What is an Upper Limit Problem? And how it is holding you back in Life

What is an Upper Limit Problem? And how it is holding you back in Life

The UPPER LIMIT PROBLEM is the feeling that you will never be successful or never achieve what you want is often due to a lack of self-confidence or self-belief.

A lack of self-confidence can cause many problems for individuals, and for some people, one of these is an upper limit problem. Understanding upper limit problems and deciding whether or not you have one can take some time.

What is the ‘upper limit'?

Our personal upper limits are the limits that we have, sometimes subconsciously, set for ourselves. Maybe you can imagine yourself becoming a millionaire, but you can’t imagine more than that and feel like you probably wouldn’t try to earn more money once you become a millionaire. This is an example of setting a limit for yourself – you have a boundary within which you feel you should, or will, remain. Most of the time, this isn’t necessarily a concrete example of a limit e.g. money but is rather a limit on the amount of happiness you feel or the level of success you have at work.

What is the ‘upper limit problem'?

If you don’t feel like you want to raise your limits, or you feel constrained by upper limits (whether created intentionally by yourself or not), you could have an upper limit problem. An upper limit problem can interfere with your life and prevent you from experiencing happiness. Rather than embracing change, new experiences and new life challenges, you will feel compelled to avoid them, shy away and hope they go away.

Having an upper limit problem can affect your health, both physically and mentally. Avoiding new challenges and experiences could mean that when you are forced to confront something, you physically cannot handle it and become ill as a result. Adrenal fatigue and physical burnout can also affect you if you become too stressed and consumed with the idea of doing something that you feel you can’t.

You may also find yourself feeling a huge amount of guilt when you say no or make an excuse not to engage with someone or something which you feel you are not capable of. For example, if you are invited to present at a business meeting but decline because you feel you’ll do a bad job, you could find yourself feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt that only adds to your feelings of self-doubt and limitations.

Solving your upper limit problem

Like many problems, an upper limit problem isn’t something which will go away overnight. You can start by increasing your comfort zone – doing things which make you a little bit uncomfortable but on a regular basis. This will ensure that you prepare as effectively as you can for the big moments when you have the opportunity to reach higher.


 

Substance and Alcohol Abuse was my Excuse, how about you?

Substance and Alcohol Abuse was my Excuse, how about you?

‘If you can’t change the people around you, then change the people around you.’

Seven years ago I made a personal choice which affected my life and the lives of those closest to me. (you can read the full story here)

Up until that point I believed there were aspects of my life that were out of my control. Bad things happened to everyone, especially me, and unfortunate circumstances were not my fault and just part of life. My ‘situations’ were thrust upon me, largely due to a belief that I was a magnet for finding myself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Seriously? Did I believe that crap? Short answer, yes…yes I did. Substance abuse (and alcohol misuse) was my excuse! I came to a realization that forever changed my life – and those around me – forever.

1 Year later, and the story continues…

It was one year ago that I first partnered with Saint Jude Retreats to share my story in a very public forum – the Internet! The outpouring has been amazing. The amount of people that have reached out to share their stories with me has left me feeling overwhelmed and completely committed to continuing the conversation – on and offline.

To further help, Ryan Schwantes and I have co-produced a free e-book (see below) which includes all the articles, resources and tools shared over the past 12-months. Please take a moment to download a copy, or share it with someone you know who could benefit from the resources.

Get your complimentary copy of “Addiction Free Life” e-book…

Addiction Free Life COVER

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Don't stop here, check out the other articles from the Addiction for Life series

If you, or anyone you know, resonate with any of the information shared in this post, do not hesitate to reach out for more information. Call my friends at Saint Jude’s at 877-958-3310 or reach out to them directly via www.SoberForever.net — don't bother waiting, don't seek out the advice of others, simply make the decision to choose you and your health first, you deserve happiness.

