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Transcendental Meditation mitigates adolescent stress contributing to addiction: Neuropsychologist
by Global Good News staff writer
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4 December 2012
During a conference on Stress, Meditation, Addictions, and Self-Recovery, Dr William Stixrud talked about the special vulnerability of the adolescent and young adult brain to dependency and addiction, and how the Transcendental Meditation technique can be of benefit to those struggling with addiction.
Continuing to explore specific aspects of Transcendental Meditation's usefulness in addressing these conditions, Dr Stixrud, director of a neuropsychology practice specializing in the evaluation and treatment of learning tension and social and emotional disorders, spoke about the effect of stress on development.
He said, 'Stress dramatically undermines what are considered to be the core functions [of the brain],' which include inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility.
These core functions are often also undermined in addicts.
'When you think about addiction and the mental habits of people who become addicted,' Dr Stixrud explained, 'they often have poor inhibition, they often have attention and memory problems, they often tend to be rigid. I see a lot of kids like this and they are wonderful kids.'
He gave a few examples of young people he consulted with who were poorly inhibited, including a young girl who talked all the time. He also described a boy who talked often, very loudly. Once asked to be quiet in a mental health professional's waiting room, he said, 'If I could be quiet, I wouldn't have to be here.'
Dr Stixrud said that this boy had recently learned Transcendental Meditation and found the technique successful in reducing stress.
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
∙ Chronic stress strongly linked with addictive tendencies, quality of life
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