Our subconscious controls so much. It controls our moods, our palatable hungers, our sexual desires, and so many more aspects of our life. Why would you want it to shackle you down, especially when you don’t have to… but those of us with addictions do it all the time. And we try to pretend it doesn’t bother us. We try to pretend that if we really wanted to quit, we could. But regardless of what we pretend, we still wear those subconscious shackles tight around our ankles. Maybe it’s because we love being controlled by something completely out of our hands that sucks up our funds before we have a chance to pay the bills? I don’t know about that.
Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain. It is considered both a complex brain disorder and a mental illness.Jul 2, 2018 by www.drugabuse.gov
Addiction is a chronic disorder with biological, psychological, social and environmental factors influencing its development and maintenance. About half the risk for addiction is genetic. Genes affect the degree of reward that individuals experience when initially using a substance (e.g., drugs) or engaging in certain behaviors (e.g., gambling), as well as the way the body processes alcohol or other drugs. Heightened desire to re-experience use of the substance or behavior, potentially influenced by psychological (e.g., stress, history of trauma), social (e.g., family or friends' use of a substance), and environmental factors (e.g., accessibility of a substance, low cost) can lead to regular use/exposure, with chronic use/exposure leading to brain changes. Jul 17, 2021 by https://www.apa.org/topics/substance-use-abuse-addiction
Addiction is considered a mental illness, according to the government site, but at the same time some of the things people become addicted to are not habit-forming chemicals—they’re a habit-forming mindset, or perhaps an escape from a situation they can’t seem to get a grasp on. It’s an action that we follow through on time after time without even thinking about it. Or if we do think about it, we usually lose, because the subconscious decision has already been made. So let’s talk about this for a minute.
It’s no big secret knowing that alcoholism is the number one used addiction, due to GABA in our brains working as the main neurotransmitter reducing excitability and causing relaxation. So when we drink too much our brains are inhibited, our motor skills and memory are lost…and over a period of time, our body adjusts needing more for the desired effect. But you’ve probably heard about Dopamine also being a transmitter, which it is, working with our brain’s reward system. Anytime we experience pleasure, including alcohol, the brain becomes confused and infuses us with dopamine. Soon, we lose our natural ability to create dopamine, much the way we lose the ability to become excited with GABA mentioned earlier, and we sink into what seems relaxation—but it isn’t—it’s depression. Unfortunately, if not taken seriously, the withdrawal symptoms can be extremely challenging or even deadly, because the entire brain’s chemistry is thrown so out of whack, you could experience delirium, hallucinations, high temperature, and irregular heartbeat, just to name a few. And that’s just alcoholism.
The most addictive drug in the world may be heroin. Because it increases the brain’s dopamine up about 200%. Again, an extreme sense of euphoria can be addictive—just ask any sex addict. The issue is with this extreme dopamine reactions, the consequences are equally extreme, including addiction that can emerge after only one use. The caveat?
Chances are very good the next time will require a higher dosage for the same affect. Feeling nauseous, shaky, and restless… are the symptoms of withdrawal, and ceasing quickly can cause agonizing pain in the bones and muscles. The brain attempts to restore the opioid levels and causes cold sweats, diarrhea, anxiety, goosebumps, agitation, and more.
One of the hardest addictions to quit is cocaine. In the 80’s, it was quite popular and balanced our serotonin and dopamine levels. Cocaine actually prevents reabsorption, causing the cocaine to hangout in the brain instead, causing extreme exhilaration right up until it doesn’t… It alters genetics that permanently cause mood irregularity, screwing up the mental and emotional balance…which of course, creates a need for more. It has a very high high and a toilet-scraping low, that sucks the cash right out from between your fingers.
And the last chemical we’ll touch on is nicotine that comes in cute little cigarette packages. And isn’t it cool how some of us choose our cigarettes by the crafty, eye-catching packages, slogans, or celebrities we’ve seen smoking them? For me, before I quit, I smoked Marlboro Lights in the gold package. The cowboy that advertised for Marlboro cigarettes was a sexy as hell man named Robert C. Norris, and although he was one of many, he had the longest run as the Marlboro man, and he was a real rancher, but he didn’t smoke. Which was a good thing because several of the models did die from nicotine. Norris quit doing the ads because of the example he was setting for his kids, and died at a healthy age 90. Of course, I didn’t know that at the time—thirty years ago, and I got Marlboro Lights because I didn’t really want a lot of nicotine—just enough to look cool. But that was actually the slogan Phillip Morris had in mind when he remarked that the prime audience for his product was, "post adolescent kids who were just beginning to smoke as a way of declaring their independence from their parents."
While smoking cigarettes doesn’t seem as lethal as the other drugs, there’s no special store or hidden alley of which you need to creep around and pay the man in the long dark trench coat. Kids can slip a few bucks to Uncle Jim-Bob to snag them a pack at the convenience store on his next beer run. The saddest part about cigarettes is that it’s the easiest age-limited substance to obtain, but the addiction standard is as addictive as heroin—you heard me, as addictive as heroin. The chemical reaction nicotine has on the receptors –as soon as it’s inhaled—causes the addiction. Not only does the mood escalate, but the heart gets a little extra unnecessary boot to it as well. This explains why so many smokers have strokes and heart attacks, right? It’s just a matter of time as long as you “keep hammering nails into the coffin” as smokers jokingly jest. But the hard truth is they’re absolutely right… and then they smile and light up just one more.
