Healing The Alcoholic Mind
Understanding The Alcoholic Mind
To help someone with alcoholism really heal, it is vital to understand how the mind and brain interact and influence each other. And how, in alcoholics, this keeps them trapped in the cycle of addiction and the sobriety/relapse syndrome. The mind and the brain must both be healed and at the same time so that recovery can be lasting.
The Need For Reward
The drive for reward, pleasure, and accomplishment is natural for everyone. But, with alcoholism, this drive becomes distorted. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, the perception of alcohol’s role in pleasure becomes bigger & bigger. In alcoholism the interaction between psychology and biology is expressed like this:
When alcoholics drink, the brain’s reward center (known as the Mesolimbic system) releases powerful amounts of a brain chemical called dopamine.
The mind perceives the sense of pleasure that dopamine gives. The brain and mind learn that alcohol is fun, and the lesson is reinforced through repeated use of alcohol.
Then, alcohol starts to play a bigger role by becoming associated with the other "fun" activities that happen when alcohol is used like, parties, dances, sex, celebrations and so forth.
Soon, in alcoholics, these activities will only seem like fun if alcohol is involved.
By then the brain has ‘over-learned’ the importance of alcohol. And at the same time, the brain’s reward center has become dependent on alcohol. Because by now, with out alcohol, the brain can no longer produce enough of its reward chemical dopamine. Sobriety never fixes the problem.
No matter how long an alcoholic doesn't drink, the brain cannot completely heal on its own. That's why an alcoholic, using the 12 step approach, quickly begins drinking heavily again, if they relapse. And almost all alcoholics do relapse at some point.
The next step in the spiral is that drinking alcohol starts to be perceived as the most important reward giving activity.
And finally in very progressed addiction to alcohol, alcohol seems like only worthwhile reward giving activity.
Standard alcoholism treatment programs use the religious concepts of the 12 steps of AA. They try to 'arrest' the problem thru 'redemption' but never solve it. That's why sobriety thru AA is permanent for only 1/15 people who try the AA approach. And why on average, people go to alcohol rehabs an average of six times in their life-according the National Association of Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselors. The real problem is never addressed by the AA approach.
But ReNova does. It works by using well established psychological and biological methods to end the distorted perception of alcohol. The result is an end to cravings and dependency, and a restored sense of psychological control.
The Need To Cope
Sometimes secondary to the pleasure drive, and sometimes as the main reason, alcohol is overused as a coping tool for stress, anxiety, depression and trauma. Blotting out these painful feelings, the mind and brain seek alcohol as ‘quick fix.’
Over time, this becomes less and less effective, requiring more and more alcohol to make the solution work. A little discussed area of the brain, known as the Amygdala, becomes distorted through repeated or severe stress and can even increase in size, making the problems even worse.
The ReNova Method provides a powerfully soothing set of coping tools that help alleviate distress. This helps the brain heal and supports better decision-making in dealing with life’s challenges. Meaning, alcohol is no longer seen as a needed solution for stress, after ReNova Method Training.
A Divided Self
Many people with alcoholism (and many of their loved ones) will say that the alcoholic seems like two entirely different people. Their thinking, behavior, and personality seem completely different when intoxicated. This is one of the main reasons that alcoholism is fundamentally different from other forms of substance abuse.
What people with alcohol problems feel is that over time, this Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde split becomes a source of intense internal conflict.
Sometimes, at first, depending on how the intoxicated self is expressed, an alcoholic enjoys the "freedom" this split produces.
Then they come to rely on this 'other self' to say things or do things that 'the sober self' finds difficult. But, because they are intoxicated these actions and words come out deeply exaggerated.
Like in the Jekyll/Hyde tale, as alcoholism progressively gets worse, ‘the sober self' comes to fear losing control of life to the ‘intoxicated self.’
Alcoholics often feel guilty or remorseful about the actions of the ‘intoxicated self’, but the drive to drink can feel so subtly powerful that the 'pull' of alcohol keeps them drinking.
At the same time they try to find away to control alcohol thru willpower, 'rules' about when, how and what to drink etc., all to satisfy the conflicting desires they feel.
This can turn into real self-loathing, loss of self-esteem and self-belief. They work to hide these feelings from themselves and others.
The ReNova Method uses a specially modified version of a therapy called “Gestalt” developed by the famed Neo-Freudian analyst Fritz Perls. It works to deal with this internal conflict as over-drinking is brought to an end.
Clients are taught how to use this method for themselves, increasing their sense of self-control,self belief, and restoring a sense of peace of mind.
Whole Healing With ReNova
The ReNova Method is the only process ever developed that addresses all three critical areas of the mind and brain interaction at the same time as it resolves psychological issues. That is why ReNova works so well to solve the problem of alcoholism and over drinking.
Give yourself and your loved ones the gift of recovery today. Call now for a consultation and begin having better tomorrows.