FREE RESOURCES for Substance Users and Family Members

freeebookaddiction2

FREE E-BOOK FOR THE FAMILY

This e-book provides family members of substance users with a completely unique and common sense approach to helping their loved one while simultaneously gaining back the focus and freedom for their own lives.

freeebookaddiction

FREE E-BOOK FOR THE SUBSTANCE USER

It is Saint Jude Retreat's mission since 1989 to provide a research based program to help you move beyond your current self-limiting habits and achieve a sustained balance in your life driven by your own freely chosen goals and dreams.

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Dai Manuel - The Moose Is LooseThis post is sponsored by Saint Jude Retreats. The opinions and views are wholly my own…

And to be absolutely clear, this is my disclaimer: “Just so you know, I have been compensated to share my ideas on this topic. Sometimes it is in the form of products, or services or even money… But here’s the thing; I won’t  share anything with you that I don’t fully support. It doesn't matter what it is, or how much they are willing to give me, if I don’t believe in it, It won’t be on my site. Seriously. You’ll just have to trust me on this.” ~ Coach Moose

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What does 20 bucks and a shoebox have to do with happiness?

What does 20 bucks and a shoebox have to do with happiness?

occ_picTis’ the season!

Christmas is just around the corner, and that is pretty tough on the wallet. Each year you have to fork out the cash to get gifts for friends and family, buy yet again more Christmas decor, and not to mention the amount of money spent on baking! Seriously, how many Christmas cookies do people need?

The average person in Canada spends $1,810 celebrating this joyous season. With that kind of dough being spent it’s hard to remember to give back.

Operation Christmas Child is a non-for-profit organization that I support. Each year my family and I pack a shoebox and fill it with toys and basic necessities, which then get sent overseas to a child that would not usually get a gift. Each box costs approximately $20.

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When I think about how little it cost us in North America to bring joy to a child overseas, I find it hard to believe that more people don’t do this!

So I have decided to share three ways we can pay for a Christmas box.

3 Ways You Can Pay for a Christmas Box this Holiday Season

#1) Starbucks Grande Cafe Mocha: $4.75 each X 4 = $19

Let’s face it, we North Americans love our coffee. But if we bought four fewer coffees we could fill a box! I’m not saying go on a coffee strike or anything, but maybe brew coffee from home a few times a week and spend that money on a Christmas gift for a child across the country instead.

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#2) Christmas Decorations: 1 String of lights cost = $20.99

Christmas lights and decorating the house is awesome. And who doesn't love walking and seeing the neighborhood all lit up? But this year, instead of adding more lights how about spending it on filling a box instead? I’m not saying don’t decorate at all, I’m just saying maybe this year you don’t need to buy that extra inflatable snowman.

#3) Gifts Exchange: Average amount spent on Christmas gifts = $30.00 per person

This is where you can really save the cash. The average person spends thirty dollars on a present. Of course, this number could go up or down, but this is the average amount spent. This year at that family Christmas party, what about drawing names and only having to buy one gift instead? The amount saved would be huge!

There are so many ways to afford to fill a box.

The cost is little to us, but it means everything to children overseas. So this year, get together with your family, hit the mall and buy a gift for a child.

It will personally impact the child you are buying for, but I can guarantee it will also impact your life as well.

operation-christmas-child-canada

National Collection Week is November 14 to 20, 2016

So, gather your friends and family to pack shoeboxes with everyday items that can help a child.

Then, drop the shoeboxes to the nearest drop off location.

For more information, please visit http://samaritanspurse.ca/operation-christmas-child/

Share and connect on social media using the hashtags #OCCShoebox & #OCC_Canada

Facebook : @OCCCanada

Twitter : @OCC_Canada

Instagram : @OCC_Canada

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Operation Christmas Child helps 11 million around the world

The holiday season is almost upon us which means it’s time to shop for gifts for loved ones. But this time of year is also about giving back. So, as you’re
shopping, pick up a few simple items like a toothbrush, socks or a book and pencils, that can change a child’s life across the sea.

Operation Christmas Child has brought joy and hope to hurting children around the world since 1993. The campaign brings shoeboxes filled with items such as toys, school supplies, hygiene products and a personal note to millions of children around the world.

