Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Has Your Daily Exercise Become Unhealthy?

With over 500 million adults suffering from obesity around the world, it's hard to imagine that getting too much exercise might be a problem. But, as reported on a website, that is the conclusion some experts come to when considering how some people are driven to over-exercise. A  case illustrate the issue which is more directly the causal link as well as the dangers of over exercise. 

 Vishakha Sawant, a 25-year-old graduate student in Navi Mumbai, has suffered from a stream of addictions. As a teenager, she used drugs – when she was put in rehab, she turned to controlling her caloric intake and became anorexic. Later, she developed a need to exercise for at least two hours a day, despite a herniated disc and heat stroke.
Experts say that what drives the need to exercise is similar to other addictive behaviors. An underlying genetic tendency and over stimulated reward centers in the brain combine to make the addictive behavior become the single outlet for stress management and a feeling of control. The end result is addiction. In most cases, addiction is seen negatively. Not so with exercise – it is praised even when it is excessive or destructive. While not carrying its own diagnostic criteria, excessive exercise is understood to be problematic when it interferes with a person's healthy functioning. For most people, getting regular exercise is not only desirable, but something that is missing from their lives. Keep that in mind when considering whether you have a problem. Here are a few indicators that you may be compulsively exercising: You skip social engagements in order to workout.  You take time off work in order to exercise. You exercise as your exclusive way to manage unpleasant emotions and thoughts. Thinking about exercise takes up a lot of your time, even while you are away from the gym.  Shafa Home, is a world-class residential treatment facility. Our knowledgeable staff have experience treating high-functioning addicts who are otherwise successful in their careers and social life. If you are considering treatment for addiction, please contact one of our specialists today.

This article is the sole property of "The Cabin", they are its original authors.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Can Abuse As A Child Mean Addiction As An Adult ?

Not all people struggling with addiction were abused as children of course, but recent studies are showing that there could be a relationship between the two. The development of brain imaging technologies has allowed researchers to gain an exciting view of how the brain works, and the findings are definitely worth mentioning.

 Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to better understand addiction

Old-school thinking was that those suffering from addiction should just be able to ‘stop using', and they were accused of lacking will power, or moral behaviours. In 2011 however, addiction was classified as a primary chronic disease caused by impaired functioning of the brain's pleasure reward system by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). It disproved the “flawed character” theory – largely in thanks to the abilities of MRIs to track brain activity when people are shown or given addiction triggers.

Triggers are often as simple as a photo of someone using, or say, a hamburger for those who have food addictions. When an addict is shown one of these triggers, researchers have found that the brain releases overdoses of dopamine (much higher levels than in non-addicts), which in turn triggers their ‘need' to acquire their substance of desire. 
Dr. Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse explains it best here, in relation to food addiction: “It just basically stimulates release of dopamine. And the more they release, the more they want the food. We always say, "Well, why do we have a problem with obesity in our society?" And I said, "My God, we're surrounded by stimuli with which we're conditioned. If as an Indian, you like pizzas, you may see Domino's red and blue dices and then dopamine goes inside your brain and you want it, you start craving for it . And you don't know why you want it.”

This also applies in exactly the same way to drugs and alcohol, but instead of the red and blue dices, triggers may include bar signs, ads in magazines or on television, watching movies, or even just running into an old friend. Whatever the trigger and whatever the addiction, the dopamine reaction is the same – and the need to acquire the substance, even unconsciously, becomes top priority. But what does all this have to do with child abuse?

Brain patterns are similar in addicts to those who have suffered abuse

Dr. Charles B. Nemeroff of The University of Miami has discovered that abused children experience architectural changes in their brains. MRIs have been able to show actual thinning of the cortex. But the real connection to addiction is in the chemical changes that occur simultaneously. Abuse of course, causes extreme amounts of stress in a child, which alters the production of cortisol, epinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, the chemical messengers in the brain that affect mood and behaviour. In the same way that photos or triggers cause an abnormal dopamine release into the brain, high levels of stress can often have the same effect. Thankfully, research is also finding that the sooner a child is treated for abuse, the better the results.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, often used in addiction treatment, can in fact have a positive effect on re-calibrating and retraining the neuro-chemical systems in the brain, especially the dopamine pathways of the pleasure reward cycle. Thus, in children that receive appropriate treatment following abuse, MRIs show that the brain can slowly return to a healthy state. Unfortunately, however, children that don't get the appropriate treatment are left with brain chemistry patterns similar to those of an addict – which, it would seem, would leave them at risk for addiction in the future. More research, however, needs to be done before any solid links can be made.

