Stories about addiction

The new high: You’re depressed not because “your life sucks” but because of Facebook and Instagram

“He is only 19 and so accomplished, what am I doing with my life?” “My hair never looks like that model on Instagram.” “Man! He is having the time of his life and I am just stuck in this miserable job!” “Why am I just sitting here in my pyjamas at home while this guy is vacationing in Bali?” Do you recognise the pattern in these statements? Have similar thoughts gone through your mind recently? If they have, you were probably thinking like this while surfing through your social media, being too depressed to do anything. Unfortunately, we do not realise just how ...

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Sanju’s triumph over his addiction should be celebrated, not trivialised

Addiction is a person’s psychological difficulty in the consumption of food, pornography and drugs or substances, among many other things. There are multiple theories to explain why people get addicted and the most plausible one is that addictive behaviours are a combination of heredity and the environment. That’s the reason that many people never get addicted or dependent on drugs and substances despite trying all kinds of stuff multiple times, while others get hooked to these merely in the first few interactions. Being a therapist, I have seen people and families facing all kinds of stigma for having any psychological ...

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The bittersweet reality of a meth addict: Can ‘Beautiful Boy’ win Timothée Chalamet an Oscar?

Based on the harrowing memoirs of David Sheff (Steve Carell) and his son Nic Sheff (Timothée Chalamet), Beautiful Boy chronicles the bittersweet real life story of a father trying to help his troubled son overcome an addiction to methamphetamine, something that threatens to bring ruin to both their lives. The official summary describes the film as, “A heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.” Judging by the trailer and the film’s fall release date, it’s not hard to see that Beautiful Boy is intended to be an Oscar contender. But the trailer also offers ...

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Mehrbano’s dreams, Saleem’s desires

“Abba I don’t want to get married. I want to study and become a doctor. You can’t do this to me. Abba please!” “Be quiet!” “Abba, I promise I won’t disappoint you. Saleem goes to school too, why can’t I?” Abba struck Mehrbano full in the face. That stunned her into silence. She saw her father’s placid eyes scintillate with anger. His eyes unnerved her. His eyes made her feel like a small little girl again. Mehrbano’s defiance crumbled and she agreed to meet her suitor. Saleem was sweating profusely, as the sun beat down on him, relentless. He threaded his way through the ...

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How I became a drunken, cheating swine who destroyed his marriage

The year is 2011. It’s 8:30am. I am in the lounge, staring out of the window. “How do I look?” her words make me turn back. There she is, all ready to go to work. She is 33 but looks much younger and she looks beautiful in the blue suit she is wearing today. “You look lovely,” I respond, stating an obvious truth. “Do you love me?” is inevitably the next question. “Of course I do,” I respond trying to sound as convincing I can. I have to make an effort here because although this is true, it cannot be called an “obvious” truth ...

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A tale of self-destruction: I am what they call a “functioning” alcoholic

It is 6:30am. I am up and feeling that terrible sensation in the gut. I look at my wife, who is sleeping peacefully, oblivious to the fact that I am up and about to indulge in my daily ritual. She knows, but does not know the extent to which this vice has engulfed me. I drag myself to the restroom of the other bedroom and see my reflection in the mirror. My face is summarising the story of my last 10 years. I am 40 but can be easily mistaken as a person of 50. The face which a decade ...

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It took me 15 long years to quit smoking, and today, it’s been 16 months since my last drag

They say that the most important, most difficult and the greatest fight to fight in life is the fight with one’s own self. It could be anything; your internal struggle with something like a bad habit or your struggle with the way you react to situations. It could be your struggle with addiction to substances like alcohol, drugs, nicotine, food, sugar, or an addiction to a person who doesn’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated. I am writing this for all those people, including my friends, who are fighting a similar fight in their lives, and I will ...

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Is socialisation promoting the drug culture in Pakistan?

In a culture such as ours, where issues such as mental disorders or instances where individuals require professional help are shamed and kept under wraps, it is highly unlikely that drug-related matters would be discussed openly. Pakistan is a thriving nation, a developing country that knows the value of hard work and perseverance. Not only is a large chunk of our population employed, but 63 per cent of that population is under the age of 24 years. Given the world’s current economic situation, it is also not hard to imagine the kind of everyday stresses the working population faces, or even the student ...

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Caught in Islamabad with sex toys and an abortion clinic – Uh Oh

Around 1,000 Pakistani women die every year because of abortion-related complications, and the procedure is often used as a primary family-planning method, rather than a last resort. This is because of a combination between low contraceptive prevalence, low sexual health awareness, unqualified or illegal medical practitioners and social taboos about topics related to sexuality. So when a story comes along that allows broader debate on quack abortionists, it is worrying that the approach taken to covering it is one of religious and moral outrage at the ‘unusual’ sexual elements of the story, rather than the life-preserving element. A recent story about an alleged fake abortion clinic in Islamabad was given ...

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Help, my husband is an addict!

I had always feared this to be the truth; I tried to tell myself I was over-reacting, that this was normal behaviour and nothing to be worried about. But now the proof is overwhelming, I can deny it no longer. I have tried to stop him many times, to stop him from his own destruction but it’s useless. Many nights I wake up and find my husband is not in bed. I follow the lights to the living room, and there he is, caught red-handed!  His eyes are bloodshot; he is tense, and irritated. Carefully, I go over, and tell him ...

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