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 Post subject: Re: What is Addiction?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:24 pm 
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TeeJay wrote:
when the evidence shows that most people recover from addiction without any treatment whatsoever.

I wonder about this. There's a difficulty in that both the evidence and the framing of the question can drastically affect the answer. You can define "addiction" broadly, so that anyone who briefly struggles with eating too much has overcome addiction; or narrowly, so that almost no one manages to escape it, because we're looking only at the most severe cases. Similarly, I don't know how you'd get data about how many people were, e.g., addicted to alcohol and quit on their own, without a lot of self-surveys ("did you ever struggle with drinking too much?") -- and I think it's clear how the wording can completely change the numbers you get.

The other problem with evidence in this area is that "recover" can also be defined to suit an end: how long "clean" is "recovered", for example? Add to that that I suspect most data about addiction would have to come from people receiving treatment -- i.e., statistics from AA and therapists and the like -- if it's not from polls, and I'm skeptical.

Evidence from these latter sources shows that the number of people who recover from addiction without soon relapsing is often quite low, depending on the addiction and the treatment, so there'd have to a very large population of "hidden addicts" to make up for this -- which is not impossible, perhaps not even unlikely; but one might feel that any study of addiction should focus on those having enough trouble to seek help, and another term might be in order for brief episodes of obsession.

It sounds interesting, though, and worth checking out. Thanks for posting about it!


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 Post subject: Re: What is Addiction?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:55 pm 
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I don't know if it is genetic or hereditary or whathaveyou, I do know that I was put on Phenergan when I was 5 weeks old and switched to Ritalin at 5 years old. When I was taken off Ritalin I was nearly 10. My parents didn't understand about weaning and withdrawals and I know that I suffered, and made my family suffer with the mood swings and out of control anger and pent up emotions which came from not being numb all the time. It took until I was nearly 30 before I got a handle on my emotions and understood how to express them in a healthy way. That was with the help of a few therapists and some really good friends. My Naturopath was a great help to my self understanding also.
I know the first time I took my medication I recognized the feeling, that floating in the hugeness of the space inside my head. When I was weaning off my medication I started to do Hatha Yoga. This was elemental in helping me achieve that mind space with out the need for anything more than 10-15 minutes of dim light easy breathing. I loved learning to find that place and as an adult I understand why I needed it so much as a child. I always felt shame for needing to be medicated, I was always the one in our family who could not control her emotions and had violent mood swings. I was happiest alone reading books, my siblings teased me relentlessly and my giant dark space in my head was a haven.
I am sure that is why I kept taking medication for far longer than was really needed, although I do have legitimate pain. My pain can be managed with breathing and a THC based medication called Nabilone. I don't get high from it and I can function when I need to but am also able to sleep when it comes to bed time. I do think we can be pre-disposed to be addicts. A lot of my family members are addicted to one thing or another. Some more harmful than others.
I don't think will power has anything at all to do with recovery. Support and caring medical health providers and friends to lean on and to be there for in return is the key to overcoming an addiction. That and the ability to forgive and love yourself ;) For me that was the most important thing I needed to learn, self worth and self love. Without learning to love and forgive myself I would never be where I am now. People who have never been through it can't understand withdrawals and the terror that being sick causes one to feel. I know that was what kept me using my meds longer than I needed to, I was terrified of the sickness I had felt when I couldn't get to my Dr. before my prescription was finished. That wasn't from over use, it was his schedule and the distance I had to travel combined with my school schedule that made me need to go a day late a few times. That was enough to keep me on it until I saw the pain management Doc and he was so understanding of my fear and worked out a timeline where I would suffer the least and not do it by taking something else that would be difficult to stop. I haven't taken Nabilone since I haven't had a family Doctor. It hasn't been too bad, the pain is still there, but I would rather suffer a little until I can find a Doctor than go back to being trapped and chained to a medication.
This has been a great thread and has been very informative. I am going to check out those links, I know my Psychology Prof will be interested in them, Criminology too.

Cheers,
Viv


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