At Shafa Home, we offer effective, holistic treatment and have an excellent success rate with clients from around the world. Contact one of our team today to arrange a consultation.

This article is the sole property of "The Cabin", they are its original authors.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

How Dangerous Can Money Be? Day Traders face Addiction !!!

Gambling has long been identified as highly addictive to people with a genetic predisposition for addiction. But far away from the glittering lights of casinos, another closely related addiction has emerged: Day Trading !!
The pursuit of money is certainly one of the primary goals for anyone in the modern world. Money is the means by which we secure just about every necessity in life. As such, money is not an end in itself but rather a tool to provide food, shelter, and other material comforts. But what happens when this logic is turned on its head, and money itself becomes the goal, without any reference to how it will be used? 

So we recently examined the issue.Gambling has long been identified as highly addictive to people with a genetic predisposition for addiction. But far away from the glittering lights of casinos, another closely related addiction has emerged: day trading Day trading is, simply, playing the stock market at home. With the advent of broadband internet connections and real-time trading, users can quickly buy and sell stocks and other investments from the comfort of their own home – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While in the past, financial transactions were typically placed through a broker and could take multiple days to be processed, technological advance has extended the instantaneous gratification of the web to major financial decisions.The net result? Enticed by the lure of making huge financial gains, many homeowners and family men (and women) find their savings devastated and even find themselves taking on new debts in order to play the markets.
Recent research conducted at St. Stephens College, New Delhi has found that stock trading - much like other addictions - influences the reward centres of the brain. A person addicted to day trading is hooked on the expectation of pleasure that he or she will receive from trading. In turn, this becomes a habit and a preoccupation of daily life. Some day traders report literally waking up, turning on their computer, and getting online in order to start trading. While others explain how they move through different time zones as markets close.What's more, it actually seems possible that when the day trader loses significant amounts of money, it actually provides further reinforcement to their addiction. There is a certain thrill derived from standing on the precipice of financial ruin. With danger comes excitement and the further hope of conquering the markets.

Some might argue that day trading is different from gambling, insofar as trading relies on analysis and intuition, whereas gambling is primarily under the influence of chance. However, this difference is dispelled when one considers that many gamblers, even lottery players, believe that they have some knack for winning. Moreover, with the volatility of the market, huge swathes of stocks can lose value indiscriminately.

Despite having chosen a relatively robust investment, when the market fluctuates, almost every investment is affected. It is perhaps this greater volatility of the markets that provides higher excitement levels for the day trader. And for those with an addiction to day trading – this further excitement provides all the more enticement to take on more risk than is advisable. 

Shafa Home, specializes in treatment of addiction for high-functioning individuals who struggle with this and other addictions. If you are seeking treatment for addiction, contact one of our specialists today.

This article is the sole property of "The Cabin", they are its original authors.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Perfectionists and Addiction (part II): How to Succeed in Recovery

Recovery is always difficult, but for a perfectionist it can be even more daunting. Follow these tips to make recovery as a perfectionist a little bit easier. 
As discussed in Perfectionists and Addiction Part 1, perfectionism and addiction can often go hand-in-hand. For those perfectionists consistently trying to be nothing short of perfect – anxiety, depression, alienation and loneliness are common feelings that can fuel addiction, and perfectionism overall can put a damper on recovery.
Addiction recovery is always difficult, but for those who also have an underlying case of perfectionism, recovery can be even harder. In the following ways, perfectionists sabotage their own recovery:

