From Iceland — Psychics, ADHD and Alcoholism

Psychics, ADHD and Alcoholism

Published October 5, 2010

Psychics, ADHD and Alcoholism

I have always been quite sceptical about psychics and their supernatural power of seeing beyond what the rest of us mortals can see, but it is difficult to live in Iceland and not believe in this sort of thing. A large percentage of Icelanders have gone at least once in their lives to a psychic and stories of the supernatural power of these intuitive people can be heard at most social gatherings. As the saying goes, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do,” I decided to do as the Icelanders do and go and find out what the fuss was all about and uncover an impostor at work.
So I ordered an appointment with a well-known psychic and arrived there quite suspicious, but as I entered the room I was quite taken aback by my own reaction. The moment he started speaking I let my guard down and became hopelessly attentive. He described my personality as only my closest friends would and told me things about myself that I had even forgotten. He told me things about my future as well but although his words were quite impressive, I am aware that there is the possibility that they might be fabricated. Nonetheless, this was an instructive experience that might help me be more open-minded about this mystical business and definitely give me the opportunity to have something to talk about the next time the subject is brought up.
Enough of my experience, here are your dilemmas and my answers to them. I am usually distracted and forgetful and my friend says I might have ADHD. Could you please explain to me what ADHD is and what I can do to fix it?
ADHD, or attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder, is a psychological problem of childhood characterised by inappropriate levels of hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity. These essential features need to be seen across situations before a diagnosis can be made; that is, at home, at work and in social situations. Although ADHD is usually diagnosed in childhood, it is not just a problem in children. Even though you might not have been diagnosed as a child, it does not mean that you can’t have it as an adult.
In the past ADHD went usually unnoticed and kids who were affected by it were considered to be troublemakers and annoying. Fortunately things have changed and these children are met with more understanding. The most common symptoms of ADHD in adults are the following: having trouble concentrating and staying focused, being disorganised, having difficulty following directions, impulsiveness and chronic lateness and forgetfulness among others. In order to get a diagnosis you might need to see a psychologist but that sort of evaluation can be quite expensive. Nevertheless, if you have some of the symptoms there are some things that you can do that might help you. For instance, it can be good to exercise regularly in order to work off excess energy, limit your sugar and caffeine intake and get enough sleep. Lists, clocks, calendars and notes-to-self can also help you manage better your time and improve your work environment.
I think my girlfriend has a drinking problem. She drinks on most weekends and always gets too drunk. We have argued a few times about this but she says I exaggerate. How do I know what is “normal” drinking and what is the best way to help her?
It sounds to me as if your girlfriend has been binge drinking. Binge drinking is a term used to describe the very common behaviour of drinking alcoholic beverages with the primary purpose of getting drunk. This pattern of drinking usually refers to consuming five or more drinks on a single occasion for men or four or more drinks on a single occasion for women, generally within a time span of about two hours. This drinking style is quite popular in many countries, including Iceland, but that does not make it acceptable. Binge drinking can have negative consequences to our physical and mental health. There are researches that associate binge drinking with alcoholism but the fact of the matter is that drinking is a problem if it causes trouble in your relationships, at work, in social situations, or in how you think and feel. If you are still worried that your girlfriend has a drinking problem I suggest you have another talk with her, when she is sober, and tell her how you really feel about her drinking and how it affects you. It also might be helpful for you to meet with your family doctor and get additional information on the matter.

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