Coping With Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms can be a difficult aspect of overcoming addiction, both for substance and behavioral addictions. With substance addictions, the physiological aspects of withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable, feeling like a bad flu, or can even be life-threatening. For this reason, it is a good idea to talk to a doctor about the best way and the best place to quit a substance.
Fortunately, most of the acute symptoms of withdrawal pass within a week or two of quitting. However, some people who quit an addiction find that certain withdrawal symptoms seem to go on and on. This is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome, and it can go on for weeks, months, or even years in some cases.
The risk of dying from an overdose is extremely high if you have been through withdrawal, as your tolerance of the drug will be much lower than it was before you quit. Make sure you have someone with you if you decide to use again.
In addition, addictions can sometimes mask underlying mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and even psychosis. If you are feeling blue or agitated, or you are concerned that the world or other people seem strange or upsetting since you quit, talk with your doctor. There are effective treatments for these problems that are much more effective than addictive substances and behaviors.
How Do You Become Addicted To Food
Current research and experiments looking at both animals and humans show that for some people, the same reward centers in the brain triggered by addictive drugs like heroin are also activated by food.
In particular, these brain centers may be activated by junk foods high in sugar, salt, and fat. Junk foods are described as highly palatable.
These highly palatable processed foods can trigger a flood of dopamine into the brain. Dopamine is a feel-good brain chemical. When someones reward response is triggered by the release of dopamine, the brain can then signal someone they need to continue eating those feel-good foods.
Reward signals stemming from certain foods can overpower the other signals sent by the brain, such as fullness. With food addiction, because of these factors in the brain, a person will continue eating despite no longer being hungry.
Food addiction can also be described as compulsive overeating, which is categorized as a behavioral addiction. Other behavioral addictions can including shopping and gambling.
What Is Sexual Addiction
Id say the biggest thing that most people dont understand about sexual addiction is that sex addiction isnt about sex. The way that I see it, sexual addiction is more about shame, isolation, adrenaline, and unworthiness than it is about chasing after sexual experiences.
Or, as one SAA member once so eloquently put it in a meeting that I attended, When I act out with sex workers, Im not thinking to myself Oh boy, this is going to be super fun!. But rather, Im thinking I have such a tornado of pain inside of myself that I either have to kill myself or compulsively act out to numb the pain.’
Compulsive sexual behaviour is what sex addicts use to numb out their emotions, just like alcoholics often use staying drunk to avoid feeling their underlying difficult emotions.
Sexual addiction, just like any drug addiction, can have a sliding scale of symptoms ranging in severity. For some people, sex addiction looks like chronic masturbation to porn, where they dont feel like they can function in society without climaxing at least seven times a day. For others, sex addiction could look like occasional flare ups of wanting to use or act out with sex workers only when theyre going through emotionally trying times .
Ive met hundreds of sex addicts and there is no singular unifying theme that connects all addicts at least not in terms of how they like to act out sexually.
If the behaviour has control over you, then it has likely become a problem in your life.
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Stop Keeping Foods Off Limits
One of the ways I treat binge eating with clients is by having them actually eat their binge foods. I encourage them to go to the grocery store, buy one binge food, or off limit food, and keep it in their house. If you decide to do this, remove the off limit label, stop calling the food bad and allow yourself unconditional permission to eat this food. You might find in the beginning that you overeat these foods, but overtime, keeping off limit foods in your house and allowing yourself to eat them whenever youd like, causes these foods to lose their alluring effect. If you can have them whenever, and wherever youd like, are they really that special anymore? The more you are exposed to your off-limit, binge foods, the less alluring they become, and the less likely you will be to binge eat those foods. But start slow, with one binge food at a time. Once youd mastered keeping one binge food in the house without overeating it or obsessing over it, repeat the process with a new binge food.
Do You Want A Life Without Addiction
We hope you have found this guide useful in your fight against addiction. The Life Process Program is a systematic, proven methodology for beating addiction. Whether you are battling an addiction to drugs, alcohol,food, porn, sex, or gambling, our program is a hands-on, practical guide to overcoming addiction of any kind. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction we can offer additional help and support through our online Life Process Program.
I originally developed the Life Process Program as a residential program involving intense experiential learning, including exercises and feedback from counselors whom I personally trained. The treatment program was licensed, welcomed by insurers, and awarded the highest commendation for addiction treatment programs. Most people obviously cannot afford the time and expense of participating in a residential treatment program. My online LPP provides the same learning experience as the residential LPP program, but in an affordable, convenient package you can access on a home computer, laptop or mobile device.
