Loving A Drug Addict Or An Alcoholic: How To Help Them And Yourself

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People experiencing drug or alcohol consumption issues experience long-term and short-term mental and physical health problems. Their loved ones, friends, and family are affected by their state. If you have a loved one who suffers from alcohol or drug abuse, then, it’s important that the symptoms of these disorders are known and that you know how to help them.  But make sure that you’re taken care of too.

“Addiction can be especially brutal on marriage. Spouses often feel helpless watching the one they love self-destruct, and they also feel angry about their partner’s deception and betrayals.” — Jason Whiting Ph.D.

Alcohol And Drug Abuse Symptoms


The following is a list of substance or alcohol abuse symptoms experienced by people plagued by the disorders:


  • Being drunk often
  • Memory and thinking problems
  • Fatigue
  • School or work-related problems
  • Going to events filled with alcohol or even drugs
  • Stealing money to get drugs
  • Lying about the substance intake
  • Being defensive when asked about the substance or alcohol abuse
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drugs or alcohol
  • Poor appearance and hygiene


Those who experience these problems act differently when they’re drunk or high and may do or say hurtful words. They may even do some risky actions like driving when intoxicated. These can invoke worry among their family and friends.

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Control Versus Influence


Forcing someone who has an addiction to stop what he is doing may get him to agree, but it won’t necessarily treat the addiction. It’s something people can’t control without the necessary help since it is done on compulsion.


The Center Of The Brain Is Rewired With Repeated Reinforcement 


You shouldn’t blame or protect your addicted loved one from the consequences of his addiction as both of you don’t have control over this. Loved ones can significantly help an addict by intervening (rehab programs or therapy, etc.) and showing support. Simple actions like talking calmly can already influence the addict.

“Codependency is a learned protective behavior, allowing people to cope with a very difficult situation. However, codependency is not healthy, and it results in a never-ending cycle of similar relationships.” — Sherry Gaba LCSW

Ending Codependency


People who are addicted and have a partner may find themselves being codependent, which isn’t healthy in the long run. Here are some signs of that:


Taking responsibility for the addict: Feeling responsible for the actions and decisions of someone and putting their happiness first prevents the addict from experiencing any consequences of their actions.


Prioritizing the other person’s emotions first: If you put their feelings before your own needs, you might end up neglecting yourself.


Holding onto the relationship to avoid abandonment: This is about always craving approval to please someone to keep the relationship even if it’s already toxic.


Trouble talking about their feelings: Someone who is in a codependent relationship will have difficulty talking about their feelings and needs.


Inability to set personal boundaries: Having codependent tendencies makes people say yes even though they don’t agree.


A relationship that isn’t codependent at first could end up being one if one party is struggling with addiction. Both of you need to get help from a therapist to have a healthy relationship again.


How To Help A Loved One Struggling With An Addiction


For people who are in a codependent relationship, the following steps may seem too harsh or unhelpful, but they are needed so that both parties can heal.


  • Addiction happens because of the brain
  • You can’t fight the addiction for the addict
  • Set boundaries.
  • Get them to ask for help
  • Both you and the addict need to undergo therapy
  • Be an example to your loved one and give up drugs and alcohol too
  • Support them but don’t protect them from the consequences
  • Stay optimistic and don’t give up at the first sign of relapse

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In The Event Of A Relapse


A person can overcome their addiction with the help of their loved ones, friends, and family. But relapsing is something that can worry both the loved ones and the patient. With addiction, symptoms will get worse sometimes. This should encourage them to go back to the doctor for treatment.

“Your spouse can come to his or her own conclusions by using all of these clues together. If your spouse trusts how your words and behaviors match, they can move forward with you.” — Erika Krull, MSEd, LMHP


How the rehabilitation program handles relapses is also essential. Some would pair up patients with those who have graduated the program so the patient can learn how the other recovered from the relapse. Loved ones should also show support in case of relapse by not judging the person and helping them get help.


Prevent a relapse by removing substances like drugs or alcohol in the house, introduce them to hobbies that don’t involve the two, and have healthy goals. Both the addict and the loved ones are essential in helping a person recover.

