The problem of risky drug and alcohol use has been growing for years in only one social group: among girls between the ages of fifteen and seventeen, says Maria Banaszak, a specialist in drug psychotherapy.
Agata Jankowska: How do women take drugs?
Maria Banaszak: As they live, it is “elegant” to make a good impression. To claim that everything is under control. For a long time, they hide the problem from the whole world, especially from themselves. Addiction is complicated and powdered. I would compare it to a scene we can all observe while sleeping on the beach. A man with a big belly is standing on the beach. He is not ashamed of his weight, he massages his stomach and puts a jar of beer on it. His partner lay on the blanket in the second row. The hips are covered with a pareo to disguise the abdomen, the body is lined up to look slimmer, and the décolleté is open to show off your new bikini. And the same is true of women’s addictions. Gentlemen exaggerate their problems, and ladies try hard to cover them up. For some reason, we see men drinking on benches as we drive through Polish villages and pass free shops. Women are not there, but that doesn’t mean they don’t drink.
It sounds sexist.
– Because the source of the problem is sexism. From an early age, we teach girls that femininity is first and foremost a visual game. We tell them what is right and what is wrong, what is right for them and what they cannot achieve. And how they should look, act and dress. If we add to this social media, where popularity depends on how you can falsify it, it is not surprising that women do not admit that they have a problem when they are in trouble. They don’t ask for help, they just grit their teeth and keep their shape because they can’t cope with any area of their lives.
We need to be liberal and open, but when our daughter breaks our plans, we tell her it’s not what we expect from her.
Men are addicted due to emotional difficulties, hidden fears or low self-esteem. Women submit to the pressure of the world, society and themselves. Because when grown-ups tell girls how to behave, mature women are disciplined, hang their bars too high, and then fail to live up to their high expectations.
This educational trend is probably already changing. Although I have two sons, I still hear feminist equality manifestos aimed at girls. There are books and newspapers that teach women about children without barriers and conventions. Doesn’t help?
– First of all: children from conscious parents, often living in metropolises, have access to such content. When I look at the electoral trends and political preferences in our country, I would not be under the illusion that a handful of leftist slogans will change the fate of the young generation of Polish women. The second question is, do we really feminize girls? I have the impression that parental tendencies, which involve the moral overthrow of the patriarchy, often work to their detriment.
How to understand?
– By teaching girls that they can be different and can be different, we send another signal that they cannot be themselves. Theoretically, we tell our daughter that she should not be afraid of the world, that she can be brave and capable, but at the same time we drive her to all classes and do not allow her to run in new shoes, because destroy them. We read to the teenagers to hit them, to be sure, but when we come back from the party at night, we close our eyes, they don’t want to take a bath the next day and they want to eat pizza in front of the TV.
We need to be liberal and open-minded, but when our daughter breaks our plans, we tell her it’s not what we expect from her. Because if the mother repeatedly says, “You can be rebellious and you don’t have to dress. You can do judo and you don’t have to dance beautifully, “the child usually misreads these messages:” I have to be rebellious and can’t dress. I have to go to judo and my mother doesn’t like me to dance. ” (…) Why can’t girls, girls or women be given the right to choose? By pressing: “you don’t have to be the most beautiful, you don’t have to be sexy”, “we don’t deserve to be beautiful”, “it’s useless to be beautiful”, we start to move in the direction. Or wants a beautiful body, big breasts, deep cleavage and red lips? We continue to create inequalities by placing weight on the bench. I like the slogan “I’m enough” put forward by Martyna Wojciechowska. I am enough as I am. Because I am myself.
Can we talk to the child about our life experiences and advise him on how to make life easier?
– Who should live easier? Girl or maybe mom? Most of our youngest patients have a common problem: they feel the burden of responsibility for the well-being of their mothers on their shoulders. They become victims of passive aggression, and even worse, guilt prevents them from realizing it. The next generation is digesting women, it can be said that it is a kind of heritage. Grandmother gave it to our mother, mother to us, we gave it to our daughters. And for generations we have brought up the complexes we carry in our lives – a bad girl, a bad worker, a bad wife. It is not enough to read Maria Skłodowska-Curie’s life story and send her daughter to a survival camp to break it.
