I am a Libertarian who has become increasingly worried about the partisanship of companies like Facebook and Twitter. Facebook and Twitter have evolved into protective organizations for the Democratic Party. They will censor any post, or tweet, that doesn’t correspond to the party line of the Democratic Party. The latest censorship by Facebook and Twitter is the article related to Hunter Biden by the New York Post. Facebook and Twitter are becoming a threat to American democracy and whether one is on the Right, Left, or Independent should be concerned about.
Harry Stack Sullivan’s treatment for individuals with mental/emotional issues revolves around “integrating tendencies.” Integrating tendencies (belonging tendencies) are used in treatment by involving significant others in the person’s life. Sullivan proclaimed that his integrating tendency approach could even be applied to psychotic patients. Sullivan’s theory sounds similar to the Finland Model. In the United States the initial paradigm to treat mental illness is psychotropic treatment —–> and now even for emotional/behavioral issues. The U. S. practices a kind of cosmetic psychiatry where the first line of treatment is the prescription pad. There is a surface facial look at the individual and then drugs are prescribed. This psychotropic treatment model sets the stage for dependency on medication in order to function, many side effects from the meds, and lays the ground work for chronic illness. The psychotropic paradigm in America has influenced the number of U.S. Government disability checks increasing from 16,200 in 1987, to an astonishing 4,508,000 in 2017 (this is a 278-fold increase).
The “Myth of Mental Illness” is a book written by Thomas Szasz (1961), and in it he argued against labeling people with emotional and mental health issues. Szasz felt diagnosing people with emotional and mental health issues is labeling conditions that are personal and social issues —-> motivational need issues. R. D. Laing (1960) echoed Szasz’s argument against labeling individuals with mental health concerns. Laing fought against stigmatizing people with names like deranged, insane, crazy, or any other aberration. R. D. Laing felt the major issue should be addressing a person’s network of social relationships (Belonging-Needs). He said mental/emotional health issues are rooted in human relationships. Baruch Spinoza (17th Cent) felt both mental health and bodily health are products of right and wrong living. He suggested that living by Nature will equal health and a failure to live by Nature equals ill-health. I respect the way the Finns view and treat mental health issues. In Finland, the treatment model for mental illness is so different than in the United States. In Finland, with the first sign of mental illness the initial paradigm for treatment is social fabric treatment —> the community surrounds and supports the person having emotional and mental health issues. This social environmental support is given until the person’s mental health symptoms alleviate and the person returns to their usual family, work, and community routines. For the most part Finland’ social fabric treatment is done without psychotropic medication. I contend that the Finland Model is testament to our powerful need to belong.
Addictions of all kinds (i. e. drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, eating, sex, gambling, food, fideistic religion) are a weakness where the addict doesn’t have the viability or the vitality to face life. In fact: addicts are having a battle with life. An a-motivational disorder includes a spiritual imbalance where one’s inner Self is incredibly damaged. Addiction is the opposite of spirituality. Rampant, mindless-endless, spineless-senseless addictions deplete the Self<—>Spirit. Addicts have a disturbance and a demoralization of their spirit. The Self becomes dispirited. A dispirited person is a scared person and their scaredside brings out their darkside. Carl Jung told the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous that alcoholics are trying to find their “spirit” in a bottle. Drugs and alcohol are a subtle, insidious, beguiling attack on the Self-Spirit. For the addictive personality the only purpose in life is a never-ending search for the next high. Little room exists for a personality of moderation in the life of a typical addict. In fact, I maintain that the addict’s personality whether manically up (smiling), or depressively low (crying) is still aimed at getting high. Long-term addictive use makes for a developmentally delayed adult-child syndrome that is a major impediment to meet needs (i. e. the addict has never grown up). And, parenthetically and paradoxically satisfying our inborn needs is the only hope to grow up and overcome the addiction. There is no other way!
