Addictions, Stress and Human Behavior

Several years ago I taught a graduate course called behavioral medicine where we focused a fair amount of attention on the addiction process. As it turns out, there are two kinds of addictions: Chemical addictions (such as drugs and alcohol) and process addictions, including gambling, eating, sex, money and shopping, even people (this is called co-dependency). One book I often quoted from that time from was by Anne Wilson Schaef. The book was called When Society Becomes and Addict. Her premise was that addiction is an inherent part of the human condition—tied directly to the ego’s need to be satisfied. Where there is ego/control issues, there is stress. According to her (and others) we are all addicts of some kind. For several years television watching was the number addiction, and of course alcoholism. Experts suggest today that addictions to technology tops the list (e.g. cell phones, internet, etc.). The term today is “screen addictions, ” and the problem is rampant. Regardless of the addictive behavior, it becomes problematic; stressful to everyone near and far, when there is denial about the addiction and refusal to get help. Addictions are some of our biggest health problems today and where there is an addiction, there is stress.

• Stress Tip For The Day:

Are there good addictions? Some people see exercise as being a good addiction, but there are others who say that addictions of any kind are an attempt, consciously, more likely unconsciously, of avoidance. Still others suggest that addictions of any kind are an attempt to fill a spiritual vacuum. Regarding addictions, there is no separation between mind, body, spirit and emotions. Today it’s time to take an honest look at yourself and your behaviors (all of them). If you are not sure about any potential addictions, try doing “without” for a few days and see where truth lies. If you are still not sure, ask a close friend. Often what we fail to see in ourselves is quite obvious to others. Finally, as the saying goes, everything is moderation.

• Links/Books Worth Noting:

The topic of addictions is vast and no blog can begin to address it. But there are lots of books, links and resources of interest.. Below are a few:

When Society Becomes and Addict, Anne Wilson Schaef

Codependent No More, Melodie Beattie

• Quote for the Day:

“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether it be a narcotic, alcohol, morphine or idealism.”

— Carl G. Jung

• Photo of the Day:

Today’s photo is a beach scene on the island of Kauai. Enjoy!

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Brian Luke Seaward

Author Brian Luke Seaward

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