Over the past 24 years, the campaign has helped over 124 million children through Samaritan’s Purse. In 2015, over 700,000 boxes were collected in Canada and over 11 million worldwide.
Last year, shoeboxes were delivered to countries like Uruguay, El Salvador, Senegal and Ukraine amongst many others. This year, the organizers want to exceed that goal.

Operation Christmas Child collects shoeboxes full of:

  • School supplies
  • Hygiene products
  • Toys
  • Personal note and photo

Participants are welcome to pack boxes and bring them to a drop-off location or pack a shoebox digitally at PackaBox.ca.

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5 Steps to take Family Fitness from Good to Great

5 Steps to take Family Fitness from Good to Great

The journey from ‘good to great' is a marathon and never a sprint.

As any coach or mentor will tell you, qualifying and quantifying our goals is essential if we're ever going to reach a personal milestone in any endeavor we set our mind's to achieving. The leadership guru, Jim Collins, in his book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don't, defines greatness as…

“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”

I love this definition of greatness as it implies that ‘greatness' is a personal choice. It is a habit of discipline underlined by a continuous want to be one's best. If my family had a crest, the words “Good to Great” would brand it proudly, but being that we don't have one, we'll settle with it as our battle cry.

health is the greatest wealth - family fitness quote

This has been a massive year of transition for us. We've been living out of suitcases and our SUV since January 2016. One would think we'd be concerned about where we sleep each night, or the kid's “road schooling” schedule, but no! Our biggest concern has been our health. With our schedules up in the air, and our lifestyles being anything but routine, we anticipated finding it difficult to support our accustomed levels of fitness and nutrition. (Me especially! I'm a creature of habit who likes to eat clean and move my body regularly)

Our goal was to move and eat well, aim to go beyond just being ‘Good' on the road traveling to being ‘Great'. To make this a reality versus a wish, we created a plan and we're mindful to execute it each and every day.

So when goodnessknows asked me what goals me and my family set for ourselves this year, I was happy to share. And I know in doing so, this information will help you the next time you find yourself on an extended trip to anywhere.

write down your goals to achieve them

Going from Good to Great: My Family's Year-Long Journey to Stay Healthy on the Road

With the launch of my first book, The Whole Life Fitness Manifesto, my family and I gave away all our stuff, packed up and stored the items we couldn't part with, packed our bags into our SUV and headed off on the road for epic journey across North America. (to see some of the highlights, check out the hashtag #WLFMroadtrip)

For anyone who's been on a road trip for an extended period, you know that crazy things can happen when you cram a family of 4, a dog and all your worldly possessions into a tight space and run out of food! That's when the hangry monsters rear their ugly heads. So to keep ourselves limber, nourished and happy, we implemented a 5-step strategy.

A 5-Step Road Warrior Strategy to Keep Yourself Fit and Fed

Step 1: Stay hydrated

When you find yourself on an epic road trip, it’s crucial to have plenty of water on hand.

It’s a known fact that most people don’t drink enough water each day, which means that our bodies aren’t functioning at optimal levels. In fact majority of people walk around at any given time in a state of dehydration. While dehydrated, people confuse the feeling with that of being hungry. This, as you can imagine, can lead to eating foods and snacks our bodies don’t need and ultimately lead to unintentional weight gain.

Drinking water can help with suppressing appetite and controlling cravings. In a study conducted by Virginia Tech professor, Brenda Davy, observed that participants who drank water before their meals lost much more weight than those who didn’t drink. Researchers explain that this is because water subdued feelings of hunger and in turn the water also acted as a thermogenic – revving up their metabolisms! Additional studies show that people who substitute pops, juices and other sugar sweetened beverages in lieu of water tend to consume an extra 400 to 500 calories per day — that translates to 3,500 calories per week, which is the same amount of calories found in a pound of fat. Yikes! So who’s thirsty for water?

Road trip tip - say no to sugar

Step 2: Be mindful of your food choices and shop accordingly

Mindfulness is a buzz word being thrown around a lot these days. In my book, I describe it as ‘being passionately aware of my life, relationships, my surroundings, and using all of my senses to fully experience my life to the max.’ When it comes to your nutrition, it’s no different. Just as we are mindful of our daily choices and actions, we need to look at our dietary choices through a similar lens.

