Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

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Lucas
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Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by Lucas » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:22 pm

I was still busy being born by the time some of you were already taking creative paths in life and learning how to deal with the consequences; and although I am well-acquainted with some challenges—loneliness, depression, ostracism, addiction and so on—some of you have probably known them for much longer.

There is a very important psychological aspect in striving for independence (not only financial), and I would like to learn from your experience in increasing my assets and reducing my liabilities in this area. So, can you please share some resources (including personal advice) you have found useful in overcoming obstacles of this nature?

Has a particular habit (or addiction) stymied your progress? Have you battled depression, PTSD, or something else? Faced bullying and/or humiliation? What did you do to overcome it? What would you recommend to someone struggling with something of the sort or recovering from it? Can you indicate some books you have found useful?

Please be as detailed or vague as you feel comfortable being, and write about whatever you relate to—which is not limited to the suggestions above. Thank you very much.

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Riggerjack
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by Riggerjack » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:04 pm

I picked up smoking in the army. Quit the day I out processed.

Drinking with friends and family who smoke is a lousy idea for a quitter. Soon, I was back to being a smoker. Not so bad, I was aware that smoking was going to kill me, but that was forever away, right?

A few years later, my whole family quit. I said if they were all still quitters in a week, I'd quit too, as a gesture of support. And that I'd just be the last to go back to being a smoker. I was sure I had more willpower than the rest combined, but also sure that I would pick up another cigarette, and that soon after, a pack.

After about a week as a quitter, I connected the dots.

If I have another cigarette, ever, I will be a smoker again.

Since I was a quitting smoker, that isn't such a big deal, it is just reverting back to where I was a week ago, right?

But, and this is key... All smokers quit. And quit. And quit. If I became a smoker again, that would mean that sooner or later, I would quit again. The only way to never quit again, is to never start again.

The reason quitters fail, IMHO is they think of starting again as a relief to the current stressful situation, rather than signing up for quitting again. Once I made the connection between one more cigarette and hitting the reset button on quitting, I truly bacame a nonsmoker.

I liked smoking, but I would go through basic training again, before going through quitting again. It's been almost 20 years since I blew up my last pack.

If you are trying to quit something, keep in mind step 2 of starting again, is quitting again.

Felipe
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by Felipe » Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:47 am

+1 to Riggerjack on the power of consistency.

"So, can you please share some resources (including personal advice) you have found useful in overcoming obstacles of this nature?"

I used cannabis in a dependent manner for nearly a decade to cope with anxiety, sadness, loneliness, many down feelings. I learned to minimize the financial cost but it cost me many hours most of my days and a certain amount of emotional growth since I wouldn't move through certain emotions.

I found Marijuana Anonymous or the other 12 step methods to be too dogmatic and not actually address the challenges that lead to addiction. SMART Recovery (weekly meetings) was far more effective for me and is also free, it taught me about tools to deal with stress and change my thinking. I studied habit change, set up accountability - checked in with a close friend daily, attended weekly recovery meetings.

Some ideas I found very useful:
A lapse is a single break in the habit of sobriety. A slip down the mountain.
A relapse is a return to the old habit. Falling down to the bottom of the mountain.
Stress is the most likely trigger of a lapse or relapse.
Avoid using fallacies, labels, and absolutes in vocabulary. ie-Replace you with I, should with benefit from, must and have to and need with want to, etc.
Man who chases 2 rabbits catches none. So pick one area and focus on that. All the habits you want to change can change, but one at a time is the way to do it.
Log urges and their scenario so you can find triggers and address each trigger individually.
Do a CBA on the habit-all the benefits and costs of doing the habit, then all the benefits and costs of not doing the habit, then label each cost/benefit short-term or long-term. I realized how many benefits my vices had.
ABC-When triggered or after- do an ABC: The activating event-the beliefs about the event-the consequences of those beliefs, disarm the beliefs(see if accurate or not)- and effective new beliefs on what was irrational
Values-write your most important values, and then how you spend your time. Notice how your addiction is one of the biggest uses of time but not a high value?
Have someone to call when urges get intense, have a habit to do instead like go for a walk.

