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4 Signs to Evaluate Your Relationship

 

4 Signs to Re-evaluate Your Relationship

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

Author: Shernide Delva

A toxic relationship can have a negative toll on your life, especially in recovery. Most of us want to find a partner we can share a connection with; however, settling for less is not the answer. While some relationship struggles are a common part of any relationship, there are some things that can hinder even the most promising connection from being able to grow. In these situations, it might be time to re-evaluate whether the relationship you have is worth holding on to.

A recent article explored signs that partners need to evaluate before they consider staying or letting go of a relationship. A summarized version of the article will help you understand the dynamics of your relationships worth working on and the areas that are a major red flag.

4 Signs to Evaluate Your Relationship

  1. One Person is Doing ALL the Work

    Relationships take compromise which means it takes two people to make it work. If you are putting more effort than your partner to the relationship, the relationship will falter. Your relationship will not work until both people are on board. Relationships are very difficult to keep going, and both partners must be fully invested to make it work. No matter how much effort you are putting in, your partnership will not last unless your significant other is working equally hard. You both need to be giving your all. The tremendous amount of compromise, forgiveness, and affection that a healthy partnership requires is too much for one person to bear alone. If you are in a one-sided relationship, it might be time to leave and find somebody who is willing to share the weight and treat you with fairness and respect.

  2. Your Life Plans Are Opposite

    You want to travel the world while your partner wants to settle down and have children. You want to roam the streets of the city while your partner wants to live on a farm. Partners not headed to the same destination eventually end up on rocky terms. One will have to compromise their dreams for the other person. The other partner will have the bear the guilt of being with someone who sacrificed everything for them. This deep resentment can interfere in the love that two partners have created together. Unfortunately, this is a very complicated problem to have and required deep evaluating. Remember, your health and recovery are a priority and ultimately, you must choose the lifestyle that sets you up for the most success. To find a relation that works, be true to your soul and seek out a partner whose life path matches your own.

  3. When Times Get Hard, You Separate

    Learning to lean on your partner during the challenging times of the relationship can be hard. However, if you only stay together during the good times, that is a huge red flag. There are more struggles waiting for you down the road, and these are major predictors of what is to come. If you find you or your partner distance during a challenge rather than come together, you may need help learning how to come together. Ultimately, pushing each other away will weaken your bond and breed insecurities.

  1. You Do Not Accept Each Other’s Authentic Self

    One of the best parts of a committed relationship is knowing your partner loves you despite your flaw. While you both should work on strengthening your flaws, you should feel safe around your partners. If you can not lean on your partner for support, or if your partner makes you feel self-conscious and guilty when it comes to your flaws, that can damage the trust in a relationship. When it comes to recovery, there are areas you are going to continue to be working on, a partner who chips away at your flaws will lower your self-esteem. If you feel you are constantly trying to appear perfect to your partner, it could be time to evaluate the relationship. A relationship that does not allow you to be your true authentic self is a relationship not worth having.

Letting go of a relationship is a difficult and personal decision. However, breaking free of a destructive relationship can open you up to the possibility of a stronger one. Do not settle for less than you deserve. Recovery is about finding the tools to optimize your chance of success. A bad relationship will only hinder you in your journey. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

Pokémon Go: The New Digital Addiction

Pokémon Go: The New Digital Addiction

Author: Justin Mckibben

Let’s talk about Pokémon Go, why not? Considering literally everyone else in the world is, why shouldn’t we get in on the action? Ever since this new phenomenon has hit the streets in the form of an interactive smartphone app that is quickly consuming the lives of customers all over America there have been some pretty intense stories. It seems the game is probably one of the most instantaneously addictive things on the market right now, so of course it brings to mind previous conversations on:

I can personally say I was pretty amused when my roommate stumbled out of his room at 2 AM in his underwear chasing invisible creatures through the apartment via his phone like a mad man…

Apparently, there is some rare breed of something hiding in my closet… but I digress…

People have become obsessed overnight with this game. It seems any time you walk into a room with anyone around the age of… being alive… you are going to be an obstacle in their mission of hunting some pixelated Pokémon. Some people are worried about how obsessed people have become. Others insist it has done wonders for their mental health. So I wanted to take a look at some of these interesting theories.

