Addiction, dependency, substance use and abuse, self-limiting behaviors.

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    “My Adderall helps me think so much clearer.”  Who wouldn’t want that? It’s easy to be lured by the promises of a smart pill or cognitive enhancer that could help us not only think more clearly and access more memory, but feel good about ourselves and be tireless and endlessly confident. The movie “Limitless” is about a “down-on-his-luck" New York writer Eddie (Bradley Cooper) who takes a magic potion – a “miracle street narcotic in the form of a translucent pill, NZT that enhances mental performance beyond any reasonable expectation. (Yes, it’s fictional.)”

    The idea that alcohol and drugs can stimulate artists, writers and musicians to create great works of art is a "dangerous myth" and can actually stifle creativity, a psychiatrist has said. Dr Iain Smith, a consultant in addiction psychiatry at Gartnavel Royal Hospital in Glasgow said that while many artists and writers were well known for their use of intoxicating substances (such as cannabis and alcohol), most produced their greatest works when they were sober.

    Although this particular story is about one individual 24 year old gifted young woman that I refer to as “weed girl,” the narrative represents the many stories that I hear on a regular basis as a psychotherapist and career counselor dealing primarily with gifted young adults. Weed Girl’s story is one of discovery that begins when she comes to therapy for “depression” and discovers that in addition to being depressed, that  she is actually a gifted or high potential young woman who has gone through life thinking something is wrong with her because parents and teachers told her from an early age that she was “too sensitive,” “too intense,” and “asking too many questions.”

    Alcohol and substance abuse or any other addictions will not take away your problems and fears. In the short run, they might make you feel better, but in the long run these addictions will only make things worse.

    Alcohol and drug abuse is often an attempt at escape from the pain-body.. an escape of not wanting to feel the pain anymore. In some people, the pain-body is active almost all the time, and that is dreadful way to live. And those people.. often they will seek some kind of escape from it because they can't live with that pain anymore. Their chance of awakening is also quite great.

    A number of people with exceptional abilities have used drugs and alcohol as self-medication to ease the pain of their high sensitivity, or as a way to enhance thinking and creativity. Sometimes they risk addiction.

    It's no secret that alcohol use is alive and well on college campuses across America. New research studies investigate a largely unexplored area -- the relationship between heavy drinking and social anxiety.

    Creative addiction

    Replacement "units" can be tailor-made to the previous addiction. A cigarette, for example, burns down in about eight minutes. The idea is to make eight-minute poems, paintings, or whatever. These units can be repeated in about the same frequency and timing as the previous addiction. This is habit management and it can be a lot of fun.

    Actors and Addiction

    In a recent interview, Philip Seymour Hoffman [Best Actor Oscar nominee for “Capote”] admitted he used drugs and alcohol earlier in his life. A lot. - An exceptionally talented actor, Hoffman is far from alone: many of us use and abuse.

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