I also found ZenHabits useful.

"Faced bullying and/or humiliation?"
Occasional embarrassment is part of life. If it happens systematically or often, I'd find a way to address the issue directly or remove myself from the situation. On bullying, I learned brazilian jiu-jitsu, thai boxing, and mixed martial arts so I could feel confident defending myself. At this point, a bit of social intelligence can disarm most situations so after high school I actually never used those fighting skills.

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BRUTE
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by BRUTE » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:06 am

brute has failed to consciously change any of his habits, ever, despite trying a lot. the only times habits changed consistently (i.e. more than the 3-14 days until willpower/enthusiasm ran out) just kind of seemed to happen to brute. they were either long-term (5+ years) shifts in personal preference due to presumably changing character, or complete shifts in perspective, which are also extremely difficult to achieve.

ducknalddon
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by ducknalddon » Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:53 am

I suspect the best time to shed bad habits is when you have some other major change in your life, new job, new partner, new accommodation. You get a chance to associate that new part of your life with different habits.

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C40
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by C40 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:01 pm

I think it's important to recognize all addictions as such. Usually the word addiction makes people think of cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. But other addictions are more prevalent and have worse effects than most people recognize:
- Caffeine
- Masturbation/porn
- Social media Likes
- Using food as comfort or to cure boredom
- Video games
- Attention/Admiration
And countless more..

A book by Charles Duhigg called "The Power of Habit" has some decent info on recognizing your habits and intentionally changing them. There aren't really any secretes or special tricks. Changing habits takes (a lot of) focus, intention, patience, and persistence. I imagine the 12 Steps AA book (referred to as "The big book" or something like that) has much more helpful information than the Duhigg Habit book.

Along with making goals for things you want to do, I recommend also making goals for stopping certain things. Here's an example from Tim Ferris, very work related: http://tim.blog/2007/08/16/the-not-to-d ... -stop-now/

Felipe
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by Felipe » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:52 pm

I agree with Brute that it's extraordinarily difficult to change habits over the long term. Start small and build momentum with a single habit at a time is the way that's worked for me. Quitting is even harder.

I agree with C40 that there are many types of addictions. Food addiction is so prevalent that most of the population is obese.

I have to disagree about "The big book". The 12 steps claim a good chance of success but in reality, almost everyone who goes there leaves without benefit but disappointment. I'd go to meetings about quitting pot and then right after, almost every single person was chain smoking cigarettes, some even had lung cancer and kept smoking. I've heard the 12 steps are less effective than stopping the habit by chance. ie-My dad stopped drinking heavily when he had an aortic dissection and needed open heart surgery to replace his aorta. Labeling myself an addict made sobering up more difficult since I saw urges as something inherit to me, I saw myself as having a disease I had no choice in and this thinking lead to different feelings and behaviors than if I'd seen myself as making urges. The Sober Truth is a book that talks a lot about AA's failings. Though in their credit, they get a few principles right (social proof, inconsistency avoidance, accountability). They also have managed to get a lot of political power in the court systems. Out of the 12 steps, the only things I found helpful were to make amends and to be patient and persistent.

The Compass of Pleasure is a good book about the neuroscience of addiction.

subgard
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by subgard » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:51 pm

A brain will form a habit or addiction out of anything that it does. Both behaviors and thinking patterns. Yes, ways of thinking can be addictive.
And the brain is "unhappy" when it's not engaging in one of it's previously formed habits.
A common activity of unhappy people is to ruminate and worry about their problems.
Which leads them to believe that it's the problems themselves that make them unhappy.
But the causality goes more like this: Brain not engaging in previously formed addiction/habit - causes unhappiness - causes worrying/problem rumination - causes person to believe that the specific problems the brain is obsessing over is the cause of unhappiness.
But it's really the brain wanting the person to engage in the addiction. (In this unhappy state, if you rationalize away one problem, another different one will simply pop up to worry about).
So, replacing a bad habit with a better one is good advice.

