Substance Abuse Lesson 3 Biopsychosocial Aspect
If things are going according to plan you would have completed lessons one and two and are prepared to participate in lesson three. Whatever the reasons for you being here, congratulations! You have committed to a greater understanding of yourself. In lesson three, we turn it up a bit by turning it down. Lesson one and two involved easy listening music throughout the transitional period, in this lesson the audio will be discontinued after a few minutes. This is a technique we have designed in helping to calm the soul and spirit, while giving the mind something relaxing to do. Some of you may have already begun to remove the music. Remember to scan the body for restrictions while staying focused on your breathing. Pay particular attention to the space between exhaling and inhaling. Again, approximately halfway through the music will stop; continue to relax your body while redirecting your mind to stay clear of thought. Please do not open your eyes. You will hear the sound of my voice upon completing this exercise. Relax and begin.
It looks like you’re getting the hang of it. Those who are beginning to master mind management will feel as if they are returning from a mini vacation; relaxed, vibrant and energetic. For those of you, who are not there, enjoy the journey? Your efforts will reward you when you least expect it.
Our biological system allows the passing of genes from generation to generation. Biology presents a multitude of factors that influence our appearance and other identifying characteristics. Hereditary or cellular genetics create our DNA – our chemical composition. This can include a predisposition to disease, the color of our eyes, hair, and skin tone, bone structure, shape, size, I.Q. and more. We know that food and water are needed to sustain, and produce stable conditions. Food is transformed thru biological chemical reactions and used to grow and fuel more than two hundred bones, nearly five hundred muscles, 11 kilometers of veins and arteries, and 96,560 kilometers of nerve fiber. We are an extremely diverse and complex species capable of extraordinary feats.
Many of the chemical reactions we experience are meant to protect us by heightening our sensory receptors. Some of these reactions excite us during procreation, others to self medicate. dopamine, serotonin, PFA, Phenylethladine, enkephalins (opioid system), Gaba (inhibitory system) and norepinephrine are but a few of the chemically induced genetic neurotransmitters, which recognize and elicit change in the brain’s activities.
Under normal conditioning, neurons are charged and regulated in times of need. If you have experienced being behind the wheel of a vehicle when sliding out of control, you would have noticed a heighten state of arousal, breathing, hearing, sight and reflexes, all sensory receptors, seemed exaggerated. Thrill seekers, drug addicts, alcoholics, pathological gamblers, and sex addicts engage in behaviors that stimulate the charging of these neurons.
Those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress syndrome and others who frequently incite such chemical reactions have hindered the natural actions of neurotransmitters. A temporary distortion in the brain’s functioning may have developed, impeding behavior, thoughts and emotional content. Consequently, events and situations may trigger unwarranted conditioned response – synesthesia. Our thinking plays a large role in the chemical responses of the body. An ill body will directly affect the mind; an unhealthy mind will inadvertently take its toll on the body. Know that as complex and diverse as we are, we are equally sensitive. To ensure stability and proper functioning, the body needs sufficient rest, proper nutrition, regular movement (exercise) and pure thought.
Psychology is a branch of science that deals with mental processes – emotional and behavioral characteristics of an individual, group or activity. An immediate goal of ours is to invite you to explore the concept that the mind is a function of the brain. The mind an intangible aspect of our being, consisting of thoughts, ideas and emotions, the brain on the other hand is a physical entity, capable of remarkable feats. The brain is used for formulating ideas, problem solving, memory, intellectual managing, reasoning, bodily functions, and placing proper value on emotions.
When psychoanalysts speak of mental processing, most will respond by identifying the mind’s storytelling. The mind is capable of keeping oneself busy with its dramatic antics and conjuring up scenarios which lead to worry, woes, strife, conflict and confusion, ending in anxiety and depression. Cognitive therapy suggests that we behave in certain ways due to distorted thinking, based on a poor self-image. George Bernard Shaw was quoted as saying “if you can’t change your mind, you can’t change anything”. How true. After decades of unconsciously connecting with unsolicited, unprovoked thoughts, restricted thought processing did not necessarily produce thinking. Thought processing entails the use of the brain, consciously observing a thought, determining its integrity, the precipitator, where the thought is leading, and determining the emotional attachments involved.
Our daily experiences will involve situations that invoke both negative thoughts and emotions. This is unavoidable. What is implied is that the amount and frequency of pain and suffering placed on those thoughts is a matter of choice. Advanced thinkers recognize this as a part of the human condition, they have adapted to the nuances.
Simply by acknowledging the mental inertia involved in hostile thinking, one can change it’s course. If you have found yourself entranced by the minds activities but are no longer entertained by its tone, you are headed in the right direction. Continue this practice. Those who remain willing to explore all the possibilities at their disposal will eventually find peace. External sources may result in relief to some extent. But until internal solutions become inherent abilities, suffering will continue. Many claim that it is impossible to clear the mind when one thought replaces another, each arriving with an emotional attachment. It’s been said the man who says it can’t be done should not interrupt the man who is doing. Establish a starting point, stay focused, and credit the most discrete attempt. Know that it (silence) won’t come naturally. A process is involved and the outcome may be priceless.
Social Aspect I
Social influences: ethnicity, culture, climate, politics, religion, arts, philosophies, industrialized advancements, media, medical practices, the Internet, economics, military, education and science communication are instrumental in developing our core beliefs. Social influence is the birthplace of Epistemology. The knowledge acquired from our parents, family members, teachers, coaches, priests and rabbis helps to familiarize our personalities, perspectives, and the way we interact with others. Our social/economic status may avail additional opportunities as well. Travel, education and electronics may enhance our growth and productivity. As one begins to develop relationships outside the home setting, their formal values will be tested. Pre-teens and teenagers can be seduced by the power of suggestion, friends, music, advertisements and Internet influences. These will challenge their pre-established values. Some will resist and insist that neither parents nor society have a right to impose conditioning on them. Social norms are not a means to submission or role-playing they are a venue to free thinking and confidence, depending on interpretation.