Today’s blog post contains Part 1 of a very dramatic interview with Steven Diamond, magician, entertainer, speaker, and author who graciously shared his life story with us.
Richard Zwolinski (RZ): Hi, Steven. Can you start by telling us a bit about your background?
Steven Diamond (SD): I was born on October 1, 1968 into a very dysfunctional American family in Portsmouth Virginia, though I didn’t know it at the time. It wouldn’t be until decades later that the true depth of the scars left on my life would be revealed.
All of the males on my mother’s side of the family were abusive, raging alcoholics, and I hardly knew my father’s side. My mother was consumed by mental illness and sought refuge in her Southern Baptist religion, where she would learn to hide.
Do you have a glass of wine each evening to unwind??
Don’t worry not everybody who uses alcohol or even drugs becomes an addict or an alcoholic.
Many addiction experts agree: you have to have a specific genetic predisposition to become an addict.
However, stress can lead people to try substances that they otherwise wouldn?t. Many times people (with and without genetic predispositions for addiction), first pick up a drink or try a drug in response to a stressor. However, some people can drink frequently or even use some drugs and stop whenever they want! That’s because an addiction, including alcoholism, is not acquired according to most medical evidence you simply can’t catch alcoholism or addiction unless you have that genetic code.
According to current official descriptions, substance abuse is indicated by daily or weekly abuse (or other episodic abuse), without signs of changing tolerance or marked withdrawal symptoms. Addiction is indicated by having signs including increasing or decreasing tolerance to the substance as well as marked withdrawal symptoms.*
So how can you tell if stress might be leading you to abuse chemical substances and placing you on the path towards becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs? If you find yourself frequently or regularly:
Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC is the author of Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On (Without Wasting Time or Money), and Therapy Soup. He is a nationally and internationally licensed psychotherapist and anxiety and addiction specialist with over 25 years experience. He is writing patient rights and therapist ethics regulations for New York State, serves on the Ethics Committee of the NY Licensed Mental Health Counselors Association, and volunteers with at-risk youth. Richard encourages everyone to stay emotionally, physically, and spiritually aware and healthy so they can live the happy, productive, meaningful lives they were meant to live.
Richard is our newest guest blogger and it’s with GREAT pleasure that I introduce to you someone I feel has so much to offer…
Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC