The Sunday News
Rumbidzai Mhlanga, Sunday Life Reporter
Zimbabwe College of Psychiatrists, sponsored by Green Crescent Zimbabwe recently hosted an event to tackle issues to do with addictions in Bulawayo.
According to presenters at the event, addiction is a disease that is perpetuated by social environmental conditions, adverse childhood experiences and genetic inheritance. The organiser and Zimbabwe College of Psychiatrists Convener Dr Nemache Mawere related to this publication the motive behind hosting such an event.
“We realised that the issue of addictions has become a cause for concern in the city and the country at large but the only addictions that are discussed are alcohol and drug addictions, hence the motive behind coming up with this event is for us to tackle issues of other addictions that we never talk about such as the gambling and sex addictions.
We have been doing a lot of work trying to control this problem but we have failed to control it which means we are doing something wrong somewhere, so we really need to change the way we do things. That is the reason we came together today, people with different kind of thinking from doctors, health care practitioners, students and the general public to talk about different types of addictions and have a common approach on such issues,” said Dr Mawere.
Brighton Sibanda, an intern at Ingutsheni Hospital had this to say about internet gambling addiction and gaming addictions: “The effects of internet gaming and gambling are vast, diverse and to some extent characteristic to each condition. One of the most common ones is decline in grades for those in schools and universities, work performance for adults also declines generally. Increasing tolerance may lead to impairment of others areas of their lives and decreases one’s ability to take care of themselves and those around them.
“To solve these addictions there must be awareness, people must know about these conditions. This holistic approach will equip them to seek professional help therapy, Habit Reversal Therapy, Choice or Reality Therapy and Family Therapy can be used to help individuals. They must also develop self-regulation skills to control their habits that often turn into addictions,” he added.
His sentiments were supported by Fungai Ntuli, the Clinical Psychologist of Ingutsheni Hospital who talked about the effects sexual addiction:
“There are individual effects that include less times spent on hobbies, friends and loved ones, loss of productivity at work and home due to the distraction of the sexual addiction, financial problems related to overspending in an attempt to satisfy the sexual addiction, loss of employment due to workplace sexual harassment.
There are relational effects as well which are loss of trust due to lies and deceit and difficulty achieving real intimacy due to violation of trust or due to the fact that partners are viewed as objects rather than individuals. The solution is psychotherapy, that is using various Psychology Treatment Therapies addressing the causes and effects,” Ntuli said.
Tholakele Dzowa from Stop to Start International Private Limited talked on how to stop and get the power to start healing.
“We work with people from all walks of life regardless of age, religion, academic achievement and race, as a result we have had a few individuals recovering from different types of addictions referred to us by medical practitioners. We then use our tools, expertise and knowledge to assist them with re-integration into the society. They might face stigmatisation, condemnation and all sorts of negativity.
The tool enables them to deal with this in their stride without resorting to their previous poison of choice. The personal assessment areas are codependent on each other. Someone might develop an addiction because they might have had difficulty in dealing with one issue or another. They come to us to finish off their programme by going through our guided empowerment programme to achieve that effectiveness in their lives,” said Dzowa.