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All across this country in small towns, rural areas and cities, alcoholism and drug abuse are destroying the lives of men, women and their families. Where to turn for help? What to do when friends, dignity and perhaps employment are lost?

The answer is Palm Partners Recovery Center. It’s a proven path to getting sober and staying sober.

Palm Partners’ innovative and consistently successful treatment includes: a focus on holistic health, a multi-disciplinary approach, a 12-step recovery program and customized aftercare. Depend on us for help with:

Suicidal Ideation: What You Need to Know

Suicide Ideation: What You Need to Know

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Shernide Delva

I wish I were dead.
Dying seems so much easier.
I hope I do not wake up tomorrow morning.

Have you ever had thoughts like these?  You are not the only one. Thinking about death and dying is not uncommon. We all question life and death at one point or another. However, when these suicidal thoughts continue for days, months, even years, they are far from healthy. Do you think like this? You should not have to live every day wanting to die.

Suicidal ideations are thoughts about or an unusual preoccupation with suicide. Suicidal ideation varies in severity depending on the person. It is difficult to define what suicidal ideations feels like for everyone.

Still, the grim reality is many go to sleep at night hoping they do not wake up the next morning. If this sounds all too familiar, you need to get professional help. Fighting these thoughts on your own for too long can lead you down a darker path.

The Variations of Suicidal Ideation:

  • Fleeting Thoughts– Thoughts about suicide and/or dying that come and go.
  • Extensive Thoughts– Thoughts last for much longer and are much more poignant, eventually becoming unmanageable.
  • Detailed Planning– Planning or idealizing concrete ways in which the suicide or death would take place.
  • Role Playing – Acting the suicide out. An example would be standing on a chair with a noose, with no set plans to commit suicide that day.
  • Incomplete Attempts– Also known as Parasuicides. Suicide attempts that are “deliberately constructed to not complete or to be discovered, or may be fully intended to result in death, but the individual survives (e.g., in the case of a hanging in which the cord breaks).”

Most people with suicidal ideations do not go on to make suicide attempts, but it is still considered a risk factor.

In 2008-09:

“An estimated 8.3 million adults aged 18 and over in the United States, or 3.7% of the adult US population, reported having suicidal thoughts in the previous year. An estimated 2.2 million in the US reported having made suicide plans in the past year.”

As you can see, those results reveal that suicidal thoughts can become worse over time, developing into suicidal plans putting a person at risk of suicide.

What Causes Suicidal Ideation?

The reason for suicidal ideation varies on a variety of circumstances. As you can imagine, suicidal ideation is generally associated with depression and other mood disorders. For example, a person with borderline personality disorder may exhibit suicidal behavior and thoughts. In fact, one study revealed 73% of patients with BPD have attempted suicide, with the average patient having 3.4 attempts.

Scientists believe there may be a genetic component to suicidal ideation. Just like many mental illnesses, genes may make a person more susceptible. Other associations with suicidal ideation include life events, family events, and chronic pain that can cause a vulnerable person to become preoccupied with suicidal thoughts.

Fast Facts:

  • Most people with suicidal thoughts do not carry them out to their conclusions.
  • There are about 30,000 suicides each year in America.
  • Roughly 4 in 5 American suicide victims are male.
  • Almost all suicides are associated with mental illness
  • In America, there are more suicides than homicides: 2:1

As you can see, suicide is a serious problem. While suicidal thoughts do not necessarily lead to suicide, living with these thoughts can be very destructive to one’s emotional and physical wellbeing. Suicidal thoughts should not become part of who you are. You should thrive for a life free from these thoughts.

While many are vocal with their thoughts, some people with suicidal ideation keep it to themselves. They seem happy on the outside, but on the inside, their thoughts continue to fester. Keeping it in is dangerous. Over time, suicidal thoughts make a person feel hopeless and angry. They feel like their feelings are not being heard or understood. They begin to feel unable to handle the grief and challenges of life.  This sense of bleakness can cause a person to feel like death is the only answer.

The Most Dangerous Part

The dangerous part of having suicide thoughts is keeping them inside and not getting help. Unfortunately, those that struggle with suicide ideation often feel their symptoms are not severe enough to need help. Do you really want to live the rest of your life feeling this way? You deserve to feel better than you do right now.

Without professional help, these thoughts may eventually become worse. There are a variety of options to help you if you struggle with these thoughts. A combination of therapy, exercise, medication and support groups are useful for helping navigate these feelings. While you may have read about these options before, ask yourself, have you given them a chance? Most people will read about treatment options all the time, yet never try to get help.

