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Author Topic: Are we really all addicts? One therapist thinks so  (Read 3332 times)

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Are we really all addicts? One therapist thinks so
« on: September 01, 2015, 06:54:11 PM »

Are we really all addicts? One therapist thinks so

An American therapist has said that we are all addicted to something be it drugs, shopping or technology and these addictions can be controlled if we choose to, but how does this help the heroin addict

Gwyneth Paltrow's weekly lifestyle publication, Goop, features an article on addiction

Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s weekly lifestyle publication, attracted a great deal of attention recently when she asked Dr. Carder Stout, a Los Angeles based therapist, to write about addiction. Dr. Stout believes that addiction 'is a universal presence’. All of us, he says, are addicts.

This came as quite a surprise to me. According to the DSM, the psychiatrist’s diagnostic manual, addiction falls into two categories, substance-related disorders and behavioural addictions.

The only behavioural addiction listed in the manual currently is gambling disorder - as it has been decided that there is still as yet insufficient evidence to establish diagnostic criteria for other behaviours such as exercise, shopping, or checking our phones to officially call these addictions.

Thus we are left with substance-related disorders--to alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and various drugs such as heroin and cannabis.

The diagnosis is given when an individual is unable to control their need to use the substance despite knowing the risks it poses, and when they spend most of their time trying to obtain, use, and recover from it, to the detriment of friends, jobs, and self-care.

The substances listed in the DSM are all 'addictive’ in that they directly activate the reward pathways in the brain—in other words, their chemical makeup triggers the dependency. In addition, research suggests that individuals with poor impulse control may be more susceptible to addiction.

Fixed-odds betting terminals have been dubbed by campaigners the "crack cocaine" of gambling Photo: Alamy  Photo: Alamy
Contrast this to Dr. Stout’s definition: 'addiction is simply energy that flows through the body and lodges itself in the mind. Initially, it saturates the body with a sense of longing and fills the mind with invasive and obsessive thoughts.

These repetitive thoughts will not cease until some sort of compulsive act has been committed.’ This is a fairly accurate definition of OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder, where behaviour is aimed at relieving anxiety rather than obtaining pleasure. But it’s not the psychiatric definition of addiction.

In addition to food, exercise, and shopping, Dr. Stout includes addictions to sarcasm, exaggeration, misery, anger and technology. Some of these are better described as obsessive compulsive disorders, some simply as habits that, if we choose to, we can control.

We've become addicted to the drug of news

By defining addiction in this way, it’s possible to conclude that we’re all addicts.

But what is the aim creating a category that includes everyone?

Is a mobile phone an addiction?

Most distressing to me, however, is Dr. Stout’s recommendation for dealing with addiction. He urges us to 'Acknowledge its existence and offer your friendship’. Addiction, he adds, 'should be embraced as one of our many qualities.’ I cannot see how this advice can help someone helplessly addicted to heroin or cocaine.

I don’t believe we are all addicts. We all repeat certain behaviours. Some of us wrestle with OCD. Mercifully, only a few suffer from true addiction. If we’re careful and precise with our definitions, we can match each disorder to its most effective treatment, and as such, we’re in the best position to help sufferers.
I do not condone or support any illegal activities. All information is for theoretical discussion and wonder.
All activities discussed are considered fictional and hypothetical. Information of all discussion has been derived from online research and in the spirit of personal Freedom.

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Re: Are we really all addicts? One therapist thinks so
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2015, 07:22:48 PM »
This is what I was saying earlier last night (this morning? - OMG what happened to yesterday??) - that chemical addiction is simply another color of an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Except it's just a little bit different than, say, checking to see if you turned off the lights 1,000 times in a day or washing your hands constantly.
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Re: Are we really all addicts? One therapist thinks so
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2015, 10:48:36 PM »
I'm not an addict but
I play one on tv

Me hero had an addiction specialist
Tell him he isn't one
(Yea right they don't live with him)

Are we all not addicted
To air and food
So yea I guess  You need something
To live
You are a addict
We are all curious about
The things
That may harm us

-Federico Garcia Lorca

Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity!
- BulletTooth Tony


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