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Vinny Tells All

Aired May 3, 2012 - 21:00   ET


DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go.

"Jersey Shore`s" Vinny, he is anxious, he has panic attacks and he`s here. Let me see what I can do to the panic in that boy. He`ll answer your questions and mine about a condition that affects millions. And I`ll tell you my own little secret about this as well. He might talk about Snooki as well.

Plus, is marriage for white people? That`s what I`m asking. What do you think? The man who wrote that book joins me.

Let`s get started.


PINKSY: "Jersey Shore" is a guilty pleasure for millions of American viewers. This reality show follows the lives of we call them hard-partying young adults, features wild nights, booze, fights and casual sex. Take a look.


PINSKY: Last season, "Jersey Shore" cast member Vinny Guadagnino temporarily left the show to cope with anxiety and panic attacks. His new book is "Control the Crazy: My Plan to Stop Stressing, Avoid Drama and Maintain Inner Cool." There`s that book cover.

So I`m not sure maintaining your inner cool is easy to do on a show like "Jersey Shore," is it?


PINSKY: Vin, when did you start having panic?

GUADAGNINO: I mean, it`s usually 99 percent of my life I`m fine, but it`s really when I start to live an unhealthy lifestyle, when I don`t eat right, when I don`t sleep -- these are elements to filming with the "The Jersey Shore," for months at a time where --

PINSKY: Which is what you do on the set of "Jersey Shore." You don`t eat, you don`t sleep, you drink all the time.

You know, my patients all get panic attacks when they go on and off alcohol and drugs.


PINSKY: That`s a good way to kindle panic attacks.

GUADAGNINO: Yes. Well, I never -- I think that stuff, in a bad way, it works. You know what I mean? It suppresses it if you`re ever having it. So I never --

PINSKY: Social anxiety particularly. You go out and party and you can be socially fluid.

GUADAGNINO: But I never did that. So, instead of drinking it away, I would deal with it and it could make it continue on to be a vicious cycle that would last for weeks or maybe months. That was the problem.

So, you know, most of the time I`m fine. Once it starts it picks up this pattern and can really spiral me into a bad place.

PINSKY: Full-on panic.

GUADAGNINO: Yes. Well, you know, it manifests differently in everybody. I think people can have a panic attack where your heart is racing, you get shakes and jitters. But you can also feel disconnected. You know what I mean? I can feel depressed.

I`m like telling my doctor, I`m like, I have depression, I have depression. Really, he`s just like, it`s just anxiety. You know what I mean? It`s just taking on a different form.

PINSKY: I had panic attacks when I was about your age. How old are you now?


PINSKY: Yes, I was a little younger. Maybe 20, starting a panic thing. I mean, severely, you can`t get out of bed panic attack. And when you say you feel disconnected, you feel depersonalize --


PINSKY: Yes, you don`t exist. That`s part of panic.

GUADAGNINO: Kind of like you`re looking at yourself from the outside.

PINSKY: Exactly.

GUADAGNINO: And that brings this whole other form of anxiety because now you`re like, why am I not myself anymore?

PINSKY: Now you`re panicking about the panic which really spirals.

GUADAGNINO: Exactly, the worst thing you can do.

PINSKY: It`s good times, though, hey, brother, been there.

Let`s go to some calls. This is Heidi in California -- Heidi.


PINSKY: We are great. You`re on with Vinny.

HEIDI: Hi, Vinny.

GUADAGNINO: Hi. How are you?

HEIDI: I`m great.

PINSKY: That`s it, Heidi? You got nothing else for us?

HEIDI: I`m sorry. I`m really nervous.

PINSKY: Go right ahead.

HEIDI: Well, I read you dealt with anxiety issues since you were a child. What was your first memory of experiencing anxiety?

GUADAGNINO: Well, I had my first full-blown attack when I was in high school. I was sitting at the desk and all of a sudden my heart started racing, everything started closing in around me. I was like, did I just have a heart attack?

PINSKY: You feel like you`re dying, having a heart attack or going crazy. Those are symptoms of a panic attack.

GUADAGNINO: Right. But, you know, it all goes back to your childhood, too, of when you started to feel anxious.

Anxiety is a natural thing humans have. You know, that`s how we evolve. That`s how we are, you know, we think things through. Sometimes my mind just thinks things through a lot.

So, I remember when I was a kid, I was waiting for my mom to come home when she was working late, and, you know, I was like, oh my God, what happened to her? Is she OK? Did something happen to her getting in the car?

I was a little kid. But those are actually early onsets of anxiety.

PINKSY: It`s called catastrophizing. We catastrophize. Oh, they`re going to die, something happening when they`re outside of my control.


PINSKY: Yes, which I can relate.

Let`s got to Cathy in Canada. Cathy, what`s up?



PINSKY: Hi, Cathy.

CATHY: Vinny, do you regret now, because you had the leave the season for a bit to go home and, you know, just collect yourself, so to speak. Do you regret now, like if you could change it, would you have not started the "Jersey Shore"? Would have just -- you know, if you could have foreseen the future and notice your health may have got at risk?

PINSKY: Well, Cathy, I`m going to interrupt you and say -- you were a law student to begin with, weren`t you?