The Psychology Behind Drug Addiction

What Is Drug Addiction?


Addiction is characterized by continually seeking for legal or illegal drugs even though they know the consequences of it to one’s health. People take these drugs voluntarily, and they do it repeatedly. Their brain and also their self-control gets affected by it, which then makes it difficult to resist or avoid the intake of the drugs.


“The person is using the behavior to cope with anxiety or emotional pain that is outside their window of tolerance of emotions.” — Robyn E. Brickel, M.A., LMFT

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How Do Addictions Affect The Brain?


The way the brain is designed, it sees pleasure no matter the cause. For example, the hormones released when a reward is received and when taking drugs, it is all the same. Therefore, when one uses drugs, their dopamine levels increase and the brain sees it as “pleasure” or something rewarding. The neurotransmitters remember pleasure, and this motivates the body to repeat the action that has caused it. This learned behavior when continuously done eventually turns into an addiction.


The Risk Factors Of An Addict


There is no way to know if someone will become addicted to drugs as drug addiction is complex and complicated. Multiple factors also cause it. These various factors also increase the risks of having an addiction.


The genes of a person can serve as a risk factor, but only half of it has that effect. Other factors can also be gender, ethnicity, and of course, associated with mental health problems.


The environment can also be a factor – home, school, workplace, and the people around it. An example is how growing up without proper guidance, and immediate exposure to drugs can lead a young person to get addicted.


Addiction is a process; it does not happen overnight. Most people do not become addicted by choice, nor do they even think they will become addicted to drugs or alcohol.” Tarra Bates-Duford, Ph.D., MFT


Why Do People Use Drugs?

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Most of the time, a person’s drug addiction starts because of uncontrolled and strong emotions like rage, fear, and jealousy. Addicts rely on the drugs to control these emotions which is a form of escape from the realities of life. Using drugs at the beginning is something that they choose to do, but it can be life-threatening when they can’t control their abusive state on using the drugs.


What Are The Different Types Of Addictive Behaviors?


Addiction can be used in a physical and psychological sense. Physically, addiction is when the drugs make the body adapt to it, and thus tolerance or a trigger may ensue.


Psychologically, drugs can be used as a coping mechanism to stress. The addiction isn’t based on the brain, so this is the reason why some people would switch from one drug to another. In treating this, looking at the stressor instead of the drug is the key.


How Do We Treat Addiction?

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The psychological symptoms can be treated but not being able to deal with them shouldn’t be blamed on the addict. To completely treat one’s drug addiction, you have to get to the cause and also treat its psychology, as this would only make the person turn to other things that he can be addicted to again.


Medication can help in treating the addiction but there are areas wherein medicine isn’t enough. Therefore the best way to treat addiction is by doing both behavioral therapy or counseling and supervised medication. The treatment differs from patient to patient since no person has the same problem. It should be customized to fit the person.


Drug or even alcohol addiction is a psychological issue. Just taking away the drug won’t solve it. You have to dig deeper and break this mental problem for it to end ultimately.


“…if substance abuse started before the addict was an independent, self-sustaining adult, then new skills need to be learned. It’s said that maturity stops when addiction begins.” — Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

The Relationship Between Stress And Addiction

Stress is an all too familiar feeling for denizens of the modern world. Whether it be from the workplace or at home, we are barraged by different stressors on a regular basis. To cope, we have developed various methods for dealing with stress, and they are effective in reducing stress levels for most people.

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However, not all coping mechanisms are created equally. Some methods are less effective than others, while some only cause more trouble. In particular, some people turn to vices such as drinking, smoking, and other substance abuse to relieve the stress. Others become obsessed with activities known to provide immense satisfaction and excitement, such as gambling and gaming.


“Addiction is defined as a habitual psychological or physiologic dependence on a substance or practice that is beyond voluntary control.” — Tarra Bates-Duford, Ph.D., MFT


Some of these activities are harmless, except for smoking and substance abuse. However, some people develop an irresistible obsession with these behaviors, sometimes going to extreme lengths to perform them. This phenomenon is called addiction, and millions of people globally find themselves unable to stop.


