Online porn addiction: How to tell shame from compulsion

The prevalence of online pornography and our increasing reliance on the internet for everyday tasks, entertainment and communication is creating a growing issue around the harmful effect that porn can have on users’ lives.

But mental health professionals have started to draw a distinction between people seeking help because their issues arise from addiction and […]

The Melbourne Cup: The addiction that stops two nations

In Australia and New Zealand, it’s hard to avoid the Melbourne Cup – the office sweepstakes, the media coverage and the long queues at the TAB.

And, sure, for many people, it’s simply a horse race which galvanises people in two nations into enjoying a sport which normally they wouldn’t care two hoots about.

But the […]

Why drinking leads to rows with your partner

A regular feature in couples therapy is the topic of alcohol and how frequently it plays a part in confrontation and arguments.

At the very worst end of the spectrum alcohol has been found to be linked to violence in relationships in New Zealand (a 2007 survey examining the role of alcohol in intimate partner […]

Why blackouts are no laughing matter

Hollywood may have built a money-making comedy franchise out of The Hangover – but the films’ key plot device is no laughing matter.

“Blacking out” after drinking alcohol is not the same as “passing out” because, although the brain isn’t recording what you’re doing, it’s still alert enough to keep letting you do it.

And, yes, […]

13 ways to socialise without alcohol

Alcohol can quickly become a feature of all social situations – and our culture in New Zealand makes it tough to opt out when everyone else is sharing a bottle of pinot or enjoying an after-work beer.

But whether you’ve decided to break the habit of drinking every day or want to call time on […]

Sharing a drink: How alcohol can affect your relationship

The unavoidable truth of alcohol and relationships is that the two often walk hand-in-hand. Therapists find relationship problems are common along those who seek treatment for alcohol addiction and alcohol problems are common among couple who seek relationship therapy.

Clearly the negative effects of alcohol take a toll on not just the drinker, but also […]

What is AA?

Founded by Bill Wilson and Dr Bob Smith in Ohio, in the US, in 1935,Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international organisation dedicated to helping alcoholics stay sober. It is based on the principle of fellowship, where an experienced sober alcoholic help other newer members not to relapse, and provides a support network. Although it […]

What is an “alcoholic”?

Everybody who isn’t an alcoholic has their own definition of what alcoholism is. Most of them would agree that it is about drinking “too much”. But how much is “too much”? And is it really what characterises alcoholism?

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), although they are careful to say that they have no formal definition of alcoholism, […]

Has Drinking Become Your Hobby?

What are your hobbies? Sport, movies, fishing, book club, walking?

And how often does your hobby go hand-in-hand with a few drinks? Do you always take a box of beers on the boat or to the game? Does a trip to the cinema always involve a bottle of wine? Are book club and “a walk […]

New Zealand’s new drink-drive laws

New Zealand’s lower drink-drive laws seem to have hit the right mark when it comes to keeping dangerous drivers off the road, but they’ve also highlighted many people’s reliance on alcohol.

The limit dropped from 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood to 50mg per 100ml last December for those aged 20 and […]