Addiction is defined as not having control over doing, taking or using something to the point where it could be harmful to you.[1]

[1] NHS. (2015). Addiction: what is it? [Online]. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/addiction-what-is-it/

Drug addiction is the use of chemical substances (illegal or legal) that lead to an increased risk of problems in your work, home and relationships and an inability to control the use of the substance.

Alcohol addiction is a chronic disease of the mind. Alcohol addiction is characterised by the inability to stop using alcohol despite growing negative consequences. Uncontrollable cravings for alcohol, exceeding self-imposed limits, continued use despite physical, psychological, and social consequences, and an inability to stop drinking once one has started.

Gambling addiction is an impulse-control disorder. If you have a Gambling addiction, the impulse to gamble is difficult to be controlled, even when it has negative consequences for you or your loved ones. Whether you are up or down, broke or flush, you will keep gambling regardless of the consequences even when you know that the odds are stacked against you and you can’t afford to lose.

Internet Gambling, similar to traditional in-person gambling is an impulse-control disorder. However, online gambling due to its nature creates accessibility and 24/7 availability in contrast to in-person gambling, which makes it potentially more addictive.

Smoking is an addiction. The drug inside tobacco that makes people addicted to smoking is nicotine. Nicotine alters the balance of two chemicals called dopamine and noradrenaline in your brain. When nicotine changes the levels of these chemicals, your mood and concentration levels change. The changes happen very quickly, and when you inhale the nicotine, it immediately rushes to your brain, where it produces feelings of pleasure and reduces stress and anxiety. This is why many smokers enjoy the nicotine rush and become dependent on it.[1]

You will know when you are addicted to smoking when:

You can’t stop smoking.

You experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop.

You keep smoking despite health problems.

You give up social or recreational activities in order to smoke.

[1] NHS. (2018). Why is smoking addictive? [Online]. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/lifestyle/why-is-smoking-addictive/

Trauma is the response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope, causes feelings of helplessness, diminishes their sense of self and their ability to feel the full range of emotions and experiences. Trauma is defined by the experience of the survivor.[1]

Response to a traumatic event varies significantly among people, but there are some basic, common symptoms.

Emotional signs include:

sadness

anger

denial

fear

shame

These may lead to:

nightmares

insomnia

difficulty with relationships

emotional outbursts

Common physical symptoms:

nausea

dizziness

altered sleep patterns

changes in appetite

headaches

gastrointestinal problems

Psychological disorders may include:

PTSD

depression

anxiety

dissociative disorders

substance abuse problems

Transgenerational trauma

Transgenerational trauma, also is known as multigenerational and intergenerational, refers to trauma, which is transmitted from one generation to the next. The trauma that has occurred but remains unresolved has been transmitted from one generation to the next, through mechanisms of trauma transmission. The mechanisms of trauma transmission are biological, psychological, familial and societal.

Black and Asian communities have experienced years of racism, oppression and social trauma that has been transmitted from one generation to the next.

[1] Integrated Listening. (2018). Trauma Defined. [Online]. Available from: https://integratedlistening.com/what-is-trauma/

A pattern of behaviour used by one person to gain and maintain power and control over another.

There are many types of abuse, but here are the four most common ones.

Physical abuse is an intentional act causing injury or trauma to another person or animal by way of bodily contact. In most cases, children are the victims of physical abuse, but adults can also be victims, as in cases of domestic violence or workplace aggression.[1]

[1] “Child physical abuse”. American Humane Association.

Psychological abuse is a form of abuse, characterised by a person subjecting or exposing another person to behaviour that may result in psychological trauma.[1]

[1] Dutton, Donald G. (Summer 1994). “Patriarchy and wife assault: the ecological fallacy”. Violence & Victims. 9 (2): 167–182.

Sexual abuse, also referred to as molestation, is usually undesired sexual behaviour by one person upon another. It is often perpetrated using force or by taking advantage of another.[1]

[1] American Psychological Association. (2018). Sexual abuse. American Psychological Association

Any abusive, violent, coercive, forceful, or threatening act or word inflicted by one member of a family or household on another can constitute domestic violence.[1]

Most Black and Asian minority ethnic women who are experiencing domestic violence are not employed and have no separate disposable income, live in poor housing, and lack the education and opportunities to progress. Their isolation from society is made all the greater by language and cultural differences, and they are ill-equipped to escape abuse. These additional barriers hinder the help that they need.[2]

Black, Asian or minority ethnic woman who is trying to escape from domestic violence, have their experiences compounded by racism, which is pervasive and insidious in the UK. This might make you unwilling to seek help from statutory agencies (such as the police, social services, or housing authorities) because you are afraid of a racist response.

Black and Asian men that experience domestic violence are less likely to report the abuse because of the shame that it creates in their community and as men, they are meant to stand up for themselves.

[1] Healthy Place for your mental health. (2016). What is Domestic Violence, Domestic Abuse? [Online]. Available from: https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/domestic-violence/what-is-domestic-violence-domestic-abuse

[2] BAWSO. (2018). Domestic abuse from a BME perspective. [Online]. Available from: http://www.bawso.org.uk/home/what-is-domestic-abuse/domestic-abuse-from-a-bme-perspective/

A sense of self is defined as the perception of oneself. Your self-image, how you view and feel about yourself.

Individuals from the Black and Asian community have had their sense of self affected by racism and the lack of representation in both the media and society.

Microaggression defined by Chester M. Pierce as brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioural, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative prejudicial slights and insults toward any group.[1]

[1] Sue DW (2010). Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation.

Dismantling racism defined racism involving one group having the power to carry out systematic discrimination through the institutional policies and practices of the society and by shaping the cultural beliefs and values that support those racist policies and practices. [1]

There is a growing and convincing body of evidence that psychosis and depression, substance misuse and anger are more likely in those exposed to racism, the Synergi collaborative centre reports. [2]

[1] Dismantling racism. (2018). What is racism? Racism defined. [Online}. Available from: http://www.dismantlingracism.org/racism-defined.html

[2] The Synergi Collaborative centre. (2018). The impact of racism on

mental health. [Online]. Available from: https://synergicollaborativecentre.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/The-impact-of-racism-on-mental-health-briefing-paper-1.pdf