I propose that chronic addiction is an a-motivational disorder. There exists in every addict a motivational need deficiency. Addiction affects the motivational part of our brain that drives us towards fulfilling inborn needs (M-1). Addicts take motivational needs and morph them into a-motivational wants (chasing the substance). Motivational deficiency is a motivational injury and impediment. It is one of learned helplessness, un/ill-healthy living, and un/ill-balance. Drugs and alcohol usage is an evisceration of healthy motivation and in its place is a-motivation. A-motivation is a de-motivational, anti-motivational, and a dispassionate response to life. The bottom line is, addicts are oblivious to satisfying basal, deeper, and higher needs. In place of satisfying inborn needs they have made the choice to focus on gratifying irresistible impulses. At some point there was a full-on and all-out complicity to make this Faustian Bargain —> a bargain for a world of experiencing unnatural wants (drugs/alcohol) he/she is willing to give up experiencing natural needs. They have instigated a bargain setting them on a self-destructive life journey –—> a self-devolutionary path. A mushraker addict isn’t motivated to satisfy needs, because they are consumed by acquiring the behaviors aimed at gathering the substance that can gratify their addiction. Serious repercussions come with a Faustian Bargain —> unmet needs, a myriad of negative symptoms, a life lacking meaning in life (M-2), and ill/unbalance and ill/unhealthy living. Chronic addiction amounts to a misspent and lost life.
I have previously stated our brain is hedonistically conservative and allows only so much pleasurable stimulation. It adjusts to the dopamine surges by producing less dopamine. This is tolerance. Tolerance is a need to consume more of the chemical to overcome neurotransmitter status quo. It is taking larger doses to get high and using a substance over longer periods of time. To have the same euphoric stimulation it takes more of the release of dopamine. Over time, a biological need for the chemical is implanted in the brain and body. This is dependency (physiological). If the substance is suddenly stopped there are painful physiological withdrawal symptoms. Dependency is hard living that collaterally interferes with work, school, relationships, and healthy leisure. The ramifications from continued use will increase mind-body stress, anxiety, depression and cause physical damage —> the same conditions the addict wanted the chemicals to alleviate. Over time, drug toxicity will set in and it will affect thinking, emotions, and behaviors. With time the overactivity, hyperactivity, and the increased amount of drugs and alcohol have neuro-rotting degenerative effects (i. e. a fried brain). An overused enervated brain can only take so much damage. Invariably, the repercussions from increased chemical usage has the addict on an imploding free-fall, beat-down, and life-threatening path that sets the stage and eventually opens the gate to the premature death-nail.
Fortunately, our brain has a blood-brain-barrier (BBB) that is 95% successful in protecting it from foreign substances. Unfortunately, the BBB is easily crossed by alcohol and drugs like cocaine, meth, and heroin. Crossing the blood-brain-barrier allows for activation of the brain’s Limbic system’s pleasure center. The consumption of drugs and alcohol is about getting high (pleasure), and to avoid the dissatisfaction of one’s life. Chemicals are about dopamine; a neurotransmitter that gives pleasure. Dopamine is Nature’s brain pharmacy that motivates behavior (a good thing). The trouble comes with addiction. Those who use chemicals chase a constant overstimulation of the pleasure center (a bad thing). The chase is for the euphoric effects of dopamine release. Dopamine is a natural award being introduced artificially. Artificial chemical stimulation is the opposite of natural stimulation and interferes with a natural neurochemical balance. Drugs and alcohol inadvertently distort this natural system by releasing 2-10 times the dopamine if rewarded naturally. Ultra-euphoric brain stimulation has the inebriated person come back for more and more of dopamine release. This is addiction (psychological). Chemical addiction is a fatal pathological psychological attraction to drugs and alcohol of “chasing the dragon.” It has an overpowering and depowering effect where the addict can lose the freedom to make choices. There is a genetic predisposition (seed) of chemical use for some people. This inherited predilection is brought to life in the environment (soil) the addict is raised in. (Research based on genome meta-analysis has discovered a variant of the beta-klotho gene that suppresses the desire to drink. It will be interesting to see if additional research on this gene can be applied to those genetically prone towards alcohol). Addiction is about substance abuse. The only way to control the addiction is to eschew, abstain from, and remove the substance that is being abused (much easier said than done).