Food labels, where our food is sourced, how it is manufactured and most importantly how does the food make you feel at the time when you eat – and how do you feel 60 to 90 minutes after eating. Developing a close relationship with the foods you eat, paying attention to how it makes you feel, will give you a greater understanding and appreciation for the food choices made each day.

Mindful-Eating-tips

If you have a tendency to reach for sugary treats as a quick pick-me up, do you ever take stock how you feel an hour after eating? Once the sugar-buzz wears off, how do you feel? What’s your knee-jerk reaction most of the time – I bet it involves wanting a nap or reaching for another sugary treat, right?

Being mindful of these cycles and tendencies with our food choices frees us up mental space and empowers us to make better decisions about the foods we eat to sustain our vitality.

Next time you find yourself prepping for a road trip, ask yourself are your food choices in line with the lifestyle you are striving to lead?

Step 3: Pre-pack and pre-portion your foods

When it comes to eating, Dr. Wasnik has also studied the effect of visual cues versus feelings of fullness and how it affects how much we eat. What he found was that when we rely on visual cues we have a tendency to overeat.

tryalittlegoodness family fit tip 2

Psychologists have attributed dopamine (the ‘pleasure system’ of the brain) as one of the factors playing into our habit of over eating. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, provides feel good sensations by naturally rewarding experiences such as food, sex, abuse of drugs… these feel good sensations reinforce and motivate us to do and continue to do certain activities – whether they’re healthy or not, it doesn’t differentiate that for us.

So when you are reaching for a chocolate bar and telling yourself you’ll only have 1 little piece, and inevitably you find yourself returning to the cooler 3 minutes later for another one… it’s dopamine at work. After all, once you start, it’s tough to stop because we like to finish what we start.

So if you share these tendencies with me, I suggest trying goodnessknows snack squares. We discovered these when we first set out on our #WLFMroadtrip. They're deliciously, amazing and satisfying snack that combines the goodness of whole nuts, real fruit like cranberries and tart cherries, toasted oats and dark chocolate with no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. And the best part is there are 4 mini snack size squares in each pack, so perfect for sharing or eat them all yourself, it's a perfect snack on the go.

Pre-portion Snack Hacks – the Power-10!

These food items will allow you to control your portion size while still allowing yourself to feel ‘happy’ when you finish the container.

Goodnessknows Snack Squares #trayalittlegoodness

So good… you can eat all 4 mini-bite size squares guilt free. (I do all the time!)

  1. Goodnessknows snack squares
  2. Fruit kabobs
  3. Almonds
  4. Beef or Pork Jerky
  5. Snap peas
  6. Sliced cucumbers
  7. Nut-trail mix hack (include some goji berries and dark chocolate chunks for an antioxidant power punch!)
  8. Hummus with carrots
  9. Hard-boiled eggs
  10. Avocados quartered

Tip: buy some Ziploc snack bags or portion kits to pre-pack your snacks before you head out on the road for your next epic road trip.

Step 4: Take frequent stretch breaks

I know I don't need to preach the harm that sitting for long periods causes to the human body, but humor me anyway. Study after study talks alludes to sitting being worse than smoking!

Here's a few of the most alarming statistics and findings I've read so far:

  • Physical inactivity is one of the five leading global risk factors for mortality and is estimated to cause 2 million deaths per year.
  • When your muscles (especially certain leg muscles) aren’t moving, your circulation slows, using less of your blood sugar and burning less fat.
  • Men who sit more than six hours a day have an 18% increased risk of dying from heart disease and a 7.8% increased chance of dying from diabetes compared with someone who sits for three hours or less a day.
  • In 2013, more deaths will be attributed to physical inactivity (5.3 million) than smoking (5 million).
  • Today’s 10-year-olds are the first generation expected to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
  • Sitting increases all-cause mortality (death)
  • Sitting is as big a risk factor for heart disease as smoking
  • Sitting causes muscular atrophy
  • Sitting decreases bone density
  • Sitting reduces circulation
  • Sitting reduces metabolic flexibility (obesity researcher speak for “makes you fat”)
  • In the last few decades, active play has all but disappeared, as the average child now spends 7.5 hours in front of a screen on their down time!
  • Sitting 8 hours a day associated with 90% increased risk of type 2 diabetes

