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3 Kinds of Selfie Takers Out There: Which Kind Are You?

3 Kinds of Selfie Takers Out There: Which Kind Are You?

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

Author: Justin Mckibben

What kind of selfie do you usually snap? Is it one with an obscene amount of editing to look glamorous? Is it one of you and the family at dinner or out in some exotic location on vacation? Or is it a pic of you and a volunteer crew at a charity event? When you hashtag and share it, what does that selfie say about you? What is the message you are trying to send?

Before we have talked about the dangers of obsessive selfie taking, and I have personally related to how the ‘selfie society’ of today could be risky for those struggling with addiction or mental health concerns, presenting issues with narcissism or relating to depression when correlated an obsession with social media. So what kind of selfies contribute to these issues?

Well, that much might be said about all of them, depending on who you ask. The one question that might hit closer to home is- what kind of selfie taker are you?

Recent a group of BYU communications master’s students, feeling themselves surrounded by the selfie-saturated culture that is social media, decided to ask the question: what is the method to the selfie madness? This has proven to not just be a millennial problem, because your uncle and aunt do it, just like your bosses and teachers. Grandma might not be all that good at it, but she takes plenty of selfies anyway.

So why do people of all ages, cultures, genders and religions take and share selfies?

Are We All Narcissists?

Some people would say that ‘this generation’ is so self-absorbed, but again; it isn’t just one group. The answer, at least one we hear so often, is simply narcissism. But are we all narcissists?

Naaaaaaah, can’t be.

Actually, in a study recently published in Visual Communication Quarterly, those same five BYU student researchers took a closer look. In their data they show that individuals’ motives often range far past self-obsession. Sometimes our selfies are actually taken with purpose, whether we notice or not.

Steven Holiday, who completed his master’s in 2015 and is now pursuing a Ph.D. at Texas Tech, is one of the co-authors. Of this latest topic Holiday states,

“It’s important to recognize that not everyone is a narcissist,”

So to be clear on the idea of true narcissism and the connection we often misguidedly make to selfies, we should look at the definition. To refresh your memory:

  • Narcissism is defined as the pursuit of gratification from vanity, or egotistic admiration of one’s own physical or mental attributes, that derive from arrogant pride.
  • Narcissistic personality disorder(NPD) – is a condition that is estimated to affect only 1% of the population.

After analyzing survey results and interviews, researchers say they can identify three categories of selfie-takers:

  1. Communicators

These are individuals who take selfies primarily to engage with others for some reason. They don’t just do it for their face on a cause, but to draw followers into a conversation. One of the survey’s co-authors and current student Maureen “Mo” Elinzano states,

“They’re all about two-way communication,”

So it isn’t about the spotlight on them, it’s about shining to give others a reason to shine.

An example of this is when the election season came around and everyone, including celebrities, took an “I voted” selfie to plaster on Instagram. These photos aren’t (always) meant to brag about the individual, they are about calling others to action. People talk a lot about opinions on social media, so some people take a selfie as an opportunity to inspire action.

  1. Autobiographers

This type of selfie taker uses the art of the selfie as a tool to record key events in their lives. This autobiography isn’t necessarily to show off to their followers, but to try and preserve significant memories for themselves and their loved ones.

This group of selfie takers does also want others to see their photos and enjoy them, but they aren’t necessarily doing it for the feedback. They are cataloging their lives for their own benefit, not for the engagement that the Communicators are.

For example, plenty of people will have entire albums on Facebook dedicated to specific trips or events. They don’t (always) organize these specifically for likes as much as they do for their trips down memory lane.

  1. Self-publicists

This infamous category is the one everyone typically assumes a selfie taker falls into, but it is actually the smallest of the three groups. These are the ones who are closely linked to more narcissistic characteristics.

The coauthor Harper Anderson states the self-publicists “are the people who love documenting their entire lives,”

Harper Anderson, who is also now pursuing a Ph.D. at Texas Tech, went on to say that in recording and sharing their entire lives, these selfie takers are hoping to present their narrative in a trendy and desirable light.

Think the Kardashians. Without any real sustenance, these selfies are just for the sake of “look at me everyone” without actually having a connection to a cause.

The Collage

Personally, I present the idea of a collage style world where sometimes we blur these lines a bit. Some people may read these three types and say “I do all of these” and I get that. Perhaps we are all likely to have varied traits, but perhaps we can admit that one of these styles is our dominant selfie taking self. In this event, we can more closely examine if we are impacting our mental health; maybe even that of others.

