Most people have some kind of addiction and the reason you have it could be easier to understand that you thought.

Addictions come in many forms, so it is necessary to clarify what is meant here.

A dictionary definition of addiction is:

   ‘A physical or psychological need to a habit-forming substance,  such as a drug or alcohol. In physical addiction, the body adapts to the substance being used and gradually requires increased amounts to reproduce the effects originally   produced by smaller doses.’

The symptoms of addiction include: dependency, dependence, craving, habit, weakness, compulsion, fixation, enslavement, devotion, dedication and so on.

Further kinds of addiction also include: obsession with, infatuation with, passion for, love of, fondness for, yen for, a slavish addiction to fashion, and now a new category: addiction to social media, particularly FB and/ devices such as mobile phones and tablets.

Addictions destroy relationships, cost time and money to engage in and then resolve, and they make your life worse than what is was before, because the addictive actions give only temporary relief from whatever is really troubling you. So, you now have the addiction together with the original underlying issue that is causing the stress in the first place.

Chemically what is happening in the brain area which revolves around pleasure-seeking activities, is that these types of behaviour or substances, help the brain emit dopamine, the “happy hormone”, which makes a person feel good. When a person feels good, without effort, after taking a substance, or engages in activities that help emit dopamine, their bodies get used to it. They then need to increase the substance or behaviour in order to get the same good feeling result. So, in essence, they seek “pleasure-gaining” activities instead of working out how to cope with whatever they are trying to mask,  without chemical assistance.

The question that needs to be asked is: why do people have the need to go into a state of “artificially feeling good” either about themselves or their situation? And. Do people have the necessary coping skills to manage their lives successfully on a daily basis?

Research indicates that people are not taught specific coping skills or social skills to be able to cope with their changing environments such as new places of work, relationships or with job satisfaction. These take time to develop the necessary skills and to build the necessary trust. Yet, unfortunately, the newer generation, the millennials, those born around 1984+, were brought up thinking that they were special, that life will bring them untold fulfilled desires at the flick of a remote, and that they could be, do or have anything they wanted. So, when they arrive in a specific work environment they quickly learn that they are not special, that there are others who have vastly superior skills than they do, and that these others have the desire, and take the time to build relationships slowly, to build the necessary trust for acceptance and approval of others in the group. And they do so because they want to increase their job satisfaction and create more joy in their lives.

Unfortunately, the millennials do not have the attention necessary for this to happen because they are used to a remote-controlled life, with everything being fast, faster and faster still. They simply flick the channel or subscribe to the instant gratification ideologue in order to satisfy their cravings. You see, their cravings are for peer support and approval and when they do not get that and are unfriended or bullied, they resort to addictive substances, and then they go back and or engage more fully in social media in order to get that approval they are missing. They want that feeling of being “loved” or “accepted” or “approved” by their peers.

“Millennials are not turning to a person when they are stressed, they are turning to a device, cell phone or social media to help them handle their stress. The outcome is only temporary. People who spend more time on FB suffer from higher rates of depression than those that don’t. “Seeing Everyone Else’s Highlights Reels: How Facebook Usage is Linked to Depressive Symptoms” – Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 2014”.

If people in general, and millennials in particular, are taking, theoretically, an easier way out of dealing with stress, instead of getting to the core issues underlying why they are feeling stressed in the first place, then they will continue down this destructive path. The “destruction” comes from not really knowing who they are at a deep level, not understanding that they are feeling stressed and are really not coping, nor why they are stressed, and are simply afraid that they will not be “accepted” by their peers if they do not join in whatever activity everyone else is involved in.

Addiction results from not getting to the underlying issues which cause stress in the first place. Coffee, sugar and alcohol are all okay in moderation. However, when these things “become” the coping method of choice, then individuals and society in general, will continue to suffer the consequences.

If you would like more information on how you might do this, please visit our website listed below, or simply click on the video link below.

Celine Healy

Stress Resolution Expert
Ph: 0408 646 887
To watch the video on REPAIR please click on this link.