Specific childhood experiences, paired with genetic predisposition, set the stage for addiction.
An expert on addiction, Patrick Carnes, defines addiction as a failure to bond. When we’re born, we rely on our caregivers to help us form a “secure attachment.”
Here’s what a secure attachment looks like:
· We feel comfortable and confident.
· We believe we can typically trust others.
When our parents consistently attend to our needs, as well as help us feel supported, validated, and calm, we’re much more likely to develop this secure attachment.
When the opposite occurs, we tend to develop an “insecure attachment,” which leads to the opposite experience.
For this type of child, the experience is characterized by:
· Difficulty trusting and liking oneself, as well as others
· Consistent fear and stress
If this sounds like your early childhood experiences, then I’m sure you can also relate to what happened next; you desperately wanted to feel better.
You may have realized that food, shopping, sex, gambling, and/or any number of substances offered you relief from pain. All of the above lead to the release of dopamine in the brain, a neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy.
When it comes to any of these activities and dopamine, we’re more likely to develop an addiction when:
· The dopamine is released quickly
· The dopamine is released intensely
· We can consistently rely on the release of the dopamine
When you decide you’re tired of being a slave to your addiction and you’re ready for a new, healthier start, here are some ways to make it happen:
· Find and regularly participate in some healthy activities which also release
dopamine (and therefore make you feel good).
· Know that your emotions and problems are often short-lived, even when they feel as though they will last forever.
· Recognize and cultivate the belief that pain and discomfort are natural parts of life.
If you’d like to schedule your first session, call me, at (561) 214-4113 for a complimentary consultation or for more information about my services, read my bio here.
You can live a life free of addiction. Let me help you do it!