Ditch Addiction Part 1


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Ditch Addiction Part 1

  1. 1. Ditch Your Addiction<br />A step by step approach by <br />Henck van Bilsen<br />
  2. 2. Ditching your addiction is a project that consists of 4 steps <br />Step one: Do you really want to give it up? = getting motivated: staring the addiction in the eye and accepting the facts = realising the damage you are doing by continuing with the addiction <br />Step two: Are you in charge or the addiction? = regaining self control: here you keep a record of your addictive behaviour and/or desire for it, make a plan for gradual reduction that includes rewards for effort and goals achieved <br />Step three: Your need for the good things in life = Life style balancing: here you learn to engage in and plan for other pleasurable and satisfying activities besides your addiction <br />Step four: Re-train the brain = Thinking about your thinking: here you need to learn to think differently about chocolate and things that trigger a desire for the addictive behaviour (stress).<br />
  3. 3. Do you want to change?<br />When we are confronted by problems and when we are confronted by situations that demand a decision from us we seem to go through a number of stages. <br />The first stage is the stage of PRECONTEMPLATION. In this stage we are not aware of the role WE play in the problem. We think that other people should do something, others should change then our problems would disappear. We do not see a link between our thinking and our behaviour and the problems we have. If you are thinking like this about your problems, you probably are not that keen to start reading how YOU can change. It may be better for you to put the book aside and wait until you have moved further in the process of change.<br />
  4. 4. Contemplation<br />The second step is CONTEMPLATION. In this stage we are in two minds about the problems. On the one hand we see some connection between our thinking and behaviour and the problems, but on the other hand we find it hard to believe that our actions are responsible for our emotional problems. When we are in contemplation it seems as if there are two voices in our head discussing the issues.<br />If you recognise this, you are a person who is trying to come to a conclusion regarding the need to change. A good way to speed up this process is to do exercise 1. <br />
  5. 5. Deciding<br />The third stage is called DECISION. When we have solved the internal discussion we have come to a decision. This can go two ways:<br />YES, I need to change in order to solve some problems or<br />NO, I do not need to change.<br />
  6. 6. Action<br />When we have decided that change is needed, than we have to find an appropriate way to change. If you think that by reading this book and doing the exercises in the book you will be able to bring about the necessary change in feelings and behaviour, then this is right for you. If on the other hand you feel that a different approach would suit you better, than it would be advisable to talk to a cognitive behaviour therapist in order to explore the other options.<br />In the stage of ACTION we are actually changing our thinking and behaviour. Sometimes on our own with limited assistance and sometimes with the close support from a therapist we start changing our thinking and feeling in order to overcome psychological and emotional problems. <br />
  7. 7. Maintaining<br />Psychological and emotional problems are different from physical problems like breaking a leg. With a broken leg, you get if mended and after a period of rest and recuperation we can use it as before: the healing process takes a limited amount of time and the changes we need to make are temporarily. With emotional and psychological problems we are often dealing with life-long thinking and behavioural habits that need to change FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES, if we want to prevent a recurrence of our problems. This than leads to a stage in the cycle of change that we call MAINTENANCE: maintaining the changes that you have achieved.<br />
  8. 8. Relapse<br />If we go back into our old habits, we call this a RELAPSE.<br />To help you decide whether change is something you want to do, complete the form on the next page.<br />
  9. 9.
  10. 10. Step 1<br />Step one: Do you really want to give it up? = getting motivated: staring the addiction in the eye and accepting the facts = realising the damage you are doing by continuing with the addiction.<br />
  11. 11. Consequences of Harmful habits <br />Examples of harmful habits are: drinking too much alco­hol, using too much drugs, using drugs in the wrong way (using dirty needles), watching television 24 hours a day, working too hard, having unsafe sex etc.<br />In fact all behaviours that can be enjoyed in moderation can become uncontrolled. This means that the person engaging in the behaviour (drinking, sex, using drugs or watching the telly) runs high risks of damaging himself or other people by engaging in this behaviour.<br />
  12. 12. The main problem <br />with harmful habits is that we often get very strong positive -short term- effects out of it. At least this is so in the beginning. However when the habit has become firmly established the picture becomes more complicated. For outsiders it seems that the harmful consequences are all we get delivered. But what we continue to experience when we engage in a harmful habit are the positive short term effect: postponement of detoxification symptoms, the familiar feeling of doing something we know etc. etc.<br />
  13. 13. So even with very harmful habits <br />the positive short-term consequences remain, while the negative consequences take a lot longer to come to our awareness. Therefore the maintenance of these harmful habits is very easy: we all know that behaviour which elicits short-term positive consequences becomes firmly established in one&apos;s behaviour pattern.<br />
  14. 14. Exercise 1<br />