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Addiction/Recovery Archives

Can Drug Rehabs Treat Mood Disorders?

posted by Beyond Blue

Awhile back the Washington Post ran an excellent article by Maia Szalavitz entited, “So, What Made Me an Addict? Experts Debate Whether Disease or Defect Is to Blame.” This question is so crucial to how we treat persons suffering from both […]

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25 Bizarre Addictions (to practically everything)

posted by Beyond Blue

I found the following list of interesting addictions on the website Masters In Counseling. I thought you’d also like to know about addictions to ice, taxes, toilet paper, glass, babies, couch cushions, funerals, plastic surgery, and dirt. Yep. You can […]

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The Least Harmful Addiction

posted by Beyond Blue

This post is from my archives, but since I’m lining up my vices these days to measure which one is most lethal, I thought I’d republish it. Thanks to Reader Peg, who posted the following comment on the “The Happy […]

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The Addictive Personality: Why Recovery Is a Lifetime Thing

posted by Beyond Blue

In his insightful book, “The Addictive Personality: Understanding the Addictive Process and Compulsive Behavior,” author Craig Nakken explains why, even after an addict has given up the bottle or the weed, she will never be done with recovery:   Addiction […]

When Someone You Love is Bipolar

posted by Beyond Blue

The following interview with Dr. Cynthia Last and her husband, authors of  “When Someone You Love Is Bipolar,” is reprinted with permission of Guilford Press.   1. Dr. Last, in your book you candidly admit that although you were originally […]

A 12-Step Meeting On the Air: An Interview with Denise McIntee

posted by Beyond Blue

In April I had the privilege of being interviewed on “Steppin’ Out Radio” by WABC-TV Sports Anchor and Reporter Scott Clark. Producer Denise McIntee formed her company, Powerful Radio Productions, to communicate true stories of inspiration and recovery from substance […]

12 Addiction Zappers

posted by Beyond Blue

By far my most popular post is the gallery, “12 Depression Busters.” But those suggestions were actually a response to Beyond Blue reader Peg’s query on how to stop smoking. They absolutely do help a person fight depression and the […]

Getting Sober: Hope In the Rooms and Online

posted by Beyond Blue

Recovering alcoholics say there is magic to be found in the rooms of their support groups. I have experienced and benefitted from that, but, like others can’t name the exact ingredient of the meetings that has healing faculties.   Tara […]

Drinking Diaries: On Rejecting Addiction and Drama

posted by Beyond Blue

I was recently invited by Caren Osten Gerszberg and Leah Odze Epstein who write and compile the fun blog, “Drinking Diaries” to contribute my two-cents on where I am with the whole drinking thing. Check out the other interesting pieces […]

Steppin’ Out Radio: True Stories of Inspiration and Transformation

posted by Beyond Blue

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Steppin’ Out Radio in New York City. The show is hosted by WABC-TV’s anchor and sports director, Scott Clark. He’s also a recovering alcoholic who is passionate about […]

Addiction: Am I Really Powerless?

posted by Beyond Blue

Mark Gauvreau Judge wrestles with the belief that an alcoholic must admit to being powerlessness in order to begin recovery. I found this intriguing because I had such difficulty with that myself, since I gave up booze so early in […]

Competing Models? When Mental Health Recovery Clashes with Twelve-Step Programs

posted by Beyond Blue

In my chapter about substance abuse in Beyond Blue, I wrote: Today I realize the recovery cultures of addiction and mental illness clash. Like the Church of Scientology and neurobiology. Like Tom Cruise and common sense. Because complaining is considered […]

Patrick Tracey on Dual Diagnosis: Mental Illness and Addiction

posted by Beyond Blue

Since today is not only St. Patrick’s Day, the biggest drinking day of the year, but also my 21st anniversary of sobriety, I wanted to talk to Patrick about dual diagnosis, since he is also a recovering alcoholic. I asked […]

How Do You Recover from Depression? My 12 Steps to Sanity

posted by Beyond Blue

In discussion of Stephen Ilardi’s book, “The Depression Cure,” I wanted to offer my my 12 steps to beat depression, as well. Many comments on the boards lately have asked this question: What did I do to get better, or […]