GUADAGNINO: I was going to law school.

PINSKY: You were going to law school and an assemblyman intern or something?


PINSKY: So, you`re --

GUADAGNINO: A political science major.

PINSKY: On your way to a career in politics. I don`t quite make the connection to "Jersey Shore." But God bless you for having done so.

And, by the way, you know, part of having anxiety is -- you know, there`s sort of obsessional quality to it. You can study a lot and work at your schoolwork.


PINSKY: You worry about those things and get those things done.

GUADAGNINO: Right, exactly.

PINSKY: Perfect for a lawyer.

GUADAGNINO: I had a 3.9 GPA. I`m a great student because of that.

PINSKY: Do you regret having done this?

GUADAGNINO: No. To answer your question -- I`m sorry, to answer your question, not really. I mean, I had anxiety when I went away to college. Really, for me, it`s any overbearing life changing situation that I`m in, and I`m going to face them in life. Everyone`s going to face them in life.

So, I`m glad that I do. And every time I overcome one, it`s a sign of strength and it actually inspires me to do other things. That`s why I have a book out. So, I kind of use the anxiety as fuel to do others things. So I don`t regret it at all. Plus, it`s a very, very small -- like people have to know, it`s a very small part of my life and other people`s lives.

There are some people who can`t get out of bed any day because they`re depressed and have anxiety. For me, it`s a very small part. You know, a lot of fun being on the "Jersey Shore" as well.

PINSKY: It got that bad for me. I was paralyzed for a while. A few weeks when I was 20.


PINSKY: But how long do you film for, an average show?

GUADAGNINO: An average show is like five to six weeks. But what happened in the last one, we went from Italy straight to Jersey. So, it was like about four months total of being on camera 24 hours a day, no cell phone, no computer, no --

PINSKY: That`s a long time. People think somehow they`re watching your life continuously throughout the years. It`s a few weeks, typically.

GUADAGNINO: And they also think it`s just eight of us hanging out. There`s, like, there`s a team of cameras. There`s producers. There`s, you know, it`s a lot of people, paparazzi taking pictures.

PINSKY: Let`s go to someone who`s calling us from the United Kingdom.

I`ve got G. in England.


PINSKY: Hello, G.

G: How do you doing? Hello, Vinny.


G: Hello. Just to say that I`m a huge fan and my friends are so envious I`m speaking to you today.

PINSKY: How big is "Jersey Shore" in England? Is it a big deal? It`s huge in England? Really?

G: Oh, yes. I think it`s kind of changed the way us young people go out and treat a night out.

PINSKY: Is that a good thing? You guys model yourself after the guys on "Jersey Shore"?

G: Yes.

GUARDAGNIO: They have their own version. It`s called "Geordie Shore".

PINSKY: Are they same?

GUADAGNINO: Same exact thing.


PINKSY: G, I`m sorry. We interrupted you.

Vinny was telling us you guys created your own thing in England called "Geordie Shore?"

G: Yes, I`ll probably get crucified for saying it but it`s nowhere near as good as "Jersey Shore."

PINSKY: They don`t take steroids, they don`t drink quite as much, don`t fight quite as much? What`s the deal?

G: Yes. I wouldn`t say as much drama, fighting, everything. It`s just -- America seems to be bigger and better.

PINSKY: Yes, certainly don`t have a Snooki over there is what I`m saying. Do they?

G: Say that again?

PINSKY: They don`t have a Snooki equivalent, do they?

G: No, no, they don`t. I think she`s too unique to have an equivalent.

PINSKY: G, here`s what I want to do. I want to take a break. I know how caught up in you are in talking to Vinny. So, I`m going to give you a chance to talk more to him. We haven`t heard your question yet. Indulge you so you can be more the envy of your friends.

We`re going to take a little break. We have a ton more calls for Vinny. We`re going to not talk about anxiety and the sources of anxiety but maybe some of the solutions.

I`m sure you got that in the book, too.


PINSKY: There are various ways to think about that and go about that.

We`re taking calls, 1-855-3737395. That`s DRDREW5. We`re taking your calls. Call in, be right back.

Vinny, "Jersey Shore."


PINSKY: We`re back with Vinny from "Jersey Shore." Vinny, I want to talk to you about The Situation.


PINSKY: He -- we`ll take a look at a clip first. Then we`ll talk about this, what`s going on with him. Here we go.


JENNI, JWOWW: Why are you being weird?

MIKE, THE SITUATION: I don`t know. I feel like somebody`s about to jump out of one of these tanks.

JWOWW: We`re all right here. What are you talking about?

THE SITUATION: I keep hearing noises.

JWOWW: Because we`re in the woods.

THE SITUATION: That`s true.

JWOWW: Mike is a skitzso right now, he`s so paranoid. He`s freaking me out. He makes me feel not normal.

What is wrong with you? Mike, what are you doing?

THE SITUATION: I don`t, I keep feeling like something is (EXPLETIVE DELETED) by my tent. This is the wilderness. A bear can come out. Anything can happen.

JWOWW: What are you doing, Mike?


PINSKY: That kind of paranoia is biological. That is severe addiction. Let`s not mince words here -- poor situations, severe addiction. He went to treatment.