Life is challenging. You should not have to do everything on your own.The reality is there are treatment options available to those who live day to day in this mindset. Professionals are waiting to talk to you now.  If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

Top 10 Gambling Losers of History

Top 10 Gambling Losers of History

Author: Justin Mckibben

Gambling addiction is an impulse-control disorder, because there is a complete lack of control over the urge to gamble once it takes hold. Those who struggle with gambling addiction are in the grips of a behavioral health disorder that can destroy various aspects of their lives.

There are some infamous addicted gamblers out there, and some are fortunate to have the money to pay for it, but still looking at their recorded losses, it is enough to take heed how gambling can hurt anyone’s pockets. Here are the top 10 gambling losers of history, and how much they lost rolling the dice.

1. $2.25 Million- Robert Maxwell

In less than three minutes, the former media tycoon blew through more than $2 million by playing three different roulette wheels at Les Ambassadeurs casino in London. To make matters worse, there was no income to repay his debt as his successful publishing company went out of business several years later. He reportedly owed several million dollars, due to pension fraud, at the time of his death.

2. $3.15 Million- Jimmy White

Mr. White admitted to losing more than $3 million gambling, mainly on horse racing and blackjack, in addition to spending over $300,000 on drugs. Mr. White also admitted to having a severe alcohol abuse problem during the time he battled with drugs and gambling.. After losing the World Championship Finals in 1994, he admitted to spending his nearly $200,000 runner-up prize on drugs, horses, cards and drinking in only a 24 hour time frame.

3. $10 Million- Akio Kashiwagi

Akio Kashiwage was the sole principal of a real estate and investment business who reportedly made an estimated $100 million per year, the only problem was he gambled money away as quickly as he could earn it.

Reportedly during one particular gambling session in 1990 at the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City he made a deal to bet $12 million. But after blowing through $10 million, he reportedly left the casino claiming that they hadn’t held to their end of the deal.

He still owed casinos millions of dollars at the time of his death in 1992 when he was found murdered in his home.

4. $13 Million- Maureen O’connor

Maureen O’connor is a former mayor of San Diego who was once the wife of the Jack in the Box fast-food chain founder. O’Connor reportedly gambled $1 billion on video poker games throughout the 2000’s.

She eventually was in debt by $13 million through her gambling, which drove her to steal $2 million from the charity set up by her late husband in 2008-2009 to cover her losses, which resulted in the collapse of the foundation.

5. $20.5 Million- Harry Kakavas

Harry Kakavas was an Australian real estate salesman who blew through an estimated $1.5 billion at Melbourne Crown Casino between June 2005 and August 2006, primarily on games of baccarat.

In May 2006 he reportedly spent $164 million in less than six hours, and stole $286,000 to keep up his habit, which landed him a quick jail sentence at one point.

6.$40 Million- Archie Karas

This infamous poker player actually holds the longest-documented winning streak in gambling history. Karas started with $50 and miraculously wound up with about $40 million in 1992.

Any gambler would say to quit while you’re ahead, but Karas must not have got the memo, because he wound up burning through all the money by 1995 gambling.

7. $42.6 Billion- Kerry Packer

Kerry Packer was known as Australia’s richest man, and while he may be widely held as one of the top card players in the world of high-roller gambling, he is not above losing.

Packer gambled away $42 million between September 1999 and August 2000, including losing more than $21 million during a three-day baccarat-filled weekend in Las Vegas.

Packers losing streak didn’t end there, as he earned the largest gambling loss in British history after blowing through $17 million during a three-week gambling binge on blackjack in a London casino.

8. $65 Million- Omar Siddiqui

This unlucky gambler was a successful vice president of merchandising and operations for an electronics company, who eventually lost far more to his gambling.

Siddiqui lost around $65 million on blackjack, betting as much as $150,000 per hand, as if to throw the money away. He ended up spending $162 million in total over three years at the MGM Grand Casino and Sands Casino in Las Vegas.

9. $125 Million- Zhenli Ye Gon

Zhenli Ye Gon was raking in around $350 million over the course of three years as the CEO of United Pharm Chem. But gambling stepped in as a big part of his downfall, and between 2004 and 2007 Gon burned through around $85 million at The Venetian in Las Vegas and $40 million at several other nearby casinos.

