We all have some kind of addiction true or false
I take same bus same seat
same coffee house
same tea time
same lucnch walk time
same time sleep
These are more like habits than addictions, though Lgali. Addictions generally have negative ramifications in your life: emotional, physical, affect those around you, financial, etc... Same sleep time is actually healthy sleep hygiene.
Yes I have an addition,..To Mt.Dew. Seriously, thats about all I drink.
yes, i am addicted to eating rice. i love rice alot
Mine is hubpages, but am on a forced break due to shifting homes.
Well Lgali, I met someone sometime ago and every time we sat together, he always had to sit on the right. Lol. (unless we were sitting opposite each other). Even if we were having a pizza and watching a film and I was sitting at the very right end of the sofa, he’d ask me to shift so he could sit on the right. He couldn’t explain it. It was so weird. I guess if we say people are right handed, we could say he was right-brained.
You're talking more about habits, than addictions, I think. And habits can be viewed along a continuum. For example, someone who is autistic needs everything just so in its place. Move something and they may get violent. That, of course is an extreme, but it does illustrate that habits can be something that are religiously adhered to by some people. At the other end of the spectrum are people who are totally unpredictable and don't seem to have any set habits at all. Most people fall in the middle.
Addictions, on the other hand, are different. I happen to believe they result from lack of willpower or discipline and I realize I'm in the minority holding that belief. Many more people believe it to be a disease where someone cannot help but do whatever it is they are addicted to. In effect, they have no control over their actions. Whereas in a habit you choose to engage in it, addictions overshadow your life and make it impossible for you to function in the absence of whatever it is you're addicted to.
False. Habits yes. Addictions no. Two totally different things.
Agreed - false. There are routines. There are habits. Addiction (even the kind to something not normally considered "addictive") isn't something everyone has.
Lgali, what you are describing seem to me more like daily rituals. Some of the other examples like having to sit to the right is a compulsion. That is the behavioral manifestation of an obsessive thought. But on the continuum of habit through addiction, not harmful.
An addiction has both mental and physical components. It is the combination of a physical craving and a mental obsession. Some people like to joke around and claim to be "addicted" to certain TV shows because they get cranky if they miss an episode, or addicted to chocolate because they can't resist it.
Ledefensetech, you said: "Addictions, on the other hand, are different. I happen to believe they result from lack of willpower or discipline and I realize I'm in the minority holding that belief."
I would have to agree that in this day and age, after all the research that has been done on the disease of addiction, you ARE in the minority. A very dangerous minority. I sincerely hope no one in your family or other close relationships ever becomes addicted, as your viewpoint will be detrimental to them.
The best example I've ever heard is this: Try taking a laxative and then "willing" yourself not to shit. Get the picture?
Frankly I think the "I can't help it addiction" is a lie. My father's family is prone to alcoholism. Yet neither he, my brother, my sister or I have a problem with drinking. Now don't get me wrong, if I allowed it, I could get blotto all the time. I just choose not to drink myself into oblivion. It is of interest to note that the view that alcoholism and other addictions are diseases rather than the result of poor choice gained momentum with the baby boomer generation. Much like that generation in general has taken little responsibility for its actions, they refuse to take responsibility for their addictions as well.
Choosing alcoholism or other drugs is just that, a choice. It's not that addicts can't stop what they're doing, they don't want to. And you really can't force them. They have to decide for themselves that they are done. Some people never will. Some people will destroy themselves before they reach that point. My aunt drank and smoked herself to death. Even after her diagnosis with cancer, she continued to smoke and drink. It was her choice. Another uncle drank himself into a divorce. A third uncle had a long, hard recovery but he chose to recover. So you'll excuse me if I don't put much stock in your petty moralizing. I've experienced the effects of addiction first hand. It's the result of caring for dangerous substances more than your friends and family.
I don't think that everyone has something they are addicted to. I would define an addiction as in something that controls a person to the point they need outside assistance to overcome it and/or it causes a major personality change when denied. I believe this is what makes certain substances addictive.
I think we all have habits that we enjoy and like to maintain. As long as we can make a conscience choice about these habits, and control our attitudes in the mean time, they are not addictions.
