For privacy reasons, certain identifying characteristics of people in this story have been changed.I was 15 years old when I discovered my father’s porn habit. It was after midnight, a school night; The blue-green glow of his computer monitor spilled from the crack beneath his door.I let myself in, assuming he was working, and instead found him feverishly masturbating to the images on the screen.It’s a moment as ingrained in my mind as I imagine the porn is in his: He was perched, naked, in his green swivel chair, which he had covered with one of my mom’s best bath towels. He looked angry.Shortly afterward, my mom filed for divorce, and I branded pornography as my father’s—or perhaps all men’s—evil vice.Related: The Truth About How Porn Affects Your Sex LifeI couldn’t understand his desire for the naked pretzel women, contorting into yogalike poses on his computer screen. Or why his porn habit—which, my mother later told me, spanned … [Read more...] about Is Porn Harmful?
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You might not suspect it if you see me flat footing down the sidewalk in my rumpled duds, but I am legally authorized to carry concealed upon my person a handgun, a stun gun, a billy club, and various knives. If you're looking for an NRA sticker on my truck window, you won't find one. If you're looking for my underground bunker, you won't find one. If you're looking for my stockpile of ammo and weapons, you won't find one—at least not one that will last beyond the first wave of zombies, or several deer-hunting seasons. And frankly, if you're looking for my concealed weapon, you probably won't find one. But I have reserved the option. We can all recite (or screech) the cases for and against gun control. I have nothing to add in either respect, at least nothing that will look punchy on a placard or nifty on a T-shirt. I'm pro-gun the way I'm pro–potato fork. I use both to gather food for the year, with the caveat that if you break into my house, I won't be waiting at the … [Read more...] about Why Men Get a Bang Out of Guns
What Is It?Alcoholism (alcohol dependence) is the most severe type of drinking problem. There is no absolute number of drinks per day or quantity of alcohol that defines alcoholism, but experts have defined a limit above which the risks of drinking increase significantly.Here are some defining characteristics of alcohol dependence:Tolerance – The need to drink more and more alcohol to feel the same effects, or the ability to drink more than other people without getting drunk. Withdrawal symptoms – After stopping or cutting back on drinking, symptoms are anxiety, sweating, trembling, trouble sleeping, nausea or vomiting, and, in severe cases, physical seizures and hallucinations. Desire to stop drinking, but inability to do so. Loss of control over the amount of alcohol consumed. Preoccupation with drinking. Paying less attention to other life activities. Ignoring problems, sometimes very obvious ones.A person with alcohol dependence has come to rely on alcohol physically, … [Read more...] about Alcohol Dependence (Alcoholism)
Stress, in everyday terms, is a feeling that people have when they are overloaded and struggling to cope with demands. These demands can be related to finances, work, relationships, and other situations, but anything that poses a real or perceived challenge or threat to a person's well-being can cause stress. Stress can be a motivator. It can be essential to survival. The "fight-or-flight" mechanism can tell us when and how to respond to danger. However, if this mechanism is triggered too easily, or when there are too many stressors at one time, it can undermine a person's mental and physical health and become harmful. According to the American Psychological Association's (APA's) annual stress survey, average stress levels in the United States (U.S.) rose from 4.9 to 5.1 on a scale from 1 to 10 in 2015. The main reasons given are employment and money. Stress is the body's natural defense against predators and danger. It flushes the body with hormones to prepare systems to evade or … [Read more...] about Stress: Why does it happen and how can we manage it?