Since anything that you do can become a habit, it makes sense to learn habits that support your life, and not drain it.

It also makes sense to not do anything that you don't want to spend a considerable amount of time doing.
So, if you don't want to spend lots of time watching television, don't watch any TV, of any kind, ever.

This sounds extreme, but I'm much happier when I cut these things out of my life.
Drinking (any amount)
Watching TV
Watching movies
Playing video/computer games
Reading for pleasure (even nonfiction. This is as addictive for your brain as watching television, maybe worse, as it's more stimulating.)
Websurfing for entertainment (that includes news).

And here's a big one: Fantasizing (about anything). It's a very addictive thinking pattern which invariably leaves me feeling unhappy if I do a lot of it.

PA Hiker
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by PA Hiker » Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:41 pm

I was seriously addicted to nicotine back in the 90’s. It took me 3 attempts to quit smoking and I had to use nicotine patches to do it. After quitting cigarettes, I was addicted to nicotine patches for a few years. I used to buy the 21mg patches and cut them into quarters and use one or two of them a day. I usually noticed a slight uptick in my mood each time I slapped one one. It was very hard to give them up even though the effect was very mild. In the end I’m not sure how I overcame my addiction. I’ve watched friends and relatives smoke themselves to death and I have no idea why some folks can overcome addiction and others can’t.
subgard wrote:And here's a big one: Fantasizing (about anything). It's a very addictive thinking pattern which invariably leaves me feeling unhappy if I do a lot of it.
When I was working I would fantasize about not working (a lot). It definitely had a negative impact on my mental health and was very unproductive!

enigmaT120
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by enigmaT120 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:37 pm

C40 wrote:I think it's important to recognize all addictions as such. Usually the word addiction makes people think of cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. But other addictions are more prevalent and have worse effects than most people recognize: Masturbation/porn -
How is masturbation an addiction, any more than eating to live? If a male doesn't ejaculate every 5 or more days a week he increases his risk of prostate cancer by about 25%. There aren't enough women who want daily sex to go around for all of us.

Yes, I know, the study was correlation oriented. I haven't seen any others though.
Last edited by enigmaT120 on Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dragline
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by Dragline » Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:46 am

There is a lot of good advice here. There are many methods to escape addictions and bad habits, but not every method works for everyone.

The first step is to do/try something. Maybe it won't work. Then you do/try something else.

But the classic methods do revolve around "cold turkey" or removing oneself from the toxic environment. Avoiding people who engage in similar behaviors is probably one of the keys, as that adage "you are the average the five people you spend the most time with" tends to be pretty accurate as far as habits are concerned.

Psychologically, the best motivators appear to be things in your life that you want to move towards. For example, in experiments to get non-savers to save more money for future plans, putting pictures of their children in front of them and savings goals connected with them was found to be much more effective than lectures or other methods.

Whatever it takes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX3kxAA2L4Q

Lucas
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by Lucas » Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:32 am

I am sleep-deprived and mentally impaired at the moment, so, although there is so much here I would like to inquire and comment about, I will postpone most of it and just focus on the two most recent entries:

@enigmaT120: Without judging the merit of your assertion, I would like to point out that you could have written a similar post concerning each of the items listed by C40; as I understood it, however, he was not stating that anyone who partake in those activities is necessarily addicted, but that it is harder for someone who does develop an unhealthy attachment, a fixation to those things, to realize (and admit to) having a problem, simply because their "fix" does not fit the concept they (and society at large) have of addictive behaviours.

As an aside, C40 mentioned masturbation together with porn, and this is by far the "drug" that has given me the most trouble. I have ten years of chain-smoking under my belt, and during my worst episodes of depression I have self-medicated in some abysmally foolish ways, but no substance, no opiate, no -ine, has ever exerted a stronger pull, given me an intenser "kick," or negatively affected my life more than pornography has. Some things that may have a negligible apparent effect on certain people can hit others like locomotives.

