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  1. #1
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    Staring at the point of no return...

    This is my complete opinion and many may disagree with it. Having never had any of the following conditions myself I am curious to understand why people put themselves through such hell.

    I believe with conditions such as aneorexia, bulimia, alcoholism, drugs/substence misuse, sex addiction, there must be a point where you can sanely look at yourself in the mirror or think to yourself at some point, somethings wrong here.

    Because of this opinion, I find it very hard to sympathise with people in this state of mind...(Perhaps this comes from having a father with drug addictions and a step-father with alcohol addictions - Good one mum - and also working in a social work dept for the last year...)...I don't believe in "addictive personalities"... Each and every single one of us make our own choices on a daily basis...at what point do you turn around and say to yourself, "Yes, I think I will eat my lunch and then I shall throw it up in the ladies shortly after...Uh huh, that sounds like a good idea..." - "Yes, I think I will finish the rest of my bottle of vodka then jump in the car and drive 30 miles...Yeah that sounds like great fun..!"

    I feel that I am a person very in control of my state of mind, and I am able to analyse where I am with everything and how I feel about myself, this enables me to stay in control.

    So is it just a case of people losing control over their state of mind and giving up, do they not have the ability to understand their own minds to begin with or do they do it to themselves on purpose?

    This also leads me on to the claim that those who are raised by alcoholics (etc) are more likely to be one themselves, this is a rediculious idea, and every inch of common sense tells me its BS...why on earth after being raised that way would you decide to follow the same path?

    However, this is opinion, I don't know how the brain works, maybe it's not just a clear cut choice of "Will I?", "Won't I?"

    Thoughts??

  2. #2
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    Re: Staring at the point of no return...

    Quote Originally Posted by IceWarm View Post
    I believe with conditions such as aneorexia, bulimia, alcoholism, drugs/substence misuse, sex addiction, there must be a point where you can sanely look at yourself in the mirror or think to yourself at some point, somethings wrong here.
    Of course. That happens all of the time. If it didn't, there would be no such thing as ex-addicts or alcoholics who no longer drink (alcoholism is a condition and even if you don't drink, you are still and alcoholic).


    Quote Originally Posted by IceWarm View Post
    So is it just a case of people losing control over their state of mind and giving up, do they not have the ability to understand their own minds to begin with or do they do it to themselves on purpose?
    Hint - they are addicts.


    Quote Originally Posted by IceWarm View Post
    I don't believe in "addictive personalities"... Each and every single one of us make our own choices on a daily basis...at what point do you turn around and say to yourself, "Yes, I think I will eat my lunch and then I shall throw it up in the ladies shortly after...Uh huh, that sounds like a good idea..." - "Yes, I think I will finish the rest of my bottle of vodka then jump in the car and drive 30 miles...Yeah that sounds like great fun..!"
    That's just it. Many addicts realize that they are making very poor choices but the addiction is stronger than their common sense (and of course many times addicts are in denial and think they're making alright choices when they are not). If you can control all of your choices, then you basically are not an addict. You seem to arguing that there's no such thing as addiction. That is incorrect.



    Quote Originally Posted by IceWarm View Post
    This also leads me on to the claim that those who are raised by alcoholics (etc) are more likely to be one themselves, this is a rediculious idea, and every inch of common sense tells me its BS...why on earth after being raised that way would you decide to follow the same path?
    You don't decide. As far as I know, the reason alcoholics parents tend to have alcoholic children is because they pass on the genetic predisposition towards alcoholism.

    So while a "normal" person can have a drink or even get drunk now and then but not get locked into an addictive cycle, someone with the predisposition towards alcoholism is much more likely to not be able to stop drinking.

    And likewise there are people with "addictive personalities". I'm not one of those people but I know someone who apparently has a lot of pain from his upbringing and seems to drink to dull the pain (although he's quit recently because he realized he's going to die if he keeps drinking and since he's not a genetic alcoholic he was able to just decide to quit).

    Now, I have neither a genetic predisposition or an addictive personality and while I partied some in my younger days and occasionally suffered from drinking more than I ought to, nowadays I have a beer once in a while and getting drunk is a rarity.

    But I'm in no position to judge those who do have the genetic predisposition or addictive personality. I'm not going to dump on my friend and say I could handle what he couldn't without drinking a lot because I'm not him. How can I judge how well I could handle the trauma that he went through when I didn't go through it? Likewise how can I confidently say that my earlier days of drinking would not have resulted in full-blown alcoholism if I had a genetic predisposition to alcoholism when I don't have that predisposition?

