The Truth About Addictions | Hypnotherapy for Addictions Sydney

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Addiction Ebook


HOW IT ALL WORKS

Save time and money by getting prepared with a free online explanation so that you can hit the ground running.


CAN YOU BE HYPNOTIZED?

Hypnosis works differently for different people and takes practise. Find out which method works best for you!


ONLINE SKYPE SESSIONS

Do therapy from the comfort of your home. Hypnotherapy is just as effective online and much more convenient for you!


Sydney Hypnotherapy - Hypnotherapy for Addictions Sydney

Let's look at addictions. Let's take a common addiction like smoking, for example. Addictions are caused by chemical dependency on something, right? That was proven around about 100 years ago. What scientists did was they put a rat in a cage and they'd give it either water or water laced with a drug like cocaine or heroin to choose from. The rat would have both and, eventually, it started to prefer the drug and, eventually, become obsessed with the drug. It became addicted and eventually, it'd keep coming back until it overdosed and died. With repetition, they said, "There you go, it's scientifically proven these drugs are addictive, it's chemically addictive."

Only after a while, they started to make these observations like, for example, well, hang on, how come all these people can go to hospital for sustained periods of time, be exposed to diamorphine, which is pure heroin, and when they get to discharged from hospital, very few of them end up being addicted? If it's chemically addictive, how do you explain that?

The biggest concern or from observation comes during the Vietnam war where they found that up to 20% of the entire military was routinely using heroin to cope with the stress of having to kill people or be killed all day. Can't really blame them. But then what they thought is oh, they started freaking out thinking they're going to have this mass epidemic of returned soldiers all walking around drug addicted. But what they found was when they returned home, at least 95% of them just stopped taking it. Again, how does that make sense if it's chemically addictive?

Around about the '70s, psychologists like Bruce Alexander was the most famous guy at this point, he started looking at the psychology of a thing like addiction and he goes, "Hang on a second. Remember those original rat studies? See, if I was locked in a cage alone with nothing to do, I'd probably turn to drugs as well." He repeated the experiment. He changed it a bit, called the famous Rat Park Experiments.

In Rat Park, it was very similar, only he put a bunch of rats in together so now, they're interacting with each other. They kind of got to compete for a mate. They got to interact. They got to connect with each other. But they've also got mazes, and balls, and slides, and things to do so in other words, they're more engaged. They're keeping active. They're keeping busy, the way that nature kind of invented it. Only in Rat Park, they didn't really prefer the drug. In fact, there was no overdoses at all. They preferred the water. The conclusion was it's not just the chemical. It's also the cage, or in other words, the environment.

With humans especially, our environment growing up at home and at school, it tends to kind of stick. We kind of absorb bits and pieces of it and then, we carry it around with us in the back of our mind, but for the most part, we just don't realize this, unconscious.

Let's take smoking, for example. See, if you ask someone what's the addictive component in cigarettes, they usually say it's nicotine. That makes sense. But if that were the case, why are nicotine replacement therapy not 100% effective? 'Cause if you're good at reflecting and you trace the patterns, you start to see a recurring theme when people start smoking.

For starters, it's usually during a time in their life where they're feeling relatively bored, alone, stressed, disengaged, disconnected. So their stress levels are high it's either at work or study or whatever. Then they have a break and the stressor levels decrease a bit, and that's when they have a cigarette. Then they go back and then their stress levels are high again, and then they have a break and that's when they have a cigarette. Then they go back and then stress levels decrease and the same pattern continues. The brain starts to say, "Hang on a second, something is going on here that decreases my stress levels."

The other thing is very few people start smoking alone. Most people start smoking as a social smoker. They're feeling disengaged, disconnected, and then they have a break and what are they doing? They're having a smoke with other co-workers, other students where they're kind of opening up, and talking, and they're feeling more connected. All nicotine really does is it stimulates the brain so that we feel a little bit more inclined to kind of open up and connect. Caffeine has a similar effect, not quite as strong.

So at each of these times, we go from feeling bored, disengaged, disconnected to feeling more connected and the brain eventually picks up on the pattern. So then later on after a while when the pattern and the habit develops, they're sitting at home feeling bored, stressed, or disengaged, disconnected, and they can't understand way part of them is screaming out for that thing that they were doing at that time. Their neurology is essentially trying to get back to those feelings long after the original experience and they forgot all about it.

Let's say then you take a kid who grows up in a home feeling relatively disengaged, disconnected with their family, with the exception of when they all sit down, and open up, and talk, and engage, and connect with each other over a meal and then with repetition, over the years when they grow up, they can't understand why every time they feel stressed, bored, disengaged, or disconnected, they feel this urge to kind of eat for comfort. Even when they're not even hungry, they just need to eat for the comfort of it and they can't figure out where that started because most people don't spend a lot of time reflecting and looking for recurring patterns.

Have you ever watched the movie about The Founder about Ray Kroc who started McDonald's? He was this middle aged guy who was feeling really disengaged, disconnected, didn't have a very good home relationship with his wife and daughter, but when he was going around selling these McDonald's franchises, he was selling them to mums and dads who bring their kids and they go, "Hi, Ray. How's it going?" and he was like part of the family. He was like the father figure.

The recurring theme with McDonald's when they first started out was McDonald's is family and it worked brilliantly for them. They now are the most successful fast food franchise in the world because they promoted that image of bonding and connecting, which humans growing up need to do.

People need to, for young people especially nowadays ... where's my phone? If they can't bond or feel engaged or connected with people in real life, there's always a substitute. Now people, young people especially are literally, literally addicted to their phone. Instagram is particularly addictive for young people because you could put a filter on the world. You don't have to see reality. That doesn't feel good. You can get this filtered and I believe it and then ...

Snapchat is even better because it's like it relies on the impulse mechanism. Just post something and it's gone so you don't have to worry about the consequences. So our planfulness abilities are just getting worse, and worse, and worse, and worse. As a Sydney hypnotherapist, I expect to be very busy over the next 20 years.