Addicts love, just love, being told they have a disease. Or, better still, in the words of the American Society of Addiction Medicine:
…a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.
And it’s incurable. So if that’s what you’re suffering from, no wonder you say ‘Okay, I’ll have another pint/line/cupcake’ when temptation rears its head. How can you be expected to say no when all that ‘related circuitry’ is kicking in?
Here’s my rough and ready translation of ‘primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry’: This is not your fault. Your ‘disease’ left you no choice, whether you’re addicted to bourbon, crystal meth or Krispy Kreme. That’s what you’ll be told if you attend Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous or any other 12-step group.
But there’s a problem here. Many of the people in ‘the rooms’ have stopped drinking, taking drugs, binge eating or whatever without any medical intervention whatsoever. And lots of them don’t relapse. (Me, for example: gave up booze 18 years ago, haven’t gone back to it.)
So here’s my question: is there any other ‘primary, chronic disease’ whose sufferers can cure themselves without medical intervention?
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