The Drinking Diaries: Where Women Spill Their Drinking Stories

posted by Beyond Blue

Here is some more information on the blog, Drinking Diaries: Whether we are drinking it or not, alcohol remains a potent part of our lives. Our culture is saturated with it, steeped in it. We confront alcohol everywhere we go–from […]

4 Steps to Mindfulness

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve been pursuing a better understanding mindfulness–and trying to practice it–for a good six months now. In the last few weeks, though, I think I’ve made some progress due to a CD I’ve been listening to by Dr. Elisha Goldstein […]

Mindful Monday: The First Yes, the Moment of Conversion

posted by Beyond Blue

The publishing and public-speaking businesses are no different from other industries. No one wants to publish you until you get that first book, because Lord knows what you might write between the covers. No speaking agent is going to take […]

Recognizing Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

posted by Beyond Blue

Johns Hopkins Medicine has published the following information on recognizing and treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is marked by recurrent, repetitive thoughts (obsessions), behaviors (compulsions), or both that a person recognizes as unreasonable, unnecessary, or foolish yet are […]

12 Ways to End Addictive Relationships

posted by Beyond Blue

In his book, “How to Break Your Addiction to a Person,” Howard Halpern first explains what an addictive relationship is, then gives guidelines for recognizing if you’re involved in one. Then, he offers several techniques on how to end an […]

Video: 5 Ways to Zap an Addiction

posted by Beyond Blue

Oh yeah. Here we go again. As I’ve repeated on Beyond Blue, I live my life in a state of constant addiction. So I’m getting pretty creative in how I manage to control them. Here’s a refresher on five basics. […]

11 Ways to Grow the Tree

posted by Beyond Blue

? Last week I drafted some specific steps that I can do to “grow my tree” so I’m not as fragile with regard to my moods, so that I’m less vulnerable to wind–and my branches can bend and move without […]

One Addiction at a Time, Please

posted by Beyond Blue

There is a reason why smokers who want to quit should never diet as they come down off the nicotine addiction. For one, they will lose friends and family. Because it’s hard enough hanging out with a grumpy ex-smoker. But […]

Studies Find Genetic Link to Smoking

posted by Beyond Blue

One more interesting article about addiction and self-control and then I’ll let you be to all your vices (as long as you don’t bug me about mine). A recent New York Times/AP story (that you can get to by clicking […]

Some Things Will Just Have to Wait!

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to Beyond Blue reader Barbara who forwarded this great cartoon to me that she found on The Ironic Catholic (a wonderful site, by the way). Can any of you, um, relate????

Addiction: Disease or Defect?

posted by Beyond Blue

Awhile back, the Washington Post ran an excellent article by Maia Szalavitz on what exactly addiction is, and how we should go about treating the Britneys and Lindsays out there. To get to the article, click here. Below are excerpts: […]

My Saving Grace Moment

posted by Beyond Blue

Also fitting for Advent, is the “Saving Grace” moment in my life: that specific point in my past in which I took inventory and made a few changes. I describe it in a blog post I wrote last year this […]

Depression and Addiction: A Very Bad Combo

posted by Beyond Blue

As a recovering alcoholic with bipolar disorder, I’m always looking for information on how the two are related, which illness is responsible for what behavior, and how their treatments might collaborate or clash. One of the best overviews I’ve read […]

Ready to Clean Up Your Act?

posted by Beyond Blue

Back in January, when we make New Year’s resolutions to clean up our act, I read this article in the Washington Post by Anita Huslin about understanding some of our bad habits. And then I filed it with the rest […]

What Made Me an Addict?

posted by Beyond Blue

A month ago, the Washington Post ran an excellent article by Maia Szalavitz entited, “So, What Made Me an Addict? Experts Debate Whether Disease or Defect Is to Blame.” This question is so crucial to how we treat persons suffering […]

The Science of Addiction

posted by Beyond Blue

Back in May, Time magazine did a fascinating cover story on the new brain research helping us to understand how so many of us get hooked to alcohol, drugs, gambling, and so on. By zeroing in the cause, brain experts […]

