Addiction

Addiction

Addiction can be defined as doing something over and over to the point where you have regrets, shame, or until it causes harm in your life.  Addiction can also be known as "enslavement to a habit." It's not necessarily what you use, but how you use it that determines whether it is a problem.

 

Abuse, compulsivity, and addiction occur across a spectrum and can include:

  • Substances -  alcohol, drugs (prescription, street, and nicotine)
  • Food** - too much, too little, general obsession about
  • Behaviors -  gambling, sexual activity, internet, money, work, exercise, religion
  • Relationships - obsessive love, glorifying the partner and seeing them as their source of happiness, Intensity vs. Intimacy

 

We can become compulsive about most anything, and casual use can quickly turn to compulsion and need. These over-indulgences can affect your work, play, relationships, and emotional, physical, and spiritual health.

 

It's a good chance the behavior is a problem if it includes any of the following:  shame, remorse, denial, minimizing and/or secretive behavior, preoccupation, failure to limit or control. For some addictions, preoccupation with planning the event can be more stimulating and exciting than the actual event, and interferes with your ability to focus on your daily activities and relationships.

 

Addictions are symptoms that have become so overpowering that you have lost control of your life.  Therapy helps you to understand what drives your addiction and meet that need in a healthier manner. I have over 20 years of experience and continuing education dealing with addictive disorders. If you want to know more about your behaviors and how to get help, contact me.

 

If you or someone you love is abusing food or substances, or engaging is destructive habits, it can destroy your family.  When this is occurring the entire family needs help.  I offer education and counseling for family and friends who may be suffering due to their unsuccessful attempts in helping the people they love to heal and recover.

 

**A SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT ISSUES WITH FOOD

 

Eating disorders can range from intense fear of gaining weight to the over consumption of foods that lead to a feeling of calm and relief.  Eating disordered behaviors can include:  overeating, purging by laxatives, vomiting, or chewing and spitting, not eating, rigid eating rules, and compulsive exercise.

 

It is not uncommon for patients having undergone Bariatric Surgery to continue their compulsive eating, thus resulting in weight gain, and/or switching to another compulsive and self-destructive behavior.

 

Often I've heard from clients that they didn't seek help earlier because they didn't fit into the classic eating disorders that they'd heard and read about.  If you're not bulimic or anorexic, but obsess about food, how much you weigh, how much you ate yesterday, how much you hate your (stomach, thighs, butt….) body, you are not living your life to the fullest and you can benefit greatly from treatment.  This negative self-focus is destructive and distracts you from enjoying your life.

 

Not unlike other addictive behaviors, I believe that the eating and/or body image disorder is a symptom of some deeper unresolved pain that needs attention.  My treatment approach is aimed at helping my clients find the root cause of their pain and then the courage to work through it.

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