A strong link between stress and addiction exists, and it is, therefore, essential to consider stress management when trying to break away from addiction. By delving deeper into how stress influences addiction, better treatment strategies for addiction can be devised.


On Stress And Developing Addiction

Stress is a bodily response designed initially to protect against threats by putting vital systems, such as the circulatory and respiratory systems, into overdrive. In small quantities, stress can be beneficial, as it can promote feelings of relaxation and achievement after the stressor has gone away. However, intense or chronic stress is harmful, as too much stimulation can wear down the human body and exhaust mental reserves.

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Addictive behaviors are sometimes utilized by people under extreme stress as a coping mechanism, as these behaviors tend to bring about strong but temporary improvements in mood. For example, drugs can cause the release of certain neurotransmitters that promote feelings of ecstasy and happiness. Activities like gaming evoke feelings of thrill and excitement, which can help counteract the constant feelings of anxiety and dread brought about by chronic stress.


“Addictions are secretive habits the person has unsuccessfully tried to stop, and that have disrupted work and home. An addiction takes an outsized role in the addict’s life and affects those they love.” — Jason Whiting Ph.D.


However, as the stimuli are short-lived, these positive feelings eventually disappear, forcing people to seek out another opportunity to consume the substance or to perform the activity. Also, the oversaturated brain can learn to become resistant to these stimuli. It means people will need more of the stimuli to experience the same level of ecstasy. This results in a cycle of addiction, which was initially triggered by the need to relieve stress.


Research literature supports the role of stress in promoting the onset of addiction, but stress can also become a burden to those trying to break free from addiction. Significant stress levels can reduce recovery rates. By draining mental reserves, it becomes harder to stick to proper treatment. Patients may relapse into their old addictions to deal with the stress.


Fighting Addiction By Fighting Stress

While the case may seem hopeless, there are effective ways to fight back. The key is to acknowledge that addiction cannot be treated independently of other mental conditions, especially stress. 


“In addition to worrying about a slip, a recovering addict has anxiety that the substance abuse has masked. Drugs smoothed over difficult feelings and situations that now must be faced “on the natch.” — Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

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If you find yourself suffering from both, then learn more about stress management. Many resources can provide you with all the knowledge you need. Some good sources of information are the articles from BetterHelp, which have extensive writing on the nature of stress as well as ways to cope with it.


Adopt activities that promote calm, such as yoga and meditation. Discuss your problems with people you trust and do not hesitate to ask for support whenever you need it. Talk to your mental health specialist about anything that causes you stress and request for assistance in creating a stress management plan that complements your anti-addiction program.


By now, you should realize the strong link between stress and addiction. They are a powerful duo, but stress and addiction are far from invincible. Merely fighting against stress is a step towards solving addiction problems. By doing all of these stress management tips, you will significantly reduce your stress levels, making the fight against addiction more manageable.

Treating Anxiety Caused By Addiction

Some cases of anxiety point alcohol and substance addiction as the culprit. These two are interrelated since these issues can both be the cause and the effect of each other. Most people find themselves experiencing anxiety due to the physical, mental, and emotional problems bound by their addiction. 


“Addiction is embarrassing. It is easier to hide addictive behaviors than admit them, and the layers of denial build up until the truth is completely lost.” — Jason Whiting Ph.D.


If you are one of them, read on for some ways which can help you start your recovery process.

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Medication Management

People who are experiencing anxiety and addiction are used to taking medicines on a frequent basis. Some even tend to pop a pill every single time they feel stressed and overwhelmed. Because of this, treatment programs strive to guide their patients in managing their medications to avoid complications in the long run. 


Authors from a published paper in Medscape recommended the use of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, famously called SSRIs. This medicine has been proven to treat both anxiety and addiction at the same time. However, patients who are using this medication are closely being monitored by their respective consulting physicians to avoid overdose. 


