What should I be doing instead of this?
Home · Articles · Columns · The Road to Wellness · Overcoming Addiction

Overcoming Addiction

Road to Wellness

By Janet Berg · June 1st, 2005 · The Road to Wellness
Webster's Dictionary defines addiction as "dependence on or commitment to a habit, practice or habit-forming substance to the extent that cessation causes trauma." We can be addicted to relationships, gambling, even to our own thoughts. Intellectually, we're aware that dependence on certain drugs, excessive alcohol or food consumption and cigarettes can be harmful to us physically, yet we have a hard time overcoming these addictions, sometimes ending up substituting something else just as detrimental as the thing we're kicking. Why is this so hard for us?

Proponents of EFT, or Emotional Freedom Therapy, have a unique way of viewing and treating addiction/addictive behavior. They say the reason the behavior returns or that most addiction treatments don't work is that they do not address the true cause -- if they did, people wouldn't need to substitute one addiction for another.

They first list what addictive behavior is not: a bad habit; inherited; because it "runs in the family"; because the addict is weak; lack of will power; or because of a "secondary gain." These seem to be logical, except for the fact that there's a poor track record in relief when these reasons are pursued.

Here is their refreshing view or explanation: "The true cause of all addictions is anxiety ... an uneasy feeling that is temporarily masked or tranquilized by some substance or behavior."

This becomes obvious when you realize that addictions can also be referred to as nervous (anxious) habits and that this behavior accelerates when under increased stress (anxiety). Removing the addict's substance (tranquilizer) or even just threatening removal causes anxiety. The substance is used to "relax" them, but the only reason to need relaxation is to relieve some anxiety they're feeling.

So it follows that addiction is not simply a bad habit. It's an anxiety driven need that begs for relief when the effect of the tranquilizer (substance) wears off and the anxiety surfaces once again.

Anxiety is usually the biggest part of withdrawal, so if the anxiety is eliminated so are most of the withdrawal symptoms. EFT states that "the basic cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body's energy system." EFT treats the disruption, eliminating the withdrawal symptoms and cravings while addressing the basic cause.

It's helpful to understand some of the beliefs we hold or specific events/experiences that originated the anxiety, and these can be discovered, released and eliminated in many ways -- by going back through your own memories, through conventional therapy and with the assistance of a practitioner of hypnotherapy, kinesiology, EFT, etc.

For more information on EFT, check out www.emofree.com

CONTACT JANET BERG via her Web site, www.janetberg.com


comments powered by Disqus