We all need better options to restore homeostasis (balance).
If you crave homeostasis but feel stuck in destructive patterns, it’s not because you are lazy or undisciplined or inherited bad genes, but rather because we are anciently wired for the primitive drives that today create self-sabotage.
The key to escape the pleasure trap is to reclaim your power by outsmarting your inner saboteur and base drives.
Most women are not aware of being stuck in the pleasure trap.
They believe cravings affects other unfortunate people, but not them.
They think it's a lack of willpower, or, like I was taught in medical school, "purely" a mental problem.
They have no idea that people just like you and me pass through a specific physiological condition prior to strong cravings (or addictions) called hyperarousal, which is a state of heightened physical and emotional tension marked by anxiety, stress, exaggerated startle response, insomnia, fatigue, and accentuated personality traits (hint: not the good ones!).
Not only are many people convinced that this is all in the mind, they aren’t aware of the latest discovery that cravings & addictions are a brain and gut problem.
Once again, gut/brain imbalance—specifically, gut dysbiosis—is linked with addictive behavior in addition to other brain/body disconnections. When you finally understand exactly the brain/body states that lead to addiction, you can switch gears and heal the drivers of addictive behavior before it’s too late.
Furthermore, I find that my patients don’t realize that their brain dopamine activity may be abnormal—either too low or too high, but certainly in a state of altered balance—putting them at risk for addictive behavior as their brain bodies seek homeostasis from external sources.
Think of dopamine as the that-feels-good, do-it-again-please neurotransmitter. It’s the star of the pleasure-reward system in your brain and the brain chemical involved in motivation, sex, satisfaction, and habit formation.
Dopamine is central to your reactions to behaviors that naturally produce dopamine (such as exercise and meditation) and substances that stimulate dopamine production but may cause harm (alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, opioids, certain foods high if fat & carbs, etc.).
When you are in hyperarousal, there’s an internal pattern of your brain body driving you to seek outside substances to satisfy the feel-good brain receptors that aren’t, well, feeling good.
- Dr. Sara Gottfried, MD