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Old 04-07-2012, 06:18 AM
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Because they are in the business of selling it, not curing it.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:38 AM
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Of course life style choices can cause problems.
If you smoke, you're going to get lung disease.
If you eat 3 dozen donuts daily, you're going to get fat, heart problems, diabetes, etc.
If you lay in the tanning bed daily, you'll probably get skin cancer.
I know I shoot up heroin, I'm going to get addicted, chemically dependant, but I can stop it.
If you have unprotected sex with many people, you can catch a disease.
If you drink quarts of vodka daily, your brain chemistry will change.
These are all consequences of choices.
We are grown ups & know the ramifications of excessively doing anything,
Too much of anything doesn't make it a disease, it means we made poor choices.
Personal accountability.
I come from a long line of addicts who made poor choices but I HAVE the choice to not participate in something that I know is bad for me.

To each his own, we all have our opinions & that's mine.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by steelmagnolia View Post
Stop looking! Does it really matter?
i was not looking for what I heard on the program I was listening to that gave a neuroscientist's information on what he found from the research he had been doing on the brain. Maybe I was suppose to be listening when that program came on.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:01 PM
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I suppose it depends upon what a person's definition of disease is. If no one agrees upon what the term means, then the conversation is pointless:

disease

Pronunciation (di-zēz′)

1.An interruption, cessation, or disorder of a body, system, or organ structure or function. Syn: illness, morbus, sickness
2.A morbid entity ordinarily characterized by two or more of the following criteria: recognized etiologic agent(s), identifiable group of signs and symptoms, or consistent anatomic alterations. See also: syndrome


What is disease? Find the definition for disease at WebMD

Just because poor life choices lead to the qualifiers listed above doesn't make alcoholism or diabetes any less of a disease. It seems that most people define disease as something that's not caused through personal choices. The definition above does mention cause, but does not discount something as being classified as a disease simply because the cause can be through human behavior.

I used to completely disagree with alcoholism being classified as a disease. Now? Technically is it a disease; however, I think it would be more helpful to classify alcoholism as addiction--disease is too broad a catagory. Addiction treatment is in its infancy and it will be interesting to see the research.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:08 AM
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A couple hammer blows to the head would also cause "an interruption, cessation, or disorder of a body, system, or organ structure or function," but that does not make it a disease. If you hammer your brain/body with a toxin repeadetly, you will invariably damage it. That wonderful buzz comes with a price, and the bill eventually comes due -- with accrued interest.

Kanamit posted this video from LifeRing's Martin Nicolaus, which covers how the alcohol industry saw an opportunity to shield itself from regulation by funding the promotion of the disease concept. They didn't invent it, since it predates even AA, but they were certainly astute in seeing how it would help them. Still working for them today, which is why, unlike the tobacco industry, they are free to advertise at will, without those pesky warning labels.

LifeRing Video
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:39 AM
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I think some of us are closer in viewpoint than we imagine, and really just arguing semantics.

I call it a disease because, clinically speaking, that's exactly what it is. It meets the definition.

That doesn't take personal responsibility out of the equation. Just as poor diet & exercise lead to diabetes, alcohol intake can lead to alcoholism. They're both still diseases. And they both can be either prevented or helped by direct personal action.

In my own recovery, I recognize that alcohol has had a direct, physical, measurable affect on my brain & nervous system which reinforces addictive patterns and makes long-term abstinence difficult. This is part of a disease process. But that knowledge doesn't give me a free pass or excuse - unless I'm looking for one. I use that knowledge and understanding instead to work towards my goal - sobriety. That's personal responsibility in action.

