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drug addicts
self destructive behavior
negative feelings
feelings of guilt
low self esteem
guilt shame
adult movies
Happiness And Revenge Are Among The Most Common Triggers Of Craving Among Drug Addicts
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Happiness And Revenge Are Among The Most Common Triggers Of Craving Among Drug Addicts

Addicts suffer from craving almost every day. No matter whether the addiction is alcoholism, gambling, cocaine, shopping or adult movies on the internet, the strong urge to get the drug is the same. In an addiction therapy, patients learn how to identify the typical triggers for craving, e.g. by using a diary for a few weeks. Triggers can be unstructured times, boredom, stress, loneliness, the internet, fears and many other factors. Two of the most common triggers that people usually wouldn’t expect to provoke craving are happiness and revenge.

In order to understand why happiness is a typical trigger for craving one needs to understand the perception that addicts usually have of themselves. After many months and years of consuming their drugs, feelings of guilt, shame and low self-esteem have built up within the patients. Addicts very often feel that they are not worth any happiness. Whenever something good happens in their lives, there is a growing tension between reality (the momentary happiness) and the belief that they don’t deserve anything good. In order to release the tension, addicts usually consume their drug again. By doing so, they also prove to themselves that they are only capable of behaving in a wrong way. They are ashamed again and they feel guilty. The discrepancy between happiness and feelings of worthlessness can thereby be reduced or eliminated. Therefore, in a therapy against addictions, patients need to learn how to build up self-esteem again and how to leave previous negative feelings behind.

Another typical trigger for cravings are unconscious feelings of revenge. Revenge can be directed towards somebody who treated the addicted person badly in the past. This can be the parents or a former partner. By displaying self-destructive behavior, the addict shouts out “Look, if you hadn’t done that to me I wouldn’t suffer now.” Revenge can also be directed towards oneself. If addicts had a difficult childhood and blame themselves for certain mistakes from the past, there is a constant desire to punish themselves for those mistakes.

In an addiction treatment, patients must recognize that as children and adolescents they were innocent and not responsible for things that they have done. They must also learn that many beliefs that they have about themselves were learned from the unfair judgments of others. Revenge against themselves or against others need to be given up in order to move forward and overcome the addiction.

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