So lets take a look-see at a condition that plagues most people, and see if there are a few basic things we can do to help redirect it.
We should all know the common definition of stress ~ the confusion created when your mind overrides your bodies basic desire to choke the living shit out of some asshole who desperately deserves it!
Although it is funny, it tends to be a bit off the main mark. I have found in my own experiences, that people stress when they think about 'failing' at something ~ "I don't have enough time", "I don't have enough money", "I don't have enough help", "It's too much too soon" ... and on and on. What these people are really saying is ~ I'm worried that I'm going to fail at my task.
However, you are worried about something that MIGHT possibly happen. Follow me here on this train of thought, when you stress about most things in life you are literally ~ Daydreaming about a hypothetical event in a future place that may never even come to pass ... that you THINK you have some control over!
Folks, a very very old (as in about 55 AD) idea is that happiness comes from realizing what you have control over, and what you do no. News flash ~ YOU are riding around on a giant rock hurtling through space, surrounded by billions of others doing the same! You have NO control! You are just along for the ride!
The sooner you realize this idea, and apply it to your life; the sooner your stress and anxiety levels will drop and the happier you will be!
Todays info is based on a great question posted by a friend. They asked, if there was a difference between chemical addiction and behavior not related to drug abuse ... like sex or gambling etc.
The answer as I currently understand it ~ is actually yes and no, and is overall not an easy one to explain ha ha.
The newer definition of addiction can actually help explain this one, as part of that new understanding was due in part to the research done on people addicted to non-chemical activities, like gambling, sex, hording, and the like. The new definition is simply stated as ~ "The hijacking of your dopamine reward system." Therefor it makes more sense in understanding 'why' people keep doing things, that are not 'drug' related ... and why non-disease type actions can still be seen in 'normal' activities.
There's a lot of current research showing that the same reward pathways are being used in almost all "addiction" driven activities. Therefore, yes the base treatment models of drug use and addictive gambling could be used almost interchangeably. And yes both chemical and non chemical addictions are normally used as forms of coping mechanisms.
However, outside the same reward path being used in both cases, the underling driving forces can be totally different. Meaning, that the use of gambling, or sex is providing a 'feel good' effect for the person, like using a drug to 'feel better' but the 'why' or issue driving that why could be very different for each individual. Therefore the specific methods within the treatment paths could also vary greatly.
*Note ~ Sadly, this is not the main stream understanding of addiction, as all "addicts" normally get the same treatment at the same centers ... and its normally not very effective, if at all. With most people released from a 28 day 'rehab' relapsing within the first 2-24 hours. Of course this does keep the courts, police, and jails with a steady flow of income ... and a nice oiled revolving door.
Please also keep in mind that most people with addictions have several co-occurring disorders that MUST be treated at the same time, as each one of those plays a vital role in how the main addiction plays out. PTSD, anxiety (panic attacks), and depression (suicidal), are just a few of the common ones and the majority of people have multiple ones!
One main difference between chemical and non would be the extreme withdrawals that a chemical addiction possesses as opposed to the non-chemical type. Although, even the non-chemical addictions will have some degree ~ depression, anxiety, or the like. It will be a far cry from the 10-30 days of sever flu/food poisoning symptoms of opiate withdrawals.
I hope this sheds some light on this question! I thank you for asking ... please feel free to ask questions directly or send them via the email link on the left. Have a wonderful day everyone!
Lets touch on something that I see everyday ... in and out of recovery.
When someone pulls out in front of you because they are in a rush ~ whats going on with their thinking? They are risking other peoples lives because THEY don't want to be inconvenienced by waiting for others to go by. Yet, it was because they were selfish with their own time ~ not getting up earlier, not quickly doing what they needed to do before they left ... that made them late to begin with! Talk about narcissism and "the world revolves around me!"
Sadly, I see this in recovery ALL THE TIME! No one want to take responsibility for their own accountability, and yet THEY don't want to be inconvenienced! They show up late to a doctors appointment ~ it's never THEIR fault, someone else always 'makes' them late ... it's never anything THEY did ... and they still want to be seen, normally right them because THEY have things to do and it would be an inconvenience to THEM if they had to reschedule. Are you kidding me with this shit?
