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If I was addicted to smoking or drinking alcohol and I am fully aware of the harmful consequences, what do you think I should do or tell myself to not give into temptation? 

 

What if the temptation is too strong?

 

What if these addictions are a result of constant stress? 

 

P.S. Please don't mention counseling 😁

Looking for other helpful coping methods.

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34 minutes ago, Anushka said:

If I was addicted to smoking or drinking alcohol and I am fully aware of the harmful consequences, what do you think I should do or tell myself to not give into temptation? 

 

What if the temptation is too strong?

 

What if these addictions are a result of constant stress? 

 

P.S. Please don't mention counseling 😁

Looking for other helpful coping methods.

 

When you're ready to quit, you'll quit. Nicotine is a bitch to quit but you'll do it. When you're sick and tired of doing it, you'll quit. :) When Dad was quitting he told himself, "I haven't quit smoking. I'm just not having a cigarette right now." That worked for him. I used another method. :)

 

I dont know about quitting alcohol but the first week of quitting tobacco was the toughest for me because I had multiple associations with tobacco use; after breakfast, use tobacco. After lunch use tobacco. Going to work, leaving work, everything I did had tobacco use connected to it. Breaking those connections was the tough part, but after a few days of refraining from tobacco the cravings start to die off. After that it's more of a mental maintenance game. I told myself I could never ever use any tobacco ever again and I haven't (that was 1987). For me, one slip up and I would be an addict again ... I'd tried a number of times prior to that and giving in to the temptation always resulted in re-addiction. Try not to think about smoking. If you have a smoking thought, kill it with some other thought. Thinking about smoking will lead to actually smoking. Dont allow yourself that thought.

 

Dont throw your cigarettes away in an easily accessible trash can in your house. :) Destroy them or flush them.  I've pulled my tobacco out of the trash and used it again (pathetic, I know).

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Those are chemical addictions.

 

Perhaps you can create your own program to quite smoking involving nicotine lozenges, a support group, placing the net money you save (by not buying cigarettes) into a vacation or mad-money savings account, etc.

 

As to alcohol, anatbuse might work.  It's expensive though and requires a prescription.

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Sorry, but you're seeking counseling right here. We're just not as good at it as a professional.

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11 hours ago, Anushka said:

If I was addicted to smoking or drinking alcohol and I am fully aware of the harmful consequences, what do you think I should do or tell myself to not give into temptation? 

 

What if the temptation is too strong?

 

What if these addictions are a result of constant stress? 

 

P.S. Please don't mention counseling 😁

Looking for other helpful coping methods.

You already answered your own question. You said that you are aware of the harmful consequences. Those consequences are the reason you should give yourself to not give into the temptation. If you don't care about the consequences, then your issue isn't necessarily the use of substances, its likely something else.

 

Cravings and temptations are only temporary and will typically only last for a minute or two. If a craving hits, do something mentally that prevents it from entering a cyclical thought pattern in your mind. Do something different that involves you thinking and doing something that removes the temptation from the forefront of your mind. .

 

Remember: smoking and drinking are also coping methods and you are ideally looking for other ways to cope. I suspect you already have them and use them, but for some reason you're not thinking about them. Usually talking to someone who cares is often the best coping skill. I tell my clients that its better to experience a few minutes of emotional discomfort with someone who is interested in making you a better person than to give in to the temptation and experience a much longer time dealing with the consequences of your use.

 

I know you're not looking for a counselor in this situation, but I do suggest you seek one out if you're having difficulty finding coping skills that work for you.

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Find you some meetings to go to.  We are ex-christians.  Few, if any of us, are qualified addiction counselors.  As such, we can help you with any problems related to deconversion, but not with problems related to addiction.  For that, you need someone else's help.

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15 hours ago, florduh said:

Sorry, but you're seeking counseling right here. We're just not as good at it as a professional.

 

😋

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What caused the smoking or drinking to start? What triggers it each time? If it's all for coping then you need to come up with a better method for coping. You can't just stop drinking and smoking and replace them with nothing and expect it to work.

 

I really don't understand the appeal of cigarettes and drinking. It seems strange to me. Just observing other people makes it seem unappealing. Cigarettes smell bad. And most of the people I know become highly belligerent when they are drunk.

 

If you don't want to try counseling, try seeing if you can get a recommendation from a doctor.

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Thank you for all the answers.

 

I was asking "if" I was addicted to smoking/drinking...

