometimes a therapeutic group can be more effective in providing relief, understanding, empathy, and support than an individual session with a therapist.

The fact that the focus is not on you and that you get to sit back and just listen to other people’s stories can be a welcome change. If you’re not comfortable opening up, the great thing about a support group setting is that you don’t have to until you are good and ready. You are in the driver’s seat. I have observed people sit back, listen, watch others share in group until such time that their confidence level has risen and then they have quietly raised their hands.

Support groups can be a great source of empathy, confidence building, camaraderie, understanding, safety, a great way to let off some steam and get something that’s bothering you off your chest, and socialization. Why don’t you see if you can find a support group of people that might have something in common with you? I think you might be presently surprised.

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ALCOHOL INTOXICATION: TEACHING PEOPLE ABOUT THE DANGERS OF ALCOHOL

Drugs and Alcohol the Death Cocktail

ALCOHOL INTOXICATION: TEACHING PEOPLE ABOUT THE DANGERS OF ALCOHOL

The following is the criteria for alcohol Intoxication: According to the DSM IV
The essential feature of Alcohol Intoxication is the presence of clinically significant maladaptive behavioral or psychological changes (e.g., inappropriate sexual or aggressive behavior, mood lability, impaired judgment, impaired social or occupational functioning) that develop during, or shortly after, the ingestion of alcohol.

These changes are accompanied by evidence of slurred speech, incoordination, unsteady gait, nystagmus, impairment in attention or memory, or stupor or coma. These symptoms must not be due to a general medical condition and are not better accounted for by another mental disorder.

The resulting picture is similar to what is observed during Benzodiazepine or Barbituate Intoxication. The level of incoordination can interfere with driving abilities and with performing usual activities to the point of causing accidents. Evidence of alcohol use can be obtained by smelling alcohol on an individual’s breath, eliciting a history from the individual or another observer, and, when needed, having the individual undertake breath, blood, or urine toxicology analyses.

So, what does all this mean in layman’s terms? You’ve gone and binged and lost your ever loving mind! You can’t talk right because you’re sluuuuuurrrrring everything together. You want to know what you sound like? Imagine somebody went to the dentist and got a shot of Novocain and their mouth went to sleep and they weth twying to telk withhh you? Weth wong weth thaaat peture?

You can’t walk straight and believe me if you’re clumsy like me, things can go from clutsy to downright dangerous if there are any steps or stairs in the vicinity. You become moody and aggressive. That sounds like a plan for a knock out drag out scandal in public. Are you up for it? The unsuspecting public can may horrified by your antics. There is the entertainment value, of course.

We have all heard about the coma AKA blackouts. You wake up in the middle of nowhere and if you live in a rural area that means you’ve been snuggling with a pig in the orange groves. Lucky you. That’s safer than waking up beaten up, raped, robbed, or stabbed in a big city alley.

Oh, yes, and my favorite part is the impaired judgment. And if you weren’t that bright to begin with, let’s just say your decisions can cause some serious problems not just for others as well. Drinking and driving can cost lives.

Decide in haste and repent in leisure goes the old maxim. What if before you got smashed you gave away your keys to somebody for safe keeping? What if you drank in the comfort of your own couch? What if you did the responsible thing before you lost your judgment and made plans for someone (who is not drunk or stoned) to drive you to your home?

Maybe you could have avoided an accident that cost somebody their life? So, people, there is no law against drinking. If you must, do it responsibly. The next life you save may be your own.

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ALCOHOL IMPAIRMENT: TEACHING PEOPLE ABOUT ALCOHOL SYMPTOMS

Alcohol glass of wine

ALCOHOL IMPAIRMENT: TEACHING PEOPLE ABOUT ALCOHOL SYMPTOMS

I constantly address tolerance and withdrawals from alcohol and or drugs. Some counselors don’t take the time to ask the right questions. For example, if a person has experienced withdrawals in the past, that person could have felt sick with nausea, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, loss of memory, black outs.

Many people insist they only drink socially. However, when a person is drinking 5 drinks or more, it is considered binging. They tend to deny withdrawals and that is a very common problem when trying to assess someone to see if they have either alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence. Due to the changes in the DSMV, dependence will no longer be an issue, but for the sake of identifying a drinking problem, I will discuss the criteria for alcohol dependence.

People usually minimize when they are being assessed for treatment. I can understand if they are court ordered, they probably don’t think they have a problem. Many are court ordered to a substance abuse and mental health evaluation due to alcohol/drug charges, DUIs, neglect of their children, or being drunk and blacking out in public. Just because a judge orders them to treatment doesn’t mean they are going to embrace the notion.

Consuming alcohol on social occasions can also lead to building up tolerance. The more you drink, the more drinks you need to get the same desire feeling. Without realizing it, you have just escalated your alcohol use to alcohol abuse and are likely to drink your way into alcohol dependence.

How many drinks do you think it takes for you to become “impaired?” Let’s take a look at your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) or BAL (Blood Alcohol Level). According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Division of Driver License, Bureau of Driver Education and DUI Programs, if you have blown a BAL of .02, which is low since the legal limit in the State of Florida is under .08, your impairment has already begun. This translates to your judgment being compromised and your mood intensifying. Remember we are discussing alcohol here, since you can get charged with a DUI without alcohol by way of either prescription drugs or illegal substances.

Your mood being compromised? What? You are headed for an absurd argument with the closest person in your unfortunate vicinity. Let’s consider that one drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, and 2.5 ounces of liquor. This means you are already getting impaired.

If you weigh about 100 pounds, that one drink will get a BAL of 0.03. If you weigh 120 pounds your BAL will be 0.027. If your weight is 140 pounds, your BAL will be 0.023. If your weight is 160 pounds your BAL is 0.020. If your weight is 180 pounds, your BAL is 0.018. If your weight is 200 pounds, your BAL is 0.016. If your weight is 220 pounds, your BAL is 0.015. If your weight is 240 pounds, your BAL is 0.014.

Below is a written account of a woman’s experience with alcohol impairment:

The last time I was in a car driving under the influence was with my mom. We had a good couple of weeks in the business that we have and had not had the time to really enjoy the money we made. So we got a few bottles (meaning more than 4 big bottles of liquor) and we drove around to different cities shopping, and dining at fine restaurants. We were at nice hotel or bed and breakfast and wound up wasted. We knew we had to get back home to work.

We were so drunk we couldn’t remember why we had gotten into some disagreements. We still don’t understand why we ever argued, but it was because we were under the influence and there was no point in the arguing. The influence of alcohol will spark up unnecessary disasters. Alcohol hangovers for me usually start out with a headache and I’m not able to open my eyes in bright lights. I can’t eat. Feel nauseaus. I don’t normally throw up, but it takes days for me to sober up when I feel this bad. I usually try everything I think will work. I’m always starving and very moody and easily annoyed.

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