Example: Nail biting is a bad habit, and it takes a conscience choice not to bite them, but to deny yourself the task of biting your nails will not cause you to be grumpy. (Possibly irritated, but not irrationally grumpy.)
And I'm not the only one that will point out that addiction is a disease. I recently had a family member die of liver failure, complications of alcoholism, my family was less than willing to see her and say goodbye while she was dying because of the hardships they had endured while she was alive. However, what if she was dying of alzheimers? Both diseases that can cause hardship in a family and strain on relationships. But addiction has a stigma to it in our society.
Ivorwen -- Loved your comment. Right on!
Colebabie -- So sorry to hear about your loved one. There is no doubt that addicts, when in their disease, wreak havoc on other people's lives (but are convinced in their heads they are only hurting themselves). To the outsider, their behavior makes less than no sense. And it's understandable that unless the addict gets into recovery and begins to right the damage, those around him/her will not forgive or forget. So sad the number of addicts/alcoholics who alienate family and end up dying a painful, slow death ALONE. But it absolutely does NOT have to be that way.
I highly recommend the shows "Intervention" and "The Cleaner" for anyone interested in learning more about this insidious and extremely widespread health problem.
Habits are different than addictions. Habits are like drinking out of the same cup every morning, sitting in the same seat every ride home, reading the paper in a certain order of articles. Habits can be reprogrammed (apparently after 21 days the pattern can begin to change).
Addictions are different than habits in the sense that you cannot quit without some form of help. Usually, an addict believes that they will not survive without it. They can sit in a different seat on the ride home, they don't have to have coffee at 7 in the morning. They only have to have the one or two things on a continual basis, and without it, their mind and body go into withdrawals.
I have habits; I think almost everyone does. I have addictions too. Mostly, I'm addicted to work (MarineAlways24 had me pegged) and to being co-dependent (mostly in the realm of putting others first before myself).
Don't know if i have any true addictions, but do have a lot of habits, bad and good!
Agree LDT. My own history of smoking and quitting confirms this, too.
ledefensetech: Excuse me, sir, but it is you who are engaging in petty moralizing. Your comment below is laden with moral judgment over people who you claim had a "choice" but "chose" to self-destruct.
You seem to be lucky to have escaped the genetic flaw that runs in families of alcoholics. Beware, however, that it's entirely possible that either you or your sister could yet develop the disease. Or your children. It does run in families.
You are also wrong about when alcoholism was first identified as a disease. It says it clear as day in the Book Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, which was first published in 1939. It is defined as a "progressive, fatal disease." This means that without intervention it will continue to worsen until the person dies. At the point an alcoholic stops drinking the disease is arrested, but it is never cured. If s/he relapses after, say, 10 years of sobriety, the disease will have continued within his/her body so that the effects will be even more devestating than when he/she took his/her last drink 10 years before. You might also be interested to know (although, by your attitude, I may be assuming too much) that the livers of alcohol actually process alcoholics differently than other people's livers. Another wonderful book is "Under the Influence." Check it out.
Good for you that you can choose to get "blotto" when you want to and not suffer any negative consequences (besides, presumably, a hangover). The ability to pick it up or leave it alone is what separates a "normal drinker" from the "real alcoholic."
One final note. I am not here to defend the behavior of active alcoholics/addicts. I know firsthand the devestation that is caused. But I also know how cunning, baffling and powerful the DISEASE is. It is more insidious than cancer.
And you want to know the true irony in your claim that all it takes is "willpower" to overcome alcoholism or addiction? The exact opposite is true. It is only when we surrender our will that we are relieved of the obsession to drink/use.
I'm not lucky, I just choose not to drink. I've seen what happens to family who make that choice and I'm not willing to take that risk. It's not a disease, it's a choice. Because I choose not to have much to do with alcohol, I'll not fall prey to the cravings. By all accounts, alcoholism is a creeping insidious thing that grows on a person. It's not like you take one drink and then are overcome with a desire to become blotto. It, like all addictions, takes time. That's part of the insidiousness of it. Of course, some addictions take less time to destroy you than others, which is more reason to avoid them.
At any rate, never having experienced addiction myself, I can't say for sure that "surrendering" yourself is a way to break free of your addiction, but it seems as if their definition of will and mine are different.
