Philip Seymour Hoffman RIP

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by allezfred, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Sounds a bit like a "Leaving Las Vegas" scenario (movie in which Nicolas Cage goes to Vegas to drink himself to death). Reports are coming out now of things he said in the weeks leading up to his death and things he did, including buying a large quantity of the drug, that suggest he was planning an extended binge. Whether he hoped to come out of it or not, we might never know.

    My favourite performance of his was in Charlie Wilson's War - he was brilliant.
     
  2. topaz

    topaz Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to see another talent person lost to addiction. I really hope as a society, especially in the US that we learn to addiction in ALL FORMS is an disease. It's crazy we still have such a stigma on addiction, it allows for keeping the disease in the dark, allows for shame and so many other destructive outlets.

    I"m referring to all types of addictions, drugs(illegal, legal and prescribed), alcohol, sex, food, and etc. It's time that we all start to look at ourselves, recognize that we may all have an addiction or a high craving for many substances that may lead to death too. Some addictions are man made too(chemicals/substances) in our food that make up crave certain drinks and foods.
     
  3. modern_muslimah

    modern_muslimah Thinking of witty user title and coming up blank

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    It's so crazy to think he was clean for two decades and then fell off the wagon in such a catastrophic way. I wonder what triggered him to relapse. Last year, I think, he checked into rehab after using prescription pills and then graduating to snorting heroin. If the prescription pills triggered his relapse, then I wonder if he got them illegally or if he was prescribed them. If he was prescribed prescription painkillers, then I wonder if his doctors knew of his addiction.

    Addiction is such mess and not only does it suck the soul out of or kill addicts, it also wrecks havoc on their families too.
     
  4. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

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    I have never quite been able to look at addiction as a "disease." My father was an alcoholic for most of his adult life, had heart problems, colon and throat cancer. He was also a heavy smoker. Also, alcoholism runs rampant on the paternal side of my family. The throat cancer killed him in the end. To me, the heart problems/cancer were his diseases, not drinking and smoking. The alcoholism/nicotine addiction were byproducts of the choices he made - more of a condition to me, not a disease. He died from cancer and there was nothing that could prevent that. He always had the power of choice regarding his addictions. Is it hard? Yes. But he always had a choice.

    With many diseases, there really isn't much choice. You just have to go along with whatever treatment is out there, while hoping that it might be effective. With terminal diseases, forget it. No choice. I have a had weight problem for most of my life, but I've never thought of myself as having a "disease". It's not. I made my choices. After a 115 pound weight loss, I'm at a healthy weight now, but it's a struggle everyday. It's just hard for me to slap the word disease on many of the demons and trials that we have to suffer because of our own choices.

    JMO. :slinkaway
     
  5. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    No, you raise some really good points. Good for you on taking control of your life, even if it's a struggle every day. Especially since it's a struggle every day. PSH's fate is proof that even if you've spent years and years sober, it doesn't mean you're in the clear. It is a struggle every day.

    When people think of diseases, they think of communicative diseases, but the medical definition includes "abnormal condition."

    It's kind of semantics and cultural definitions, but I believe people say it's a disease to not lay 100% of the blame on the person it is affecting. Just like depression, you can't simply will yourself out of an addiction. Nor can a person with a family history of food addiction typically will themselves into a supermodel-thin body. In order to stay healthy, you can't live life like a non-addict/non-depressed/non-obese person. There are things you have to choose to do to handle it. And yes, that is a choice, but it isn't as easy as just choosing not to be the person you don't want to be. We wouldn't have such serious issues with various non-communicative diseases if it were that easy.
     
  6. Artistic Skaters

    Artistic Skaters Drawing Figures

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  7. topaz

    topaz Well-Known Member

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    I concur the definition that Anita18 gave. I feel addiction is a condition of abnormal behavior and causes.

    I'm sorry to hear about your dad and this lifelong fight with addictions. I"m sure his addictions possibly contributed or were the cause of heart disease and cancer.

