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.
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 »
Constant social interaction and intense media conditioning can intensify the effects of social pressures on a person. An increase in societal expectations, or what are perceived to be so, can be overwhelming for some people and lead to anxiety, stress and withdrawal. One’s sense of self worth should not be based on conforming to social norms. For instance, there is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to remain a virgin after 20, without succumbing to social pressures. However, if one has issues such as low self confidence, which are affecting their life and stopping them from achieving fully, it is important to address these issues. A therapist or counsellor can help to overcome feelings of low self worth and to live life to the fullest.
The Madonna Whore Complex is a psychoanalytical term, coined by Sigmund Freud to describe a male psychological dichotomy in the perception of women – either as saint or sinner. The complex was termed as such by Sigmund Freud, but this dichotomy seems to have existed since time immemorial. Some men experience the inability to view a woman as a whole, but can only view her through the perception of either saint or sinner. The cultural portrayal of men and women as adhering to fixed gender roles also does not help in overcoming this flawed perception of women. Needless to say, this can take a serious toll on personal relationships and many of those who are impacted seek the help of a counsellor to deal with the problem.
According to the Madonna Whore Complex, men either view a woman as a sexually restrained and well behaved ‘Madonna’, or as a sexually free ‘whore’ who must be punished by the man. 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 »
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 »
We live in a world that is obsessed with images. There are images everywhere, from portable mobile screens belonging to a pair of individual eyes, multiple TV screens in family homes, to massive screens projecting in busy city squares. We live in a world obsessed with screens, showing us images of ‘life’ and how it should be. From perfectly sculpted models showing us what we could be wearing, eating, seeing, doing, and being. No wonder an increasing number of us develop insecurities enough to warrant professional counselling.Read More »
In my years as a therapist, I have been paying growing attention to shame in working with my clients, and I must confess that attending to this feeling is quintessential to the practice of psychotherapy. Other than that, I had several other exciting revelations.Read More »
There 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.