April 28, 2021
Drug Addiction Treatment
May 20, 2021



“Mom/dad, will you be home when I get back from school? No there will be the maid to take care of you. And give you food. We have a party to attend.” “Don’t ask me, ask your nanny. I don’t have the time. Don’t you see I am busy?” “Go away! Let me drink!” 

“Go to your dad! he is the cause of my drinking “.

In the article previous to this one, The Boy-Man/ Girl-Woman, was highlighted, some aspects of what directions in life kids who are over protected/ pampered / deprived of the right to take decisions for themselves/ over -loved etc., take. 

In the current article, we focus on the opposite, wherein, children who genuinely experience neglect and abandonment, not given the right guidance, who have been abused, whose basic human rights are deprived, despite the parents’ being quite capable of providing them. 

Different circumstances that a child can face 

  • Parents who love them but have to work, so they are left alone at home or in a creche-despite the love and attention given, a child can feel neglected and needy of love- as though not receiving enough love.
  • The children are looked after by nannies and house-help- parents are busy attending parties and social engagements. Children can end up feeling insecure, anxious.
  • Children are neglected, as the parents are addicted to substances. They end up taking care of their parents, taking decisions, many times working to run the house, taking care of their siblings. They, thus lose out on their childhood.
  • They can also be children of parents with mental health issues. Here too they become care givers and often parents to their parents.
  • Children who are hit physically, mercilessly, by their parent/s for the slightest mischief. They grow up to be rebellious for the sake of rebelling.
  • Death of a beloved parent at a young age.
  • Children who have been raped or molested as kids by house help or relatives, in the absence or oversight of parents, or by the parent themselves. 

Children who face the above can grow up to be

  • The children needy for love can grow up to be people pleasers in order to obtain love they crave from outside. They can become emotionally dependent people with no individuality of their own.
  • The child neglected by their parents can grow up to be anxious adults who are introverts and socially challenged. Many a time, in order to compensate for their anxiety, they project the opposite and build themselves up physically by bulking up or build themselves up intellectually so that they are looked up to for their intelligence. However, both these people feel quite inferior inside.
  • Children, whose parents are addicted to substances, live in fear, and grow up too soon. They, and those growing up with parents with mental health issues lose out on their childhoods, so they do not know how to deal with their emotions and suppress them. They come across as adult like. However, sub consciously, they are still seeking that lost childhood. They are thereby, immaturely mature.  They grow up feeling lost. They end up in relationships where the partner needs fixing, partners who portray themselves to be damsels in distress or are psychologically damaged in some way. They constantly need the feeling of being needed to fulfil them. This, they do not realize consciously. They need to be constantly taking care of somebody.  Then, they also end up feeling like martyrs. 
  • Children whose parent passes on are traumatized and if not given counselling can go into a shell or become emotional pressure cookers.
  • A child who is molested or abused can grow up to be rebellious, resenting the gender that abused them – thereby many a time being an abuser too/ becoming homophobic or can develop same sex preferences too.  They, also, if, not again provided the right counselling can end up attracting partners who are abusive. Thus, create a hell of a life for themselves, till they receive help.

Addiction and childhood trauma

These children have not learnt or have not had the right environment in which to learn to deal with their emotions. Hence, they grow up to be complexed individuals emotionally, creating dysfunctional relationships and families for themselves. 

In each of the above circumstances, the child in adolescence, or early adulthood can resort to substance use or abuse and end up in addictive use.  The substance is seen to have a numbing effect on emotions that seem unbearable. They become an instant escape from uncomfortable and painful emotions, albeit, a temporary one. Substances reduce inhibitions and gives them an altered personality that they start identifying with and believe that ‘that’ is their better version. Soon, what seemed better, becomes worse and life becomes unmanageable. The semblance of control fails. 

The Right Treatment

Here, we are not only dealing with addiction to substances, but with a personality that has not grown up healthily at one level and is emotionally dysfunctional and damaged. 

As treatment, what is required is a residential rehabilitation programme where the traumatized individual is treated holistically, individualistically, with dignity, compassion and love, in an accepting, non-judgmental ambience. Healing will need time. We are not treating the substance, but the person who was never given the right manure to grow and flourish and whose life force, instead, got over-run by weed. 

This therapy, needs to be done, only of one’s own volition, non- medically or with very minimal medication when required. The therapeutic module should be with eclectic, bespoke Counseling methodologies, out of the box therapeutic actions, immense patience, compassion, meditation, yoga and other alternate therapies like hypnotic regression, energy healing et al. Nothing can be done about the life experiences -however, what is painful, are the emotional perceptions that we harbor of the same and carry as baggage over the years. Living through each experience perceived as pain, in a safe environment, in order to get beyond them is achieved through daily journalistic writing, that detaches the emotional component from the experience, thereby enabling healing. 

The environment described above, is the one we provide at Anatta to every client of ours; hence treating single clients and/ maximum of three clients, being our forte, in a nurturing, luxurious home situated in natural locales. It is living a normal life that one always wanted to live, but never could because of life circumstances and how one chose to deal with them. This therapeutic living happens, with a physician and experiential counsellors living in the same premises as the client, being available to them 24/7. Thus, just by being ‘present’, gives the client the courage to open up, to be themselves, to accept themselves and grow, eventually.  The need to use substances drops and a new Alternate Way of Living is experienced. Co-dependency counselling is an integral part of our therapeutic module and our experienced family therapist guides with patience and compassion towards recovery.

Thus the right ingredients for therapy are – acceptance, dignity, compassion, honesty, eclectic counselling methods, meditation, writing. 


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