Understanding Substance Abuse

When we hear the words “substance abuse”, too often it brings to mind the image of a stereotypical addict or “junkie”. While this is sometimes a reflection of reality, it is also possible for substance abusers to show very few, if any, outward signs of a problem. For this reason, and others, it can be difficult to identify substance abuse in those around us. Untreated substance abuse takes an enormous toll on individual lives, as well as on society at large.

Although illicit drug use is a major category of substance abuse, it is not the only one.  Alcohol, inhalants, adhesives, nicotine, prescription medicines, and solvents are also subject to abuse. Recent news reports about teenagers using liquid hand soap to “get high” demonstrate the lengths to which people will go to satisfy an unquenchable desire for the abused substance.

Read More »

On Overcoming Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is one of the most difficult experiences an individual may ever face.  It is also incredibly common. While damage inflicted on the body may heal, sexual abuse leaves emotional scars that can be just as troubling as physical ones, and in some cases they can be even worse. Although the immediate pain and trauma subside, the truth is that there can be long-term consequences for the victims of sexual abuse. That being said, the process of healing might be centered on the body, not in the mind.

Victims of abuse often respond with a physical reaction known as the “fight or flight” response. The body learns to release adrenaline in situations that recreate the feelings of terror and pain, and as a result, this can become a pattern that the victim experiences again and again. Read More »


It is a commonly held view that bisexuality does not, in fact, exist. Most people cannot fathom the concept of bisexuality, and bisexual individuals are often thought of as being promiscuous and mentally flawed. Being a victim of such prejudice can cause innumerable problems such as stress, anxiety and depression, and being socially ostracised can shatter self confidence. A counsellor or therapist can help deal with issues so that they may not lead to more complex problems. Emotional trauma and abuse can have a lasting impact on one’s life, it is therefore important to deal with it as early as possible.Read More »

The darkest side of social media

Studies have shown that constant connectivity on social networking sites and a constant exposure to media are strongly linked with people feeling inadequate, insecure and anxious. Having to compare yourself to others and being bombarded with public broadcasts of other peoples’ ‘ideal’ lives can cause feelings of inadequacy, insecurity and low self confidence; and for people who are prone to anxiety, this can sometimes even lead to severe low self esteem, depression, and other mental issues to a point where it becomes necessary to seek help from a therapist. Read More »

Dealing with anxiety

Anxiety can also cause sufferers to exhibit physical symptomsAnxiety is a natural part of everyday life for the majority of people, but in a few cases this can become a bigger problem affecting how well people sleep and in some instances can develop into depression. There are some things that will commonly cause people to worry, but if the stress and anxiety does start to get too much and affect other areas of life, then there is treatment available. The symptoms of anxiety can vary greatly depending on how individuals react to worries, but because of the wide range of potential symptoms it can be hard to get the right diagnosis.
Read More »

Post natal depression

Up to 1 in 10 women suffer from post natal depressionPost Natal depression is a type of depression that can develop in some women (and occasionally men) after childbirth. It can affect up to one in ten women, and in most cases, occurs within the first four weeks of childbirth, although some cases may manifest up to a year after childbirth. The exact causes of post natal depression are not known. In women, it could be attributed to the hormonal changes that occur after childbirth, combined with the heightened emotional and stress levels experienced during pregnancy and just after.
Read More »

Feeling depressed, sad, empty, numb.

Depression affects millions of people. How to recognise it's tim e to seek help with depression?Depression affects millions of people each year with varying degrees of severity. Some people may experience it for a period of a few weeks, whilst for others, it may be a lifelong disorder that resurfaces seemingly without warning. No two people are ever the same, and so the causes of depression do tend to vary.

Sources of depression

There can be an element of genetic inheritance, with some studies suggesting that people who have family members with a history of depression will be more likely to suffer with it themselves. Depression has also been linked with long term alcohol and drug use, bad dietary habits, stress and illness.

Read More »

Porn addiction – links to depression and anxiety

porn-addiction-may-lead-to-depressionThere are many differing ideas as to whether pornography has an affect on mental health or not, with various studies showing conflicting results. Part of the problem involved in analysing the question, is in the very definition of pornography itself, and which media it is presented on, such as magazines, television, DVD or the internet. In addition, there are then exposure levels, age groups and social categories to be taken into account, which all go further to complicate the situation.

Pornography itself can also be categorised, with the words light and hardcore often used to describe things as varied as semi-naked still photo shots through to films involving multiple partners and much more. Online, it can then take the form of free or ‘pay-per-view’ pornography.

Read More »

Low self-esteem can cause depression

big-bowl-of-self-esteemSelf-esteem is the term used to describe how we think and feel about ourselves, and can also be described as a measure of our own worth. Self-esteem can change between positive and negative at different points of our lives, and goes some way to contribute towards how we decide to live our lives and the decisions that we make.

Self-esteem and depression

It is only natural for people to fluctuate between high and low self-esteem from time to time, but prolonged periods of low self-esteem can be detrimental to mental health. People that experience low self-esteem tend to hold negative views about themselves, thinking that they are not good enough for a job promotion for example, or that they feel unloved and worthless. Low self-esteem can, in some cases, then lead on to other things like depression, and this is when a vicious circle can start, with factors like depression, low self esteem and anxiety all feeding off of one another.

Read More »