    I don't see how you can judge how someone handles their situation without you likewise being in that situation. So really, you ought to have sympathy for someone who has a bad problem. If you think "well, I'd handle it differently", unless you've experienced what they've experienced (and/or have the same genetic predispositions), you probably don't know what you're talking about.

  3. #3
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    Re: Staring at the point of no return...

    Quote Originally Posted by IceWarm View Post
    I believe with conditions such as aneorexia, bulimia, alcoholism, drugs/substence misuse, sex addiction, there must be a point where you can sanely look at yourself in the mirror or think to yourself at some point, somethings wrong here.
    In most accounts of addiction, there is in fact a time when most people realize that there's a big problem. Unfortunately, it's usually not until after they've established such a psychological dependency upon whatever it is they're doing that the prospect of change is more dreadful than the prospect of continuing. It's the whole "better the devil you know" thing, in some ways.

    Also, the conditions you listed aren't always traced back to the same root pathology. For example, bulimia and anorexia seem on the surface to be very similar diseases - the person is terrified of being overweight, so they either starve themselves, binge-and-purge, or exercise themselves into oblivion. But there are very specific differences between the diseases.

    Anorexia is a disorder of self-perception and results from an intense need to control one's body and, by extension, gain some degree of control in a life where they often feel they have none. In some cases, it's even a form of self-punishment for perceived flaws. People with anorexia tend to be obsessive perfectionists and have an intense need for control in their lives. People with anorexia also tend to have a grossly distorted body image and perceive themselves as fat even when they have become underweight enough to have stopped menstruation (which is actually one of the diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa in women). It is *not* because of an "addictive" personality, and at no time does a truly "sick" anorexic ever really realize that they're wrong about what they're doing. It's almost a psychosis in some cases.

    Bulimia, on the other hand, is a disorder of impulse control. The bulimic knows what they are doing is unhealthy, and yet they feel powerless to stop themselves from overeating. So, in order to counteract the inevitable consequences of that failure of self-control, they do the only "logical" thing: they "undo" the eating by purging (vomiting or laxatives) or by obsessive exercise. Often, the overeating is a coping mechanism for some unacceptable situation in their lives that they can't change or some past traumatic event. The gratification of food helps a bulimic numb the pain or otherwise cope with their situation in the absence of healthier coping mechanisms. Bulimics know that they shouldn't do what they do, but they often feel powerless to stop it because of the other psychological pressures on them that caused the problem in the first place.

    So, as you can see, just two of the disorders on your list which you sort of grouped together blithely as some sort of generic character defect are actually complex and dangerous conditions that arise from deeply rooted psychological problems. They're not just some random thing that a person could just quit doing if they were "strong enough." They are really sicknesses, and without proper psychological and medical treatment, they can be fatal.

    Quote Originally Posted by IceWarm
    I don't believe in "addictive personalities"... Each and every single one of us make our own choices on a daily basis.
    Yes... we are responsible for our own choices, and yes - sometimes, the choices we make are ill-advised. The problem is that with some drugs, including alcohol, addiction sets in quite unexpectedly or insidiously. People don't randomly decide to become addicted to a substance. It comes from either a physical dependence, as with opiates and alcohol or cocaine, or a psychological dependence because the drugs are a sign of some other psychological problem for which drugs are a coping mechanism. People that are well and truly addicted to alcohol *can't* quit as blithely as you seem to suggest, and they don't make their choices to drink as blithely as that, either.

    Delirium Tremens - the set of symptoms that occurs when a long-term alcoholic quits drinking "cold turkey" - can actually be fatal if untreated, and it is described by many recovering addicts as the closest thing to Hell they can imagine. Opiate withdrawal is the same way, and sometimes that's just coming off of pain medicine that was legitimately prescribed for a patient after major surgeries. I've seen people that were previously upstanding, good members of the community reduced to "doctor shopping" and stealing from their loved ones just to get the opiate fix they need, because their pain threshold has decreased so much and their dependence has grown to such proportions that they can't function without the pills. I've known good men who are relatively "high-functioning" alcoholics try to quit and have symptoms that resembled a stroke. It's quite scary. If you'd known people that had these things happen and you understood the physiological and psychological situations that lead to the problem in the first place, perhaps you'd have a bit more sympathy. As such, I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that your opinion has been formed in ignorance rather than a simple callous disregard of human suffering.