I don't smoke or drink...never tried a cigarette in my life..tried alcohol a few times, hated the taste...

 

The reason I asked this question is because I am addicted to mobile phones, eating sugary foods/drinks even when I don't want it..

My eyes are watering and is becoming red and aching.. going to see my optician on Friday...

My dentist said my enamel has started to come off...he said it's not too serious as this enamel erosion is normal for people my age - late 20s...but because of my excessive sugar consumption, my teeth are now sensitive to all sugary foods...now after having desserts, my teeth- all of them starts aching , so does my gums...they itch too...the pain became so bad that 2 weeks ago, I woke up around 4 am due to excessive toothache...and for a few nights had trouble falling asleep because of the pain and itching in my mouth...

 

The reason I worded the question in my original post as smoking and drinking is cos I didn't find a lot of helpful info about dealing with sugar addiction and mobile addiction - maybe because it is not considered as serious as smoking/drinking.

 

I found a start to help with my mobile addiction- an app called HOLD. This rewards you for not using your phone with points which can be used to buy coffee, movie tickets or giving to charity.

 

Using this app for the past 2 days and I am already noticing a very good change. But, not enough..I believe if I give it time, this app will help me see real changes ..

 

Edit: it has started to affect my eye sight as well..it is blurry now..😪😥😭😨😬😰😳🤧 

I am really scared..and frustrated with myself....I am already short-sighted ever since I was a kid and have been wearing glasses since childhood... 😔😓😩

 

 

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The first step is admitting you are powerless over your addiction and that your life has become unmanageable.

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Addictive personalities will always find something to get addicted to. The easiest thing for most people is to migrate to a benign or less harmful addiction. Cold turkey works for some, and it works well if you can do it. You could make a practice of going out to a fun activity without taking a mobile device along. You could make the LCHF or Paleo diet your new food addiction; I can attest you won't crave sugar after three or four days of healthy eating.

 

There is no magic. There is no change if you won't change anything. Those who can't manage to do that on their own can avail themselves of professional help. Or not, it's all up to you.

 

Good luck.

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This book was a life changer for me. It's a must-read for any addictive personality, in my opinion. The author who is a physician makes so many wonderful points that let you look at your addictions without shame. Best of luck honey. (hug)

 

https://aslanpublishing.com/aslan/books/magnificent-addiction.html

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You can experiment. I've found some methods that way.

 

Crisped rice cereal has a strong effect for me in that I think it effects my blood sugar super strongly, to the extent of making me very drowsy, but eating it is not as big a pleasure as eating sweets would be, as the cereal itself isn't sweet. Primarily it's just a very quickly digestable starch.

 

This kills the cravings without giving me the pleasure that sweets would give me. The cravings only attack me a few times over the course of a few days before they diminish to a negligible level. So if I win those fights I'm clean for the time being.

 

Then again I also agree with Lucy. When we are dealing with difficult things or circumstances we probably need some pleasure or solace anyway. If you drop sweets it's probably going to be simply eating too much or something like that if you're not paying attention. Then again going a bit overweight might not be too bad if the alternative is losing your teeth.

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For sugar cravings, change your diet to a low carb, high fat diet. Your cravings will be gone in under a week.

 

I highly recommend Dr. Eric Berg and Thomas Delauer on YouTube. They are ketogenic diet specialists and they give away a wealth of knowledge on the subject. More than enough to get you started and into a craving-free lifestyle.

 

As far as your itchy, aching gums and teeth -- see a dentist.

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At the risk of derailing this thread, I would like to address two things that were mentioned.

14 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

The first step is admitting you are powerless over your addiction and that your life has become unmanageable.

While this is the first of the 12 steps in the AA and NA (and others) program, its not really a true statement to say you are powerless. The statement actually becomes untrue the moment you attend a meeting and start working the steps. I teach my clients that there is a difference between being powerless, and having learned and habitualized using or drinking. When we develop habits, they allow evaluative decision making to get skipped. When we fail to evaluate, we make the choices without considering the consequences, and in essence, there is no resistance to our behavior. Addiction is ultimately a learned behavior that has physiological effects on us. The behaviors can be unlearned, and the body can return to its normal state.

I do agree that it can make life unmanageable, but I prefer to say it makes life chaotic.

 

13 hours ago, florduh said:

Addictive personalities will always find something to get addicted to.