If you show up late to the bank, and I mean just 2 min late ... guess what? You will cash your check tomorrow ... even if you are hungry, or broke, or whatever. It doesn't matter the excuse or reason as to WHY you were late. If you show up late to a movie and really wanted to see the beginning, the movie theater is NOT going to rewind it and start over because YOU had something you HAD to do before you came to the movies. The ballgame doesn't go back to the first inning, the race doesn't go back to the green flag, the play doesn't start back at act I ... and the WORLD doesn't revolve around YOU!
I understand things happen, but the society around you is NOT your drug dealer! If you are late, accept your consequences and go have a coke and a smile! Throwing a tantrum, pitching a fit, begging, pleading and the likes are the thoughts and actions of a 5 year old not getting their way (and those that are used to dealing with other people in the world of addiction).
A HUGE part of recovery is understanding that your actions or lack their of have consequences, and being ready to be accountable to those ... whatever they may be. If you don't want to personally be inconvenienced, I strongly suggest you take more accountability in your responsibilities! In the rooms I speak in, I teach that your thoughts have actions and consequences in the physical world, you can be assured that your physical actions do!
As the quote goes ~ "Stop looking out the window (for someone to blame), and start looking in the mirror!"
This post can also be seen on Treatment Today, under expert advice.
I have been around those using and prescribing Suboxone for several years now. And currently I am very torn between the help I have seen the drug give, and the addictions that it seems to continue to drive. Mainly because the number of people I have seen actually totally come off this drug, can be counted on one hand.
Let’s start with the positive and give credit where credit is due. I have seen Suboxone help get people off hard street drugs. I have seen it help parents go back to work and to start living a somewhat normal life. I’ve seen mothers arrive to a mental and physical place where they were finally able to petition to get their children back from the court systems. And I have seen it help torn families become loving families again, as moms and dads were able to see their child’s face appear in the face of the addict that once stood before them. In helping with these achievements, it can definitely be seen an amazing drug.
And maybe to be equally fair, one must first personally define their own definition of ‘success’ for addiction treatment. As a doctor once told me, “I don’t care if they snort it, eat it, inject it, or absorb it rectally; if they are alive tomorrow … I win!” There are a multitude of others out there that are just as concerned with ‘harm reduction’ vs. true abstinence and recovery. I have heard many, many times … “at least it is the lesser of the possible evils.” And it is true that, in order to learn something new to help you recover tomorrow, you must indeed be alive to hear it.
However there is a growing elephant in the recovery rooms that no one seems to want to address nor talk about. I have personally seen a significant increase of people coming INTO recovery that are fully addicted to Suboxone itself! Now how exactly does society plan to get someone off their drug of choice, by legally continuing to give them their drug of choice?
First and foremost – IF Suboxone is indeed a true recovery drug, why does it rank so high on the list of favorite street drugs as well? Maybe it is time we reassess or even begin new research on the ‘true’ “ceiling” and diversion statistics?
Secondly, how are we going to address pugging some of the obvious holes we have in the overflow of Suboxone onto the street? Specifically, how is it that there are still so many ‘recovery programs’ that are giving patients 3-4 pills/strips a day, for months and years on end, with little to no tapering, little to no monitoring, and no consequences for deviance or diversion? This treatment model echoes the shady pain clinic’s that would write (and sadly still do) people 10x the amount of daily pain medication, that any one person could actually ingest and live to tell about it. Suboxone is not like meth, people aren’t just ‘cooking’ it on the streets; it is going out the door on overly stuffed script pads … which don’t just write themselves.
So without going off onto too many tangents, or getting overly winded on any one soap box, let’s get back to the drug itself. Suboxone for all practical purposes would appear to be just a simple tool, much like a hammer (although maybe not quite as ‘safe’ as once thought). A hammer in the hands of a skilled and caring craftsman can build an amazing house. Yet that same hammer in different hands can tear down the very house that was just built. Therefore the outcome of Suboxone would seem to rely heavily on the morals and values of the doctors prescribing it, as well as the education of the patients taking it.
