The many different types of addictions

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of the brain. There are two signs when it comes to addiction.
1. Using more than you would like to use
2. Using even with the negative consequences you experience
From the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to qualify as an addiction, it required to have three of the following.
1. Tolerance- Do you use more over time? The ability to handle more drugs or alcohol with minimal effect?
2. Withdrawal- experience emotional or physical withdrawal when you stop using or doing something? Do you experience irritability, nausea, anxiety, vomiting, shakes and sweating? Emotional withdrawal is also possible.
3. Limited Control- Do you use or do something more than you would like? Do you regret your actions after?
4. Negative Consequences- Do you continue your habits regardless of the consequences?
5. Neglected or postponed activities- Do you ever put off household duties or recreational activities due to your habit?
6. Significant time or energy spent- Do you spend a lot of time trying to hide or make excuses for your habit?
7. Desire to cut down- Have your tried to stop your addiction or cut back but have been unsuccessful?
If you said yes to three or more of any of those questions above provided by the APA and WHO you may have an addiction problem. There are different stages of addiction. You want to seek help as soon as possible because while it’s never easy to quit the consequences won’t be a severe early on. The longer you wait the worse it will get. Did you know that addiction to drugs or alcohol is more common than diabetes?
Causes and Risks-
1. Family: having a family member with an addiction makes you 50% more likely to develop an addiction also.
2. Poor coping skills: stress can be a major risk factor for addiction. This is especially true when you are unable to find healthy ways to relax.
3. Anxiety or depression: 15 to 30% of those who suffer from depression may also have an addiction problem.
4. Negative thinking: when looking at the negative things tend to go that way. You want to find ways to help you escape and relax.
When you think of addictions most people think of drugs and alcohol. There are actually many different types of addictions. There are 3 categories: substances, impulse control, and behavioral.

Substance addiction includes:
1. Alcohol
2. Opioid’s
3. Tobacco
4. Prescription drugs
5. Cocaine
6. Marijuana
7. Meth
8. PCP
Behavioral addiction includes:
1. Food
2. Sex
3. Video games
4. Shopping
5. Pornography
6. Work
7. Exercise
8. Cutting
Impulse control addiction includes:
1. Gambling
2. Kleptomania
3. Pyromania

Alcoholism
Chronic alcohol use can interfere with your physical and mental health. Alcohol can reduce your anxiety, your feeling guilt and impair your judgment. Alcohol can damage your vital organs such as your heart, liver and brain. They symptoms of alcoholism includes:
• Increasing tolerance
• Wanting to drink more often
• Arguing about having a drinking problem
• Issues with relationships, jobs and law enforcement
• Hiding alcohol from others
• Losing control when drinking

There are five types of alcoholics:
1. Young adult alcoholics
2. Young antisocial alcoholics
3. Functional alcoholics
4. Intermediate familial alcoholics
5. Chronic severe alcoholics

Negative effects of alcohol include:
• Fatigue
• Dehydration
• Slow reaction time
• Changes to emotion
• Nausea
• Loss of balance
• Slurred speech
• Blurry vision
• Increase in urine production
• Lower body temperature

Alcohol poisoning can be deadly if not treated immediately. Symptoms of alcohol poisoning are:
• Extremely intoxicated
• Memory loss and confusion
• Hypothermia
• Turning blue
• Irregular breathing
• Vomiting
• Unconscious and wont wake up
• Seizure

Nicotine
Tobacco or nicotine dependency is a addictive substance. Meaning you have a hard time not using regardless of the harm it’s causing you and those around you. Nicotine produces toxins that affect your mood temporarily. This makes you want more because of its “high” affect. Those who smoke have a higher risk of developing heart disease, cancers like lung or throat. It’s possible to stop smoking even though it’s very difficult. The longer you smoke the harder it is to quit.

Symptoms of nicotine dependency include:
1. Attempting to stop smoking but unable too.
2. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you try to cut back or quit.
3. Continuing to smoke regardless of health problems
4. You give up other activities so you can continue to smoke.

Important facts about nicotine
1. Nicotine is one of the most used, addictive drugs in the United States.
2. The CDC stated there are more than 440,000 preventable deaths causes by nicotine every year.
3. Nicotine can decrease the ability of sperm to fertilize eggs up to 75%
4. Nicotine causes blood vessels to constricts. Its advised women who are pregnant no smoke because it can cause less nutrients and oxygen to your baby.

