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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:55 am    Post subject: Addiction Reply with quote

Another cheery topic in the Close Very Happy

I'm not sure how to broach this topic. It is relevant to me, but I think it could be a bit of a difficult one to discuss.

Why are we so prone to addiction? Well, maybe some of us aren't, but I know without a doubt in my mind that I am. Alcohol, shopping, drugs, gaming, sex... When does it become more than a habit, more than an obsession, and less enjoyable? I suppose that the definition of addiction is when something becomes less voluntary, and more compulsory, and interferes with your daily life.

Once you've had an addiction, it can consume the rest of your life. Even if you can "cure" yourself of it, it stays with you for ever. If it doesn't, then you are a unique human being.

I am interested in your thoughts, you obsessive (not addicted) sci-fi/fantasy fans Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just saw an interesting episode of Brain Games about that. So now I am an expert! Razz

But, really, the gist was, our brain is designed to reward us for doing certain things, and that this is a good thing, except in the modern world, sometimes it rewards us for the wrong things, and sometimes (a lot, really) our brains get gamed by people out to make a buck.

And then this morning I heard some new news from people who want addiction to be considered something that has different degrees, not a yes or no thing.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, addictions.
I remember a year when I had just moved to a new city and working at a call center, and whenever I would get off for the day, I would feel a familiar thrill:
When I got home, I would be able to log on to this one computer game and play.
I could not wait for my "hit."

One day, in a conversation in the break room, my supervisor insightful noted I had an addictive personality.
When I thought about that, I was like, "Huh, that's actually scary."
______

We are yearning and hungering for God, for loving, harmonious relationships with our friends and family, peace and safety, and a redeemed world.
We crave that, but this side of Heaven, pursuing that is so wretchedly painful and difficult.

God is good, but He makes promises like, "Everyone who leaves a house, mother or father, sisters, or brothers or children for my sake and for the sake of the good news will receive a hundred times that in houses, and brothers and sisters and mothers and lands, in this life (woo-hoo!) with persecutions (wait, what?).
Remember the joke where a guy is praying for help...?
After being told to take a particular risk before receiving what he asks for, he says the punchline:
"Is there anyone else up there I can talk to?"

But there isn't anyone up there who will contradict God, so we find stuff down here.
We can't touch and taste eternal life (except when we DO get a little taste of it).
We can't demand to see exactly what good will come if we "take God up on His offer."
And we can't command God to make us feel good when we really really want to.

But we can somewhat control the flow of "happy" and comfort and feeling good, though, with addictions.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha, yeah, I have an addictive personality. It runs in my family. This is why I can't ever play MMORPG's. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's all a matter of how they affect your life. If they have a negative impact on your job, finances, family, etc. you may want to get help.

And sometimes, you have to consider who you are around. My friend enjoys drinking beer because it's just enjoyable to have A beer or two. He does not care if he gets drunk or not, and will often choose not to. However, his wife at one point drunk only to get trashed. As a result (amongst other reasons) there is no beer at his house. If someone is addicted to something, even doing it "this one time, it's a special occasion!" could have consequences.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah the "special occasion" can set you off on the dark path again...

I seem to recall someone on the Watch saying that they went from high (possibly addictive) levels of alcohol consumption to being able to enjoy a drink in moderation occasionally. That sounds impressive, as they (ie. the people that "help" with addiction) normally advocate not touching the stuff for fear of a "relapse".

I don't believe I have an addiction, but I feel similar to Avatar, in that I could easily become addicted to, well almost anything really, if I wasn't careful. So I have to be careful. If I have a drink, I almost always feel like another one, and another one. I have trained myself to stop that urge by pausing and distracting myself for a period of time (probably about an hour). If I can hold off during that time, then the urge to have another drink disappears.

My experience with chatting to others about this (in a general sense) is that they don't feel any urge to continue any activity with the same compulsion. This could be what people describe as the "addictive personality" coming into play.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Must say drinking has never been an issue for me. Father was an alcoholic, so never had much attraction. I have either a glass of wine or a beer with dinner, and that's about it.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been listening to The Thirteenth Step by A Perfect Circle over the years. It's a bloody great album, and you should listen to it Very Happy

It deals with various aspects of addiction from different points of view. The opening track, The Package gives a good insight into the desperation of addiction from a drug addict's POV. It's so effective as a song IMO.

Listen to it - The Package - the desperation explodes at about the 4 minute mark.

