The youth these days is inundated with the pressure of work, expectations and his/her own personal goals to achieve. With just 24 hours in a day, not enough time seems to be available for them to complete all that they wish to. such immense pressure of the gap between work done and targets to be fulfilled leads them to feel disappointed. Such an intense feeling also gives birth to self-doubt that might crush one’s confidence further.

“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”
Edgar Allan Poe

Many a time people striving to create a niche for themselves find themselves stranded. They might accomplish what they had aimed to do, but in this grueling process, they tend to lose their sanity. Take a doctor student’s life into consideration. Being a doctor today means you have to have nerves of steel and respond well to stress. Surrounded by patients, pain, and trauma all the time, they sometimes have to work for 20 hours a day.  Such a toiling schedule surrounds them with gloom as there is no time left for them to unwind or even to spend it with their loved ones. They are mostly living all by themselves, the word ‘home’ sounding alien to them. Such a situation hardly does much good for their career. Rather, it makes them choose the option of finding solace in drugs or alcohol.

Such ephemeral ways of seeking happiness might seem to lure when one dives into this sea, but it is too late when you realize that it is nothing but quicksand. Such addictions have their way of making one feel at ease when you are under its influence. But it acts as a termite, slowly creeping in every part of your body and making you its slave. Addiction is nothing but a feeling of pleasure when you seem to forget all your worries and are in a state of nothingness. Unfortunately, such a ‘heavenly experience’ is nothing but a mirage.

Any kind of addiction that one indulges in, be it drugs, alcohol or even gambling, is one’s attempt to find respite from the challenging situations of life that we have to face, even if we don’t wish to. Things turn worse when such traumatic hours repeat on a daily basis, shredding us into pieces. And loneliness adds fuel to fire. With no one to talk to, share your joys and sorrows with, one has no other option left but to resort to ways of forgetting all that is going on- and that is when drugs and alcohol come in the picture. But unfortunately, such a feeling is temporary, illusory, unhealthy and ultimately destructive.

 

Addiction is a compulsive attitude towards doing a habitual thing even if the circumstances aren’t favorable. So, when a person is unable to take his/her daily dose of drugs or alcohol, hell breaks loose. Anyone or anything in the way is considered to be a hurdle and is vanquished without a second thought. Anxiety, nervousness, and withdrawal are also some of the effects on not being able to carry on the activity that one wants to. A person suffering from addiction continues to use the substance or carry out the activity regardless of the social harm or damage to health caused by it.

A student-doctor, as was discussed earlier, fall prey to these addictive substances easily. Their lives easily fit in the picture of a loner, deeply stressed and seeking isolation. But they fail to understand that they are the future in medicine and can bring enthusiasm and fresh ideas into the profession. Despite the importance of their role in society, junior doctors have skyrocketing stress levels and many have an appalling state of mental health.

Gambling is no less a vice which also seems to have become an addiction these days. It is a combination of excitement and stimulation, the two most sought-after feelings that one looks for while on this long journey alone. It might seem to accelerate the adrenal rush, but it brings with it the high risk of giving away your hard-earned money in one go. In severe cases, one tends to get debt-ridden in the process of expecting to make windfall profits overnight. This vicious web refuses to let go of you until you are completely sucked out of every dime and ounce of ability to go on. A compulsive gambler cannot control the impulse to gamble, even when it has negative consequences. You’ll gamble whether you’re up or down, broke or flush, and you’ll keep gambling regardless of the consequences—even when you know that the odds are against you or you can’t afford to lose

So, the question arises- how to avoid getting into such a compulsive situation? Or, if one has already become a victim, how to be liberated?

Let’s take it one at a time.

To keep such vices at bay, one needs to realize the extremity of the situation before it takes a much gigantic form. Being a recluse never helps. When loneliness starts eating you up, seek help from the people you trust. If there is a dearth of such people, go for expert advice. And recognize the point when work overpowers your personal life and inner peace. Genius isn’t the one who never stops, genius is the one who knows when to say no.

Finding a hobby that intrigues you is also a great way of coming out of the darkness. The kind of excitement you feel while doing something you love fills you with positivity and wards away all your fears. An outdoor activity also does wonders to your mental state, most importantly, you find a new place, are surrounded with people outside your work, and leave behind all your work-related worries for some time. This is truly rejuvenating and wards away your sense of loneliness and anxiety. Don’t keep any kind of alcohol in stock with you so that an urge, if any, can be suppressed.

The tendency to gamble should also be checked. You should surround yourself with people to whom you’re accountable, avoid tempting environments and find healthier activities to keep the desire to gamble at bay.

And in case one is already plunged into this deadly sea, immediate steps are required for rescue. The first step is to understand that it is ok to be an addict. You are not the only one. Fear of being judged can further land you deeper in your shell. So, opening up in front of your loved ones shouldn’t bother you. Identifying your problem is half the battle won. Such realization wakes you from your slumber and you come to know of the urgency of the situation and save yourself from being gobbled up!

One can engage in a holistic approach and heal oneself through therapies, motivational sessions, and addiction groups.  Counselors and health professionals can help you with coping skills to restore your health and emotional balance. Your addictive habits should be replaced with constructive habits that invigorate you. Your belief in your recovery matters the most. Every step taken in this direction needs to win your confidence first.

‘Addiction is a special kind of hell. It takes the soul of the addict and breaks the hearts of everyone who loves him’. Remember that you were never created to be depressed or feel dejected. You were created to be victorious!