What is it?

Essentially Pokémon Go is a game based on a Nintendo-owned franchise that was especially popular in the late 1990’s. This new smartphone game uses a phone’s GPS and clock to detect where and when people are in the game. Then it makes Pokémon “appear” around you.

No, not literally… but you can see them through your phone camera on the screen… so basically real life, right?

The idea is to go and catch them. Different and more types of Pokémon will appear depending on where you are and what time it is.

Mental Health

First let us say that many of these claims can’t be fully legitimized at this time. However, Twitter users seem confident in what they see happening with others and experiencing themselves regarding mental health and Pokémon Go. One Twitter user put it as:

Pokémon Go is literally making people with depression and anxiety and agoraphobia leave the house and explore and socialize.”

Which when you examine the nature of the game does actually make some sense. Pokémon Go requires users to go into the outside world and explore to find Pokémon and items.

Many players have said that the game gives them an incentive to get out of the house and be active. It inspires some to exercise and spend time outdoors, while having fun and interacting with others. Now if you look at it this way, how could it not do some good for mental health?

I honestly had to wonder this myself when the game was first announced. As I watched co-workers and friends wonder aimlessly through parking lots and gather together to share their latest catches, I figured this was giving us a new way to get outside more and get active with one another. Maybe it’s not so bad, right?

Then there is the argument of if the trade-off is worth it for having teens and young adults yet again dragged too deep into their phones. This concern also makes sense to me. If you have this new obsession with constantly striving to “catch em all” then how will your personal relationships and responsibilities suffer? I don’t know anyone personally, but you can be sure a few people have already lost their jobs or blown off their dates to chase Pikachu around a grocery store.

Pokémon Related Injury

This is one side-effect I definitely saw coming, but I was not aware of the magnitude that it might manifest in. Already Pokémon– related injuries are being reported all over the country. So many people have admitted in social media forums that they completely forgot where they were, dropping all focus on their surroundings.

One Reddit user’s story has made the rounds online about ending up in the ER on night after falling into a ditch and fracturing bones in their foot 30 minutes into playing the game. There are even accounts of drivers getting into traffic accidents because they were playing the game out the window while driving.

To be fair, the makers of the game did make a warning to be aware of surroundings.

Risky Rocket Business

This should be taken as a serious warning if nothing else. The game has been notably misused already. Police in O’Fallon, Missouri have reported four people suspected of armed robberies involving Pokémon Go. The suspects reportedly placed beacons, which are a feature available in the game to interact with the surroundings, to lure people to their locations where they robbed them. 11 teenagers have been mugged this way so far, according to this initial report.

So #TeamRocket is becoming an actual thing… and they are freaking people out. Is this gaming addiction really that serious? Do people really need to risk their lives, or the lives of others, for these imaginary monsters?

Most Addictive App Ever?

Some are already calling Pokémon Go the most addictive gaming app ever. It has experienced a number of technical issues since its launch, including server crashes and other issues. Still, for a FREE gaming app with all this hype, it is doing pretty well for itself. Looking back there was Pokémon Blue and other titles for the franchise. People have been working their way up to this all along.

The question remains- what could this do for people’s mental health? If it really is that addictive, what consequences will it reap on those who have a tendency of taking things too far? Will we see a spike in gaming addiction and obsessive behaviors? Or will it actually have a mixed impact as it lures people out of their homes and into their communities. Some surprising testimonies have told how random strangers in a community come together, united over the teams they choose and to make strategies for how to play.

So next time you see someone blindly following their phone into on-coming traffic… maybe they are just trying to track down a Evee or a Squirtle? Maybe you should save them from themselves and keep them on the sidewalk… or some of you will probably hope to have the Pokémon to yourself… FOR SHAME!

Addiction can involve behaviors not related to taking drugs or drinking excessively. You can be 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. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call us at 1-800-951-6135

Trigger Warnings: Have We Taken It Too Far?

Trigger Warnings: Have We Taken It Too Far?

