Is truly possible to cure your addiction without needing help from the usual sources, like support groups and/or professional therapies?
In 1982, a social psychologist at the Colombia University by the name of Stanley Schachter did an interesting study. Mr. Schachter interviewed former overweight people and smokers with regards to their addiction. He then published an article about his finding, which then caused a stir in the addiction-treatment community.
Basically, his study shows that “self-changers” have better success compared to success results of what is considered as formal and professional addiction therapies. This rocked the addiction-treatment community. Some were very skeptical, and some were in total disbelief. Here’s why:
First, it’s true that the sample size of the study was small. Also, the study heavily relies on past-behavior reports, which can be unreliable. However, despite the all of these negative remarks, in some ways it can be a gleaming beam of hope for some individuals.
Specifically, individuals who are still contemplating if they are a victim of a condition that they have no control over; or it’s something that they can overcome on their own. Before we explore that further, you might want to check out these highlights of another study by Psychologist Reginald Smart from the Center for Addiction and Mental Health.
- It is possible to stop drinking (or perhaps any kind addiction) without any form “formal” treatment, which includes self-help groups.
- Many self-changers are able to adopt a pattern of non-problematic and moderate use of alcohol, without the problem of getting re-addicted.
- For those who seek treatments, it is often related to severe alcohol abuse and other related problems.
What Can We Learn From These Studies?
In some circles of addiction treatment communities, they believe that addiction is a disease of the mind and body. When certain factors are triggered, a person then becomes addicted (with very little control) and the only way to control the addiction is abstinence and professional treatment help. I am not saying that this is untrue. However, the results of the studies mentioned above paint a different picture.
I believe that addiction is a spectrum. On one spectrum, the sober and non-addict ones take their place. On the other spectrum, it’s the place for the severely addicted ones.
All of us fall between the two spectrums. Depending on where you are on the spectrum and your ability to break the addiction, I believe it’s very possible for you to “Do-It-Yourself” your addiction treatment. However, this is still a subject that you need to tread lightly.
The reason why you might want to approach your DIY addiction treatment with extreme caution is simply because you are most likely biased in terms of assessing your problems. You may consider yourself as slightly addicted; but in reality you are slowly slipping down to the deepest ends of the rabbit hole.
That is why I think it’s better to stay on the safe side. That means, talk to a professional about your “potential” problem. Keep in mind that you don’t have to blindly follow their recommendations; but at the very least you will have another person (which is a professional) looking into your problem. That gives you another, or maybe a better perspective.
Oh, by the way, this is just Part I of the many series. In the coming articles, we will cover possible treatments you can do on your own to kick out a bad habit.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
- Is It Possible – How To Stop An Addiction Through Meditation?