“It should be noted people do not continue behaviors for no reason, specifically drug and alcohol use. Most people continue to use because there is some benefit to the continued use of the drug, which reinforces the use and abuse.” — Tarra Bates-Duford, Ph.D., MFT


Engaging In Support Groups

Anxiety caused by addiction is isolating. People who are experiencing this sometimes believe that no one can understand and tolerate them for whom he or she has become. Because of this, they tend to decline help from their families and close friends.

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Joining a support group can help address this. There are several anxiety support groups which are hosted by health care clinics or hospitals. It will be easier for them to open up in this environment since most of the people in the group are experiencing the same issues and problems. This avenue creates a safe space to share personal stories, coping strategies, stories of success, and depressing moments. Some anxiety support groups even give educational discussions to tackle the technical side of their problems. 


Aside from this, there are also other support groups catered to addiction problems. Some examples include the Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. This way, both the anxiety and the addiction can be addressed. 


“Sober or abstinent addicts have their own emotional challenges. It may be difficult to get through a day without using or drinking or fighting the urge to do so.” — Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT


Behavioral Therapy Treatment

According to studies, the most effective treatment for anxiety is therapy. Unlike medication, behavioral therapies treat not only the symptoms but also address other areas as well. These kinds of therapy help to understand your emotions and feelings, teaches coping strategies and problem-solving skills, and provide avenues for personal rebuilding. 


The most famous kind of therapy treatment for anxiety is the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is divided into two components – the cognitive therapy and the behavior therapy. The cognitive therapy focuses on the negative thoughts which contribute to an individual’s anxiety while behavior therapy deals with a person’s behavior and reaction in situations which trigger their anxiety. 

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Those people experiencing addiction prefer this option as well. They believe therapies can guide them in understanding their reasons for their addictions and regain their old selves back. This avenue also enables them to look for ways to deal with their problems without the assistance of drugs or alcohol. If they are unsure where to start, BetterHelp is an excellent avenue to connect with therapists.


Dealing with both addiction and anxiety can be a bit challenging. However, it can be solved by taking one step at a time. Just breathe and relax, and you’ll eventually recover in time.

Dealing With Your Partner Under Substance Abuse, One Step At A Time

One of the biggest threats to relationships is substance abuse. It changes the dynamics between lovers, bringing them into a roller coaster ride of emotions. It is definitely not easy to be in a relationship threatened by drug addiction. And while “not giving up” is the most common encouragement, it is almost always easier said than done.

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Here are 5 of the many things you can do in the face of drug abuse by your partner:


Be Sensitive About The Signs

Physical symptoms of substance abuse include the change in pupil size, frequent nosebleeds, sudden weight fluctuations, unstable sleeping patterns, seizures despite no past experiences of epilepsy, odd smells on body, breath, or clothing, slurred speech, and poor movement coordination, including tremors or shakes, among others.


Behavioral signs include weak performance or troublesome attendance at school or work, losing interest in activities you once enjoyed, complaints from friends and family, unable to explain the need money, stealing, or mysterious disappearances of valuable, abrupt change of leisure activities and places, as well as aggressive behavior.


“Most people in a relationship with an addict have some level of codependency. As reported by Mental Health America, codependents are people that have the intention to help the addict, but who become compulsive in the caregiving role.” — Sherry Gaba LCSW


Seek Professional Help

Because you have the mindset that you know your partner the most, you may often try to solve medical and psychological problems, and even substance abuse for the matter, on your own. You would tend to avoid professional help for the longest time until it’s too late.


Professional intervention, a structured and solution-oriented process aimed at encouraging people under substance abuse to seek help, could go very far on a person’s way towards a changed life. A professional would help keep accusations and name-calling out of the healing equation and focus the intervention on constructive ways to heal.

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Go Away With Enabling

Driven by the love for your partner, you may be tempted to cover up their actions for them. It is always the tendency for couples – to try to make their relationship appear stable and okay. But sometimes, doing things on their behalf may be doing more harm than good. Stop enabling your partner. When you fix problems for your partner, you create a pattern of unhealthy rescuing.


If need be, limit your partner’s control of money to hinder them from buying illegal drugs further. Sometimes, this tough love is what they need to learn responsibility.