So, please, explore the Life Process Program here and embark on your personal path to recovery. I believe you will never regret doing so.
Dr. Stanton Peele, Ph.D
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Tips To Stop Drinking Alcohol On Your Own
Even if you plan to stop drinking on your own, most alcoholics cant simply cut themselves off. People with real drinking problems usually wont be able to resist the cravings or painful withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal can also be dangerous and should not be done unsupervised.
However, there are steps you can start taking today to cut back on your alcohol consumption. Following these self-help tips over time can help you cut your drinking down little by little and, ultimately, break your addiction.
Note: An alcohol rehab clinic is the best route for many people. Rehab clinics have professional alcohol detox programs overseen by trained medical staff who have experience working with substance abusers.
Overcoming Food Addiction: An Instant Escape Method
Am I addicted to food? This is a question that many of those who struggle with binge eating, emotional eating, stress eating, compulsive grazing, or any other form of undesired overeating eventually ask. The rational part of our brain wishes that we would eat sensibly another part demands otherwise. With Dr. Robert Lustig, author of Fat Chance and others suggesting rampant sugar addiction, it seems only logical that we arrive at the conclusion that we are some type of junk food addict.
This article explains my hypothesis about excessive junk food consumption and poses a simple theory about how to overcome food addiction or end compulsive overeating of any kind.
Lets start at the beginning.
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Create A List Of Reasons Why You Want To Overcome Your Addiction To Food
You should be able to easily remind yourself why you want to overcome food addiction. If youre in the moment and youre finding that youre triggered to relapse, you can refer to these reasons to help you stay strong and avoid triggers.
While weight loss can be a good reason, there are probably others to include on your list as well. For example, maybe you want to live longer to be with your children.
Put your list of reasons to overcome food addiction in a place where you can easily reference it when needed.
So I Cant Ever Eat Cheese Again
In life in general, its a good idea to stay away from all or nothing thinking. Earlier, I said I love donuts and anything yummy. Once I was able to name the foods that cause me to binge eat, I was able to take back control of my body and my eating habits. I eat donuts now and have even been seen eating ice cream though I do not make a habit out of it AND I definitely do not keep these items in my house. So yes, you can eat cheese again one day once you have met your weight loss goals, if your leave your house to get it, and when you have become aware of your food addiction so as to prevent full-blown relapses.
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Alcohol Addiction Treatment Options
Some people are able to stop drinking on their own or with the help of a 12-step program or other support group . Others need medical supervision in order to withdraw from alcohol safely and comfortably. Which option is best for you depends on how much youve been drinking, how long youve had a problem, the stability of your living situation, and other health issues you may have.
The first step is often to consult your primary care doctor or GP. Your doctor can evaluate your drinking patterns, diagnose any co-occurring disorders, assess your overall health, and offer treatment referrals. They may even be able to prescribe medication to help you quit.
|Examples of alcohol treatment programs|
Residential treatment involves living at a treatment facility while undergoing intensive treatment during the day. Residential treatment normally lasts from 30-90 days.
Partial hospitalization is for people who require ongoing medical monitoring but have a stable living situation. These treatment programs usually meet at the hospital for 3-5 days a week, 4-6 hours per day.
Intensive outpatient programs focus on relapse prevention and can often be scheduled around work or school.
Therapy can help you identify the root causes of your alcohol use, repair your relationships, and learn healthier coping skills and how to deal with triggers that could cause you to relapse.
Tip 5 Feed Those Impulses With Healthy Coping Strategies
So you cant have cheese and cake anymore, now what? It is never enough to look at the biological underpinnings of behavior, especially if a given behavior has been repeated over several years time. Practicing new habits is difficult, especially if food felt so good that it was your go-to strategy for dealing with overwhelming feelings. I always say that food feels like a big warm hug. If you can relate to that, then this tip is for you.
It is no secret that we prefer to do what feels good. Feeding our impulses generally feels good and taking away the foods that fed the impulse to feel good feels bad. It can even feel like a loss. If you need to mourn the loss of food, I respect that and you should too. Starting on the journey of giving up foods that make you feel out of control is not something to be taken lightly. Food became your way to cope and now it is time to mourn the loss of that maladaptive coping skill and replace it with a coping skill that will enhance your life rather than hurting you.
Remember this: Food doesnt always have to feel good or be hyperpalatable. Food should fuel our bodies, not our emotions.
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Focus On Your Deepest Passions
We typically indulge in addictions to take our mind off problems, painful emotions, or simply to hide our insecurities. These addictions provide us with a sense of control that helps carry us forward through to the next day.