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

Author: Shernide Delva

*Trigger Warning* This piece discusses trigger warnings. Please avoid if you are uncomfortable with the idea of questioning whether or not trigger warnings should exist.

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The use of trigger warnings has become more mainstream. Now, some are wondering if this generation has taken it too far. Are we overdoing the trigger warnings?

In case you do not know, a “trigger” is something that triggers a negative or uncomfortable reaction. “Trigger Warnings” work to warn people the content they are about to see or read could make them uncomfortable. Trigger warnings give people the option of avoiding content that could cause emotional distress.

Recently, many have observed that society has become more socially conscious or “politically correct.” Whether or not that is a positive thing is a manner of opinion. However, the use of “trigger warnings” have undeniably increased in use.

Initially, trigger warnings spawned from post-traumatic stress disorders.  Those who suffer from PTSD benefit from these warnings because they are more sensitive to sensory input.  Anything from a film or piece of media might trigger a person with PTSD and cause them to suffer PTSD symptoms. It could be as simple as a sound or smell, physical space, a particular object, or a person. Anything that reminds the mind of a past trauma can result in PTSD symptoms.  A person with PTSD may find trigger warnings helpful because it helps them avoid situations that trigger their PTSD symptoms.

The problem with trigger warnings is that everyone is affected differently. Even arbitrary things can be triggering for someone. It is natural for people to be more sensitive to things than others. We all come from a diverse background and upbringing. The question is whether protecting people from possible triggers is beneficial. Everyone is different. If everyone has one, should they all be accommodated? Are we becoming overly sensitive to other people’s “triggers?”

Do Trigger Warnings Help Those With Mental Health Issues?

An article in The Atlantic thoroughly questions whether or not trigger warnings are beneficial to those who have mental health challenges like anxiety and depression. The author argues that trigger warnings create a “fortune telling” society in which people prepare for the worse every time they speak.  The act of “fortune telling” involves “seeing the potential danger in an everyday situation.”

On some college campuses, students demand trigger warnings for classic novels like The Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye. They argue that the sexually explicit content, violence, and language of these books should come with a trigger warning.  As an avid reader, I find the concept of this unusual. While it is true that some students will react more to the content than others, are trigger warnings helping or hurting these developing students?

PTSD and Anxiety: Do Trigger Warnings Benefit Them?

For those who suffer from PTSD, like Molly Miller, trigger warnings have prevented her PTSD episodes and have helped her live a more manageable life.

“Some people feel like trigger warnings coddle sensitive people. I don’t see it that way. I see trigger warnings as a common courtesy to help prevent sufferers of PTSD, like me, from reliving our trauma. I recognize it is not fail-proof, and getting upset by our memories is a part of life. But what is so wrong with making an effort?” She wrote.

On the contrary, author Samuel Barr described his experience with PTSD. At the age of ten, Barr was abused by an older boy. He was left emotionally devastated and suffered PTSD because of the experience. He talks about how he spiraled “downward into a  deep depression.” Still, Barr does not believe his mental health condition should warrant a trigger warning.  Until he learned to stop seeing himself as a victim and finally received helped, he was forced to tip-toe in society. He says he believes this trigger warning mindset is not beneficial.

“Trigger warnings are one of the latest fads in an ongoing cultural obsession with glorifying victimhood, and as a former victim, I can confidently say there is nothing glorious about it. Contrary to the noble intentions of its supporters, trigger warnings do more to harm people with trauma backgrounds than help them.”

Should We Embrace Them?

Furthermore, Barr believes people should face their trauma rather than run away from them.  These warnings will only continue to get out of hand and affect those who produce content in the first place.

“If you start warning, for one thing, you have to decide which unpleasant thing is worth a trigger and which isn’t. That isn’t a position an editor should be in,” stated Jessica Coen, editor at Jezebel magazine.

Johnathan Heidt, the author of “The Coddling of the American Mind,”says we are entering a climate where we presume the worse about the fragility and vulnerability of others. He describes this as vindictive impulsiveness which is “ a culture in which everyone must think twice before speaking up.”