“Many people in troubled marriages say, “We just don’t communicate anymore.” Most likely, they mean to say that they don’t communicate effectively anymore.” — Erika Krull, MSEd, LMHP


Stop The Blaming, Start The Healing

It is everyone’s go-to response when we run out of patience: blaming. You have to understand that your partner under substance abuse is also a victim. Accusing them becomes only a springboard for further substance abuse. In the end, it really benefits no one, except that it just brings in more negative emotions and breaks relationships.


Encourage positivity by turning conversations into good exchanges rather than dragging confrontations. Make them feel that they are not alone. Help bring back their self-esteem by reassuring them of their value and of the fact that they are loved, blessed, and accepted. Never forget to cultivate tons of patience and understanding along the way.


“When addiction strikes marriage, spouses need to face reality and be careful not to become an enabler.” — Jason Whiting Ph.D.


Know When To Draw The Line

There are cases of people under drug abuse who turn to violence and aggressive tendencies. It raises the red flag once the violent act involves you and your children. There are also cases when those experiencing substance abuse do it in front of the kids. At this point when your safety and the well-being of others become affected, then you seriously have to consider separation.

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When all efforts have been given but to no avail, sometimes, you should also know when to draw the line between keeping up and leaving. While this is already the last resort, this tough love approach sometimes brings in better things than merely staying.


The journey towards healing is not easy, but nobody can say that it is impossible. There is always hope when there are people who are willing to help despite the odds. Keep believing in your love, and it will never be too late to mend broken hearts and start fresh, one step at a time.

Activities To Boost Your Marriage And Prevent Substance Abuse Relapse

“If you and your spouse had poor communication, this situation might have a very different outcome. Frustration, mistrust, tension, and defensiveness can intensify your conflict.” — Erika Krull, MSEd, LMHP


The road to recovery from substance abuse can get difficult. However, with your life partner by your side, your recovery period can be fun and exciting times.


Try some of these activities with your partner. These can get your mind off substance abuse while having a great time with your spouse!

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  • Engage In Physical Exercise

Physical exercise can be a no-brainer for some, but don’t underestimate the power of physical activity. Exercise definitely has its benefits!


Physical exercise can increase your endorphins or “happy hormones.” Thus, the regular physical activity can keep these happy hormones high in your system. More endorphins can lead you to regulate your stress levels better.


Engaging in physical exercise with your spouse can increase your physical intimacy with each other. It can also increase your regard for each other.


  • Go Outdoors

Rediscover the great outdoors! Make this activity more memorable by exploring mountains and cliff sides with your friends and your spouse.

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Plan a new destination each month. You can explore favorite trails and parks or even get to know lesser-known destinations. Make it more exciting by giving it a theme. Anticipate for your trip by planning your itinerary and your barbecue cookouts ahead of time!


Going outdoors will refresh your soul. You will have a renewed mind after you leave the hustle and bustle of urban spaces for even a few days. This activity is a must-try!


“William James said, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”” — Lisa Firestone, Ph.D.


  • Try A New Sport

When was the last time you played a sport with your spouse? Was it five years ago? Or 10 years ago, perhaps? Maybe it’s time you discover another sport with your spouse.


There are a lot of options out there. A step going forward is to print out a checklist of all possible sports activities. You and your spouse can tick your picks. After that, plan when you will try similar sports. You may even plan a sports day for just the two of you!


Trying out new sports will increase your bonding time with your spouse. More importantly, trying a new sport can keep your mind off from wandering into substance abuse again.

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  • Get In A Support Group

Getting to know more people outside of your social circle can be exciting. You will get to know people who have entirely different stories to tell, whose lives can potentially pique your interest.


It is the joy of going into harmless social gatherings. You can share lives with new people. More importantly, your spouse is there with you as your support. You are never alone out there.


“…sobriety destabilizes the status quo, offering opportunities for positive change. But it’s also an unsettling time. Both partners feel vulnerable. It’s a rocky transition in the relationship presenting many challenges.” — Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT


Going further, having a support group in this life journey is essential. Life is unpredictable, volatile, and uncertain. You will need rocks to stabilize you and not let life sway you around. A support group can precisely do that.


