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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2020 7:51 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
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Location: UK
Understanding Addiction

I post this abridged text pulled from the web, initially published by Harvard Health Publications, for three reasons

First, to demonstrate that whatever stage or degree that sex addicts are in then without a conscious and determined decision to change then the direction of travel is and can only be downwards

Second, that this said “I had no choice, that is the nature of addiction” way of thinking is simply a well worn feeble excuse, We all have always had choice and our paths prove that we chose negatively

Third, to know your enemy, and believe me sex addiction is is only a friend to those that exploit and profit from we addicts, we are our own enemy

Quote:
Addiction involves craving for something intensely, loss of control over its use, and continuing involvement with it despite adverse consequences.
Addiction changes the brain, first by subverting the way it registers pleasure and then by corrupting other normal drives such as learning and motivation.
Although breaking an addiction is tough, it can be done.


What causes addiction?
The word “addiction” is derived from a Latin term for “enslaved by” or “bound to.” Anyone who has struggled to overcome an addiction—or has tried to help someone else to do so—understands why.

Addiction exerts a long and powerful influence on the brain that manifests in three distinct ways:
craving for the object of addiction,
loss of control over its use,
and continuing involvement with it despite adverse consequences.

Today we recognize that addiction changes both brain structure and function hijacking the brain. This happens as the brain goes through a series of changes, beginning with recognition of pleasure and ending with a drive toward compulsive behaviour.
The brain registers pleasures as a distinct signature releasing dopamine into nerve cells in the brain

The likelihood that the use of sex or participation in a rewarding activity will lead to addiction is directly linked to the speed with which it promotes dopamine release, the intensity of that release, and the reliability of that release.
Addictive sex provides a shortcut to the brain’s reward system by flooding the brain with dopamine, creating a conditioned response to certain stimuli.

Previously it was believed that the experience of pleasure alone was enough to prompt people to continue seeking an addictive activity. But now it is accepted that dopamine not only contributes to the experience of pleasure, but also plays a role in learning and memory—two key elements in the transition from liking something to becoming addicted to it.

The current theory about addiction, is that dopamine interacts with another neurotransmitter, glutamate, to take over the brain’s system of reward-related learning

Addictive behaviours stimulate the same circuit—and then overload it.

Repeated exposure to an addictive behaviour causes nerve cells in the brain involved in planning and executing tasks, to communicate in a way that couples liking something with wanting it, in turn driving us to go after it. That is, this process motivates us to take action to seek out the source of pleasure.

Over time, the brain adapts in a way that actually makes the sought-after activity less pleasurable., dopamine having less impact on the brain’s reward centre.
People who develop an addiction typically find that, in time, the desired substance no longer gives them as much pleasure. They have to take more of it to obtain the same dopamine “high” because their brains have adapted.

At this point, compulsion takes over. The pleasure associated with an addictive behaviour subsides—and yet the memory of the desired effect and the need to recreate it (the wanting) persists.

Recovery is possible
It is not enough to “just say no Understand that your problems usually are transient, and perhaps most importantly, acknowledge that life is not always supposed to be pleasurable



I do hope that understanding will stimulate efforts to recover
after all at least we know now what we we have always known but is easy to deny

WE DO HAVE CHOICE

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:12 am
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It seems to me that the three points you make are directly opposite to what the long quotation is saying. Was that intentional? I'm confused.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 3:51 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 243
rm959229 wrote:
It seems to me that the three points you make are directly opposite to what the long quotation is saying. Was that intentional? I'm confused.


To quote the last line of the text
Quote:
Recovery is possible
It is not enough to “just say no Understand that your problems usually are transient, and perhaps most importantly, acknowledge that life is not always supposed to be pleasurable

I think this part sums up Kenzo's thoughts.

Here is a great YouTube video of the way the brain changes and can be changed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BHAREf ... ex=1&t=13s

_________________
“Change your thoughts, change your life.” ~Lao Tzu
Regards
T


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 2:00 pm 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3975
Location: UK
Hi Rm

Quote:
I'm confused.

sorry about that so perhaps consider
Quote:
the three points you make are directly opposite to what the long quotation is saying.


That is so
just as degenerate is opposite to recovery

In fact I really only make one point
and that is as the scientists say that unabated addiction demands to be fed with ever increasing frequency and intensity,

however when we are advised and aware
Quote:
know your enemy

and we stop excusing ourselves,
Quote:
I had no choice, that is the nature of addiction” way of thinking is simply a well worn feeble excuse


then and only then can we guarantee (with un reserved total dedication and commitment) our recovery

hope that this helps

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:59 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 457
Hi Kenzo,

Thanks for your original post which is, as always, very thought provoking.

The two key takeaways from it for me, which are also brought out in the workshop, are:

Quote:
"...by flooding the brain with dopamine, creating a conditioned response to certain stimuli."

The compulsive nature of addiction revolves around the brain's continual search for a dopamine rush and will lead us to do things that we know we don't really want to or should not do but we do it anyway. This sense of helplessness will be familiar to all members here and it is easy to believe that we have no control over it. But of course the whole point of the workshop is that we do have a choice and we can stop it. We just need to understand why we have come to our addictive way of thinking and how it works in order that we can rewire back to how we used to think prior to this.

Quote:
"People who develop an addiction typically find that, in time, the desired substance no longer gives them as much pleasure. They have to take more of it to obtain the same dopamine “high” because their brains have adapted."

This part fascinated me in the workshop as it hadn't occurred to me before and I realised how true it was. Acting out at a basic level will initially give a rush but to repeat the process again will generate less of one. This means that more elements need to be added in order to intensify (or even just maintain)the level of rush (e.g. more danger, more risk, combining with other acts, etc) which shows that the act itself actually isn't what we want, it is the rush of dopamine from the anticipation of doing it that is what is appealing and addicts have to work hard to keep it up. That in itself shows that we are not actually addicted to what we thought we were - it is not the actual visit to the escort (say), it is the planning and anticipation of it that gives us the rush. Moving from "thinking about it" to "I am actually going to do it" makes it more real and intensifies the feeling as outlined above. Grasping that point and understanding it fully was a real turning point for me.

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


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