from Sex, Drugs, Gambling & Chocolate
by Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP
Chapter 9 of Dr. Horvath’s book: Sex, Drugs, Gambling & Chocolate: A Workbook for Overcoming Addictions helps readers understand craving. We’ve included here the section, “Craving Is Not Dangerous.”
Besides fearing the discomfort of craving, some individuals fear that the state of craving itself is somehow dangerous or harmful. Perhaps if I experience a craving long enough, I will go crazy, or run screaming from where I am, or do something really embarrassing?
In Chapter 7 I noted that the best predictor of the future is the past. How much damage has a craving actually done to you? By comparison, how much damage have you feared?
The danger of craving is that it increases the possibility of engaging in your addiction. If you don’t act on the craving, the worst the craving can do is distract you somewhat for a while. If you stay focused on irrational thoughts about craving, such as “this could make me crazy,” you of course, could get pretty upset. But this upset isn’t caused by the craving; it’s caused by how you react to the irrational thoughts. With luck, you now know enough to combat this irrational thought.