Beliefs that even recovery has to be perfect.
In abstinence-based recovery, a perfectionist believes that they can never slip up – that their road to recovery should be without any potholes. Any long-time recovering addict can tell you that's definitely not the norm.
Life may be great, but a perfectionist is still miserable.
They may be doing well at work, be making a great income, and have a great family life – but it's just never good enough. They focus on the imperfections instead, and this can fuel the addiction.
Believing they can conquer addiction on their own. 
Most perfectionists will do anything they can before asking for help, as they see it as a sign of weakness. Instead of getting the help they need, they will tell themselves they can get over it on their own. When they cannot stop abusing drugs or alcohol, their feelings of shame and guilt increase, which drives them deeper into their addiction.
Self-sabotaging their own confidence and their recovery. 
If they start to feel that their recovery is not going well, they may give up entirely. “If I can't do it perfectly, I won't do it at all”. Ironically enough, this only leads them further down the road of self-destruction.That being said, however, perfectionists are far from doomed in recovery. There are several things they can do to tame their inner perfectionist and excel in recovery.

Recovery tips for Perfectionist Addicts

1. Celebrate each accomplishment, big or small: Perfectionists view themselves either as a success or a failure – there is nothing in between. In order to succeed in recovery, one must learn a ‘good enough' attitude. Recovery will never be perfect. There will be massive cravings, there will be bouts of depression, and there may even be a relapse at some point. Maintaining a positive attitude about small milestones such as days or weeks of sobriety, and celebrating one's own courage and strength to push forward, is important on the long journey of recovery.
2. Increase self-confidence :While it is important to celebrate successes, recovery isn't just about that. Learning to love one's self for all the reasons that other people can see is very important. Spending time with loved ones, volunteering or giving back to others in the community, and making time for enjoyable hobbies and activities are great ways to boost self-confidence and feel pride about something completely unrelated to recovery. Only then, will a perfectionist begin to see that life is not always strictly about achieving goals.
3. Listen and learn from others :Support from friends and loved ones is always an important part of recovery. With a perfectionist, however, a large part of recovery will include watching and learning from those around them. Watching how others bounce back when things don't turn out perfectly, or how others allow themselves a bit of buffer space when achieving goals. Seeing that to others, a small set back is just that – a small setback, not a disastrous event. Also, talking openly to loved ones about the situation, and allowing them to be upfront when they see the addict being irrational is an important step. Often, others are able to see the patterns quicker than the perfectionist them self.
4. Talk to a professional: Unfortunately, most societies endorse achievement-obsessed thinking. And while being a perfectionist will often lead to success in a career, it rarely leads to happiness. A balance needs to be in place – achieve goals, but allow some room to live and do things that are leisurely and ‘just for fun' too. Not everything is a competition. For many, it is helpful to speak to a professional beyond an addictions counsellor – someone who also has extensive experience working specifically with perfectionists.
5. Be open to new ideas: It will definitely be difficult at first, but it's important for the perfectionist to begin changing the way they deal with situations. They should start out by being flexible when plans change, allowing those close to them to make mistakes without saying anything to them, letting go of the smaller trip-ups, delays or small errors at work. They will surely find that life goes on, and quite pleasantly most likely. Not trying to perfect and control everything will release a lot of the stress and anxiety, in turn, aiding recovery.

The most important thing about recovery for any addict is to focus on themselves. They must get an understanding of the issues behind their addiction, not be afraid to ask for help or make mistakes, and take recovery one day at a time.
If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, please contact a professional for help. The quicker it is treated, the higher the chances for a successful recovery.
This article is the sole property of "The Cabin", they are its original authors.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Perfectionists and Addiction:What is the Connection? (part I)

While perfectionists may often be successful in their careers, they are often unhappy in many other parts of their lives - and that can lead to substance abuse and addiction issues.