Is he focused in his treatment? Is he doing OK in recovery?

GUADAGNINO: I don`t really -- I don`t speak to him off the show.

PINSKY: You don`t hang of with many of guys off the show, do you?

GUADAGNINO: Me and Pauly are close. Some people are real friends and some are people you hang out with. So, let`s classify me with him like that.

I`ve never really been around people -- I don`t do drugs. I just never did. So, I don`t what the -- you know, he is like that. He`s kind of always on his toes and like that. I don`t know what actually were drugs and what weren`t. But now, it`s come out he is in treatment.

PINSKY: Is he focused in his recovery? My concern for him, you better let my words ring in your head when you go back to shoot. What are you guys start shooting again?

GUADAGNINO: In a month, I think.

PINSKY: Yes, he`s also been in treatment three months. And somebody like him needs like a 12-month under belt before this start going out and doing anything with peers.

And this show is going to be encouraging him out to the bars and stuff. And this could be bad for him. I`m just saying. Unless he goes to meetings every night and not the bars, it`s going to be bad.

GUADAGNINO: I don`t know. We`re all there.

PINSKY: I do know. I`m telling you, Vinny. Be careful. This poor guy --

GUADAGNINO: I`m there for him if he needs me.

PINSKY: I`m just saying, I`ll give you my number on the way out the door. Because reality shows -- unless they`re treatment-oriented reality shows, they don`t exactly encourage health.


PINSKY: Well, you say some of the panic maybe is from doing the show.

GUADAGNINO: Yes, I mean, it`s an anxious place for anybody to be. You know? But like I keep telling myself that it`s for a certain amount of time to do it. Like I said, I`ve managed to naturally find things I can do any time, any place to calm my mind down. And that`s what -- I`ve gotten through, like, five seasons. You know? Just that last time was enough to push me over the edge.

PINSKY: Do you do sort of mindfulness or meditation? Deep breathing? That kind of thing in.

GUADAGNINO: Yes, sometimes it`s too little, too late. I`m in my best shape when I`m really anxious, because I have to get to the gym. Physically I`m in the best shape.

PINSKY: So, gym is a great way to release that, running another great way.

GUADAGNINO: Release the serotonin.

PINSKY: Strangely enough, tanning might release serotonin.

GUADAGNINO: Tanning is great.

PINSKY: Did you see the tan mom we talked about yesterday? Take a look at that before you go to the tanning salon next time. It may slow down your tanning.

Katherine from -- oh, there`s tan mom.


PINSKY: Kathryn, from Laguna Niguel, what`s on?

KATHRYN, CALLER FROM CALIFORNIA: Hi, Dr. Drew and hi, Vinny. Thanks for taking my question.


KATHRYN: I just wanted to know, Vinny, how you`re feeling about Snooki`s impending motherhood and marriage? Throughout the five seasons I really thought you two might end up in the relationship. Did it hurt when you found out?

PINSKY: Hang on a second. Get the camera back on Vinny. He`s like, no, no, no. No, no, not me.

No, he`s not going to end up with Snooki.

GUADAGNINO: The only thing that hurt when I found out was when I had to count the months to make sure I wasn`t the father.


GUADAGNINO: Once I found out, I was like --

PINSKY: Was it a close call?

GUADAGNINO: No, no. I didn`t even -- no, let`s not go there. No, listen, we wish her the best of luck. Nothing was ever going to come of that. Sometimes we`re just in the house and look for companionship because we`re there, secluded for so long that wild things can happen. There was never anything serious. If anything, we`re just friends and I wish her the best of luck in being a mom.

You know, she`s already changed her life drastically. Hopefully she continues that.

PINSKY: Let`s go to Carl. Carl in Iowa. What`s going on, Carl?

CARL, CALLER FROM IOWA: Hey, what`s going on?

PINSKY: Carl, you got Vinny from "Jersey Shore." What`s up?

CARL: Hi, what`s up, Vinny? I was wondering what percentage of the show you guys tape is real and what isn`t?

PINSKY: How much script -- you know what? I`m going to -- Carl, I`m going to sort of frame your question for Vinny because it`s a little bit -- if you`ve ever been on a reality set, there`s ideas about scenes, right? They sort of set things up then they go, go. Or we need a scene between you and so-and-so because you just today talked to her about that. Go talk to her again.

GUADAGNINO: You know what? For us, it`s never like that.

PINSKY: Never like that?

GUADAGNINO: Never like that. It`s a total follow documentary on the spot. We have a book of places we can go for, you know, to go shopping, to go to the gym, food shopping, whatever. Clubs. We just pick out of that book and we just do whatever during the day.

So we give the production crew --

PINSKY: So, no one ever stops you and says, hold on a second, hold on a second, I want to get a thing with you and Snooki. Would you mind --

GUADAGNINO: The only kind of setup things are the interviews. We go on the interviews and they ask us questions.

PINSKY: On the fly interviews sort of things.

GUADAGNINO: Like we get pulled down, like you know, we do an interview talking about the past couple of days --

PINSKY: There, right there, you saw the Situation on the fly like that.