There is no such thing as an addictive personality. Much research has been done and has concluded that there is no addictive personality. While it is true that people will often move to other addictions, this is not necessarily an indicator of an addictive personality. There are many learned behaviors involved in addiction and our brains get very comfortable with these behaviors, so it makes sense that they would easily be transferred to other things that bear similar resemblance to our primary addiction. Our brains find comfort in the familiar. It works with religion and it works in addiction.

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If you are waking up due to tooth pain, go see a dentist. If you wait, it'll only get worse.

 

I used to have issues with my gums and teeth. My gums would hurt and the inside of my mouth felt itchy. I would get itchy patches and if I brushed my teeth every day I would get ulcers. Then I switched to SLS free toothpaste and my issues all went away. My mouth feels totally normal and no ulcers or itchiness for over a decade now. It really sucked being in constant pain and getting lectures from adults about brushing my teeth and finding out much, much later that it was all due to a toothpaste ingredient that didn't affect other people he same as it affected me. I'm currently using xyliwhite. Once your mouth feels better, try a water pick. It's a lot easier to keep your teeth clean if they aren't tingling and itching all the time.

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25 minutes ago, Storm said:

There is no such thing as an addictive personality.

That is a hotly debated topic among psychologists. The bottom line is that some people are more inclined to develop an unhealthy attachment to certain behaviors and are quite uncomfortable if those behaviors are denied them. I agree with those who say that a person who gives up smoking and then gains 30 pounds of weight, one who goes cold turkey on drinking but keeps his mind off of it by working 60 hours a week, the guy who runs 10 miles a day breaks his leg and can't run then begins a life of online gaming that fills three or four hours a day can be characterized as a person prone to addictive behavior.

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@Storm What are your thoughts on the neurological changes that take place in the brains of addicts?

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1 hour ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

@Storm What are your thoughts on the neurological changes that take place in the brains of addicts?

Neurological changes do happen in the brains of addicts. But here is the thing that most people are unaware of, or at least don't think about: Neurological changes happen because of lots of other things too. The neurological changes are certainly a part of the whole addiction process, but they aren't the whole of the addiction. The behavior is. The behavior fuels the use, which fuels the changes that occur in the brain.

 

Our brains are neuroplastic. They change and adapt based on lots of things. Falling in love, accepting a religious lifestyle, then eventually leaving that lifestyle because you realize its crap, being depressed, being anxious, experiencing a traumatic event, and the list goes on.

 

When we develop habits, our brains change. Its all in the name of efficiency.  Those neurological changes don't mean that its still not primarily behavioral. With the exception of how your body reacts to a particular substance, everything involved in becoming an addict is behavioral. It works on a feedback loop system. And, inversely, everything that you do to not be an addict is behavioral. You change people, places, things, learn new coping skills, how to be in touch with your emotions, etc. The neurological changes do make it more difficult to recover, because, once again, the brain has to change again, and this time it has to change something that has likely happened for years and is very efficient and set in its ways.

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On 6/26/2018 at 7:10 PM, Anushka said:

If I was addicted to smoking or drinking alcohol and I am fully aware of the harmful consequences, what do you think I should do or tell myself to not give into temptation? 

 

What if the temptation is too strong?

 

What if these addictions are a result of constant stress? 

 

P.S. Please don't mention counseling 😁

Looking for other helpful coping methods.

 

My advice is to treat it like a detox -- taper down slowly. 5 cigarettes a day one week to 4 cigarettes a day the next week, until you're done (substitute whatever numbers and habits are applicable to you). Don't try to do it too fast, go gradually. Same for drinking. You say you don't want counseling but the up side of counseling is that they can prescribe a nonaddictive anti-anxiety pill like Buspar to help you over the rough patches. If you prefer the non-chemical route, try meditation for stress relief. Good luck!

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2 hours ago, florduh said:

The bottom line is that some people are more inclined to develop an unhealthy attachment to certain behaviors and are quite uncomfortable if those behaviors are denied them. I agree with those who say that a person who gives up smoking and then gains 30 pounds of weight, one who goes cold turkey on drinking but keeps his mind off of it by working 60 hours a week, the guy who runs 10 miles a day breaks his leg and can't run then begins a life of online gaming that fills three or four hours a day can be characterized as a person prone to addictive behavior.

