Many victims of childhood sexual abuse are prone to addictions. This is often a coping strategy. Addictions can help to ‘numb yourself’ ‘space out’ ‘stop feelings and emotions’ ‘blot out the pain’ ‘try to forget’.
If you have an addictive problem it is more difficult to face the past and heal from it. It can become a vicious circle. Therefore it is crucial to your healing journey that you find support from understanding individuals and or groups to help with your addiction which will them allow you to take the first step in breaking the cycle.
Drinking, drug taking, self-harm and food issues along with other addictions can dominate your life.
Foreword by Pauline Carruthers
Over 80% of drug and alcohol adicts were sexually abused as children
As with all addictive behaviour problems, it is very difficult for a person to acknowledge the existence of a drinking problem and this means that people suffer for many more years than is necessary. It is often confused with recurring depression and high anxiety levels which are not relieved by conventional treatments, and a failure to identify the role of alcohol in these conditions often means a failure to refer for the correct treatment.
The condition is characterised by the fact that the sufferer, despite many attempts at control, finds that their drinking and the attendant consequences continues to get worse over the period, and the dependent person's guilt, shame and remorse levels become increasingly more burdensome. Attempts to stop can result in withdrawal symptoms which are relieved by taking more alcohol. Attempts at control ('just a couple of drinks won't hurt') almost always end in drunkenness, and things seem to get progressively worse. In extremes, suicide may seem the best option as depression and severe anxiety coupled with feelings of hopelessness and helplessness often accompany addiction to alcohol.
Alcoholisms is very hard to overcome, but it is possible with the right support..
Most scientists now consider addiction a brain disease: a condition caused by persistent changes to brain structure and function. Using drugs repeatedly over time changes brain structure and function in fundamental and long lasting ways that can persist long after the individual stops using them. After a certain amount of a drug is consumed, and that amount is different for everyone, it is as if a switch in the brain is flipped from normal to addict.
Addiction is defined as uncontrollable, compulsive drug craving, seeking and use even in the face of negative health and social consequences. Very few people are able to return to occasional use after becoming addicted.
But, as we know, not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted. Some people can become addicted more easily and quickly than other.
Many people believe that drug addiction is a failure of will. Research contradicts this. However, this does not mean the addict is simply a hapless victim, nor does it absolve the addict of responsibility for his or her behavior. But it does explain why an addict cannot stop using by sheer force of will alone.
How do you treat addiction?
Research finds that the best forms of treatment heal the entire individual, combining medication, peer support, group support, behavioral therapy, sexual abuse services and rehabilitation.
Finding the right support and understanding is crucial to healing.
HOPE Groups will support you and assist you to find the right help.
The consequences of compulsive gambling can be catastrophic. Not only are enormous debts accrued, but these may well have been increased through the use of loan sharks and other unsavoury sources which can place the life of the person and their family or friends in jeopardy.
Similarities between gambling and drug dependency include an inability to stop/control the addiction, denial, severe depression, and mood swings. Gambling and chemical dependency are both progressive diseases with similar phases. These include "chasing" the first win/high, experiencing blackouts and using the object of addiction to escape pain. The belief that the next risk will be the one which will put everything right, the delusory sense of certainty about the outcome combine to convince the person that just one more risk is essential. Gamblers and are often preoccupied with their addiction, experience low self-esteem, use rituals, and seek immediate gratification. There is help available and you can stop.
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Please remember that an addiction is how an individual copes at a particular time
Healing Our Past Experiences
Self-help and support services for adult survivors of childhood and or adult sexual abuse
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