Addiction Studies

Understanding Addiction

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Counseling & Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Psychiatry

I was a typical nerdy boy who wanted to be friends with popular, older kids at school. I often got excellent grades and even won at decathlon competitions, but I paid attention to becoming a football team’s water boy, hoping to get the jocks’ attention. My academic accomplishments became more insignificant to me than ever when Jack, the star quarterback, invited me to a party at his house one weekend.

Objectively speaking, I did not think that Jack meant to invite me. I thought he merely did it out of courtesy because I happened to be in the locker room as he invited the other players. Despite that, it did not deter me from going.


I half-expected the other kids to bully me when I showed up at Jack’s house. After all, my aesthetics screamed that I was not a part of their clique. Thus, you could imagine my surprise when a few jocks came up to me and handed me a beer in a can.

I could only look at it for a second, unsure whether to take it or not. I just turned 16 years old back then; I was nowhere near the legal drinking age. Due to my desire to please my potential best friends, I accepted the beer and chugged it. It tasted like I assumed urine would taste like, but the guys cheered me on, so I kept drinking until the can was empty. When I put it down, a lit cigarette came into my line of vision.

Nope, not a cigarette – a rolled-up weed. I realized that Jack was holding it, and he gave me an encouraging smile. “If you finish this, you’ll be one of us,” he said.

Brazened by that promise, I took the weed and brought it to my lips. It was so bitter that I almost spat it out, but I felt the need to do it to be one of the cool dudes at school. After my first roll, they gave me more weed and beer all night long.

Knowing I Was Going Down The Drain

True to Jack’s words, I became a part of their group after that party. People envied me and wanted to know how it happened, but I never tattled. I remained friends with the jocks for years and continued smoking pot, drinking, and even snorting cocaine several times when we entered college.

However, the only time I felt like I was genuinely going down the drain was when Jack came to a summer break party with meth, candles, spoons, and injections. It meant that he wanted us to try injecting illegal drugs into our bodies. Knowing I had to avoid that at all costs, I sneaked out of the party, arranged my transference to a university on the other coast the next day, and never spoke with Jack again.

While I did the right thing, it did not mean that I managed to avoid withdrawal symptoms. I could not go to rehab without letting my parents know why I had to do that, so I began looking for other ways to get help. That’s when I discovered online psychiatry and therapy.  

Is online therapy safe?

Yes, online therapy is generally safe, especially if you sign up at a reputable virtual platform. They can secure your details and have data-protection measures to keep hackers out. More importantly, no one will know that you are receiving therapy unless you tell them yourself.

Can BetterHelp prescribe?

No, BetterHelp cannot prescribe medication. It is a platform that helps mentally troubled individuals reach licensed psychologists and therapists without the fear of revealing their woes to others before they feel ready to do so. In case online therapy does not work, and the person genuinely needs antidepressants, the therapist or psychologist will most likely advise them to seek a psychiatrist’s help. 


Is it better to see a psychiatrist or psychologist?

In reality, most people tend to see a psychologist first, especially when they experience psychological symptoms but are yet to receive a diagnosis. If it turns out that they indeed have a mental disorder, the psychologist may recommend therapy for treatment. Many psychologists double as therapists, but they may refer you to another mental health professional if you meet one who does not.

Now, in case your symptoms are quite severe – e.g., delusions, hallucinations, panic attacks, etc. – it may be better to see a psychiatrist. The primary reason is that mental illnesses with such symptoms cannot be treated by therapy – antidepressants, sedatives, or stronger medications may work. Those are things that only psychiatrists can prescribe. 

What are the benefits of online therapy?

The main benefit of getting online therapy is that you need not look for a mental health facility that offers therapy. In truth, you do not have to leave your house at all as long as you have internet or mobile data. This is ideal for people with disabilities or who live in remote areas, considering their treatment can go on without meeting their therapists face-to-face.

Furthermore, online therapy is an affordable version of psychotherapy. Many people who have tried this treatment claim that it is not too different from going to a therapist’s clinic, except that they are not required to pay hundreds of dollars to receive therapy. 

Is online therapy as effective?

Yes, various studies have proven the effectiveness of online therapy over the years. In all honesty, they go as far as saying that online treatment is as effective as face-to-face therapy. That is especially true for online cognitive-behavioral therapy, given that people with depression, social anxiety, panic disorder, and other common mental illnesses have found relief through online therapy.

How do you get therapy if you can’t afford it?

