When we think about addiction, we often think about controlled substances, but addiction can manifest in many different forms. These days, we hear about cases of sexual addiction, porn addiction, addiction to video games, and even social media. Obviously, draining time and resources into these addictions can have dire consequences to one’s life.
What Causes Addiction?
The traditional theory of addiction states that when one engages in activity that they are addicted to, the brain is flooded with dopamine, giving the person satisfaction. The more that a person engages in this behavior, however, the less satisfying it becomes, leading them to seek harder fixes. This is what we were taught in elementary school: marijuana is a gateway drug that leads to the usage of harder substances such as heroine or meth.
A newer theory on the cause of addiction is presented in Johann Hari’s Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Day of the War on Drugs. In a nutshell, the new idea is that a lack of human connection causes addiction. Humans wish to be stimulated with minimal negative stressors. In an environment without stimulation or with too many hostile stressors, the human will break down, seeking pleasure in the form of addictive stimuli. The video below sums up this new theory.
My personal experience would indicate that elements of each theory are applicable. I have never done drugs and drink minimally, but I have dealt with gaming and porn addictions. Both were a result of an inability to connect and wanting to unwind after studying or working hard without a proper release. With modern technology, I could watch hundreds of Asian chicks vs. BBC and hot big-tittied Japanese lesbian videos to skeet myself into oblivion, then play Battlefield with my online homies. Ah yes, I could satiate myself, for a time, at least.
Turning Addiction into Success
I eventually got tired of busting nuts into towels and wanted to bust some into some real wallz (using a rubber of course – most of the time, don’t want any Admiral Jr.’s yet). I got tired of playing the same games over and over again while other people were out conquering the real world.
I am not a psychiatrist or biologist. I do not have a cure for addiction. What I can prescribe, however, is a change in stimuli.
If you have an addictive personality, try to become addicted to something that is going to help you rather than hinder you. Jacking off five times a day probably isn’t going to make you any money, and it is questionable whether it will bring any long-term health benefits to the table. The same can be said for overindulging on anime, video games, or social media.
Instead of these pointless endeavors, try to become addicted to something that is going to benefit your life. I always harp on this, but exercise is a great thing to become addicted to. It is stimulating and healthy, and having a better-toned, more muscular body provides the additional benefits of being more attractive to women and make us more capable of defending ourselves. Becoming addicted to habitually reading useful material, or working on productive activities are other great alternatives.
Like many things, trying to change your mind to seek more appropriate stimuli is easier said than done. Finding something about what you have to do that you enjoy will make it easier though. Make it a habit to seek that stimulus, whether it is the pump after a hard workout, or the feeling of accomplishment after successfully completing a goal. I know that it isn’t much, but I feel pretty good about getting my blog posts out on schedule.
If you have to be addicted to vices, then at least try to profit from them. For example, an anime otaku might want to make videos about their favorite anime on YouTube or blog about it and try to make some money with affiliate marketing. Social media addicts might want to turn their addiction into a skill, then help other businesses market their products online. Whatever your addiction may be (of course, I’m not talking about controlled substances), try to find a way to “turn shit into sugar”, as The 50th Law puts it.
And I’m Off
If you are reading this blog post on the day of its publication, I am most likely in the air, on my way to China to seek other addictions. I’m not talking about opium either.
Stay tuned, because I hope to have some anecdotes from China up here soon. Cheers.