GUADAGNINO: Exactly. That`s the only thing showy about it. Everything else is -- now, I will say it`s an unnatural situation, so, you know, everyone`s kind of acting a little bit --

PINSKY: Having the cameras makes it feel more intense, doesn`t it? Strangely.

GUADAGNINO: You don`t have a phone. You can`t go on your phone and call someone. Anything you do for that period of time is heard or seen. So, that`s really the only thing that might make people act differently. But there`s no script, no producers telling you to do anything on our show. That`s why it`s a huge success.

PINSKY: Right. Let`s go to Julia, my caller from New York City that I wanted. Julia, go ahead.

JULIA, CALLER FROM NEW YORK: Hi. This is Julia, I`m calling from New York City.

PINSKY: Go right ahead.

JULIA: My boyfriend -- hello? Can you hear me?


JULIA: OK. My boyfriend is actually from New Jersey. And we watch the "Jersey Shore," and I just wanted to ask, why do they show a bad name for Jersey on the show?

PINSKY: You mean they created a bad image for Jersey?

JULIA: Yes, they created a bad image, with all the stereotypes and drinking a lot and all the girls are kind of sluts a little bit.

GUADAGNINO: You`re right about that. No, I`m kidding.

First of all, I`m from Staten Island, New York. I`m not from Jersey. I never said I`m from Jersey. I think only two people on the show are actually from Jersey. So, we`re not representing Jersey at all.

And the show doesn`t represent -- even if we were, like, you don`t have to -- it`s eight people. It`s not like this is the whole state of New Jersey.

PINSKY: Got to take a break here. We have a surprise caller for Vinny.

Hello from New Jersey. Caller from New Jersey.

CALLER: Hi, Vinny. Hi, Dr. Drew.

PINSKY: Hey, Vinny, do you recognize that name?

GUADAGNINO: That`s my sister.

PINSKY: Hold on, that`s your sister calling?

GUADAGNINO: She`s in New York, not New Jersey.

PINSKY: All right. She`s in New York. We`re going to talk to her and continue with Vinny after the break.


PINSKY: Vinny Guadagnino from "Jersey Shore" is with us tonight. He`s written a new book. Give me that book here, young man.

There it is. It`s about anxiety. His battle with panic and how to treat it. A lot of the book is suggestions. Let`s talk a little bit about that in a minute.

Let`s get back, though, to our caller from New York. Not New Jersey.

So, what did you want to say to old Vinny?


GUADAGNINO: Antonella, this is your biggest fan ever.

PINSKY: Antonella?


PINSKY: Hi, Antonella. How are you?

ANTONELLA: Hi, Dr. Drew.

PINSKY: When are you going to come out and visit us?

ANTONELLA: Oh my gosh, as soon as I`m invited, Dr. Drew, I`ll be there.

PINSKY: You are invited.

GUADAGNINO: Basically in the book, I speak about having a support system around you, whenever you`re going through any kind of hardship. You don`t want to be alone during this. So, my sister is the one I would call. She does yoga and she eats vegan. She`s all about healthy lifestyle.

PINSKY: Antonella, thank you for helping Vinny. I`ve actually written a book about the same issue, about how people connect with one another, what that does to our brain and how that heals our brain.


PINSKY: Other people, you know, when I`m working with addicts and alcoholics, it`s about other people, other people. We heal, we find happiness in an interpersonal context.

So, Antonella, thank you for being that person for my buddy here. For Vinny. You still with us?

ANTONELLA: It`s a pleasure, it`s an honor when someone reaches out to you, you know?

PINSKY: Yes. It riches -- that`s another part. That`s right. It`s another part of making us feel worthwhile in life, being of service to others.

So, thank you, Antonella. See you when you come out here and visit us, OK?

ANTONELLA: Bye, thanks, Dr. Drew.

PINSKY: All right, my dear.

Kristina in Arizona, go right ahead. You have something for Vinny?

KRISTINA, CALLER FROM ARIZONA: Hi. I enjoyed your book so much, Vinny.

GUADAGNINO: Thank you.

KRISTINA: Now, being an author, though, do you ever regret going on the "Jersey Shore" because of how people may perceive you?

GUADAGNINO: Well, if I wasn`t on the "Jersey Shore" I wouldn`t be able to have this opportunity to write books, you know? My book is not about being a priest or a teacher or a doctor. It`s about a young kid that just goes through life, you know, goes through things in life and I`m telling this message -- I`m passing this message along in my voice, as someone who does like to party, I do like to get with girls.

But I`m also about balancing a healthy lifestyle with that.

PINSKY: And those solutions are in the book. So, buy the book and read about the solution if you have panic.

GUADAGNINO: Mind, body, and spiritual approach. "Control the Crazy."

PINSKY: Jasmine from Los Angeles, what do you have for me?

JASMINE, CALLER FROM CALIFORNIA: Hi, Dr. Drew. This question is for you.


JASMINE: How -- what do you feel about the shows like "Jersey Shore" and some of the other reality shows? And some of the negatives, because they portray, and perhaps affecting the youth?

