Confronting reality is most difficult when it means that you have to deal with areas that feel completely out of control. Without a mind-altering substance or behavioral outlet you might feel depression and confusion. If you're currently fighting an addiction you might be experiencing problems with your relationships and feel torn between what you want and what you need.
An addiction is not having control over whatever substance or outlet you're using and the continued use of it may be harmful by creating an imbalance in life. Addictions don't only pertain to consumptions but behavioral dependence. An addiction is reliance and the activity is often needed in order to cope. In the past addiction mainly referred to psychoactive substances which alter the brain's chemical balance. Psychologists now define addiction as any dependency such as that of gambling or sexual activity. This behavior leads to guilt, neglect toward others, health concerns and a lack of balance.
How Addictions Becomes Unhealthy
Those who have an addiction tend to stop growing emotionally. They may begin to abuse something due to the fact that they are repressing a worry or memory. Regardless of the type of addiction, it is the act of seeking pleasure. It doesn't relate to someone's morals or strength but it is a dependence that can prevent you from reaching your full potential. The relationship between your mind and body may not be as connected as it should be due to the substance. It can take you away from you being able to spend time with other people and maintain relationships. You may be so concerned about needing the fix that everything else is secondary, although close relationships should be treated as a priority. Addiction is detrimental when it begins to take control over who you are and what you have to offer.
How Addictions Affect the Family
Due to the fact that addiction is a compulsive behavior, it becomes impossible to rationalize with the person who can't control it. The other spouse may end up becoming addicted to their partner's compulsive behavior because there is an immediate loss of control. Doing this can ruin trust between the two. Addictions affect marriages and children because family is treated as a second priority to the substance need. If the addiction is mind-altering it is even worse to expose addictive behavior to children. Some partners may no longer want to maintain the relationship and leave immediately. The relationships are no longer mutual, but one-sided. This is challenging for family members who deeply care about the person with the addiction but can only do so much to help.
Even a relationship that's healing after the recovery can be challenging. Substance is the main focus and unless the person can attend a recovery program the behavior is continually damaging. Addiction tears families apart by ending in divorce or a restraining order because the behavior led to violence or abuse. Addicted people are compulsive and want the quick emotional and physical fix. Because of this the relationships do not have a healthy foundation to work off of; the two partners are no longer in harmony with one another because of pleasure seeking tendencies.
How Therapy can Help
There are cognitive behavioral therapies programs that can successfully help you recover from addiction by eliminating the mental and emotional dependency on the drug or behavior. After the physical dependency has been cured therapy focuses on the mental health of the patient. Therapy helps by ridding of environmental cues, networks of people who feed the addiction and the stress associated with habitual activity. There are counseling sessions available for any type of substance abuse and the right plan is tailored to this addiction. It's common that at the root of an addiction there is an inability to cope with something else. By first looking at what that may be the counselor will help you by facing fears without seeking behavioral pleasure elsewhere. By being able to face the challenge all on your own you will grow emotionally. This can bring you closer to your family and friends who want you to improve your health. After a body detox it's going to be difficult when life stressors push you toward the activity. Therapy will help by showing you the reason why you've been depending on the substance (which sometimes brings up repressed fears or worries.) How long the process takes varies and relapses are common but with consistent counseling the compulsive behavior can be altered into a healthy response in someone who wants to save their career and relationships. You have the ability to overcome this period of time. While every day may be a battle you're one day closer toward overcoming the addiction. With support, time and persistence you'll have the confidence that you need in overcoming this harmful addiction permanently.
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