The reason I feel classifying addiction as a disease is important is because it underscores the reality that willpower alone is not the answer to abstinence. Because it's not. The mechanism of addiction are far too complicated & powerful to be solved with willpower alone. When you eliminate the term 'disease', all you're left with is 'choice'. And anyone who's ever been addicted knows that quitting is far from as simple as choosing between coke & pepsi.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by GrowingDaily View Post
The reason I feel classifying addiction as a disease is important is because it underscores the reality that willpower alone is not the answer to abstinence. Because it's not. The mechanism of addiction are far too complicated & powerful to be solved with willpower alone.
Willpower, which should more accurately be called free will, is all an addicted person has! To say "willpower doesn’t work" cripples addicted people who have a suspicion that they will ultimately have to quit for good. The same goes for "swearing off doesn't work," which really means that quitting doesn't work. Should we continue to tell people who are impassioned to get drunk, and who had better knock it off as soon as possible, not to even try to quit?
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
Willpower is all an addicted person has! To say "willpower doesn’t work" cripples addicted people who have a suspicion that they will ultimately have to quit for good. The same goes for "swearing off doesn't work," which really means that quitting doesn't work. Should we continue to tell people who are impassioned to get drunk, and who had better knock it off as soon as possible, not to even try to quit?
I didn't say "willpower doesn't work". You're twisting my words, and reading what you want to into them instead of what I actually said.

Addictive chemicals, including alcohol, change the structure of the brain. This is scientific fact. Addictive chemicals, including alcohol, activate the same pleasure centers in our brain responsible for our drive to eat, survive, and procreate. This is scientific fact.

Do you have the willpower necessary to stop eating? Do you have the willpower necessary to stop having sex? And, most importantly, do you think willpower alone is going to be sufficient to see you through the rest of your life going without either (assuming of course you could live without eating)?

I'm not saying willpower doesn't work. It is, of course, of vital importance to achieving any goal, including abstinence. That goes without saying. What I am saying, however, is that the idea that willpower alone is all that's required is a pipe-dream. Most of the people I've met who are addicts have demonstrated extreme amounts of willpower in other areas of their lives. It isn't willpower that's lacking. The issues underlying addiction make willpower a moot point.

Are there miserable people out there who have stopped drinking/drugging by willpower alone? Probably a few. Will they go back eventually? I'd be my left nut on it. Are they happy? Not if they haven't addressed the underlying issues of their addiction. So if they're not, what's the point?

As far as I'm concerned, anyone who says they 'cured' their addiction through willpower alone either wasn't addicted in the first place, or are lying to themselves. They most certainly were pro-active in their recovery - that's a necessity. But it wasn't force-of-will alone that was responsible for their evolution.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by GrowingDaily
But it wasn't force-of-will alone that was responsible for their evolution.
What or whom was responsible?
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by GrowingDaily View Post
Addictive chemicals, including alcohol, change the structure of the brain. This is scientific fact. Addictive chemicals, including alcohol, activate the same pleasure centers in our brain responsible for our drive to eat, survive, and procreate. This is scientific fact.
Yes, addiction does indeed mimic legitimate survival drives. Unlike Lassie the dog, however, humans are perfectly capable of restraining all of their survival drives, although in the case of breathing that might prove difficult, since once unconscious, the body will do it on its own. Priests become celibate, without having to be neutered, for example. Some people go on hunger strikes until they die, or set themselves on fire as a form of protest. Not addicts, though, they want the desire to get high to be removed, so they can then do what comes naturally, and take the path of least resistance that nature has laid out for them, just like Lassie does.

Originally Posted by GrowingDaily View Post
Do you have the willpower necessary to stop eating? Do you have the willpower necessary to stop having sex? And, most importantly, do you think willpower alone is going to be sufficient to see you through the rest of your life going without either (assuming of course you could live without eating)?
If I had sufficiently good reason to do so, absolutely, I could stop having sex, and I could stop eating until I died.

Originally Posted by GrowingDaily View Post
Most of the people I've met who are addicts have demonstrated extreme amounts of willpower in other areas of their lives. It isn't willpower that's lacking.
What is lacking is knowledge of what is actually going on with the addiction, namely that it is masquerading as a legitimate survival drive, which creates the illusion that getting high is as necessary as breathing. That, and some information on how people go about actually quitting.