What I think they are talking about is the fight against the cravings. From what I understand once addicted, you'll never overcome the cravings. Again all the more reason not to take the risk and start in the first place. So in that respect, understanding that you'll always have the cravings is the first step in recovery. That has little to do with willpower and everything to do with understanding you have a problem. The willpower argument comes into play, in my view, when you feel the cravings but don't assuage them. By this point in time the addict understands that to feed the craving is a slippery slope to the bottom. Even so, I think long term recovering addicts find that the cravings diminish over time. It may take decades but, blissfully, sometimes memory dims and people forget.
At any rate what I'm arguing is that the decision to use drugs or alcohol in the first place is a choice. You can make choices, you can't choose the consequences. Some people can take drugs and alcohol and suffer little from the use. Others spiral down in a self destructive orgy of degradation. There really isn't a way to tell beforehand which way you, personally, will go. So, to me, it's crazy to even tempt fate like that. Especially when I've seen what has happened to other members of my family. You might consider that cold, but I consider it prudent. And, I, at least will never become a burden to my friends and family fighting off an addiction I am probably susceptible to.
Love your new avatar MM, so you
Oh, and lately I tend to think that the willpower is all what is needed to overcome cancer, too
Thanks, Misha! Back atcha, friend.
I was also able to put down cigarettes without any patches or gum. But nicotine addiction is in a very different league than full on alcohol or drug addiction.
I know of some people who tried to "hide" their cigarette smoking (not sure how that would be possible since the stench clings to your clothes!) but don't know of anyone who stole to feed their butts habit.
On the other hand, I have seen more than my share of people in detox. Coming off alcohol is not pretty. Heroin is even uglier, and opiates are no picnic either.
When the hunger is there in the fat cells of your body, it's pretty hard to "just say no."
Ok -- I'm off the soap box now:-).
Oh, I never meant it is easy, and I don't think LDT meant this. We all know it is quite hard. I guess the point is that without willpower no amount of therapy can help, and with enough willpower no therapy needed at all. Could this be some kind of a common ground here?
Misha, dear, are you trying to fill in for Countrywomen with the proposed mediation? I like you better as an instigator/rabble-rouser. But nice try! MM
I'm sorry LDT but I disagree with you. Addiction is in fact a disease. There is a statement from the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse that I'll quote (because its the best way to explain it that I've found) that says:
"When science began to study addictive behavior in the 1930s, people addicted to drugs were thought to be morally flawed and lacking in willpower. Those views shaped society's responses to drug abuse, treating it as a moral failing rather than a health problem, which led to an emphasis on punitive rather than preventative and therapeutic actions... As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a disease that affects both brain and behavior. We have identified many of the biological and environmental factors and are beginning to search for the genetic variations that contribute to the development and progression of the disease. Scientists use this knowledge to develop effective prevention and treatment approaches that reduce the toll drug abuse takes on individuals, families, and communities. "
Like MM said, fortunately you do not suffer from the disease of addiction. Who knows if when you had your first drink you could have begun on this disease path? You said you just choose not to drink, alcoholics do not have that choice. Is the initial use a choice? Yes, of course. But the inability to stop using is a disease.
Be that as it may, but you're quoting guys from the 1930's and they had every reason to treat addiction as a disease. I don't really want to argue the point, but suffice to say it was part and parcel of a Progressive agenda to allow government to intrude in our lives. As these were the same people who enacted Prohibition without regard to the consequences of their actions, I'm not very inclined to listen to what they have to say.
I can only speak from experience but whenever we treated our kids like they weren't responsible for their behaviors, they acted worse, when we held them responsible for their actions, they made better decisions. What I've experience is at variance with what "professionals" claim and I'm more inclined to use my experiences as a guide than some vague professional who has a vested interest in keeping his clients coming to him rather than curing them.
Also you don't seem to understand that you can't choose the consequences of your actions. Everyone who takes a drink, smokes some pot,shoots up heroin takes the risk that they might become addicted. You can't know if you're an addict until it happens. You assume the consequences of your actions by making that decision. I understand that if I smoke, drink or do drugs, I might very well become an addict. I don't care how good it makes you feel, I'm not willing to take that risk. In the end we are each responsible for ourselves and our actions. I don't wish to become a burden on anyone, so I don't make choices to do things that will make me a burden.