Some people take on a pompous tone when telling people what perfectionists they are. However, a true perfectionist – as opposed to a high achiever – will often view their perfectionism as a curse. And many will develop a drug or alcohol dependence because of it.
When it comes to being a high achiever, there is no doubt that it has its benefits. These people set attainable goals of a high standard, and set out to achieve them while typically enjoying their journey along the way. While they will still, of course, be disappointed if they don't reach their goal – they typically bounce back quickly and try again. Most successful people would be considered high achievers. A perfectionist on the other hand, will set goals so high that they often fail – or go through great pains and make many sacrifices (such as health, family, social life, etc.) in order to obtain these goals. The end result, not the journey, is the only thing that matters. And when they do achieve their goals, they can often only see the tiny imperfections where they might have done better, instead of being happy and proud that they achieved such a great feat.
When a perfectionist fails to achieve the perfection they strive for, (let's face it – nobody or nothing is perfect) it can lead to bouts of depression, anxiety, and loss of self-worth. For these people, achieving their goals is everything and failing in them is horrifying. Their struggle for perfection will also make them feel alienated from others and alone.

The fear of making mistakes – and not measuring up to self-made perfect standards – can also
create severe and chronic anxiety. Anxiety, depression, alienation and loneliness are all feelings that often go hand-in-hand with addiction. After years of self-bullying, trying to be and do all things perfect, many perfectionists feel so beat down, that they try to drown out these feelings with alcohol and drugs.
Of course, self-medicating these issues is only going to cause more trouble in the long-run. As the user abuses substances on a more frequent basis to drown out the pain, the brain itself forgets how to deal with these emotions in its own way – and becomes dependent on the substance.

Asking for help as a perfectionist

For most true perfectionists, there are two (sometimes subconscious) rules to live by:

1.  Strive only for perfection – anything even slightly less is not good enough

2. Do not ask for help, as asking for help is a sign of weakness

Because of this, perfectionists are often the last people to ask for help when they become addicted. Denial is a huge part of any addiction, but for a perfectionist it can be even stronger. They can't and simply won't believe that they could possibly not be in control of a part of their life. If they are lucky, some may manage to get sober once on their own, through sheer determination of showing their own power. However, it usually leads straight into a relapse as they have not received any guidance in how to handle the inner demons that were causing them to use in the first place – and which are likely the driving force behind the relapse as well.

New Delhi-based addictions counselor, Mr. Neil Paul, commented in an article that “The patients I treat are highly successful in the external aspects of their lives – they are wealthy, powerful, incredibly smart and often household names. Their demand for perfection has enabled them to excel in traditional notions of success, but turns against them when they need to resource the compassion for and acceptance of their humanness that will enable them to succeed as recovering women and men living in an imperfect world”.

Perfectionists and Addiction (part II), will address the difficulties of recovery as a perfectionist, and how to make it through successfully.If you or someone you know is struggling with perfectionism and/or addiction, contact a professional for guidance.

This article is the sole property of "The Cabin", they are its original authors.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Assessment Criteria:According to the DSM-V, the most commonly used assessment tool – each of the subtypes of internet addiction must meet four criteria to be considered an addictive behaviour...

Excessive Use. This is understood as use which interferes with essential life functions, and is associated with a loss of a sense of time.

Withdrawal. When computer or technology use is unavailable, users experience withdrawal.

Tolerance. This refers to the need for more use and better quality of technology.

Negative Outcomes. These involve adverse effects on relationships, work, school, and health.

Warning Signs:Correct diagnosis requires a trained professional. However, it can be helpful to know some warning signs that you may have a problem. The following are some common indicators that your computer usage is addictive.

Losing track of time. It’s easy to lose track of time when staring into a screen. It happens to everyone, but if you find yourself lost in cyberspace for extended periods of time, or frequently, it’s an important indicator of addiction.

Preoccupation. When not in front of the screen, do you constantly dwell on your last online activities and eagerly anticipate your next session?

Social isolation. Do you feel separate from those around you as a result of your internet usage? Do you neglect your friends and family in order to spend time online? When your internet usage becomes a barrier to real-life socialising, it can mean you have a problem.

Difficulty with daily life. A few dishes left in the sink or an unmade bed is not a cause for alarm. However, if you find that you have consistent trouble fulfilling home and work obligations due to internet usage, you may want to consider how it is affecting your life.

Euphoria or usage for escape. Is using the computer the highlight of your day? Do you feel more at home online than in real life? If you find that using the internet is a great source of pleasure and your primary way to relieve stress, your usage may be problematic.