@Dragline: A toxic environment can indeed make things very hard—as Antonio Machado wrote, ¡qué dificil es, cuando todo baja, no bajar también!*—and lead to a vicious circle in which staying feeds a condition that stymies the possibilities of leaving. I am experiencing this nasty conundrum first-hand.

*"How hard it is, when everything goes down, not to go down as well!"

subgard
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by subgard » Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:54 am

On porn specifically, just masturbating only is far better than porn, mostly because porn is such a huge time sink.
So, when feeling the urge to consume porn, just immediately masturbate without the aid of porn.
Sometimes people think they need to stop the whole porn/masturbation activity totally, cold turkey, but this strategy does not have a good success rate.

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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by thrifty++ » Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:48 pm

I was addicted to cigarettes many years ago. One big driver was that I was training for marathon events. The impact I could feel from smoking a few cigarettes on a training run was enormous and I hated that. The other big driver was that I came to the realisation on reflection as to how shit and lame cigarettes are. No discernible euphoric benefit in exchange for a serious and black and white loss of health. A high risk low return substance. A friend of mine who started smoking like me at 14 now has been diagnosed with emphysema at 34.

I have had, and somewhat still have, a slightly unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Im not a regular drinker, maybe once a week or once every two weeks. But sometimes I drink too much in one go. And I hate the impact I can feel on my body and mind the next day. Yet I still do it occassionally. Sometimes I manage to do a complete detox with zero alcohol for a lengthy time like a month or two. To advance my will power I focus on a positive way of thinking, rather than a deprivation focus. Not on I must go without. But rather focusing on all the benefits I am getting. Better sleep, better skin, more energy etc. I focus on the loss not the gain.

I am addicted to coffee more than anything else. I went without it by accident for a few days and experienced a raft of side effects. Headaches. tiredness. constipation etc. It would be the hardest thing for me to ever give up. But the kicker is I dont want to. I see nothing wrong with alcohol and I also have an awareness of when things are messing with my body and mind and have never had that with coffee - unlike alcohol or cigarettes. Much research seems to show it is a positive not a negative in terms of health benefits. So I have no desire to give it up at all. Not all addictions are negative.

For me as to whether addictions or habits should be shed or not comes down to the risk and return ratio. I like to dump anything high risk low return and keep anything high return low risk. Alcohol for me to starting to approach the low return and medium risk category. I seem to enjoy it less and less over time.

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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:45 am

I would note that the general take of this forum is to err on the Puritanical side of rational. IOW, "When in doubt, just don't do it." However, it really is not the case that you can be more rational than rational. For instance, I was going to cop to the fact that my "addictions" are sugar, caffeine and sex, but then I thought "Really?" So, I took an online diagnostic quiz which relieved me of the notion that I am a sex addict (because I don't cheat or lie about my practices, and I definitely don't spend too much money on sex, and I engage in rational decision making/practices concerning associated health risks such as requiring a 60 year old heterosexual serial-monogamous affluent man to leave me napping on his yacht while he goes to buy condoms) , once again confirmed that coffee might actually be good for me (does not make me shaky, might combat Alzheimer's etc.) , and ate half a bag of jelly beans and tested my blood glucose levels 2 hours later (80 mg/dl.)

Obviously, although less common, it is also the case that people can engage in "good" practices to excess. For instance, if you MUST take your daily run even though it is dangerously hot outside, OR you have $50,000,000 in savings and you have a 40 year old sofa in your living room that is probably supporting an advanced civilization of dust mites.

Probably the most rational way to proceed is to make a list of your practices (how you actually spend your time and other resources) such as "It is my practice to eat a bowl with oatmeal and a sliced banana every morning." or "It is my practice to watch pornography in my car and masturbate on my lunch hour M-F" and then examine whether there might be a better practice. Then the next step would be to determine whether any current practices are interfering with preferred practices. For instance, even though eating half a bag of jelly beans while watching Japanese Elder Dwarf-Bowling porn in a litter strewn car parked next to a sewage plant is not likely to kill me, it might interfere with my ability to enjoy a fresh meal prepared with ingredients from my garden and somewhat more garden variety sex with an amiable partner later that day.

