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Why Addiction Occurs - Addiction Or Codependency? - Relations
Why Addiction Occurs - Addiction Or Codependency? - Relations

Video: Why Addiction Occurs - Addiction Or Codependency? - Relations

Video: Why Addiction Occurs - Addiction Or Codependency? - Relations
Video: Codependency and the Addiction Recovery Process 2023, March

There is no consensus on the reasons for the formation of dependent and codependent behavior in the scientific world. The so-called “BPSD concept” is popular, which speaks of the simultaneous influence of factors of four types: biological, psychological, social and spiritual. And the influence of these factors is intertwined

In this article, we propose to consider the psychological factor

From a psychological point of view, addiction is a consequence of impaired healthy self-regulation.

In an ideal state, the psyche has integrity and the state of integrity can be maintained. The basic law of the existence of any system is the maintenance of homeostasis, that is, balance. Therefore, each person has mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis - restoring integrity - both at the bodily level and at the psychological level. If you cut yourself, the cut heals - the tissues have the ability to regenerate. The same is true on the psychological level: "mental cuts" also heal.

Remember the toy "tumbler", otherwise - "vanka-vstanka"? She rolls over, but gets up again. This is how a healthy self-regulation mechanism should work. He is responsible for resilience to stress and for recovery in the event that the stress was too strong and the integrity was still compromised.

Returning to the example with the tumbler - self-regulation does not allow us to fall, and in the event that the impact was too intense and we still fell, self-regulation helps to get up - to restore integrity.

Addiction is a sign of impaired healthy self-regulation. There are not enough own healthy mechanisms, so an artificial, suboptimal way appears. Addiction plays an important role in self-regulation, it is a crutch that is needed if your own legs are limping

The addict needs his addiction like a crutch, it plays an important role in his life. In addition to obvious benefits (for example, pleasure), addiction has hidden benefits: escape from reality into drug intoxication, "drainage" of aggression in computer "shooters", etc. And the hidden benefits, like the underwater part of an iceberg, may turn out to be immeasurably greater than the obvious benefits.

Therefore, when providing psychological assistance to an addict, it is important to consider the hidden benefits of addiction and create an alternative, healthier self-regulation. For example, you can relax before bed and sleep well without sleeping pills or alcohol, etc.

Otherwise, work with addiction will be perceived by the addict as an attempt to take away the crutch from the lame. This is why prohibitive treatments are ineffective: it is not enough to “prohibit” addiction without providing a healthier alternative.

From the point of view of the self-regulation mechanism, the effectiveness of the “12 steps” program is clear: it creates an alternative version of self-regulation. It contains clear recommendations: what to do at the moment of "craving" (desire to use), how to deal with your strong feelings, etc.

Why is there a mechanism of unhealthy self-regulation through addiction?

Option number 1

Sometimes he "comes from childhood", that is, in childhood it was an unhealthy mechanism of self-regulation that was initially formed

Each family has its own rules, scenarios - not only explicit, but also unspoken. Some rules are positioned openly: "Senior can not argue," "Crying only weaklings," "Seek help demeaning" … But b about lshaya part of them is sent behind the scenes, without of pronunciation.

Each family system has its own entrenched ways of self-regulation, passed down from generation to generation. For example, in one family it is customary to shout at each other, quarrel quickly and immediately put up. And in the other, you cannot raise your voice at each other, offenses are hushed up, but they are remembered for a long time. Somewhere it is not customary to cry, but somewhere any family member is ready to arrange a demonstrative hysteria. In some families there is a prohibition on expressing anger, in others - on sadness, in others it is impossible to show anxiety.

In dysfunctional families, ways of unhealthy self-regulation are passed down from generation to generation. For example, fun is impossible without an external stimulant - alcohol, and alcohol becomes an indispensable attribute of a feast. Another example: there is a lot of loneliness in the family, but you cannot talk about it and directly request contact; instead, family members go to the refrigerator and console themselves with food.

A child in such a family simply has no alternative, he has nothing to choose from. He involuntarily absorbs those examples that are before his eyes.

The first variant of the formation of unhealthy self-regulation occurs in childhood under the influence of the environment and the unconscious transmission of such patterns.

Option number 2

There is another option: in childhood, optimal self-regulation was formed. However, under the influence of a traumatic event, it malfunctioned, was broken

Returning to the example with the tumbler, the external influence turned out to be so strong that the tumbler could no longer rise, the internal mechanism broke down.

This type of injury can occur at any age. The consequences appear after some time, and one of the possible options is the development of addiction (there may also be the development of psychosomatics, depression, suicidal intentions, etc.). This is an attempt by the psyche to restore integrity - alas, in an unhealthy way.

This is exactly how PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, was discovered in its time. The veterans of the Vietnam War in peacetime in the United States began to drink too much, went to crime, committed suicide. In the study of this phenomenon, suggestions have been made about the delayed impact of psychological trauma.

In the film "Forest Gump" (USA, 1994) we see the story of Lieutenant Dan (actor Gary Sinise), just a veteran of the Vietnam War. A courageous hero in the military past, having lost his legs and not finding himself in a peaceful life, he gets drunk. And only Forest Gump (actor Tom Hanks) helps him find a new meaning in life - a traumatic person needs outside help, the mechanism of the "whirlpool of trauma" does not allow him to restore integrity on his own.

So in some cases, addiction is a consequence of serious trauma lurking in the past. In the case of the development of addiction as a consequence of psychological trauma, assistance to addicts has its own characteristics, and the specialist must have appropriate training.

Important! Psychological assistance to a dependent person does not replace medical assistance. A doctor and a psychologist (psychotherapist) complement each other by working with addicts and their families.

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