What is Addiction

19 February 2017

ADDICTION IS A COMPLICATED PROBLEM, with psychological and often physical symptoms too. Reaching far beyond the sufferer, it touches the lives of friends and family too, the most important of those being the children involved. It may not be immediately apparent but they watch and they listen, and they try to make sense of it all in ways only a child can. Some attempt to shut themselves away from it, while others believe they’re somehow to blame.

Secondary gain

Addictions develop as a way of compensating for a need that isn’t being met, or as a means of coping with or avoiding otherwise painful emotions. So you see, there’s often a beneficial reason behind an apparently damaging behaviour – a ‘secondary gain’. That’s why so many addictions and bad habits are so difficult to give up. It’s because the subconscious mind believes it’s helping in some way by continuing that behaviour, and the subconscious always has the last say in how you behave.

What is the benefit

So it’s important to ask yourself what this secondary gain may be. What exactly is fuelling the addiction? Once this ‘benefit’ has been identified, a new and better way of filling that missing need or coping with that painful emotion can be sought. If the issue of secondary gain isn’t addressed, the old unhelpful behaviour will reappear at some later date. Or a different and possibly even more damaging coping strategy will take its place.

Self hypnosis and addiction withdrawal

Many addictions are purely psychological, including gambling, pornography, the internet, shopping... in fact virtually anything can become addictive given the right circumstances. Anything that fills that void or provides a distraction for a while. The trouble is that the benefits are short lived and the sufferer soon finds themselves experiencing even more of the bad feelings they were trying so hard to escape from in the first place. It soon becomes a downward spiral.

The good news is that self hypnosis can be very effective at breaking this sort of addiction because the problem lies in the subconscious mind. The subconscious believes that the addictive behaviour serves some beneficial purpose, so suggestions made under hypnosis can begin to teach the subconscious new and better ways of meeting those same needs.

Professional help

However, addictions, such as drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes produce chemical changes within the body as well as satisfying a psychological need. A person becomes dependent on those chemicals and withdrawal can be a physically painful process. With these types of addiction, professional intervention is to be recommended as part of the cure. However, hypnosis can still play an important role in changing the habitual part of the addiction, as well as helping to address some of the underlying causes that led to it in the first place. In fact this sort of combined approach can be very effective.


What do you want to do now

When something that’s only meant to be a part of life starts to become the whole of it...
that means problems.

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