February 9, 2023

Dear Manang,
We have not been paying attention to the use of gadgets and android phones as a possible source of addiction. This pandemic has changed some of our values. We used to be angry at our children or spouses for spending too much time with these devices. Because of blended education and virtual meetings, these things have become needs and essentials. But we are ignoring the fact that we are also addicted to games. Some children don’t sleep because they play until morning. Of late, we heard of a child who committed suicide because of fear of his father’s wrath. Is there treatment available for this? Is it curable?
Lily of Mirador Hill, Baguio City

Dear Lily,
The addiction to games is called process addiction. Similar to gambling, this propensity to engage in the activity is uncontrollable for some. Indeed, we have compromised many of our values because lifestyles have been altered by this new normal. The first thing needed is the acknowledgement of the problem before anything can be done about it. I know of a place called Milestones which helps people with both substance and process abuse. On the local scene, a psychiatrist can help with therapy to overcome it but seriously, this is a personal decision and seldom does it work with intrusion. It helps to explain these things to some people. For beginners, try to talk to the family.
Discuss it,
Manang

Dear Manang,
My father smokes two packs of cigarettes a day and no matter how I try to convince him to stop, it seems like my plea falls on deaf ears. Is there a way to do this? I am out of options. I want to cut his allowance but he does other antics that are annoying to increase his allowance but I discovered that his allowance doesn’t cover meals anymore. Help!
Jerry of Laubach Road, Baguio City

Dear Jerry,
If smoking was easy to deal with, there wouldn’t be as many addicts to nicotine. It really is a personal decision just like process abuse. I cannot help you much because I stopped by deciding to do so and not by any other power. To some, scare tactics of strokes or heart attacks work by some miracle but only when they stare at near death does it dawn on them. Sometimes reverse psychology helps. Have you tried to patronize the habit? It might be the miracle you want.
Stop nagging,
Manang