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Dr. Silkworth on Alcoholics and Human Nature

Old 02-20-2015, 05:34 PM
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The AMA is not an association of doctors. In fact, most doctors, less than 15%, do not belong to it. And most doctors believe that the AMA does not represent their opinions. The AMA is a lobby group which gladly accepted money from tobacco companies throughout its history, which was found guilty of antitrust activities, and fabricated reports to substantiate its endorsement of products it had never tested. Blechhhhhh.

The American Psychiatric Association used to advocate for the disease theory of alcoholism, but it has not done so since 1981 and has retracted its position. Only 20% of doctors believe that alcoholism is a disease.

Most telling is this fact:
A survey of doctors attending an annual conference of the International Doctors in Alcoholics Anonymous (IDAA) found that 80% of its members believed that alcoholism is simply bad behavior - - not a disease.
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Old 02-20-2015, 05:36 PM
  # 42 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Hawks View Post
And on the day that a drink becomes a necessity to function as a going human concern, the pleasure is dispensed with.

If I don't have a couple of shots to stop the shaking of my hands, I'll have to go to work today and withdraw from physical addiction to alcohol in front of the entire work place.

Then I'll be sacked, my income is lost, my family might go hungry and the bank may foreclose on the mortgage.

Would you define that as "necessity" or "pleasure"

I'm going to work half cut today because I like being at work half cut

Or

I'm going to work today half cut because if I don't, the consequences are diabolical.

If you haven't been there, you are lucky.

Might start off with the seeking of pleasure, but it progresses past that.

The fun / pleasure stops and the living hell begins.

Party time is over.

Without alcohol I'm a shaking, shivering mess and I wish to hell that wasn't the case, but it is what it is, so I drink so my life doesn't get any worse.

Where is the pleasure in that?

And down the track that morning drink won't stay down and blood appears in your vomit.

But if one doesn't stay down, it's physical withdrawal in public..... So it's keep trying till one stays down.

Pleasure, fun, hilarity?

Party party?
I think your drinker seeing only two options is the epitome of NOT wanting to end that wonderful feeling of being under the influence.

There's a story from the 1800s about a fellow who tapered off into permanent abstinence by drinking from the same glass at the same times every day, BUT, at each drinking occasion he added another ball from his rifle arsenal to the glass.
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Old 02-20-2015, 05:40 PM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Hawks View Post
And on the day that a drink becomes a necessity to function as a going human concern, the pleasure is dispensed with.

If I don't have a couple of shots to stop the shaking of my hands, I'll have to go to work today and withdraw from physical addiction to alcohol in front of the entire work place.

Then I'll be sacked, my income is lost, my family might go hungry and the bank may foreclose on the mortgage.

Would you define that as "necessity" or "pleasure"

I'm going to work half cut today because I like being at work half cut

Or

I'm going to work today half cut because if I don't, the consequences are diabolical.

If you haven't been there, you are lucky.

Might start off with the seeking of pleasure, but it progresses past that.

The fun / pleasure stops and the living hell begins.

Party time is over.

Without alcohol I'm a shaking, shivering mess and I wish to hell that wasn't the case, but it is what it is, so I drink so my life doesn't get any worse.

Where is the pleasure in that?

And down the track that morning drink won't stay down and blood appears in your vomit.

But if one doesn't stay down, it's physical withdrawal in public..... So it's keep trying till one stays down.

Pleasure, fun, hilarity?

Party party?

Sounds like an illness has taken over to me, but Ymmv.
Oh please. You are describing someone so far gone. It takes years of bad behavior to get there. Years and years. Does the person have some medical issues that might require treatment? Sure. But the act of consuming alcohol to quell physical symptoms doesn't qualify for making the years of prior drunkeness a disease.

All of the misery you describe is self inflicted.

And it is all solved by one simple act: Stop drinking.
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Old 02-20-2015, 05:56 PM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Greenwood618 View Post
Bravo!

And what other disease disappears when the sufferer merely changes his or her behavior?
Type II diabetes often goes in remission with weigh loss and following a proper diet.
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Old 02-20-2015, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Greenwood618 View Post
Oh please. You are describing someone so far gone. It takes years of bad behavior to get there. Years and years. Does the person have some medical issues that might require treatment? Sure. But the act of consuming alcohol to quell physical symptoms doesn't qualify for making the years of prior drunkeness a disease.

