Table of contents:
- Addiction is sometimes very aptly called "the disease of frozen feelings." Addicts (dependent people) have difficulties in the emotional sphere, including emotional self-regulation
- What difficulties does an addict have with feelings?
- Ban on feelings
- The two poles of empathy
- Body map of feelings
Video: How Does An Addict Feel? We Make A Bodily Map Of Feelings - Relationships, Self-development
Addiction is sometimes very aptly called "the disease of frozen feelings." Addicts (dependent people) have difficulties in the emotional sphere, including emotional self-regulation
What difficulties does an addict have with feelings?
- The addict does not understand that he is captured by a certain feeling, the feelings are suppressed.
- Cannot differentiate - determine what kind of emotion it is, name it (alexithymia).
- Has difficulty expressing feelings - in order to contain and / or in order to express them.
In a dysfunctional family with addiction, emotional regulation is impaired: the exchange of feelings, the expression of feelings. And addiction / codependency becomes an unhealthy form of feeling regulation.
For example, a teenage son is angry with his alcoholic mother, but cannot present this feeling to her out of fear, pity, due to material dependence, or for another reason. Then he can begin to place his anger in the virtual space, in computer "shooters", developing computer gambling addiction. Or find a certain idealized image of a girl, contrasting with the demonized image of the mother, and find consolation in codependent love. This idealization will balance and contain the charge of anger towards the mother. In any case, addiction / codependency becomes "helpers", "helping" to cope with their own feelings.
Ban on feelings
There are families in which an unspoken ban on any feelings is widespread. Feelings are perceived as something negative: indecent, demonstrating weakness, etc. But there are also families in which specific feelings are prohibited, that is, the attitude towards emotions is very selective.
For example, there are family systems that once suffered a loss that could not be openly talked about and grieved about. If it was always possible to talk about those who died in World War II, then it became possible to talk about the victims of the Civil War, dispossession, repression only recently. Losses, for which it is forbidden to grieve, are a heavy burden of unexpressed sorrow and grief. In such families, there are many depressive dynamics that cannot be recognized and expressed. Sadness, sadness, grief are forbidden.
And in the dynasties of the military, security officers, policemen it is forbidden to be afraid, fear is perceived as something unacceptable, especially for men.
Children in dysfunctional families are not taught how to deal with their feelings: to be aware, to live, to express.
A dependent or codependent person may seem emotional, but it is important to understand that the emotions manifested can be a cover for deeper feelings, a disguise. For example, the fear of the future may be hidden behind an angry outburst of a drug addict. And behind the warm-hearted feelings of a codependent girl, anger at the lack of reciprocity can be hidden.
People of the addicted type are more inclined to reacting feelings - an uncontrolled outburst. But codependents more often suppress feelings, keep them in themselves and, as a result, suffer from psychosomatic diseases, depressive states
The two poles of empathy
Another important topic is empathy, the ability to empathize, the emotional feeling of another person.
In addictive families, the mechanism of empathy is suboptimal; polarities are usually manifested.
1. Lack of empathy, emotional coldness and callousness
True feelings are suppressed, empathy appears to be something threatening. But in some cases, the mechanism of empathy was simply not sufficiently developed in early childhood. If the child's environment was not empathic, he cannot learn empathy. Age up to one and a half years is especially important here.
2. Empathy is excessive, the border is blurred, a symbiotic relationship arises
Others' feelings, pain are perceived as their own. This is the so-called "contact without borders", in which it is easy to lose yourself. Most often, this type of contact is a consequence of fixation in the oral symbiotic period, when the child and mother are, as it were, a single whole.
Dependent individuals often develop along the path of lack of empathy; codependent personalities - on the path of excessive empathy. It is important to normalize the mechanism of empathy, to find a balance between feeling the other person and attunement to oneself.
Body map of feelings
Exercise to develop emotional self-regulation
- Purpose: establishing contact with the body and senses, integrating the senses and body.
- Materials: A4 paper and pastels or colored pencils.
- Instructions: draw your body. Now it is necessary to note the feelings in the body - where which feeling lives. For example, anger can live in your fists, fear in your knees.
This is done as follows: for each feeling, a color is selected, an inscription or shading is made for it in the desired part of the body.
Several senses can be placed in the same part of the body. So, love, sadness, loneliness, tenderness can live in the chest.
And the same feeling can be in different parts of the body. For example, rage can be in the fists, in the jaw, in the legs.
The right and left sides of the body may well be different. In addition, feelings can be manifested somewhere more, somewhere less. You can show this in the picture using different colors.
Hint: Imagine that you are experiencing a feeling. How does the body react to this feeling? Does your stomach shrink? So this feeling lives in your stomach.
Remember that the body map of feelings is always individual, there can be no right or wrong options.