Shopping addiction
Shopping addiction is also known as compulsive shopping or over-shopping. A shopping addiction is not considered a mental health disorder. Many medical professionals think that is should be a disorder. How do we know the difference between shopping and a shopping addiction? A shopping addiction is defined when it has a negative effect on your life. Shopping can cause money problems and relationship issues because of your shopping problems. Those with shopping problems have trouble controlling their spending. They also tend to be very materialistic and are very impulsive.
Living with a shopping addiction would be very difficult because we have to shop for items for our lives. Whether it be groceries, household items, clothes, gifts , things for our kids. Some ideas for when you have to go shopping if you do have a shopping problem.
• Take someone with you so you can only get the essentials.
• Cancel store credit cards to avoid unnecessary shopping.
• Only take a certain amount of cash into a store. If you are just shopping for fun that way you only have a certain amount to spend.

When trying to overcome your shopping addiction make a spending plan. Those with shopping problems usually end up having financial problems. To help with your financial issues you can consider selling some of the items you have bought that you wont use. You may not get 100% of what you bought it for but you can get something back. Its better than sitting in the back of the closet. You could also consider therapy.

Food addiction

A food addiction is the compulsive consumption of high fat and sugar foods. This activates the reward system regardless of the consequences.
While those who struggle with food addiction crave things like sugar, salt and fats. They may also struggle with their weight due to their need to eat. When those who try to cut back or stop their addictive food choice they may experience withdrawal symptoms. such as:
• Guilt
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Headaches
• Irritability
• Insomnia
• Mood changes
• Shame and fear about food
• Secret eating
Going to therapy can help with this addictive behavior tremendously. Since we all have to eat. There are programs that can help you get back on track with eating correctly and healthy. As with any disorder, mental or physical you need a support system to be there for you.

Gambling addiction
Gambling addiction is also known as a “hidden illness”, there are no physical symptoms. There are many signs of someone with a gambling problem. This includes :
• Being secretive, hiding or lying about the fact that you’re gambling
• Gambling even when you don’t have the money. Gambling away bill money.
• You cant control your gambling problem.
• Your family and friends are worried you have a problem with gambling.

Gambling facts:
• Gambling can land you into debt. Bailing someone out of debt who has a gambling problem is like providing alcohol to someone with a drinking problem. Are you being helpful? Yes financially but they will most likely end up in debt again.
• You don’t have to gamble daily for it to become a issue.
• Many problems can be caused from gambling. Financial issues can be a major issue. It can cause relationship issues, problems with your job. It can also cause anxiety and depression. In severe cases those have been known to commit suicide.
• Anyone can develop a gambling problem. No one is more prone to a gambling addiction over someone else.

There are ways you can help yourself to stop gambling. It can be tricky because there are many reasons someone gambles.
1. Reason people gamble:
2. You get that adrenaline rush
3. Some find it relaxing after a stressful day
4. Some try to use it as a way to solve their financial issues.
5. It can be used as a social gathering
6. Used to drown out your problems.
There are some way to do and find those same things but without gambling your money away. For those who like that adrenaline rush you could find things to do. Go dirt bike riding, rock climbing or if you want to be very adventurous you could go sky diving. When wanting to find ways to relax try taking a bath, getting a massage, go to the gym and workout.

When trying to solve financial issues, make a budget. If you are having serious problems consider contacting a financial adviser. When wanting to be more social consider volunteering, going with friends to a concert or a show.
A lot of people will say they don’t have a gambling problem but here are some signs that say you may have a problem:
1. Feeling irritable when you try to stop.
2. When you try to win back your loses.
3. When you lie to cover up how much your gambling
4. Gambling when anxious or upset

Those who have serious gambling problems tend to have suicidal tendencies. Suicide is NOT the solution. You are able to overcome any addiction with help and a support system. It will be a process and not a overnight thing so be patient with yourself.

References:
http://www.ASAM.org
http://www.healthyplace.com
http://www.verywellmind.com
http://www.alcohol.org
Disclaimer: I don’t own the rights to this picture. I am not a medical professional. If you are having a medical emergency contact 911 immediately. This blog is for informational purposes only. If you believe you may have a medical issue contact your local medical provider.

My Journey: Seizures

After having Brayden in February 2010, I began getting migraines off and on but they didn’t start getting severe until late 2011. That is when I was having enough problems that I called my primary care provider hoping he could put me on a migraine medication that would help. Once we talked and I told him I was having to take 2000mg of Tylenol at a time to get any relief he immediately referred me to a neurologist. When I got to see my neurologist she got me a migraine medication called Imitrex. I ended up in the emergency room because I had a seizure after taking the second dose of my medication. We then decided we needed an EEG to figure out why I had a seizure since I never had one before. This is when things started to scare me. My EEG came back abnormal. It showed that I was having multiple seizures a day. After talking to my doctor I realized just how long they had occurred. I had been having them for years, even as a child. I’m sure you are thinking how did no one notice you having a seizure for years. Let me explain.

