Addiction Is Not The End Of The Road

by Nirmala Raniga, Founder and Director

When we hear the word “addict” we usually visualize someone who is a hard core drug user, an out-of-control alcoholic, or a heavy smoker. But there are many more addictions that fly under the radar until the damage they have caused becomes obvious. The list of addictions is as long as there are things to crave, including compulsive gambling, sex, eating, work, running, shopping, toxic relationships and the internet to name a few.
Addictive behavior is defined as any activity, substance, object, or behavior that becomes the major focus of a person’s life, prompting them to withdraw from other activities. Often polite circles of friends smile and add “aholic” to describe their neighbour.  He/she is a workaholic.  I’m a shopaholic. He is an exerciseaholic.
These are all harmless-sounding portrayals until it is pointed out that the person purchased 10 pairs of shoes in one day, or their family life is ruined from their compulsion to stay at the office.
Examples of addictive behaviour include:

    • • The person becomes obsessed (constantly thinks of) the object, activity, or substance.
    • • They will seek it out, or engage in the behavior even though it is causing harm (physical problems, poor work or study performance, problems with friends, family, fellow workers).
    • • The person will compulsively engage in the activity, i.e. do the activity over and over even if he/she does not want to and finds it difficult to stop.

Individuals with addictive behaviors often have low self-esteem, feel anxious if they do not have control over their environment, and/or come from psychologically or physically abusive families.
It is thought by researchers delving into the many forms of addictions that these behavioral activities may produce beta-endorphins in the brain that give the person a feeling of well-being or euphoria – like being “high.”
Some experts suggest that if a person continues to engage in the addictive activity he/she may get into an addictive cycle, becoming physically addicted to his/her own brain chemicals, thus leading to continuation of the behavior even though it may have negative health or social consequences.
It is possible to stop these addictive cycles, by addressing the deeper issues of the harmful behaviour and seeking to develop more nurturing, self-empowering behaviours and perspectives. You can restore balance in your life and create a positive perspective – one that will give you joy and peace of mind.
Neuroscience research confirms that despite early and repeated training, new ways of being with self and others can be achieved.
The Paradise Valley Healing Center supports guests to experience new ways of being & maximize the development of new neural pathways. Learn more about the programs we offer.