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Transcendental Meditation reduces addictive tendencies, expert says
by Global Good News staff writer
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4 December 2012
One of the biggest risk factors for addictive behaviour is poor stress coping mechanisms. Dr William Stixrud praised Transcendental Meditation for its ability to quiet stress and thereby reduce dependency.
Dr Stixrud, a clinical neuropsychologist who has been practising since 1985, spoke recently at a conference on Stress, Meditation, Addictions, and Self-Recovery. He talked about how stress in early childhood leads to poor stress management and development of learning disabilities like ADHD.
'If you look at the research on these risk factors for addiction,' he said, 'they suggest that at any time in a kid's development, severe stress or chronic stress increases the risk for becoming addicted to something. These risk factors are really similar across drugs, alcohol, gambling, and technology.'
But if you can find a way to decrease stress you can better cope with these issues. 'The literature suggests that . . . anything that can neutralize stress should be helpful.'
Transcendental Meditation, he said, is a technique that has been shown to be highly effective in neutralizing stress.
In one example, he described talking recently with 'the dad of a really nice kid whom I met when he was about 13 or 14 who has ADHD and an anxiety disorder'.
The young man went to college and was using drugs. The concerned parents did not want to send him back to college, so they brought him to Dr Stixrud. In talking with him, Dr Stixrud found that he didn't want to be involved with drugs all the time. 'I said, ''If you want to stop you are going to have to find another way to not worry about the stuff in your life.'' He had an anxiety disorder and had been self-medicating.'
Dr Stixrud advised the young man to learn Transcendental Meditation, which he did.
'The change in this kid was so positive that his parents sent him back to school,' Dr Stixrud reported, adding that the young man made it through the school year and is back at college again this year.
See previous articles in this series:
∙ Using Transcendental Meditation to combat ADHD and addiction in young people: Dr William Stixrud
∙ Preventing addiction in vulnerable adolescents: Conference explores role of Transcendental Meditation
∙ What causes addictive behaviours? Neuropsychologist gives insights on stress, and an antidote
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