Have you ever wondered what causes addiction?
Does it seem sometimes that all around us is one form of addiction or another? Entertainment, shopping, work, the internet, sex, food, drugs, alcohol?
The Cause Of Addiction
Stress and addiction are actually “cause and effect” according to Yogi Amrit Desai, founder of Kripalu Yoga. His thinking is explained in Natural Awakenings, Healing the Root Cause of Addiction with Ayurveda A Natural Cure for Unhealthy Dependence by Linda Sechrist.
According to Yogi Desai in this article, “Addictions are antidotes that provide a temporary escape from the stress-producing, conflict-creating reactions you have about what you are doing, where you are going and who you are with. Addiction, which is only an effect, occurs when you continue to use inappropriate external resources to reduce stress and restore a sense of balance while failing to resolve the cause of the stress hidden in the unconscious.”
The first question this raises is:
- why does anyone need an antidote to a reaction?
- are some reactions OK and others not?
Have you ever noticed when your feelings and reactions are “corrected” by other people and how that feels? and what is your reaction to that experience?
Problems with reactions and the need to escape them come from a conflict we are unable to resolve. Usually, the seeds of addiction are created when we are children. As children, we are stuck not only physically but also emotionally as well. We have to survive in the environment into which we are born. It is that natural need to survive that can get us in trouble because we sometimes have to live with compromises to our worth and dignity that we do not want or deserve.
Unfortunately, the seeds of addiction can happen innocently. If, as a child, someone were to step on your foot, and you were told not to cry, that the hurt is really not so bad, you would likely feel awful from the hurt foot, awful that your hurt was not acknowledged, bad for crying, and confused by the reaction to what seems obvious to you: you needed help and healing. The seeds of addiction have just been planted when the child has to reject his or her natural feelings to be accepted by parents and family.
The seeds of addiction can be magnified in a situation of extreme abuse where the child experiences both abuse and denial of the abuse. Often the child must act with affection and gratitude to their abuser, which causes their feelings of conflict intensify. Add the natural pain of the child and the thwarting of the natural inclination to love that an abusive situation creates, and you have a serious emotional mess!
This mess if it is allowed to exist over a long period of time results in disabling and creates damaging, conflicting emotions that can result in extreme and maybe permanent damage to that individual’s integrity and ability to self-regulate.
People who suffer from addictions deserve compassion. Highly sensitive people are particularly vulnerable in abusive situations because they feel the constant negative energies around them and they heal slowly. It is difficult to be stoic and be a highly sensitive person.
There are any number of solutions and paths to healing the conditions and causes of addiction. They include therapy that validates feelings, and alternative health practices like meditation, eft, and reiki that help release frozen, painful energy in the body.
Healing from addictions and child abuse can be a lengthy process because you have to reverse the long process of devaluation that created the problem in the first place. Sensitive people often experience devaluation because of their sensitivity so abuse can add an additional experience of devaluation making healing even more challenging.
One of the bravest actions a highly sensitive person can take is to decide to be an advocate for themselves and get the help they need so that they can have some quality of life.