Ultimately, you can prevent substance abuse relapse and boost your marriage at the same time. These activities are designed to help you do just that. In time, you will be able to shrug off any invitation of substance abuse from former peers and live cleanly. 


Smoking And Its Effects On A Married Couple’s Life

Sometimes, some people think they’re better off alone than be with a smoker. Because more than just a case of stress relief, pleasure, social situation solution, smoking is highly addictive, and often, dangerous for the health.

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“Most marriages go through rough times, which can change the way spouses communicate with each other. Many couples develop bad habits and create destructive patterns when things aren’t going well.” — Erika Krull, MSEd, LMHP


Smoking may be one of the less desirable traits a person may have.  It’s one thing to be in a relationship when both partners are smokers, but if one is not, then that may be an issue. It is as if there is no regard for your health.


In marriage, you get to live your life together with your “the one.” Are you honestly okay with your beau to smoke all throughout his life? Or maybe you don’t bother because you are a smoker too?


Here are some of the effects smoking carries for a married couple:


If both are smokers:



  • You Are Intertwined In An Intimate Relationship.


We see it in movies. Couples already have smoking part of their relationship pattern, such as after having sex, after taking breakfast together, or when discussing problems. Taking a drag seems like a normal and “relaxing” thing because both of you do it, and you understand your partner in a way a non-smoker partner couldn’t. Maybe that also means you know the health effects. But what does it matter, right? There is romance in a good smoke.

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  • You Experience Less Tension, More Enjoyment.


A couple that smokes together is more relaxed and chill than the average couple. The couple sees the habit as a simple thing that keeps them both happy and contented. For the more “experienced” couples, they’re not just smoking cigarettes, but weed. They claim that it heightens the quality and happiness of their relationship.


“Your husband is responsible for his own behavior, just as you are responsible for yours. You are not “allowing” him to use and you are not condoning it either.” — Holly Counts, Psy.D.


If only one is a smoker:



  • You Are Hurting Your Relationship Without Even Knowing It.


Smoking is a vicious cycle. “You smoke, partner complains, you argue about it, you feel stressed and get upset, then you smoke again.” For a fact, divorce rates are found to be significantly higher, at 76% to 95% if only one spouse has the habit of smoking.

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  • You Will Start To Look For Another Partner.


Whoever says vices can’t break a relationship obviously haven’t been in a serious, committed relationship. Some think that their beau’s conviction not to quit smoking is a sign that they don’t care about their health, and yours (secondhand smoke). It is an exceptionally challenging issue for a married couple because being in a marriage means you are committed to building a life together, not a problem.


  •  You Will Divorce With Your Partner For Fear Of The Future.

When smoking gets the best of your partner’s life, you tend to second guess if you even married the right person. It is a fact that smoking can be passed down through generations. It poses very harmful effects to a pregnant mom, and to the newborn child, who might experience breathing and nutrition problems.


 “While it may be true that addicts need to want recovery in order to truly turn their lives around, the choice is hardly ever that simple and if we can tip the balance in the favor of treatment, or a better way of life, I say let’s go for it.” — Adi Jaffe Ph.D.


Marriage is a big step in two people’s lives. If smoking’s advantages outweigh its advantages, you are free to do as you wish. But if not, maybe try to change for the better for the sake of your family’s future. 

Stressful Situations In Marriage You Need To Be Prepared For

“A good marriage thrives on the open exchange of emotion, desires, and beliefs. In fact, communication is one of the most important aspects of a satisfying marriage.” — Erika Krull, MSEd, LMHP


Marriage is a big step in life for two individuals because it is a significant commitment they would have to live by for the rest of their lives. However, no matter how bonded two hearts are, it’s inevitable that stressful situations will still arise to make or break a couple.

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Since all relationships have their good times and bad times, it’s all heightened when the pair gets married. The wise thing to do is to prepare, so these “stressful situations” could turn into a mere obstacle that is easy to overcome.