Originally Posted by GrowingDaily View Post
Are there miserable people out there who have stopped drinking/drugging by willpower alone? Probably a few. Will they go back eventually? I'd be my left nut on it. Are they happy? Not if they haven't addressed the underlying issues of their addiction.
Ah, the 'dry drunk', another broadside addicted people are often hit with. Of course, while in the bubble of addiction, they can't imagine being happy without getting high, so telling them they'll be miserable if they quit doesn't help. The peculiar obsession with 'being happy', and never, ever feeling bad, is nothing more than a hangover from the addiction itself. It is the addictive mentality still alive and kicking, saying you must never feel bad -- or bored -- that would just be awful!

Originally Posted by GrowingDaily View Post
So if they're not [happy], what's the point?
The sweetness of normal, healthy, independent adult living. People who don't get high all the time feel all of their emotions -- happy, sad, angry, lonely, etc. Happiness is not a prerequisite for abstinence, nor is unhappiness a very good excuse for getting high.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:05 PM
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TU...

Again, I think we share a lot of the same views, but are getting wrapped up in semantics. But it seems like you're looking for an argument instead of a rational discussion, and are unwilling to accept the fact that our viewpoints align more closely than you want to believe.

Have a good day. I've got better things to do than argue on the internet.

Oh yeah - as for that 'I could stop eating until I died' line... yeah... good luck with that.

I've seen what people are capable of in starvation mode. But you keep telling yourself that
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:14 PM
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Not looking for an argument, just pointing out that people, often well meaning, inadvertently set up roadblock after roadblock for quitting. My last point about not quitting unless you are happy, for example, feeds right into the addiction, which is telling the addicted person that life without drugs will be hollow, meaningless, boring, etc. The tapestry of normal living is, of course, far more dynamic and richer than can be envisioned from within the bubble of addiction. Happiness is just one part of that tapestry, not the end-all, be-all, and certainly not a pre-requisite for living without getting high.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
What or whom was responsible?
I'm going to assume you're sober now. I'm also going to assume you weren't at one time.

Are you honestly saying that all you had to do was quit drinking, without addressing any issues in your life? Without any introspection, without learning any new coping skills, without redefining your relationship to alcohol, without learning to view yourself differently, without learning to view the world differently, without filling your life with new activities, without dealing with stress in a different way, etc, etc, etc.

None of that? Nothing? You just said "I quit", and aside from not drinking, nothing else changed in your life? And you don't see any changes necessary in your life for continued, long-term sobriety?
.
.
.

My point - as I should have made CLEARLY by now to anyone who bothered to read what I wrote with an open, unprejudiced mind, is that while motivation and willpower are OBVIOUSLY the driving forces behind anyone's effort to quit, to improve, to evolve.... there are a host of issues - more often than not the issues which drove us to drink in the first place - that likely need to be addressed if one is to achieve long-term sobriety.

That's all I'm saying... that there are nuances regarding addiction that need to be dealt with. It isn't as simple as deciding to switch from butter to margarine. But you're all obviously looking for someone to nail to a cross instead of bothering to try to see where I'm coming from. Which is, in effect, almost exactly where you're coming from. You just choose not to see it that way. I'm terribly sorry you're short on antagonists here in the secular forums.

Bye.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by GrowingDaily View Post
Are you honestly saying that all you had to do was quit drinking, without addressing any issues in your life?
Thing is, once you quit drinking, you will have to actually address problems in life, just like everyone else, instead of the usual -- getting drunk.

Originally Posted by GrowingDaily View Post
.... there are a host of issues - more often than not the issues which drove us to drink in the first place - that need to be addressed if one is to achieve long-term sobriety.
I think the divide here is that you believe people need to do X, Y, and Z in order to quit, whereas I believe that you have to quit first, and then you'll do X, Y, and Z as a normal, abstinent person.

Originally Posted by GrowingDaily View Post
But you're all obviously looking for someone to nail to a cross instead of bothering to try to see where I'm coming from.
Nah, nailing you to a cross would look very different. I'm quite familiar with the self-improvement project instead of quitting approach to recovery, though, which is very common, and I'd wager that soberlicious is as well.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
I think the divide here is that you believe people need to do X, Y, and Z in order to quit, whereas I believe that you have to quit first, and then you'll do X, Y, and Z as a normal, abstinent person.
Yep. You're absolutely right. If your idea is that alcoholics can heal themselves simply by not drinking, then that most certainly is an issue we differ on.

