stages of addiction, types and examples of addiction
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Addiction

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.

B. Process:

1. Co-dependent relationships (caretaking, messiah, "lover").

2. Gambling/betting.

3. Sex (pornography, masturbation, promiscuity).

4. Shopping/spending.

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.

C. Substance:

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.

 

 

     
in the woods
chinese proverbs
addiction
crying
monk's sacfice
what is reality?
capitalists wage war
eating a lizard
nothing is more
conditioning and reality
escape from nothing