Don’t be easily shaken. Problems are completely normal. Just take time to stop and enjoy life, your surroundings, and all the experiences that unfold. Don’t let problems take too much toll on your body or mental health.


If you are planning to get or are currently married, here is a list of stressful situations that you need to be prepared for:


  • Jealousy In Career

A married couple is still two individuals on two different paths. If your wife or husband is succeeding in his or her work, as the partner, you might have feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and jealousy. As much as you want to have the same pace in progressing towards both of your career goals, it rarely happens in real life. So what’s the next best thing to do? Be there for each other, and be each other’s inspiration and motivation to be the very best version of yourselves!

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  • Financial Struggles

Sadly, a lot of couples break up and get divorced because of financial struggles. By having varying views and lifestyles, it might take a while to compromise and agree on a “proper expenditure.” Money getting in the way is always the ugliest. Spend money wisely together, and have fun together.


  • Sexual Needs

The honeymoon phase of marriage goes on for several months and possibly lasting as long as two years. Here’s when all the sexual activities happen ever so frequently! As time pass by, the sex becomes “less desirable,” or not enough for your liking. Keep the resentment or feelings of being “unloved” out of the picture. Be sensitive to your partner’s needs, and compromise when you can.


  • Family Planning

There’s a considerable figure on the number of married couples everywhere in the world. In fact, there are roughly 4 million married couples in the United States, but they still don’t have any children. Sometimes, the husband or wife may want to hold off having kids for a while to enjoy their time together.


“Life is unpredictable, and denial helps us cope and focus on what we must in order to survive. On the other hand, denial harms us when it causes us to ignore problems for which there are solutions or deny feelings and needs that if dealt with would enhance our lives.” — Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

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One may be focused too much on building the career or managing the business and the other may just be hesitant to start the parenting journey. But a married couple needs to work things out when it comes to family planning. It is a very sensitive topic. All the more if there are issues of infertility among the two.


  • Parenting

Let’s say you agreed on starting your own family, and you did it. What now? They say parenting is a much bigger, and tougher challenge that anyone can face. They say it because it’s true. Imagine having a little boy you need to carry around the whole day while working? Or changing diapers in the middle of the night? The list goes on and on. But the bottom line is, it’s going to be the scariest (but rewarding) phase of your life. 


  • Nosy In-Laws

You can never really merge two families entirely without having any problems. There will be a mess, as you try to create healthy boundaries and dynamics with your in-laws. If you are all living together in the same house, you might want to put in a little more effort.


“Couples counseling is different than family therapy or individual psychotherapy. In family therapy, the focus is on helping the family figure out the large problems within the entire family (including children), and helping them to find fixes (such as improving communication).” — Jane Framingham, Ph.D.


There are probably a lot more situations you will face in your married life. All you need to do is keep a positive mindset and overcome it one by one.

Positive Thinking: What is Positive Psychiatry?

In today’s world, mental health is becoming a serious issue, and almost everyone deals with it every day. However, it still doesn’t get the kind of attention it deserves, and the stigma for people dealing with it is still very evident.

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“In fact, merely reflecting on how attuned we feel with our daily interactions has been linked with an increase in the experience of positive emotions.” — Marianna Pogosyan Ph.D.


With positive psychiatry’s growth as a new field and a new type of therapy, it aims to combat the growing population of people with mental health problems. Through the enforcement of positive characteristics, it hopes to end the sufferings of people undergoing depression, anxiety, and more. But what is it, and how can it potentially help people diagnosed with mental health problems?


What Is Positive Psychiatry?

Positive Psychiatry is an emerging field of psychiatry which aims to understand in-depth and promote the well-being of a person. Through several assessments and interventions, this type of treatment aims to involve positive psychosocial characteristics of people who are most likely to develop a mental illness or even a physical one.


The use of this treatment involves four components, the first one being positive psychological health outcomes, or the person’s well-being. The second one is composed of mental traits (such as optimism, resilience, social engagement, personal mastery and coping, wisdom, etc.)  and environmental factors (family, friends, and other environmental factors). The third and fourth components would be the biology of positive psychiatry ideologies and the positive psychiatry interventions.