In the 1930s they didn't treat addiction as a disease. That is the point. I live in South Florida which is the recovery capital of the US. And my experience with "professionals" is that they are there to help the patient. From my office alone we run NA and AA meetings weekly. And we are a university. Not everyone out there has ill notions.
Again, you don't understand what I'm trying to say. Nor do I claim that every "professional" is in it for the money or fame. But let me ask you this. How effective would you say NA and AA meetings are? Don't answer from your perspective, try to answer from theirs. Also can you tell me why they're attending those meetings? Not why you think they are, but what they've told you.
In my opinion, there is no "right" treatment for anyone. Some are more effective than others. Do I think NA or AA are effective? Yes. I've been to AA/NA meetings and heard people talk. They are based on a method that has already helped thousands of people. You can read my hub about my AA experience. For the most part I just say that it can be extremely helpful. It gives someone who is suffering a path, goals, a meeting place, a common ground, support, faith, and ultimately treatment. They are attending the meetings because they are addicts, and because they know it helps. They wouldn't go back every week if they didn't think it did. They go because they no if they don't they may fall off the wagon. They go because they need the support. Is it for every addict? No of course not. Not one system will work for everyone.
Have you factored the effects of peer pressure and how that affects people in a group setting. This is of interest to me because I noticed the group dynamic in mental health, but in that case most of the discussion was about why it wasn't the person's fault, etc.
Also I'd suppose the makeup of the group had something to do with it. A group that had people more committed to quitting would do better, I would imagine, than a group with more individuals that made excuses for their behaviors.
So what mechanisms do you have in place to determine if someone is better suited for group intervention or more one-on-one intervention? Or is that even something considered? I also know that some groups assign buddies in case a member doesn't seem to be influenced by the group. Have you witnessed this? Does it seem very effective?
Usually the method of treatment has to do with their personality, level of addiction, and how best they respond. Go to an AA meeting. I'm sure there are ones where you live, just look for one that says "open". You can just go and see it for yourself. Buddies aren't assigned in case the member isn't affected by the group. "Buddies", which are actually called sponsors, are assigned as another, more direct, method of support.
In that case I'd argue that sponsors are assigned to people because, for whatever reason, group dynamics aren't enough to support a person, they need more individualized help. It's good to see that there is a mechanism for that. The current craze in mental health is group, group, group. I've seen this type of intervention fail far too often to become a dogmatic supporter of it.
Sponsors aren't counselors. They are others that are in, or have gone through, treatment. It isn't like one-on-one counseling sessions. The sponsor is just there to call you out on your s%&#. The point is, there is no one treatment. Additionally, the most effective comes at the disease in multiple directions.
At this point in time, 2009, the 12 Step model of recovery espoused by AA. NA and other groups dealing with addictions such as overeating, gambling, etc., is the most effective.
It is used worldwide.
As Colebabie pointed out below, it is not for everyone.
But heck, when you are dealing with an addiction that wants you dead -- that's right, your own body and brain are compelling you to do things that will ultimately kill you -- wouldn't you want the benefit of the best available treatment?
People who go to rehab are asked to look around the room. Let's say there are 40 patients. Of that 40, only 2 are statistically likely to stay clean/sober.
So it's a bit of an uphill battle.
Are you really saying that all of those people have nothing more wrong with them than they lack moral conviction or willpower to stop using?
The way the 12 Step programs work is that there are several components. For any given addict, the most important element might be the fellowship of going to the meetings. It might be working the steps to become a better person with more self-awareness and be able to live life with a positive instead of a negative blueprint. Through those steps (#8,9 and 10) the addict actually gets to make amends to those he/she has hurt.
For others, the thing that really helps them stay clean/sober is service. We are told that "to keep it you've got to give it away." In my experience, the fact that AA/NA are peer-to-peer programs is what makes them the most effective. If you are not an addict you just don't "get it."