    In regards to your weight problems, it depends on what you think are weight problems. Are these doctor/medical descriptions of obesity or your own cultural/personal values of weight problems. As for myself, I have addiction to sugar, particularly fructose. . Our bodies are naturally wired to crave sugar. However, things like depression, fatigue, stress, exhaustion, dehydration, and sleep deprivation make the body crave an instant energy boost. I noticed this after I had my daughter that I really really wanted sweets. As a new mother, all the things I mentioned above some into play. So I would eat ice cream, candy, soda and cookies between meals. All of these things contain high fructose corn syrup, casien and MSG. All very addictive ingredients. A year after my daughter was born, I weighed 35 pounds more than I did when I pregnant with her.

    I finally realized I have a food addiction. Some foods I do not buy anymore because I can't help myself when eating them. I have learned to eat many sweets in moderation. However, I have my triggers. For example, my mom's homemade banana pudding made with sweetened condensed milk and a custard like filling is my kryptonite. I can't just have a cup of the stuff, I will get the entire pan(8 x 8 or 9 x 13 in). My mom has not made in 2 years.

    There are foods that contain ingredients that make us addicted. I've read too much documentation to not believe that manufactured fructose is addictive. I believe the research that states the body does process it differently. I feel differently when I've eaten products with high fructose corn syrup, MSG, sucralose. You really have to look at food ingredients to find a product that does not contain these items.

    I had to do a complete lifestyle change.
     
  8. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    That is the disease.
     
  9. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

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    I know it's not that easy. After growing up around my dad, I would never think something as simplistic as that. I didn't mention it before, but I have struggled with chronic depression for the past twenty years to the point that as recently as 15 months ago, suicide looked very attractive. I have had these urges before, but this time I actually got right up to point where I started thinking about how big a syringe of insulin it would take to finish me off (my dog is diabetic, so insulin is always in the fridge.) I had never gone quite that far before on that train of thought, so it really shook me up. My doctor put me back on my previous medication, and things quickly improved.

    These issues are very personal, of course, but I felt the need to make it clear that I am not naïve about these kinds of situations. :(
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  10. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

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    Not to me it isn't. I struggle every day to keep the kitchen bar uncluttered - is that a disease? :shuffle:
     
  11. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    Well, it depends.
     
  12. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Sasha

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    No, it's not a disease. If it was, many of us would be considered sick.
     
  13. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I don't quite agree with the idea that just because something is a "choice" that it somehow negates it as a disease. That doesn't mean you don't have it (especially if something like addiction runs in your family), it just means you're careful to not put yourself in a vulnerable situation. However, oftentimes, people's choices in life (many of those don't seem like they have much a choice) expose them to things that people willingly accept as a disease. Like say STDs. People choose to have unprotected sex, but if they contract a sexually-transmitted disease, does choosing to partake in risky sexual behavior negate their disease? No.

    The addiction is the disease and IMO, it's one in which people always have and have to combat no matter how many years they stay sober.

    I guess like you nubka, I deal first-hand with a parental figure who was an alcoholic, but I absolutely believe he suffered from a disease.
     
  14. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I think knowing that you're in some control of your fate helps, but many can't keep that balance. That's why it's so hard.

    Well do you have to live your life differently from people who do keep their kitchen bar uncluttered? :p

    To me, if it's affecting your everyday life in a negative way, that's the line. The people I know with OCD would struggle to keep their kitchen bar "uncluttered"....to the tune of it taking up 3 miserable hours of their life every day.
     
  15. modern_muslimah

    modern_muslimah Thinking of witty user title and coming up blank

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    I think for me, when someone says addiction is a disease, it somehow keys the addict off the hook for his behavior. I have multiple addicts in my family including my late father. It's just hard to feel sympathetic for them after a while because they really affect their families in such horrible ways. My dad did some really unscrupulous things when he was addicted to heroin and it cost him his marriage and his family. Yes, I know addiction is powerful but I wish keeping his family together had been a more powerful motivator to stay clean. In the discussion of PSH, I admit I feel horrible not for him but his family especially his children.
     
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  16. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    I don't know if disease is the exact right word but whenever I read about crocodile - and how your body turns hard and grey until you die from a certain form of meth abuse but still hardly anyone kicks the habit - I realized addiction is very much a physical condition and not just a choice. The physical component can be stronger than the survival instinct or stronger even than vanity. That's a real thing.
     