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BRUTE
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by BRUTE » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:38 am

then addiction is just failure to align multiple life goals?

7Wannabe5
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:18 pm

Not exactly. Maybe more like it is my take that the word "addiction" should be reserved to mean something like "adherence to a single practice that results in a profound inability to align or achieve multiple life goals."

Felipe
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by Felipe » Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:02 am

I see addiction as a perceived need for something that isn't a need. It's a habit (behavioral or substance) that becomes another hunger, it's like needing food to survive but for something else. I felt I needed pot to get through the day, when I wasn't high I'd be hungry for it, thinking about it, not feeling normal without.

It was hard to satiate the need when I was getting high, I'd be high and keep trying to get higher. I like the Buddhist analogy of the hungry ghosts with thin necks, small mouths, and large empty bellies.

subgard
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by subgard » Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:59 am

We're all hopeless addicts. It's just how the brain motivates us.
Healthy well adjusted people are hopelessly addicted to keeping their job/finances in order,
Getting a good night's sleep,
Consuming adequate nutrition,
Maintaining good relations with loved ones,
and so on.
They feel compelled to maintain those things at the level of a hard drug addict, and if one of those things were disrupted, they would have withdrawal symptoms on the level of a hard drug addict, and would probably relapse like an addict.

James_0011
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by James_0011 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:36 am

Interesting perspective on addiction:


http://www.dannyroddy.com/weblog/abioen ... faddiction

OTCW
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by OTCW » Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:24 pm

subgard wrote:We're all hopeless addicts. It's just how the brain motivates us.
Healthy well adjusted people are hopelessly addicted to keeping their job/finances in order,
Getting a good night's sleep,
Consuming adequate nutrition,
Maintaining good relations with loved ones,
and so on.
They feel compelled to maintain those things at the level of a hard drug addict, and if one of those things were disrupted, they would have withdrawal symptoms on the level of a hard drug addict, and would probably relapse like an addict.
I agree with most of this. The brain is continually programmed by environmental stimuli and that programming naturally leads to repeating pleasureable activities which in turn leads to reinforcing the original programming, which in turn leads to even more of the pleasureable activity, which in turn....

....anyway, feedback loop occurs enough, and you have yourself an addiction. That's why it is easy to get an addiction and hard to shake one. And hard to replace one with another that isn't that pleadureable.

Get addicted to sugary donuts. Easy. Replace donut addiction with broccoli addiction. Not easy at all.

If you are easily addicted ( some folks are more than others), it is best to be careful about what you subject yourself to.

Lucas
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by Lucas » Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:02 pm

@subgard: I agree that it is hard to break habits once they are formed, but to equal them with addictions is simply too far-fetched.

If we stop eating, we deprive ourselves of the energy we need to survive; lack of proper sleep also messes up basic bodily functions; most of us, however, can endure both for some days without experiencing intense fevers, shivering, vomiting, hallucinating and so on—all of which can happen when going cold turkey on heroine, for example.

And if people start stealing stuff from around the house, threatening relatives for money, and engaging in a number of other illegal and/or immoral activities just to keep their finances in order, as they might do to get a fix of opium, we probably would not consider them healthy and well-adjusted—then again, maybe society at large does.

Moreover, there is a difference between fundamental and accidental necessities—every human being needs nourishment of some sort; not everyone requires a regular influx of caffeine (or nicotine, etc.) to remain productive, though—and I believe the distinction is particularly important in the context of this forum.

If you meant what you wrote as a metaphor or analogy, I think it is not an accurate one; otherwise—and I mean no offence—I believe that either you exaggerated some similarities or your post is not at all based on facts. Visiting a drug den and seeing how the regulars live goes a long way in showing how much it takes before we can call ourselves "hopeless addicts."

