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Overcoming Addiction

Chris Holland
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Chris Holland

Chris Holland is speaker/director of It Is Written Canada. 

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  • March 19, 2016
    11:30 AM
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With it has stood the test of time with God's book. The Bible. Still relevant in today's. Complex world. It is with messages of hope around the world. Thank you so much for watching. It is written. Today we're going to be touching on a topic that addresses. A problem that everyone has. And that is the problem. Of addictions. Whether those. Addictions are little things or. Big things. We'll be talking about them. In this program. Joining me in studio to help with this discussion. Is Dr Neil Ned Lee. Dr Ned Lee thank you so much for joining me today. To discuss this topic. Thank you it's great to be here again Chris. Now Dr Ned Lee is well known to many of you in our audience. As he and I did a program called. Depression. The way out a series of programs that touched the lives of many. Across Canada. Now if you haven't seen that series or you'd like to obtain that series you can go to our website. It is written canada dot ca. And there you can find our program. Archives or. You can even purchase. The D.V.D. set. Now Dr Ned Lee is a physician of twenty seven years. In internal mass medicine with a specialty. In mental disorders. And gassed. And the hard to diagnose patient. Now Dr Dudley I mentioned those things. And we've talked about this in a previous show. But how do you specialize in mental disorders. And gastroenterology. Well it turns out that if you were to at surgery you know the belly is opened up and we can see all this plexus of nerves. If we were to scrape off. All of those nerves from the gastrointestinal tract. It would weigh four times as much. Is the entire spinal cord. And so there is quite a brain. G.I. connection. And. It's amazing how many times when we clear up the brain. We clear up the gastrointestinal problems as well. That is fantastic now. Dr Natalie you are the president of Wiemar Institute. And maybe just briefly share with our audience. What is Wiemar. Institute. Wiemar Institute is an institute of higher education. We have a college there. Where you can take pre-med and nursing in theology you know health of body mind and soul the things that are related to that are taught there. But we also have a new start program where people come with diabetes hypertension. Coronary artery disease. A lot of physical diseases that can be improved in nutrition and lifestyle even cancer. And come through our program for twelve to nineteen days it's. World renowned people from all over the world come to. Wiemar to get help in those areas. And now we also have a depression anxiety recovery program. There as well. Now Dr Dudley if someone was interested in getting more information about the educational institution. Or the. The New Start Program or the depression recovery program where might they find that information. The Educational Institute. Wiemar dot edu. The New Start program. At New Start dot com. And then the depression anxiety recovery program is de pression The Way Out dot com Fantastic. Now Dr Natalie you have helped hundreds and hundreds thousands really of patients with mental health. As you look at your patients and as you start addressing the issue of mental health with people. What is one of the major problems that people with mental health challenges face. Addictions. Addictions. OK so. Addictions what is an addiction. Well an addiction is something that you go back to harming you. Amarilly the one characteristic that's present all addictions as they actually suppress the frontal lobe of the brain. That's the area that our well is it is the area of our analytical ability it's the spiritual area of the Worshipful area of the brain and. Every addiction. Has that one thing in common. Suppression of the frontal lobe. And we've talked a lot about the frontal lobe and again I would encourage our viewer to go watch that series depression the way out it's not just for someone who's depressed. Not just someone who's. Anxious. But actually has plenty of information. For generally good mental health and so we talk extensively about the frontal lobe but let's just do well there for a moment. What is the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe is actually a very large lobe. In human beings much larger than it is in any other animal species by far thirty three and up to thirty eight percent of our human brain is in the frontal lobe. And that actually helps us to accomplish advanced planning and thinking. It's where our motivation is centered. It's where spirituality more rally the well is centered. Higher forms of math require the frontal lobe interpretation of Proverbs requires the frontal lobe. And so we utilize the frontal lobe actually to be successful in life. OK Now you said that the human brain. About thirty eight percent of the human brain is the frontal lobe. Just to give some perspective. How large is the frontal lobe in some animals like. Cats or dogs. Yeah cats three percent. Dog seven percent. The most in any animal species. Is chimpanzees. Seventeen percent. And then we're way up there at thirty three to thirty eight percent. OK so now we'll just go back to that just a little bit you said cats three percent. Dog seven percent. Right. This is why. Dogs are far more lovable creatures right. Well they actually are able to exhibit more empathy by the way that something else the frontal lobe does. It's our empathy center of our brain. And so you know cats love. Torturing their victims to death. That's that. Because they don't have the. Empathy capability. And any human being that enjoys. Torture. It's a sign of serious frontal lobe compromise you can't enjoy it unless your frontal lobes are way compromised. OK so. So addictions. Affect the frontal lobe. Frontal Lobe. Keep peace in having critical thinking analytical thinking. Good judgment. How big of a problem. Is the issue of addictions. Unfortunately it's a problem that's