What is a seizure? A seizure is a surge of electrical activity in the brain. Having a seizure can affect how someone will act for a brief period of time during these surges. The electrical activity is caused by chemical changes that occur in the nerve cells. Each lobe of your brain controls different movements, behaviors and experiences. Because of this each type of seizure is has different symptoms and signs depending on what part of the brain it is affecting.

Having epilepsy,is what I have been diagnosed with is a central nervous system disorder which basically means my brain activity becomes abnormal causing a seizure. To be diagnosed with epilepsy you must have 2 unprovoked seizures. My first seizure that was caused from the migraine medication was a provoked. I was still having up to 100 unprovoked seizures a day.

Epilepsy can affect many parts of your life and it definitely did. I had been driving daily since I was 16 years old, once I was told about my seizure disorder I had to stop. You have to be seizure free for 6 months before you can drive. I went from one medication to taking multiple, and having regular doctor appointments and testing done. There were certain jobs and things I was advised to no longer do for my safety. There are multiple different types of seizures that are categorized into 3 categories.

1.Generalized onset seizures. These seizures affect both sides of your brain at the same time.
a. Tonic-clonic seizures
b. Absence seizures
c. Atonic seizures
2. Focal onset seizures. These seizures start in one area or group of cells on one side of the brain.
a. Focal onset aware seizures
b. Focal onset impaired seizures
3. Unknown onset seizures. This is when the beginning of a seizure is unknown. Also if it is not seen by anyone its considered a unknown seizure. Later it can be diagnosed to either of the others.

I have been diagnosed with generalized onset seizures. Absence seizures and tonic-clonic seizures. Absence seizures used to be called petit-mal seizures. They can be difficult to diagnose because they tend to look like you are daydreaming. When actually those “spells” are lapses in your awareness. There are two types of absence seizures which are typical and atypical seizures.

Typical absence seizures involve
• Suddenly dropping everything. Has a blank stare, looks similar to daydreaming. May even be in the middle of a sentence.
• Seizures generally last less than 10 seconds which is why it can be very difficult to diagnose.
• You may notice someone’s eyelids flutter when they are having a seizure.

Atypical absence seizures involve
• Seizures will last 20 seconds or longer.
• Seizures begin with staring blank spells, then will notice a change with their muscle movements.
• May experience some different symptoms from typical absence seizures.

Absence seizures are common in children and being diagnosed under 9 years old and having a good treatment plan have a good chance of growing out of it by time they turn 18 and will no longer need medication. Being diagnosed after 10 years old will mean you have a lower chance of growing out of it and needing medications for life. I remember beginning to deal with them around 10-11 years old. I was diagnosed when I was 22.

Tonic-clonic seizures are also known as convulsion or grand mal seizures. These are your “traditional” seizures. As Dr. Burke on Grey’s Anatomy said “..a wet fish on dry land..”. This is because of the jerking movements and muscle stiffness. These seizures may last 1-3 minutes. Someone with convulsion seizures like myself, which thankfully I have only had one may lose consciousness, lose control of bladder or bowels and may bite their cheek or tongue during their seizure.

What could have caused my epilepsy? Epilepsy can be caused by many different factors. The brain can be a mysterious thing. Some of those factors include:
• Age
• Infection
• Head injury
• Stroke
• Brain tumor
• Genetics
• Structural changes of the brain

It’s also very important to figure out your triggers so you can help keep your seizures to a minimum. This may mean a lifestyle change. When you are first diagnosed it’s best to keep a seizure diary so that way when you do have a seizure you are able to keep track of all the details like the time, where you were, what you were doing that may have caused the seizure. Once you have some you may be able to figure out what is triggering them. Some of the triggers I have with my seizures are:
• Skipping medications
• Flashing lights
• Watching TV or movies in the dark
• Lack of sleep
• Stress (pseudoseizures)
• Menstrual cycle

There are also some risk factors to developing epilepsy. Scarring on the brain can cause the brain to have seizures. Sometimes there are no risk factors but you still develop epilepsy and the causes are unknown. Some of the risk factors include:
• Babies who are born small
• Bleeding in the brain
• Febrile seizures
• Autism spectrum disorder
• Illegal drugs
• Developmental disabilities
• Intellectual disabilites
• Family history