Drugs, drugs, drugs, right? Meth, amphetamines, we’ve probably had most of them interjected into our conversations somewhere, wondering how someone can allow themselves to be overcome by a substance. But what about shopping? How about video games? Gambling? And things we need such as food? You can’t deprive yourself of that! What’s the take? Here’s the secret—the brain alters the pre-frontal cortex and limbic system involving the neuro-circuitry of the reward center. That’s it. So people who are naturally more prone to addiction need to be aware and get a handle on it as soon as possible. People who come from addicts are 50% more likely to become addicts themselves. And I’m certainly no angel. I got the double-whammy! Two parents—one is a sex addict and the other is drugs and alcohol. So I get addicted all the time, and it’s a real chore keeping on top of it, so not unlike a freight train flying out of control down the tracks, there is no stopping it. Nothing you can do to stop that high-speed bullet, BUT you can manipulate the habit into another direction. It may not be easy. I never said it was, and funny as it seems, I wound up leaving Utah and driving to California, where I didn’t have any connections, to get clean from my habitual use. When I returned, I unfortunately needed to absolve my former friendships. From there, I became a workout freak. But because I am aware of my weaknesses, I have to be careful of where I go and what will be there. When I buy alcohol, I purchase a limited amount and that is that—no return to the store, because I know where that will take me. And you’ll never guess what it’s all turned into now. Food. Yep! How many people are food addicts? C’mon, look around! Now I’m not talking about those who simply enjoy what they eat and can stop when they want—I’m talking about the ones who pick up the phone, walk into the kitchen, get a drink and a bag of chips before nestling down in the same old corner of the couch they always settle into—until they shove their hand into the bottom of the bag to find nothing but crumbs.
My liver isn’t quite as gullible as it was before, begging me to be the last one standing and to eat just one more chip. But the one thing I’ve learned is that no matter what the addiction is, if you absolutely decide you’ve had enough, you deserve to have a cold-assed heart-to-heart with yourself in the mirror and admit it. Admit you’re addicted to whatever it is and make a plan. Write it down if you’re serious. Whether you contact your doctor, which is the best idea for the harder substances, or figure out a plan with your REAL friends, you’ve gotta do the most important part of it all—insure that habit doesn’t return by reprogramming your subconscious. That’s where professional hypnosis comes into play. You can’t quit eating—but you CAN subliminally change the flavor of food by utilizing your subconscious to transform certain flavors into something you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot-pole, like your mother-in-law’s fruitcake. You can subconsciously reprogram your mind that when you get stressed or unwind from stress you leave the television remote on the coffee table and leave the room. Find a book to read, or better yet, the fresh air does wonders for your body, too, not just the outside. Literally everything inside your body changes. And as I stated earlier, substances are the more obvious of addictions, but there are definitely addictions that can be just as costly.
You see, responses are results of our emotional condition. Anxiety causes a lot of bad habits whether that means picking up a cigarette or chewing our nails to the quick. When I was a nail-biter, I got to the point where I was starting to wonder if I wasn’t turning into some sort of cannibal. After tugging at a hangnail that ripped, I continued chewing—just one last piece—until my index finger was raw all the way to the first joint. I was a junior high student. I was given paregoric for the infection and sent home. A filthy habit. I tried a substance called “Stop-zit” that you paint your nails with for a horrible flavor. It worked until I’d subconsciously chewed them so many times the substance was gone. And sure, I reapplied it, but the damage had been done. I’d had the Michael Jackson bandages around each of my fingertips, but found myself fiddling with the bandaids until they also fell off. That’s right. See, the problem was I was trying to prevent the effects of the habit, rather than stopping the cause—what was going on in my head. Now, I was no Norman Bates but I certainly felt like it when people would make comments about the condition of my hands—and how many people noticed that weren’t as bold?
Have you ever known someone who, no matter what, becomes involved in the same abusive relationship time after time? They’re addicted. They’ve somehow, deep in the dark trenches of their minds, convinced themselves they don’t deserve more. And no matter how many people try to help them, they can’t see the forest for the trees. But then there are addictions that are wonderful—yes, absolutely, at first anyway.
And that’s when redirection needs to be established within the subconscious. As I said, eating healthy is important—but ceasing to eat altogether is not. Moderation is key and committing to a workout is fantastic, but when work and other social events and responsibilities are rejected every time because you’re working out, something is amiss. Shopping is another activity people tend to have a difficult time with—spending money they don’t have on items they don’t need and returning them with guilty grins the next day. But we need to shop for food to survive—and the internet makes shopping for possessions even easier now, doesn’t it? How many times have you made a purchase without thinking and then right after you hit the complete button you regret it? Or worse, you regret buying it, and when it shows up it isn’t even what you’d expected? You may even get mad at the person you bought the piece of garbage from, right? Again, this goes back to emotional values and trying to fill a void within by purchasing more and more articles. But that’s never going to work. You see? Processes that aren’t done within reason, that don’t have an intelligent reason for happening, along with the emotional reason, can be daunting and sometimes addictive.
So why not exchange those addictions for habits – the good kind that will actually help you become a better person? Just think, a few trips to a hypnotist will cost a few hundred dollars. Is that cheaper than your habit? Isn’t your sanity worth that much? Do you feel like getting a better emotional hold on your life can benefit you? Have you got a healthy habit in mind?
Go grab yourself a cool drink and think about HypnoBrew’s podcast for your own improvements. You decide what you need. And when you do, remember, this brew’s for you.