PINSKY: Well, I mean, that`s always my concern. For me, reality shows are an opportunity. It`s an opportunity to talk -- I mean, here we are talking about The Situation. People have seen what`s happened to him. I`m involved with "16 and Pregnant" because I believe young people do learn from the consequences of young people`s behavior.

Young people aren`t stupid. They`re smart. But changing their behavior involves looking at consequences then somebody explicating those consequences.

So, for me, The Situation is a great guy. Vinny`s friend. But he`s got something we can learn from.

Jackie, real quick, in Florida. Go ahead, Jackie.

JACKIE, CALLER FROM FLORIDA: Hi. I just want to say I love show. What I think Vinny and his cast-mates are going through is age appropriate. Because young lust needs to be addressed, or it will surface at an inappropriate time in life, a midlife crisis.

PINSKY: That`s an interesting point. I kind of agree with that. I`m not sure this is the way go to go through it.

But young men need to do their thing before they settle down, right?


PINSKY: I`m not sure this is quite a way to do it. But I`m just saying her point is well --

GUADAGNINO: They are all auditions for the real thing.

PINSKY: Vinny, thank you very much for joining us. Good luck with the book.

After the break, is marriage for white people? That`s what my guest says it is. He`s written a book on it. We`re going to get into that debate.

Stay with us. Take your calls.


PINSKY: All right. I have a question tonight. Again, we`re taking your calls at 1-855-DrDrew 5 where you can address this issue.

Does race matter when it comes to marriage and dating? I think we`re all aware that marriage rates are lower than ever in the United States, but African-Americans are the most unmarried racial demographic in the U.S.

My guest says he knows why Black women are single. Ralph Richard Banks is the author of the book "Is Marriage for White People?" And Rick, I have read your book, and I thought it was a very courageous effort. And, I`m going to -- so, you tell me if I`ve got your basic thesis correct. And that is that African-American women are becoming more successful, more competent, more advanced in their education and training, basically, than most Black men.

And those African-American men that are keeping up with them are so few that the marketplace basically determines that they don`t have to settle down, and they can date as many people as they want. Is that about right?

RALPH RICHARD BANKS, AUTHOR, "IS MARRIAGE FOR WHITE PEOPLE": That`s exactly right. I should emphasize, though, that the advancement of women is a good thing, right? The problem is really that Black men are faring so poorly. That`s true in terms of education, employment, and incarceration.

PINSKY: So, OK. So, you`re blaming education, incarceration, and education as to why Black men are being held back. Is that correct? I want to emphasize, black Women are flourishing, which is fantastic, though, we have our African-American men sort of not.

You know, I tell you, Rick, the one hot button in talking to my African-American female friends was when you talk about the issue of the men having too many options in the marketplace. And by the way, not just successful Black women, but also White women, they can date. They don`t feel any motivation to settle down.

BANKS: That`s exactly right. One of the goals of the book as well is to show that what we see with African-Americans is actually simply a more extreme form of what we see throughout American society.

PINSKY: That`s interesting.

BANKS: So, if we want to understand what`s happening throughout a society, we can look at the African-American experience to do that.

PINSKY: OK. We`re going to start with a call. I have Mikel. Mikel, you wanted to ask Rick or myself a specific question. Go right ahead.

MIKEL: Well, I have two daughters. I`m coming from a mommy perspective. And, of course, I want them to go to college and date, but you`ve taken away the love factor. You know? If their preference is somebody who looks like them, they can -- there are islands of men. You know, there`s continents of Black men.

They could, just to tell them to date a blue-collar guy is dating someone, is somehow something downing who they are is wrong.


MIKEL: If they went to -- yes, if they went to business school and he does tires, they could have a tire franchise or something.


MIKEL: Where`s love in all of this?

PINSKY: Rick, what do you say to that? Where is love in this equation? Go ahead.

BANKS: So, let me say something. So, love should be at the heart of the relationship, right? I mean, we agree to that. The reality, though, for your daughters, frankly, is that when they enter their college campus, they will likely find many more Black women than Black men, because twice as many Black women as Black men graduate college every year.

That`s just the reality nationwide. It`s 2-1. So, what many women do end up doing is end up marrying men who are much less educated and lower earning than they are, and sometimes, those relationships can work out, and that`s fine.

But I do want to emphasize that the data show that those relationships are actually more likely to have trouble --

PINSKY: Oh, that`s interesting.

BANKS: -- than other relationships.

PINSKY: I think you brought that up in the book.

BANKS: I did. And the broader point, really, is, again, not to tell people what to do, but simply to be aware that relationships across class lines can sometimes confront difficulties, because people are different.

When one person has a graduate degree or master`s degree or a law degree and the other person didn`t graduate from high school, say, or barely graduate from high school, that can be a divide between people.

And then on the other hand, I do want to alert people that having a relationship with someone of a different race should be seen as a possibility. And it`s a possibility for Black women just as it`s a possibility for women and men of all other races. There`s a whole world of people out there. And, Black women should not feel that they have to confine themselves to the universe of Black men.

PINSKY: Now, Rick, the tower behind you is the Stanford University clock tower, right? You`re a Harvard law professor, excuse me, a Stanford law professor, right?

BANKS: OK. That`s important.

