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Ponchatoula , Louisiana
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August 21, 1986     The Ponchatoula Times
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August 21, 1986
 

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Mental Health Notes By JEFF PEREZ, BCSW Dependency - The Disease week we referred to chemical as a "family disease." many people can recognize thai dependency can have far- effects on all family members. these same people often difficulty understanding or why chemical dependency is "a disease." The chemically person himself is often the accept the disease concept. But and other persons close to the continue to be very slow in iden- the disorder as an illness. American Medical Association formal recognition to the concept since 1956. Recognizing dependency as an illness several things: L The illness can be described. Its course is predictable and pro- The disease is primary - i.e. not tom of another disorder. permanent. :. It is terminal - if left untreated it results in premature death. look at these factors in more The illness can be described. G. Talbott. M D. for example. seven signs and symptoms thai y accompany a full- vn case of alcoholism. The alcoholic drinks compulsively. illogically, irresponsibly often uncontrollably His tolerance for alcohol changes. quantity which once induced a glow is no longer sufficient and he needs greater amounts. Later abruptly for no apparent reason the drops and small amounts Oduce severe intoxication and OCCURS. He experiences "blackouts "' The of hours or even days are lost to He may have even performed lex but routine tasks without ory. experiences the withdrawal when deprived of alcohol results from a pendulum- swing of the invo!untary nervous ',era, going from the depressed state Uced by alcohol to the hyperactive that ensues when the depressive is removed by several hours of The withdrawal syndrome develops in four stages, culminating in the dreaded delirium tremens (DT's) which carries a high death rate if untreated. The first stages are unimpres- sive to the casual observer, since they are manifested by tremor, a nameless but all-prevading anxiety, lack of appetite, sweaty with increased pulse rate, elevated blood pressure and insomnia. At first these discomforts can be obliterated by an alcoholic drink, but as the-isease progresses the symptoms of withdrawal, which may progress to hallucinations and seizures, tend to appear at shorter and shorter intervals. The alcholic finds it necessary to stash away his liquor so that an analgesic drink is never much more than an arm's length away. 5) His physical condition deteriorates. Manifestations of the alcoholic's physical deterioration range through lack of appetite, insomnia, persistent headaches, sexual impotence, difficulties with vision, terrifying dreams, stomach trouble, and heart trouble. He neglects grooming and seems to lose all pride in personal appearance. 6) His psychological life deteriorates. Deterioration of psychological life is evinced by loss of interest in hobbies and other accustomed leisure activities, loss of interest in work, and increasing willingness to accept normal responsi- bilities. Often he manifests inappropriate and exaggerated mood swings. There is also an increasing feeling of shame, guilt, helplessness and hopelessness. Isolation and loss of communicative skills result in a depeoplizing process. 7) His socio-cultural and economic states deteriorate. His marriage, his religion, his community, and his work all become of decreasing interest to him. He seems to lose all concern that is not directly related to his supply of alcohol. He becomes less and less communicative. more and more withdrawn. Gradually his position shifts from being an asset to his family and his community to that of an increasing detriment and burden. Dimly he realizes this, and feels a further increment of guilt. It's course is predictable and progres- sive. Simply put, it will get worse. Sometimes there are plateaus when the drinking behavior seems to remain constant for months or even years. Occasionally some event will trigger what seems spontaneous improvement. But, over time, the course of the disease Conference Football registration Staff Report interested in playing football can sign up for Little Conference Football until 5 and girls age 9-II who are p.m. September 6. is inevitably toward greater and more serious deterioration. E.M. Jellinek has been particularly adept at describing the course of the disease. The disease is primary. This does not mean that chemically dependent persons cannot also suffer from psychla- tric problems involving anxiety, depres- sion, or various personality disorders. But it does mean that the chemical dependency is viewed autonomously as a disorder in its own right and not simply as a symptom of the "real" problem. It causes mental, emotional, and physical problems. Other