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Old 10-08-2009, 11:34 AM   #21 (permalink)
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"I have always found it important to understand things, especially if they are happening to me. I mean if I had cancer I am sure I would want to know the basic science of what was happening to my body. I have just been learning it now and these are the things that have made it important to me on a more emotional level:"

That is how I am too - That is what I was trying to say in my post above. I went to the Creighton Medical School library in Omaha and poured over scholastic journals to really understand.

It helped and I am glad it made a difference for you sfgirl!

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Old 10-08-2009, 12:10 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I found it to be very interesting SFgirl. I too am always curious about the science aspect of things. You were a little threadjacked but I am sure many other people who didn't comment found what you posted to be informative.

Thanks for the information!
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:25 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Thanx for your follow up post sfgirl. I am particularly interested in the dopamine information... That sort of reconciles the study about non drinkers having a higher rate of depression than drinkers, even heavy ones. And it is interesting about the substance abusers vs. addicts... There seems to be an intuitive difference between the two and the studies are interesting.

If I p1ssed you off, sorry... I guess I try to reconcile what you bring to the table with my experience...

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Old 10-08-2009, 01:53 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by biravatch65 View Post
If that is the case, then it should be pretty straightforward to rebalance the chemicals in the brain and cure/treat addiction as we are able to do with depression, bipolar and schizophrenia.
As far as I know, there is nothing "straightforward" about treating depression, bipolar, and schizophrenia.
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:44 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I played the mad scientist game...I am pretty good at it..LOL.
Thx for the post. It was veryu interesting to me.
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:26 PM   #26 (permalink)
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It was a good post, sfgirl. And I get your point that you're focusing on the scientific aspects of alcoholism. I studied the subject for a long much to the chagrin of my sponsor. But I felt at the time that it's important to know my enemy, and the knowledge I gained helped me a lot in my recovery. Alcohol not only affects the dopamine neurotransmitters, but also GABA, glutamate, and serotonin neurotransmitters.
And by understanding all this stuff, I realized what I was up against. I began to understand the overlap of addiction, anxiety, and depression. I saw, as you mentioned, the effect of alcohol on REM. I became aware of the influence that genetics and family history have on alcoholism. But dammit, no one has been able to nail down what alcoholism actually is. Why is it that I (and about 10% of the drinking population in this country) cannot not drink.

As to the issue of alcoholism being a disease, I'll go along with the AMA and call it such. If someone doesn't agree, that's fine. It really doesn't matter. What matters is that we're alcoholics and need to do something about it. We have a condition that is primary, chronic, progressive and if left untreated, fatal. Our only option is complete abstinence from alcohol. If we don't stop drinking we'll end up in an institution with Wernieke-Karsakoff Syndrome or in a grave.

So thanks for the post, sfgirl. I think it's important that we understand what alcohol does to the body. Having an appreciation for the damage it causes is a good motivator to get sober.
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Old 10-09-2009, 04:53 AM   #27 (permalink)
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As far as I know, there is nothing "straightforward" about treating depression, bipolar, and schizophrenia.
Well I know of no statistics, but from my experience and the experience of others around me, it is. Of course, things like CBT help as well. Nothing is going to work for all people though.
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Old 10-09-2009, 06:52 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Well I know of no statistics, but from my experience and the experience of others around me, it is. Of course, things like CBT help as well. Nothing is going to work for all people though.
"Although many people with bipolar disorder who attempt suicide never actually complete it, the annual average suicide rate in males and females with diagnosed bipolar disorder (0.4%) is 10 to more than 20 times that in the general population.[152]"

Bipolar disorder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(bold added by me)
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Old 10-09-2009, 06:53 AM   #29 (permalink)
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SFgirl I found 2 books to be very informative about alcoholism from a medical/scientific view, both books take the research and finding of the main stream medical and scientific community and pull it all together in a manner that is pretty easy to understand.

The first book is called "Under The Influence" and is the older of the 2 books, the second book is kind of a sequel top the first and is called "Beyond The Influence".

They cite one study which I found to be very interesting when one considers genetics.

In this study they first took children who had never drank whose parents were both alcoholics, they analyzed how thier livers processed alcohol and thier livers process alcohol just like an alcoholics liver.

