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Friday, April 18, 2008

Alcohol Abuse Health Center

WebMD Commentary from "Psychology Today" Magazine

Psychology Today Magazine

If alcoholism seems like a lot to handle, imagine growing up with addicted parents. The alcoholic family is one of chaos, inconsistency, unclear roles, and illogical thinking. Arguments are pervasive, and violence or even incest may play a role. Children in alcoholic families suffer trauma as acute as soldiers in combat; they also carry the trauma like an albatross throughout their lives.

Not only is the experience devastating, it's common, says Stephanie Brown, founder of the Alcohol Clinic at Stanford Medical Center, where she formulated the developmental model of alcohol recovery. Seventy-six million Americans (about 45 percent of the U.S. population) have been exposed to alcoholism in the family in one way or another, and an estimated 26.8 million of them are children. "These children are more at risk for alcoholism and other drug abuse than are children of non-alcoholics, and more at risk of marrying an alcoholic as well."

Overcoming the legacy of a parent's alcoholism may be difficult in part because there is a long history of denial. "The family is dominated by the presence and denial of alcoholism, which becomes a major family secret," says Brown, today director of the Addictions Institute in Menlo Park, California. The secret becomes a governing principle required to hold the family together, the scaffolding for coping strategies and shared beliefs, without which the family might fall apart.

Claudia Black, a leading expert on adult children of alcoholics and author of It Will Never Happen to Me, says these children grow up with three dangerous rules: don't trust, don't feel, and don't talk. Since alcoholic parents are so self-absorbed, they forget birthdays and other important events, leaving their children with the sense that they can have faith in no one. Since the parents inflict so much pain on their families, they teach their children to suppress their emotions just to survive. Indeed, alcoholic parents are prone to angry or violent outbursts that (along with the drinking itself) they end up denying, and children in such a home may buy the delusion, themselves. Since the children are inculcated to deny the reality around them, they develop a resistance to talking about urgent, important, or meaningful aspects of life.

Brown adds that children of alcoholics may suffer depression, anxiety, and compulsions, all related to the grueling experience of growing up in such a home. Dealing with the legacy of disturbance means treating the traumatic stress, she says. First and foremost, adult children of alcoholics "have issues with control." That means they are afraid of others and have problems with intimacy; they harbor anxiety that if they lose control, they may become addicts themselves.

The most important emotional leap for such a survivor: Separating the past from the present. They must learn to realize that when they overreact to something now, "they are really feeling pain from the past." Once they have that skill, they can start to move on.

Brown recommends psychotherapy for adult children of alcoholics, and states that group therapy may work extremely well. "When family distortion is the problem, groups are ideal for bringing that out." Brown especially recommends seeking support from Adult Children of Alcoholics World Service Organization or Co-Dependents Anonymous, which offer 12-step programs. If a group is unavailable, individual psychotherapy, family therapy, and even psychopharmacology can do a lot of good.

The Signs

Thirteen characteristics of adult children of alcoholics Janet Geringer Woititz, widely acknowledged as the founder of the Adult Children of Alcoholics movement, lists 13 traits to look for.

These individuals:

  • Can only guess what normal behavior is
  • Have difficulty following a project from beginning to end
  • Lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth
  • Judge themselves without mercy
  • Have difficulty having fun
  • Take themselves very seriously
  • Have difficulty with intimate relationships
  • Overreact to changes over which they have no control
  • Constantly seek approval and affirmation
  • Usually feel that they are different from other people
  • Are either super responsible or super irresponsible—there's no middle ground
  • Are extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved
  • Are impulsive. They tend to lock themselves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviors or possible consequences. This impulsively leads to confusion, self-loathing and loss of control over their environment. In addition, they spend an excessive amount of energy cleaning up the mess.