Guilt and defensiveness. Often, when people have an addiction, they have an internal feeling that something is amiss. Alternatively, when friends and family are critical, the addict may become defensive and deny any sort of problem. If you find that this occurs in association with your internet usage, you may find that your usage is an issue in your life.

At Shafa Home, we also use The 3 Circles - a model that is very good at defining a recovery baseline where abstinence isn't always possible. It is a simple yet powerful, holistic treatment approach where clients can individualize their abstinence treatment – as no two addicts are the same. This approach works for substance abuse issues as well, because some drug and alcohol addicted clients have a need to continue on with anti-depressant, anti-psychotic or pain medications – which some 12 Step centers might deem to be a ‘break’ of abstinence. But with a 3 Circle Plan this needn’t be the case.
This is how it works. We divide our addictions (whatever they are), into 3 ‘zones’ – Active,Slippery and Recovery.Every addict’s Active Zone is different; you define what it is yourself. Your Slippery Zone again is particular to you – it could be a bar, which triggers feelings of strong cravings. If you find yourself in your “Slippery” zone then the 3 Circle Plan is a simple tool to fall back on as it lets you take an immediate Recovery Action from your Recovery Zone If you do not then you will surely end up in the Active Zone again.
This approach is simple, because whilst still being a 12 step abstinence-based model it is much less ‘religious’ sounding than the traditional 12 Steps. While the 12 Steps are sometimes hard for non-Westerners and young people, in particular, to relate to; the 3 Circles offer an easier format to grasp – and blends extremely well with the Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Mindfulness Meditation that we use here at Shafa Home. Through this carefully-derived combination of treatment methods, clients are taught how to deal with their impaired reward system more effectively and eventually learn how to successfully substitute their addiction with other healthy dopamine reinforcers such as service work and other activities.

This article is the sole property of "The Cabin", they are its original authors.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Self-Medicating for Anxiety can Lead to Addiction

For some people, knocking back a couple of alcoholic drinks for some ‘liquid courage’ helps take the edge off in certain situations and is relatively harmless behavior. For others, however, it can lead to dependence and eventually addiction.

For some people, when a stressful situation arises – perhaps giving a speech at a friend's wedding, or having to meet a spouse's work colleagues at dinner – knocking back a couple of alcoholic drinks for some ‘liquid courage' helps take the edge off. And for some, the occasional use of a substance to ease anxiety in these ways is completely harmless. For others, however, it can lead to dependence and eventually addiction.

When someone has an undiagnosed mental disorder such as anxiety or depression, they are more likely to develop a substance abuse problem if they begin reaching for alcohol or other drugs to relieve their symptoms – or in other words – self-medicating.

According to one study, more than 12% of participants who had an anxiety disorder and had self-medicated with alcohol developed an alcohol addiction later on – compared to just 4.5% of anxiety sufferers who developed an alcohol addiction in those that did not self-medicate. Of those diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), approximately 40% had abused or been dependent on alcohol at some point.

For many people who are trying to escape their feelings of stress or despair, infrequently using substances can be fine. However, when someone begins relying on the substance to ease these negative feelings on a regular basis, the brain actually forgets how to use its own healthy coping mechanisms, and begins to rely on the next ‘fix' to make them feel better. Thus, the beginning of an addiction problem is born.
As the addiction or reliance on alcohol or other substances takes hold, the person will begin to show signs to friends and loved ones, although these loved ones may not know what these signs really mean. When out to dinner, for example, the person in question will likely be distracted until they are served their drink, or they will encourage you to join them drink more during or after the meal. If you are sharing a bottle of wine, they may consistently drink their glass faster so as to have it refilled more quickly – as the thought of not getting the majority of the bottle is frightening (subconsciously or not). As well, they may be drinking more quickly in an effort to ease their inner anxieties, as simply being out for dinner may cause stress. They may even have had some drinks at home before going out, and you might notice that just one glass of wine has made them seem ‘tipsy' when they normally don't get drunk so fast.
On top of these physical signs, the blossoming addict will be going through some inner turmoil that may not be as obvious. The drink or drug which once proved helpful, is now consuming their thought process, and often their life. It has taken on a life of its own. Their inner pain, shame, and loss of self-honesty and control (at this point there is little chance that they will admit to their addiction) will only drive them to drink or use more. And, as happens frequently, family and friends may notice something is off, but are unsure of the actual problem – thus allowing the addict to dive deeper into the addiction.
If you or anyone you know appears to be suffering from an undiagnosed mental health issue, and is possibly self-medicating instead of seeking help, be sure to contact a professional

This article is the sole property of "The Cabin", they are its original authors..

