Saturday, May 28, 2011

Post One: Addictions

When I first began reading chapter four, I automatically thought to myself “well, just another lesson on drugs, alcohol, and addictions- just the same old stuff we’ve been hearing about for years.” Throughout all the years of health classes, and all the volunteer speakers I’ve listened to ever since I was in elementary school, chapter four brought out information about addictions that I have never heard of before. We always hear about alcohol addictions and drug addictions; however, chapter four also brought out exercise addictions and gambling addictions; and I found the chapter to be very insightful.

I’ve heard of gambling addictions before, however I never knew that it was so serious. I truly think a few of my guy friends have gambling addictions. I can tell which of them just enjoy gambling, however there are a few that will spend hours upon hours gambling. They forget what time it is and that they should probably take a break and eat something. My one co-worker that I work with will leave work at nine o’clock at night, go to the casino, and come in the next morning at 9am and say they have yet to sleep, eat, or even shower- because they came right from the casino. Gamblers are not sensitive to negative financial consequences (ch. 4 ppt). I didn’t realize this until I read it in the chapter, but it’s the truth; when my friends lose money (sometimes thousands of dollars) they say things like “its okay, I’ll make it back tomorrow.” And I say to them “first of all, that is not okay that you just lost thousands of dollars, second of all, tomorrow? You’re coming back?” and they look at me as though I’m crazy to think they aren’t coming back tomorrow to gamble more. After reading the chapter and doing a little research of my own, I see that although my friends may have gambling addictions, some people have it far worse.
^The above link is an article about a 53 year old woman who left her SIX year old child in a freezing car to go inside to gamble.
^ This link is an article about a mother who left her child in the car at a casino for 8 hours- and thought there was nothing wrong with doing so.

Another part of this chapter that I found extremely interesting is the exercise addiction. Before reading this chapter, I never in my life heard of an exercise addiction. After reading this chapter, I looked online at the Exercise Dependence Scale and its criteria, and I never though I’d be considered an addict, but I guess I am! I work out and go to the gym usually at least five days a week. Sometimes, I may miss a day and I definitely withdraw from it- my anxiety levels increase tremendously. If I am having a stressful day, I need to get to a treadmill and what I call “run it out.” Oh well, I suppose I’d rather be an addict of exercise rather than an addict of anything else. I really enjoyed this chapter; it opened my eyes that an addiction doesn’t have to be to drugs and alcohol (Hausenbas and Symons Downs, 2002).

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