Addictions however only hold power over you when you simply have nothing else to use as a substitute. In other words, you are prioritizing your addictions over other aspects of your life. Your addictions essentially become more important than anything else you could even fathom doing in that moment.
However, Im sure you have some healthy passions. You may even have an inkling of your lifes purpose. Possibly you also have some big goals you want to achieve. What are these things in your life? Do you even have a bucket list?
Why not create a bucket list of things you would like to do this year, this month, or maybe even this week? What things are you passionate about that you could add to your bucket list? What hobbies would you like to try? How else could you distract yourself from your addictions?
When you start giving more priority to your lifes passions and hobbies, your addictions will gradually start fading off into the distance.
How Do I Stop Drinking
Overcoming an addiction to alcohol can be a long and bumpy road. At times, it may even feel impossible. But its not. If youre ready to stop drinking and willing to get the support you need, you can recover from alcoholism and alcohol abuseno matter how heavy your drinking or how powerless you feel. And you dont have to wait until you hit rock bottom you can make a change at any time. Whether you want to quit drinking altogether or cut down to healthier levels, these guidelines can help you get started on the road to recovery today.
Most people with alcohol problems do not decide to make a big change out of the blue or transform their drinking habits overnight. Recovery is usually a more gradual process. In the early stages of change, denial is a huge obstacle. Even after admitting you have a drinking problem, you may make excuses and drag your feet. Its important to acknowledge your ambivalence about stopping drinking. If youre not sure if youre ready to change or youre struggling with the decision, it can help to think about the costs and benefits of each choice.
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Ways To Beat A Food Addiction
by guest blogger Pam Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP, best-selling author and expert on health, fitness, and nutrition
It’s an all-too-common scenario: You wake up in the morning swearing today’s the day when you’ll eat clean, nourish yourself with a healthy breakfast at home, and pass up the glistening bakery goodies that tempt you every day. You make it to work without incident and then stress hits–any kind of stress, from a new project deadline to a caustic remark from your boss. A little while later, you find yourself with pastries in hand, wolfing down sugary anesthetics and wanting more. When you finally pop out of your food trance, and the reality of what you’ve done begins to settle in, the ensuing feelings of shame and guilt stoke your stress levels more and you’re already plotting your next food fix. You wonder: Why do I keep caving to these cravings?Where’s my discipline and willpower?
This is your brain addicted to food.
That’s right. Addicted. You might tell yourself, I’m not addicted to food. I just love a good sweet now and then. Well, I’m here to tell you that food addiction is real it affects more people than you know, and manufacturers actually design food products so that they are as addicting as possible. Yes, that perfect combination of salty, sweet, and savory was created to make sure you keep reaching for more. That’s why I wrote The Hunger Fix, because I want to change the game that is rigged against you.
Here are 6 ways to beat food addiction:
Dont Trust Your Thoughts
As human beings we have a brilliant capacity for bullshitting ourselves.
It can take years of spinning our wheels in the mud before we realize that we arent making any progress in a certain area of our lives.
Some people think that sex addiction isnt a real addiction. Some people say dismissive things like, Well, if thats what sex addiction is, then every guy I know is a sex addict. As with many process addictions, sexual addiction is a commonly misunderstood one.
So what is sex addiction, and why is it so frequently misunderstood?
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How To Taper Off Alcohol At Home
The purpose of tapering off alcohol is to avoid major withdrawal symptoms so you can achieve sobriety safely. The time it takes to taper will depend on how long youve been drinking, how much youve been drinking and a variety of personal factors.
You should start by determining how much alcohol you drink per day in terms of standard drinks.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines standard drinks as:
- 12 ounces of beer with 5 percent alcohol content
- 5 ounces of wine with 12 percent alcohol content
- 1.5 ounces of liquor with 40 percent alcohol content
The alcohol content in specific beer, wine and liquor products differs. You can use the guidelines to get an idea of how many standard drinks youre used to. Experts at The HAMS Harm Reduction Network, which comprises doctors, social workers, therapists and other experts, recommend using beer to taper because its easier to get drunk from liquor or wine.
You should plan to taper for between three and seven days depending on how much youre used to drinking. Slowly reduce the amount of alcohol you consume each day until you reach sobriety. If you begin to experience serious withdrawal symptoms, drink enough to make the symptoms subside.
If youre unable to reduce how much you drink, you may have a disease called alcoholism that requires professional addiction treatment. Alcohol rehab helps you taper off alcohol, and it treats other side effects and causes of alcoholism.