Gon was also found guilty in august of 2014 of charges including organized crime, synthetic drug production and activities involving the use of illegal funds. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison as the leader of the operation after funneling a portion of his methamphetamine imports to the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico.

Mexican drug agents and American DEA officials raided his Mexico City home in 2007, where they made the largest drug-cash seizure of all time when they discovered $207 million sitting on the floor in U.S. hundred dollar bills.

10. $204 Million- Terry Wantanabe

The biggest loser on the list is Nebraska-born businessman Terry Wantanabe, whose father founded Oriental Trading Company. Mr. Wantanabe reportedly burned through 9… count it, 9 figures in just a single year!

It was originally claimed he had lost $127 million in 2007, but in 2010 a close review of casino records determined that he had actually lost $204 million! Apparently his gambling was so prolific he was his own tourist attraction.

Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. reported that 5.6% of its gambling revenue came directly from Watanabe himself for that entire year, and he was later caught up in a court case surrounding his gambling and debts in so much controversy he was at risk of spending 28 years in prison at one point!

Fortunately for him, the casino had indeed broken a few laws themselves, and a confidential deal was made between both parties, ending in his criminal charges being dropped.

Those are some seriously steep price-tags for throwing away money. The reality is, most people who suffer from gambling addiction end up spending far beyond their own means, and in the end the luck runs out. This kind of compulsive behavior can bring the world down on our heads, but it is not impossible to escape. Start betting on yourself and your future in the right way and get the help you need. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

Gaming Addiction is a Matter of Life and Death

 Gaming Addiction is a Matter of Life and Death

A 32-year-old man was found dead in an Internet cafe in Taiwan after a marathon three-day gaming binge, making this the island’s second death of an online gamer this year.

According to Jennifer Wu, a police spokesperson from the local precinct, the man entered the cafe in Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s second largest city, on January 6.

An employee at the café found him motionless and sprawled on a table at 10 a.m. on January 8. He was then rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead from cardiac failure.

“He has been unemployed for a long time, and internet cafes were the only place he could go to,” she said.

“His family said he would disappear for two to three days on end.”

It is not known exactly how long the man lay dead in the Internet cafe but police said his body had entered rigor mortis, meaning that it had already begun to stiffen – an indication that he must have been dead for at least several hours before being noticed.

Police further added that gamers in the café continued playing their online games as if nothing had happened, even when the police and paramedics arrived.

Gaming Addiction is a Matter of Life and Death

“The CCTV footage from the Internet cafe showed that he had a small struggle before he collapsed motionless,” said Wu.

A police statement added that the cold temperatures and over-exhaustion from the long hours spent playing games likely contributed to the man’s cardiac arrest.

According to the Taipei Times, the man was a “regular customer” who often played for consecutive days.

“When tired, he would sleep face down on the table or doze off slumped in his chair,” the staff member was quoted as saying.

“That is why we were not aware of his condition in the beginning.”

Video Game Addiction Has Affected Others

Marathon sessions of online gaming in Taiwan have resulted in other deaths recently, too.

Similarly, a 38-year-old man was also found dead at an Internet cafe in Taipei on January 1 after playing video games for five days straight.

And previously, back in 2012, the dead body of man went unnoticed for 10 hours by other gamers and staff. The victim in this case had also died while playing online games for a marathon session.

Addiction can involve behaviors not related to taking drugs or drinking excessively. Many people struggle with obsessions to compulsively do things that affect them negatively, whether you’re addicted to the internet, gaming, gambling, sex, eating, or any other behavior that is causing problems in your life, such as destroying relationships, your health, or interfering with your job, please call us at toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist. This is someone who is trained and equipped to answer your questions. Often times, it’s someone who is in recovery from some form of addiction, themselves.  

Help for Gaming Addiction

Help for Gaming Addiction

Help for Gaming Addiction: What is Gaming Addiction?

Video game addiction is described as an excessive or compulsive use of computer games or video games, like online gaming, which interferes with a person’s everyday life. Video game addiction may present as compulsive game-playing that is paired with increased social isolation, mood swings, diminished imagination, and hyper-focus on in-game achievements, to the exclusion of other events in life.

Help for Gaming Addiction: It’s a Real Problem for Some

And, although some would disagree whether or not this is a real addiction, you can follow any kind of news trends and find instances that sound a lot like there really is such a thing as gaming addiction; cases such as people suffering exhaustion after playing video games for 50 hours straight, teens killing their parents for taking away their games, and parents neglecting infants while being mesmerized by the online world.

