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OCD AND ADDICTION

“Taken from “BRAIN LOCK” by Jeffery Schwartz, M.D

“OCD, which is an intrusive thought or urge to do a troublesome “obsessive compulsive behavior”.

In the book brain lock they ask the OCD person to learn 4 steps.

Relabel – Train yourself to identify what is real and what is not and refuse to allow yourself to be misled, by any intrusive thoughts or urges.

Reattribute – You understand that those thoughts and urges are really just mental noise, false signals being sent to your brain

Refocus – Learn to respond to those false signals and urges in a new and more constructive way, working around the false signals by refocusing your attention in a more constructive behavior the best you can at that moment.

Revalue – You have now learned a significant lesson, the desire to act on unwanted thoughts and urges will now have little or no value as a result the obsessions and compulsions will have less impact on you. As you do and this is the hardest part, you will begin to change the way your brain works, by changing your brains chemistry.

Since addiction works in the same way it is my belief that this equation should work for the addict as well. I.e Drugs, porn, alcohol etc.

Addiction hijacks the brain

Published: July, 2011 Harvard University health

“Desire initiates the process, but learning sustains it.

The brain’s reward center

 

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. While overcoming addiction is possible, the process is often long, slow, and complicated. It took years for researchers and policymakers to arrive at this understanding.

Addictive drugs provide a shortcut to the brain’s reward system by flooding the nucleus accumbens with dopamine. The hippocampus lays down memories of this rapid sense of satisfaction, and the amygdala creates a conditioned response to certain stimuli.”

It is my theory that using the formula listed above we can teach and retrain the addict the same way we would someone who has OCD. Accept what you cannot change, you are an addict, but you can change the way you respond to your addiction(s). Your body is responding to the signals your brain is sending, “We need this (whatever your addiction is) your behavior has become a habit, (Habit’s become an actual path in the brain, it’s the things you do over and over on a routine basis), Addiction is something you also do every day, which causes your body to become dependent on. Together they become a behavior that is difficult but not impossible to change.

But it takes work and determination along with a deep desire you change. It takes you being willing to step outside of your addiction and look at how you react to the urges and desires of your brain’s signals. Tell yourself that is just my addiction talking, I don’t have to answer to it.

You can do this – you can beat it it’s been 30+ years and my desire for cigarettes, alcohol etc. Whatever your addiction is……Re-Label, re-attribute, re-focus – re -value.

 

 

 

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