Understanding Addiction

In order to fully help an addict, it is important to understand addiction and the underlying issues. Addressing those issues is a must for assisting the addict in healing.  Overcoming an addiction without addressing and clearing the underlying issues often results in switching to another type of addiction. Example - smoking replaced by overeating.

Why Addiction?

The number one reason for addiction is Escape or Denial. In other words, a way to not deal with an underlying issue.  It is used to avoid pain. It is also used to soothe pain. What pain? The pain of Unresolved Childhood Trauma. Dr. Gabor Mate' gives us deeper insights into this driving force.

*** Also insightful into understanding addiction is the following TedTalk:  Everything you Think you Know about Addiction is Wrong

As children we were very susceptible to being emotionally affected by the incidents of life. Even in the best of home and family situations our perceptions at those young ages could be easily distorted. Nor did we have the ability to deal with difficult situations and the emotions involved from a more mature and knowledgeable standpoint.

It is my strong belief that the suppression and repression of emotions, at younger ages in particular, resulted in trapped emotions and other trapped negativity which underlay addictive behavior. 

Many times these were coping mechanisms which in the short term were helpful. In the long-term though they become liabilities and need to be taken care of.

Other Possibilities

Here is a sampling of other possibilities for starting down the road to addiction.  Most people do not intend to become addicted.

  • A desire to belong - Social acceptance, "Everyone is doing it."
  • The child inside needing to rebel (Cigarette smoking)
  • "Looking for God in all the wrong places."  - Seeking to fill the void of separation from a higher source.
  • Seeking something to give a sense of power in life especially if powerlessness has been strongly felt.  (This one fits the counter-productive criteria of an addict.)
  • Dulling emotional pain
  • Avoiding responsibility

Breaking the Chains that Bind

Is it possible to free yourself from addictions?  It is my belief that it is.  Trapped emotions, childhood traumas and other emotional garbage associated with the underlying issues can be released. You can do it yourself using the resources available or you can schedule a session for assistance. This would certainly be a huge step down the road to recovery.  Releasing these trapped emotions and other emotional baggage would reduce the sub-conscious driving forces behind the addiction. 

There are many resources available for addressing addictions that come from the standpoint of getting rid of the emotional baggage underlying cravings.

Do not give up!  Not for yourself.  Not for someone else. It may take a little effort or it may take a ton of effort, but keep at it.  There is hope!

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Disclaimer:  The information provided here is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment or prescription for any disease.  The decision to use, or not to use, any of this information is the sole responsibility of the reader. Please consult with a licensed health care practitioner if you are dealing with a serious disease or illness.

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