Cocaine Cowboys

Human anatomy display of cocaine effects on the body

Why Cocaine Addiction Bites

The addiction to cocaine has never ended, despite an ongoing opioid crises. There is concern that cocaine use is on the rise and that a stimulant epidemic may be awaiting the end of the current opioid epidemic. Why is cocaine on the rise and what do people like about it?

Cocaine comes from the coca plant native to South America. It is considered a stimulant like coffee but much stronger. It has a strong psychological potential for addiction; no physical dependence is evident, meaning no physical withdrawal occurs when a user stops using the drug.

Why people like cocaine:

  • It provides a feeling of intense pleasure
  • You become more talkative and confident
  • It provides a full-body stimulation
  • It makes you feel more superior than others
  • It increases your self-esteem
  • You feel more energetic and sociable

Unfortunately, users experience many negative effects with cocaine:

  • Memories of euphoria increase the risk for psychological addiction
  • Anger, paranoia, anxiety
  • Nausea, increased body temperature, increased heart rate
  • Seizures, heart problems and death
  • Psychosis and hallucinations
  • Weight loss, high blood pressure, severe tooth decay

Cocaine has a very short-lived intense high. When users become hooked on the drug, the high is followed by depression and a strong craving for more. Tolerance then increases, resulting in higher doses of the drug needed to achieve a similar effect as before.

Overall, cocaine may see a resurgence in the near future. If you or anyone you know is suffering from cocaine addiction, seek help as soon as possible. With mental health and addiction support services, a place in your heart to stop and The DSM Ready Movement here to listen and provide a caring environment, you can defeat cocaine addiction today!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Beginning Of A Burnout Epidemic?

Burned out man at work sitting on chair using a Toshiba ThinkPad

Burned Out

In 2019, the World Health Organization added burnout as a syndrome to the International Classification of Diseases 11th Revision (ICD-11) because of the rising rate of burnout experienced by individuals in the workforce. Burnout is described as: a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.

Burnout Syndrome is characterized by three dimensions:

  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  • Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
  • Reduced professional efficacy

Burnout is considered an occupational phenomenon and does not relate to experiences outside of the work environment; meaning, the definition does not apply to something like “I’m so over going to the beach on the weekends, I’m burned out.”

What is causing burnout and is it turning into an epidemic? I believe that the work-life balance of many individuals is tilted towards more work and not enough “life.” People do not seem to get as much pleasure from activities anymore.

Technology may play a role; we are so focused on iPads, iPhones, Samsungs and television that it is literally dulling us during our time off. By the time we come back from work the next day, the same process repeats; it’s as we never had any time off to enjoy in the last 24 hours.

The reality is that technology is not going to go away; it will keep improving, especially with artificial intelligence around the corner. Will society propose that AI take over our jobs, resulting in less work for us? This will be a devastation; no work and a life bombarded by technology will spell out a recipe for disaster.

What is the solution? Spending time with each other and removing ourselves from technological isolation. We need to come together again and enjoy life. The DSM Ready Movement offers this solution: coming together to share our experiences, values, opinions, knowledge and love!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Start Your Day On The Right Foot

Coffee mug on wooden table promoting positivity

Morning Positivity Determines The Rest Of Your Day

Our mindset dictates whether we will have a positive or negative day. It is very important to adjust your mindset in the morning if you find yourself having negative thoughts; these negative thoughts can influence how you perceive the rest of your day.

Adopting a positive mindset after you wake up in the morning helps you stay focused and determined to accomplish your goals throughout the day. Repeating this pattern everyday is what will make you happier in the long run.

Too many times, people wake up feeling negative and miserable and carry this baggage with them throughout the day. This promotes poor mental health and may lead to depression, stress, anxiety and even drug use. For some reason, the human mind is better at adopting negative thoughts on an automatic basis; that is why we must make an effort to implement positive thoughts as frequently as possible. It is easier to be negative than positive.