Does this help anyone? Once again, that question can be debated, however for some mental health conditions, it can cause more harm than good:

“According to the most-basic tenets of psychology, helping people with anxiety disorders avoid the things they fear is misguided,” he continues.

Trigger Warnings and Addiction Treatment

When dealing with addiction treatment, addicts who seek treatment come from all types of background and find they are more sensitive to certain things than others.  Professionals in the addiction field work to help those seeking treatment develop the tools to lead a healthy life in recovery.

In treatments, clients learn what triggers could result in a relapse.  When It comes to addiction, triggers are a very real thing.  A person, place, event, or unresolved mental health are triggers in addiction. Therapists help addicts understand what their triggers are. Ultimately, each person has to decide whether to avoid all their triggers or try to overcome them.

For those early in recovery, facing triggers can be a very dangerous idea. Therefore, trigger warnings appearing before photos or content that could raise temptation might be helpful. However, years into the recovery, triggers may not be triggering at all.

Everyone should play an active role in helping others feel comfortable and safe. Sometimes it is good to be aware of how you affect other and what types of things affect you emotionally. You may have to navigate life avoiding triggers and paying more attention to the positives. In recovery, you learn the tools you need to succeed. Take it a day at a time.  If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

Employers Struggle to Handle Drug Addiction in the Workplace

How Employers Handle Drug Addiction in the Workplace

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

Author: Shernide Delva

As we all know by now, the amount of people who are suffering with drug addiction exceeds anything we have seen before. As a result, employers must learn how to handle employees who are struggling with drug addiction. According to NPR, people with addiction are more likely to be sick, absent, or use workers’ compensation benefits,. Therefore the question remains: Should employers have the right to fire an employee due to drug addiction, or should providing treatment always be a requirement?

A survey conducted in Indiana found that 80 percent of employers are impacted by prescription drug abuse and misuse. They also found that 64 percent of employers believed that prescription drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin were much more of a problem compared to illegal drugs.

Despite these statistics, only half of employers have a written policy on how to handle drug addiction in the workplace. Questions remain on how to handle employees who fall into addiction related problems.  Three quarters of employers say drug abuse, specifically prescription drug abuse,  is a justifiable reason for termination. Considering the emphasis in the past years on drug addiction being an illness and not a crime, employers question how to handle these cases. Furthermore, if an employee’s addiction interferes with their work obligations, should treatment still be offered or do employees have the right to terminate? Clearly, the laws are blurry on the manner.

The Steve Sarkisian Case: Was It Legal to Fire Him?

Addiction continues to be a complicated issue for employers to tackle. However, there are some established guideline. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) required employers to offer job protection for those suffering from alcoholism. Alcoholism is considered to be a kind of disabilities. Still, the exact legalities are confusing.  This is exemplified greatly in the case involving USC football coach Steve Sarkisian. Sarkisian, who admits to suffering from alcoholism, believes strongly that he was wrongfully terminated due to his drinking.

According to Sarkisian, he states he was “kicked to the curb” last October when he sought in-patient treatment for alcoholism.  According to the law, employers must follow federal and state discrimination guidelines. Alcoholism qualifies as a disability under the ADA guidelines. Those guidelines define a disabilities as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” Therefore, Sarkisian should have been treated for his disability and not terminated.

However, while the ADA protects employees from being fired directly due to their alcoholism, it does not restrict termination due to alcoholism-related misconduct. Furthermore, constant lateness and intoxication on the job could deem a termination valid. Employers can also fire employees who do not meet up to the standards of the workplace as a result of their alcoholism.

Despite this clarification, Sarkisian believes he was terminated wrongfully. USC has responded to his allegations explaining that his termination was due to his behavior at a pep rally where he appeared drunk and used foul language with the audience. The former coach was allegedly too intoxicated to coach practice the next day. USC will cite these incidences to justify Sarkisian termination.

On the other hand, Sarkisian is suing for 30 million dollars because he believes USC violated ADA guidelines. In his defense, he stated that his employer should have made “reasonable accommodations” to meet guidelines. He believes that they were required to let him seek treatment. His lawsuit claims that USC violated ADA laws by firing him when he went to rehab.

