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Is it all mental?

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by Tsky45, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    I recently watched a video about pornography addiction and learned about the effects it has on the brain. When a person is constantly searching for porn on the internet it overloads the dopamine receptors in your brain. The people who were doing the research on this video discovered that the same activity that goes on in a porn addicts brain, is similar to what goes on in the brain of a drug addict. Knowing that addictions come from activity that effect the way our mind functions, so be a start in figuring out how to cure addictions starting with the mind. What do you think?
  2. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    Well, yeah maybe the mind can keep an addiciton form starting, but if it is a drugor alcohol addiction for instance, and to a lesser extent a food addiciton... or caffeine addiciton...your body starts needing and craving the substance. I think it might be pretty hard to cure that with just your mind.
  3. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    I think that with "will power" addiction can be suppressed, since it all starts in the mind. However, I think that to get there you have to practice a lot of self-control and discipline and really fight the urge to give in to your addiction. I think not being idle and keeping yourself busy at all times will help an addict fight their addictions.
  4. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    With substance addictions I think it can take more than willpower because there are chemicals involved. Once you are physically dependent on the substance even if force yourself not to use a drug you might find yourself compelled to just so you can avoid having to deal with the withdrawal.

    Willpower can suppress some addictions but not all of them. For some you'd need to taper off . . .
  5. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    @Rainman, If that's the case, then that's where the professionals step in right? I think if will power isn't enough then that's where doctors and rehab centers come into play.
  6. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Well, yes, sometimes, it's just all in the mind. However, since it's a mental one, it's really going to be hard for a person to beat it. That's why struggling/recovering addicts mostly need emotional, and spiritual support from other people to help them be motivated.
  7. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Yep. Take a look at this:

    http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction
    Drug addiction is a complex illness characterized by intense and, at times, uncontrollable drug craving, along with compulsive drug seeking and use that persist even in the face of devastating consequences . . .

    . . . because drug abuse and addiction have so many dimensions and disrupt so many aspects of an individual's life, treatment is not simple. Effective treatment programs typically incorporate many components, each directed to a particular aspect of the illness and its consequences.


    Willpower can help you resist cravings but what of the other things the other issues which must be addressed? Addiction "disrupts many aspects of a person's life. For some addicts only the help of professionals can help them deal with all that.
    serenity likes this.
  8. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    Well, let me tell you that I was never addicted to pornography, but at some stage of my life (and being unable to have a real-life relationship) I turned into avid reader of porn magazines as a way to have a supposed approach to sexual life and being ready for the time a real sex opportunity would knock at my door.

    My parents always disliked the idea of me having friends since childhood, much less a sweetheart in my teen years, hence why my real-life relationships started late in life.

    However the reading and explicit photos on those magazines (there was not Internet yet) contributed to something; have a distorted conception of what a real relationship is, and this cannot only be a deviation in someone's life but a big mental health problem if the individual doesn't identify the adverse effects that pornography may produce in someone's mind.

    Fortunately I was not addicted to porn, and therefore the distorted mental patterns it produces did not affect my life.
  9. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    I think it's easy to generalise and say that all addictions are this or that, as a lot depends on the individual.

    While I'm sure that a lot of addictions are in the mind, a lot of the time it will be a combination of mental and physical addiction that people struggle with.
  10. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I agree with Pwarbi above - I think most addictions have both a physical and a mental component. I'm sure the proportion of physical and mental components differ from individual to individual and may also be different for certain substances.
  11. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    Yep, it all traces back to the brain. The mind controls the body and it's as simple as that, both of them are part of the same system and you cannot affect one without affecting the other. Dopamine and serotonin are the two main brain chemicals responsible for feeling happy and high. Long-term heavy substance abuse usually leads to depletion. The production of these two chemicals can also be controlled in other ways.
  12. Dwayneu

    Dwayneu Community Champion

    Pretty much, I think that at the core of every addiction lies those dopamine problems. Some people are also naturally prone to their dopamine receptors being more vulnerable and so on, it's a very interesting topic, but always keep in mind that what you know as "yourself" can all be summed up as a bunch of chemical reactions in the brain.
  13. djolem

    djolem Senior Contributor

    Evrey single thing we do or don't is because of our brains. Literally everything. The need for alcohol, the hunger for drugs. The pain you feel when you are in recovery even though is physical it is in our heads. I think this question here is superfluous. I have quite strong self control and that means i can control my self using my brain. I am able to abstain from almost anything. I said almost because recently i had some mental issues made by constant and intensive stress. Yet again, i managed to fight back and i am wining. I have no idea how it works but i had had problems with drinking and realized at one point i can control it. I feel the need but i refuse to let go. It is not an easy thing to do but it is not the hardest too.
  14. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    With most types of addictions I've faced, knowing what effects it has on the mind helped me. Some people may think it's more physical than anything else, but studies have shown the bran is effected a great deal. You would have to detox and take care of your health of course, but overtime your mind will readjust to living with out drugs/alcohol ect. Staying busy is definitely a way to help your mind adjust to being sober.
  15. HalfBeard

    HalfBeard Active Contributor

    While we can train the way we think and act, much of our behavior and habits are due to genetics. For example, most drug addicts, alcoholics, and shopaholics and gamblers have an "addiction gene." This was passed down from a family member. The addiction, though, does not have to be the same. For example, an alcoholic father may have a son who is an excessive gambler.
  16. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    Epigenetics - our environment, circumstances, surroundings and beliefs all have an influence on our DNA/genetics and vice versa, just as our conscious and subconscious minds constantly interact and influence each other, although technically they are not two separate systems - they are one and the same. It's also akin to neuroplasticity and how the brain can change depending on our experience. Additionally, studies into mindfulness meditation have shown how meditation can be used to successfully activate certain genes. Nothing is completely influenced by genetics or completely influenced by circumstances, it's a combination of both because they are always influencing each other.
  17. HalfBeard

    HalfBeard Active Contributor

    Very true, though many people
    often misunderstand or overlook the role of genetics, which can be dangerous.
  18. oraclemay

    oraclemay Community Champion

    There are many factors which can be taken into account with any addiction, but the truth is that in most instances the addict is not able to overcome their addiction on their own. They need help and counseling. All addicts have far reaching affects on the addict and those around them. Pornography has been proven to be a major cause of divorce.
  19. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I would agree that it could depends on various factors like personality and kind of addiction. If it involves substances, it is not only all mental because the body get used to the substance that the person might need medication or other approaches in order to get rid of the addiction.
  20. deewanna

    deewanna Senior Contributor

    I was once addicted to pornorgraphy too. The thing about pornography is that you keep searching for more. You don't get satisfied with what you got the last time and you will always want more. At the end of the day you might not be satisfied anymore and you end up getting tired of watching it. I don't think addiction to pornography should be likened with addiction to drugs.