Are you saying that girls have more difficult days today? Although, can they do more and have more?
And they have to do more, or at least they have to. I may be wrong, but the statistics are relentless. The problem of high-risk drug and alcohol use has been growing for years in only one social group – girls between the ages of fifteen and seventeen. And this is the result of a crisis in which women have fallen or perhaps become stuck. Meanwhile, the system of free psychiatric and psychotherapeutic services in Poland is very lame. And in many small towns, this is not really the case. In addition, even if she has some access to it, women are afraid to use help, fearing gossip and alienation from the neighborhood. It often happens that even wealthy families from large cities, who can easily sign up for an experienced psychotherapist, do not.
– Just because they are afraid, although not necessarily what people will say.
– That therapy will upset the whole family system. They will have difficulty solving certain problems and learn that the problem is not the child, but the whole family. They are afraid of unfavorable information and effort about change or do not trust psychotherapists and psychotherapists.
Needless to say, some parents are simply too good to take medication. Then let’s say stable, calm, muddy, does not require much attention. And most importantly, he doesn’t have to worry about anything happening.
I know the story of Agneska, who stole the keys to her mother’s new Nissan car in the third year of high school with her older friends. They entered the forest outside the city, burned their joints, and on the way back broke the car by entering the fence. Agree, the girl is sharply inflated, and I’m not surprised that she’s getting old. But from my point of view, it was a stupid, puppet game, an attempt to overcome obstacles, it was not evidence of mental disorder. In the meantime, the parents probably went to the psychiatrist with their daughter instead of resolving the unmet needs and internal conflicts that probably motivated her to do so.
The doctor was convinced that he was aggressive and disorderly. He was “calmed” with drugs. After a few months, the girl gained a lot of weight, stopped leaving the house, spent all day in front of the computer, but was safe in her room. Parents prefer to worry about what will happen next. Now they are not afraid to leave the house, because they know that in a few hours they will find their daughter in a similar situation. After two years of such vegetation, they did not predict that he would start looking for stronger and stronger substances, combine drugs with alcohol and take mephedrone. Less often, amphetamines or cocaine – but this is for better learning. Because only when she has good grades, the mother is proud of her. They certainly did not think that their daughter would soon become ill with Monar.
Do you think your parents’ decision was the reason? Isn’t this a simplification?
– Of course, it is a simplification. I just mentioned one of the many traumas of this girl. His example shows that dealing with all the educational problems associated with psychotropic drugs can lead to really serious problems. This scenario also highlights the general motivational tendencies that guide the behavior of drug experimenters. The boys take it to show and mark a place in the group, to feel confident. The girls are there to fight the pressure and withstand the pressure. On the other hand, non-heterosexual and non-sexual people should forget the fear of rejection.
Parents also put pressure on boys.
– Yes, but boys will react more often with anger and aggression. After all, girls do not “behave” to knock on the door, to break the glass with a fist. In any case, are you sure that in the classic, still popular upbringing model, boys will be the same as girls?
I do not think so. More is required of girls in every field: at school, at home, in society. In addition, they are constantly affected by conflicting messages, because I have the impression that girls are more likely to hide under a lampshade. They are inflated and inflated.
“Most of the time, it’s just an illusion.” While it may seem safe to create a bubble, children will pay a high price. “I do this, this and that for you, and you give it back to me like that?” – Sounds familiar? There is a difference between supporting and dictating your child’s feelings. Some students, for example, will hear when they are afraid of an exam or an exam: “Don’t worry. You will definitely manage. Are you always doing well?
Dr. Maria Banaszak – Certified specialist in addictive psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral psychotherapist and social researcher. A graduate of the University of Warsaw and the Freie Universität Berlin. He works at the Monar Addiction Treatment, Therapy and Rehabilitation Center in Gloskov. Director of the dormitory for people with mental disorders, Research and Development Representative of the General Board of the Monar Association and Scientific Advisor on mobile applications for the prevention and prevention of relapses in addicts.
Excerpt from the book “Hajland”. How our children use drugs, Wielka Litera, Warsaw, 2022. Title from the editor
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