problems which the victim might have cannot be treated effectively until the chemically dependency is addressed. The disease is permanent, and the solution is to seek help to permanently arrest it - the earlier the better. It used to be thought that alcoholism, for example, could not be tIeated effectively until the victim "hit bottom." Now we know that this is not so. The chances for successful treatment - as with most diseases - are much better in the earlier stages. The disease is terminal. Whether the chemical complicated a heart condition, high blood pressure, liver problem, bleeding ulcer, or precipitated a suicide or an automobile accident, it is still the agent that caused the death. One point in particular needs to be emphasized: although we may not know the specific biochemical and genetic nuts-and-bolts of chemical dependency, we do know that such biochemical and genetic factors are operative. This countermands the old notion that chemical dependency is simply a sign of weakness, lack of guts, or moral failure and that if the person would only show some "will power" he would be o.k. In the next few weeks, we will talk of how to recognize the signs and symptoms of chemical dependency as well as address the "delusional system" that the chemically dependent person evolves to protect himself from the awareness of his problem. If you have any comments or, questions on the above, please write to: The Ponchatoula Times, P.O. Box 743, Ponchatoula, LA 70454, or call E)oug Goughenour or me at 649-7471 or DePaul Northshore Hospital at 893- 9200. Registration began August 20. A copy of a birth certificate is required. There is a $25 registration fee. Mr. Breaux , ,idney Breaux promoted to V.P. First Guaranty Bank Chief Executive Officer Roger Clarke has announced the promotion of Sidney Breaux of Ponchatoula to Senior Vice President/ Credit Division. Mr. Breaux joined First Guaranty Bank in 1983. He was previously affiliated with Barnett Bank of Florida where he served as Credit Manager and later as Commercial Loan Officer. Mr. Breaux's experience extends to all aspects of the credit process. In addition to Loan Review, he also has the responsibility of the Credit and Loan Operation Departments of the bank. A finance major, he furthered his education by successfully completing several seminars sponsored by the Louisiana Banker's Association and Robert Morris and Associates. Profes- sionally, he has also been an instructor for the American Institute of Banking having taught a course on Credit Analys. He is married to the former Julie Rassel and they have three children, Jennifer, Danna and Jason. The Breauxs make their home in Poncha- toula. Western Auto in Ponchatoula Is serving as the registration center, as is Springfield Sports & Trophies. THE PONCHATOULA TIMES, AUGUST 21, 1986, PAGE NINE Volunteer for "Jerry's Kids" Staff Report Local volunteers are being sought to help Jery Lewis with his muscular dystrophy telethon on Labor Day, Monday, September I. Mrs. Cindy Newton, who has already volunteered to help "Jerry's kids," told The Times, "We need everyone, even if you can donate one hour on Labor Day. The pledge centez will be a WFPR-WHMD Radio Station i Hammond. We need everyone, ldease give a little to those that it means st much to." Mrs. Newton can be contacted at 386-2478. She is chairman of the loca! volunteer effort. Or volunteers ca contact the radio station. II r NOW OPEN SAWS WEED TRIMMERS , ;= ...AND MUCH MORE HAMMOND PARTS MART AND REPAIR SERVICE (Next to Sela Electrical Supply Co) Repair Parts AND Service For Most Major Brand: =WASHERS =DRYERS' =REFRIGERATORS ,,FREEZERS =STOVES =AIR CONDITIONERS .VACUUMS "TILLERS IDING AND PUSH MOWERS We also install Ice mokors dryer voMs, A/C units, dishwashers I1,111ill,l;l[o][|'d[o]lllt |;/'.I !i11:10],1 HAMMOND PARTS MART AND REPAIR SERVICE 1100 W. Coleman Hammond 542-5187 M.TH 8:00-5:00 For Emergency Service FRI 8:00-6:30 542-1305 SAT 8:00-2:00 Senior Citizen Discounts Available At the Wiggins Chiropractic Clinic, we know that life can be no fun when your back or neck is hurtin,,g. Don't medicate that problem until you ve tried the conservative, natural approach. Chiropractic has helped millions of people. Perhaps it will help you. Free X-Ray (If Indicated) Free Initial Exam 1007 West Thomas, Suite K Magnolia Plaza Hammond, Louisiana 70401 (504) 542-8657 Dr. Frances Wiggins Bar-B-Que Restaurant & Steak House In Historic Downtown Hammond SERVING THE FINEST TEXAS STYLE BAR-B-QUE Featuring: Choice Steaks Baby Back Ribs Chicken Fried Steaks  Pound Hamburgers Ladies Night on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday! The "Eagle's Nest" Will be Serving All Your Favorite Beverages Special Attraction: Family Night Every Wednesday Daily Lunch Specials Orders to Go Custom Catering OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK! 109 South Cate Street Historic Downtown Hammond Phone 542-8414 "THEM'S MIGHTY GOOD RIBS!"