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Would you give your money to an addict so he can buy his next fix?

We found this interesting................................May be you like it !!!
We recently came across this mind boggling article.We believe it will help the readers to understand what is happening all over the globe.How perceptions about an addict and addiction are changing. And finally it will also help us to form our own opinions because we strongly believe that keep pace with the changing world around us.

Drug addicts, many of whom are homeless, are taking to the streets of Copenhagen to sell issues of a magazine called Illegal! – making just enough cash to cover their daily drug fix, often heroin. Aside from driving a van around the former meat packing district of Vesterbro, complete with clean syringes and an on-site nursing staff to encourage clean and safe drug use, social entrepreneur Michael Lodberg Olsen of Denmark has begun producing Illegal! Magazine and hiring known drug addicts to sell them – knowing full well that 90% of them are using their income to buy drugs.
Sellers must sign up for the program and wear a name badge and uniform t-shirt when selling on the streets. The addicts can buy the magazine for 10 Danish Kroners (approximately $1.80 USD) and sell it for 30 Danish Kroners (approximately $5.00 USD), pocketing the profits. This has, of course, caused much controversy, as many people do not like the idea of, essentially, giving addicts drug money – even if they're getting a good product in return.
Olsen, however, believes that the program will achieve two goals: 1. He hopes that the information they are spreading through the magazine will aid in decriminalizing drug use in the country, and 2. it will give the addicts a job opportunity and in turn will lower crime and prostitution rates in the area.
While some people in the city are still opposing this project - as most of the earned money ends up back in the hands of heroin dealers - Olsen stands strongly behind his vision. In his eyes, the addicts are going to get the money some way or another, and selling a magazine with high-quality articles on relevant issues, is far better than say... mugging people on the street, burglarising homes or shops, or selling their bodies through prostitution.
The magazine articles focus on relevant social issues, with previous topics including the self-proclaimed “failed war on drugs” in Denmark, Portugal's decriminalisation of heavy drug use and the apparent positive results, and a list of the top 20 most dangerous drugs with alcohol leading at #1. In the first month, Olsen had 5,000 magazines produced originally, but it was so well received that in the second month, production was increased to 10,000 copies.
But the question remains: Would you be willing to give $5.00 for a magazine - no matter how great it may be – to an addict, knowing that the money was almost guaranteed to be used to purchase drugs?
Now let us see this scenario from our Indian context too. Even in Delhi lots of work is done by governmental/non-governmental agencies with 70 % slum and street children involved into addiction. But most of the activities are limited to their educational and vocational trainings only. What we believe that no such activities can make any difference as long as his addiction is not treated. Some children even engage in addiction during these sessions or as soon as these are over, thereby wasting the whole concept of rehabilitation.

Hereby, we are not suggesting or implying anything. This should help us to frame our opinion and simply intended to start a discussion on this issue.

This article is the sole property of "The Cabin", they are its original authors.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Could Internet Addiction Be Causing Depression?

Internet addiction is a growing concern across the globe, with addiction centres opening at a rapid pace to deal with this relatively new addiction. China already has several internet addiction centres aimed at youth who, in extreme cases, admitted to spending upwards of 60 hours a week in front of a monitor –wearing diapers in order to avoid using the bathroom.
Internet addiction is a growing concern across the globe, with addiction centres opening at a rapid pace to deal with this relatively new addiction. China already has several internet addiction centres aimed at youth who, in extreme cases, admitted to spending upwards of 60 hours a week in front of a monitor – wearing diapers in order to avoid using the bathroom.

While that is definitely an extreme case, as people are increasingly able to access the internet on mobile devices, instead of solely stationary computers, the problem is getting worse quickly. And, experts are starting to see correlations between internet addiction and depression.