PINSKY: Yes. You`re a Stanford law professor, but I did want to give the shout-out to my friends up at Stanford before I go on and bring in the relationship expert, Demetria Lucas. Now, Demetria, he`s not saying that there are no available African-American men.

He`s saying that the numbers, though, just favor those guys to be players. The marketplace, the market forces create the players that are out there. Is he right?

DEMETRIA LUCAS, RELATIONSHIP EXPERT: Well, you can`t deny the numbers, Dr. Drew. The numbers are what they are. Like, when Rick was speaking about the college campuses, yes, they`re 2-1. You can go on any HBCU college campus and you will see that, you know, it kind of looks a little more not favorable for the female population there.

But, the numbers definitely don`t lie. There are more women who are educated and who are doing numbers-wise, financially, better than their African-American male counterparts.

PINSKY: All right. Let`s keep taking calls. I`ve got Roland in California. What do you got for us, Roland?

ROLAND, CALIFORNIA: Hey there, Dr. Drew and Mr. Banks.

PINSKY: Hey, Roland.

ROLAND: You know, here`s what I believe. I do believe that marriage is for everyone, but most Blacks have had a rough start. So, initially, when you talk about slavery, Black men were taken away from the family. Then, you talk about the 1960s and Welfare Reform Act, where the men were allowed, you know, were not allowed in the house.

Now, as Professor Banks said, I do agree with him where he says that education and incarceration is a problem. So, now, do you believe that loyalty and history plays a problem in this?

PINSKY: OK. And Roland, I`m going to just paraphrase that. I think -- and I will throw it first to Professor Banks about whether history played a role in this and then to Demetria, what about our families these men are coming from? Professor Banks, go right ahead.

BANKS: So, let me just said that the marriage decline has many components, but one of the key facts is that through the middle of the 20th century, marriage rights were pretty comparable for Blacks and Whites.

Black women whereas like this. White women to be married in 1950, then there was something that happened in the latter half of the 20th century in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s that resulted in marriage declining across the board but declining the most for African-Americans.

And part of what happened during that period is that Black men for a variety of reasons hit on hard times, and now, we have fewer Black men than any time in the last many decades who are able to be husbands who can provide for their families even.

And so, that`s a big part of the story. It`s about recent developments. And one question that that raises which is a difficult question for many is, you know, what do Black women owe Black men?

If Black women are doing better economically and educationally, if they have very bright futures individually, is it OK for Black women to form relationships with men of other races or is that somehow a betrayal of the race or turning their back on Black men?

PINSKY: Demetria, how do you respond to that?

LUCAS: Well, I don`t think that Black women should be obligated to be with Black men. I think my biggest concern about interracial dating is, sometimes, we take another group of men and we put them on a pedestal over Black men, and we say that if you date this other kind of guy, then he`ll treat you better because he has more money, because he has a degree, and that`s not necessarily fair to Black guys.

Men are pretty much men. They sort of behave some of the same traits across the board. And just because he`s not Black doesn`t mean he`s going to treat you better, just because he has a degree, just because he has a great job, just because he has money, doesn`t necessarily mean he`s going to treat you any better.

I think, in this conversation, you need to stay focused on the core traits of what makes a relationship works which are communication and patience, love, which the first caller mentioned. Sometimes, I think we get away from that, and we need to stay very close to it.

PINSKY: Well, aside from the other --

BANKS: Let me say --

PINSKY: Go ahead.

BANKS: I agree with all of that. Men are men.

PINSKY: I think I`ve learned that here. I think that`s what come out of this conversation, so far.

BANKS: But I would like to add here, though, I mean, what makes a relationship work? I mean, a lot of times we get misty eyed about love. You know, what makes a relationship work does have a lot to do with commonalities that people share. Those are commonalities in terms of values, in interests, in terms of their vision for their life.

And, the fact that you are -- and so, those are important characteristics. You know, you don`t have to have someone of the same race to have those sorts of commonalities is one thing to remember.

And it`s also true that if you have someone who is in a very different educational, professional, social status space, they may have different values and interest in goals, and that can be a problem in a relationship.

PINSKY: Now, you are absolutely right. In psychological services, they talk about having similar scripts, at least, having similar plans for your marriage, similar goals, similar ideas of what a marriage is. And unfortunately, throughout this country, as you guys are raising, not only are men are men, which I was talking to the "Jersey Shore" guys, I learned a little bit about that there, too.

Thank you for bringing it up again. Secondly, we have a problem with our families in this country. We really do. And it`s not just African- Americans. But African-Americans, as you brought up, Professor Banks, your book has shed light on a very interesting subdivision of this problem that is affecting all races.

I thank you both Demetria and Professor Banks for shedding some light on this. It`s a topic I`d like to revisit as we go along.

And now, up next, questions, potpourri, more of your questions, more of my answers. 855-DrDrew-5. Whatever you want to talk about. No topic taboo. We`ll get to that after the break.





PINSKY: Wow. Wow. That is a baby about to be eaten by a lion. Heather Baltser (ph) took this video of her son outside the lions den in an Oregon Zoo. And, people have been saying, that oh my goodness, it must be because the child is dressed like a zebra, which, by the way, no, I`d say not.

