Psychology of Addiction

Psychology is scientific studies of the mind.

Mind is a concept.

It does not have a geographical location..

Addiction is a curse to human species.

As we all human beings are hedonistic by default.

Last 35 years I have been trying to understand human behavior related to these two concepts of mind and addictive behavior. Irrespective of conceptual framework of medical models of modern medicine, oriental concepts, homeopathy or Vedic studies; all have described it as having manifestations on mind, body, interpersonal, social, legal, ethical & moral values of people.

In this article I have tried to simplify for understanding addiction in terms of Human nature.

Addiction is defined clinically as a significant behavioral change where in

an individual has a pattern of behavior that is repetitive, increasing in intensity, duration and/or frequency with inability to reduce or refrain from the act & on attempting to do so will develop physical or psychological discomfort sufficient enough to cause impairment of Physical, Mental, Social and Spiritual life of self and significant others.

In simple terms “when I do it, I feel good” “when I don’t, I feel terrible” interestingly when I feel good I want to do it again. The virtuous cycle becomes a vicious cycle.

Human life begins with hedonistic displeasure of being born. A result of gestational relative inactivity changing in active efforts to adapt to painful reality. The concept of pain and pleasure are developed from the early days of life. Happiness and Sadness, Right and Wrong, Good and Bad are always retrospective analysis. The process of learning begins by default. Tools of learning and experience of joy or displeasure is an optimum blend of sensory input pleasures with kinetic expressions. Perceived pain and pleasure on the same continuum are the social perceptions passed by parental inputs of elders that they received for their elders. Protective parents in name of love may alter the social interpersonal skill patterns of a child. The equilibrium of individualistic and social perceptions are more or less scripted by age of 12 in current generation.

In human species: Thoughts Emotions and Memories are responsible for developing desire. Desire is an unconscious process. When it becomes conscious it will be termed as Urge. Urge is a dynamic energy required to carry out kinetic action. Repeated actions form habits. Number of Habits in  an individual form a variety of characters that would create the Individual personality. All personalities are governed by default equilibrium of individual and social environments.

Addictive logic is based on the repeatedly reinforced thought of desire driven hedonistic need of instant gratifications. Absence of desired outcomes are perceived painful, resulting in attempts to find pleasure. Journey of Futile pursuit of pleasure result into formation of pervasive addictive logic. Increased Intensity, duration and frequency of illusive pleasure in the presence of increasing negative manifestations on mind, body and altered balance of life.

More than often some behaviors are socially acceptable, that results in reinforced patterns of dependency. However, the hedonistic drives with altered internal protective perceptions allow that individual to develop habitual patterns of probable harmful outcomes. Inability to reinforce the inner instinctual protective defence mechanisms enable the habitual patterns  to change into compulsive behavior. That reinforces addictive logic followed by increased disappointment and despair.

The vicious cycle is established.

The person develops Physical, Emotional dependence on the addictive logic and therefore addictive behavior. All thoughts, memories and emotions with increased negativity are perceived as only sources of pleasure. Gradually all the alternative efforts to find the inner joy is equated with addictive behavior. Reduction or loss of interest in all or almost all activities but for addictive patterns are observed. The ultimate outcome of these patterns are devastating as the thoughts (Sub verbal speech of an individual) convert in ennui. Nihilistic loss of love and self-respect with inability to interact with the significant loved ones add further attributes of displeasure.

People don’t change unless there is a perception of crisis.

Physical deterioration accompanied with emotional bankruptcy with social discrimination results in precipitation of crisis. Apprehension, anxiety and fear of loss of all major attributes of survival are at stake. Inability of healthcare providers to understand the client specific dynamics adds to reduction of possible favorable outcomes.

Shift of paradigms from non-contemplative to contemplative and then into sustaining the favorable pleasure of serenity and sobriety of life in itself will be responsible for a blissful life.

To conclude:

Help should be made available to those who desire to change, to all people suffering with addictive behavioral disorders, may it be materialistic and or emotional, Illicit Drugs, Alcohol, Sex, Money, Work, Electronic equipment to name a few.

Many medical, religious, faith healers have claimed cure.

Cure defined is gentle restoration of health. Irrespective of environments when the internal milieu change is effective in achieving the self-imposed disciplines, would result in cognitive restructuring of renouncement of instant gratification which would lead to experience the compassionate existence in keeping with laws of nature and can and will show favorable changes. Those who love will always love.

May all be compassionate..

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