Holiday went on to describe that identifying and categorizing the three groups is valuable in part because-

“…it’s a different kind of photography than we’ve ever experienced before…I can go on Facebook or Instagram and see that people have a desire to participate in a conversation. It’s an opportunity for them to express themselves and get some kind of return on that expression.”

Another co-author Matt Lewis states

“…years from now, our society’s visual history is going to be largely comprised of selfies. To find out why people do it, that contributes a lot to the discussion on selfies and visual communication in general.”

Our world isn’t just one picture at a time. Every moment is a collage of events happens simultaneously. We exchange the currency of our stories through an ever-expanding network of social media sites and while at times we may seem obsessive or impulsive, at least we are trying to use our new tools to connect.

It may seem strange, but I do think that regardless of whether you’re climbing a mountain in Africa, raising awareness for people struggling somewhere, or simply showing off your new hair-cut, we all have something to offer.

We all have something worth sharing.

Take that selfie. Post it. Let the “double tap” fall where it may.

The selfie is like a socially accepted addiction, and while mental health has been a close conversation to it, we hope that we can continue to learn from our compulsions and be able to help others. Mental health issues and drug or alcohol abuse frequently co-exist. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call now.

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Charlie Sheen Reflects On Past: Blames ‘Tiger Blood’ Rants On Roid Rage

Charlie Sheen Reflects On Past: Blames 'Tiger Blood' Rants On Roid Rage

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

Author: Shernide Delva

Do you remember Charlie Sheen’s crazy antics back in 2011? Actually, a better question would be, who doesn’t remember?

Here are just a few crazy quotes from those days:

“I have a 10,000-year-old brain and the boogers of a 7-year-old. That’s how I describe myself.”

“I’m tired of pretending I’m not a total bitchin’ rock star from Mars, and people can’t figure me out; they can’t process me. I don’t expect them to. You can’t process me with a normal brain.”

And crowd favorites:

“I’m not bi-polar, I’m bi-winning.”

“I don’t know man, I was bangin’ seven gram rocks and finishing them because that’s how I roll, I have one speed, I have one gear … go!”

Along with mentions of Adonis blood and tiger blood DNA, these quotes from Sheen are difficult for anyone to forget, including Sheen himself.   Jokes aside, that period in Charlie Sheen’s life was indeed a tumultuous one.

Fortunately, quite some time has passed since then. Now, Sheen is opening up about that part of his life and his current mental state.

In an interview with Michael Strahan on Good Morning America, Charlie Sheen explained that during his 2011 meltdown, he was actually using testosterone cream. According to Sheen, the cream he was using “metabolizes into basically a roid rage” and led him to the out-of-control moments memorably caught on camera.

Sheen initially started using testosterone cream in a bid to “keep the old libido up,” he says. However, he was using way above the recommended dosage. Looking back, Sheen feels like a combination of the roid rage and his personal vendetta led to the rampage.

“The whole odyssey, that was basically an accidental roid rage. But there’s some good quotes that came out of it, right?” he joked. “There’s a few fun moments. So bizarre. It’s so bizarre.”

Although Sheen is no longer on the testosterone cream, he admits he can not blame all his actions on the product.

“I think, ultimately, in our blueprint, in our DNA, I believe that we are the sum total of all of our experiences, good and bad. But they don’t lead the charge,” he said. “It’s fun to kind of watch sometimes, but also just a little bit cringeable. It’s like, ‘Dude, what the hell was that?'”

Towards the end of 2015, Charlie Sheen publicly announced his HIV diagnosis. Now, 11 months later, Sheen says he is feeling better than ever. He is part of an FDA study for a new HIV treatment.  However, things were not always so positive. In the early days of his diagnosis, he admits he became suicidal.

“The day I was diagnosed, I immediately wanted to eat a bullet.”

“But my mom was there,” he said. “I wouldn’t do that in front of her or let her find me to clean up that mess.”


Now, Sheen considers himself to be an advocate for others.

“I’m carrying the torch for a lot of folks out there that are suffering from the same thing,” he explained.

For a while, Sheen was making very questionable decisions regarding his HIV treatments. Last year, on an episode of The Dr. Oz Show, Sheen said he was opting for alternative therapies in Mexico instead of traditional HIV medication. Sheen hired Dr. Sam Chachoua, a physician not licensed to practice medicine in the United States. Not too long after, he began to see negative consequences from the move.