Important facts and statistics
• Epilepsy and seizure disorder is the same thing.
• Epilepsy is the 4th most common neurological disorder.
• 65 million people in the world have epilepsy
• 6 out of 10 people with epilepsy have a unknown cause.
• Approximately half of people who have a unknown seizure may have another within 6 months.
• You have a 80% chance of having more seizures if you have two seizures.
• Seizures caused by a injury are more likely to cause epilepsy.
For the past 8 years I was unsure as to why or what had caused me to have epilepsy. Just recently I found out my cousin also has the same kind of epilepsy as me. So it’s a possibility it could be genetic. I’ve always watched my kids to see if I notice any symptoms which thankfully so far I haven’t.

Reference: http://www.epilepsy.com

Disclaimer: I don’t own the rights to this picture. I am not a medical professional. If you are having a medical emergency contact 911 immediately. This blog is for informational purposes only. If you believe you may have a medical issue contact your local medical provider.

My crazy beautiful life

I forgot how much I love to write. Life had gotten so busy that writing got pushed to the back burner. When I was finally able to start again I questioned why I ever quit. As most everyone knows in November 2017 Dalton and I separated. I had moved into my own place and had completely started over. In April 2018 our divorced was finalized. In July 2018 we got back together to work on our relationship because regardless of everything we still loved each other and wanted our family together. In August 2018 I moved back home and things have been going great. Our lives have been crazy between meshing two homes back into one, getting the boys back into a normal routine and just settling back down. Then in the blink of a eye the holidays were here and now gone. So life can slow down just a little bit.
I will tell you that 2018 was my hardest year by far. It was the year I lost myself and found myself again. I went through life experiences that I that I never imagined I would go through. I struggled daily to get up get up and live my life and get my life back on track. Regardless of what I may have said to others or posted online. The funny thing is the one person who was always there no matter what time of day or what was going on was Dalton. Of course I had my friends but they all had lives to live too. Dalton was there no matter what I needed or when I needed it. We may have had our problems and we had our moments where we couldn’t stand each other but our love was always there because if it wasn’t we wouldn’t be where we are today.
That is really all that has gone on besides the boys growing way too fast. We are currently looking to move out of our current town, and move closer to his parents who are a huge help to us. Please keep your fingers crossed that it works out. We have both the boys birthdays coming up in February and March so beginning to plan for that. The older Brayden gets the harder it is to plan for a boys birthday party in the middle of winter. He wants to have his guy friends come stay the night. Oh boy! I might just be crazy enough to let him!
Now that you are all caught up on my crazy life for now. It may be messy and crazy but its my messy and crazy!

Updated site and posts

I just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who takes the time out of their day to read and comment on my posts. I originally made this for myself. Now as more people have been reading and following I took some time to update my site and some of my older posts. I am still working on a few things but I am officially writing and posting again. I will definitely be updating you all on my crazy life here soon! Much love ❤

Let’s start 2019 off right-Mental Wellness Awareness Month

Can you believe that it’s already 2019? 2018 went by so fast but I am glad it did because it was my hardest year so far. With a new year I wanted to do something new. Every month there is an “awareness month” for mental health. I made it my number one resolution to talk about mental health. Every year we all make resolutions for the following year but who all is good at keeping them? I will be the first to tell you that I am terrible about keeping up on New Year resolutions. I usually had many and made ones that I knew I wasn’t going to end up keeping. So this year I have set two for myself. The one I mentioned before about writing and bringing more awareness to mental health. The second one is to learn to love myself first again.
 
2018 was a very tough year and while it’s ending on a good note one thing. I want to work on is to not put myself down so much and know my self-worth. I have been working very hard these past two months to get everything on my site updated and running again. It’s been a lot of hard work but it’s worth every moment as it not only helps me but I know it has helped others. I want others to remember to take care of themselves first always. Your mental health is as important as your physical health. We always need to be there for each other because some days we aren’t okay and that is okay. It is important to have that support system that will check on you and make sure you are okay. Have someone who will be there when they know you aren’t doing your best.
 
I would love to hear your New Year resolutions. Perhaps you don’t make resolutions for the New Year, but you have made some goals that you have been working towards for a while now! Please share, let’s motivate each other! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and rang in the New Year with ones that they love. Please comment below to share and share your thoughts of your updated site. I’ll be posting again soon so be sure to follow so you don’t miss out on any new posts!
 
Much love ❤