If you cannot afford therapy, you may try doing the following:

  • Inform your therapist about your financial situation. Many mental health professionals may have an ongoing professional fee, but it does not mean that you cannot ask them to make an exemption and lower their costs for you. It all comes down to honesty and agreement.
  • Go to a university mental health clinic. This suggestion is ideal for people who live close to universities with psychology programs. Some students tend to volunteer at outpatient hospitals and offer therapy for free. Although they do not have the same number of experiences as seasoned therapists, they have the same training or knowledge that the latter may have.
  • Try group therapy at local institutions. Considering there is at least one mental health facility in your area, feel free to check if they offer group therapy. This is generally cheaper than one-on-one treatment, so you may be able to afford it. If you can find one that does not charge anything for group therapy, that’s better.
  • Consider getting online therapy. Online therapy is more affordable than traditional therapy by a mile. You may receive the latter for one-fifth of what other therapists charge if you meet them face-to-face.

Is online therapy cheaper?

Yes, online therapy is cheaper than in-person therapy. When you sign up for the latter, you may get unlimited chances to chat or talk to a psychologist or therapist for as low as $35 per week. If you choose one-on-one therapy, $100 may not be enough for a one-hour session with the therapist.

How much does a therapist cost a month?

The cost of seeing a therapist depends on various aspects. For instance, if you are in Los Angeles, New York, and other parts of the country with a high living cost, the fee may start at $200 per session. In other inexpensive cities, it may begin at $150. However, if you want to try online therapy, you may only need to pay $30 every week.

What is the difference between ADHD and Asperger’s syndrome?

The main difference between ADHD and Asperger’s syndrome is that only one of them belongs to the autism spectrum – and that’s the latter. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is in a league of its own, in the sense that people with this disability are known for their impulsive and hyperactive behaviors and lack of attention. Despite that, mental health professionals conclude that an individual has ADHD before scraping that diagnosis and realize that what they have is Asperger’s syndrome.

How can you tell if a girl has autism?

These are the telltale signs that a girl may have autism:

  • She asserts control by dictating what game to play or how they should play it.
  • In case the girl does not get her way, she prefers to play alone.
  • She feels lost in a social function and tends to copy others’ behaviors.
  • She deals with mental breakdowns at home, although she may never do that anywhere else to blend in.
  • She can be overly sensitive to the extent that she removes clothing tags or avoids deodorants.

How can you tell if someone has Asperger’s?

Someone with Asperger’s syndrome may have the following symptoms:

  • They cannot make friends and often chooses to self-isolate instead of socializing with their peers.
  • They cannot meet others’ eyes when they are talking or distinguish sarcasm from honesty.
  • They tend to misbehave unknowingly.
  • Having great common sense is not one of their best qualities.
  • They show intense fascination in specific subject matters, but they cannot talk about others.
  • They thrive well when they have a schedule to follow.

Do people with Asperger’s syndrome lack empathy?

It has always been said that people with Asperger’s syndrome lack empathy, but it is not entirely true. Yes, they do not understand others’ feelings, reactions, or tones. Yes, they may even be baffled whenever someone cracks a joke and end up taking the latter seriously. However, they can still be compassionate at times.


Can BetterHelp diagnose you?

No, BetterHelp cannot diagnose you. The platform houses many licensed psychologists who should be able to do that, but there is a strict regulation to only make diagnoses face-to-face. All they can provide online is therapy.

Does Asperger’s syndrome get worse with age?

The answer depends on how early the Asperger’s syndrome has been diagnosed or what the diagnosed individual has done to treat the condition. Although Asperger’s syndrome cannot be cured permanently, many people end up leading everyday lives, getting married, and excelling in the workplace. The only time it may worsen with age is if it’s left untreated.

Can BetterHelp diagnose ADHD?

No, BetterHelp cannot diagnose ADHD. Aside from the fact that psychologists cannot conduct a psychological evaluation or diagnosis online, specific mental health professionals deal with ADHD. That’s something that BetterHelp is not equipped for. 

Final Thoughts

The first couple of mental health professionals I talked to were hesitant to accommodate me and advised me to rehab. However, I could not do that, so I kept looking for a psychiatrist or therapist who did not mind offering therapy to a reforming substance abuser. Luckily, more than a handful of mental health services providers chose from, so I eventually received the help I needed to get my act together. 


When Your Husband Has Video Game Addiction 

When you are in a relationship with a man who finds happiness in playing video games, you are in for an emotional ride. Be prepared for the times he wouldn’t be able to answer your calls or messages. There will be times when he will forget special occasions. And most of the time, he just wouldn’t have time because he would be busy playing video games. When his hobby is already affecting your relationship, it is somewhat an addiction.  

“Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior (also referred to as digital gaming or video-gaming), that may be primarily conducted over the Internet (online) or primarily conducted not on the Internet (offline),” according to John M. Grohol, Psy.D.


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We Sought Online Therapy For Our Troubled Teen

Teens today can make you lose your mind! Sometimes, you’ll ask yourself, “What’s happening to this world?” I ask myself that a couple of times a day and a couple more before I go to bed. Could it be from the way we raise our kid or could it be from the culture of this new generation?  