  17. topaz

    topaz Well-Known Member

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    @Nubka you mentioned you have struggled with depression. Do you consider your depression a disease?

    @modern_Muslimah - For me I don't consider recognizing something as a disease lets me off the hook and excuses my behavior. I simply acknowledge that I have a chemical dependency on food/sugar. New and recent research show that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. It hits all the brain's addiction triggers. There are many people who are depend on effects that sugar brings to their brain. Sugar changes your taste buds, brain chemistry, hormones, and metabolism. Personally, I believe 40 to 50% of Americans have a food addiction to sugar and do not want admit or they don't recognize that they have a chemical dependency on a drug. Many people only look at addiction in forms of alcohol and drugs(illegal).
     
  18. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Nubka, this breaks my heart. I have felt those feelings too. Thankfully, never to the point of acting on them. But, I understand. Depression is an illness. Depression, addiction, OCD, many psych illnesses are inter related, co-morbid. I understand that you feel in control of your food issues, right now. I am in control of mine. However, I will always have an eating disorder, whether it's active or not. I can choose not to act on it, but it is a struggle every day. That struggle is the illness. The understanding that one slip can put me back there. The guilt and self loathing that goes along with it.

    Anita already said this, OCD would make it an illness. Mine doesn't present as needing a clear kitchen counter. However, my entire sink and counter have to be bleached if I cook any meat, chicken, or fish. sometimes twice. My OCD presents as germophobia. Doing laundry can be debilitating, is it ever clean enough to get it into the dryer? So, depending on whether you just like things to be neat, or you are compelled to constantly straighten and panic if things are out of place, yes it can be an illness.

    Everyone suffers when someone suffers with addiction. But, that doesn't mean it is not an illness. Everyone suffers if a person becomes physically ill too. And, in my opinion, calling addiction an illness doesn't let anyone off the hook. It puts them on the hook to get help. It may be an illness, but it can be treated. The person may suffer for their entire lives with addiction even though they remain clean and sober. The need and anguish remains.
     
  19. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Just as many people look at anorexia and bulimia as eating disorders, but don't consider obesity as one. If we did, it would go a long way toward treating the overweight person with respect, kindness, and treatment.
     
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  20. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Obesity is not a disorder on its own. It may be the result of a disorder though.

    Anorexia is not the opposite of obesity. Extreme thinness is- and that doesn't necessarily mean anorexia.
    There are many bulimics who are actually overweight.
     
  21. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Thank you for sharing this. It's all very complicated, and I do find it jarring when people are quick to stamp a label on something like that's the bottomline and there's no further discussion to be had on the matter. I find this with the word "addiction" as well - there seems to be a trend these days to slap the word on anyone who gets drunk or stoned or cheats on their spouse must be an addict of some kind, and while that can be the case, I don't think it always is. Life is more complicated than that.
     
  22. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you are right. I should have said overeating. I was not clear. sorry :).
     
  23. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I think lay people or corporations hoping to sell a product (like a cookbook) may be quick to label someone's behavior as those things, but I don't know if medical and psychological professionals (with consensus to support them) will that quick to label someone as an addict or a certain addiction as a disease carelessly.

    I think the problem with many people who don't want to label alcoholism or drug addiction as a disease feel that way because they believe in the idea of ultimate free will in a way and see that everyone has the same choices and therefore have the same resistances, and labeling such things as a disease somehow lets people off the hook for their bad decisions. That's not true. Recognizing something as a disease just brings more understanding to the problem and will change the narrative in how we view the addiction and how we treat people who suffer from such addictions that will hopefully help in finding successful methods of treatment. Understanding is not the same thing as no longer assigning responsibility or excusing everything. In fact, the first step of any treatment that I know about (lay person here) assigns all the responsibility on the addict in that he or she has to make the first step in recognizing the disease and doing something about it. The treatment may also be very tough. It's not all sunshine and roses.
     
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  24. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I completely agree. We can also apply that to physical illness. How many of us know people who choose to ignore symptoms of physical diseases? Then, when they finally see a doctor, it may be too late. That is a choice just as much as not getting help for a psychological illness. I think the difference is that with physical illness the perception is that we have no control what so ever. And, with psych illness, society still perceives it as poor character and lack of self control, not illness.