And now, more recently, cases in which people have died after online gaming binges: two such cases occurred already in 2015 (and we’re still in first month of the new year); the other of which occurred in 2012.

The medical community recognizes certain behaviors – not just the abuse of substances as many think – as addictive. According to psychiatrist Michael Brody, MD, the following are criteria for an addiction:

  • The person needs more and more of a substance or behavior to get through the day
  • If the person does not get more of the substance or behavior, they become irritable and miserable

Help for Gaming Addiction: Treatment

Similar to treatment for substance abuse and addiction, there are rehabilitation centers that offer programs for addictive behaviors such as gambling and online gaming. Rehabs that provide help for gaming addiction do this in several ways.

The first way that treatment helps is it separates the gamer from the materials they need in which to continue “using.” In this way, the process of breaking the cycle of gaming can begin. You will be in a comfortable and safe place where you will begin to heal from the obsession and compulsivity to get online and continue gaming.

The second way in which help for gaming addiction works is that it will offer you healthy coping tools for dealing with the behaviors that have come to control your life. Through group and individual therapy sessions, you will address the ways your gaming addiction has negatively impacted your life and learn to rebuild relationships, specifically, and a life anew, in general.

Individual therapy will allow you to speak one-on-one with a licensed therapist with whom you will formulate a treatment plan and set treatment goals that you want to accomplish while getting help for gaming addiction.

Group sessions are just as important to your rehabilitation. Peer support has been shown to be immensely beneficial to the client who wishes to get over their gaming addiction. This works in two ways: you will receive peer support and feedback as well as be able to give support and feedback, which will help you form connections for yourself when it comes to healing and recovering from your online gaming addiction or other video game addiction.

Do you experience obsessive thoughts and a compulsion to engage is certain behaviors? Has it made your life unmanageable – causing strained relationships, financial problems, and other negative consequences such as risks to your health? Do you feel irritable and moody when you try to stop? It might be time to seek professional help. Call an Addiction Specialist today at toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

Study May Pinpoint the Part of Brain That Triggers Addiction

Study May Pinpoint the Part of Brain That Triggers Addiction

A new study has identified a part of brain that could trigger addiction. This is the same part of the brain that processes emotion.

The new findings of a new study were published in the latest issue of the Journal of Neuroscience and reveals that the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for processing emotions, could also be instrumental in the development of drug addiction among some individuals.

Researchers at the University of Michigan conducted a study using rats and focused on the brain’s almond-shaped mass that can also create intense cravings for foods high in sugar. A laser light was used to stimulate the rats’ brains, which would light up for a few seconds whenever they pushed a lever to earn a sugary treat. A second lever, when pushed by the rats, would also earn them a treat but, did not include the amygdala activation.

What the scientists found was that the rats only focused on the lever that triggered their amygdala, ignoring the second one. Furthermore, the laser proved to be meaningless to the rats if there was no sugary treat provided.

Study May Pinpoint the Part of Brain That Triggers Addiction

These findings suggest how and why addictive drugs can be so compelling to use when the amygdala region of the brain is triggered.

“One reason they can be so problematic for certain individuals is their ability to become almost the sole focus of their daily lives, at the cost of one’s health, job, family and general well-being,” said the study’s lead author, Mike Robinson, a former post-doctoral U-M fellow and currently an assistant professor of psychology at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. “Understanding the pathways involved in addictive-like behavior could provide new therapeutic avenues for treating addiction and other compulsive disorders.”

Another study, which was released last October, also focused on the brain’s role in the triggering and development of addiction, and concluded that the brains of gambling addicts function differently than those of drug addicts. Researchers in London and Cambridge found that compulsive gamblers’ opioid systems reacted differently but, that they also didn’t release nearly as many endorphins as those without gambling addiction. What this means is this: in order to experience the same “rush” as a non-addict, gambling addicts must do more, which could further fuel their addiction.

This is exciting news considering there is still much debate regarding the nature of addiction. Although the ‘disease model’ has been around for more than half a century, understanding addiction is still muddy waters, and a strong negative stigma still haunts the disease, as many people’s perception is that becoming addicted to a substance or a behavior has more to do with willpower than brain chemistry.

Any kind of addiction, whether it’s food addiction, gambling addiction, alcohol addiction, or drug addiction, is a serious medical condition for which help is available. Please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak with an Addiction Specialist. We are available around the clock to take your call.

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