A study done at the University of Leeds in the UK found that compulsive internet users, who often have more social interaction online than in real life, are often battling depression as well. The study, headed by Dr Catriona Morrison, found that 1.2% of the participants involved were addicted to the internet. Internet addicts, as defined by Dr Morrison, "are people who find it hard to control how much time they spend online, to the point where it interferes with their daily activities.” The addicted participants were also found to have a higher incidence of being moderately to severely depressed, compared to non-addicts.

Dr Morrison believes “this study reinforces the public speculation that over-engaging in web sites that serve to replace normal social function might be linked to psychological disorders like depression and addiction”. As this is one of the first studies on this subject, she also believes it is important to further consider the implications this relationship might have on society, and the effects of excessive internet use must be further researched.

However, the findings beg to ask the questions: Is excessive internet use causing depression? Or do people suffering from depression have a tendency to recoil from real-life social situations, and instead spend most of their time online where social anxiety is lowered through lack of personalisation? Could internet socialisation actually be a saviour for those who have trouble being social in real life? With the lack of research done on the matter thus far, it's hard to say. However, new studies should be made a priority. If internet use is indeed causing depression, or at the very least, contributing to it, we need to become aware of this before more people around the globe are negatively affected.

Do you have any experience with internet addiction or depression? 
We'd love to hear your thoughts and stories.

This article is the sole property of "The Cabin", they are its original authors.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How Yoga can Aid Your Recovery!!

Yoga studios are as common in most cities as a café latte or a smartphone charging station. Yet, while it has evolved to suit the needs of modern urbanites,the practice of yoga is quite ancient. Moreover, in its blend of mindfulness,physicality, and relaxation, Yoga can be better at relieving modern stress and addiction than other quick fixes and shortcuts.

As with any subject with a long history, the exact origins of Yoga are not precise. Most experts would, however, agree that it developed in the Indian subcontinent thousands of years ago. The word ‘Yoga' itself, based in the ancient Sanskrit language, is translated variously as union, yoke, and concentration. In its philosophy, Yoga may be compared to many other spiritual or philosophical traditions. Yet while such practices focus primarily on mental beliefs, Yoga is unique in its focus not only on the mind but on the body as well.

Most yoga practices combine three elements. The first is the actual postures, which in Yogic terminology are called asana. These include any number of stretches and are performed individually or as part of a sequence. The second element of yoga is breathwork practices known as pranayama. Breathing exercises usually focus on slowing down the breathing, and can be used in combination with various postures in some forms of yoga. Finally, yoga also comprises meditation. Meditation simply means focused awareness, and in a yoga practice, this might include focusing on the breath, a spoken syllable, or another object of awareness. 
The practices of physical postures, breathing, and meditation are particularly well suited to the recovering addict. Addiction is best understood as a problem in the reward centers of the brain. The brain rewards behaviours that are not actually beneficial to the addict, such as drinking, drug use, and gambling. In order to recover, one must make the decision to abstain. Remaining focused on this goal can be challenging. By becoming grounded in the body, the breath, and the mind, one is more able to remain focused on abstinence. As a result, yoga is a great way to not only look great but also to remain sober.

Moreover, a major trigger for addiction is stress. When coping with stress, it is essential to have healthy alternatives to unwind and de-stress. Yoga helps to calm the mind and body, and those practicing yoga typically experience a sense of stillness and calm amidst the busy-ness of life.

Yoga has also been found to be an effective treatment for some forms of mental illness, including depression and anxiety. And while researchers are still conducting scientific data concerning the effectiveness of yoga as a treatment for addiction, there are more and more individual accounts of people being helped by yoga in addiction recovery. 
As reported on a popular addiction site, Sanjana, in her seventh year of sobriety, found herself becoming increasingly anxious. Her therapist recommended she take up yoga, and she found it immensely beneficial in reducing her anxiety and remaining sober.

At Shafa Home, we are pleased to offer Mindfulness Therapy, of which yoga is a component, as an integral part of our recovery program. If you are seeking treatment for any addiction, please contact one of our counselors today.

This article is the sole property of "The Cabin", they are its original authors.