Mental Patterns Of Substance Abuse

Decent Essays - How To Change Mental Patterns Of Substance Abuse?
People with an addiction often struggle to break free because they treat only the physical element. The mental patterns that influence substance abuse must be changed if any addiction treatment to be successful. Understanding these patterns, and how to break them, can help you create a life free of addiction and its harmful consequences.

The Mental Patterns Of Substance Abuse
Our mental processes often work in patterns of repeated behaviors, patterns that are formed when we behave in specific ways for extended periods of time. They differ from our instinctual behaviors in that they are “learned” behaviors, or ones that we develop as we change and grow as human beings. …show more content…

The relaxing effect that many smokers feel is actually caused by a decrease in withdrawal symptoms. The body, which feels pain and anxiety without its addictive substance, feels more at ease when the substance is added. However, the idea that smoking actually relaxes nerves and the mind is a damaging cognitive error, one that causes many people to turn to tobacco as a calming influence in their lives.

Common Cognitive Errors
Irrational cognitive errors are common in the lives of all of us and are especially common in people who suffer from addiction. Some of the most common cognitive errors that contribute to addiction include:

All-or-nothing – essentially, black and white thinking, such as “I always feel better after drinking” or “I never experience anxiety after doing heroin”
Minimization – playing down the damaging effects of addiction, such as “at least I 'm not living in a crack house” or “I don 't drink every day, just Friday through Sunday!”
“Should” statements – creating expectations and rules for yourself that are difficult, such as “I should be able to quit drinking in a week” or “I ought to be able to quit cocaine cold turkey”
Labeling – letting your addiction create an identity that you can 't escape, such as “I 'm just an alcoholic and that 's that” or creating labels for people who are trying to help you quit and creating a “me versus them” mentality

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