Dreams have been described as dress rehearsals for real life, opportunities to gratify wishes, and a form of nocturnal therapy. A new theory aims to make sense of it all.
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Science, Spirituality, and the Road to Recovery
Anderson Spickard Jr., M.D.
The addicted brain is like an out-of-control driver putting the pedal to the floor—in a car without brakes.
"I couldn’t grasp the cause-and-effect relationship between my drug use and the decline of my cognitive powers."
An addicted person's behavior is unpredictable and can quickly change from jubilant euphoria to angry suspicion.
Mental illness can be both a cause and a consequence of addiction.
I had been a gifted student and athlete, surrounded by friends whose dreams were as high as my own. Now I was completely alone, with nothing left but the wreckage of my life.
At the time, I was confident she hadn’t sustained any long-term damage to her vital organs. Today, I wonder if she didn’t damage her most vital one.
“I was going 100 miles an hour toward a nightmare, and all the while it seemed like a carnival.”
The compelling messages from alcohol companies can appeal to adolescent yearnings to appear attractive, cool, and confident.
“The community that had been my spiritual safe haven had lost its innocence, and so had I.”
Throwing a life preserver to an addicted person is like hospitalizing someone threatening suicide. It is an effort to restore freedom and dignity, not take it away.
"I couldn’t let anything—not even overwhelming feelings or a wrecked life—throw my recovery off course."
Was it possible I had broken my loved ones' hearts and crushed their dreams? Just the thought felt like a kick in the gut, and a layer of my denial was peeled away.
Addicted individuals routinely use the techniques of minimization and repression to protect themselves from the knowledge that they have lost control.
How much is enough? Just a little bit more.
Conquering addiction involves continuously performing individual acts of surrender.
Connection with others, even those in different circumstances, is vital to the healing process for people battling addiction.
Support from others can have a profound impact on the success of the recovery process.
Addicted individuals can find in surrender and acceptance the inner strength to fight for their lives.
Spiritual practices and experiences may bring about transformation in the fight against addiction.
"Working the Twelve Steps had become my road map for all the work I had to do, both in my inner life and in the outside world."
A recovering addict describes a significant event during his journey to recovery.
"I now know, and what a revelation it has been to my understanding, that the alcoholic or drug addict won't stop because they can't stop."
A comprehensive recovery program that uses science coupled with spirituality shows that it's possible to rescue an addict and reprogram the brain away from destructive behaviors.
Researchers are searching for genes responsible for multi generational addiction in families.
"There are personal risk factors that dramatically increase the chances of developing an addiction." Excerpted from The Craving Brain
Every addict must reach his own turning point to escape the web of addiction.
"Talking to a loved one before it's too late could make such a difference and prevent decades of unnecessary malevolence toward a person who cannot help himself."
“It was like watching a movie, one where you know something bad is about to happen to the main character, and you hope that somehow he escapes danger." James B.
Why can't they just stop? The answer may surprise you. A former addict shares his journey and insight gained during recovery.
The critical link between spirituality and science in the recovery process and the hope it offers to the addicted and the people who love them.
Anderson Spickard, Jr., M.D., is an Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University Medical School.