The disease model of addiction, is addiction a disease?

Discussion in 'Porn Addiction' started by Be Normal, Aug 27, 2017.

  1. Be Normal

    Be Normal Fapstronaut

    There is a lot of debate of whether addiction is really a disease or not.

    The disease model is an organ that gets a defect that results in symptoms.

    The organ involved is the midbrain, the unconscious survival part for basic emotional responses (eat, F#@k, kill) And the prefrontal cortex, the part that gives people and objects who enter our world meaning, attaching emotion, forming relationships with friends, family and higher power. In a healthy brain, the frontal cortex keeps the midbrain in check. In an addict's brain, something goes wrong in the midbrain and the midbrain becomes more powerful than the prefrontal cortex.

    There are two main reasons why this happens; genes and stress
    The most important reason is stress. Chronic, severe, unmanaged stress. If this severe stress persists long enough, it can break the brain's dopamine system (pleasure system) it confuses its ability to recognize high survival value. It can't derive normal pleasure from normally pleasurable things.

    Addiction is a disorder of the brain's pleasure sense, people become anhedonic (pleasure deaf) the only thing that they can "hear" are things that release huge amounts of dopamine.

    If the midbrain really thinks that is under a survival stressor, and if the only thing that can relieve that stressor is something that will release large amounts of dopamine, the midbrain, in a desperate attempt to secure survival, will shut the frontal cortex off. This is what neuroscientists call frontal-hypo-functionality and we can see it on MRI scans, when addicts are in a compulsive (using drugs or PMO) or a craving state, we actually see the frontal cortex shut down. Because the person's values and morals are standing in the way of the midbrain securing survival, doing whatever it needs to save the organism's life. So the midbrain takes over and the person's ability to exert choice starts to fail.

    When we become good stress managers, the prefrontal cortex regains its control over the midbrain and the power of choice returns.

    This fits the disease model of addiction
    The organ involved is the midbrain.
    The defect is the stress-induced hedonic dysregulation
    The symptoms are loss of control, craving, and persistent use of the addiction despite negative consequences.

    There you have it. I hope this helps at least 1 person.
    If you want to learn more, listen to these audios.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  2. R.I.I.P.E.R

    R.I.I.P.E.R Fapstronaut

    on point brother!
    Be Normal likes this.
  3. Have you read the book 'The Biology of Desire' Why addiction is not a disease by Marc Lewis. It's an interesting book and Marc Lewis is a Neurologist who used to be an addict. His take on addiction is that the brain is doing what it is supposed to do in a world that isn't co-operating.Personally, I managed to get clean and sober by understanding the disease model of addiction via Cocaine Anonymous, ie: a disease of the mind and an alergy of the body with the belief that I am powerless against the grip of addiction, unless I ensure I don't put the first one in or take the first hit, therefore had to embark on finding a power greater than myself. Much of which still is part of my ongoing recovery, however i find it useful to research it from other perspectives too.

    In Marc Lewis's book he states 'The Striatum learns from experience. It adjusts it's wiring according to what felt good in the past and how hard it was to achieve that feeling. Thus it translates past pleasures into present desires. When Natalie felt that wash of craving for a shot of heroin, imagining how good it was going to feel, working out what she had to do to get it, her Striatum was buzzing. The synaptic networks in her striatum included in the "heroin" pattern (flashing all over her brain) were alive with neuronal transmissions-firing rates well into the red zone marked 'urgent'. At the same time, her other goals, like pleasing her boss at the restaurant, getting on better with Grace, and calling her mom, all faded, became insubstantial. The networks that supported those goals dimmed and then turned dark. As with other brain networks 'what fires together wires together' and what doesn't fire together -with the rest of the team-gets left on the sidelines. Those synapses literally lose efficiency and may eventually disappear altogether'

    This is very similar to how I used to crave porn and other things like drugs.

  4. Be Normal

    Be Normal Fapstronaut

    Hey Thor thanks for replying! No, I have not read that book, but it sounds really interesting. I like learning things from other's perspectives as well. I am interested in learning more about what you are saying, thus I may have to read the book. Because what you're describing in the book sounds exactly like what Dr. McCauley is trying to teach. And he also collects articles about how addiction is not a disease. So I'm curious to know more about what arguments Marc Lewis uses in his book when he says addiction is not a disease. I am interested in learning more about neurobiology and addictionology. And I can relate to you you as well.

    I am new to recovery for my gaming addiction. I'm also addicted to alcohol and drugs which I quit 8-9 months ago without the help of any fellowship, I later realized that I became more connected with my nofap accountability partner to help relieve my stress. However, it has been a very lonely road in real life so decided to move to a clean and sober house next week where I can start connecting with people I can relate too and start going to all kinds of meetings. I've been to one phone meeting for SA as well which I never knew about, and I don't think many people here know that there are face to face meetings all over the place every day/week for any kind of sexual addiction such as for porn. I've personally found it more helpful to have more intimate connections for any recovery via voice or face to face (messaging cannot compare) I've always only used messaging to connect for years about my problems and it has helped a little, but again it is uncomparable to voice and F2F.
    Thanks again

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