Addictions are lurking everywhere.
Many of us do things to excess, or lose control, wishing we could end our addictions. Often looking backwards after the event, we reflect and wonder why we did what we did. It often doesn’t make sense.
What happened? Why can’t we just get a grip of ourselves and say no?
We all know how many people in the UK smoke, although thankfully the trend is down. Spending tens of thousands of pounds on a habit, that is pretty much guaranteed to shorten you life and harm your health. Why can’t we easily end our addictions to cigarettes?
We know how alcohol plays a pivotal role in social enjoyment here in the UK. An odd tipple here and there is fine. However its all too evident in modern society, the existence of the wide spread culture of binge drinking. Something which is now experienced across many different age groups and social economic backgrounds.
Addictions are not just limited they spread to every type of pleasurable behaviour. Here are some examples of the things I’ve helped my clients beat.
- Gambling including spread betting
- Excessive shopping
- Recreational drugs
- Prescription drugs or painkillers
- Internet surfing such as Facebook
- Chat rooms
- Sex addiction
Such activities or substances produce such a high, that they appear to give life more meaning, to the individual involved in seeking them. Removal of these activities or substances, leads to dissatisfaction and a life that doesn’t appear to be as worthwhile anymore.
Why is that some addictions are hard to beat?
Primarily we are simple beings, that are programmed to move towards things that bring us pleasure, and away from things that cause us pain. This is the simple formulae that improves our chances for survival.
There is something going on in the brain that causes us to move towards pleasure, that something is a chemical reward system, that goes round in a cycle. Problem is, we keep needing more of the thing that pleasures us to get the same reward.
Dopamine is a natural brain chemical, that raises our levels of excitement and drives or motivates us to do things.
Dopamine helps us find the pleasure source, by making us more aware of what’s going on in our environment.
Someone with an alcohol addiction, could be far more aware of the sounds of the ice cubes chinking in the glass, as whisky is poured over them, from the furtherest part of the room. Or could hear the popping of a cork from a different room.
Take the person who has issues with drugs. They will know exactly where to look for their next hit from, regardless of where they are in the world and what the local laws are.
Dopamine promises us excitement and reward, but once we have had our hit of sex, drugs or whatever, then these feelings subside, and other brain chemicals such as endorphins are released which make us feel temporarily satisfied.
Dopamine and endorphin work together to aid the survival of the species, and stretch each one of us to learn and achieve. Without dopamine we wouldn’t have visited the moon.
In a well-balanced life, a reasonable amount of natural satisfaction and reward is achieved every day.
But in a life where emotional needs aren’t being fully met, and abilities are not stretched, that reward does not come.
This leads to a empty life without meaning which makes one an open target for developing addictive behaviours.
Addictions can be beaten
This isn’t just dependent on finding the support of recovery group whereby in some cases you have to consider yourself an ‘addict’ for the rest of your life. I’m not saying these groups aren’t helpful. They can be. But I’ve worked with clients to help them moderate their drinking, so yes I believe that moderation is possible with alcohol.
I work with clients who have a wide range of addictions and compulsive behaviours. This work isn’t always easy. Thankfully I have a whole tool box of techniques and strategies to help my clients address their emotional needs and get them back on the right path to recovery.
If you want to read more about addictions, for whatever reason then there are lots of useful articles posted on this website, as well as recommended books.
So if you want to visit a London Hypnotherapist get in touch with me via my website or call me today on 07769 111711
By Sarah Jons