All of the misery you describe is self inflicted.

And it is all solved by one simple act: Stop drinking.
I'll be the first to admit it took years of drinking to get to that stage.

Drinking is drinking. And it was fun and a choice for years.

Point is I crossed a line from pleasure seeking to physical addiction.

If that's not your story, be thankful.

I'm just pointing out that the idea of drinking for pleasure is not my Experience in the closing stages.
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Old 02-20-2015, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Hawks View Post
I'll be the first to admit it took years of drinking to get to that stage.

Drinking is drinking. And it was fun and a choice for years.

Point is I crossed a line from pleasure seeking to physical addiction.

If that's not your story, be thankful.

I'm just pointing out that the idea of drinking for pleasure is not my Experience in the closing stages.
Well, philosophical and rhetorical differences aside, I am glad to hear you quit and have regained a normal life.
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Old 02-20-2015, 06:21 PM
  # 47 (permalink)  
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It's pretty clear that active addiction, and the following period of post-acute withdrawal that can last a couple years, is a mental health problem, which boils down to a physical medical problem. That doesn't make it a disease, statements from ill-informed doctors from the 1930's (when little was known and the only organized way out was AA) notwithstanding - but, there's abundant evidence that past a point, it's not as easy as simply deciding to quit.

But it does require at least that, deciding to quit, so ultimately it's a choice to decide to quit and stick to it, however you manage that. Hence, it's a choice, as was drinking in the first place, though addictive drinking is perhaps less of a choice. At least, I found myself in that place that I never wanted or intended to go to, before I understood what was happening, but after it was at all easy to turn it around.
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Old 02-20-2015, 06:27 PM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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I too have a special feeling for learning of others that have pulled themselves from the hell pit that physical dependence is. I am so happy to see the triumphs of all the badasses out there that have, and wish their stories to be fuel firing others to achieve their own victories over addiction. My experience was that even an implicit notion that my addiction was the result of some disease of which I was blameless was fuel for my AV. Recognizing that the cause of seeking the deep pleasure of intoxication was leading to the effects of alcohol dependence was the turning point for me. Separating cause and effect and recognizing the proper hierarchy is key.
And the historic average low at 9 am in Melbourne (1856-2014in Feb) is 14.6, just saying
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Old 02-20-2015, 06:33 PM
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.....what motivates drunks.

And there is only one answer to that: the desire for the deeply pleasurable sensations of alcohol intoxication.


lots of drunks puking their guts out right now finding absolutely no deeply pleasurable sensations of intoxication.

anyway, wasn't my experience.
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Old 02-20-2015, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
The AMA is not an association of doctors. In fact, most doctors, less than 15%, do not belong to it. And most doctors believe that the AMA does not represent their opinions. The AMA is a lobby group which gladly accepted money from tobacco companies throughout its history, which was found guilty of antitrust activities, and fabricated reports to substantiate its endorsement of products it had never tested. Blechhhhhh.

The American Psychiatric Association used to advocate for the disease theory of alcoholism, but it has not done so since 1981 and has retracted its position. Only 20% of doctors believe that alcoholism is a disease.

Most telling is this fact:
A survey of doctors attending an annual conference of the International Doctors in Alcoholics Anonymous (IDAA) found that 80% of its members believed that alcoholism is simply bad behavior - - not a disease.
On the climate issue, we see scientists of all sorts throwing their two cents in.

But the climatologists are the specialists.

So it's not surprising that "doctors" do the same in their own domain.

I'm a doctor and hears my opinion....... Great, but what do the people who are in the specialist field say?

The ones that see this kill people.

Organ failure, black urine, korsakoff syndrome

"hey, stop drinking and having fun people"

Ummmmmm.... Not as easy as that.

People have died of alcoholism since fermented beverages appear on the record of human history.

Some 4000 odd years ago.

You really think that the answer could be "just don't drink " and no one else has come up with this before now?

It's baffled the best minds and medical people for millennium.

