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Psychology and Self Help

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Thomas Gagliano  
Addiction- the intimacy substitute
Guestpert: Thomas Gagliano MSW, C-MAT, BACHELORS
Category: Psychology and Self Help

Speaking Point: 90 PERCENT OF ADDICTS BEGIN THEIR ADDICTION BEFORE AGE 18. Understanding the importance of ego- centricity. At an early age children are ego centric which means when a parent isn’t nurturing them a enough and making them feel important the child believes something is wrong with them. They are defective. The child becomes fragmented, showing one side of themselves to the world but hiding the inner self, afraid of being rejected exposed as being defective. Not trusting people as a coping mechanism to give them the emotional nurturing they need. A void is formed. As he child grows older this void is filled with addiction. The addiction becomes an intimacy substitute.

Speaking Point: The addiction isn’t the problem but rather the symptom. The problem is the brokenness inside that the addiction distortedly fills. This is why addicts switch addictions because they aren’t addressing the real problem. It’s like switching seats on the Titanic.

Speaking Point: Addicts learn to run from discomfort because discomfort in childhood had tragic consequences’. They need to learn to self soothe their discomfort, find self-regulation. Usually growing up in a childhood where conflict was never resolvable.

Speaking Point: Usually an addict reaches out for help in one of three areas. It can happen when their family gives them an ultimatum, get help or get out. Two, when they have legal issues due to their addiction. Finally, when they have employment issues due to their addiction where they keep losing their job.

Speaking Point: The addiction becomes so strong that it becomes a distorted form of oxygen to the addict. The dilemma is the addict believes they are in control of the addiction, when in reality the addiction is in control of them. The cemetery is filled with addicts that thought they were in control of their addiction.

Speaking Point: Solution is a WE process not a me process. Trusting others, therapist, sponsor, coach, 12 step program etc. to build back people as the coping mechanism rather than the addiction.

Speaking Point: The dilemma isn’t stopping but staying stopped and that only happens when structured in recovery.

Speaking Point: Long before the relapse takes place the addict has already eliminated their witnesses. Witnesses are those in their support network.

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Related Media: Relapse prevention

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