But do not wait until lunch time or even late afternoon to shift your mindset. Mornings are key to starting your day off right. Positive thoughts since you wake up will have you feeling better by lunch time and help your day go more smoothly. After all, the most important meal of the day is in the morning!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Don’t Forget To Stay Humble

Humble woman holding sliced watermelon

Become Society’s Role Model

Reminding ourselves to stay humble in a society that breeds competition, dominance and a race to the top can be a challenge if not practiced daily. Being humble will make you feel good about yourself, attract more positive people into your life and will allow you to demonstrate to others that being humble is awesome!

The benefits of being humble:

  • You will be able to better cope with anxiety
  • You will become a better leader and more people will like you
  • You will develop a higher self-control and a better work performance
  • You will become more tolerant of others and less defensive about your own beliefs
  • You will achieve higher grades
  • You will be more helpful with others and develop stronger relationships
  • You will become more generous

Do not let society mold you into a person you are not. It is okay to be competitive and strive for success, but do it fashionably, by staying humble and becoming a role model for others. People will replicate your behavior if you demonstrate a kind and humble persona and this is what will help society become a better place. We need as many humble people in The DSM Ready Movement as possible.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The “Live For Today” Mentality Does Not Work

Wall decor next to house plant stating "difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations"

Don’t Live For Today Because Tomorrow Is Better

Some people believe that if they “live for today” everything will be ok. But this is exactly the mentality that promotes failure by not addressing worries, problems, future plans and goals. This is the mentality that slowly crumbles over time.

When you enter a tunnel, you eventually see the light at the end of it; you know that there is one entrance and one exit. You do not remain in that tunnel forever. But with the “live for today” mentality, that tunnel sees no light because there is no exit plan; people become complacent with their current situation and do not think of what may happen tomorrow or the day after.

The “live for today” mentality might make you feel good in the moment but when problems begin to creep in, as they usually do, you need a plan to deal with the situation. People who are successful are able to anticipate problems ahead of time because they have a mindset of mastering the future; a way of being prepared for whatever lies past the tunnel.

If you are a victim of the “live for today” mentality, it is never too late to change the way you think. With enough will, you can start planning for the future, delaying gratification, anticipating problems and even enjoying your time along the way! Just because one lives for the future, does not mean that one cannot enjoy the present; it just means you are responsible addressing what lies down the road.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Cruelty Does Not Resist In The Long Run

Cruel man holding telephone screaming

Cruelty Has No Room In Your Life

Do not be offended by the cruelty of others; they know what they are doing and it is eating them alive from within. Rather, we should feel sympathy for them and pray for their well being. It is not about “eye for an eye.” We must step up to the plate and be the role models ourselves.

The problems and issues of cruel people most likely stems from their childhood; they could have gone through a rough upbringing, experience molestation, bullying or the death of a loved one. Whatever the reason, it does not justify their cruelty in adulthood and we must be mindful of everyone’s past, rather than jumping to conclusions.

People who are cruel and do not attempt to fix themselves through psychotherapy will not lead happy lives for long. They are often cruel because they are insecure about themselves and they take it out on others. But for how long can they continue this process? It either leads to depression, self-destruction or a dead end (no pun intended).

Do you know anybody who has been cruel to you? How have you handled the situation? Feel free to share your stories in The DSM Ready Movement. We are about coming together and learning from each other.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Utilize Nature As A Guide Through Your Exercises

In nature looking up at trees during daytime

The Therapeutic Effect Of Nature

There is something wonderful about exercising outdoors. The act of being in nature delivers a calming effect and makes you feel natural and free again; as opposed to cornering yourself into a gym all the time. Change up your habits and go back outdoors as we were intended to be from the beginning of time.

Find a park, a boardwalk, a hill, mountains or a lake and allow nature to act as a motivating force for you to exercise. Jogging is an awesome example of an exercise that can be done anywhere and it does not take much effort besides putting on a pair of running shoes.

Allow the breeze, the sun rays, the smell of ocean water or the light mountain rain to melt away your stress and fill you with pure natural energy; utilize this energy to push yourself to the limit during your workouts.

