Are you Addicted?
You may be addicted to:
• Excessive planning
• Video games
• TV Dating
• Extreme physical activity
Addictions have some similarities but also some differences. Some like alcohol have a genetic predisposition and are progressive by nature. You may be using your addiction to numb your distressing feelings (e.g. boredom, loneliness, anxiety). Something that was initially used as a recreation or a short term relief may sometimes become your usual way to cope with life.
You may now wonder: “So what if I am doing this to numb my feelings? Life is so difficult!”. The problem is that you may be having negative consequences of your addiction. It is very likely that you may be minimizing these consequences or maybe even be in total denial of their existence. Often times, other people in your life are negatively impacted, keep complaining and ask you to get some professional help.
How I treat Addictions:
We will work together to find the best approach to address your specific addiction. You will decide whether your initial treatment goal will be abstinence (e.g. alcohol problem) or harm reduction. We will make a cost benefit analysis of your addiction as well as identify your own specific internal and external triggers.
One of my patients named Megan used marihuana to stop herself from obsessing about her problems. I provided her with a set of techniques that helped her to relax without drugs. She also realized the disadvantages of her marihuana use (e.g. panic attacks, feelings of guilt, wasting money, memory problems). Her internal and external triggers were loneliness and going to bars frequented by drug dealers. Megan was able to overcome her addiction using both individual and couples sessions. She was advised to attend Narcotic Anonymous meetings (NA) but she preferred to only do therapy as she felt highly uncomfortable sharing her problems in groups. Megan has been in recovery now for five years.