Addictions - Basics
- by Philip St. Romain; all rights reserved
Definition: attachment to any attitude, behavior, substance or process in such a manner as to create harm for oneself and/or others. This attachment becomes automatic, compulsive.
--the use of attitudes, behaviors, and substances to avoid facing inner emotional turmoil; these avoidances are "fixes."
Function of Addictions:
A. Gives a temporary sense of pleasure or relief.
B. Keeps one out of touch with inner turmoil/emotional pain.
C. Provides "energy source" for maintaining oneself in a role.
D. Provides a means to gain control over one's emotional experiences.
E. Helps to maintain one in a "fixed identity."
Examples of Addictions:
A. Attitudinal: "I'll be OK (happy, secure, serene) when . . .
1. I can control the people/circumstances of my life.
2. I must do things perfectly; I must not make mistakes.
3. I know enough.
4. I'm self-sufficient/don't need others.
5. Other people must like/approve of me.
6. I must be special to someone.
7. I must come out on top.
1. Co-dependent relationships (caretaking, messiah, "lover").
3. Sex (pornography, masturbation, promiscuity).
5. Working/accumulating money.
6. Watching television "to pass the time."
7. Religious activities that manipulate feelings/avoid silence.
8. Reading books and magazines (Internet) for fantasy, escape.
1. Alcohol/mood-altering drugs (prescription, illegal).
2. Junk foods--e.g. foods high in sugar/salt.
3. Minor drugs--coffee, nicotine, over-the-counter drugs.
Stages of Addiction
A. Experimentation--learning how the "fix" works.
B. Early stage--using fix to get pleasure/high.
1. Few consequences from use of fix.
2. Ability to control use of fix in most cases.
3. Tolerance to fix increasing: can use more.
C. Middle stage--using to get relief from pain.
1. Use of the fix becoming a problem/source of pain.
2. Losing control over fix; adding new fixes.
3. Discomfort when not using or moving toward a period of usage.
4. Emotional numbness, depression, mental preoccupation, defensive.
D. Late stage--using to obliviate consciousness.
1. Severe psychological/physical consequences.
2. Many blackouts.. periods of dissociation from self/reality.
3. Suicide, insanity, accidental death, physical sickness, prison.
If you find this material helpful, please support this ministry.