I would just say the lion sees lunch. It just happens to be a little bite-sized thing. Lion`s hungry. Bottom line. But the little boy seems unfazed. This video is blowing up all over the web, so we thought we would share this with you. It`s a little bit unsettling, but, wow.

All right. Let`s get back to your calls. I want to go to Steve on the line in Florida. Go ahead there, Steve. What`s going on?

STEVE, FLORIDA: Hey, Dr. Drew. I`ve got a couple of questions for you.

PINSKY: Yes. Go right ahead.

STEVE: My girlfriend of a long time, she was addicted to heroin, and she was addicted for about a year and a half, and then, we went to the methadone treatment.

PINSKY: Right.

STEVE: And ever since that she`s been on the methadone, it seems that she`s becoming more paranoid or like she`s losing, you know, like her willingness to be happy.

PINSKY: Yes. All right. That`s my -- Steve, that is my problem with the so-called harm avoidance over replacement therapies. In order to take enough methadone to not want to do heroin, you basically don`t want to go to work, you don`t want to get off the couch. You don`t want to have a boyfriend, you don`t want to have sex, you don`t want to eat very much.

And when you come down, if you try to come down, that`s when the paranoias tend to kick in, in my experience. I mean, if you saw on "Celebrity Rehab" Mike Starr coming off, got acutely paranoid. But, methadone is exceedingly difficult to get off of. It`s harder than heroin. And it`s -- you know, anybody who uses methadone and Suboxone to treat patients, I challenge them with the exact same question.

If that person, your girlfriend, were a physician, why would you never contemplate using those things for that person that`s a doctor? Hmm. We use these replacements for non-doctors. Everyone else it`s cool, but my peers, the doctors, no, we would never do that for them because they have to return to their lives.

They have to practice medicine again and they can`t do it on these replacement drugs. That`s my issue. If somebody is going to die if they don`t take replacement, I get it. I get it. But I`ve seen people flourish after opiate addiction all the time, but it`s hard. Takes years of work, daily work. What`s the last question there, Steve? Go ahead.

STEVE: The other thing is that, personally, I`ve been taking OxyContin for a medical problem that I have, and I`ve been taking OxyContin and now I switched to (INAUDIBLE). I`ve been doing that for 14 years. What I do is when I just want to stop, I can stop and I really don`t go through the withdrawal symptoms or things with that nature.

PINSKY: You don`t have withdrawal? You don`t have withdrawal?

STEVE: I don`t crave.

PINSKY: All right. So, maybe -- you may not be an addict, Steve. I mean, some people take opiates chronically and when they come off them, they come off them relatively easy and their brain isn`t changed afterwards the way it is with addiction where they rewire their whole life around getting it all back.

Go to the next caller. Angel in New York. Go ahead, Angel.

ANGEL, NEW YORK: Hi, Dr. Drew. Thank you for taking my call.

PINSKY: My pleasure.

ANGEL: I have been having trouble. My best friend passed away about a month ago, unexpectantly.

PINSKY: I`m sorry.

ANGEL: And I can`t seem to deal with it. I can`t seem to get over the grief.

PINSKY: How old are you?

ANGEL: I am 37.

PINSKY: And what happened to her?

ANGEL: She passed away suddenly in a car accident.

PINSKY: Oh, my goodness. And who was she to you?

ANGEL: She was just my best friend.

PINSKY: For a long time?

ANGEL: Yes, a few years. And I just can`t seem to get past it.

PINSKY: Have you had other losses in your life? Big ones?

ANGEL: Caller: grandparents.

PINSKY: Nothing --

ANGEL: Not like a close friend-type thing.

PINSKY: Nothing like this. Well, let me just say, a month is a very short period of time when you`ve lost somebody very significant.

ANGEL: Right.

PINSKY: And getting over it, I think, for some people is a little bit of a misnomer. It`s a misclassification. It`s learning to manage the grief that you`ve lost something deep, an important part of you, or important person to you, and you never really get over it sometimes, depending who the person was to you.

But you learn to manage and tolerate the grief and be able to hold parts of them inside you and cherish those moments that you did have together and think positively about that person. I would say at this stage of your grief, it might be useful to make offerings on her behalf. Do things that you knew she liked to do or things that would be meaningful to her as a ritual remembrance of her and be patient, my dear.

It may be six months before you really start feeling well. You might want to talk to a doctor about it. If it goes on and on, it can be precipitated depression. If you`re prone to depression and you feel like that`s coming back triggered by the grief, it`s important then to talk to a doctor about that. I believe I have Nikea in California. Go right ahead, Nakia.



NIKEA: I`m going to try to make my question brief, but I`ve got to give you a little bit of back first.


NIKEA: I`m a breast cancer survivor of seven years.

PINSKY: That`s great. You`re basically essentially cured.

NIKEA: Thank you.


NIKEA: Yes. And I was 30 when I was diagnosed.

PINSKY: Congratulations.

NIKEA: So, I`m seven years cancer free, but my mother was diagnosed after me. She`s been cancer free for about nine or ten months. But she was also just recently hit by a car.

PINSKY: Oh, my god. This is a downer of a show tonight. Everybody getting in car accidents. All right.