And finally, there is a spiritual basis to the program. Now surely, no one can argue that becoming more spiritual and consciously turning one's will and life over to the care of God will not, de facto, result in the addict living a more productive life.
The whole point of AA/NA is to provide treatment for the disease by teaching the addict/alcoholic to become fully accountable for his/her actions. The thing is, addicts/alcoholics need to learn this the hard way. Unfortunately, too many never fully learn the lesson and end up in jail, mental institutions or the grave before they figure it out.
So you've just pointed out that addicts have to find out the consequences of their actions the hard way. How is that any different than what I've said. How is finding out the consequences of your actions in any way a disease? Again like I said, you can make choices, you can't choose the consequences. As a corollary it should be added that you better make good decisions.
Colebabie, I understand about sponsors, we'd at times use kids who'd been in treatment and could handle the responsibility to mentor kids who just started. It could be very effective. A lot depended on the mentor and student. At it's base I think it was because these kids became friends and true friendship is important when fighting anything, be it addiction, mental illness, whatever. That's why I'm a big fan of more individualized care as opposed to group dynamics.
I think, at some point or another, everyone has their own addiction. No one is perfect. We have all obsessed over something that wasn't good for us, right? I hope I am not one of the only ones.
Personally, I think addiction is wired into human nature as part of our survival instinct. Some of these addictions are beneficial whilst others are detrimental. Such as being addicted to breathing air is seen as a good sign, ( I find if I stop for only a short while I suffer bad withdraw symptoms ).
Just as some of us have natural abilities for athletics, or abstract thinking, or picking up new languages others have natural ability for addiction. I bet our ancient adrenalin addict ancestors made good hunters
I think everyone has an addiction, but most of the things we may considers as addictions are simple habits.
-I'm addicted to the internet in general, mostly HubPages and Twitter.
However, the fact that someone would sit on the same bus seat, or go to the same coffee could either be habit or a personal preference.
Yes I will have to admit that I am addicted to Hubpages, I have tried to put myself on a 7 day no writing plan, but it did'nt work, I could'nt handle the withdrawls. Is there a Hubs Anonymous?
I agree. I am definitely addicted to checking my stats on HubPages! I am always checking my email. Heck, I check my AdSense earnings almost every day!
In the past two months, writing has become an addition for me. Can't stop. That's all I want to do.
Dictionary.com -- Addiction "The state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma."
I bet you can live your life to its fullest without taking the same seat every time you ride a bus.
According to dictionary.com, Hubpages can be an addiction )
Anyways. A happy person is one that doesn't have any additions.
Yes we are addicted in one way or other. I did tried not get addicted but it is just impossible I got addicted with tea and need it every morning.Yo can say it is my habit, actualy it's an addiction.
Most definitely....habits or addictions...we all have them. Granted these are broken into sub-genres depending on whether they have negative ramifications or not.
Drinking coffee every morning and running to check your email...not so negative.
Shooting up china white heroin in a dirty bathroom stall....yeah..that is pretty much negative.
I think as humans our brains are programmed similarly in regards to being exposed to addictive behavior of some fashion...some of us are more obsessive and there is a higher rate of possible addictive behavior when one is exposed to certain elements...some of us will develop more of a routine that does not impact our lives in a negative manner.
All and all another aspect that truly shows how unique one individual is from another beyond our visual appearance.
I'm new here, but became intrigued with the back-n-forth between ledefensetech and MightyMom.