The Reading List

Some of the best books for children of adult alcoholics can be found at

  • It Will Never Happen to Me. Claudia Black. (Medical Administration Press, 1982)
  • Safe Passage: Recovery for Adult Children of Alcoholics. Stephanie Brown. (John Wiley & Sons, 1992)
  • A Place Called Self: Women, Sobriety and Radical Transformation. Stephanie Brown. (Hazelden, 2004)
  • A Place Called Self: A Companion Workbook. Stephanie Brown. (Hazelden, 2006)
  • Guide to Recovery, A Book for Adult Children of Alcoholics. H. Gravitz and J. Bowden. (Health Communications, 1985)
  • The Struggle for Intimacy. Janet Woititz. (Health Communications, 1985)

Originally published on February 12, 2007

Florida woman survives gunshot between the eyes

Shot in the head, she survived
April 18: A woman who survived a gunshot between the eyes fired by an irate driver in Tampa, Fla., says it’s a “miracle” that she only needed stitches for her injury. NBC’s Martin Savidge reports.

Today show

Emergency room doctors apologized to the 42-year-old woman who had come in for treatment for staring at her in disbelief. It wasn’t every day — in fact, it was never — that they saw somebody with a large-caliber gunshot wound between the eyes who not only was alive, but wasn’t even unconscious or seriously injured.

Call it Marie’s Miracle. As reported for TODAY by NBC’s Martin Savidge, it happened late last Saturday night, when Marie, who does not want to reveal her last name for fear of retaliation, her boyfriend and her 22-year-old daughter were driving through Tampa on their way home to Riverview, Fla., after a night out.

“We had a nice night out to the movies, got something to eat, were just rolling down the road,” she said.

As they were driving on 50th Street in Tampa, a white Nissan Sentra with two people inside and a gray Nissan Altima carrying four people pulled up alongside the truck in which the trio were driving. When they stopped at a traffic light, the occupants of the two cars started yelling at them, shouting obscenities and gesturing with their hands. Then a man got out of the Sentra and another left the Altima and started yelling at Marie’s boyfriend, who had rolled down his window to find out what the problem was.

The light turned green, the men got back into their cars, and all three vehicles continued on their way. There are three lanes of traffic in each direction on the street, and the two cars got on either side of the truck.

“They were shifting lanes, and trying to box us in and trying to run into the side of the truck,” Marie said. They also continued yelling obscenities, and one man in the Sentra looked at Marie and told her he was going to kill her.

At the next light, the driver of the Sentra attempted to pay off on his promise. Horrified, Marie saw him stand up on the seat and rise through the car’s open sunroof.

“I seen him rise out of the sunroof like in the movies, and he pulled his gun up and turned it and I heard it fire,” she said.

The two cars sped away, and police are still attempting to track down the assailants.

Police investigators would theorize that the man fired three shots from a gun that they believe was a .44-caliber handgun. One of the bullets struck Marie directly between the eyes.

It should have killed her. Instead, the bullet shattered into three pieces against her skull. The fragments ran under her skin, exited through her cheek on one side of her head and near her ear on the other.

At first, she didn’t know she’d been hit. Then she realized blood was pouring from her head.

“I thought I was gonna, was gonna die, but I stayed conscious,” she said.

Her boyfriend pulled into a convenience store parking lot while her daughter called 911. An EMS crew quickly arrived to transport her to Tampa General Hospital, where Dr. Brad Peckler was one of the first to see her.

“I saw her being wheeled in, and was a little surprised that she was just sitting up and talking,” Peckler said.

When she was examined, doctors determined that all she needed was some stitches. When they were done sewing her up, they sent her on her way. She walked out of the hospital.

Said her boyfriend, “I was able to walk her out of the ER and tell her she should buy a lottery ticket.”

