Misplaced Concerns

I have a problem with distractions: they distract me. They distract me from important things. They distract me from the things I really need to concentrate on in my day to day life as a student and a teacher. These distractions are more than unfortunate realities but they are truly damaging to my ability to finish the tasks assigned to me. I’ve been focusing on finding a “quiet place” and some other ideas in the past, but how am I to avoid the onslaught of endless entertainments to be found on the internet; endless interruptions to be located in co-workers; … Continue reading

Risk Factors for Addiction

I’ve talked a bit about alcoholism here at the Families.com Health Blog, and my own fears about addiction. There are some factors that can increase your risk of developing an addiction — but it is important to remember that a risk does not mean a guarantee. Still, it can be helpful to identify risk factors. Family history (or you can call it genetics if you like) is a big risk factor for addiction. If a family member has shown signs of trouble with addiction, you may want to be careful. My grandfather was an alcoholic, and I tend to avoid … Continue reading

Chiropractic Care

Back pain is all too common. It is one of the most common complaints at doctor’s offices all around the country! Many people turn to a chiropractor for their back problems — but do you really know much about chiropractic care? Humans have been practicing chiropractic healing for thousands of years — at least as far back as ancient Egypt! The oldest school of chiropractic thought believed that out of place bones along the spine (known as subluxations) are to blame for most diseases. This belief was picked up by Daniel David Palmer, who founded the modern practice of chiropractic … Continue reading

Suddenly Skinny

I’m not a big Oprah watcher but one recent show she did, entitled “Suddenly Skinny”, was very important for me to see. While the folks on Oprah’s message boards are up in arms about it, I thought it was well done and high time that somebody finally brought this issue out into the open. The show focused on women who had gastric bypass surgery and then suffered from addiction transfer. The show did not imply that all people who undergo gastric bypass surgery suffer from this but it did bring the issue out into the open and get a healthy, … Continue reading

Update on the Coffee Cut-back

I wrote back in October about my quest to cut back on coffee for my health’s sake. For me, coffee and working from home just go hand in hand. I was never much of a coffee drinker when I worked the “traditional” job—but since starting to work at home, I’ve become quite attached and it isn’t exactly great for my health or my frame of mind. So, I’ve been struggling trying to kick the habit… I have cut way back—I am no longer brewing and drinking that pot a day and for a while, I was able to drink tea … Continue reading

Stimulant Drugs: How Much Do You Know?

Drugs have become everyday commodities that parents and teenagers must learn to deal with in effective and responsible ways. As a parent, it is natural to want to protect your child from the influence of drugs, but we can’t be there all the time to watch over our teenagers. And while we can adopt the “just say no!” attitude, it helps if we actually know what we are saying no to. Therefore, this is the first in a series of some of the most common street drugs readily available to our children and each one outlines the common immediate effects … Continue reading

Weight a Minute! – I’m a Pickle

I’m sure you noticed I haven’t posted anything to this blog for a little while. I haven’t been sick or on vacation – I’ve been fat, and I’ve been too ashamed to blog about it. You see, when writing about weight issues on such a public forum, you’re really opening yourself up to criticism. It doesn’t come – you are all too nice to do that – but the fear of it is still there. What if I blog and tell everyone about the five pounds I lost and put back on? Will they think I’m a failure? It’s hard, … Continue reading

Pornography Addiction: Can It Happen?

The simple answer? Yes. Humans can become addicted to any substance or activity that causes pleasure as a result of the release of hormones that provide that sensation of pleasure. Whether it be gambling, smoking, eating, drug-taking or just plain old chocolate, addition is a real possibility when associated brain chemicals reliably change a mood or enhance an experience. Addiction to pornography does exist and, like any addiction, comes to rule the life of the sufferer. What starts out as a pleasurable habit ends up as a pit of pain and desperation. The official prerequisites for an addition to any … Continue reading

Trying to Keep Video Games in Perspective

These past couple weeks there have been all sorts of reports in the news about whether or not excessive computer and video game playing is considered an addiction. I have to admit that there have definitely been times when I’ve worried that one of my kids IS addicted–whether it is to a computer game, My Space, television, or a video game! I have gotten pretty darn crabby when someone seems to be too focused on any one thing and neglected every thing else. But, I’ve also found that with my kids, what they are “totally into” for a week or … Continue reading

Diagnostic Criteria for Substance Dependence

When we last visited the topic of Substance Abuse we looked at the diagnostic criteria for substance abuse. Today we look at substance dependence, which differs from abuse in that the component of addiction and addictive behavior is also present. So how do we know if a person has moved from substance abuse to substance dependence? The DSM-IV-TR lists the following guidelines for a diagnosis of substance dependence: A maladaptive pattern of substance abuse leading to significant impairment or distress as manifested by at least three of the following within a 12-month period: 1. Tolerance to the substance as defined … Continue reading