It Is Not A Moral Question. It Is What The Drug/alcohol/food Is Doing For You

Don’t you hate it when people view problematic use of substances / addictions as a sign of moral weakness or failure?
Fear of or being judged may be one of the reasons you have not sought help for your problem. It may be the reason you hide your problem and suffer in silence.
More than likely, you have tried to stop on your own but have not had much success. Perhaps you have been able to stop for a short period of time only to relapse.
Like your loved ones, you may be wondering why you are having problems stopping and staying stopped.
It is not really about the drug / food/ or alcohol. Rather, it is about what these substances or the food is doing for you.
What you are using soothes and hurts at the same time. In the long run, however, the hurts outweigh the benefits.
According to the CDC, (Center for Disease Control) people who suffer from anxiety, depression, or have a mental health diagnosis, are likely to use substances. Whether your use of substance as a crutch is due to a mental health condition or whether it is due to going through difficult times such as a loss, break-up, or other adverse life experiences, you can recover. If you are ready to end this self-perpetuating cycle of suffering, contact me.

Problematic Use Of Substances (Mood Altering Or Not) / Addictions

Problematic use of mood-altering substances / addiction to these substances, emotional eating, addiction to gambling, and other problematic behaviors, causes enormous suffering not only to the person struggling with these behaviors but also to their loved ones and society.Both the addicted and the non-addicts often ask “why do I / they continue to engage in such a self-destructive behavior? Why can’t they just stop?” 

Addiction Cuts Across Race

Yet, why don’t a lot of people seek the help they need? Explicit judgments, stereotypes of who is / what an addict looks like, views of addictions as a moral failure, social deviance, as a sign of weakness and other judgments are often barriers to people seeking help for their problems. Use of the criminal justice system as a deterrent to use and sale of drugs has been a massive failure. External threats of punishment do not lead to change and do not deter use.

How Can We Understand A Condition

How can we understand a condition that seems so unfathomable – the self-perpetuation of the cycle of suffering? Some treatment modalities emphasize the role of withdrawals as a factor in use. While this can be a factor, it does not fully explain why people relapse after years of abstinence. Biological models highlight the role of the brain reward system being activated by substances of abuse leading to the reinforcement of the addictive behaviors. But addiction is both of the above and more. A major question is to understand what the substance does in the person and for the person. As some people have said to me about their use of susbtances, “the troubles melt away. For a brief moment my life is okay”

The term self-medication is often used in references to problematic use of substances or even emotional eating. But what are people self-medicating? To understand addictions, it is important to understand the role of “negative” affects or affects that produce unpleasant somatic sensations. Negative affects and limited capacity for affect self-regulation are major risk factors. 

Other risk factors include psychiatric conditions such as depression, trauma, abuse, serious mental illness, and others and the psychological pain associated with these conditions. As one person said to me, “I use so that life doesn’t suck so bad”. But drugs soothe and wound at the same time. And the wounds can be deep both psychologically and emotionally and are often very costly both to the user and their loved ones.

Signs That Indicate That You May Have A Problem With A Mood-altering Substances Or Other Addictive Behaviors

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I am also very fortunate to have the opportunity to teach with some of them. If you would like to work with me, please contact me.