Different Forms of Addiction: Process Addictions



To say that addiction is epidemic in our society is no

exaggeration.  Mention the word and most people think about

alcohol and drugs, substances which alter the mind and

provide a ready escape from unpleasant feelings.

Substance addiction is a huge problem but it’s only the

tip of the iceberg.  Chemical use is only one way to avoid

reality.  An activity or process can also be used

compulsively to numb the body, distract the mind and paralyze

the spirit.

No doubt workaholics far outnumber alcoholics.

Compulsive working and obsessive thinking about work can keep

one so busy there is no time to feel pain or emptiness.  It’s

probably the most popular way to avoid intimacy and you even

get paid for it!  So easy to justify, too!

How about shopaholism?  This is compulsive spending in

order to feel good.  What better way to assuage emotional

deprivation?  Of course, it helps if you have a workaholic in

the family to pay the bills.

Quite a few people are addicted to religion.  This feels

safe and righteous.  They can avoid addressing the deeper

questions of life by quoting scripture and congratulate

themselves for their own morality by attacking yours.

Then there’s sex addiction.  Some people avoid intimacy

by compulsively seeking physical closeness or self-

stimulation through pornography.  It’s less threatening.

Many are addicted to their own fantasies.  They

stubbornly refuse to recognize and deal with real people and

real situations because of their attachment to their own

delusions about the way things “should be”.  They’re living

in a dream-world of romance and perfection.

There are lots of relationship addicts.  These are the

“co-dependents” who are addicted to a particular person and

that person’s problems or to a series of problem people.

Just another way to avoid facing oneself.

All addictions are ways of avoiding reality.  They all

involve denial, grandiosity and perfectionism.  They are all

attempts to right something that is wrong without ever

acknowledging what is really wrong.  And they’re all doomed

to fail.




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