If you find yourself or someone you love struggling with the following issues, let’s work together to find more skillful ways of coping:
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Excessive gambling
- Smartphone over-use or addiction
- Compulsive impulses and behaviors related to sex
- Excessive internet addiction
- Being a workaholic
- Self-defeating behaviors that always seem to undermine your growth and success
- Issues of shame, guilt and a chronic sense of unworthiness
Addictions are an epidemic in the United States. It is hard to imagine but most people know someone who has been affected by addiction. People often engage in addictive behaviors such as drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, eating, shopping, internet addictions, gaming, and smartphone addiction, to avoid difficult thoughts and emotions that seem to be intolerable. Addictive behaviors may also serve to help prolong or maintain pleasant feelings that we want to hold on to.
Unfortunately, painful experiences will present themselves, regardless of the strategies we employ to avoid them, and pleasant feelings are not permanent. These are unavoidable aspects of being human that are difficult for everyone to cope with. When we try to escape or deny this reality by engaging in addictive behaviors, we create more distress and suffering in our lives. When addictions provide only short-term relief in exchange for long-term problems, it is vital for people to understand the self-defeating nature of addiction and avoidance.