The title of this article struck my interest because naturally, the truth of it is questionable. Could brain damage - an obvious negative thing to happen to someone - actually accidentally cause a positive effect ? However, it does make sense that you can accidentally kick an addiction as a result of damaging the part of the brain that craves addiction - the insula. Studies having to do with cognition, memory and motion were conducted on 69 previously smoking addicts that have had a stroke. Out f this, 19 of these patients underwent damage to their right or left insula. 12 of out these 19 patients claim their smoking urge has ended with no relapse. Although this is shoking, not everyone who underwent damage to their insula lost the urge. Furthermore, patients who underwent damage in places BESIDES their insula claim to have kicked the urge after their stroke. The differences in male and female also may influence this considering the brain of a female is wired than that of a male. Insula is still thought to be the influence on why some patients kicked the addiction. With this, possible conclusions can be made that damage to the insula may effect other addiction such as alcoholism or various different drug abuse. This theory allows therapists to come up with possible ways to help people kick a smoking addiction.
Overall I thought this was a pretty good article, although i'd like to know more about the studies that were conducted, this is definitely an interesting topic. It's ironic too, that there can be such a positive life-saving result of damaging your brain. I wonder, do people want to try and cause damage to their insula just so they can rid of an addiction ? Are doctors or therapists now going to start performing procedures or come up with ways to damage the insula in people suffering addictions ? I have mixed feelings about this. Yes, of course conquering an addiction is a good thing, but is it really a conquer if it's done this way ? Damaging your insula won't give a patient the self-satisfaction and pride one gets when they conquer an addiction on their own. It's almost like someone conquering the addiction for you, and there will be nothing cognitively involved for the patient to recall. You won't be able to mentally reflect on your success and have that reminder to stay strong for the future. It's almost the same thing as taking a pill for a quick fix so you don't need to deal with going through the steps of a recovery. Even though mentally you won't want a cigarette, there is still the physical habits that you need to get over, the cigarette breaks you used to take, and i feel like struggling to not take that cigarette break is a big part of recovery and the best way to prevent a future relapse. Won't someone still feel like they miss the act of smoking, and since they have nothing to remind them that it was a struggle to quick, won't they be more-so prone to relapse ? Or feel they should smoke anyway because that's what they're used to ? I think especially with something like smoking, recovery should be handled by making the person undergo a recovery journey. There is always a deep seeded reason behind every addiction, and a painful issue that causes a person to utilize whatever addiction they have. Therefore, I think these issues need to be dealt with and confronted, not just pushed away and masked, or else the person is just going to find something else to lash out on and of course still struggle with their internal pain. If they don't fix the issue behind the smoking, and their insula is damaged to stop smoking, naturally they may use a different substance to release their inner pain and it may be to use a drug way worse than cigarettes. Also, I think they may be prone to things such as depression and anxiety because they didn't recover by putting in hard work, they just had someone else deal with it for them. Overall I don't see how this would be a good thing to do, because I myself know how important it is to undergo a struggle or pain of some sort in order to come out on top in the end and never look back. However I would like to see if this theory gets further explored and utilized.