So bottom line? Get up and stretch those legs – and do it often! Got it?

tryalittlegoodness family fit tip 3

Step 5: Find time to play

There's no denying it. When we're having fun our moods and desires change. We want to keep the feeling as long as we can. In the past 30 years there's been some incredible research that connects evolutionary links between exercise and happiness. (Duh! Didn't we already know that?) I've included a wonderful lecture from Dr. David Raichlen where he shares some of his findings – it's definitely worth the watch if you want to nerd out on the WHY we're wired the way we are when it comes to exercise and the happy-juice that flows through our veins.

If you are traveling and on the road for long stints, make sure to make opportunities to play. You've heard the expression ‘time flies when you're having fun', right? Well, trust me, play time is a great way to pass time when on long drives with the family. Something to try is every time you see a rest stop along the highway, pull over and play a 10 to 15 minute game of follow the leader. Nothing is off-limits. Picnic tables, rocks, fences and pretty much anything in your path is now an obstacle. Take turns alternating as the leader and warm up your cheeks 'cause the smiles won't be stopping anytime soon.

tryalittlegoodness family fit tip 1

So in closing:

Have you taken any steps this year or this summer to go from good to great? Maybe you’ve taken your fitness routine to the next level? Or perhaps you finally got around to reorganizing your closet?

No matter your goal, I would love to hear about it. Reach out and comment below. 

 

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of goodnessknows. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Treatment of addictions doesn’t work but lifestyle changes do

Treatment of addictions doesn’t work but lifestyle changes do

Treatment of addictions isn’t working… there I said it!

Over the past 4 months I’ve shared a lot of my own personal experiences as it relates to my history with traditional 12-step treatment models and alcoholism. The more research I gather, and the more conversations I have with people in the ‘business of treatment’, the more obvious it becomes to me that there’s a larger problem at work and what's being offered up as the standard of treatment isn’t working.

Before I share some ideas worth talking about, let me back up a few steps and share some information I’ve learned. In sharing some of this information, my hopes are that you begin to question the current things as they are as it relates to the businesses of treatment and recovery. Please keep an open mind, recognizing I’m not trying to be antagonistic, or dogmatic, I’m only looking to stimulate a conversation away from treatment and recovery, towards one of lifestyle changes, empowering transformations, and personal choice.

Note to reader: If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with a substance abuse issue, I highly recommend reaching out and connecting with someone from Saint Jude Retreats. In addition to the residential facilities, they also offer a Home Program and a Long Distance Learning program as well — exclusive for my tribe, use discount code “addictionfreelife” to receive 15% off

So, what’s the problem with the business of addiction treatment and recovery?

Treatments of addictions is BIG business. In the United States alone, the addiction treatment industry has grown to a staggering tune of $34 billion dollars a year, meanwhile overdose death rates have tripled in the past two and a half decades.

While the growth is staggering, it pales in the scope of the human cost associated with excessive alcohol consumption and drug overdoses, which jointly accounts for nearly 127,000 deaths per year.

wtfact stats about addiction industry in the united states

There are more drug treatment facilities than ever before – over 14,500 of them in the United States – and countless alcohol treatment facilities, with more being opened year after year. This is a tell-tale sign that more and more people are seeking treatment, more and more money is being spent on said treatments, and yet, more and more people are overdosing and dying from substance abuses. At what point do we stop, give our cultural head a shake and scream from the rooftops, “WTF is going on here!?”

