Dr Andrew Parker talks about the importance of moderation in a new article for Refinery29.
The article, ‘After A Year Of Excess, I Finally Realised How Badly I Need Moderation’, explores the writer’s personal struggle with moderation.
Juliana Piskorz, the writer, referred to herself as “one of life’s immoderates. I am that friend who always takes things a bit too far. ”
Dr Andrew Parker was called upon to offer psychiatric insight into the topic of moderation, addiction and general pleasure-seeking.
“We live in an addictogenic culture. We are primarily concerned with having fun and pleasure-seeking,” he said.
“Bad habits are very often more immediately attractive, exciting, pleasurable and comforting. The good habits are a bit like a desert: dry, difficult and hard work.”
Dr Parker explained that it’s important that we learn how to overcome our impulses with reason.
“What’s absolutely essential is learning to make reason the boss and not your feelings. I like the metaphor of the charioteer and horses that comes from classical philosophy,” enthuses Dr Parker. “Imagine a charioteer being pulled by several horses. The horses represent passions and appetites, including feelings and impulses. The charioteer represents reason. If we didn’t have the passion and appetites, we wouldn’t move at all but if we leave them without the control of reason then they go all over the place and the cart tips up.”
In reference to the UK’s current roadmap out of lockdown, Dr Parker hinted that it might be an opportunity for people to overindulge in partying and socialising.
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Dr Andrew Parker
Lead Consultant for Addiction Services at Nightingale Hospital