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Addicted To Extreme Dieting? Psychology Experts Say That’s Bad For You

Psychology experts are not the type of professionals that people should go to when they have fitness questions, but they cannot help but get involved in the diet of some patients. The reason is that a few mental health illnesses affect or are somehow related to the eating habits of troubled individuals. When you are depressed, for instance, you may allow days to pass without consuming foods as you may be too deep in your head to even entertain hunger. If you have anger management issues, the emotion may cause you to lose your appetite often. Of course, when there is an eating disorder, your relationship with food may be too strained. “The food you eat can have a direct effect on your energy level, physical health, and mood. A “healthy diet” is one that has enough of each essential nutrient, contains many foods from all of the basic food groups, provides the right amount of calories to maintain a healthy weight, and does not have too much fat, sugar, salt, or alcohol,” as stated by Carol A. Gooch,M.S., LPC, LCDC, LMFT.


One problem that people do not always talk about, though, is an addiction to extreme dieting. It is not as prevalent as substance abuse; you may not even hear folks mention it a lot. However, there may be times when you meet a friend after months of not seeing him or her, and you notice an excessive drop in his or her weight. Every time you see this friend and invites him or her lunch, though, he or she often uses fasting as an excuse for not wanting to eat. Then, you may start to wonder, “Isn’t this person dieting too much?”

The Truth About Extreme Diets

Extreme dieting is a form of diet that is most popular among individuals who are looking for a shortcut to achieve their weight-loss goals. It entails that someone does everything within their power to avoid consuming too many calories every day. This person tends to engage in high-intensity training programs as well or stay in the gym for hours while practically fasting or depriving himself or herself of nutritious foods.

The upside of following an extreme diet is that the weight reduction takes place at an incredible rate. If you keep on working out and only eat a banana, after all, it is inevitable for you to lose weight fast. Despite that, the primary disadvantage of doing extreme dieting is that you are forcing your body to do challenging tasks without topping up its energy reserves. The more you do it, therefore, the more you’ll exhaust your system, to the extent that you may deal with fainting spells one day.


Telltale Signs That You May Be Addicted To Extreme Dieting

Like I’ve said earlier, addiction to extreme dieting is not commonly talked about among families or circles of friends. One person may take note if the other seems to avoid overeating, but people seldom associate the issue with the condition that is as real as addiction.

Considering you are worried that you or a loved one is addicted to extreme dieting, here are some of its telltale signs.

1. Showing Inflexibility When It Comes To Food Choices

The first indication that you may be experiencing addiction towards this form of diet is that you only want to eat the same foods for a while. Say, you think that you can lose weight faster than ever if you consume grilled chicken, carrot sticks, and cup noodles throughout an entire month. Even when someone coaxes you to dine out or offers to cover your share, you decline their invitation and stick to the same options.

Showing such inflexibility is exceptionally unhealthy. For one, the said food choices can only provide certain nutrients, and more varieties can provide more vitamins and minerals. You may develop an addiction to junk foods as well because of the cup noodles, which is junk food.


2. Doing Detox Too Much

Juice cleanses, and water therapy have become popular recently as the liquid diet allows the body to get rid of toxins naturally. The thing is, such methods are merely recommended to be done for several days because they cannot provide all the nutrition that your system needs to function well. In case a month has already passed, and you are still drinking instead of eating your food, you should re-evaluate your choices.

3. Punishing Slipups With Overexercising

When a non-addicted woman who is supposed to be on a low-carb diet ends up finishing half of a big cheesecake, she may say, “Oh, that’s okay. I’m human; I can eat whatever I want once in a while.” She won’t berate herself over or try to get the food out of her system in any way possible.

If someone who is addicted to extreme dieting eats more than what she has set for herself, though, she may feel angry at herself. Instead of purging, this person tends to add an hour or two to her regular gym time to burn off the calories that she has consumed. It may not matter whether her arms and legs are about to give off; what’s important is that she sweats off the extra pounds that the slipup has brought. As what Joe Koelzer stated, “Don’t let over-exercise or any other behavioral addiction keep you off the path of living your purpose. Yes, you have a fire inside of you … so use it to shine.”

Final Thoughts

Dieting can result in positive things if you do it correctly. According to psychologists Lawrence Robinson, Jeanne Segal Ph.D., and Robert Segal, M.A., “Eating a healthy diet is not about strict limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your health, and boosting your mood.” Not only will it allow you to lose weight, but you can also feel your confidence level go up every time you shed a pound. However, if you commit to extreme dieting and get addicted to it, you may start having problems physically and mentally. So, try to look for other ways to lose weight now. Good luck!