The repeated and constant use of an addictive substance and/or behavior affects how the brain experiences pleasure. When a habit that one was just experiencing once in a while becomes a constant everyday behavior, the body increases the tolerance level. When this happens the user will need to up the dosage so as to try to achieve the same euphoria that they used to get in the beginning. As a result of constant abuse, the brain gets used to having the substance or behavior constantly so as to function normally. The continued tolerance and desire to have more and more eventually brings about the risk of addiction. While it’s true that the initial choice to engage is voluntary as the behavior continues, the choice is taken away as neurobiological changes happen.
Addiction is a primary chronic ailment that affects the brain’s motivation, reward, memory and related areas leading the affected individual to obstinately pursue reward and relief through substance use or other behavior despite the harmful cumulative consequences (Miller, 2013).
Burden of Depression
Major depressive disorder leads as the main cause of disability and premature death among younger populations globally (McIntyre & Nathanson, 2010). Additionally, depression has been identified as an independent risk factor for other chronic medical conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and Cardiovascular disease, introducing another avenue of burden.
It hurts too much. My head feels heavy and my body feels numb. I am devoid of energy and couldn’t care less about anyone or anything in my life. I’ve come very close to dying four times in the last 3 years. It’s something I live with every day. It’s impossible to dismiss it from my mind… This is how depression has affected me. My experience with depression began several years ago when my life became complicated and turbulent…
(Extracted from Hendin, 2009, When glad becomes sad: Personal accounts from people living with depression).
The above extract should give you the reader, a rough idea of what it’s like to live with depression.
Depression is an affective disorder that consists of persistent feelings of sadness and worthlessness (First & American Psychiatric Association, 2014). Individuals suffering from depression often lack the desire to engage in activities previously enjoyed.
Although people’s dispositions may vary, making them more or less receptive to violence and such behavior, the immense influence of social situation cannot be ignored. As such, this particular piece shall focus on the power of the situation with particular focus on the 2007/2008 post-election violence.
The 2007/2008 Kenya post-election violence is a good example of group mentality. According to Le Bon (2009), collective mentality is distinct from personal mentality. When people are within a group, they tend to lose their sense of self, a concept referred to as deindividuation.