Could it be that having the prescribing mentality that someone who has abused and self-medicated for a multitude of years is now going to actually “take only as directed” because they are in ‘recovery program’; is just as ludicrous as the patient believing that taking a ‘pill’ is all they need to do, in order to stop taking pills?
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the success stories I have seen, have been at locations where the doctors had extensive monitoring, enforceable rules, just consequences; and combined those with both counseling and physical/nutritional help. This being directly compared to the non-existent success rates of those ‘recovery centers’ that had little to no tapering, little to no consequences, with patients nodding out in the ‘meeting room’, yet were allowed to drive off with their umpteenth scrip of 4 a day … after their cash payment of course.
I personally don’t think the problem is with the drug Suboxone itself … I think the problem resides in something much deeper. I believe it hides in the lack of accountability, education, morals, and values of those directly involved in the recovery process. Impacting everyone from prescribers, to judges, to the person who is actually taking the prescription. Sadly I fear that we as a society are doomed to continue to repeat this downhill spiral until we collectively stop allowing ourselves to be ‘over medicated, and under educated’ about these issues!
So here is the question of the day ~ How many numbers did you have (or do you still have) on your phone that were either direct or indirect contacts that could help you get drugs?
Now, how many numbers do you have in your phone that is a direct contact or indirect contact that can help keep you in recovery?
WHY are those numbers not at least the same?! The day you want to stay clean, with the same verbosity that you wanted to stay high ... you will not fail!
Look at it like this ~ I want you to picture yourself on the top of an 8' phone pole ... it can be a brown one or a green one. Then I want you to put out your arms and start leaning back like you were going to do the 'nestea' plunge!
Now, before you fall back to far I want you to mentally go through your list of 'friends', not just any kind of friend but those friends that would have your back no matter what. That if you called them right now, they would be on the way! I want you to line those 10 friends up behind you so they can catch you ... five on each side.
Ok, do you have those 10 friends? No, you say? Well then you should work on your recovery support group! Because once you have 10 really close friends the likely hood that you also have several other friends that could also help out. Work on finding those 10 and you will be right on point with your recovery support group!
I hope you enjoy the read!
Have a wonderful day!
I hope you enjoy the read!
Have a wonderful day!
I have been addressing this topic with many clients with shocking results, so I figured I'd put it on here to maybe reach a few others that were struggling with the same thing.
Lets take 'feelings' for a moment: sad, happy, angry, scared. First off feelings are fleeting, like you can be scared to death by a prank, and then laughing because it was funny a moment later. Feelings are NOT moods. Moods are feelings that have 'set in'. Like, sadness leads to depression.
Now, have you ever been scared? Have you ever been scared after watching a movie? How did you deal with the fear? How did you make it down into the basement to change the laundry? You RATIONALIZED your fear. You explained what you have been told since you were a child: "don't be afraid of the dark", "there's no such thing as monsters", "just close your eyes and count to 3", or whatever it was.
Ok. Understand that ALL feelings are the same way. You CAN rationalize ~ fear, sadness, anger, whatever! As feelings are NOT real! Can you reach in your pocket and give me some 'fear', or 'sadness'? No. Why? Because it's not real, its in your head!
It goes something like this: Feelings drive Thoughts, which drive Physical reactions (like increased heart rate, or goose bumps), and this eventually drives mood. Now understand you have FULL control over your thoughts. Don't believe me? Picture your favorite cartoon character ... it's THAT easy!
So if you are having 'bad' feelings, change your THINKING and that will change the rest. Much like waking up and feeling 'dread' because you have to go to work and then 'thinking' no by God, today is going to be a great day! That 'thought' will impact that loop!
You are NOT a slave to your feelings! The issue is, our parents only taught us how to deal with 'fear'. They never sat us down and said "ok when you are starting to get depressed do "THIS" or "when you start getting stressed out, do "THIS". All you have to do is LEARN how to deal with the other feelings, in the same way you do fear!
Who am I?
I have been called "Sirthinkalot" and "The mender of souls." I am an addiction specialist and a full-time psychology student on the way to Dr. Davis in clinical psychology. I am currently crusading for the expedited paradigm shift in addiction recovery!