““Positive psychiatry” is making its entrance and embraces the therapeutic benefits of relationships and holistic principles in even the most severe states of emotional distress.” — Margaret Altman, LCSW, MSW

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Basically, the use of this treatment helps one to look at their strengths as a person, and help them change the way they usually think. It aims to make people view life with a more positive outlook, and promote this not only within themselves but also to other people.


Positivism And Mental Health

Now more than ever, with the sudden and groundbreaking discoveries of neuroscience on how our brain is wired, it’s so easy to discover the causes of mental illnesses. However, psychiatry is so much more than that. It is designed not just to let you know the cause, but rather how to deal with it, something that cannot be fully explained by neuroscience.


Now more than ever, we need to take note of how to improve mental health, rather than just discovering the causes of mental illnesses. As much as the importance of determining the cause of a problem, dealing with the issue is also something to look into.


But how can one improve his mental health with positive psychiatry? Several “treatments” improve one’s psychological disposition.First of all, you should change the way you think. Practicing positivism every day would help you see the brighter side of things, and makes your mind healthier. 

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“If we want our positive affirmations to be successful, we need to learn how to construct these statements in the right ways. This way, our positive affirmations are more likely to lead to more positive actions, emotions, and experiences.” — Tchiki Davis, Ph.D.


Taking care of your physical body is also essential, as it can also affect your mental wellbeing. Exercise, eat healthily and get a good amount of sleep every day. Lastly, keep only the company of people who support you and care for you. You may find that some people can be toxic, and they surround you with negative energy. Do not hesitate to remove them from your life, and be thankful for those who are there for you through everything.


Practicing a positive attitude and outlook in life may be easier said than done. However, if you do it one step at a time, you may find yourself improving each day.


Asking Your Neighbor To Seek Therapy

In any situation, to even begin to identify someone who might need therapy is a daunting task. A concerned person would hesitate to approach someone because it’s almost impossible to ensure that the struggling person would receive it well. There’s always a risk of coming off as offensive or overstepping. Worse, the confrontation could be a trigger for them.


There’s a world of reasons why encouraging someone to seek therapy is tricky, but what if the struggling person is almost a stranger? Like a neighbor who strikes the community as troubled? The task becomes that much harder, but the need to address it is not any less critical.

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Why The Community Should Care

The essence of the community is to be a safe and positive living environment for families. If a person belonging to the community is suspected to need professional help, it’s a cause for concern. People concerned should address the possible danger immediately. It could be that the struggling person could be a danger to oneself, or to people around them.


However, having a seemingly troubled neighbor doesn’t automatically mean the community should be alarmed. If there are no visible red flags like violence or particularly odd behavior telling of mental illness, it’s important to give enough time to observe and understand more of the person’s situation before coming to any conclusion.

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Allot A Proper Observation Period

Like what was said earlier, confronting a person comes with many risks and should be handled with utmost care. The best precaution is to be as sure as possible that professional help would benefit the troubled neighbor. It means to observe for at least 3 weeks, to see if the neighbor’s concerning actions are regular, as to differentiate between a person having a bad week or a person needing professional help.


It helps to talk to other members of the community for advice and as additional observers, but not to the point where suspicions arise. It’s essential to give courtesy and to be sensitive to the situation of the troubled neighbor. Consult with therapist friends, seek information online and understand more about the neighbor before deciding that the person needs help.

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Involve The Community

Given that it’s a concern for the community, it’s ideal to approach the situation as a community as well. Talk to people who are in the position to instruct and organize how things work in the community. The community leaders could then give everyone the necessary information like to invite the community as a whole to attend health and wellness activities, or instructions to report any suspicious activity.


It’s not recommended to approach the troubled neighbor directly and alone. The goal is to encourage the troubled neighbor to slowly immerse in the community to hopefully show signs of improvement and eventually be open to seeking therapy and to further validate whether or not there is any threat to safety.


It’s not explicitly written anywhere, but to be part of a community means to look out for each other, and even for those that might strike others as troubled. Have an open mind and the heart to reach out when there’s someone whose life could be made much better with a little help.