Then they got a second test group of children where there were no known alcholics in thier family and did the same test, thier livers processed alcohol like a non-alcoholc.

They do state that these finding would lead one to beleive that alcoholism in most cases is a passed on genetic trait, but until they can identify the gene or genes they can not say with scientific certainity that it is.

This I do know, both of my grandfathers were alcoholics, my father was, I am, my brother is and my son is as well. Hmmmmm I wonder?
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:55 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Thanks sfgirl

Learning about my addiction helps me as long as I can find a practical application from my learning's. Addiction information has greatly helped me only because I take the information and use it to cause a deep psychical reorganization within the very nature of my being. Its one thing to have knowledge about addiction and another to apply ones knowing in an effort to create lasting change. Knowledge can fill the head but cant do much other good unless it's realized in a way that can guide action.
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:19 AM   #31 (permalink)
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SFGirl - I, too, am totally into researching the science of addiction. I agree, it's all just enhancing and confirming what Dr. Silkwood and Bill and Bob figured out on their own, but wow! It's astounding to see the refinements in that understanding. Maybe I'm just a geek, but there is a rapidly growing element of science that is starting to investigate and confirm the spiritual - I mean, how cool is that? So I totally dig and support your interest.

One of my program friends inscribed my Big Book with words from his really old-time sponsor "to remain teachable is to grow." Sounds like your growing, to me.
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:24 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by justanothrdrunk View Post
"Although many people with bipolar disorder who attempt suicide never actually complete it, the annual average suicide rate in males and females with diagnosed bipolar disorder (0.4%) is 10 to more than 20 times that in the general population.[152]"

Bipolar disorder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(bold added by me)
That's a horrible statistic, but we're really starting to get off subject so let's stop talking about it here.

:ghug3

edit... by 'horrible' I mean sad
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:01 AM   #33 (permalink)
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A really power giving article

I'm still struggling but I will make it. I've gotten involved in the attempt to create an agnostics sobriety group. I'm now the librarian, charged with accumulating an appropriate literature base. That is helping me by forcing me to read and evaluate and most of all to think of how useful each article would be. One of the most hopeful things I've read is "Why is it so damn hard to change?". Here's a link rebeccaskloot.com/?page_id=145 NOTE: since I haven't posted more than 15 times (what a dumb **** rule) I had to leave off the initial h t t p : / /


The biology of why I've got devils in my head and an actual method to directly attack all those enemies that have outposts in my mind is probably the most helpful thing I have found. I'm not knocking all of the tools and other stuff I've found or heard. But those things have been, for me, more of an intellectual exercise. I understood and agreed but it didn't give me a physical weapon - only mental ones. Now I have an active weapon I can use to change the pathways in my brain. I have met the enemy and it is me. I will win!
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:27 AM   #34 (permalink)
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I will reiterate I found "What The Bleep Do We Know?" an incredibly helpful film about neural pathways and how we literally get addicted to drama and how we create our own reality, thus how to change it (our reality) including addiction and addictive behaviors.

I can't emphasize enough how enlightening it was to me to have it explained to me the way it was, it took it out of the science books and into the "how do I change this for me"

Once again, I didn't agree 100% with everything, but most of the science in the film was sound as far as I know, and it painted a picture I could wrap my mind around that agreed with both all of the scientific articles I have encountered plus all of the twelve step stuff I encountered, but did it in such a way it was impossible to argue with, it shows the protagonist and how she views a series of situations through her own filter, thus chooses her own reality, but ties it in to the scientific articles linked by SFGirl .

hard to explain, but I recommend it so very very strongly if this stuff interests you in the slightest. I will have to say take what you like and leave the rest, because they do make a few "leaps" that are absolute bosh, but the information they work with in order to arrive at these leaps are sound, so I watched the film and drew my own conclusions and didn't throw the baby out with the bathwater because I disagreed with some of it.
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:00 AM   #35 (permalink)
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For those who deny that addiction and alcoholism are a disease here is the proof:

"Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain - they change its structure and how it works. These brain changes can be long lasting, and can lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people who abuse drugs. "

Drugs, Brains, and Behavior - The Science of Addiction - Drug Abuse and Addiction
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