Addiction, to a layman, is an insane attraction or out of control (being hooked) towards a substance, event, person or an activity in an attempt to escape or avoid emptiness, meaningless, monotonous, boredom, loneliness etc, etc in life. Something that normal people found impossible to understand or comprehend. Advice (gentle or harsh), scolding and even beating would not deter them. Types of addiction: Substance addictions e. G. Heroin, nicotine, alcohol Behavioral additions e. G. Ambling, sex, eating, relationships, work, compulsive physical exercise, internet/TV, shopping, etc Basically, they are divided into functional and dysfunctional type. Below discussions focused on the dysfunctional like drug, alcohol and gambling addiction. Addiction is a process. Basically, they are the seduction, habituation and finally destruction stages. Life is empty, meaningless, monotonous and boring. One may asked, how all these feelings come about? Some of the reasons: out of love or care or cannot feel the love or care from family, friends, colleagues, society.
Worst, cannot get hold of what one is wishing for, example, infatuated with someone and that someone do not respond at all, s that someone do not have the same feeling that one is experiencing now. Another scenario is separation from loved ones, familiar places and people. Fear of the uncertain and trying to escape from reality are other causes. In an attempt to seek instant gratification, that is, instant resolution to their “issue”, these people are being seduced into activities, events or substances which they thought will help.
In the initial stage of seduction, one does find the fun or the ‘thing’ that one is seeking for. During this stage, indulgence in such substances, activity or event does make them forget about the worldly things or a while. This acting out the addiction is fun, exciting, stimulating making the mood change for the better and thus creating a pleasurable imprint known as euphoric recall. When the activity is over and one is back to reality, then one found that what they are seeking for has yet to be fulfilled. This is when the so called addicts keep going back to their substance or behavior.
Slowly, they set up a pathological or abnormal relationship with the substance, object or event which is insane and thus sick. Seductively, the addict begins to depend on the addictive process for a sense of nurturing. They begin to believe that alcohol or drugs can nurture them. To sum up this phase, for a time, it was pleasurable, then the euphoria began to wear off and the ugly side of addiction surface. The addiction personality emerges and they develop all sorts Of way to console/convince themselves that what they are doing is “right”.
Rationalization and denial creep in although at some stage they knew what they are doing is wrong and then guilt set in. The emotional attachment with the substance/activity has been well established. Habituation, the psychological dependence on a drug/attachment to a absence, activity, etc resulting from repeated action is the next stage. Now the addiction become a routine thing for the addicts and the acting out keep them busy and occupied. It becomes their daily thingy. Normal people wake up and get ready to school or work but for them, they get ready for their “addiction pursuit”.
They will wake up later than others in the family. The addictive belief system develops into a lifestyle, a delusional one. In their pursuit, they use addictive logic to guide them. Lies and stealing became a common thing. No matter where the family members hide their monies and labels, they have a way to it. Some people believes that evil is there to see and help. They seem to be lost in life but they can be very alert in certain things and smartly take advantages of them. For e. G. They see very clearly who are still caring for them and they will take advantage of these for their source of money whenever they can.
Others start to notice something is wrong. The presence of an addictive personality becomes obvious to family and friends. The addict starts to act out his belief system in a ritualistic manner and his behavior is more out of control. Because the addict must make emotional ensue to himself of the inappropriate behavior, he turns to denial, repression, lies, rationalizations, and other defenses to cope with what is happening. When the addict acts out, he must withdraw into his addictive personality to receive support.
He started to isolate himself from others and the loneliness becomes another signal to act out (more alcohol or drugs). This vicious cycle serves to strengthen the addictive process. The behavior becomes more ritualistic. As the addict becomes more controlled by the process, those people around the addict sense his emotional withdrawal and react to it. This is the start of people problems, as the addict manipulates people and treats them as objects. The next thing that happens is for the people around the addict to label him as irresponsible, troubled, tense, crazy, or strange.
Stage two, includes the development of tolerance (not able to escape the pain). Not only the addict is avoiding people now, if possible, people around him also wanted to avoid him because of the many intolerable issues like lies and stealing that the addicts bring forth in the family, neighborhood or workplace if he is still employable . Relationship starts to winkle and causes confusion and resentment not only with the addicts but among other family members too. Because of this tolerance and increased anger and pain, the addict will start to act out (alcohol or drug use), more frequently and in more dangerous ways.
This constant attempt to keep ahead of the tolerance level, combined with the internal emotional struggle, is a tremendous energy drain. Like any progressive illness, the addiction will take more Of the addicts energy and attention, limiting his ability to live a “normal” life. The addicts finally reached the road of no return. They are into the destruction stage. The initial thought of instant gratification whereby one is suppose to take control of a substance/activity/event at one’s pleasure has turned out to being consumed by the later instead.
By now, they are either unemployed or unemployable. Any form of success is frightening & unfamiliar to them. They have succumbed into their own secret world. They tried to cover low self esteem by hiding behind phony images that they hope would fool people. Unfortunately, they fooled themselves more than anyone. They avoid occasions and celebrations as they find themselves not being able to fit into all these. Their lifestyle is spiraling down to destruction. Day by day, things are breaking down. The acting out no longer produces the euphoric pleasure it used to.
Their behavior and state of health is deplorable and their action could be worst than animals. They are now insane and lost their humanity. Their addictive logic also breaks down by now. The addicts finds himself hating his acting out but finding it irresistibly natural. Relationship and interaction come to a halt. Families are disappointed, baffled and confused by their actions and often desert or disown them. Infant, their families do not understand or will never be able to comprehend why they are doing what they are doing. No matter how you plead to them, their words/ message would not be able to get across.
At times, the families even wished that they are death than to bring home never ending problems and empty promises. They are not only breaking themselves down but also doing the same to their family. Parents, siblings, wife or children have to face the public eyes and going to school or work also bring pressure to other members of the family. Most would hope that they have nothing to do with the addicts. There is this indescribable torture and pain that the other members have to bear too especially those who are closest to the addicts.
At times, those who cannot cope with the public eyes also begin to live a secluded life and develop an inferior complex. At the height of the addiction, suicide, either intentional or unintentional set in. Their life, both physical and mental has now broken down. They do not know what humanity meant. Withdrawal is also a scary thing to them unless some kind of “divine intervention” comes into their life or some strong, professional, and appropriate intervention has a chance of making a difference. Recovery and relapse is a you-you process in most addicts, alternating throughout their addiction life.