[highlight color=”yellow”]It would seem that the treatment solutions being offered up are not working.[/highlight]

The Disease Model of Addiction and Where the Wheels Fell of the Treatment Bus

According to the disease model, ‘addiction is very much a brain disease’. It is reported that brain abnormalities cause people with the disease to become addicted to substances or activities once exposure to these stimuli occur. This model considers addiction IRREVERSIBLE once acquired.

The ONLY way one diseased with addiction can recover ‘consists of developing and maintaining complete abstinence from all addictive substances and activities. Abstinence arrests the disease.

Many of the treatment facilities and organizations that accept this model own the fact that complete abstinence is difficult to achieve and as such the model stresses the importance of peer group support and attendance at regular meetings.

What I found extremely interesting was the fact that many of the websites and literature surrounding the disease model of addiction and recovery, often compare alcohol or drug addiction to cancer.

One example from a very prominent site reads:

‘Cancer survivors share with the group their personal experiences of the disease and of recovery. Similarly, addicts and alcoholics support each other in groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. They share their personal experiences of addiction and recovery and provide hope and inspiration to each other. When people support each other in this manner, they become more hopeful. Therefore, they are more motivated to take the necessary steps toward recovery.’

And here’s the crazy thing, if addiction is a disease like cancer, stroke and heart disease, and large amounts of money is continually invested in the study of these diseases, at what point do we demand results?

Not sure where I’m going with this? Bare with me a second.

Here’s some figures to chew on:

Between 2008 to 2012, $735,985,000,000 of taxpayer’s money was allocated by the National Institute of Health to study diseases. These diseases included heart disease ($12 billion), Cancer ($55 billion), stroke ($2.2 billion) as well, $9.7 billion was spent to study the ‘disease’ of drug addiction.

Wondering what all these dollars in research studies has to report back from an ROI standpoint?

Here’s the stats…

The $1.76 billion per year investment in Heart Disease Research has returned:

  • 38% reduction in deaths from heart disease (2003 – 2013)
  • 30 to 40% reduction in hospitalizations resulting from heart failure, heart attack and stroke (1999 – 2011)
  • 83% reduction in hospitalization rates for people suffering from unstable angina, a leading symptom of coronary heart disease. (1999 – 2011)

The $7.94 billion invested yearly into Cancer Research has returned:

  • 20% reduction in cancer rates over the past 20 years
  • This reduction translates to 1.3 million lives saved
  • Survival rates for nearly all types of cancer are climbing

The $325 million invested annually into Stroke Research has returned:

  • a 35.8% reduction in annual deaths from stroke (2000 – 2010)
  • a 50% decrease in incidence of stroke in a Johns Hopkins study from 1987 to 2011.

Now what about the $1.38 billion per year (2008 – 2012) that is being allocated to Drug Addiction Research has returned a:

  • 10.33% increase in deaths from prescription drug abuse
  • 35% increase in deaths by illicit drug abuse
  • 8.1% increase in deaths by opioid pain relievers
  • 30.2% increase in deaths from benzodiazepine
  • 95% increase in deaths caused by heroin

The numbers are staggering! Clearly money invested into the research and treatment of diseases yields a positive return, so why isn’t the money being thrown at addiction research providing the same results?

Maybe, just maybe, addiction isn’t a disease.

If you are a visual learner like me, you’ll appreciate the well laid out, researched infographic produced by Saint Jude Retreats. (see below)

Drug Addiction Investments infographic

What’s the ‘Business of Recovery’?

With all this money being spent within the treatment industry – remember to a tune of $35 billion according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – we have to wonder, why we don’t have more scientific based evidence supporting the efficacy of programs like Alcoholics Anonymous or similarly designed 12 step programs.

The Business of Recovery’ is a documentary that sheds a light on many of the problems within the treatment industries. An article worth exploring, ‘Inside the $35 billion addiction treatment industry’ by Dan Munro appeared on Forbes.com makes great mention of a few of the startling statistics and findings shared by the film.

Ruben Baler, a health scientist at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addresses the key concerns head on when he states:

12 Step programs are very popular, but if you’re looking for figures and randomized trials and scientifically rigorous studies of how they work and for how many people they work ‒ you will not find those studies. You will find anecdotal evidence ‒ for people who it did work [for] ‒ but unfortunately we don’t have the scientific basis to say how many of all those people who tried a 12 Step program ‒ how many of those failed.