Right before taping, Sheen was told that there were detectable traces of HIV in his blood, a stark contrast from his state two months ago. These results led Sheen to conclude that he should immediately return to his normal treatments.  Now, Sheen is part of an FDA study which, if approved, will result in a better treatment for HIV patients.

“It’s in the late stages of its trial run. We are very close to being approved,” Sheen said. “It is not this hideous cocktail that leads to so many side effects, emotionally and physically. It’s one shot a week. I feel like I’m carrying the torch for a lot of folks out there who are suffering from the same thing.”

Charlie Sheen has a new movie, Mad Families, now released on the popular online streaming website Crackle. While he won’t call the movie a comeback, he considers it a “stepping stone” in the new direction of his life.

Despite the criticism, Charlie Sheen has managed to progress from the person he was in 2011. His HIV diagnosis has motivated him to be an advocate for other, and he has slowly turned his life around. If Charlie Sheen can do it, what is stopping you from taking the next step? If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, please call now. Do not wait. Call toll-free today.

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All About the High Functioning Addict

 

 All About the High Functioning Addict

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

Author: Shernide Delva

You wake up at 8 a.m. sharp, jump in the shower, eat breakfast, watch the morning news and go to work. You come home from work, spend time with family, kiss your spouse and go to bed at 9 p.m. On the outside; you look like a person who has it all together. However, on the inside, you are battling an addiction and are too afraid to admit you have a problem. Besides, everything seems to be going fine, right?

Sound familiar?

If the above sounds like you, you are a functioning addict. The functioning addict looks like the average person. They are not homeless, nor are they unemployed. Most people are unaware they even have a problem. They might be excelling at work, and paying their bills on time. However, on the inside, they are constantly thinking about where their next high will come from. This is the addict that lives next door.

Unfortunately, the stigma of drug addiction leaves most with imagery of a homeless, dirty beggar.  Many assume a drug addict has to be homeless, incarcerated or in poor physical health. However, as most of us know by now, this is far from the case. The prescription painkiller epidemic has shifted the image of the average drug addict from a person on the streets to the everyday member of society. An addict comes in many faces. It could be your next door neighbor, the stay-at-home mom, or even the doctor or well-regarded priest. Addiction crosses all areas of society.

About the High-Functioning Addict

If you are a functioning addict, you are less likely to get help for your addiction because you believe you have your addiction under control. On top of that, most will not believe your addiction is real. However, the reality is your addiction is very real and very dangerous. While you might be able to keep your addiction secret, in the beginning, things will eventually get worse. Eventually, your addiction will become unmanageable.

The truth is, it can happen to anyone. In 2011, Whoopi Goldberg of the television show, The View, confessed:

“I was a functioning drug addict; I showed up for work because I knew a lot of people would be out of work and I wouldn’t get a check that I needed to buy my drugs.”

A statement like this is all too common for the functioning addict. They know they need to keep working to keep their addiction alive. If the paychecks dwindle, the “functioning” part of their addiction will soon fall apart.

Addiction: The Real Definition

Addiction has little to do with your ability to keep your life together. Addiction is addiction whether your families or friends believe you have a problem. Addiction does not depend on your work status or your relationship with your family. While the fall of these things typically results on an addict finally getting treatment, addiction does not depend on these factors falling apart.

Addiction is a chronic brain disease caused by substance use and abuse. This substance use results in changes in the brain that make it very difficult for a person to control their desire to use, and therefore control their substance use.

Just like any addict, a high functioning addict has a compulsive need to use and abuse their d.o.c (drug of choice). Even though you might be able to maintain your relationship, friendship, and occupation, you still have a serious problem. If left unaddressed, you can suffer serious health consequences and your addiction will eventually become too consuming to hide any longer.

Could It Be Me?

If you think you might be a functioning drug addiction, look at the following questions and answer them honestly. If you find you are having more “yes” answers than no’s, the time is now to talk to a professional about your addiction.

  • When you start drinking or using, do you find it hard to stop?
  • Do you often think about using drugs or drinking?
  • Do you schedule your time around drinking or using drugs?
  • Have you tried to stop before, but found that you were unable to?
  • Do you drink or use drugs at work?
  • Do you drink or use drugs first thing in the morning?
  • Do you hide your abuse from others?
  • Have you done something risky, like driven drunk?
  • Are you worried about your abuse?