The evidence doesn't support an addictive personality. Your examples could be (and should be) classified as maladaptive behaviors. That isn't necessarily the same as an addiction. The research shows that there are common features among some of the people studied, but there are no features that are universal in all of them. Because of this lack of universality, there isn't a justification to label an addictive personality. Simply because someone used another maladaptive behavior to replace an existing one doesn't mean that there is an addictive personality. Like I mentioned upthread, we do what we are comfortable with. Familiarity makes behaviors easier to accept and incorporate in our lives. And justifying those behaviors as a means to not do other maladaptive behaviors is generally acceptable in society, which only further reinforces their being done.

 

If I was a diehard christian and I was very vocal about my belief and very hardline about what I believe and my life reflected my beliefs with heavy church attendance and bible study attendance. If I leave my faith, and I do the exact same things as an atheist (attend atheist conventions spend tons of time reading atheist books and generally banter the religious), do I have a "religious personality"by exhibiting the same behaviors, but with different subjects?

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41 minutes ago, Storm said:

If I was a diehard christian and I was very vocal about my belief and very hardline about what I believe and my life reflected my beliefs with heavy church attendance and bible study attendance. If I leave my faith, and I do the exact same things as an atheist (attend atheist conventions spend tons of time reading atheist books and generally banter the religious), do I have a "religious personality"by exhibiting the same behaviors, but with different subjects?

Well, that is exactly what you have described, so I would say you would be prone to fanatical obsession regarding religious belief. It manifests as indistinguishable from any other "addiction." It is likely that trait could also translate to political or other belief. That would be a dominant part of your personality or mental makeup causing the behavior. We can argue the semantics of "addiction" and "personality" but needing one outlet or another for obsessive tendencies is, in common parlance, an addictive personality even though said behaviors may not be true addictions in the clinical sense and one may even want to argue that "personality" is not an exact term in the view of some professionals. I don't see addiction as limited to ingesting chemical substances as it appears to be an irrepressible behavior pattern as expressed in gambling, eating, working, fighting, thrill seeking or sex. There are activities and substances that give us pleasure or satisfaction and to essentially live primarily for those moments of reward is being addicted to it. Actual psychologists have differing views on this subject but we regular unwashed masses all know people who are best described, to us in the vernacular, as having addictive personalities. We all know what that means in practical terms.

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41 minutes ago, florduh said:

Well, that is exactly what you have described, so I would say you would be prone to fanatical obsession regarding religious belief. It manifests as indistinguishable from any other "addiction." It is likely that trait could also translate to political or other belief. That would be a dominant part of your personality or mental makeup causing the behavior. We can argue the semantics of "addiction" and "personality" but needing one outlet or another for obsessive tendencies is, in common parlance, an addictive personality even though said behaviors may not be true addictions in the clinical sense and one may even want to argue that "personality" is not an exact term in the view of some professionals. I don't see addiction as limited to ingesting chemical substances as it appears to be an irrepressible behavior pattern as expressed in gambling, eating, working, fighting, thrill seeking or sex. There are activities and substances that give us pleasure or satisfaction and to essentially live primarily for those moments of reward is being addicted to it. Actual psychologists have differing views on this subject but we regular unwashed masses all know people who are best described, to us in the vernacular, as having addictive personalities. We all know what that means in practical terms.

I get what your saying and I don't necessarily disagree.

 

But as someone who works in the addictions treatment field, it is frustrating when people toss around those words with various definitions. Its much like the term spirituality. Its a loaded word and has numerous meanings and this broad application waters it down and makes it essentially meaningless in the big picture. Addiction is that same way. In the context of this discussion, I understand what you are referring to, but that doesn't make it less frustrating.

 

I would like to point out that you seem to be using the words addictive and obsessive interchangeably, when obsessive would suffice and would probably be the better word in your examples.

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25 minutes ago, Storm said:

I get what your saying and I don't necessarily disagree.

 

But as someone who works in the addictions treatment field, it is frustrating when people toss around those words with various definitions. Its much like the term spirituality. Its a loaded word and has numerous meanings and this broad application waters it down and makes it essentially meaningless in the big picture. Addiction is that same way. In the context of this discussion, I understand what you are referring to, but that doesn't make it less frustrating.

 

I would like to point out that you seem to be using the words addictive and obsessive interchangeably, when obsessive would suffice and would probably be the better word in your examples.

Have you ever been an addict?  Are you currently in recovery?  You can PM your answers if you'd rather not state them publicly.

 

For my part, yes to both.

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