Written by: Cynthia Andrzejczyk, Ph.D
Bruce Alexander has written a penetrating and incisive book on the nature of addiction in the 21st century. Along with defining and differentiating various types of addiction, Alexander, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Simon Fraser University in Canada, has amassed forty years of studying addiction and addictive patterns of behavior, along with lecturing extensively on the topic. He has undertaken an inquiry as to how addiction has grown into a global phenomenon typical to the age in which we live.
In a chapter from his text on The Globalization of Addiction entitled “Addiction1, Addiction2, Addiction3, Addiction4,” Alexander cites then defines four different types of addiction. Addiction1 is the most common and refers to addiction to alcohol, one of the first recognized dependencies identified by physicians in the 19th century. It also includes addiction to drugs recognized as addictive beginning in the early 20th century (such as morphine), then into the latter part of the last century and would include addictions to heroin, cocaine, crack, and metha amphetamines (Alexander 19-20). Addiction2 then adds a subtle point of difference. While both addiction types 1 and 2 are defined as an individual having an “overwhelming involvement” in a drug or alcohol habit, Addiction2 also suggests “substance abuse” or drug abuse of some kind that is not entirely overwhelming. This kind of abuse, as Alexander argues, will become “problematic” to society, though, at some point (Alexander 20).
There is hope! Healing is available to everyone; we just need to spread the word. After 15 years of searching for a solution that could make it possible for me to live inside my body and mind, I ‘stumbled upon’ Somatic Experiencing in 2005. SE taught me a body/mind-awareness approach to the unresolved stress and pain remaining from past traumatic events. This approach to healing from anger, anxiety, paranoia, etc, helped me to restore my own abilities to allow and self-regulate my emotions; a wonderful way to release pent-up stress and energy. It changed my life forever. I CAME ALIVE! My life is now filled with strong and wonderful feelings of freedom and possibilities. I would love to share the journey with as many as possible. If you wonder about body/mind wholeness, if you feel an interest in this approach to healing, Dr. Levine’s book In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness is a must read!
And of course, visit my office and start your journey….:-)
Think you might be stressed? Answer yes or no to the following questions to see if your job is creating more anxiety than pleasure.
1. When I stop at a stoplight, I rail at the inconvenience.
If yes: A key sign of undue stress is getting irritated over minor things. “If the smaller situations in life start to bother you more than normal, it’s time to take a look,” says Tim O’Brien, director of the Institute for Stress Management. Realize what you can control, and what you can’t.
Editor’s note: This is a contribution by Jasmin Tanjeloff
As a Libra, my sign is the scale, which signifies balance. I’m not sure how much my “signage” plays into my desire to live a balanced life, but I do know that the more balanced I feel, the more free I feel.
In my work I am often reminded that what works for some people does not necessarily work for others; and that one person’s idea of balance may not constitute anything remotely balanced from another person’s perspective. So I wanted to address the various elements of life that can require balancing and offer some suggestions to find the mix that works best for you.