If you are a high-functioning addict, chances are you worry about seeking treatment because you fear it might cost you your job, family, or both. However, there are various options that can be discussed with your treatment center and job to negotiate a plan that works best for you.

Remember, there is no cookie-cutter type for an addict. Addicts come from all walks of life and income brackets. They vary in race, religion and sexuality. Every addict deserves to live a life free from addiction. Hiding from addiction will never help you beat addiction. Stand up and face your addiction today. The time is now. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135. 

 

How Daniel Radcliffe Maintains His Sobriety

How Daniel Radcliffe Maintains His Sobriety

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

Author: Shernide Delva

The actor most known for his role as Harry Potter has come a long way since the days of dark arts and wizardry. Daniel Radcliffe received his first role in Harry Potter at age 11. Now nearly 15 years later, the 26-year-old actor speaks out about his battle with alcoholism, being “attracted to chaos,” and how he managed to stay sober for the past three years.

Daniel Radcliffe revealed his struggles with alcoholism back in 2011. He admitted that he has struggled with alcohol for quite some time and even was drunk during the filming of some of the Harry Potter movies.  As a Harry Potter nerd, it was hard to imagine Radcliffe intoxicated in scenes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.

Escaping Harry Potter

Furthermore, to escape the Potter Role and become a “real actor,” Radcliffe says he began dabbling in casual sex and whiskey.

I don’t think I was consciously trying to rebel or sabotage everything,” he said,  “It felt more like there isn’t any blueprint for how to get through this. And the reason I spoke out about it was because I felt someone else would and I should take control…which is exactly what I did.”

Radcliffe said he believed his acting and performance in the movies were subpar, due to a variety of factors including his drinking behaviors. However, he managed to stay sober for a few years before relapsing in 2012.

NYC Bar Scandal

In December of 2012, Radcliffe was allegedly booted from a bar in New York City.  Patrons witnessed Radcliffe “pounding Jagerbombs” before he ended up in an alcohol-fueled fight with the DJ.

The good news is after his brief relapse; the 26-year-old actor has now been sober for three years. In a recent interview with The Telegraph, the 26-year-old actor reflected on his battle with alcoholism.  These days, Radcliffe says he feels much more stable.

“I feel a lot more settled mentally, and am more comfortable with what makes me happy,” said Radcliffe about his life today. “More comfortable with the fact that I am a person that loves just hanging out with my friends. Or watching quiz shows. I am comfortable with the things about myself that I used to think, man, am I really boring? Should I be going out and getting wasted all the time?”

How Radcliffe Leads An Exciting Sober Life

Radcliffe is far from boring. He now enjoys leading a sober life.  He has starred in a variety of plays and has two new films this year, Now You See Me 2, and Swiss Army Man.  Although Radcliffe’s social life may differ from the habits of the average twenty-something, Radcliffe knows his old ways were “clearly not good” for him.

“I change when I’m drunk. I’m one of those people who changes,” he said.

 Behavioral change is a common symptom of alcohol dependency. These days, the actor stays sober in various ways. One of the main ones is exercising. Radcliffe said he was taking five-hour walks in the beginning whenever he had the craving to drink. Now, he sticks to running and going to the gym.

“Like the cliché of anybody who is quitting something, I really got into exercise,” he said.

The actor also enjoys reading and going to restaurants and supermarkets. He stated that he had regained his love for reading that he had lost because of his drinking behaviors.  While Radcliffe occasionally still will frequent bars and clubs, he now had limits to this kind of behavior.

“I go to restaurants. I go to the pub for a bit but then I’m like, OK, if you’re all staying and getting drunk then I’m going to go because I can’t do that,” he explained.

Exercise and Books

Exercise and reading are excellent ways to overcome any addiction. Exercise releases endorphins that help regenerate happy chemicals in the brain. Reading is a great way of entering a whole new world with different stories. Finding activities you enjoy and learning how to have fun sober is the key to having a successful recovery.

Recovery can be different at first, but it does not have to be challenging. The key is to find your interests and focus on those instead of abusing substances. However, if you are struggling, we are always here to help. Call today. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

The Big Misconception about Depression

The Big Misconception about Depression

Author: Justin Mckibben

These days it seems a greater number of Americans are attentive to the issues and risks related to mental health disorders, especially compared to once upon a time when people drastically stigmatized any kind of psychological impairment or illness and people who suffered with left with little to no choice but to be subjected to all manner of experimentation and examinations. Thankfully we no longer rely on drowning people or performing crude brain surgeries to cure mental health.

