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The Cause of an Addiction Could Date Back to When We Were Just Born

The Cause of an Addiction Could Date Back to When We Were Just Born

Alcohol abuse, illegal drug use, obsessive gambling, and smoking are just a handful of addiction problems that plague our culture. There are far too many addictions to list in one article, that is how bad addiction has become today. Is it because we are more aware of addictions or is it because of something else?

Humans are born to attach. When the attachment doesn’t happen to another person, they turn to other things for that bond, which creates addiction.

Are you practicing Attachment Parenting methods so that your child is less likely to become an addict? Do you suffer from addiction that may have been caused by detached parenting? Solutions to both of these questions can be found below.

Research studies have shown that securely attached children are less likely to use drugs.

Research studies have shown that securely attached children, meaning their parents used Attachment Parenting styles (whether they know it or not) are less likely to use drugs.[1]

This research also showed that kids who did not experience attachment to a parent or caregiver because of the parenting methods used, were more likely to use drugs. It is imperative that parents, who want to keep their kids from using drugs and other adddictive behaviors, use Attachment Parenting practices.

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There is a huge population of children in our society today that are more susceptible to drug addiction. Studies such as this one discussed in Psychology Today show that as much as 40% of all children may be insecurity attached to their parent or caregiver.[2] This is scary for our society! Knowing that research shows that drug addiction is correlated with insecurely attached children, parents must be more vigilant to actively practice Attachment Parenting Methods.

How to practice Attachment Parenting to prevent addictive behaviors in your children?

Many parents practice Attachment Parenting without even knowing it. However since studies show 40% of kids are insecurely attached then more parents need to know about Attachment Parenting. Awareness about these parenting methods is key in spreading the message that our kids need Attachment Parenting to prevent drug use. There are some very practical ways that Attachment Parenting can be practiced with your young children.

This LifeHack article describes 6 ways parents can practice Attachment Parenting:

  1. Co-Sleep.
  2. Feed on Demand.
  3. Practice Empatheic Care.
  4. Be Physically Close using Touch.
  5. Be Attentive to Baby’s Needs.
  6. Show Consistent Care.

There is an entire body of research online regarding Attachment Parenting, proving it is successful in creating well adjusted children and adults. There are also entire organizations and support networks available to parents and caregivers who want to actively pursue Attachmeant Parenting.

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Here are some of those resources:

If you have an insecurely attached or detached child, you can still help him/her.

There are not many psychiatric diagnoses that apply to infants. Reactive Attachment Disorser (also known as RAD) is one that does apply to infants and is defined in the DSM-IV as a disorder in infants or children where the child is detached because of failure of the caregiver to provide adequate care and comfort during early childhood. You may be wondering what the specific criterion are for diagnosing RAD, so here they are from The Trauma Dissociation Website:[3]

    If you think your child fits the criteron for this diagnosis please seek professional help. A psychologist or psychiatrist can best help with this disorder and can even help the parent or caregiver with attachment methods. It is better to catch this disorder while they are young, as by the time they are six years old it becomes harder to identify this diagnosis, as it manifests in other manners.

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    One major way is RAD manifests itself as a person gets older is through addiction.

    If you think you have an addiction caused by detached parenting, don’t be afraid to seek for help.

    You can’t go on blaming your parents for your problems your whole life. Eventually you have to accept responsibility for your future. Take responsibility for your addiction by being solution oriented to kick the addiction. The first step to addiction recovery is admitting you have a problem. The next step is to get help.

    Research has shown that the best treatment for addiction is group therapy, as so many addictions are related to failure to attach to people.[4]

    Group therapy provides an outlet for healing and attachment at the same time. In order to be successful in the recovery process you need to make yourself vulnerable by sharing. This vulnerability is what helps you bond to others in the group.

    By utilizing group therapy methods and understanding that there is an underlying cause to the addiction makes therapy much more hopeful. The label of alcoholism as “a disease” makes it seem as though it can be incurable. It is curable, and there are root causes. Failure of Attachment (or undiagnosed RAD) in the early years of life is one cause. Researchers who examined this topic of substance abuse stated the following:[5]

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    Attachment theory–based clinical treatment of this disorder could both diminish symptoms and cure the incurable.

    Most group methods utilize attachment methods, as they are encouraging group interactions and bonding through group share. If you think your addiction is related to early childhood lack on attachment or RAD then you will find group therapy helpful to your healing.

    Here are some resources for finding Groups that help with addiction:

    Featured photo credit: Stock Snap via stocksnap.io

    Reference

    More by this author

    Dr. Magdalena Battles

    A Doctor of Psychology with specialties include children, family relationships, domestic violence, and sexual assault

    Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting a Marriage Counselor How To Stop Insecure Attachment from Wreaking Havoc on Your Love Life 7 Reasons Why You Should Find a Life Coach to Reach Your Full Potential 15 Ways to Practice Positive Self-Talk for Success How to Cope with Empty Nest Syndrome and Stop Feeling Lonely

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    Last Updated on February 19, 2019

    Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

    Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

    No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

    People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

    But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

    If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

    Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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    Pain Is Our Guardian

    Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

    In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

    Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

    While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

    Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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    No Pain, No Happiness

    You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

    In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

    In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

    This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

    Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

    Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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    This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

    Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

    Allow Room for the Inevitable

    Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

    Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

    “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

    Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

    The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

    While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

    Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

    Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

    To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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    You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

    Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

    Reference

    [1] University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
    [2] Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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