NIKEA: You know, I`m trying --

PINSKY: Is she OK?

NIKEA: She`s alive, of course. And, you know --

PINSKY: I`ve got about a minute, Nikea. I`m sorry, what is your question?

NIKEA: OK. My question is, we`ve been having kind of a conflict for a while, especially since I`ve had cancer. And I`m trying to figure out how to communicate with her because I know she`s in a lot of pain, but she`s taking it out on me.


NIKEA: You know what I mean?


NIKEA: So, I`m just trying to figure out how I can communicate with her without -- my thing is just to leave.

PINSKY: Yes. And Nikea, sometimes, that`s OK to leave.

NIKEA: I`m also her caregiver.

PINSKY: Oh, boy. My dear, this is very tough. You know, listen, the way -- I wasn`t prepared for you being the caregiver, also. I mean, here`s the way to think about it. To be as structured as possible with this. In other words, what do I have to do to complete my task to the best of my ability, just the responsibilities I believe I have?

And what do I need to do to be a good daughter? But beyond that, I don`t have to do more. I don`t have to rescue her. I don`t have to make her feel good. I (INAUDIBLE) a tolerate abuse, and there are some things that I can just move away from or put other people in my stead. Keep things safe.

I have more calls when we come back.


PINSKY: We are back and taking your calls at 1-855-DrDrew5, and I`m starting with Chris in North Carolina. Chris, go right ahead.

CHRIS, NORTH CAROLINA: Thank you for taking my call, Dr. Drew. I have much respect for you and your compassion for people.

PINSKY: That`s very kind of you, Chris. What`s up?

CHRIS: Six years ago, my family doctor placed me on an anti- depressant, Citalopram Hydrobromide 40 milligrams.


CHRIS: And it took away who I am and much of my ambitions, and I wanted off of it. The last four months, we started breaking it in half, and eventually, to a tiny piece every couple of days.


CHRIS: A month ago, I quit, thinking I`d wean myself off, and my brain started experiencing electrical shocks or impulses.


CHRIS: And the mornings are almost unbearable.


CHRIS: And it eases all center (ph) at the day.


CHRIS: And I`m on two other prescriptions. Hydrocodone and clonazepam.

PINSKY: Oh, boy.

CHRIS: These shocks, are they permanent?

PINSKY: No, no.


PINSKY: They will ware off. This is a withdrawal from Citalopram. That`s very common. Also affects --similar withdrawal syndrome. Usually, when people taper off slowly like you attempted -- how many weeks did you taper?

CHRIS: Probably about 16.

PINSKY: Sixteen weeks. Wow. That`s surprising, because, usually, you taper that slowly and people are OK. The sort of feeling of electric shocks and dizziness feeling is a very common manifestations. Hard to describe. I know. That`s all patients talk about it. I`ve got one patient who was on a tiny, tiny fraction of a pill on the Effexor and never got off it.

We just left her on it because it wasn`t (ph) bothering her, but if she stopped it, this stuff kept coming back. There are some other medications, Chris, believe it or not, the doctor could put you on to counter that that might help you get through it. You should talk to your doctor who prescribing the other medications but know that there`s nothing wrong with your brain.

It usually does pass, and it is rather not uncommon, let`s say, to experience something like that. Thank you for your call. I`m going to go to Dianna now. Dianna in Arkansas, go right ahead.


PINSKY: Hi, Dianna.

DIANNA: I watched Tuesday`s show with the mom doing porn and the discussions that has subsequently spun out from that.


DIANNA: I was hoping to talk more about the effects of untreated sexual abuse.

PINSKY: Is that you? You had some sexual abuse?


PINSKY: How old?

DIANNA: How old? Well, multiple incidents, multiple offenders over about nine years.

PINSKY: Starting at what age? Six?

DIANNA: Three.

PINSKY: Three. Oh! Deanna, here`s the bottom line here. The effects are protean. They`re widespread. They`ll affect how you feel about yourself, how you regulate your emotions, how you feel about your body, your capacity to tolerate intimacy and closeness, and ultimately, as a result of all that, your ability to be happy and OK in your own body.

There are good treatments out there. There are people that specialize in treating it, and they can -- you know, trauma therapies of various types are quite effective. You really should avail yourself of it.

It`s about parts of the brain have to be re-grown, so it takes a long, long time. And it`s about creating inroads, biological wiring inroads to areas of your brain and connections to your body that lets you regulate flexibly as a whole unit again. What sexual abuse does is disintegrate all that. Everything becomes disconnected. I`m sure you kind of appreciate that, right?

DIANNA: Yes. I`m 38. It`s like, too late.

PINSKY: No. It`s not too late at all. The fact -- in your 30s is a sort of a perfect time to do it because you can tolerate getting through it, not feeling like a little kid and not being hung up on all the resentments you might have for your family for not rescuing you. All that good stuff you got to slug through as well.

But listen, you sound great. I don`t get the usual unpleasant kind of feeling that, sometimes, people of trauma have. So, you can probably tolerate this, find a good expert, do this. There are happier days ahead for you, I promise.

Thank you all for your calls. We will continue next time with more. Thanks for watching tonight. We`ll see you next time.