There was a day when the world of medicine in relation to mental health was fueled by only myth and misconception, and considering how powerful and yet how fragile the mind can be it did a lot of damage, but we have taken some remarkable steps as a society since then.

Then again… sometimes, in attempts to trying to debunk one old harmful myth, society actually ends up just replacing it with another- case in point- civilization spent thousands of years treating clinical depression with advice that ranged from “turn that frown upside down” to “Have another drink” and of course the latter has contributed to increased alcohol abuse, while the two afflictions of depression and alcoholism feed off each other in a vicious cycle that often ends in tragedy.

So why is it our new perspective is so skewed?

The Chemical Imbalance (Mis)Concept

In the more modern age the majority of people see depression as a chemical imbalance in the brain, and chalk it up to bad science. In this case we’ve developed over time a more practical understanding of chemical imbalances in the brain and have gotten incredibly efficient at making and marketing medications to alleviate them to varying degrees. As always, there is a such thing as too much of a good thing- so, these days, any time someone mentions depression societies knee-jerk reaction is to diagnose you with a chemical imbalance and tell you to get on pills.

One huge fault with this chemical imbalance concept, which goes largely unspoken, is that it creates the illusion that depressed people are living a normal, happy life and seeing a distorted gray haze instead, thus suggesting that there are no other elements at play in depression, which is simply not the case.

Depressed people are not all just depressed because their brain is malfunctioning, there is so much more to it.

The Real Deal with Depression

So what is the real deal with depression?

Spoiler Alert: Nobody really knows.

If we are talking full-disclosure, the drugs advertised on TV are said to barely work better than placebos, which do actually work pretty well, along with exercise, hobbies and alternative treatments.

The truth is the best answer seems to consistently vary from patient to patient. Now if depression was just a matter of chemical imbalance, this wouldn’t be the case and there would be a one-size-fits-all recovery method to treat depression. But it’s not that simple, because if you look at the causes and risk factors for depression, alongside the biological stuff (neurotransmitters, hormones), you see things like:

  • Death of a loved one
  • Being homosexual in an unsupported environment
  • Chronic pain

In other words, it’s not just because your brain is broken and you’re ungrateful… sometimes people are depressed because their lives are depressing! Imagine that!

Also, to smash the concept of what I’ll call the “delusional depression” there have been numerous studies suggesting that depressed people are not only completely connected with reality, they’re actually more up aware and awake than most. Psychologists have coined the term “depressive realism” and have described depressed people as:

  • Consistently more realistic
  • Have a better sense of the passage of time
  • Unusually level-headed and rational view of both themselves and the world around them

So depressed people are not truly delusional about their circumstances which fuel an unrealistic depression.

The point to us breaking this down and trying to debunk the old mythology behind depression is just to point out that while science and biology make a contribution to the way the mind works and someone with depression processing things doesn’t mean there aren’t other areas that need to be addressed, to urge people to understand some magic pill doesn’t fix everything!

Truly overcoming depression means incorporating new coping skills in recovery with patterns of behavior that support emotional health along with any medications, while working a treatment plan to avoid reliance on drugs to make you happy. Far too many depressed people in the world turn to drug to make them happy and die looking for happiness that way. Depression is assiduously more intrusive and intimate, not to be summed up to defective wiring in the brain but to be understood as an issue with several levels or influence. Because of the nature of depression the best way to try and heal is holistically, so that every aspect of the individuals life has a chance to be nurtured and find a new fulfilled foundation.

As someone who has thoroughly struggled through onerous and vexing periods in life, before and after a desolating battle with addiction to drugs and alcohol, I can say that I see both sides of the portrait of depression. I have had times where even though my life was OK, the world still felt like it was burning at the foundation and toppling over on the inside. I’ve also had times of bliss brutally interrupted by tragedy that has dropped me back to the darkness where depression and dejection thrive against the hearts will to overcome. All-in-all I would say to get the full picture of depression you have to acknowledge all the colors and paint the contrast with the contemporary.

Depression often comes hand in hand with other destructive behaviors, and too often people are paralyzed by drug addiction and depression. Thankfully dual diagnosis treatment is out there, and Palm Partners takes pride in an outstanding dual diagnosis program. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135  

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