Addicts live a disorganized, fear-based, and tenebrous life that is on the edge and in the process there is ancillary damage of a busted-broken body that burns out quickly. Addicts are uncontrolled and uncontrollable. There are ingenious “patients” going to poly-pharmacies, to get poly-meds, prescribed by poly-docs. We live in a high-flying, thrill-seeking, and pill-popping culture. In our mindless-endless addictive society people use chemicals for artificial stimulation to cope with ennui, hopelessness, dissatisfaction, unmet needs and as a way to reach altered states of consciousness. Altered states of consciousness may give the illusion of managing life; even if it be through booze, tranquilizers, and illicit drugs. Altered states of consciousness = altered states of reality. Sadly, addictive chemicals in their own dysfunctional way may actually keep some individuals from additional self-devolution. It was Julien Offray de LaMettrie (1748) who recommended drugs for some; for drugs at least can give the appearance of happiness (be it only illusive and temporarily). Tolle maintained that, “if it weren’t for alcohol, tranquilizers, anti-depressants and illegal drugs, which are consumed in vast quantities, insanity would be more glaring. If deprived of drugs, a large part of the population would become a danger to self or others.” (1999) Certainly a sorrowful commentary on the state of an addict’s life and a culture and society where such a lifestyle can exist.
In this section I detail chemically addictive behaviors and the whirly, twirly, and nightmarish strangeland existence of being captive to an external substance. A major zeitgeist of our time is relying on chemicals to cope with life. Self and cultural-devolution is happening right before our eyes. We have a mindless chemically addictive society. Addictive behaviors are colossal mindless and endless behaviors (act without thinking) to chemical constant temptation. It is an endless quagmire of corybantic behaviors of chasing the next high due to a subjugation to an external substance. Addiction is a chronic condition of psychological and biological cravings. It is an artificial lifestyle that is serial, unreal, robotic, and meandering. It is an er satz reality of going down the rabbit hole that cannabilizes one’s future. It is a peripatetic mushraking journey of the distraction of chasing chemical wants instead of innate needs. If an addict tells me their dreams, I can tell him/her the depths of their meandering (their addiction).
Unhealthy addictive behaviors are the consequences of a raucous, boisterous, disorderly, and directionless worldview and philosophical path of living. A worldview built on a proverbial house-of-cards will not endure. Addicts haphazardly roll-the-dice and figuratively and in fact run many red lights. They honor few stop-signs or stop-lines. Addicts are uncorralled risk-takers who go through life with slash-and-burn, and hit-and-run behaviors that reverberate throughout their journey and cause an exacerbation and proliferation of trouble in other areas in life. Trouble follows trouble. I am reminded of the lines from Macbeth that read, “double, double toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble” (Act IV, Scene 1). The great thing about great literature for me is the allowance it makes for different interpretations depending on a person’s emotional and psychological maturity. I interpret this double entendre incantation from the witches as a doubling down and a foreshadowing of once trouble starts it is often the beginning of additional toil coming from karmic calamitous happenings. Addicts find their way into trouble; they just can’t find their way out. Addictive behaviors are the trouble coming from our demons through the perversity of obsessive and compulsive subservience to whatever addiction we are shackled to. In one way or another we all have our demons to fight. The dysfunctional behaviors emanating from our demons will continue until: 1.) arrested development from Limbic Brain trauma (rooted hurt) is addressed by confirming (it did take place), and confronting (challenging it). If not addressed this hurt can last a lifetime and metastasize to other areas of life, and 2.) unmet needs are being experienced and satisfied, and thus the lowering of symptoms starts to take place. I consider all addictions as impediments that stand in the way of meeting our inborn needs.