An addicted brain has its object of addiction ranked nearly as important as air, water and food . Getting sober threatens their long-term relationship with something the brain mistakes for survival. Getting sober is stressful. It means that when the brain is excessively aroused or perceives danger the thinking and reasoning part of the brain gets bypassed. In other words, people react first and ask questions later. For an addicted person this too often has severe consequences.
Click brain to start animation
Cross Addiction: Surprise or Expectation?
Pacific Grove, California www.beaconhouse.org
Opiates or Cutting? Cocaine or Shoplifting?Compulsive Sex or Purging? Alcohol or Food (Sugar)?
Just because we abstain from one substance or behavior, it does not mean our brain is not seeking another manner by which to effective manage (soothe) feelings and uncomfortable internal bodily states!
Take away our drug or behavior of choice, and it is like taking away food and water from a normal person. Our brain experiences a traumatic response sometimes called a “cortical defensive bypass” which leaves us defenseless against the first drink, drug, Oreo cookie, sex addicted act, etc. Recovery behaviors all have one thing in common: they reduce our tendency to enter into this fight/flight response in reaction to a trigger, uncomfortable emotion or even a happy emotion.
When we enter into this “defensive cortical bypass” – what we are “bypassing” is our ability to think through consequences. We quite literally can’t access our visual cortex to see the images of our spouse divorcing us, getting our 3rd DUI, being put back on a feeding tube because we became so engaged in the euphoria of starving ourselves, getting an STD from unprotected sexually acting out, and the list goes on and on!
Mechanisms of Alpha Theta Reactive Sensory InputLess activecortex has higheramplitude alpha Alpha is the idle rhythm of the cortex
Mechanisms of Alpha Theta Calm Sensory InputMore activecortex has loweramplitude alpha Alpha is the idle rhythm of the cortex
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