increasing our society is filled with fun things to do. And many of those fun things are actually addictive so we are seeing addictions at an all time. Worldwide rate and it has been higher than ever before in human history. So addictions that are are at an all time high. All around the world. What are some addictions that we might think about here for the next few moments. Alcohol. OK. Nicotine marijuana. OK Now when I want to pause there for just a minute you talk about alcohol. And that is probably obvious to many people nicotine is also probably obvious to many people. Very difficult to stop drinking or many people find it difficult to stop drinking or difficult to stop smoking. For that person who's sitting there right now saying I. It is difficult. You just hang on stay with the program we're going to talk about how to overcome that. But then you mention marijuana. Yeah. Now. Dr Dudley. I have heard from many people that marijuana in fact is not addictive. False false. It suppresses the frontal lobe. And it is addictive. And there is reason why. People tend to seek for it and they'll lose motivation from almost everything else except for the seeking of marijuana that's a clear sign of an addiction. And they'll have what they're all symptoms. You know we've had people come through our program they're heavy marijuana users but they'll have nausea vomiting severe withdrawal symptoms for days. Coming off of marijuana so. It's just a false statement that it's not addictive. OK. So what are some other addictions. Well there's addictions such as. Technology addictions. Let me hit the pause button there again. What I mean technology. I thought technology was only good how can you be addicted to technology. Well a sign of a techno addict is someone who tech and they're in a very interesting environment. But they're texting someone far less interesting. Who might be in the same room. That's an individual that actually has a set up for all sorts of problems in their life studies have been done on these people and. You know Internet addiction technology. Addicks. These things are. Are harmful and hurt our long term success. And so I might be addicted to technology if I just simply can never put that technology down. That's right. OK. What are some other addictions. Doctrine at the end and two of you I just want to. There's going to be some good news here I know we're talking about a lot of bad news in and. And people are saying oh well that's me that's me we're going to we're going to have good news for you to keep hanging on but. What other kind of addictions exist Dr Net A sugar. Chocolate gambling. OK Now you said sugar and chocolate you bring it closer to home people are sitting there saying oh no. And he said gambling and I have. I know. Gambling it can be a terrible addiction and. My brother in. Worked at a facility where there was a man. That was gambling away actually gambled away his home. And. And at the end of the night asked for his money back and actually went and took his life and so. So I could I've seen that gambling can be a terrible thing. These are serious addictions What are the kind of addictions are out there. Well self mutilation. Cutting is actually an addiction. OK. Again let's pause for a moment. Maybe you said self mutilation cutting What do you mean by self mutilation What is that. Well this is where an individual might take an eye for instance and. Usually it's. When they have anxious thoughts and. They will actually cut themselves and watch the blood flow. They'll actually feel a sense of release when that happens it's almost like popping a xanax pill and. In that it sets them up for addiction. And it has to be treated as an addiction. For you to get over. The habit of cutting or self mutilation. So it's not simply just a disorder but. Self mutilation is actually an addiction. It is an addiction. OK. What other kind of addictions are. Are out there. Well there's cocaine there's amphetamines. Entertainment Television and movies. OK let's pause there for entertainment television movies. How how can that be an addiction. Well those suppress the frontal lobe as well the rapid scene of reference change. Fortunately it is written doesn't do this because it's an educational program. But you can tell if something's entertainment or educational by how quickly the scene of reference changes and. When the average scene of reference is three seconds. It will actually suppress the frontal lobe of the brain and. Will set you up for an addiction. And if you stop Entertainment Television abruptly You actually have withdrawal symptoms from insomnia can occur. You can headaches things of that. Nature. Can occur Fortunately it's pretty easy to get over that addiction. Easier the end for instance. You know the benzo days of pains and Xanax and lorazepam but it is addictive. Well any any other kind of addictions that. That we ought to talk about. Well there's Facebook. There's. Entertainment Internet there's cafe mirrors boards there's syncopated. Rhythm music you could see a lot there Dr Natalie and. We've talked about caffeine before and again that's going to be probably very obvious to many people. Facebook it falls into that area of technology just not being able to to move from the. Syncopated rhythm music. That may be an unfamiliar term to some of our audience what do you mean by syncopated rhythm. Music. Well that's where you have the first beat. Emphasize with a deep. B.. And then you have the second beat emphasized. With a high pitched beat. It's the boom cha. Boom boom boom. It makes you want to stand up and swing the hips. Ninety seconds to three minutes of this in the frontal lobe starts to go down again. And it actually is addictive music and so this is why people are on heavy metal and things like pap they'll get withdrawal symptoms by quitting. Their music which is actually beneficial for them to do so. OK. So we know we continue to kick. Almost the same story here. With every addiction I ask you what's the problem with that addiction and you talk about. It's impairing of the frontal lobe and lowering of. The frontal lobe. Any other addictions that we. And you know. We are naming off. Several. That