    From personal experience: Trust me, no one wants to be OCD. No one wants to feel that sense of panic. No one chooses to feel out of control and terrified by something that doesn't even make sense to them. It is horrible. And it is chemical. Addiction is also chemical - dopamine is a very powerful neurotransmitter.
     
  25. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Agree - I was thinking more of the general public, who thanks to the internet and social media, can weigh in with their "diagnosis" every time a celebrity or public figure is in the news.

    Like the politicians or athletes who get caught with hookers, and immediately everyone's calling them a sex addict who needs treatment for their disease. In some of those cases, I'm inclined to think their "addiction" is to power, not sex, and the "disease" they have is that they are so full of themselves they think they can get away with it. And further, I think those politicians and athletes will sometimes then use public opinion (as politicians are often expert at doing already) to turn it into a "poor me" story, check into a luxe rehab facility for a couple of weeks and proclaim themselves "cured."

    The mayor of Toronto, who has been seen drunk in public and has admitted to using drugs, has been the subject of much armchair diagnosis as well, with calls for him to get professional help, admit his addictions, seek treatment etc. But do we really know that's the problem? Because there are lots of people who have been drunk in public (ie at a bar or party) and use recreational drugs from time to time, and yet no one is telling them to check into rehab. But in the case of Ford, he is mayor of a divided city in an election year, so his detractors are ready to pounce on any opportunity, and his supporters are only getter firmer in their positions.

    So again, not the professionals, but all the rest of us amateurs out here who, based on our own biases and personal experiences and on incomplete information, proclaim we know what's wrong and further, we know - and in some cases demand - what should be done about it.
     
  26. topaz

    topaz Well-Known Member

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    Just because some people may use the word to justify their behavior who really do not have an addiction problem does not mean that there are those who do have addictions to porn, sex or alcoholism. .
     
  27. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    I did say in the passage you quoted that it can be the case - but that I think the word is being thrown around a lot these days when it might not be the case at all.
     
  28. topaz

    topaz Well-Known Member

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    I don't think Ford was a recreational crack cocaine user. For my experience with crack users, crack is not a recreational drug. It is a highly addictive drug that changes the brain chemistry and body's dependence on that drug. Recently, they have determined that 20% of those who try cocaine will be addicted and 30% of those who try heroin will be be addicted and develop a dependency. I'm waiting for the day that studies on foods, especially sugar and caffeine will be looked at as "real" drugs. I would estimate that sugar has an addiction level or 40 to 50%.
     
  29. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I agree. But, I think it is going to be tough for that to happen. I think people tend to see drugs as things that effect your reaction time/cognition/brain function. Sugar does create a desire for more, but it doesn't change the brain, in the way that drugs and alcohol do. Though it can make you hyper. Look at the reaction to Blumberg trying to limit the size of sugary sodas in NYC. And, sugar causes inflammation, it can cause all sorts of medical problems. But, I don't think the general public will see it in the same category as drugs/alcohol.
     
  30. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    I agree that crack is more than a recreational drug - but not everyone who tries it or even does it several times becomes addicted. And if 20% of people who try cocaine will become addicted, that means 80% won't, and similarly 70% who try heroin won't either. Not that this is encouraging at all - but it does underscore the point that just because someone has used these drugs, doesn't mean they have an addiction or that they need treatment for it. (In fact I wish stats like that weren't even out there, because too many people think they can beat the odds in life, when in reality so few do.)

    In Ford's case, my personal view is he has bigger problems than his alcohol and drug use, and while a couple of weeks in rehab might give him some new perspective on using them, and maybe even address some other issues, I don't think his drug use is the root of it all. Kinda like sticking a bandaid on someone who has heart disease.

    For Hoffman - and here's me in my armchair - I wonder if there is more to it than an addict falling off the wagon. Clearly he was an alcoholic, but maybe the fact that he's died of heroin overdose (I'm assuming as the autopsy results have not been revealed) is obscuring what was really going on, and that was a deeper mental health situation. Because to me, and this is just my theory, he didn't die because he was a lapsed addict. He died because for some reason he was on a path of self destruction that was going to kill him in one way or another, and as it happened the heroin was the cause, but not the reason.
     
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