Buddhism and Suffering: A Tale of Death

posted by Beyond Blue

There is a Buddhist tale that the prominent meditation teacher and American Buddhist Lama Surya Das tells in his book “Letting Go of the Person I Used to Be” (I tried that, by the way, and it’s not all that […]

Beyond Blue: My Depression Support Group

posted by Beyond Blue

Here’s my attempt to rationalize my addiction to Beyond Blue (and maybe to the Internet): it’s my support group. Today it got the okay from my therapist. “Do you think my behavior during my week in the country when I […]

Richard’s Toolbox

posted by Beyond Blue

Reader Richard shared with me in a recent e-mail his toolbox, four ways he tries to stay sane. Some of ours overlap, but he has a different way of saying them that might help you: 1. Congruency of my faith […]

My Depression Toolbox

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve shared my twelve depression busters before, but by clicking here you can view a gallery featuring my toolbox that directs me toward mental health, and serves as an emergency lifeline in case I get lost along the way. I […]

Label Me, Please

posted by Beyond Blue

For a long while I was afraid to write things such as “I am mentally ill” or “I am bi-polar.” I was afraid of labels. By calling myself a manic-depressive would I trap my psyche in “sick” mode? By accepting […]

For Sugar Addicts

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to reader Glaye who posted this note on the message board of my “Addicted? Who, Me?” Post: I am addicted to SUGAR. I have been known to eat over 7 thousand calories a day in candy, ice cream, cookies, […]

Back to the Basics: Easy Does It

posted by Beyond Blue

My doctor’s visit today felt a tad bit like confession. “So how are you?” “To tell you the truth, I’ve been feeling a bit fragile. Nothing like last summer when I awoke each morning fighting feelings of wanting to be […]

Many Roads to Recovery

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to reader Eddie who wrote the following on the message board of my “A Dozen Addiction Zappers” post: This all sounds good, but when you are as depressed as I am, it sounds just like a bunch people talking […]

Addicted? Who, Me?

posted by Beyond Blue

On a lighter note, this article (click here for the full Q and A) was somewhat intriguing for a person like myself with both soft and hard (light and heavy, round and square) addictions. Judith Wright, co-founder of the Wright […]

The Least Harmful Addiction

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to Reader Peg, who posted the following comment on the “The Happy Ending” post: “My current medicine of choice for myself is smoking about ten cigarettes a day. Before I get the health lecture, I quit twice for four […]

A Dozen Addiction Zappers and Depression Busters

posted by Beyond Blue

Lest my readers think that I’m contracted by the Dark Side (sorry, watching too much “Star Wars” lately) to encourage addictive behavior and rationalize all weakness, here are a dozen addiction zappers and depression busters I use in deficient moments […]

Addiction-Breaking Aphorisms

posted by Beyond Blue

Here are some addiction-breaking aphorisms that Halpern lists in his book, “How to Break Your Addiction to a Person.” They are helpful for me not only in ending dysfunctional friendships, but in trying to stop any kind of destructive habit–like […]

St. Pat: Patron of Sobriety

posted by Beyond Blue

How ironic that I got sober on one of the biggest drinking days of the years. As my friends cut class to drink pints of green beer and get drunk with college boys in bars near the campus of the […]

Rush to Judgment

posted by Beyond Blue

I couldn’t make a racist statement to get out of jury duty. It’s just not me. And my letter failed–the one explaining that I might not be an ideal candidate, given my psychiatric history in the last year. So there […]

Craig and Britney

posted by Beyond Blue

I had just finished my article about my three biggest fears in raising a daughter today–Britney, Paris, and Lindsey–when I checked out the brilliant monologue by Craig Ferguson on YouTube. He says something like this, for all of you who […]

Bad Eye Sight

posted by Beyond Blue

Today I recognize how distorted my thinking was back then, and I cringe when I read it. But like an anorexic who thinks more weight loss will make her beautiful, suicidal folks are locked on death as the solution. It’s […]

Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild ...

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate ...

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from ...

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a ...

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer ...

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »

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