doesn't mean that. This is exhaustive list. It simply means that we are naming some highlights. Any others that. Probably we should talk about masturbation. Is an addiction deviant sexual practices can be an addiction as well. OK So these are very. Things. Now in particular and it seems to be an addiction. That I knew. Is affected by men. More so than women in. And then and that is an addiction to looking at pictures which we would commonly call what. We're not OK so. Also highly addictive. Highly addictive now and again let's just talk about that for a moment. Why would addiction to pornography be a negative thing. Well it also suppresses the frontal over the brain. And actually there have been well designed studies controlled randomized trials actually in college students actually showing that their. Their motivation goes down. They become much more difficult to get along with anxiety goes up. And in just six weeks. Of looking at pornographic images. They actually begin to shut down emotionally. So actually the authors of these studies and other studies. Tell us clearly that there's actually more evidence. Of pornography suppressing the frontal lobe of the brain. Then there is between the link of smoking and lung cancer. That is. That is powerful and frightening. Yes. And I'm glad you're letting the world know about this because the media. Won't let the world know about that. Yes. You know there's too many. You know. Things that are preventing the media from being truthful about that they'll tell us about smoking and lung cancer. Sure. But they won't tell you about all the studies on pornography in the frontal lobe of the brain. OK So we've done packed. Quite a few of the. Different addictions. Dr Natalie. Why is it so hard to break an addiction. If someone wants to quit smoking if someone wants to quit drinking if someone wants to stop watching pornography if someone wants to put down their technology and you and I were talking as we were driving in the car that. You know that I myself have a challenge you know I go on vacation. And when I'm on vacation I don't want to check my e-mail but it takes almost three or four days for me to actually shut my phone off and put it away. Why are addiction so hard to break. Well first we tend to get withdrawal symptoms and we don't like those withdrawal symptoms so we go back to it. Secondly of course we've developed the habit. But third we've actually fooled ourselves. We have pulled ourself that. This is bad for most people. But for me. I've got to have this. Because I can't function without it. And that actually is a lie. They can actually function far better without it but they've been telling themselves in my case of people just understood me. They would realize why I need this in order to function. OK So what are some of the characteristics common characteristics to addictions doctrinally. Well they actually cause. A decrease in performance they can also cause a decrease in our relationships. They actually there's a high tendency to relapse once you're off of them. Those are common characteristics. You know and. Dr Dudley while you're talking about these things. It reminds me of a proverb. In the Bible Proverbs. Proverbs Chapter five and verse twenty two which seems to address this idea. Of addictions and. Overcoming addictions proverbs five twenty two says his own. Iniquities. Entrap the wicked man. And he is caught in the cords. Of his sin. And that's kind of what you're describing here that it diction is something that. That we've we've. We've moved from from a want to a need. And then we're just totally and trapped by it and we can't seem to escape. So Dr now that we've talked a lot about addictions. What an addiction is what the characteristics of addictions are. Is there a first step is there a baseline. To overcoming addiction. Well the first step is the understanding of temperance. OK. Now you through word out there temperance. It is not a word that we use. A lot here in the twenty first century. We're actually using it more of the psychological literature has picked it up they've done a lot of studies now recently on temperance So if you look it up you'll find it now in a lot of psychological studies. OK So what does temperance mean. Temperance is. Abstinence from things that are harmful complete abstinence. And moderation and the things that are healthy. OK. Abstinence from things that are harmful. Moderation. In the things that are healthy. Now let's talk about abstinence. Maybe. Unpack that we're just a little bit. What do you mean by abstinence. That means total abstinence for life so if you had an addiction to alcohol. You need to be like George Bush. And not drink at all he had a problem with alcohol and he quit drinking. And even though it was unpopular for him to do so when he was with the senators and all that he knew what would happen if you picked it back up again. And so it is when we have an addictive relationship total absence for life it seems like cruelty. But in reality it's freedom. And it's not cruel at all because you we can learn to live a life that's far more fuller and successful without. Our addict of choice. Around us. You know. You used the word. Freedom. And that is a word that. Rings with joy. To the addict. I you know I came from a family. Of an alcoholic home. And just the trap. That it. It places around the family now thankfully my family member that was an alcoholic is. Recovered and. Abstains from alcohol now and and so. But. Freedom freedom. What are some of the key principles when you talk about abstinence. And someone saying OK. I have to stop harmful things. That's great. I understand I get it. What are the key principles to helping someone stop. To overcome that addiction. Well the first key principle they've already understood at that point. And that is to understand that it is harmful and it's good to give it up for the second principle as they need to choose to give it up. And the third principle that's very clear is they need to rely on spiritual resources. Let go and let God. God can help them. Without God it's going to be like a court of steel. But whether God. That will make the difference. OK. So very quickly just