When it’s hard to find your heroes

A few weeks ago I got asked to give a guest lecture on addiction to a psychology undergraduate class at the University of Auckland.  To be fair, I was asked to fill in for the person who usually gives the lecture, who couldn’t make it. But I still felt just a little bit chuffed to be asked at all, given that I’m still really early in my career.  And nervous of course, giving a lecture to 150 students is no walk in the park when you’re not the biggest fan of public speaking!

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Understanding addiction

What do you think of when I talk about addiction?  Maybe wild parties, immoral people without boundaries, illicit drug use, a debaucherous lifestyle?  Perhaps you imagine the popular idea of an “addict” – someone who either can’t control themselves or makes a choice to take drugs to the detriment of their own wellbeing.

The power of uncertainty and not knowing

There’s a lot of talk about addiction these days: to drugs, alcohol, sex, porn, coffee, food, cigarettes. You name it, if it makes you feel good, you’re addicted. But here’s a couple of other addictive “circumstances” we don’t talk about: certainty and knowing. If there are a couple of things we all crave for, it’s assurance and understanding.

Social media and mental health

Over the past few months I’ve been thinking a lot about social media and how we use it.  I’ve written recently about the power of social media in outright challenging outdated stereotypes, as well as how it can re-create social norms in more subtle ways.  In fact, I often dismiss nay-sayers who argue that social…

The contradiction of addiction

I’ve spent the past year working as a Psychologist in a community-based alcohol and drug service.  While this does not make me by any means an expert on addiction, it does mean that when a Huff Post Politics article like this one start’s doing the rounds on Facebook, I do have one or two opinions…