Decision Making; Heart or Head
“Go with your heart” or “Think it trough, use your head”. Which is it? Emotion or sensibility, which one leads to a better decision.
Too often in the world of an addict it is their decision making which leads disaster. the decision making process of the addict is often extremely flawed and because of this their life snowballs in the wrong direction. The inertia is often too hard to stop and one bad decision begets another one. Poor decision is without a doubt the biggest obstacle to sobriety.
So how do we change this paradigm? How can we improve the decision making skills of an addict. It is often hard enough to do it when the process is not complicated by neurochemistry clouded by drugs and psychopathology. The first step is to create some distance between the addict and his drug of choice. This alone often creates some clarity of thought. Most importantly, however, is to treat the underlying pathology.
the importance of dual diagnosis cannot be understated. Insight and honesty are tow characteristics for which bipolar patients are not well known and clearly good decision making cannot be made in the presence of untreated bipolar disorder. We cannot simply ask addicts to put their disease aside and “just make a reasonable decision” You cannot ask them to use tools that they just do not have. Poor life skills and pathology have prevented them from having the right tools and we must give them back to them while in treatment. Treatment is not just about sober time and 12 steps. It is about psychiatric treatment and skills development.
Take the emotion out of decision making and give an addict the right tools and there is a chance that they will choose sobriety.