understand. And the second principle was choose. Choose. And the third principle was let go and let God. Let go let God rely on God and understand and choose. Rely on God. Simple steps. Simple principles. What if somebody is dealing with multiple directions at the same time do you just take them down. One at a time. Actually studies show you do better to get rid of them all the ones. All at once. Why is it going to be better to get them all at once. Because you'll actually be less likely to go back to any of them if you do that for instance if you give up. Caffeine at the same time you give up tobacco. Your five times. Less likely to ever go back to tobacco than if you just to do tobacco and keep caffeine on board. Wow OK. So the key to overcoming addiction. Understand. Chooses and rely on God. That's right. OK. What are the barriers to reaching the final stage of change. In someone's life. To actually overcome that addiction. One of the barriers is being persistent in abstinence. Because the withdrawal symptoms are there you think you're going to end the habits there you think this is something you're going to struggle with your whole life. But you don't realize. There is joy coming in for every addiction that's a little different time period. Until that great joy. Appear. By If we use. Stick with your plan and stick with relying upon God. Soon it'll come to the place where there's no struggle at all. And now you're just experiencing the benefit and there's no way that you're going to go back. So the key to overcoming addiction Dr Natalie understand. Choose. Rely on the foundational principle of being persistent. Dr Natalie it's hard to believe that we are out of time. Any quick final words. Before we end. Today. I would just say. Keep putting up with your addiction. That is harming you make the choice today. To overcome. And God will help you if you rely on him. You know your friend. Understand choose. Rely on God. That's what it is written is all about finding that reliance on God to give us the strength. Let's pray. Heavenly Father. As we struggle with the various addictions that we have. We pray Dear Lord. That we would understand them. That we would choose to do something different and that we would rely on you. We know you'll give us the strength to overcome. And we pray for that strength now. In Jesus' name. Amen. Hi everyone. On previous shows you've heard me talking about green smoothies and then tactic they are for your good health. Well today. I want you to consider adding another type of green to your daily living. This one. Nature is all around us. The effects of nature on our wellbeing have been extensively researched and. Today quite profound. In fact. Being out in nature. Appears to affect us. Down to the cellular level. And especially has a profound effect on the prefrontal cortex. Of our brain. A study done by scientists at the University of Michigan fans that not only is being in nature relax that. It can also improve your memory. They took thirty eight people. Asked them to give a list of numbers backwards. Then since them on a two mile walk. Either through an urban setting or through the university's Botanical Gardens. The numbers test has really administered after the war. A week later. The participants were put through the same procedure. But the walking route. Was switched off. What were the results. The walk through the Botanical Gardens. Actually improved. Test scores. A whopping twenty percent. Well the participants who walked in the urban setting. Had no improvement. The really need. Thing is that even in the coldest winter. Outside in nature boosted the participants performance. The whole powerful. Storage of nature is for our wellbeing. And speaking of winter. And Japanese. Daddy found that patterns in nature. For example snowflakes. Have a calming effect on our brain. Studies also show that nature is a wonderful treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Children who participated in activities. In Green outdoor settings. Experienced. Significantly reduced symptoms of eighty. Compared to children who participated in a. Conducted in built. Outdoor and indoor settings. For those of us who live in cities. It's especially important. To take breaks. Often in parks and. Green spaces. They can be difficult sometimes to find time during a hectic week to do that. Sabbath afternoons for example. Are particularly good for spending time in nature. With family and green up your life this week or next time. Come on to all you that labor. And are heavy burden and. I will give you rest. That's what happens when we overcome addiction. And Jesus wants us to have hope and wholeness. That we can overcome. I'd like to offer you today. A D.V.D. of this program. Overcoming Addiction. Here's the information you need to receive today's. Off. To request today's offer. Just log onto W.W.W. dot. It is written canada dot ca. That's W W W dot. It is written canada dot ca and select the T.V. Program tab for Canadian viewers. The offer will be sent free and postage paid for viewers outside of Canada. Shipping charges will apply. If you prefer. You may call toll free at one eight hundred eight call. That's one eight eight eight. Call you call any time. Lines are open twenty four hours daily. That's one eight eight eight. Call or if you wish. You may write to us at. It is written Box two thousand and ten Oshawa Ontario. L. one age seventy four and. Thank you for your prayer requests. And your generous financial support that. It is written. Box two thousand and ten. Oshawa Ontario. L. one age seventy four. Dr Natalie thank you so much for joining me today to discuss this issue. It's been great being here. You know friend. God desires you to have freedom in your life. To overcome. Addictions. And there is that freedom available. By understanding that addiction. By overcoming by relying on God. And then being persistent. To overcome their friend. Thank you so much for watching. I invite you to join us again next week. Until then remember. It is written. Man shall not live by bread alone. But by. Every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

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