Seems no closer to solving the puzzle now than in biblical times.

Personally I applaud those dedicated to helping and trying to provide solutions and services and treatment.

I think the last thing needed is a bunch of ex drunks hell bent on telling them "you got it all wrong"

After all..... The same mind drawing that conclusion is the same mind that drank and drank and drank for years.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall to hear any ex- drunk stand up in front of a team of professionals who deal with alcoholism and tell em where they are going wrong.

"thanks for your advice ex-drunk guy, we'll be sure to let you know if we need more of your help......no that's ok, we'll call you "

By the way..... Nobel prize collection is next week
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Old 02-20-2015, 06:42 PM
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I do not and never will believe that it is a disease. Some people just go further down the rabbit hole than others. They get more physically dependent and have a harder time getting off. Same with tobacco or heroine or opiates.... the common thread with all of them is that people start the behaviour because they find it pleasurable and in the end it gets the better of them.

Getting diagnosed with liver cancer because of years of self harm is a disease.
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Old 02-20-2015, 06:55 PM
  # 52 (permalink)  
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The fly should be curious why the drunk is an ex if he didn't take the treatment. And maybe question if the treatment is having an effect on the exness, if the treatment could hinder or slow the achievement of exness. Something the fly could at least consider.
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:02 PM
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To get to the bottom of this, it's important to know what the origin of a word is.

Disease

Origin

Middle English (in the sense 'lack of ease; inconvenience'): from Old French desaise 'lack of ease',


(look it up if you want)

So ask yourself...... Did you have an easy time with alcohol?

Take it or leave it?

If you are on this forum...... It's a rhetorical question.
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:07 PM
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This fly knows for sure there are plenty of hacks among the ranks of professionals. But some folks have a need to follow shepherds, so if it makes them feel better, let 'em follow.
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
The fly should be curious why the drunk is an ex if he didn't take the treatment. And maybe question if the treatment is having an effect on the exness, if the treatment could hinder or slow the achievement of exness. Something the fly could at least consider.
Fly would have to consider his own experience and expertise in the field before commencing to ask much of anything.

Fly buzzed along for the laughs
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:28 PM
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I do not and never will believe that it is a disease. Some people just go further down the rabbit hole than others. They get more physically dependent and have a harder time getting off. Same with tobacco or heroine or opiates.... the common thread with all of them is that people start the behaviour because they find it pleasurable....

most people who start smoking cigarettes actually cough and sputter and most kids MAKE themselves do it. against their rather deep displeasure.

as far as whether you or i or x believes it's a disease...doesn't really matter too much.
i think we experience it differently. and some of the beliefs come from experience, which we sometimes want to put into a coherent system of belief that makes sense of things for us.

that there is science and also lack thereof for more than one belief...seems so.
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:29 PM
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The fly knows the difference between etymology and Modern medical definitions of terms, I hope.
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:16 PM
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It's getting to potaytoe.... Potartoe stage here.

Should have known better really

Rusted on libs vs rusted on reps.

Rusted on climate deniers vs the science

Rusted on Atheism vs rusted on religious beliefs

Same crap different wrapper.

I'm out
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:56 PM
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OK! Very interesting and entertaining. Guess you'll all have to agree to disagree here. Been through a few of these discussions and a general agreed consensus is never--ever reached. (Even though my point is of course always right). Thank you all for providing me with your insight on both sides of this. Thanks Jazzfish for the original post. (What was it about?)
Enjoy what ever beliefs makes you all sober and happy and have a great weekend.
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:07 AM
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In 50 yrs. this discussion would never take place. The internet is making Sense Common and I couldn't be happier. Although my post was deleted, it's sentiments were echoed by many with craftier responses. I have not been drunk since quitting drinking. Nor have I had a desire to drink that could not be addressed with some very human capabilities. I also tapered, at home from a hefty, around-the-clock habit but not w/out months of real research (by real I mean digging for published medical data that is not endorsed by television doctors). This very forum helped me frame this seeming disorder into order and for that I am grateful. I had a Holy Ship! experience of the human variety and it seems to be permanent. Thanks Jazz for stoking the coals!
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