Clever got me this far
Then tricky got me in
Eye on what i'm after
I don't need another friend
Smile and drop the cliche
'Till you think I'm listening
I take just what I came for
Then I'm out the door again

Peripheral on the package
Don't care to settle in
Time to feed the monster
I don't need another friend
Comfort is a mystery
Crawling out of my own skin
Just give me what I came for, then I'm out the door again

Lie to get what I came for
Lie to get just what I need
Lie to get what I crave
Lie and smile to get what's mine

Eye on what i'm after
I don't need another friend
Nod and watch your lips move
If you need me to pretend
Because clever got me this far
Then tricky got me in
I'll take just what I came for
Then I'm out the door again

Lie to get what I came for
Lie to get what I need now
Lie to get what I'm craving
Lie and smile to get what's mine

Give this to me
Mine, mine, mine
Take what's mine
Mine, mine, mine
Take what's mine
Mine, mine, mine

Lie to get what I came for
Lie to get what I need now
Lie to get what I'm craving
Lie to smile and get what's mine

Give this to me
Take what's mine
Mine, mine, mine
Take what's mine
Give this to me

Take what's mine, take what's mine, mine...
Take what's mine, take what's mine, take what's mine,
This is mine, mine, mine [whispered]

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, sounds like a junky to me... Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is, or isn't, there a difference between

(A) habituation,
(B) addiction,
and
(C) chemical dependency?

Or do B & C sorta or totally overlap, or something?

For let us suppose that you find out that jogging, singing, and, IDK, thinking about marmalade make you happy. You've been sorting through pastimes for years, and you've found that these "work." You get in the habit of doing them, and you get irritated when you don't have a chance to do them or focus on them.

You're definitely habituated to these things, and possibly addicted in some way, but surely not chemically dependent... are you?
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably not chemically dependent -- although if your habits of choice cause your body to release dopamine, then maybe. That's the neurotransmitter that makes a high feel so good. So depending on how you define "chemical"...
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@aliantha, this brings us to the heart of the matter. Although caffeine and methamphetamine are both stimulants, and both addictive, and both have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, in the latter case these involve excess influence on/damage to one's dopamine system. Indeed the effect of methamphetamine on this system is identified as the core reason for the drug's addiction profile, IIRC.

This points to a distinction between withdrawal and chemical dependency, and I've heard of people who had to use a certain drug or else their bodies would start to shut down unless they were only slowly weaned off the substance, but now then mere "addiction" would be morally neutral. To hazard oversimplification, even:

habituation = good
addiction = neutral
chemical dependency = evil

... or something...?

EDIT: A TED talk I watched once, on romantic love's similarity to drug use, came to mind just now...
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you can draw the distinction, certainly. Don't know if I'd necessarily apply the moral equivalency. And if I did, I'd probably shade addiction as lower than neutral, and I wouldn't go so far as to call dependency "evil." Maybe "bad."

And habituation isn't necessarily "good" either...maybe habituation can be neutral. Addiction "unfortunate" and dependency "bad." Or stupid. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, the equivalency doesn't really work... I just have this fantasy sometimes that we can make rational moral judgments if we pair up certain sets of three, with three specific canonical categories of moral judgment. Razz
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an addictive personality, as do most of my family. But to me there is a distinction between dependency and addiction. Right now I am dependent on a certain level of pain killers to function. I am aware, as are my doctors, that I have a tendency toward addiction, which to me is when you want some substance but don't need the substance for day to day function. I was the one to make the doctors aware, and will work to stop using them as soon as I am able. I also told them not to increase my dosage under any circumstance because that means I am building up a tolerance. You can say this about food (another of my addictions as well) I depend on a certain amount of food to function. But my body craves more and more of certain foods. This is addiction which I work on to keep under control.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mighara, I consider "evil" to be a religious/societal construct, so I don't know how to respond to your hierarchy.

We all do stuff out of habit, so no value judgment applies there. Addiction and chemical dependency -- yeah, no, I still wouldn't call them good or bad. It's too easy to step from labeling the action to labeling the person committing the action. Besides, chemical dependency is just someone's body chemistry interacting with a certain substance in a particular way. The result may not be desirable, but it's not demonic.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was attempting to think of habituation as somehow a species of or the genus for commitment to something, with addiction a "warped" variant on commitment with chemical dependency the most "warped" state. So instead of "evil," we could just say it was the most corrupting (if I'm addicted to X, I will make up excuses to pursue X at times--but if I'm chemically dependent on X, I won't make excuses from time to time but my life will be bent on rationalization for the sake of X--maybe (very maybe: maybe, instead, if I'm chemically dependent on X, I will be that much more liable to realize "I can't handle this" and thence "I need help"?)).
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think by the time people are chemically dependent, their rationalization skills are so ramped up that they're *less* likely to realize they need help. At least that's the cliche, right? The alcoholic has to hit rock-bottom, lying in the gutter after everyone he loves has left him, before he realizes he needs help?

(It's a very 1960s cliche, from back when nobody acknowledged that women could be alcoholics, too. Rolling Eyes )

Where would you fit someone who does X substance a lot but never becomes addicted/dependent? Some folks' genetic makeup make them seemingly immune to addiction.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there's a definitive link between motives to make excuses for use of things, and being addicted to those things, then are we supposing a genetic force that stops up the will to rationalization?
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mighara Sovmadhi wrote:
...rational moral judgements...


A contradiction in terms? Very Happy

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