DR. WALLACE: I know that cigarettes, drugs and alcohol can be addictive. Can you tell me how it feels to be addicted to something? I don't want to get into the details about my life, but let's just say that I'm interested in learning what might indicate that I'm addicted to something. — Hoping to Avoid Addictions, via email
HOPING TO AVOID ADDICTIONS: I'm told that needing another cigarette, drink of alcohol, or more of a drug or illicit substance compares to feeling extremely hungry. Feeding the addictive habit is like consuming a huge meal at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
It can create a feeling that makes a person feel good for a short period of time, but then the body suffers from impending strain and pain, and the process then starts all over again and turns into a vicious circle of craving, relief and pain. Once a vicious cycle like this regularly repeats and seems to take control over a person's time and attention span and displaces other activities, it's nearly certain that an addiction is in play.
In most cases, those addicted to drugs and alcohol must get professional help in order to eliminate their addiction. Other forms of addiction often necessitate other methods to counteract and hopefully eliminate destructive behavior.
If there is something that is concerning you enough to write to me here, I suggest that you scour the internet to learn all you can about the topic and then seek professional help or medical attention as needed.
Remember that whatever may be potentially affecting you can be overcome with the right steps and actions, especially when they are taken early on once a problem is confirmed. Your life, health and well-being are too important to be put aside and taken for granted.
Take steps immediately to improve yourself and your situation, whether or not a full-blown addiction has crept into your life. You'll be glad that you addressed this issue quickly, no matter what it is.
JUST DON'T DO IT!
DR. WALLACE: I'm 18 and just graduated from high school. About a month ago, I met this guy, and I really like him. He is 24 and in the process of getting a divorce.
I'm unhappily living with my parents, so I was very excited when he asked me to live with him in his apartment. He even said it wouldn't cost me anything at all because he's already paying the full rent himself. He's an excellent cook, so I wouldn't be a housewife.
I'm working full time and making pretty good money, so this would be a good time for me to save some money. At home, I have to pay my parents $50 a week in rent, and I'm hardly ever there, so it seems like a big waste of money to me. What do you think? Should I just go for it? — Ready To Move On, via email
READY TO MOVE ON: My guess is that you might be having second thoughts about moving in with this guy, or you wouldn't be contacting me. But I am glad you did because I can give you my advice here promptly and definitively: DON'T DO IT!
It may cost you more than you anticipate, and I'm not talking about money. What could happen is that you would be his mistress. Don't forget this guy is still married!
Since you are unhappy at home, why not find a girlfriend who would share expenses with you, and you two girls could look for an apartment together? You'd be out of your parents' house and on your own, and you would have no potential entanglements with a still-married man.
You've only known this guy for a few weeks. That isn't long enough to make this or any kind of commitment, in my opinion.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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