Workplace addiction issues are increasingly common, whether it is alcohol-related to prescription drug addiction.   Alcohol and drug problems among employees can be an expensive problem for business and industry. Such complications of drug addiction to employers include

  • Lost productivity
  • Absenteeism, injuries
  • Fatalities
  • Theft
  • Low employee morale
  • An increase in health care
  • Legal liabilities
  • Workers’ compensation costs.

If you suffer from any type of drug addiction, seek help before your behavior becomes unmanageable and jeopardizes your career. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

Do Mock Alcoholic Drinks for Kids Send the Wrong Message?

Should Kids Be Given Mock Alcoholic Drinks?

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

Author: Shernide Delva

Whether it is putting on Mom’s lipstick or rocking a tuxedo, kids do the darndest things to feel like an adult. When you’re a kid, growing up seems like a magical experience, until you actually grow up, that is. Nonetheless, Disney thought they would take advantage of kid’s natural grown-up idealizations, as well their manic love for the movie Frozen, by promoting a mock champagne-style non-alcoholic drink decked out in Frozen decor for kids to enjoy over the holiday season. Cheers?

The response was controversial to say the least. While some parents thought the idea of a champagne bottle kids drink was harmless, others were completely outraged by the entire concept. The product creators said the concept of the mock-champagne was to provide a grown-up alternative to juice and pop at parties” for “little princes and princesses across the lands who want to be more sophisticated.”

After an uproar of negative responses, including from UK alcohol awareness groups, the product was recently discontinued by the company. A spokesperson for Disney said the company will stop producing the product after April of 2016. In the future, they will “no longer license Disney images to a product that is packaged to look like alcohol.”

The main concern was that products like these would encourage children to try alcohol in the future because by creating an association to a children’s cartoon, it makes alcohol seem like innocent fun. Considering the recent reports coming out that show that alcohol deaths are at an all-time high, it makes sense that some parents would be a bit sensitive to this kind of product.

Furthermore, alcohol awareness groups were totally shocked that the 750ml bottles were shaped in champagne like bottles, even with a pop cork. Researchers jumped right on it exploring the dangers of having products like these on the shelf.

Dr. Sarah Jarvis, medical advisor to charity Drinkaware, warned,

“Selling products which not only normalise but glamorise alcohol could increase the risk of young people wanting to experiment with alcohol.”

Alison Douglas, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, insisted:

“This product should be removed from sale immediately.  Young children should not be targeted with champagne-style drinks to make them feel ‘sophisticated and grown-up’.”

On the other hand, parents who bought the product argue that the product is clearly labelled as a non-alcoholic soft drink and is simply a fun way for children to get into the festive spirit of the holidays.

For some time now, children toys have gone under intense scrutiny. Recently, hyperdermic needle toys was pulled off the shelf for fear of the message it could send about using intravenous drug use. Still, the question lingers as to whether all these measures to protect children could be an over precaution. Kids usually are not aware of deeper messages that their toys have and are simply being kids.

Previously, a survey conducted by the popular children’s informational site KidsHealth.org, wanted to know exactly what children thought of alcohol.  They surveyed 690 kids from 9 to 13 and the results were promising.  More than 90% of the kids said alcohol was very uncool (86%) or uncool (6%). And 89% of kids said that drinking alcohol at their age (9 to 13) was never OK.

Kids who do try alcohol do it for one reason: to be cool. Alcohol is marketed as a cool thing to do all throughout the media and sometimes ads focusing on alcohol are marketed in a way that could easily appeal to kids. In the same survey, kids were asked why they would try alcohol and the top three reasons were:

  1. To look cool
  2. To see what it’s like
  3. Because other kids are doing it

Clearly, being accepted around peers has a much stronger influence then any product could ever have. While keeping a conscious eye around your child is extremely important, remember that you are their greatest influence so be sure to monitor your behavior around your child and be your child’s best role model this new year.

Overall, toys that promote a lifestyle of drinking most likely is not the best idea. Instead, find other alternatives that promote the message of having fun without the need of substances. 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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