    Quote Originally Posted by IceWarm
    I feel that I am a person very in control of my state of mind, and I am able to analyse where I am with everything and how I feel about myself, this enables me to stay in control.
    This is often one of the primary factors that is lacking in a person with some of the problems you mentioned, and it's not always their fault that they do not have that ability.


    Quote Originally Posted by IceWarm
    This also leads me on to the claim that those who are raised by alcoholics (etc) are more likely to be one themselves, this is a rediculious idea, and every inch of common sense tells me its BS...why on earth after being raised that way would you decide to follow the same path?
    First of all, alcoholism has a genetic component, so some of it's not really the fault of the person who gets addicted. Second, depending on "what kind" of alcoholic the parent was, the adult child of an alcoholic can have some pretty deep psychological scars for which they have never learned any sort of coping mechanism except seeing their parent drink. "Every inch of common sense" you have is totally wrong in this case, because people don't just randomly choose to be alcoholics. Nobody goes home one day and decides, "I think I'll ruin my life now! That sounds like fun." It's a process that starts with some sort of psychological dysfunction that goes unaddressed and untreated until it causes ever-larger problems. Over time, it grows out of control and becomes a full-blown addiction or some other maladaptive behavior.

    Of course, you *do* have the people that were lucky enough to have positive influences in their lives or were able to decide at some point that what their parent was doing wasn't right. These people often have extreme reactions the *other* way and won't ever touch a drop of alcohol in their lives, or they will have some sort of obsession with control or emotional detachment as a defense mechanism.

    While I believe that every person is ultimately responsible for their own choices in life and must make the decision to recover if they have one of these diseases, I also believe that in order to be able to make that choice, a person has to have the right positive factors in place. Otherwise, there is never a chance for them to step back from their situation and see that there's another way to live.

    I hope this sheds some light on the subject.

  4. #4
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    Re: Staring at the point of no return...

    Quote Originally Posted by IceWarm View Post
    I believe with conditions such as aneorexia, bulimia, alcoholism, drugs/substence misuse, sex addiction, there must be a point where you can sanely look at yourself in the mirror or think to yourself at some point, somethings wrong here.
    what if you know you have one of these conditions, know the consequences and don't think it is wrong? you seem to assume such a revelation would result in a negative opinion of the condition.
    Someone who is naturally shy might go to the pub every night and consciously decide it is worth the money and harm he is doing to his body to be able to socialise like he can when he has had a few.
    a drug addict might hold down a job without any problem and decide he will spend his hard earned money on drugs happy to live with the consequences.
    Why cant two sex addicts live happily ever after?


    So is it just a case of people losing control over their state of mind and giving up, do they not have the ability to understand their own minds to begin with or do they do it to themselves on purpose?
    giving up and choosing to live a certain way could be seen as the same thing in some cases. Often its trying to fit into society's mould that they give up.


    This also leads me on to the claim that those who are raised by alcoholics (etc) are more likely to be one themselves, this is a rediculious idea, and every inch of common sense tells me its BS...why on earth after being raised that way would you decide to follow the same path?
    What if a parent was not an aggressive drunk? A child might grow up never seeing the really negative effect of alcohol. Some people happily drink their entire life's and die in a car accident their mental health never having suffered.

    We seam to label anything that could be harmful as harmful. I think it should be up to the educated individual (they should always know the possible risks). Any thing in excess is harmful but because everybody it different everybody has to find their own limits and by doing so some will go beyond their limits.
    I once worked with a heroin junkie. Even though he was hard to get along with he was one of the best tradesman I have ever worked with. Because he was so skilled he was paid well which allowed him to support his habit without turning to crime. Why should nt he be able to choose to cut his life expectancy in half? if it doesn't negatively effect anyone else and he thinks his habit is worth it, who are we to dictate to him?
    I think there is a fine line between addiction and repetitively doing something you enjoy. Why don't we look at fat people with the same scorn that we look at drug addicts with? because drug addicts break the law? we all know the most socially harmful drug is alcohol, the most addictive drug is nicotine and prescription drugs kill more people each year than elicit drugs...
    (based on Australian statistic)
    To be wise you must first understand you will always be ignorant.

 

 

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