Before I proceed, let me give a little background on myself. I've been battling addiction since I was about 12 years old- and yes, it runs in my family (though there is no hard scientific evidence to indicate that it is in fact a genetic disease; instead, it appears that offspring of addicted parent(s) are more likely to succumb to addiction, at best). Since the age of 13, I've been in either AA or NA; I only tried AA for a couple years, and found my "home" (at the time) in NA. So, that's roughly 28 years of experience (for those of you who loathe math, I'm 41) in the two major 12 Step programs. I should note that I was enamored with the fellowships from the start and continued to go even when I was active in addiction. I've worked the steps, had (very good) sponsors, had a network, a homegroup, etc- all the things that 12 Step fellowships suggest you do. All this with some degree of success. I say "some" b/c I was never able to achieve continuous periods of abstinence for more than 7 years. I was clean for 7,5,4,2,2 & 1 year(s). Most recently, I had 4 years, but (once again) found myself in a place where I just didn't feel like I could be comfortable in my own skin. As it turns out, regardless of what the fellowships profess, NA and AA are faith-based programs. That is, while in theory they claim to be "spiritual, not religious" programs, in all practicality, both are very religiously-based, even based on a specific religion: Judaeo-Christianity, as evidenced by countless references within their own literature to "God (with a capital G"), Him (Capital "H"), and the 12 Steps themselves having been, meetings being closed with the Lord's Prayer (Catholic version, usually), and the fact that the 12 steps themselves. For those AA'ers who are going to dispute the above, I've taken some historical content from http://dickb.com, which presents the steps in their earliest forms, from the pre-AA group known as the "Oxford Group":
So, by now, if you are still with me, you might be wondering "what does all this have to do with the question at hand?" Well, maybe not so much with that, but I do want to interject my own personal experience into the argument that was going on between tech and MightyMom.
My contention point is that we (addicts) indeed do make a choice to use, and continue to make choices to use UNTIL it becomes full-blown addiction, at which point we still use anyway, believing that we are "diseased" and that we basically are destined to use until such time as the consequences demand we do not. (For some, that consequence happens to be death.) Here is the crux: Is it *really* a choice to keep using, or are we somehow enslaved by an inanimate object (whiskey, heroin, cocaine, what-have-you). Put that way, it's clearly "no". I suspect some will counter: "it's not the substance, but the *interaction* of that substance in a human's body that produces this state of non-choice." Puzzling how that could happen without introducing some mind-body phenomenon to explain that. We do indeed CHOOSE to use despite countless negative consequences, however much we may be comforted by believing otherwise. I mean, our behavior is confusing and inexplicable to others, and so, what a great way to explain it all away- "it's a (mysterious) disease, cunning, baffling and powerful!"
It makes for nice explanation for generally anti-social behavior for otherwise "normal" people. The problem is that it relieves one of all accountability. If it's a disease, like cancer is, then I'm no more responsible for what I do or what *happens to me* (victim-stance, which is continually pounded into you by 12 step programs, though they want to claim the contrary) than I am the cancer patient with a brain tumor who acts strangely. And, wah-lah, that's where God, strike that, god, comes in. So long as you develop this "relationship" with god or a "higher power" and put your trust into Him, strike that, her (?), and abide by the musings thereof, good things will come to you. It's all non-sense to any intelligent person, but, that doesn't mean it can't help the masses, just like religion does. (I'm aware that sounded snooty; not sure how else to put it, though) And the 12 Step fellowships DO do a lot of good for a lot of people, but I believe that anyone who devotes what amounts to their entire life (we're required/strongly influenced to turn our will and our lives over to the care of god) over to a program, ought to do a little thinking about that and investigate just what it is they are getting into by doing so and finding out what, exactly, they are turning that over TO. But that's just me....
Personally, I have found that taking responsibility and being accountable, first to ME- recognizing that making a choice to use will not allow me to lead any semblance of a productive and happy "life"), to and for my actions, without any reliance on a supernatural deity of some sort, works much better. How much better? Certainly that will be the first questions asked in response....
At any rate, thank you for an interesting discussion..peace
Yes I believe everyone is addicted to something, I have always said that.
sex, ice cream, caffeine, anything with an adreneline rush...
god yeah loads of things! I smoke, drink tea like it's going out of fashion. The internet, chocolate.....the list goes on.
I think that every one does have their own addictions. Watching television, video games, coffee, soda, what have you. Although these thing may not have a huge negative affect on your life they can still be addictions. I think its is more about if you could go with out it for a wekk and not be miserable.
I don't have any addictions now but I have done in the past: barbiturates, valium, alcohol, coffee/caffeine and cigarettes and I am no longer addicted to any of those so would say I am free of addiction.
I am addicted to Gambling, Drinking, Women, but apart from those three I am addiction free !
Yes.. It is true.
For me I can't even think of being away from home. Even wen i am on a holiday i miss the security of my home. Wen i go out and come back home my feeling is the same as been embraced by my mother. I feel safe and secured.
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