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    A , Internal Medicine, answered

    First, see if you can quit cold turkey. Just stopping abruptly often works for those in the early stages of an addiction, as it’s more like breaking a bad habit at that point. But once your brain has been hardwired to crave the substance or behavior, you may need additional help.

    If you try to quit yourself but can’t, seek help. Start with your doctor and/or your school counselor, to seek information on how to quit. Your parents may also be great resources, unless of course, they are using themselves.

    If you think you can just use a little bit, think long and hard about the short and long-term consequences. Other helpful hints: Find friends who don’t use.


    A change of scenery or a change of companions can do wonders for discovering healthier ways to spend your time, energy, and money, and help remove you from the environment that can trigger a specific addiction. There’s evidence that a young person’s network of peers is a powerful determinant of his or her behaviors; it’s hard to overestimate the influence that friends can have. That is why one of the strengths of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Overeaters Anonymous (OA), and other successful antiaddiction programs is that they provide a new peer group; instead of hanging out at the same old bar, you go to group. As a chronic disorder,
    addiction requires long-term treatment that is usually measured in months and years.    

  • 1 Answer
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Impulse control disorders occur when impulsive behaviors get the best of you. They are characterized by:

    • an increasing sense of tension or excitement before committing an impulsive
    act

    • pleasure, gratification, or relief when you actually commit the impulsive act

    • possibly regret or guilt following the act (This part doesn’t always occur; it
    depends on the situation and the consequences.)  
  • 1 Answer
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    The most common addictions are (1) alcohol, (2) cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, (3) marijuana, (4) video games, and (5) Facebook, in that order. People tend to forget about chewing tobacco and snuff, but it is just as addictive and dangerous to your health as cigarettes.    
  • 1 Answer
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    A , Psychology, answered
    To experience mindfulness, sit for a few minutes without doing anything at all -- not listening to music or texting or answering the phone if it rings. Just try to  notice your surroundings and yourself in this time.

    Mindfulness is about paying attention to everything in your life. The first step toward becoming mindful is learning to just notice what you are thinking and feeling about a given situation. Instead of responding to these thoughts and feelings immediately, you can begin to sit with them, to observe them, before you decide what they mean and how you want to respond. You might still choose to respond the same way, but taking time will allow you to figure out how you want to react to a situation, to assess how big or small it is and how stressful it is for you.

    Say to yourself, “Oh, this is what I am thinking and feeling right now. I don’t have to do anything about these thoughts and feelings. I can just sit with them before I react.”
  • 1 Answer
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    A , Health Education, answered
    If nothing is wrong with you physically, but you feel a little down emotionally, you can use aromatherapy essential oils simply to boost your mood -- citrus scents are especially good for this purpose. Just add a few drops of oil to a bowl of water and allow the oil to evaporate and fill your dorm room (or any other space) with a lovely aroma. You can also purchase a diffuser or a ceramic heat ring, both of which are affixed to a light bulb to heat the oil and speed up the evaporation process. Various aroma combinations and diffusing contraptions can be found at health food stores.
  • 1 Answer
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    A , Addiction Medicine, answered
    Relapse is not an isolated event that suddenly happens. Most often, especially with young adults, there are obvious clues leading up to it. One of the most common is that the young person begins to seek out his/her former friends. You drop in at a party with the old gang. You hang out after a school event in the place you used to do drugs. Or, you check in with your supplier "just to see how he is doing." You definitely learned in recovery that in order to stay clean you would have to find new friends. There is a reason for this. They are an occasion for relapse. When you notice you are gravitating back toward your drug friends, you are putting yourself in harm's way.

    If you relapsed, take it for what it is. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and cut the ties with the drug crowd.

    There are many emotional reasons involved in relapse but to interrupt a relapse, notice when your behavior changes.
  • 1 Answer
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    Every annoying adult will tell a teenager that adolescence can be a troubling time. Hormones drive moods and the struggle to find both identity and your place with friends can be a touch and go experience. Observing friends' moods can help you gauge whether your own fall outside the typical range or not.

