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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

    Doctor of Psychology

    Entitled Kids Are Parents’ Biggest Enemies How to Regain Broken Trust in a Relationship Most Overlooked Signs of Autism in Children (And What Parents Can Do) Parents Are Their Own Worst Enemies How To Raise Healthy, Happy Kids After Going Through a Divorce

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    Last Updated on August 16, 2018

    Narcissistic Personality: What Is It and How to Deal with a Narcissist?

    Narcissistic Personality: What Is It and How to Deal with a Narcissist?

    He asks you for your opinion, but only follows his own advice regardless of what you say.She loves to talk about herself, everything about her is just better than you.  When you try to share anything happy about yourself, she seriously doubts it.

    If you know someone who acts like these examples, there’s a chance they might be a narcissist.

    What is a narcissistic personality?

    Narcissism is a spectrum personality disorder which most of us have.

    In popular culture, narcissism is interpreted as a person who’s in love with themselves, more accurately, their idealized selves. Narcissists believe that they are too unique to be understood and that they are so good that they demand for admiration from others.

    Psychologist Stephen Johnson writes that,[1]

    the narcissist is someone who has buried his true self-expression in response to early injuries and replaced it with a highly developed, compensatory false self.

    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) describes narcissistic personality as a personality disorder. It is a spectrum disorder, which means it exists on a continuum ranging from some narcissistic traits to the full-blown personality disorder.[2]

    Narcissistic Personality Disorder is not very common, but the truth is, we all have some of the narcissistic traits.

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    Traits of a narcissist:

    • They have a deep need for admiration and validation. They think they’re special and too unique to be understood.
    • They feel they are superior to other. They achieve more and know a lot more than you.
    • They do not show their vulnerabilities. They fear what others think of them and they want to remain superior in all situations.
    • They are unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others. They want to be the centre of attention and believe that showing emotions is a sign of weakness.
    • They are skilled manipulators and are emotionally abusive. They know how to make use of their charm to take advantage of others to get what they want.

    How are narcissists different from others?

    Narcissism expert and the author of Narcissism in a Nutshell, Zari Ballard, tried to answer some common questions asked by non-narcissists about what a narcissist thinks and feels from a narcissist’s perspective.[3]

    Do narcissists know they are narcissists and are they happy?

    We could really care less about how others feel. We enjoy our so called cold existence. True narcissists don’t want to change. We feel in total control of our lives using this method.

    Do narcissists know or understand right from wrong?

    Narcissists know the difference between right and wrong because they understand cause and effect. There is no “guilty conscience” giving them a clue and they are displaying the symptom of being “indifferent to social norms” while most likely presenting as ‘cold-hearted.’

    Narcissists have a very different thinking mechanism. They see things from a different perspective. Unlike non-narcissists and empaths, they don’t have much sympathy and are reluctant to show emotions to others.

    Why do people become narcissists?

    1. Narcissism is vulnerability taken to an extreme.

    The root of a narcissistic personality is a strong resistance to feeling vulnerable with anyone.[4]

    Narcissists refuse to put themselves in a position where they feel vulnerable. They fear that others will take advantage of their weaknesses, so they learn to camouflage their weaknesses by acting strong and powerful. The think showing emotions to others is a sign of weakness, so they learn to hide their emotions and act cold-hearted most of the times.

    Narcissists live in a state of anxiety because they are highly aware of their emotions and how others think of them.

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    Vulnerability aversion, is the root of a narcissistic personality.

    2. A narcissistic personality could be a result of a wounded past.

    Narcissists are desperate to seek validation constantly because they either didn’t feel worthwhile and valued in the past, or were being paid too much attention as the most precious and unique one in the world.

    Faulty or inadequate parenting, for example a lack of limit setting, is believed to be a major cause, and both permissive and authoritarian styles of parenting have been found to promote narcissistic symptoms.[5]

    Both parents who fail to see the worth in a child, and parents who spoil and give excessive praise to the child promote narcissism as the child grows. While the former ones make the child feel inferior of others and want to get more attention, the latter ones encourage an idealized-self in the child.

    How to deal with a narcissist?

    1. If someone close to you is a narcissist, embrace the differences.

    There’re different personality types and not everyone will think and act the same as you do. Instead of trying to change others, learn to accept the differences and strike a balance when you really have to communicate with them.

    2. Don’t try to change them, focus on your own needs.

    Try to understand that narcissists are resistant to change, it’s more important for you to see who they really are, instead of who you want them to be. Focus on how you feel, and what you want yourself to be.

    Embrace the fact that there’re different types of personality and the only thing you can control is your attitude and your own actions.

    3. Recognize what they do only comes from their insecurity.

    Narcissists are quite vulnerable deep inside, they question others because that’s how they can make themselves feel better.

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    When you learn that what a narcissist does to you is nothing personal, but something that comes from their insecurity, you know that sometimes they just need a certain amount of reassurance.

    This is especially important if the narcissist is someone you have to closely work with, or if they’re your family member. The right amount of reassurance can calm them down and get the tasks on hand completed.

    4. Ask them what would others think instead of what’d others feel.[6]

    Narcissists don’t feel guilty, but they care about how others think of them deep in their heart.

    Clinical psychologist Al Bernstein explains:

    There are just things, like other people’s feelings, that narcissists rarely consider. If you have their ear, don’t tell them how people might react; instead, ask probing questions. Narcissists are much more likely to act on ideas that they think they thought up themselves.

    If you have to work with a narcissist closely, focus on the facts and ideas, not the emotions.

    5. Let go of the need of getting a narcissist’s approval.

    You’re not who a narcissist says you are. Don’t let their blame game undermine your self-esteem, and don’t argue with them just to defend what you believe is right.

    There is no point arguing with a narcissist just to prove them wrong because they will not give in proving themselves right. It’s more likely that you’ll get more upset when they disagree with you in an unpleasant way.

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    Know your own worth and detach from a narcissist’s opinion on you.

    6. If a narcissist is hurting you, stay away from them.

    Remember, a healthy relationship is two-sided. It’s about mutual respect and it’s based on give and take. But any kind of relationship with a narcissist is likely to be the contrary, it’s about making the narcissist happy and constantly supporting them. A relationship like this will only weigh you down and is unhealthy for your growth.

    7. Set a boundary and always keep it.

    If you’re setting a boundary, you have to be willing to keep it. When a narcissist sees that you’re trying to take back control of your life, they will try to test your limits, it’s just their instinct to do it.

    Be prepared that your boundary will be challenged. Make your boundary clear, have all the actions needed to be taken in your mind.

    For example, if you have decided to stop communicating with them, they will likely to show up in front of you just to talk to you. Be brave enough to keep your boundary, don’t back down and get close to them again; or else they will not take your boundary seriously any more.

    8. Learn when to walk away.

    When a narcissist starts to make you feel uncomfortable and doubt about yourself, it’s time to pick yourself up and give yourself enough respect to just walk away from them.

    If you’re in love with a narcissist, you should seriously think about ending the relationship and move on for a better life. If the narcissist is your family member, you don’t have to be cruel to them, but it’s better to keep distance from them.

    Reference

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