Original here

Luxurious Tree Houses Have Adults Never Wanting To Grow Up

A fabulous spring day like Thursday makes anyone want to be outside, maybe even climb a tree house.

t's hard to deny the inner-child when climbing 20-feet up into a tree house that looks like it was built for Peter Pan.
Tree house designer Pete Nelson said he finds the trees first before coming up with a design."The trees dictate the design," Nelson said.Nelson has been making "big kids" dreams come true and "little kids" back yards into fairytale lands with his custom, luxury tree houses for 20 years."It's so fun to see people's faces when they come to a tree house. It just puts a smile on everybody's face. It's a beautiful thing," Nelson said.The tree house that you only imagined when you were a child is coming to life next Friday at Longwood Gardens.NBC 10 got a sneak peak Thursday of the three tree houses that will be on display. One is called the birdhouse, one is designed after a Norwegian church and one that is almost like a tree house gazebo was built to be wheelchair accessible."I always say there's a universal age in a tree house. Older people act younger," Nelson said.Longwood Gardens calls the latest exhibit "Nature's Castles."Like something out of the "Swiss Family Robinson" and made from all types of wood, the trio of tree houses is luxurious compared to that tree fort you tried to make as a child.These tree houses have cathedral ceilings, sliding doors and decks perched high amongst nature. There is no secret knock needed to get in, just bring your imagination."I haven't grown up yet I don't want to," Nelson said.

How to Solve the Rubik Cube in Six-Seconds Flat

We are very big fans of Rubik's Magic Cube, even while none most of us have not solved it yet. Not even trying this one, really. Until today. Why I didn't think about this before, I don't know, but that felt oh-so-good. [Rubik in Gizmodo—thanks Carlitos]

Original here

Playboy Searching for Girls of the Olive Garden

If you were to guess "Girls Next Door" and Playboy star Kendra Wilkinson's favorite restaurant, you might suggest something a little more edgy than Olive Garden.

But apparently, Hugh Hefner's girlfriend loves to chow down at the quasi-Italian eatery: "I eat so many bread sticks when I go there that I can barely move when I'm done," Kendra says.

And in her "literally hundreds" of visits to the Garden, Kendra has noticed something else -- the waitresses there are hot.

That's why Playboy has launched The Girls of Olive Garden, a nationwide search for the restaurant chain's tastiest employees. The winners will eventually appear in a special "Girls of Olive Garden" Playboy pictorial.

We at Asylum are all behind this idea. And if we find out which branch of Olive Garden Kendra and Hef like to visit...well, just book us a table and save us some bread sticks.

After the jump, more photos of Kendra (on the rare occasions she isn't deciding between the Lasanga Classic and the Five Chese Ziti al Forno.)

We at Asylum are all behind this idea. And if we find out which branch of Olive Garden Kendra and Hef like to visit...well, just book us a table and save us some bread sticks.

After the jump, more photos of Kendra (on the rare occasions she isn't deciding between the Lasanga Classic and the Five Chese Ziti al Forno.)

Original here

Dr Tiki gets Rickrolled at his own event

People playing chess on roller coasters

inspired by this comic
The thoughtful looks. The apparent midgame. The hand on the chin. It's perfect.
Clockwise from top left: Andrew Burke, Chris Ranker, Ryan DowlingSoka, and Chance Brown.

Jared Meadows and Renea Campbell at King's Dominion.
Devon Colligan losing to Walter Hickey, taken on Nitro at Six Flags in NJ.
Ashley, Maureen, Greg, and Kunal play checkers.
Jordan Stosky (right, looking at the board) and his friend Lucas travel from Canada to Florida to play chess on the Revenge of the Mummy coaster.
That's Nate Jellis on the Loch Ness monster at Busch Gardens, Virginia. They had trouble sneaking the board and pieces on the coaster, and had to tape them on as they were going up. The souvenier photo didn't work out but they snapped this shot with a camera smuggled on-board. I've ridden that coaster, and I'm amazed they held on to the board.

The comic:
Original here

Chris Rock knives for guns

Funny sign

People must be stupid if they need this sign. Taken in Door County Wisconsin.

Original here