The film is definitely an eye opener and puts our status quo beliefs about treatment in question. Not sure? Finding this a bit incredulous? Fair enough. Do you own due diligence and see what you come up with.

I feel you’ll come to a similar conclusion and find that ‘treatment doesn’t work!

Defining is THE problem: Labeling of Addictions and the Pokémon Go Connection

Throughout this process of researching addictions, I find that much of the misinformation appears to stem from the definition itself. The labeling of substance abuse and/or addiction as a disease is quite absurd when you look at any other behavior in place of the substance or habit being defined as ‘the abuse’.

As an example, let’s look at the well accepted definition of addiction (or substance dependence) and compare it to the global phenomenon that’s taking millions by storm — that is Pokémon Go.

First, let’s look at how the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association) defines addiction or substance abuse as a disease:

  1. The substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
  2. There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful effort to cut down or control use of the substance.
  3. A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance, use the substance, or recover from its effects.
  4. Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use the substance.
  5. Recurrent use of the substance resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
  6. Continued use of the substance despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of its use.
  7. Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of use of the substance.
  8. Recurrent use of the substance in situations where it is physically hazardous.
  9. Use of the substance is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance.
  10. Tolerance, as defined by either of the following:
    1. A need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or desired effect.
    2. A markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance.
  11. Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:
    1. The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for that substance (as specified in the DSM-5 for each substance).
    2. The substance (or a closely related substance) is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Pokemon go could be a disease and addiction

Now let’s take this defined criteria and insert Pokeman Go as the behavior or action in question:

  1. Pokemon Go is often played in large amounts of time or over a longer period than was intended.
  2. There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful effort to cut down or control playing of Pokémon Go.
  3. A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to download Pokémon Go, play Pokémon Go, or recover from its effects.
  4. Craving, or a strong desire or urge to play Pokémon Go.
  5. Recurrent playing of Pokémon Go resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
  6. Continued playing of Pokémon Go despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the playing the game.
  7. Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of playing Pokemon Go.
  8. Recurrent playing of Pokémon Go in situations where it is physically hazardous, such as driving a car, or while operating machinery.
  9. Playing of Pokémon Go is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by Pokeman Go, such as dreaming of Pokémon characters.
  10. Tolerance, as defined by either of the following:
    1. A need for markedly increased amounts of playing Pokeman Go to achieve balls and hunt characters for desired effect or achievement.
    2. A markedly diminished effect with continued playing of Pokémon Go, hence the game begins to get less fun after playing it for 2 weeks straight.
  11. Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:
    1. The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for that substance (as specified in the DSM- 5 for each substance)…..Whatever the hell that means…just another lame catch all.
    2. Pokeman Go (or a closely related game) is played to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms from lack of playing Pokeman Go.

This is just one example of how you can literally put any behavior to fit the definition and label anything as a disease. And there lies a big problem with labeling any chosen behaviors as diseases and taking the control away from the person.

A Non-Treatment Approach to Dealing with Substance Abuse and Addiction

Common knowledge among the North American culture is that if we suffer from an addiction, we have to ‘join’ the treatment industry and subject ourselves to a great deal of misinformation which is largely unproven.

While there exists several non traditional treatment options, the only truly non-treatment based option, is that of the Saint Jude Retreats, which help people overcome an unwanted habit, or unwanted behavior. Or, even better, they go about helping those dealing with substance issues by helping them see how they can improve their life and in turn leave the unwanted baggage behind them.

all you need is a monday to make a change in your life

In writing this article, I had the opportunity to interview Ryan Schwantes, president of Baldwin Research Institute (the parent company of Saint Jude Retreats). Over fifteen years ago Ryan committed his life to helping others realize there’s alternative methods to achieving new habits, establishing lifestyle habits that are geared to building lives on happiness first. He believes no one should allow themselves to give up on their dreams and everyone has the power within themselves to build the life they want and absolutely no one has the right to tell them they can’t or won’t be successful and happy!

