Welcome to my Brainy Lady blog! This is where I get to take off the doctor’s coat (it's not mine--yet), tie it around my waist and share autism tips, surprising brain science, funny personal stories and painful doctorate program homework complaints… okay, maybe I'll avoid that last one. Regardless, I hope to offer insights and invite the same while enjoying a cup of coffee with the autism, neuroscience, psycophysiology, parenting, spiritual, thinking, comedic, curious community! If that leaves you out, I'm sorry and suggest you try on one of the many hats. One is bound to fit!

This Is Your Brain On Hate – Hate Addiction Is Like Cocaine Addiction

“This is your brain. This is your brain on hate….”

Hate can be hard to understand. Yet, with a little understanding of behavior and the brain, it seems (almost) logical.  It also becomes clear that we can learn how to not choose it.

Hate and anger have stronger neuro-chemical hits than the softer emotions. It is like comparing a strong dose of cocaine to five drops of CBD oil, wherein you feel better but don’t get high. And, like cocaine, the strong hit of hate wears off quick and needs to be repeated. So if you are addicted to hate you have to self-inject (via thoughts and speech) constantly. Thus, addiction to looking for “hate targets” is quick to take hold.

Additionally, the brain is preset to attend more quickly and completely to negative stimuli in order to keep us safe. This translates into meaning that if we feel a negative emotion, like hate or anger, all thoughts that might bring a countering emotion are wiped away until the internally driven neuro-chemical drug reduces in amount.

Like all junkie communities, hate cements people together because it is easier to get a hit for free when you hang out with other people who have the same interests/beliefs/addictions.

Understanding this about hate can, admittedly, be almost enticing. Luckily, though, this knowledge mostly leads us to make safer, less addicting choices. After all, being an addict is a quick way to lose self-control, self-care, family, success, and legitimate friends.

And hate becomes an addiction quickly.

For those of you who are already addicted, or know someone who is, this is powerful knowledge, indeed! With this insight you can catch yourself seeking and inducing hits of hate. You will see the places where you can do the work of changing your thoughts, changing your communities (online and off),  and changing your habits.

And I’ll let you in on a clever insight. The work you’ll be doing shifting out of your addiction by paying attention will keep your brain on alert. Being on alert is neurochemically similar to the brain-state created when targeting the environment for things (and people) to hate. Thus, your brain will now be busy releasing chemicals that reduce your NEED to hate, helping you avoid experiencing overly intense withdrawal symptoms.

Being a hate addict isn’t healthy for anyone.

Just say no.