Nature can also promote creativity during your workouts; the calming effect gets your creative juices flowing, allowing you to kill two birds with one stone. Nature also allows you to clear your mind and escape reality; let the thoughts of work, stress, family and daily hurdles vanish as you and nature become one. Nature is here to guide us like DSM Ready is here for us to learn from.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Socializing Is Good For Your Mental Health

People socializing beside lake and forest

The Social Butterfly In You

We often become so caught up in our daily routines, that we forget the importance of spending time with friends. Socializing is good for you because it keeps you disengaged from your work and hobbies and allows you to rewind and loosens up your working self.

The benefits of socializing:

  • People with social support tend to live longer than those who are isolated (a general wellbeing is associated with socializing)
  • Your physical and mental health improve (it is associated with a stronger immune system and decreases feelings of depression)
  • You may lower your risk of dementia (it is associated with better performance on tests of memory and other cognitive skills)

Isolation prevents you from growing; all that time by yourself will cap your knowledge on certain life events. Only through social interactions, you can learn certain things in life that you will not find in a book.

We are social creatures by design and we must make an effort to maintain a social life. Go out there and meet people; force yourself if you have to. You will realize that the more you socialize, the better you will feel.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Stop Trying so Hard

Man's hand holding camera facing himself

Your Gift is You

It is important for you to understand one thing: people want to meet the real you. We often become motivated to be ‘someone else’, but that is not who people want to meet; they want you!

Allow your individuality to shine. You will feel better in the process and others will appreciate you for who you are. There is something unique by allowing your true colors to shine; it somehow unlocks another state of consciousness that others become receptive to.

Your mind and soul are unique; if you do not allow them to shine, you will not reap the benefits of your individuality. Show yourself to the world! Be yourself. Do not try to be like others; they are in the process of showing their individuality too, and do not need you to step in their shoes.

Every person has their stage set; you are the leading actor! Act like it. Steal the show, awe the audience, seek applause, be humble and thank God for the gift.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Why Going To The Gym Is A Rock-Solid Plan

Exercise bike lot in gym

The Importance Of Exercising

Growing up, some of us think to ourselves “Why does that kid work out? Who in their right mind wants to put so much effort only to grow some muscles?” And if we did want to be big like our peers, we certainly did not want to put in the work. But little did we know that going to the gym would deliver us confidence and happiness.

If you have not started going to the gym and you are above age 30, it is not too late! The first step in succeeding at the gym is obtaining a membership and going there; if you do that, you have won half the battle.

So why should anyone go to the gym? For starters, it is important to exercise. It is no secret that exercising is important for your physical and mental health; it gets you in shape and feeling good about yourself.

The health benefits of working out:

  • It can make you feel happier (it improves your mood and decreases feelings of depression, anxiety and stress)
  • It can help with weight loss (it increases your metabolic rate and helps you burn more calories, maximizes fat loss and maintains muscle mass)
  • It builds and maintains strong muscles and bones (it stimulates muscle building through better absorption of amino acids (the building blocks of muscles) and helps build bone density, which prevents osteoporosis later in life)
  • It is an energy booster (it can help reduce fatigue)
  • It reduces your risk for chronic diseases (it decreases blood pressure and high cholesterol, improves insulin sensitivity and cardiovascular fitness and reduces belly fat)
  • It can help skin health (it increases your body’s natural production of antioxidants, which help protect skin cells from free-radical damage and stimulates blood flow, helping slow down the process of skin aging )
  • It improves brain function (it increases your heart rate which results in a better blood flow to your brain, it increases the size of the hippocampus – the memory bank of the brain, promoting increased retention of memories and better learning)
  • It can help you relax and sleep better (the energy that is lost during exercise helps your body recuperate during sleep, the increased body temperature during exercise promotes a drop in temperature during sleep, improves insomnia and helps you feel more energized during the day)
  • It improves chronic pain (it raises your pain tolerance and reduces your pain perception)
  • It can promote a better sex life (it boosts sex drive, improves sexual performance, improves blood circulation and cardiovascular function, increases the frequency of orgasms and helps reduce erectile dysfunction)

As you can see, working out, whether through aerobic exercise or resistance training (preferably both) has many health benefits that will help turn you into a stronger and more resilient person. And this results in the common denominator of happiness, which is one of the core principles of The DSM Ready Movement.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)