Archive for August, 2011

Excuse Free Moment of the Week: Celebrity

Congratulations, Helen Mirren voted best body. Watch out Demi, Halle and Brooklyn Helen is trail blazing the way for the rest us gals!!! Sexy is all about attitude and behavior. This is fantastic for all the young girls, adolescents and women who are struggling with aging and body image. Beauty is timeless. It’s your attitude and your body image that changes how and when you feel beautiful.

Posted by Dr. Leslie Seppinni on August 2, 2011|Category: Career, Celebrity, Excuse Free Living, Family & Parenting, Family & Relationships, Health, Infidelity, Life Coaching, Love & Relationships, Mental Health, Self Esteem, Self Help, Stress, Uncategorized No Comments »

Amy Winehouse: The Disease of Addiction

In Amy Winehouse and other celebrities like Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, and the 27 the public is getting a glimpse of the extreme side of drug and alcohol addiction and how these cases can end up so tragically. From the outside it appeared that Amy invited, courted and knew she was killing herself but she clearly felt incapable and therefore unwilling to make the commitment to recovery from her addiction.

No one grows up dreaming “I’d like to be a drug addict when I grow up”. Drug addiction especially in cases where there is a clear DNA (biological component) is a living hell not just for friends and family but for the person suffering. In this case it was Amy Winehouse. Often times we attribute the behavior of the addict to a mental illness such as bipolar disorder where they are self-medicating. They refuse medication because of the high of the manic episodes. But, research also shows brain chemistry issues that are different in the addicted person’s brain vs. a non-addicted person’s brain. The extreme addiction in Amy’s case appears to have been rooted in a fierce chemical imbalance.

We cannot forget that environmental factors however, we often assume those who suffer from extreme addiction were abused while growing up. This is not necessarily the case. Additionally, those who have had long term substance abuse as a result of environment, for instance the neighborhood they grew up in, can change their brain chemistry similar to those born with a definite genetic component.

But then why does it appear that the celebrity addict so often fails in their recovery. It is because they are very charismatic and grandiose and feel invincible and that the rules don’t apply to them. Although they flirt with death they do not believe it will happen to them. They have larger than life personalities and their Excuse is that the drugs and alcohol are the cause of their inability to manage their emotions. There is an endless supply of drugs for them because of their celebrity and money. In these extreme cases they don’t lie nor are they embarrassed about their drug use. Their attitude is “This is who I am, take it or leave it.”

Many of them feel if they stop taking drugs their creativity will cease to exist and therefore so will they. The bravado of these individuals makes them stars, however the core of it is deeply rooted in low self-esteem. They fear people will find out they are not super human or not as talented as they have been labeled so they sabotage themselves, their relationships and careers.

I am not a proponante of medication as therapy for all who have suffered from the disease of addiction. However, it is often difficult for the addicted person to do the personal work it requires to give them better coping strategies without short-term medication therapy to cope with the depression, anxiety and panic that goes with recovery. Of coarse there are those who need long term medication therapy who suffer from chemical imbalances. However, the stigma associated with the terms “mental illness”, “I have to take medication”, or “I feel like a failure that I can’t fix this without medication” makes the process of recovery that much more difficult.

The most difficult area of recovery is doing the TREMENDOUS amount of self-examination, learning of boundaries, learning to communicate feelings instead of tantruming, allow themselves to feel, and learn to take life and what people say less personally. They need to figure out who they would be without the facade of drugs to help them deal with the pressures, joys and sadness of life, and their own mortality.

As I say all the time in my Excuse Free philosophy they need to figure out, “What would they replace the Drama with?” Whether they are doing well in their career or not drug addiction, and the new trend, celebrity rehab, keeps them as the center of attention, and until they are willing to step out of the spotlight and into the real world, the prognosis is bleak. However, it is not impossible. Acceptance of being human and that the addicted are not damaged they are wounded would make the recovery process that much more successful and supportive without judgement. Some of the most notable cases are Robert Downey Jr., Keith Richards, and Courtney Love.

God bless Amy and her family. I am truly sorry for the loss of their daughter and the loss of her life to drugs.

Make it an Excuse Free Life!

Dr. Leslie Seppinni, 289 S. Robertson Blvd. #351, Beverly Hills, CA 90211, Phone: 310.922.0249

Posted by Dr. Leslie Seppinni on August 1, 2011|Category: Celebrity, Crisis, Excuse Free Living, Mental Health, Self Esteem, Self Help, Stress No Comments »