I'm sure most alcoholics never thought of that!

So if quitting is all it takes to cure yourself from alcoholism, what accounts for people relapsing months/years/decades later? I guess they just didn't have enough willpower, right?

Your belief system is out of touch with what we know to be scientific fact today. It's out of touch with virtually every recognized program that claims even a modicum of success. And it's out of touch with the personal experience of the VAST majority of addicts.

I'm glad your 'program' worked for you (though I have a hard time labeling the phrase 'Quit drinking' as a program). Unfortunately, your method doesn't offer much hope to anyone outside of your frontal lobe. I don't know what you're selling, but I hope people looking for a real solution to their problems doesn't take you seriously.

EDIT: I take that back. Now I know exactly what you're selling. Suddenly all the pieces fall into place.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by GrowingDaily View Post
So if quitting is all it takes to cure yourself from alcoholism, what accounts for people relapsing months/years/decades later? I guess they just didn't have enough willpower, right?
Addictions tend to be persistent because the human body is designed to forget pain, and to remember pleasure. Think about the last time you hit your thumb with a hammer, for example. You can probably remember that it hurt, but not the actual sensation of pain. On the other hand, it is unlikely that you'll forget what that old buzz once felt like. People who go back to drinking after a long time usually do so because the memory of why they originally quit, once fresh, begins to fade. It is notable that both the 'Big Book' and the Rational Recovery book describe this very common 'forgetting' phenomenon.

Originally Posted by GrowingDaily View Post
Your belief system is out of touch with what we know to be scientific fact today. It's out of touch with virtually every recognized program that claims even a modicum of success. And it's out of touch with the personal experience of the VAST majority of addicts.
Actually, it isn't out of touch. Even the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism is now recognizing that the vast majority of addicted people actually quit along these lines.

Originally Posted by NIAAA
About 75 percent of persons who recover from alcohol dependence do so without seeking any kind of help, including specialty alcohol (rehab) programs and AA. Only 13 percent of people with alcohol dependence ever receive specialty alcohol treatment.

Source: Alcoholism Isn't What it Used to Be

Originally Posted by GrowingDaily View Post
I'm glad your 'program' worked for you (though I have a hard time labeling the phrase 'Quit drinking' as a program). Unfortunately, your method doesn't offer much hope to anyone outside of your frontal lobe. I don't know what you're selling, but I hope people looking for a real solution to their problems doesn't take you seriously.
Admittedly, I didn't exactly figure it out on my own, and I needed some additional reinforcement and education on how to actually quit drinking. The methodology is based on what people who do figure it out on their own usually do, however.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by GrowingDaily
And it's out of touch with the personal experience of the VAST majority of addicts.
Actually there is a VAST majority of self-recovered addicts...on SR and IRL all over the world... and even in the rooms.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by GrowingDaily
That's all I'm saying... that there are nuances regarding addiction that need to be dealt with.
There are things in life that need to be dealt with. My "underlying issues" are not going to take me back to the bottle. I deal with anything that comes up in my life...or not. My abstinence is not contingent on either.

Originally Posted by GrowingDaily
You just said "I quit"
After wearing bed restraints with a cute little matching assless gown...yes, I did.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:50 AM
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I have not drank in almost 3 months without a program.
I agree w/ TU. I quit drinking, then I started dealing w/problems.
I would never have dealt w/ them if I continued to drink. I had to get my head out of LaLa land first.

All it took for me was making the decision that I would do whatever it took to stay sober. I wanted sobriety more than air.
And I tried to stop for 2 yrs before I got to that point.
I will not drink ever again. Alcohol is not an option for me. Period.
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:22 PM
  # 60 (permalink)  
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Is depression a disease?

There are certainly actions that an affected person can take, such abusing substances, that will exacerbate it. Furthermore, there is some evidence that certain events in childhood can predispose people to depression.

Is depression the fault of the affeced?
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