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BRUTE
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by BRUTE » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:22 pm

@Pagliaccio:

interestingly though, while cold turkey'ing heroin can be uncomfortable, it is not dangerous unless combined with other drugs (benzos/alcohol mostly). alcohol withdrawal, on the other hand, can be fatal. carb addiction can be fatal via diabetes, cardiac arrest, and other indirect ways.

the average carb-addict in the west probably feels like they're dying when they haven't eaten in 3 hours. it's amazing to brute how some humans will claim they're "literally starving" because they haven't had lunch that day.

the biggest difference is that donuts are legal and therefore cheap and accepted. heroin itself is very safe and has - ironically - the same side effects as broccoli in large quantities, namely, constipation. the danger is just in combining it with respiratory depressants (benzos/alcohol) or cutting it with god knows what.

subgard
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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by subgard » Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:09 pm

I meant that it's the same neural circuitry that causes both good habits and bad habits, good addictions and bad ones.

Anything that we're motivated to do repeatedly is caused by the same brain structures.

The end consequences of these behaviors can be very different (and the consequences of withdrawal), but the underlying motivation is caused by the same phenomena.

Anorexics are interesting. They initially have two competing addictions. First, is the usual (and obviously beneficial) addiction to consuming adequate nutrition. Second, is the addiction to feeling in control by depriving oneself.
The second addiction eventually wins out.

And they no longer get hungry.
They no longer desire food.
They have successfully quit their addiction to eating. (Obviously a bad thing, though)

What I meant by calling us "hopeless addicts", is we cannot escape this reward system. We are going to be addicted to something. The brain simply cannot work any other way. So, not "hopeless" as in our lives are hopeless, but "hopeless" in the sense that we cannot escape being addicted to something.

So, it behooves us to choose beneficial addictions. Like eating, and saving money, and being kind.

I think it's an important realization to make about one's own brain. It has helped me form positive addictions and replace bad ones (mostly thinking patterns).

https://aeon.co/essays/why-its-high-tim ... on-changed

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Re: Addictions & Unhealthy Habits

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:35 am

subgard said: What I meant by calling us "hopeless addicts", is we cannot escape this reward system. We are going to be addicted to something. The brain simply cannot work any other way. So, not "hopeless" as in our lives are hopeless, but "hopeless" in the sense that we cannot escape being addicted to something.

So, it behooves us to choose beneficial addictions. Like eating, and saving money, and being kind.

I think this is very true, but there is some inherent limit to our choices, and this becomes quite obvious if you have spent a good deal of time in the company of very young or mentally ill people. For instance, there is a young friend of my DD25 whom I have known since she was 3 years old. She was a very pretty, tiny, other-worldly sort of child, and she absolutely refused to eat anything but noodles in spite of the best efforts of her thoughtful, well-educated, middle-class parents. She is now an addict who supports herself as a stripper. Another example, which makes me feel amused rather than sad, is that the little long-haired hippie boy (son of long-haired hippie-chick single mom) I babysat when he was a very high-strung, hyper-active 3 year old (would scream and scream and scream when he scraped his knee) in the early 90s, is now an investment banker like his grandfather.

Unfortunately, there is one means by which we do escape or become vanquished from this reward system. It is known as clinical depression. Since I am mildly cyclothymic myself, and I have been in close relationship with others who suffer much more severely from depression or depression/mania, it is very apparent to me that a bi-polar individual is sort of like the "canary in the coalmine" for what motivates "normal" people. A simple example would be that reactivity to bright colors is indicative of mania. A complex example would be that "limerence" or "infatuation" or "the feeling of being in love" is an example of a state of mania often experienced by those who do not otherwise suffer from bi-polar disorder. So, if you do not feel like it is in alignment with your self-interest to be "in love", you just need to submit yourself to the same course of treatment as is applied to adrenal-hormone-disorder mania. If you want to cheer yourself up or boost your motivational energy, turn on the lights and look at two bright contrasting colors in conjunction. I would also note that a lot of what passes for "normalcy" in our culture is really low-level functional depression brought on by lack of physical exertion, low exposure to sunlight, and rigid adherence to dull routine. As in "sitting in my beige cubicle, entering data into a form" vs. "riding my pony across the tundra on the hunt."

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