    When your feelings seem more intense—either when you're happy or when you're sad—than those of your friends, it's worth exploring the signs and contours of a mood disorder. A chronically low mood or depression includes some or all of the following characteristics:
    • lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
    • persistent sadness
    • intense feelings of emptiness, worthlessness or guilt
    • restlessness
    • exhaustion, fatigue
    • sleep changes: insomnia or oversleeping
    • loss of focus or concentration
    • inability to make decisions
    • persistent thoughts of death or suicide
    • unexplained aches and pains
    • suicidal thoughts
    If you or a loved one expresses thoughts of suicide, contact a medical professional, clergy member, family member or friend immediately or call 1-800-273-TALK. Suicidal thoughts result from biochemical imbalances that can be rectified.

    The following feelings typify an abnormally high mood, otherwise known as the mania associated with bipolar disorder:
    • extremely good mood
    • a sense of invincibility and/or great confidence
    • tendency to start lots of ambitious projects
    • irritability, unprovoked rage
    • racing thoughts
    • talkativeness
    • a feeling of restlessness
    • paranoia
    • swinging high and low repeatedly
  • 1 Answer
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    Below are some of the best ways friends help each other when a mood disorder appears.

    1. Encourage your friend to get help. Start with a school counselor who could recommend other specialists. Tell them that you'll be happy to go with them if they'd like.

    2. Learn about depression or bipolar disorder yourself. As you may be the only one willing to explore these disorders, you could be a source of reliable information. Trust the non-profit and government websites the most.

    3. Make certain you maintain an upbeat attitude about the prospects for a healthy, fulfilling life complete with career and relationships. A mood disorder diagnosis does not mean a circumscribed life. Remind them that there is no reason to be ashamed.

    4. Invite them to activities with friends or just out with you. Keep in mind that they may refuse at first. Keep at it. You can also stay with them watching a movie or bring in take-out food.

    5. Encourage them to attend a support group meeting. There, they'll feel less alone and realize that people with mood disorders can be happy, fun and normal.

    6. Finally, know that despite your best efforts, your friend may not choose to get treatment. Do not feel that you are responsible for making your friend better. Protect your energy and your own mood. Recruit help from other friends and family members.
  • 2 Answers
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    A , Psychiatry, answered

    There are many benefits to mindfulness (including increasing your enjoyment of life;increasing your ability to cope with physical illness; improving your emotional and physical health; reducing anxiety, stress, depression, and sleep problems; improving your immune system; and improving your ability to tolerate upsetting thoughts). Because it's such a helpful tool, it's beneficial to anyone and everyone to practice some kind of mindfulness as often as possible. But you're right, many of us lead busy, busy lives, so how do we fit yet another thing into our day?

    Well, if we keep in mind that mindfulness is about doing one thing at a time, in the present moment, with your full attention, and with acceptance, the answer might seem easier than you expect. Many people have the idea that mindfulness has to be a meditation; that you have to set aside 30 or 60 minutes every day for practice. But this isn't the case. There are different types of mindfulness practice: formal, and informal. The formal types of exercises are those that you need to set aside time for - 15 minutes to do a breathing exercise, or a 20 minute progressive muscle relaxation or body scan, for example. While these practices are absolutely helpful, not everyone can carve an extra 20 minutes out of their day.

    Informal mindfulness practice refers to doing things you would be doing anyway, but bringing mindfulness to them - for example, walking your dog mindfully, listening to music mindfully, or sitting in class mindfully. When you think about mindfulness in this way, it becomes obvious that we really CAN make time for mindfulness, we might just have to get a little more creative about it.

    Remember that both of these types of mindfulness are helpful: formal exercises will help you develop self-awareness and inner calm, and improve your ability to tolerate distressing thoughts and emotions. And informal exercises will help you to live your life more mindfully, so that you're no longer operating on automatic pilot. As much as you can, practice both in order to get the full benefit; but if you can't find the time for a formal exercise, remind yourself that two minutes of brushing your teeth or 60 minutes at soccer practice is still going to go a long way!

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  • 1 Answer
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    A , Psychology, answered
    Most people think they want to be happy and to enjoy their lives, and many express that desire in words. But actually being happy and enjoying your life takes more than just a passing thought or statement; it is about actively noticing and doing what makes you happy.

    Many people allow one negative event to outweigh the positives of a day, but there are almost always good moments, even on days that might seem bad. You might not always notice these good moments if you are caught up in the negative or too busy thinking about the past or future.

    Notice one pleasant event every day for the next week and write it on your calendar. First, tell what the event was. Then describe any thoughts or emotions you experienced before, during, and after the event. Tell what you felt in your body before, during, and after the event. Finally, tell how you feel and what you are thinking right now.