There are many types of addiction. While most associate the term with drug and alcohol abuse, there is also gambling addiction, social media addiction, compulsive shopping, adrenaline addiction, and more.
Addiction causes physical changes in an individual’s brain, altering the risk/reward system, decision-making process, and mood regulation. The consequences of an addict relapsing once they enter recovery are steep, and unfortunately, many do.
With the rate of addiction relapse so high, many are searching for answers. Some reports state that as many as 60% of addicts relapse within the first year of receiving treatment. Could brain training be one of the solutions? It may be able to help.
Root Causes of Addiction
As the causes of addiction are complex, brain training as a solution can prove challenging. However, with the right tools and guidance, it can serve as an excellent coping mechanism for those affected by the disorder.
Addiction can be fueled by a variety of factors, including a family history of traumatic experiences. Sometimes, individuals have addictive personalities, for which an underlying cause is not widely recognized. Other times, addicts participate in behaviors as a coping mechanism for stress, anxiety, or other mental health conditions.
What this means is that different people will require different brain training techniques based on the driving force behind their addiction.
How Brain Training Can Help
Research shows that brain training focusing on impulse control may be the best way to help addicts avoid relapse. There are several techniques that those struggling may employ to aid in their recovery.
First, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help those who struggle with anxiety or depression and self-medicate with addictive behaviors. Working memory is another form of brain training that encourages individuals to expand upon both long and short-term memory. The technique may help addicts to recall the negative consequences of their actions in the past, as well as coping mechanisms they have learned more recently.
Working memory training is typically administered by a professional and takes place on a computer. An individual participates in a variety of exercises over a while as progress is measured.
Brain Training vs. Professional Treatment
It’s important to note that brain training should not serve as an alternative to professional addiction treatment. Instead, it is an ancillary treatment method professionals use during the treatment process for individuals to continue using post-treatment.
The Road to Recovery
The road to recovery from addiction can be steep, and many find themselves overwhelmed in the early days. Using brain training techniques may help cravings, irrational thoughts, and feelings of anxiety to ease. However, if you are struggling with addiction of any kind, seek the help of a professional.
A professional addiction treatment provider will assess your needs and individual circumstances and help develop a brain training plan that’s right for you.
If you are struggling with addiction, learn how you can bring mental health awareness to your environment, and encourage others to come forward for help.