Need treatment? Find help or get online counseling right now!

Archives for Psychology

Addiction

Not Yet

I’m always impressed by the power of our ‘unconscious.’  I realize that people have a range of models for conceptualizing how our minds work;  my own combination of education, analysis, and observation has led to an understanding that ‘works for me.’

My conscious mind works in series, holding one or two thoughts at a time and proceeding in a somewhat-linear fashion.  The unconscious, on the other hand, is an amalgam of countless processes that never end, epiphenomena...
Continue Reading

Feelings

After Dad’s Passing

My dad passed away two days ago, one day after his 89th birthday.  It doesn’t feel quite right to post something so personal.  But it feels more wrong to write about anything else.

Writing was a source of tension between us in some ways.  My perspectives on myself, my parents, and my upbringing have changed over the years, and I tried to share my observations with my dad in several short essays centered around memories from my...
Continue Reading

Addiction

Ceilings Revisited

A question was asked about the last post that warrants top billing:

"Buprenorphine acts similar to opioid agonists in lower doses, with the same addictive potential as oxycodone or heroin. In higher doses—doses above 8 mg or 8000 micrograms per day—the ‘ceiling effect' eliminates interest and cravings for the drug.”

I’m not sure I followed this. Can you explain more? What would you think about someone who is taking 1-2mg of Suboxone twice a day without...
Continue Reading

Psychology

The Value of Psychiatry(?)

As a solo-practice psychiatrist, I am more connected to the cost/value equation of my services than the typical system-employed physician.  I’ve also written in prior posts about my concerns with modern psychiatry.  I have worked in a variety of settings over the course of my career, and I realize that coming to an understanding of something as complicated as another person’s subjective life experience is a very difficult endeavor.

At the very...
Continue Reading

Addiction

Buprenorphine vs. Methadone for Heroin Addiction


Researchers in Pisa, Italy recently published findings from a study of heroin addicts treated with either buprenorphine or methadone.  The study was a follow-up to earlier studies by the same group;  one that examined the personality characteristics of heroin addicts, and a second that measured the impact of agonist treatment on psychiatric symptomatology and the quality of life of heroin addicts.

The recent third study, published in the Annals of General Psychiatry, divided...
Continue Reading

Addiction

Aftercare Made the Difference

I relapsed in 2000 after seven years of sobriety, and my attachment to opioids progressed much more rapidly than during my initial addiction.  I wrote a post a number of months ago that described ‘living on two levels,’ and that was my experience at the time—as if one part of my personality was frantically taking ever-increasing doses of dangerous narcotics while the other part, horrified, looked on.

Eventually my behavior caught the...
Continue Reading

12