Annette Nay, PhD

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TV Addiction
Annette Nay, Ph.D.
Copyright © 2004

Dear Annette,

I have some deep concerns about my adult, married daughter who is heavily into so-called "reality" TV (which has no semblance to reality whatsoever). Even her children tell her she's watching too much TV and are disgusted with these shows!

I noticed that, although you have several pages on addictions, you have nothing on TV addiction. You might want to consider writing a good article or two to help families fight this scourge.

I'm sure you've read about how these programs are designed to hook viewers into tuning in to every episode to see and hear the latest dirt these producers and participants broadcast.

Here are some web pages on "reality" TV that I recently found very enlightening:

And people who spend hundreds of dollars per year on DVDs surely need help with their addiction too! Imagine what a person could do if that money were invested in music, art or other classes at the community college instead!



Dear Grandmaw,

Excessive TV watching is a deep concern in many families. As for your daughter, perhaps the family should do an intervention (See Intervention, below) and limit dear old mom to a certain amount of TV hours per day. She can choose how to spend those hours on what shows. This is what parents do for children all the time. In this case the turn-around is fair play and healthful. With the extra time, mom should be pushed into search out other hobbies and service she could give the community.

Annette Nay, MS



This is when a group of friends and family get together and loving tell the person about the problems they see. Often they, as a very caring group, can help the person see that there is a problem.

Much love has to go into an intervention. There should never be any shouting, on the part of any member of the intervention group. Voices should be kept low and slow. Often, the person whom the intervention is for, will be angry at first and perhaps yell. Keep calm! Reassure the person that that s/he is loved and deeply cared about, that is why you are there.

Since it is a difficult thing to come up with just the right words that will soften the person’s heart into getting help, it is highly suggested that all involved pray for help from God/their Higher Power, to get the inspiration they need.

Have each person prepared with a specific instance where false information was passed about him/her. Each must have irrefutable evidence to show that the person was misinformed, so they can see the damage that they have done.

Use soft caring words whenever possible, for example.  Instead of using words like “lied,” use the words, “falsely accused.” Do not use harsh works, because they provoke a fight and that is not what you are there for.

Tell her, “It is important for you to get the help you needs so you can continue as part of the family. Otherwise, your behavior will continue to tear our families apart, which can no longer go on. We love you and always want you to be part of our lives, we need you to get help to stop this behavior, or we will be forced to keep you out of our lives. We don’t want that, but our families come first.” Those are softened words. What people might end up saying, if they are not trying to be tender with the feelings of the person whom the intervention is for, is something like this: “Get help or get out of our lives.”

The best course for the intervention group to take is to have the person take action immediately. An appointment should be made in advance for a time just after the intervention takes place. After the intervention, if it has worked out positively, the person is immediately escorted to the counseling appointment, right then. Loving reassurance and support is given before and after the appointment and thereafter, as long as the person is trying to change the unwanted behaviors.

If this doesn’t work, then there is absolutely nothing else you to make this person change, unless the person is a danger to himself, and/or others. In this case the state’s certified mental health counselors are called and they make arrangements to have the person incarcerated in a mental health facility for 48 hours for a mental examination to see what needs to be done to help this person back to good mental health and safeguard the person or others until this can be done.

See my article Ridding Yourself of an Addiction.

How To Get Your Child To Do What You Ask How To Get Your Child To Do What You Ask
by Annette Nay, PhD

Dr Nay's eBook is an informative parenting tool every parent should have to make the job of parenting easier and more effective.
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