“My precious,” coos Gollum from the Lord of the Rings, clutching his prized possession, the One Ring to Rule Them All. His obsession to possess the ring drives him slowly to madness. I often wonder, as a clinical psychologist who works with children and adolescents struggling with digital addiction, if the fantasy saga wasn’t in fact a cautionary tale about smartphones and the other ubiquitous, all-knowing gadgets that rule our lives, impinging on our children’s cognitive development, impacting our social relationships, and giving us all a literal pain in the neck. “My 11-year old son has been throwing tantrums and talking back, he is always irritable and seems depressed,” said Kathleen, an accomplished professional and mom who seemed at her wit’s end. We had gone through all the usual background information about her son, such as medical history, psychosocial development, interpersonal relationships, etc., and nothing had stood out. I asked Kathleen if anything had changed in her son’s environment recently. “Not really,” she said after thinking for a while....Read More
Unfortunately, some people think that having an addiction is a moral failure. Actually, that is not true; addiction is widely considered by scientists to be a complex problem that has biological, genetic, and social components.
Many struggle with or know someone who is living with an addiction. Broadly speaking, addictions can take on many forms and can have debilitating consequences for one’s physical health, relationships, financial status, and other areas as well. You may already know about some kinds of addictions, such as addictions to alcohol, drugs, or gambling.
Although each type of addiction is different some common symptoms may include:
- Lack of control over behavior
- A strong craving of the substance or activity
- Withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety when the person is unable to access the substance or activity
- Increased tolerance to the substance or activity
Seeking help for an addiction is difficult for many people. It’s important to understand, however, that you’re not alone – people of all ages, races, and genders live with addictions. Consider searching our database to start talking about a treatment plan that is best for you.
Please review the additional resources below about addiction:
- FindaPsychologist.org: Addiction Self-Help Resources
- National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Managing your drinking
- Science Daily: Parental addictions linked to children’s depression
- The New York Times: Ending the secrecy of addiction
- National Institute of Drug Abuse: Treatment resources
Dr. Johanna Tiemann shares her point of view after leading a workshop for smokers who were trying to quit.Read More
Washington Post: GOP Health-Care Bill Would Drop Addiction Treatment Mandate Covering 1.3 Million Americans
Many Americans who depend on coverage for mental health and addiction services under the Affordable Care Act would lose access under the GOP’s American Health Care Act.Read More
Obesity is currently a major public health concern among one in three children and adults. One of the biggest myths in weight loss is that changing eating behaviors and increasing physical activity is an easy task.Read More
Kicking the Habit for Good: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Smoking Cessation by Dr. Christopher Harte
Many smokers find it incredibly difficult to kick the habit and often feel discouraged and pessimistic about ever being able to quit for good. The good news is that there are treatments that can greatly enhance your chances of successfully quitting.Read More