Do you understand the relationship between addiction and emotional pain? As Gabor Mate (Author of The Body Says No) explains in this video, addiction is any behaviour that gives a person temporary relief and pleasure, but also has negative consequences, and to which the individual will return time and again.

At the heart of Maté’s philosophy is the belief that there’s no such thing as an “addictive personality”. And nor is addiction a “disease”. Instead, it originates in a person’s need to solve a problem: a deep-seated problem, often from our earliest years that was to do with trauma or loss.

Addiction is our mind and body’s response to unprocessed emotional pain.

And addiction doesn’t have to mean drugs and alcohol, any compulsion is likely to have its origins in previously experienced emotional pain. Gambling, shopping, work, food, caffeine, sex can all be addictions, and they all cover up hidden pain or trauma that needs to be dealt with.
Here are some common symptoms of addiction:

  • An inability to consistently abstain from the behaviour beyond serving a specific need
  • An impairment in stopping the behaviour despite reasonable efforts to stop
  • Thinking about the activity has caused significant impairment in functioning, including the ability to work, pay bills and living costs, maintain relationships, etc.
  • Consistent feelings of guilt or remorse about the consequence of your actions
  • Feeling out of control while doing the activity
  • Relationship conflicts around excessive time / money spent on it
  • Not feeling right when you aren’t doing that activity
  • Only getting “a high” when you’re doing that thing
  • A dysfunctional emotional response that often presents as anxiety, sadness, or even anger if a person is not able to engage in that activity

 

And if any of that resonates with you, give me a call, I specialise in helping people overcome these issues that are at the heart of so much stress and anxiety in our society. I use techniques such as IEMT and Heartmath to clear out those negative experiences.

#addiction #stress #anxiety #resilience

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