Addiction encourages trauma and trauma can encourage addiction. This process becomes a vicious circle or negative feedback loop, with trauma contributing to addiction, which in turn fuels more trauma, which encourages still more addiction, and so on and so on. The Claudia Black Young Adult Center treats substance and process addictions, recognizing them to be primary disorders which reinforce each other and are often fueled by traumatic experiences. Here are some examples of how this process plays out:
Video games are great escapes from the world. If as a young adult you struggle with real life relationships, feel pressure from unrealistic expectations, feel powerless, or defeated and inadequate, games are hypnotizing, allowing you to dissociate from real life stresses at home, school, and work. Gaming offers many rewards, from escape from reality, satisfying curiosity, providing a purpose, heightening a sense of invincibility, feeding the ego, offering companionship, satisfying the need for challenges, gratifying the need to be a leader, fulfilling sexual fantasies and meeting the need for acceptance.
The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD) is promoting their 32nd Annual Alcohol Awareness month this April. The theme for this year encompasses the idea of drinking as a rite of passage. This immediately makes me think of a case that I have been following regarding a fraternity at Penn State and the alcohol-induced death of one of its pledges. While there are many issues in this case that can be picked apart and examined, I feel that alcohol, as a rite of passage is central to what occurred.
Last month, I celebrated National Nutrition Month by asking each of you to dedicate more than just the 31 days to get your diet back on the right track. To truly fuel, and feel better, the focus needs to be year round. This month, we continue the journey by adding more color to the diet. That’s right; color! Americans are seriously lacking in the fruit and vegetable department, and efforts from public health campaigns to boost consumption have failed. That’s why you won’t hear me tell my patients to eat more fruits and vegetables. Instead, I’ll hopefully achieve the same goal by asking you to focus on eating at least five or more colors a day (none can be artificial by the way).
Dr. Jerry Law, senior fellow at The Meadows, discusses the dangers of this addiction and how it can slowly take over your life on Dr. Connie Mariano’s show House Calls on an episode titled Beware the Ides of March.