A nationally recognized expert on compulsive behaviors explains the phenomenon of craving and gives us tools to achieve freedom from our seemingly insatiable desires by changing our actions to remap our brains.
When we find ourselves wanting something strong enough, we’ll do just about anything to get it--sometimes at the expense of our bodies, brains, bank accounts, and relationships. So why do we sometimes have the irrepressible feeling that we need something--such as food, cigarettes, alcohol, or sex--that we really just want? And how do we satiate that feeling without indulging it?
In Craving, Omar Manejwala, M.D., translates the neurobiology of this phenomenon into real and accessible terms, explaining why we just can’t seem to get enough. He then gives us tools and guidance to find satisfaction without giving in to our cravings.
Dr. Manejwala explains: how and why our brain drives behavior; how to change the part of our brain that fuels our cravings; the warning signs that craving is evolving into addiction; why craving is the most difficult component of addiction to address; and why self-help and spiritual groups that use models like the Twelve Steps are so effective at changing behaviors, receiving encouragement, and remaining accountable.
In this thought-provoking volume, Manejwala an M.D. and former medical director for the Hazelden Foundation, which provides addiction treatment addresses the physiological roots of cravings and the role they play in alcoholism and drug dependency. (His use of the word "tricked" to describe what happens to people who succumb to temptation belies his position on addiction being more complicated than a simple choice.) The author lucidly explains the neurological changes that occur when cravings give way to addiction, and he offers practical ways to deal with and resist temptation, from getting involved in a community of folks struggling with similar issues to inventorying one's behavior and finding an accountability partner. All advice is proffered sans judgment, and his suggestions are frequently wise: "You should fail' as many times as you need to in order to succeed." In addition to generalized guidance of this sort, Manejwala also provides substance-specific tips for kicking a habit, whether your vice is smoking, eating chocolate, gambling, or compulsively using the Internet. A handy concluding appendix illuminates the "gap" between 12-step programs and cognitive therapy so readers can better understand which solutions might suit their needs.