Below is Ryan’s recounting of a conversation he shared long ago which forever affected the trajectory of his life’s path.

Gerald Brown (Jer), one of the [Saint Jude Retreats] Co-Founders, once told me “Ryan, nothing is wrong with you, and you’re going to be fine”.

As simple as that sounds, it was so powerful because up to that point I had learned I was diseased and I was pretty much doomed for the rest of my life. All my dreams and goals were out the window because I was forever going to be dealing with my disease of addiction.  

I have always been a person with extreme pride, self-determination, strong-willed and motivated individual with strong principles and well grounded moral values.  I always had an overabundance of energy and I was able to overcome adversity in my life by mentally and physically working through pretty much anything that came my way. I guess I considered myself a pretty tough nut to crack but I have to say I was holding on by a shred at that point to not succumb to the nonsense.  

I was not a person that was easily intimidated, but I was literally scared shitless that I wasn’t going to be able to beat this disease. When Jer told me that I was going to be fine and I had nothing wrong with me, I immediately thought… I knew it… I knew I wasn’t nuts and now here was this wise Yoda type guy confirming what I was thinking in my head for the past several years. It was literally like I was injected with all the old drive, determination, and energy I once had, and the fire within me began to explode again!  

Ever since then I haven’t looked back and have strived to achieve every goal I set out to carry out and I vowed to never let anyone or anything tell me I can’t do something or tell me to believe or think a certain way because I was “supposed” to. Never again!

And I have vowed to do everything I can to help others see that despite what they have been told, and what they are expected to believe, they aren’t doomed and they aren’t sick and diseased. I want them to know there’s nothing wrong with them and they’re going to be fine.  

I shared a similar experience as Ryan.

My wife Christie was my Jer. I shared that moment when I made a personal choice to change a habit that was not in alignment with who I wanted to be. Sometimes the simplest choice is the right choice, and all it takes is one person to believe in you, like Christie and Jer believed in us.

I recognize the treatments of addiction and industry of recovery is anything but perfect. Many of our accepted norms are based on antiquated teachings and beliefs. Many want to quote ‘evidence based science’ as the gold standard of proof. But there comes a point when we have to question what evidence is based on beliefs and what evidence is based on fact.

The fact is that if you or anyone you know want to change a self-defeating habit that isn’t serving you, such as a compulsion to drink or use other substances, there exists options outside of the disease treatment system. And the solution lies in non-treatment!

You can change anything you choose to change, and sometimes it just takes a conversation to target your specific challenges, needs, concerns, hopes, goals and dreams. Help you remember what it is you want most from your life.

For what it is worth, if you are reading this article and something in you is driving you to seek a change, I want you to know I believe in you. There’s nothing wrong with you and you’re going to be fine.
Note to reader: If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with a substance abuse issue, I highly recommend reaching out and connecting with someone from Saint Jude Retreats. In addition to the residential facilities, they also offer a Home Program and a Long Distance Learning program as well — exclusive for my tribe, use discount code “addictionfreelife” to receive 15% off

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Don't stop here, check out the other articles from the Addiction for Life series

If you, or anyone you know, resonate with any of the information shared in this post, do not hesitate to reach out for more information. Call my friends at Saint Jude’s at 877-958-3310 or reach out to them directly via www.SoberForever.net — don't bother waiting, don't seek out the advice of others, simply make the decision to choose you and your health first, you deserve happiness.

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Dai Manuel - The Moose Is LooseThis post is sponsored by Saint Jude Retreats. The opinions and views are wholly my own…

And to be absolutely clear, this is my disclaimer: “Just so you know, I have been compensated to share my ideas on this topic. Sometimes it is in the form of products, or services or even money… But here’s the thing; I won’t  share anything with you that I don’t fully support. It doesn't matter what it is, or how much they are willing to give me, if I don’t believe in it, It won’t be on my site. Seriously. You’ll just have to trust me on this.” ~ Coach Moose

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